In conversation with
8th in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PMS 2017-18
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Farangis Azim (FA): My initial schooling started with Ibne Sina College, Lahore, followed by a brief stint in Tajikistan. Later, I did my matriculation from Qadims Lumiere, Peshawar. Moreover, I attended Southwest Senior High School, USA, as an exchange student. Upon arrival from the United States, I joined Edwards College, Peshawar, for intermediate studies. And lastly, I graduated with BBA (Hons) and an MS degree specializing in HRM from Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar.
FA: Since I was working on my MS thesis and also had a full-time job as a lecturer/HND Coordinator, therefore, it was difficult for me to join an institute to prepare for PMS examination—as a result of which I had to prepare at home. JWT magazine was the best source to prepare for both optional and compulsory subjects. It really helped me especially with Current Affairs and Pakistan Affairs. And due to this help, I was able to score well in Current Affairs. It kept me updated and helped me understand how to solve papers and how to maintain the narrative as required in the exam.
FA: The best answer to this question, in my opinion, is to address what exactly has been asked in the question statement. Each answer should be coherent, persuasive and well-structured.
FA: There are two important things about any paper: (1) going through the syllabus and (2) past papers. And keep the horizon of your thoughts as well as study expanded as questions asked could be of any nature. As far as Essay is concerned, I kept few things in mind; it should be well-structured, expression of ideas is very important by taking into account the principles of a standard essay, outline is the backbone of the Essay. Besides these, grammatical accuracy is what makes your essay good and high-scoring as well.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
FA: My structure of the essay corresponded to the standard structure. After brainstorming and making the outline, I started with the introduction of the topic. I paid much attention on writing a very attractive opening sentence and I believe that is where I was successful in grasping the attention of the examiner. In the second part, i.e. main body, I explored different dimensions of the topic. I wrote all the paragraphs in a proper sequence, making an apt use of linkers and connectors. In the conclusion, I wrote the whole crux of my essay and also highlighted major aspects of that.
JWT: As you have secured 68 marks in English Essay paper, please share some tips with prospective aspirants on how such a high-scoring essay can be written.
FA: Well, I tried that my entire essay should be a composite reflection of the topic. Also, I maintained uniformity all along. Moreover, I avoided mixing up ideas in one paragraph and maintained coherence as well as order in the essay. Furthermore, I made sure that ideas should be presented in a sequence having logical continuity. I also avoided repetition of ideas as it negatively affects the essay. And most importantly, I avoided unnecessary explanations and writing irrelevant things just to elongate the essay.
JWT: Since you have scored excellent marks in Geography and Journalism, what was your strategy for both these papers?
FA: Well, both these subjects were very interesting and I had a special aptitude for them as well. I had to put more efforts in Physical Geography as it was more scientific, and I had to memorize certain terminologies. Human Geography, however, was conceptual and here my common sense and analytical skills helped me in scoring high. As far as Journalism is concerned, it was also a very conceptual subject and I am good at such papers. While answering some of the questions, I made presented relevant case studies and examples. And I believe my paper stood out due to this factor.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
FA: Definitely, yes! It is very important to give equal time to every question by taking into account the time and word limit. But, again, it depends on the question asked in the paper. Some questions may require explanatory answers while others may not. In fact, I used extended-response for some of the questions while a short answer for others.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
FA: One should opt for the language that one feels confident in. However, for me English always works.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
FA: Very wisely! One should opt for the subject one has interest in. Also, it is very important for the subjects to be interlinked. Moreover, having prior knowledge of the optional subject is a cherry on top. For example, in my case I didn’t study for Business Administration paper, yet got a decent score in that.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
FA: First of all, I give credit to myself without sounding selfish. And the same goes for all of the candidates who go through a lot of hardships and get success at the end. One should be self-loving, above all. There are very few people who always motivated and sincerely prayed for me.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
FA: I believe they do grill the candidates but naturally I am calm and I don’t panic around people. Moreover, I find interviews to be fun. I believe my professional experience and my communication skills helped me a lot. Above all, I prepared well for the interview. I kept myself updated from all the happenings around.
Advice for Fresh Aspirants
Work hard and don’t give up. Be smart while preparing for PMS exam.
Make one-page notes that are easily understandable and easily revisable.
Go through your notes a night before the exam.
My experience was good, overall. I was the first to be interviewed that day. It felt all fresh around. There were five members on the panel. Most of the questions asked were from my major subjects of studies. Apart from that, I was asked questions on current affairs, economy and some random questions from the optional subjects. The key to my success in interview was my confidence, knowledge and well-articulated answers.