JWT helped me a great deal during my preparation for PMS exam. It provided me with most relevant material for the preparation of General Knowledge paper.
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Abdul Rehman Khan (ARK): My early education was from government schools of Haveli Lakha (District Okara). I always wanted to be a nuclear physicist but Allah Almighty had some other plans for me. I graduated and also earned my master’s degree from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of the Punjab, in 2016. I had started preparing for competitive examination during my MBA studies.
JWT: As you know every individual starts dreaming of a future career right from childhood, so what were your dreams? Did you always aspire to be a PMS officer?
ARK: No! I always aspired to be either a physicist or a doctor. Both dreams remained unfulfilled because nobody motivated, guided or supported me in this regard. That was the time I felt alone in this world. Later, I developed my interest in International Relations and Political Economy and decided to go for competitive examination.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) during your preparation?
ARK: JWT magazine helped me a great deal during my preparation for PMS exam. I can remember that there was a huge pile of JWT magazines in my hostel room and I consulted them from time to time. In addition to it, JWT magazine was instrumental in learning national and international issues. It also provided most relevant material for the preparation of General Knowledge paper.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to making a difference in written part of CSS exam?
ARK: In my opinion, there are three key factors:
1. Reading and writing only the relevant material
2. Answers embellished with graphs, references and quotes
3. Excellent paper presentation
ARK: Compulsory subjects demand special attention of an aspirant. Unfortunately, candidates often consume more time on optional subjects. As a matter of fact, I started my preparation for this prestigious exam with compulsory subjects. I made two types of notes: elaborated ones and in bulleted form for last-night revision. Moreover, I wrote down scores of topic-wise ayats and ahadith for Islamic Studies paper. After making notes, I memorized everything with repeated readings. Additionally, I spent a lot of time on preparing for English papers.
JWT: What were the toughest and the easiest parts in the whole process of PMS exam?
ARK: Toughest part was holding my nerves and coping with anxiety because this much persistence in study is often burdensome. However, the easiest part was debating and discussing various topics in nights and evenings with my fellow aspirants.
JWT: How the answers should be written to get maximum marks?
ARK: First of all, an aspirant must thoroughly understand the question. For this, focusing on keywords in the questions is highly important. Then, (s)he should try to encompass all the aspects of the question. It is always advisable to make an outline of the answer and write it down. You should make as many headings as possible. Use of markers is recommended for that. Try to support your argument with facts and figures in diagrams, graphs, charts and other such useful tools. Try to facilitate the examiner as much as you can. Additionally, introductory paragraph of an answer should include what you are going to establish in the rest of the answer.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
ARK: Firstly, I skimmed through all available topics and noted down the ones on which I had sufficient information and data. Secondly, I did massive brainstorming on those topics one by one. Thirdly, I selected two essays on which I could write about 2000 words. Fourthly, I made outlines of the two. Finally, I selected the one with much elaborated outline. I attempted my essay in an argumentative fashion. I wrote the introductory paragraph with utmost care and then completed the essay by maintaining logic, cohesion and grammatical soundness all through.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
ARK: In my opinion, yes! Answers should be to the point. Writing unnecessary and irrelevant data may divert your attention from the main argument and it would also irk the examiner.
JWT: Anything important about your PMS journey you want to share with the aspirants?
ARK: I developed interest in keenly observing and studying problems of society. The appalling state of indifference on the part of policymakers and implementers augmented my endeavours to work for making a difference in society. The only platform for me to achieve this goal was to join the civil services. In this capacity, I feel, one gets ample opportunity to serve people in multifarious manners.
My Tips on:
Selection of optional subjects
Optional Subjects should be selected by keeping in view the following factors:
1. Scoring trend
2. Academic background
3. Knowledge base regarding the subject
Skeleton notes are much significant in memorizing data and for last night study.
Subjects should be revised on weekly basis once you make notes on them.
My advice for the fresh aspirants
Be patient and believe in yourself!
My Interview Experience
My interview was mostly related to economy and current socio-political issues.
Interview plays a pivotal role in securing allocation in any competitive examination, especially CSS and PMS. Hence, one must collect relevant information and data regarding the politico-economic developments in the world. The candidate must not answer quickly, (s)he should take a few seconds for organizing his/her argument. Questions posed by the panel should be answered in audible voice, with precision and humility.