In Conversation with
MEHAK FATIMA (PSP)
6Th in Pakistan, CSS 2021-22
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background.
Mehak Fatima (MF): I completed my schooling and FSc (Pre-engineering) from DPS Faisalabad. I chose LLB as a means. Simultaneously, I did Masters in International Relations from the Punjab University.
JWT: Since you have been allocated to Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), what was the feature of this service that attracted you most?
MF: Ample opportunities to protect the life, honour and property of people distinguishes the Police Service of Pakistan from other occupational groups. Since this Service is the starting point of the criminal justice system of the country, it enables an officer to provide relief and justice at the grassroots level.
JWT: How was your experience at the World Times Institute?
MF: WTI is a one-window service unit. I was able to get all sorts of assistance – lectures, notes, evaluations, magazines, textbooks and interview preparation, and so on – on the campus. My experience at WTI with the staff and the students was very pleasant and it is indeed a memorable part of my journey.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to making a difference in written part of CSS exam?
MF: Focus more on analysis and less on ratta (rote learning).
JWT: Generally, compulsory subjects are considered low-scoring, what was your strategy to get through these very papers?
MF: just keep in mind three things:
1. MCQS deserve special preparation.
2. Include as much references as possible.
3. Give an effective introduction with a unique hook.
JWT: What was the key to your phenomenal success?
MF: It was determination, extreme loyalty with the time-tables and skills of creative writing.
JWT: What should be an ideal time table for a new aspirant to make sound preparation for CSS exam?
MF: New aspirants should prepare for one subject in one month. Start with the compulsory subjects. Once the initial preparation of all the compulsory and optional subjects is done, revise those, at least, two times before appearing in the final exam. Give one week to every subject in the first revision. The second revision or the final-exam revision is a ‘one subject, one day’ exercise.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks?
MF: First, understand the demand of the question. Start with a quote and introduction with a hook. Give examples, comparisons, charts, maps, etc. Try to include not-so-very-common ideas and material in your answers.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
MF: The minimum length should be six pages; there is no limit on the maximum. However, all the four long questions should be approximately equal in word count.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay and what was your strategy for Précis and Composition Paper?
MF: I attempted essay on “Do not waste water even if you are at a running stream.” Since it was an issue-based essay, therefore, the structure was:
2. How water is being wasted.
3. Why water should not be wasted.
4. Ways to preserve water.
Use of perfect punctuation marks is the secret of my success in Essay and Précis and Composition papers. Punctuation marks add to the persuasiveness of your written expression.
JWT: How a new aspirant should start his/her preparations and what areas should (s)he focus?
MF: Initially, it is better to self-study both compulsory and optional subjects to get an overview. Afterwards, attend lectures of, and seek guidance from, subject specialists.
For the second part of your question, I would say that clarity of basic concepts is a must.
My Tips on
Selection of optional subjects
There are two broad categories of optional subjects. First is the one for which cramming is required and there is limited scope of creative writing, e.g. Environmental Science, General Ability, Public Administration, International Law, Constitutional Law and Political Science. Second category requires a lot of self-writing and analysis, e.g. International Relations, Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology. It is up to the aspirant to see what suites his/her nature so as to score as high as possible.
Make one-page notes on A4 blank sheets for every topic. Keep separate files for notes of all your subjects.
In the final revisions, only revise notes and lectures. Do not go for new materials. Do not forget to revise MCQs of the past papers.
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