In Conversation with
Abid Mumtaz Khan
48th in Punjab, PMS 2020-21
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Abid Mumtaz Khan (AMK): I did my MBBS from SIMS Lahore with specialization in Dermatology.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
AMK: I got a great deal of help from Jahangir’s World Times as well as from their Facebook page. The magazine proved to be a great source of well-researched articles that enhanced my knowledge base while their social media pages provided a great platform for staying updated with daily news and learning MCQs of both compulsory and optional subjects of PMS exam.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
AMK: My strategy for compulsory subjects was quite simple. I used to make my own notes using three sources: one book of a local publisher written according to the syllabus, one or two books recommended by Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), and Internet sources targeting the topics the syllabus carries. These sources helped me in preparing quality content for the compulsory subjects.
As far as GK paper is concerned, I believe that preparing past papers conducted by PPSC and having a good command over geography of the world in general and of Pakistan in particular is the key.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
AMK: The answer to this important question is quite simple. To finish with maximum score, qualitative content has to be presented in the paper. And that comes only through extensive reading and rigorous written practice. Moreover, paper presentation is also very crucial. All answers should be supplemented with relevant statistics, facts and graphical representations to attract the attention of the examiner.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
AMK: Essay has two important parameters: an impressive outline and very relevant content that adequately targets the demands of the topic.
I wrote a self-explanatory outline and elaborated that with appropriate and authentic facts references in the introductory and body paragraphs. To me, relevancy is the key for writing a high-scoring Essay.
JWT: Since you have scored excellent marks in Agriculture and Punjabi, what was your strategy for both these papers?
AMK: I consulted best possible books as well as Internet sources with some websites regarding Agriculture.
For Punjabi, memorizing maximum verses, and doing maximum writing practice, was extremely helpful.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
AMK: Yes, an average of 6-7 pages must be written for each question, while keeping the content highly relevant to the demands of the question.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
AMK: In my opinion, English is a better medium as major portion of our preparation is based on the study of resources written in the English language – for both Compulsory and Optional Subjects. However, Islamiat can be attempted in Urdu as it enables one to write Quranic verses and ahadith with greater ease.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
AMK: The first criterion for selection of Optional Subjects must be one’s educational background. A subject you have a prior understanding about should be given priority. Secondly, subjects from mainstream social sciences can also be opted for while keeping an eye on the syllabus, past papers and scoring trend of previous years.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
AMK: I would like to admit here that it was a team effort. The unflinching support of my family, friends and teachers is the reason behind my success.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
AMK: My interview experience was quite pleasant. Though, I was bombarded by the panel with a lot of challenging token questions, yet my confidence in handling the pressure enabled me to score quite well in interview.
My Tips on:
Selection of optional subjects
Analysis of syllabus, past papers and scoring trend is mandatory before choosing any subject.
Three sources are required for making comprehensive notes:
1. A locally-published book for a subject
2. One book recommended by PPSC
3. Internet sources (research papers)
Make your notes on weekdays and revise them on weekends.