How I prepared and qualified for the PMS English Essay and Precis Papers is a detailed story of my struggle. I have tried to write whatever I have gone through during preparation and also explained what you should avoid.
How Did I Prepare and Qualify for the PMS Essay and Precis Papers?
At last, the long-awaited PMS results are in, and, among all other subjects, the ratio of marks obtained in both English Precis and Essay papers is, unfortunately yet as usual, disappointing. Many students have failed both or one of the papers, and even a majority of those who have managed to get around this monstrous hurdle have gotten painfully low marks that would not help them secure a seat in the provincial services. However, it is not at all difficult to crack these papers if one has just the right guidance and, more importantly, the correct direction to work towards. This blog will guide you on how I prepared for the two subjects by highlighting the common causes of failure and low scoring and then giving suggestions to improve your scores, not merely pass the papers.
Reasons That Lead to Failure or Low-Scoring in These Two Papers
Let us first look at what causes aspirants to score such low marks or even fail English papers. Although there are a number of reasons, the listed ones need special attention if you have decided to prepare and qualify for English papers. First and foremost, it is the most significant source of (mis)information: you might have guessed it, social media. For years, social media, especially Instagram profiles, Facebook groups and pages, and YouTube channels, has been the main reason behind the misguidance, leading thousands towards mental stress and failure. Everybody and every academy, even aspirants, who know how to make money from social media, has started publishing notes, tips and tricks, and videos that new CSS and PMS aspirants trust and start following. Whatever is shared on social media is irrelevant, outdated, and substandard material with no link to exams, eventually leading aspirants nowhere. All those, especially second and third-attempt aspirants, who have been to this must agree that it has eroded the future of thousands. So, if you are a serious aspirant and preparing to qualify for these papers, the first thing you need to start avoiding is social media.
The second problem that has wreaked havoc is the academy system. It is not a secret now how academies are exploiting the youth by displaying some CSPs pictures in the name of CSS and PMS preparation. I would not name any, but I have also been a victim, wasting 3-4 of my precious months and a lot of hard-earned money there. What the inexperienced officers do in academies is nothing but make you cram their notes. On top of all, most of them do not even have command of the subjects they are teaching, so they cannot satisfy the students if they unfortunate pupils have any queries. Hence, the only option left for the students is to cram the provided bullets and notes, which never become part of the exams, and the students fail miserably. So, never join any academy that has hired new qualifiers or officers rather than professional and experienced teachers. English has been the base upon which your expression and presentation skills stand; try to find an experienced English writing teacher who can help and teach you to write your ideas.
Another reason, a very obvious one that leads to students’ failing the English papers, is that they do not give proper attention to the subject. They consider it unimportant and not worth their time and effort. Thus, rather than learning, understanding, and practising writing skills, like other subjects, they fall prey to mere tips and tricks offered freely on the all-weather-friends, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It makes a sensible person wonder why somebody preparing for such an important examination would pay heed to YouTube channel’s tips. Going back to the point, these so-called English teachers provide aspirants with their essay outlines, and some even sell them. After studying with an English professional English writing coach, Sir Syed Kazim Ali, I understood that an outline is one’s personal comprehension of a topic, not necessarily the same as another person’s perception. Thus, these sold outlines do more harm than good and never help an aspirant qualify his essay paper. Thus, one need not get carried away by the colourful and shining posters of teachers claiming to teach you how to write an English Essay in a month. And I would highly recommend you join a capable and honest teacher who knows what he is teaching and has years of experience and a command of the subject.
How Do You Select an English Coach?
The next question that arises here is about teacher selection. Finding and selecting an experienced teacher is like stepping on Mars without a space suit and oxygen for an aspirant. But unfortunately, the culture of reviews is nearly zero in our country. For instance, senior aspirants never tell their juniors what academy, teacher, or book they should avoid and what teacher or academy they should join for their preparation. So, nearly 90% of aspirants become easy prey to new qualifiers, mercenary academies, or so-called social media English gurus and fail their exams. So, how could someone assess if a coach for English is competent or merely a hoax?
