In Conversation with Babar Ali Rai 16th in punjab, PMS 2019-20
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Babar Ali Rai (BAR): I started from APS Quetta. Later, I did matriculation from Boys High School Mor Khunda in district Nankana Sahib. After that, I enrolled myself in Government College University (GCU), Lahore, from where I completed FSc (pre-engineering) and graduated in Electrical Engineering.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
BAR: World Times magazine proved extremely instrumental in my success as it contained highly pertinent articles related to current affairs which helped me in English Essay and General Knowledge papers. JWT’s Interview Series is very helpful for the aspirants. I have been reading this magazine for many years.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
BAR: I believe an aspirant should follow these three things:
- Read at least two recommended books and make your own notes.
- Intelligent use of the Internet for extensive study on any topic (only from authentic sources).
- One MUST consult past papers and strictly follow the outline given by PPSC.
For General Knowledge paper:
Solve past papers besides preparing for it from online sources. Moreover, also understand how the examiner divides this paper into different portions. Then, prepare for all these portions separately from diverse sources to score exceptionally well in it. Do not rely on a single source. I know, aspirants mostly resort to solving past papers only, but the trend has changed now.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
BAR: I would suggest a three-point strategy for that:
First, understand what is being asked in the question statement, and set your domain of answer. Also, make a very short outline of it.
Second, write a well-structured answer with a succinct introduction. Add relevant headings, diagrams, flowcharts and facts and figures in the body.
Third, try to add a paragraph containing your critical analysis on the topic prior to your conclusion.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
BAR: In essay paper, I believe the most important thing is the selection of the right topic. Take about 5 minutes to understand what is being asked in the topic statement, and then take a clear stance by directly hitting that. Logical and reasoned argumentation to support your stance, relevance to the topic and coherence embellish your essay. I made rough outline and the introduction at the end of sheet. Then, I started to write essay from start by leaving first 4 pages blank. In last 15-20 minutes, I rewrote outline and introduction on those pages. Rough work allows modification and rephrasing of outline while writing an essay keeping in view the time limit. I believe a well-structured outline with succinct and lucid introduction play a pivotal role in your success in this crucial paper. I tried to build solid arguments from multiple angles and supported them with pertinent examples and facts. I would suggest that aspirants should make outline in sentence form.
JWT: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge paper?
BAR: For GK paper, I followed the contents given by PPSC and prepared every section separately. Computer, mathematics and science portions should be prepared from online sources as these sections do make a difference. Moreover, I solved many past papers and read English newspapers, Foreign Affairs magazine, Economist and world Times to stay updated on current affairs.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
BAR: I believe an answer must be to the point and relevant to what is being asked whether it takes only 2 pages. Do not exaggerate your answer to only fill up the sheets. Write as much as you can to justify your stance. However, the only limit one should keep in mind is that of time.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
BAR: I think, it is more convenient to attempt optional papers in English. The books and other reading material is available mostly in English. So, one does face difficulties in attempting paper in Urdu.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
BAR: Selection of optional subjects plays a vital role in your success. So, two factors must be kept in mind while choosing optional subjects in PMS:
- Your interest in the subject as well as your educational background.
- Scoring trend of the subject and accessibility of the past papers.
BAR: First of all, the credit for my success goes to my parents, brothers and my sister who always prayed for, encouraged and motivated me. Secondly, I am also indebted to my respected teachers, seniors and friends who guided me well in this journey.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
BAR: Frankly speaking, the panellists did not grill me at all as my answers were very straightforward, logical and much satisfactory to them. Actually, your positive body language is a manifestation of unflinching self-confidence, and during 34-minute-long discussion with the panellists, my confidence did not shake even for a single moment, though I had to drop some questions.