13th in Punjab PMS 2020-21
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Adnan Bashir (AB): I did matriculation from a Madressah and intermediate from Punjab College, Rawalpindi. Then, I graduated in Economics from FC College University, Lahore.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
AB: JWT is a holistic resource to gain in-depth analysis and content on a variety of national and international issues. Since it provides up-to-date material on almost all subjects of CSS and PMS exams, it is a reliable resource for every aspirant who wants to ace these competitive exams.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
AB: Each subject requires due diligence.
For all compulsory subjects, the first step is to do an in-depth analysis of past five years’ papers as well as the syllabus. For Pakistan Affairs and Islamic Studies, one should make short notes with the help of recommended and other authentic sources. For GK, it is wise to consult different sources such as websites, magazines, newspapers, and past papers of various exams conducted by PPSC. For Urdu, the key to scoring well lies in preparing for the sections where you can secure maximum marks, e.g. Sentence correction, idioms, etc. And lastly, for English Essay, look for specific domains from past papers and prepare accordingly.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
AB: Always try to be relevant to the question all through your answer. Do write a well-structured, coherent answer by giving proper headings, subheadings and flowcharts, as well as diagrams. This is the way you can exhibit your command over the topic to the examiner and, hence, get excellent marks.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
AB: I wrote simple, to-the-point arguments. In my opinion, the success in Essay paper lies in giving a comprehensive outline and then writing an inclusive introduction that encompasses every aspect of the topic. With my experience of passing four Essay papers in a row, my thumb rule is: write to impress, not express.
JWT: Since you have scored excellent marks in Punjabi, what was your strategy for this very paper?
AB: For Punjabi, I covered the entire syllabus. In addition, I drew maps in questions related to war as well as Punjabi dialect. For the classical poetry section, I consulted literature of English, Persian and Urdu languages. The key to scoring high in Punjabi is improvisation. Moreover, I gave references of books and used different eye-grabbers such as different types of nafas and stages of love in different questions to enhance the quality of my answers.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
AB: Quality with justified quantity matters most. Time management is important in this context as equal time should be allocated to all answers. Lastly, word limit depends on, and varies according to, the questions asked.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
AB: It is something subjective in nature and varies from individual to individual. However, attempting papers in English is preferable because extensive reading material, books written by foreign authors and quality content are mostly available in English language.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
AB: My strategy in this regard was simple and to the point. I would recommend that one should go through the contents and the syllabus only. Every subject is scoring provided that no efforts are spared in the preparation phase. I chose Punjabi and Geography as both were reflective of my interests and their past papers-to-syllabus analysis allowed me a better comprehension of those.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
AB: First of all, I thank Allah Almighty for granting me this success. Then, the credit goes to my parents, my elder brother Imran Bashir and Sir Adeel Niaz. With absolute confidence in me, they remained a constant source of motivation and guidance throughout this journey.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
AB: Giving mock interviews, prior to the final one, is important to learn how to handle the pressure and maintain your composure before the panel. I practiced a lot because I believe the more prepared you are, the less likely you are to mess up. Staying logical, articulate, confident and composed during the process was key to my success in this crucial phase.
Selection of optional subjects
i. Educational background
iii: Scoring trend
Do not copy someone else’s notes. Keep it personal and organic. My principal focus was to make long as well as short notes for each subject after gathering knowledge from diverse sources. Short notes help in quickly revising the subject before the exam day.