In Conversation with
7th in Punjab, PMS 2020-21
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Zhuha Basit (ZB): My early education has been from a public school. Afterward, I did my intermediate and graduation from Govt. Islamia College, Lahore Cantt. I did my Master’s and MPhil in Biochemistry from University of the Punjab, Lahore, and throughout secured merit-based scholarships, distinctions and clinched a gold medal being topper in MPhil. Currently, I am doing PhD in Biological Sciences from the same university.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
ZB: JWT gives deep insight into the current and hot issues which I found always useful for preparation for current affairs. It ultimately leads you to be a candidate having sound knowledge with respect to surroundings and the world.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
ZB: Just keep swimming, keep swimming and keep swimming, especially for Essay and Précis papers. First, you should analyze past papers to get deep insight into the ‘trend’. Make thorough and detailed list of all topics of Pakistan Affairs especially, because you have to prepare each topic in the light of past and current perspective. Develop the habit of reading articles, especially of Dawn and The News, to remain in touch with statistics and current issues. It will help you in General Knowledge paper as well. Keep updating your GK by practicing and participating in various online quizzes on a daily basis.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
ZB: First, understand what examiner is exactly asking from you – don’t beat about the bush – as it is the key to success. Your answers should be relevant. Write down them with headings and subheadings. Support your answers with relevant statistics, quotations, diagrams and flowcharts.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
ZB: First, I wrote a comprehensive outline, and then, for each paragraph, I gave a topic line, a few supportive sentences and, finally, conclusive sentence. I suggest that candidates should adorn the Essay with relevant references and statistics. The use of complex language is not of much importance but your sentences should be grammatically correct. Don’t add anything irrelevant because that may put you in hot water.
JWT: Since you have scored excellent marks in Zoology and Chemistry, what was your strategy for these papers?
ZB: I followed recommended books and did a lot of practice in case of Chemistry as it is tough yet scoring subject. I adorned my answers with supportive figures and flowcharts in both subjects. For optional subjects, I would suggest candidates to strongly follow the syllabus and don’t leave even a single topic.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
ZB: You answer should address the demand and every perspective of the question asked with supportive arguments and references. Quality matters more than quantity. It’s time which acts as limiting factor in this. So, time management is most important. If you give equal time to each answer, it acts as a kind of check and will lead to a safe place.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
ZB: It all depends on your grip on a language and it’s entirely subjective thing. However, you cannot ignore the fact that there is paucity of textbooks and resources in Urdu language.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
ZB: First, see your interest and educational background. Second, dissect syllabus outline and past papers before selecting a subject. Make yourself abreast of changing trends also. From my lens, science subjects are scoring but, again, it all depends upon your interest and background.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
ZB: The credit for my success goes to my mother who taught me how to face tough and challenging situations in life and how to remain persistent despite all odds.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
ZB: The interview panel was lenient. I gave crisp and relevant answers. I kept myself calm and composed and when I was asked to analyse in various questions, I tried to give brief yet concise answers.