JWT helped me a lot in preparations for Pakistan Studies and General Knowledge papers. I covered many key topics from it.
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Noman Mahmood (NM): I did matriculation and F.Sc. (pre-engineering) from Rashid Minhas School Ali Pur. Later, I completed B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from UET, Lahore, in 2013.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) during your preparation?
NM: I have been a regular reader of World Times magazine and it helped me a lot in preparations for Pakistan Studies and General Knowledge papers. I covered many key topics from it.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to get through compulsory papers especially that of General Knowledge?
NM: Compulsory subjects need special attention; especially, Essay and English Subjective papers demand extra effort. One has to give the lion’s share of one’s time to these subjects. Self-writing and practice of précis on daily basis is key to success.
General Knowledge is another important paper. For cracking it, reading newspaper and taking notes on daily basis is imperative. Moreover, MCQs in World Times magazine help in preparing of this paper. One should cover science portion for securing good marks in this paper.
NM: Effective presentation of quality material in answers give you good marks. For this, outline of each question should be made. Moreover, diagrams, maps and factual things increase the weight of answers.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
NM: Yes, word limit and time management both are important. One should give due share of time to each question. Giving more time to a single question and managing other questions haphazardly can prove fatal.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
NM: I made a detailed outline for the essay I attempted. I directly hit the topic, and then explained the different aspects of that. Introduction to the topic was brief yet relevant. I wrote medium-sized paragraphs in the body of the essay. At the end, conclusion was compact and it summed up the whole essay on a positive note.
JWT: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge paper?
NM: I read DAWN newspaper on daily basis. I consulted different magazines, like Jahangir’s World Times, for the GK paper. As syllabus for this very paper changed last year, so I covered science portion as well.
JWT: What were the questions you found challenging during the interview?
NM: Opinion-based questions were interesting, but a little bit challenging as well. The chairman asked me about the difference of educational techniques between south Punjab and upper Punjab institutions. Likewise, Mr Seerat Asghar inquired about the issues of farmers in Pakistan and viable solutions for them. I adopted pragmatic approach in answering these questions.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the candidates, how did you manage the situation?
NM: Atmosphere during the interview was very comfortable. The panellists were very cooperative and supportive. At one stage, Mr Chairman gave me a situation in which the panellists were my students. So I enjoyed my interview. More importantly, self-confidence, eye-contact and precise answers to questions are vital for getting good marks in interview.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
NM: Many people are behind my success, but my mother deserves the most credit for my success. Her belief in me and unswerving support gave me strength and perseverance.
JWT: How did you prepare your notes?
NM: I read recommended books and prepared notes from them. I consulted good books written by local authors for those topics which were not present in recommended books. Moreover, newspaper helped me a lot in GK and essay papers. When exams approached, I made short notes from the existing notes and used them during exams.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
NM: Scoring trend and aptitude should be kept in mind while choosing optional subjects. For this, one should get a comprehensive idea of a subject, and then go for it. Optional subjects play a make-or-break role. So, care and prudence is required while selecting them.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
NM: It depends on one’s expertise and skills. If one is excellent in any language, one should solve optional papers in that language. No matter whether it is English or Urdu, good and effective presentation of paper is more important than anything else.
My Interview Experience
My interview experience was very good. I enjoyed the whole interview. The panellists were very supportive and friendly. At one stage, worthy chairman even gave me a hint about a question, and it boosted my confidence.
My Advice for Fresh Aspirants
Consistency is the key to success. Be steadfast to your goal and never be fatigued or disappointed at any stage of your journey. Try to revise syllabus more than twice.