‘Moral and financial support and prayers of parents coupled with good wishes of your dears and friends count a lot’
Jahangir’s World Times: What is so special in PSP and how it is better than other groups?
Hassan Afzal: Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) is a lifestyle that is something more than a mere career job. It demands one’s abiding passion and intense devotion to service. Its nature of direct action and getting instantaneous results make it head and shoulders above other cadres of Central Superior Services.
JWT: Please share something interesting or surprising regarding exam with our readers.
HA: A month before exams, I was thinking to postpone my 1st attempt of CE-2012. The reason behind was the feeling that I might not be able to get the PSP; my desired group. But my father and my CSS mentor both encouraged me to accept the challenge. However, soon after exams, but well before my result was announced, my father predicted that I will definitely be among the top three position-holders. Although I never took my father’s prediction seriously feeling that it was his wish, yet when I came to know about my final merit number, I was surprised that my father was absolutely right. I was more exhilarated by my father’s prevision about my result rather than the result itself.
JWT: What, in your opinion, are the toughest and the easiest paper(s) and why?
HA: Current Affairs paper seemed to be the toughest one for me. Its objective part was not based on current affairs but mainly comprised history and general knowledge. Another reason is that it is quite difficult to impress the examiner while discussing contemporary issues asked in subjective part.
Paper 1 of Philosophy was the easiest one. I prepared it smartly focusing only on those topics which were being asked frequently in previous years. I did solve all MCQs right in the paper and put a smart and impressive show in subjective portion as well.
JWT: Did you join any academy or prepared on your own?
HA: I prepared under the kind guidance of Mr Sadiq Hussain Baloch, PSP, 37th Common. He has been my only mentor throughout my preparation for CSS written exam. However, for interview preparation, along with guidance of ASP Sadiq Hussain, I also joined CSS community in Faisalabad, my maternal hometown. However, I didn’t join any academy throughout my journey to induction in Civil Services.
JWT: In your opinion, what is preferable between books and notes?
HA: I think, if one has to achieve distinction and top position in CSS, he/she has to consult standard books and take it as an essential for preparation. For smart study, one should make one’s own brief notes, particularly in bullet form. The candidates should focus as much on compulsory subjects as on optional ones.
In addition, a good candidate should possess the stamina for preparation, and revision in last 90 days.
JWT: What strategy one should adopt to make a mark in CSS?
HA: First of all, one must always have the perception before him/her that CSS is a test of abilities and skills. This is a sort of exam in which one is in a cut-throat competition with others.
Secondly, one should seek proper guideline from a qualified CSP, especially a fresh CSP officer, who is also well-aware of latest paper pattern and scoring trends.
Last but not least, moral and financial support and prayers of parents coupled with good wishes of your dears and friends count a lot, at least, it did in my case.
JWT: As you know, most candidates fail English Essay and Precis Composition papers, what strategy would you suggest for these two crucial papers?
HA: Build vocabulary from Barron’s GRE. Focus on grammar and sentence structure. Learn special techniques from a qualified talented CSP to score high in Essay, Precis, Comprehension and Expansion. Always remember that practice makes a man perfect, so make it a must for you.
JWT: Seeking guidance prior to exam is a prerequisite for CSS. So, what sort of guidance is required for the fresh aspirants and how do you see the Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) as far as guidance for CSS-exam is concerned?
HA: If one has to score high in CSS, a detailed yet precise guidance is a prerequisite. It can be sought from anywhere, be it horizons of the sky or depths of the ocean. As far as JWT is concerned, it is a really good source of inspiration for CSS aspirants.
JWT: What role does the luck play in CSS? It is commonly observed that many students of average intelligence are allocated while a number of talented and scholarly students just couldn’t make it?
HA: Well, I will slightly differ with you on this point as I don’t think it is a common observation that average students, most of the times, get allocations while brilliant ones just couldn’t make it.
CSS is a quite a different exam and is unlike any exam for professional degree of any sort. It has its own standards and criteria which one must keep in mind to get through. If one follows that prescribed criteria, only then one will have better chances to succeed.
JWT: Would you please give a message to the future aspirants?
HA: “Actions speak louder than words.”