In Conversation with
Rana Amar Liaqat
16th in Punjab, PMS 2020-21
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Rana Amar Liaqat (RAL): I completed my BSc in Chemical Engineering from University of Gujrat. Later on, I pursued my professional career and worked for various organizations in Pakistan and abroad as well.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
RAL: I used to read Jahangir’s World Time magazine regularly. It is one of the best magazines as it equips aspirants with holistic understanding of ongoing affairs in national and international arena. Moreover, it provides high-quality content that aspirants of competitive examinations must read. I found it very helpful while preparing for PMS exam.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
RAL: For the preparation of compulsory subjects, one must read quality content. Sources may vary from recommended books and magazines to the internet. Use of quotes, facts and figures and authentic references is the key to making a difference. I recommend notes-making for all subjects.
As far as GK is concerned, one must go through PPSC past papers. It gives you a fair idea about the path to follow while preparing for the GK.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
RAL: First of all, I would say the written practice is the master key. The more you practice, the more you have prospects to score high. Since the dynamics of exam have taken a paradigm shift, an aspirant is required to come up with quality, quantity and creativity. It is creativity and quality that matter a lot. Art of being creative makes your answer sheet noticeable, leading to high score.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
RAL: To me, English Essay is all about relevance, coherence, clarity of thoughts and originality. The more you take care of these parameters, the more you are rewarded. Choosing a right topic lies at the heart of the Essay paper. I made a rough outline and refined it while focusing on the above-mentioned parameters.
JWT: Since you have scored excellent marks in Political Science and Punjabi, what was your strategy for both these papers?
RAL: Paper presentation with creativity is fundamentally important. While preparing for Political Science, one must work on illustrations — tables, charts, shapes, etc. Let the examiner be focused more on your attempting techniques. One is expected to facilitate the examiner. If you take care of the examiner, (s)he will take care of you. That’s the bargain!
For Punjabi, aspirants are advised to quote maximum couplets/stanzas to show their hard work and strong memory. Use of English quotations is also recommended. Flavour of relevant Quranic verses and Ahadith in Tashreeh is also important. Give the examiner the flavours of multiple languages.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
RAL: Well, word limit is important; however, one must bear in mind that mere quantity doesn’t work. An aspirant is expected to provide a combo of quality, quantity and creativity. If we talk in terms of pages, 5 to 7 pages are sufficient for a good answer.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
RAL: Though it is a subjective question depending upon the language command, yet I would suggest that a candidate should go for English. The very reason is that most of the content is available in English. The paper of Islamic Studies, however, can be attempted in Urdu as you can effortlessly quote Quranic verses, Ahadith, and poetic references. A few of my friends scored 80+ marks while following this technique.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
RAL: This is the most crucial part while preparing for PMS exam. If you opt for a right combination, half the work is done. I would advise the aspirants to go through the syllabus and the past papers of optional subjects to have a fair idea of the syllabus and the approach of the examiner. To me, there are three parameters of choosing your optional subjects:
1. Academic background is important; one should opt for those subjects which one has studied during one’s graduation studies.
2. Personal interest and informal command on subjects.
3. And, of course, the scoring trend.
However, I would suggest an aspirant to go for a subject that is less favourite with the majority.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
RAL: Well, I am lucky enough to have a good number of sincere and caring people around. I owe a lot to my family, friends, seniors and teachers as they always supported and motivated me in all terms.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
RAL: Interview is the most interesting part of this journey, indeed. Grilling the candidate is a favourite job of the panellists, while staying calm, cool, and confident is exactly what the panel expects from the candidates. Being honest, confident and composed is the key. To cap it all, try to be human and behave like a normal human being. Humility is the biggest weapon that a candidate may have.
Selection of optional subjects
Critically analyse the syllabus and past papers of subjects you intend to opt for.
Do not go for ready-made notes. Make your own ones! Put some extra effort and have the fruits.
At least 2 to 3 revisions of each subject!
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