“I had a very good time at the WTI as it inspired me to remain positive during the course of my preparation.”
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Tayyab Hayat (TH): My initial schooling was from DPS, Model Town, Lahore. Then, after passing Intermediate from DPS Okara, I got admission to King Edward Medical University (KEMU), Lahore, in MBBS.
JWT: What feature of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) attracted you most?
TH: The feature that attracted me most was the ability to serve in various capacities in various institutions of the country. As in PAS, you have a direct contact with the downtrodden people of Pakistan, there is always a chance to work for their well-being as well as that of the society as a whole.
JWT: How was your experience at the World Times Institute?
TH: World Times Institute proved very helpful as it gave me a cooperative atmosphere to study, and much-needed orientation regarding CSS. I had a very good time at the WTI as it inspired me to remain positive during the course of my preparation.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to making a difference in written part of CSS examination?
TH: I think the key is good presentation, use of maps and diagrams (wherever needed), more focus on Current Affairs and, above all, proficiency in English.
JWT: Generally, compulsory subjects are considered low-scoring, what was your strategy to get through these very papers?
TH: I mostly relied on making outlines, diagrams and flowcharts, and for the paper of General Science and Ability, I also acquired proficiency in basic mathematics.
JWT: What were the toughest and the easiest parts for you in the whole process of CSS exam?
TH: The toughest part was the written exam whereas the easiest one was the interview.
JWT: How should an aspirant write answers to get maximum marks?
TH: While writing answers, one should include recent facts and figures. In addition, an outline should be given at the start of every answer. Answers you write must be relevant and to the point, and they must include relevant references as well.
TH: It actually depends on the nature of the question. However, I think, five to six pages of relevant information are enough.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
TH: First of all, selection of essay is very important and it needs brainstorming for 30-40 minutes. I narrowed down two topics and worked on outlines – in the rough. I finally selected one topic on which I had enough data. After completing my essay, I provided a neat outline.
JWT: How did you handle de-motivations you faced?
TH: I handled them positively and used them as a source of encouragement.
JWT: How a new aspirant should start his preparations for CSS exam?
TH: First of all, one needs to believe in oneself. Then, with proper orientation at the start and hard work during the preparation phase, anything can be achieved.
Selection of optional subjects
Only those optional subjects should be selected in which there are more chances of getting good scores and for which the syllabus is short. For that purpose, the recent scoring trends should be kept in mind. Moreover, the selection of subjects which complement one or more other subject proves more beneficial.
Notes-making can be opted in certain subjects that are lengthy, but it isn’t always necessary.
At least three revisions should be done before exam and it is more beneficial to take mock exams before the examination as it helps in the improvement on various shortcomings.
My Interview Experience
I was asked mostly the opinion-based questions on the issues regarding Kashmir, Palestine, European refugee crisis and the role of Angela Merkel, competition of China and India in the Indian Ocean. I was also asked a few token questions regarding Fourteen Points of Quaid-e-Azam, Pakistan’s forest policy, Constitution of Pakistan, names of certain Presidents of USA, health policies and Lahore’s historical places. The interviewers were very encouraging and accommodating and their attitude was very positive.
My Advice for Fresh Aspirants
Be confident and always believe in yourself.