In Conversation with
Dr Faiza Sodhar
1st in Sindh, PMS 2019-20
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background.
Dr Faiza Sodhar (DFS): I attended SZABIST Intermediate College, Larkana, for FSc. Later, I got admission in Chandka Medical College in the same city, from where I did my MBBS.
JWT: What was the reason, and who was your inspiration, that you decided to join the police department?
DFS: Being a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) was my first and only preference among all occupational groups. And those inspired me to be part of the police department are the women of substance, who are making their mark in this department across the country. And the fact that women only make 2.5% of police officers in Pakistan, and just 1.5% in Sindh, changed my inspiration into passion. I always believe that women should be on commanding positions to bring about a genuine change in society.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
DFS: I joined World Times Institute actually for preparation for CSS exam. The faculty was very helpful and supportive for every single student. The detailed lectures and regular test sessions at WTI, along with the mock exams, really help aspirants assess themselves before the final exam. All the time spent at WTI actually helped me ace PMS exam.
Moreover, JWT magazine helped me a great deal in understanding current issues that was critical to my preparation for the final interview.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam?
DFS: For that, first of all, one ought to have in-depth knowledge of these subjects. Not single but multiple resources should be used to prepare for these. Moreover, papers like English and Sindhi essays and GK need to be given more attention for these tend to be tricky and tough. In order to fetch good marks in Essay, one needs continuous practice and evaluation. For GK paper, all its portions, e.g. Geography, Everyday Science, Current Affairs, etc. must be covered. Extensive reading and keeping abreast of important developments on global and national issues do also help in this regard.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in PMS exam?
DFS: First of all, content of the answer must be relevant to the respective question. Secondly, it must be all-encompassing. Besides, when a subject demands illustrations and diagrams, they must be added to the answers. Like in Physiology paper, one can elaborate every answer with a figure. Moreover, to stand out, instead of writing long paragraphs, giving more headings and writing short paragraphs that have arguments backed by facts and figures should be the strategy. The role of time management and giving equal attention to all questions cannot be overemphasized.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
DFS: When your answers are relevant and all-encompassing, you need not worry about the word limit. However, it can be said that anything between 7 and 8 pages of relevant answer is an ideal length. But, again, it depends on your time- management skills.
JWT: What things should an aspirant keep in mind while choosing Optional Subjects?
DFS: Three things must be kept in mind in this regard. Number one, your subject should be related to your educational background; it definitely works — I chose Physiology because it was one of my subjects in MBBS. Secondly, your personal interest in a subject is also important. This makes you study even if you don’t feel like studying. Moreover, scoring trend must be taken into consideration. Sindhi literature is considered a scoring subject and my two experiences with it have remained good.
JWT: What should be a proper time table for an aspirant to make a sound, all-encompassing preparation for the exam?
DFS: An aspirant must do targeted study. One has to set a task for the day and must complete that.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
DFS: The credit goes to my father who wanted me to join civil services and always supported me. His encouragement, motivating discussions about not giving up and, above all, his belief in me and my abilities helped me remain consistent despite initial failures. I also owe my success to my husband who, being a civil servant, himself remained my mentor.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
DFS: I think, interview is a game of nerves. If you can hold nerves in initial questions, you’ll make it. Knowing this, I remained confident throughout my interview, although I dropped a few questions. This helped me secure good marks.