In Conversation with
Syed Qaiser Abbass
12th in Punjab, PMS 2020-21
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Syed Qaiser Abbass (SQA): I did my matriculation from Jamal Model High School, Sadhoki in 2007 and secured 708/850 marks. Later, I did FSc (Premedical) from Govt. College of Science, Wahdat Road, Lahore, in 2009 and secured 850/1100 marks. I completed my 05-year DVM program from UVAS, Lahore, in 2014. I also did my profession-related, 01-month training from the Netherlands in 2017.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
SQA: I didn’t join any academy for my preparation. But JWT magazine helped me a lot. An aspirant can save his/her time by reading whole month current affairs in 2-3 days and its quality content.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
SQA: Smart work is the key to success. Get a printout of PMS syllabus and past papers of five years for all subjects. Keeping these two files in front of you, analyze each subject for at least 2-3 hours. In this way, you can get a complete picture. You will become self-mentor.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
SQA: Time management is the most important thing. While answering, spend 1.8 minutes on 1-mark question (i.e. 36 minutes for a 20-mark question).
Secondly, paper presentation is of vital importance, I wrote outlines for every question I attempted – even in Punjabi paper.
Thirdly, keep the length of all your answers, more or less, equal. In my case, if I wrote eights pages for the first question, then my 5th question, too, spanned eight pages.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
SQA: Writing an essay is an art. It’s a skill that an aspirant can learn in a day, and if not, then years can pass. I prepared 10-12 current affairs topics for essay and made notes on each topic by reading a variety of latest articles, and watching TEDx Talks and YouTube videos related to my topics. Finally, I practiced outlines and got those evaluated from my seniors. During the exam, I chose my topic in first 5 minutes. In the next 15 minutes, I wrote a rough outline (after brainstorming). Then, I started writing my essay, and, at the end, I wrote the final outline at the start of the answer sheet.
JWT: Since you have scored excellent marks in Punjabi, what was your strategy for this paper?
SQA: I made an outline prior to each of my answers. In Punjabi paper, support your answer with poetry in Jadeed and Qadeem portions, characters and story timeline in Literature + Folklore portion, books references in tanqeed and tahqeeq portions. Manage your paper according to the allocated time.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
SQA: In Essay paper, word limit is mentioned. For rest of the papers, an aspirant should write 7-8 pages for a 20-mark question.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
SQA: I attempted my papers in English as one can write more words in English as compared to in Urdu. English is easy to write and one can easily write 7-8 pages for an answer. Secondly, most quality books are available in English language.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
SQA: No doubt, there are some subjects that are scoring. But it is, in fact, your preparation, hard work, quality material, paper presentation, time management and practice that make a subject scoring, e.g. Punjabi, Geography and many others. But recently, PPSC has surprised aspirants even in these subjects. So, an aspirant should use 3-4 sources to prepare for a subject and by managing time and making good presentation, (s)he can score 150 plus in an optional subject.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
SQA: My Parents, my schoolteacher Sir Alamdar Haider Aouj and my college Professor Sir Rana Yousuf.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
SQA: Always answer the questions in a logical way and in points. It will help the panel to easily comprehend your viewpoint. Never give answer as it looks that you are reading some paragraph. During the interview, your body gestures and confidence are also very important.