For that matter, you may just listen to your guts. I too, when joined any teacher for coaching, knew within a few minutes of the lecture whether the coach was only exploiting the candidates or was actually a real teacher who knew his job. Let me now guide you regarding the kinds of teachers you might encounter while looking for an English coach. First, some teachers advertise themselves on social media. They are the ones who have no data to their name and just teach as long as their luck allows. They do not have a grip on the subject, and when a student of theirs asks about English expressions, they ask them to buy Wren and Martin. Instead of teaching how to articulate a sentence, use vocabulary words appropriately, or narrate ideas, they keep advising their students to read Dawn Newspaper daily. Although English newspapers are a good source of information, these papers never claim that if you read them, you will have a command of English. You might have seen hundreds of aspirants reading English newspapers but still failing English papers. Do you know why? Because journalistic articles are all about information, not about teaching English functionally. To verify this fact, just open Grammarly, an English grammar and context checker, and copy past an article from the Dawn newspaper; you will be shocked to know that article has a number of grammatical, contextual, and vocabulary mistakes. And it is a fact without learning writing skills, English journals and newspapers never let us give our ideas a confident and coherent flow. Well, you can find such English teachers making their videos on YouTube, displaying pictures on social media, or attracting aspirants with their designations.
On the other hand, the second kind doesn’t have to advertise themselves on social media, for their successful students and knowledge sharing speak volumes for them. In fact, quality does not need advertisement. So, if you want to triumph in your endeavours, always join the second type. So, save your valuable time and money and learn from my experience.
You must be wondering now how I came across Sir Syed Kazim Ali. After having wasted precious months and getting exploited in the hands of cons, I came across the Cssprepforum – A project runs under the supervision of respected Sir Syed Kazim Ali – one day as I was looking for a past paper essay on Google. There, I saw considerable quality data on CSS, PMS, and other competitive exams published on the website, something I had never seen before. As an enthusiastic aspirant, I read article after article – CSS and PMS solved past papers, students’ write-ups, and qualifiers content – boosting my knowledge. So, I decided to do some research. I contacted some of Sir Kazim’s students and discovered I had fallen into the right place by a stroke of luck. So, I joined his extensive online CSS and PMS English essay and precis session. Although it was a six-month-long session, his classes helped me learn English basics, functional and advanced grammar, and communication skills. Joining his session was another fantastic experience of mine. Unlike other teachers or academies, where you just call and pay a fee to start your classes, joining Sir Kazim’s session was quite different and challenging. All of us had to undergo an admission test, where our English skills were tested, and whoever scored about 60 marks was awarded admission. Moreover, his class is always filled with writers, journalists, authors, army officers, and aspirants, so the level of competition is always high and challenging. Let me tell you how Sir Kazim’s session works.
How Does a Session with Sir Syed Kazim Ali Look Like?
Before moving on to the next topic, I would like to throw in a statement that you might be familiar with if you have been doing RND on English coaching for competitive exams: “Join us and learn English Essay and Precis in 1 month”. Don’t worry, I have heard it too, but it is the most absurd thing ever, for you need to have a command of the language because 90% of your subjects are based on your grip on English. Thus, it requires rigorous practice and evaluations for a good 6-7 months if you want to ace your competitive exams and earn a respectable position. For those who are interested in knowing how the English Essay and Precis course is run here by Sir Kazim, I am chalking out a detailed plan of lectures below.
Sentence Structuring and Paragraph Writing
The session starts with Sir teaching you the very basics of sentence structuring. You might be amused to know that the topic of the first lecture is “What is a sentence?”. And it takes almost one month to understand, learn, and absorb the topic from basics to advanced levels. So, finally, after all these years of studies, you would get a hold of the “sentence” and its varieties. Once this is done, you will learn paragraph writing. It is the same 20 marks paragraph asked in the PMS exam, but in a way, nobody would ever have taught you before. Then comes the fun part, practice. You are assigned to write around 50 paragraphs with continuous evaluations to make you confident enough to write one on any topic the examiner might throw your way. If you do not practice, there is no place for you in the session, and you will be dropped. Want to know how his students write paragraphs when they finish this phase?
