Jahangir’s World Times: Please tell us about your educational background and achievements in detail.
Muhammad Tayyab Tahir: Since I hail from Lahore, I got my education here. I earned my postgraduate degree in Sociology from University of the Punjab, securing 1st position among boys. Later, I was selected as a Social Welfare Officer in Government of the Punjab. During the course of my job, I participated in different trainings, and represented my department at various National and International platforms. I was also nominated as the best young trainer on ‘Survey Techniques’ by The World Bank. I remained a Master Trainer on Gender Based Violence (GBV) as well.
JWT: Was it your first attempt and also tell how did you secure this prestigious position?
MTT: Yes, this was my first attempt in PMS and by the grace of Almighty Allah, I secured the 2nd position. My success was a result of the countless blessings of Allah, prayers of my parents, guidance of my teachers and support of my colleagues and friends. I haven’t been a studious fellow but the only secret I knew was that persistency always commands success. This persistence finally paid off in final result.
JWT: Have you ever appeared in CSS? How was your experience?
MTT: Yes, I did appear in CSS-2011, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get through. Though I scored 739 marks in written part, I failed the essay paper by only 4 marks. But, I kept my chin up and
prepared for PMS with more zeal and zest and, soon came the day when my efforts bore fruit. I found both the CSS and PMS exams different in criteria and method of preparation but they have one thing in common and that is competition.
JWT: Students are often confused when it comes to choosing between books and notes, what would you advise?
MTT: Books are an essential part of preparation and one must consult them because they not only boost your knowledge but develop your expression as well. While making selection, always prefer the books which cover the syllabus to the maximum extent. One may prepare notes out of them for quick revision.
JWT: What strategy one should adopt to make a difference?
MTT: In fact, this phenomenon varies from person to person. To me one can make a difference by enhancing one’s writing skills. The prospective candidates should always remember that effective presentation of relevant facts coupled with comprehensive critical views of different authors and experts of the concerned subject and a compact summary of the question at the end is a recipe for making a difference.
JWT: As you know most candidates fail the Essay, English Composition and General knowledge papers. What strategy would you suggest to pass these papers?
MTT: No doubt, these subjects are relatively difficult to pass, but if they are handled tactfully, success can be notched up. For Essay paper, one needs to have good command over English grammar. The choice of topic is equally important in this regard. The chosen topic must be fully comprehended and should be attempted in a comprehensive style covering all dimensions. English Composition paper is more critical in nature and it requires maximum practice. Strong command over grammar will also play a vital role in this paper. General Knowledge is a different paper altogether as it comprises MCQs only. The only thing one can do is to prepare the segments that have been frequently asked. Regularly consulting the newspapers and Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) will definitely pay off in this paper. Remember that in this paper negative marking is also done, therefore, never attempt the questions whose answers you don’t know.
JWT: What sort of guidance should the fresh aspirants of PMS seek and what role JWT may play in this regard?
MTT: In my opinion, the fresh aspirants have to take into consideration many a factor ranging from subject selection to actually attempting the paper. I would advise them to be clear of all the doubts and remain focused. Select your optional subjects prudently keeping in view the past scoring trend. Then make relentless efforts to have a grasp over them. In this regard, JWT is rendering an exemplary service to all the aspirants through its well-improvised and updated contents.
JWT: Do you believe in luck factor in PMS and CSS?
MTT: Definitely, luck does play a vital role in success in these competitive exams. But, the painstaking efforts during preparation are also indispensable.
JWT: What were your optional subjects and please guide the aspirants of PMS about optional subjects.
I took Punjabi, Social Work and Mass Communication as optional subjects, and to the new aspirants, I would suggest that they should go for the subjects that are not only scoring but are easy to cover as well. These include, Public Administration, Punjabi, Social work, Arabic and Geography.
JWT: Would you like to give some message to the new aspirants?
I would say that competitive examination is the test of your mental discipline. As it is said, ‘One, who lives without discipline, dies without honour.’ Don’t be nervous and go after your goal with calm mental composure. Be persistent and never lose hope. Have faith in hard work and leave the rest to Allah.
Best of luck to all young aspirants!