In Conversation with
Jawad Hussain Pirzada
35th in Punjab, PMS 2019-20
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Jawad Hussain Pirzada (JHP): I hail from Jhang. I completed my secondary and higher secondary education from Chenab College, Jhang. Later on, I did Electrical Engineering from Bahria University, Islamabad.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
JHP: JWT magazine was helpful during my preparation for this competitive exam. It provides full insight into many issues of current affairs. Moreover, I joined WTI for mock exams and interview preparation, and it was a wonderful experience.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
JHP: For compulsory subjects, one should make short notes for every subject. For current affairs questions, one should keep oneself abreast of all national developments. Mock exam and writing practice are highly recommended. Furthermore, one book of reputed foreign author along with some market books should be read to get a deeper understanding of each subject.
General Knowledge paper of PMS is totally different from those of other subjects. Negative marking also makes it more critical. One should prepare GK paper topic-wise. There should be separate notebook for important and difficult questions so that one may easily revise them.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
JHP: First of all, one should understand the question; rather than starting to write the answer instantly. Sometimes, a question is divided in more than one part, and the examiner demands comprehensive answer to each. Moreover, one should never compromise on quality for the sake of quantity. Also, one should avoid irrelevancy. Candidate’s own opinion and analysis do make a difference. Good presentation also helps in getting high score.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
JHP: Clear stance or thesis statement is very important in Essay paper. Similarly, strong and relevant arguments to prove your thesis statement are indispensable. Outline should be clear and comprehensive. I emphasize that organization and relevance of ideas are two crucial factors to pass the Essay paper. One should practice essay writing before exam to lessen pressure and fear of it.
JWT: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge paper?
JHP: Undoubtedly, past papers provide a direction. I studied as many papers as I could.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
JHP: Time management is a crucial factor. All ideas and arguments must be concluded in the given time. I never tried to fill sheets with irrelevant information rather I always tried to complete my answer with relevant information. Again, I would suggest quality over quantity.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
JHP: One should always try to attempt papers in English because there is scarcity of relevant literature in Urdu. A commonly-held opinion is that papers should be attempted in English because it also affects the score.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
JHP: Interest and academic background are the two key factors while choosing optional subjects. Firstly, one should opt for subjects that are related to one’s academic background. I had interest in Sociology, Punjabi and Mass Communication; so, I chose these. One should always go for those subjects that are of one’s interest as it is easy to handle them, and it also helps in getting high score.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
JHP: Credit for my success goes to my family. They have always been supportive to me. I am thankful to my parents for their prayers and love for me. I am also grateful to my dear friend, Atif Ameer (ASP – 47th Common), who had my back at every step I took, during my journey towards success.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
JHP: Indeed, interview is a critical stage of the exam. I prepared thoroughly for all my optional subjects. In interview, questions, mostly, are asked about and from your optional subjects. So, I prepared those from every aspect. I remained composed and confident throughout the interview. No doubt, I missed some token questions, but I apologized in a humble way.