JWT’s both magazines (English and Urdu) were immensely helpful during the preparation for all subjects of PMS, especially those of General Knowledge and Pakistan Affairs. JWT Urdu was of great help in papers like Urdu and Islamiat.
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Muhammad Rab Nawaz (MRN): I did matriculation from Government Higher Secondary School, Bhawana, and intermediate from Farman Model College, Jhang. Later, I went to Lahore and got enrolled at Government College University, Lahore, from where I graduated with distinction and won a Gold Medal as well. I have been a shining student and consistently got A+ grades throughout my educational career.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
MRN: JWT’s both magazines (English and Urdu) were immensely helpful during the preparation for all subjects of PMS, especially those of General Knowledge and Pakistan Affairs. JWT Urdu was of great help in papers like Urdu and Islamiat. I also consulted “All in One,” an annual publication of World Times Publications.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially the one of General Knowledge?
MRN: Actually, there are different techniques for different papers. I strongly believe that an apt presentation of your arguments is the key in this regard. Do garnish your knowledge with quotations, up-to-date data, authentic facts and figures, tables, charts, diagrams, etc. on the answer sheet, as they make your answer eye-catching as well as impressive. And, this is what the examiner wants your paper to be.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in written part of PMS exam?
MRN: First of all, the answer you write must depict your knowledge and a thorough understanding of the topic under discussion. Do give references from recommended books as it will not only help you score high but will also make the examiner believe that you have made an in-depth study on the topic.
In English Essay paper, if you attempt an essay on a topic related to current or international affairs, add some flavour to it by using theories of International Relations. In Pakistan Affairs papers, you should start your answer with a quotation of Quaid-i-Azam, and other leaders of the Pakistan Movement. Also, use as many Quranic verses and Ahadith as you can in Islamiat paper.
In addition, prioritize your sequence of writing the answers. Start with the one you think is easiest to you. Also, give equal time to each answer, an extra 2-3 minutes for the first and second answer is allowed, though. But, never more than that!
JWT: What is the key to scoring high in English Essay paper?
MRN: I prepared my own short notes in essay topics. My exclusive focus was on sprucing up my clarity of concepts. I focused on issues or topics that were from domains of my interest. I equipped myself with latest facts and figures and memorized a few quotations on each topic. In actual paper, I presented the knowledge I had gained during the preparation phase in an organized manner while maintaining the element of coherence all along.
MRN: I prepared for this crucial paper by dividing the syllabus into different portions. And, for each section, I consulted various books and World Times magazine. In addition, I practiced a lot and especially solved questions of all One-paper (MCQs) exams Punjab Public Service Commission had conducted in 2017.
One thing I would like to mention here as a piece of advice for the prospective PMS aspirants is that if you are not sure about answer to a question, leave that. Owing to negative marking in this paper, selecting a wrong option would cost you dearly.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
MRN: Although there is no hard and fast rule for that, I would recommend aspirants to write 7-8 pages for one answer. Moreover, just like an essay, the introduction part should be absolutely to the point besides being very impressive in its wording and concept. Make an apt use of headings and subheadings and explain them with a tinge of succinctness.
I actually call it the Misbah Approach. You know Misbah-ul-Haq didn’t score a lot of centuries but he was consistent in his performances. So, follow this approach and try to be consistent as much as you can in terms of word or page count.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
MRN: In my opinion, choosing English would be a better option. Since it is a competitive exam, and in all its papers you have to present your knowledge and data that you gather from various sources. Since most of these are available in English language, therefore, going with it is highly advisable.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
MRN: As PMS is all about competition and to be among the top 10-20 candidates, you have to score 750+ marks in its written part. So, while choosing the optional subjects, you need to keep an eye on the scoring trend of that particular subject during the recent years. And if it is in the range of your interests and academic background, it would be the icing on the top.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
MRN: There are a number of persons to whom I would give the credit for my success. First of all, I would dedicate my success to my family. Then, to my teachers, friends and individuals who have been a source of motivation for me throughout my PMS journey.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
MRN: Your body language should radiate an unwavering self-confidence. Mature thoughts, positive attitude and humbleness play a critical role in your success in interview. Don’t ever try to outsmart the panellists and never be overconfident. First carefully listen the question and then respond. Maintain eye-contact with the interviewer all through the process and avoid giving too many gestures. In addition, be neutral but optimistic in your answers.