English Functionality and 20-Marks Questions
Moving on to the second phase of the session, Sir begins teaching you the Functionality of English Grammar from basics to advanced levels. Mind you, it is not grammar like Wren and Martin or that you have been studying since school. Instead, it is an advanced version of grammar used in the writing process. Here, you do not memorize but learn the appropriate usage of functional grammar concepts with extensive practice. After getting the hang of it, you are taught the structure of a 20-Marks Question that you find in CSS and PMS exams. Interestingly, this very 20-Marks Question structure is what applies to blogs and articles. You have to write almost 20 to 30 articles or attempt 20 to 30 solved past papers. This phase is composed of everything from learning from scratch how to put what knowledge lies in your head into words to continuing it with a logical sequence and ending it with a rational conclusion. You are also taught the analytical approach to study topics and master RnD.
The process is so effective that I wish I had applied it in my Punjabi paper that I, unfortunately, flunked because of a lack of logical sequencing. Want to know how his students attempt 20-Marks questions when they finish this phase?
The Mighty English Essay
Now, you don’t have to get anxious. After you have successfully covered the previous two phases and gone through the rigorous evaluations, the English essay is nothing but an upgradation of your paragraph practice. I’ve seen the so-called English teachers covering this head in a span of 20 days with mere tips and tricks. However, with Sir Kazim, you learn to write an essay in sheer detail. For instance, you learn topic cracking and breakdown and essay outline; then, you get to understand how to write the opener of the Essay introduction – the maker or breaker of your fortune when it comes to the Essay paper. Afterwards, you are taught how to transition to your main topic after narrowing down and choosing a stance. And in the end, you learn the critical appraisal, or critical analysis as you might know it, of the topic, leading to a logical conclusion. Moreover, these lectures help you determine and set the tone and attitude of writing, which is essential to get good marks on the paper.
After going through such a thorough process of learning to write an essay, only he who doesn’t keep himself in practice fails the paper. Want to know how his students attempt essays when they finish this phase?
What about the Precis Paper?
No, I did not forget to write about it. Actually, the best thing here is that by the time you reach the end of the second phase, you are almost 80-90% prepared to ace the precis paper, for Sir would already have completed all the exam essentials. So, as the icing on the top, you are given the final polishing lectures that help you cover the rest of your course contents, and you are good to get the cadre you desire.
In the above paragraphs, I have tried covering all aspects of preparation for Pakistan’s two most dreaded papers, the English Essay and Precis papers. So, to sum it all up, English essay and precis are the essential papers in Pakistan’s CSS and PMS examinations. Primarily the essay paper reflects the entire outlook of the exacting demand imposed upon an aspirant aspiring to qualify for it. Through this paper, an examiner checks an aspirant’s mental discipline, thoughts, ideas, viewpoints, tone, attitude, argument, style, content, knowledge, and exposition, especially how he justifies his stance on a particular topic. However, as far as the precis paper is concerned, the examiner does not test an aspirant’s command of English grammar; instead, he tests an aspirant’s clarity of expression and sense. Thanks to Sir Syed Kazim Ali, whose six to seven-month-long session helped us learn English grammar functionality, writing skills, and how to build thought content. Undoubtedly, his teaching, guidance, extensive session, and rigorous evaluation helped me and many of my session fellows qualify for these papers in our single go. Before qualifying for the essay and precis papers in PMS Punjab, I was also standing among thousands who wandered from city to city, joined many FB groups, and followed every so-called English guru on Instagram. Therefore, my honest advice is that without wasting your valued time and money, make it count and join Sir Syed Kazim Ali or any other experienced English teacher to polish your English writing and comprehension skills.
About the author
Miss Arooj Nadeem is a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. She has scored the highest marks in the PMS Punjab 2021 essay and precis papers. By professions, she is a pharmacist by profession. However, her passion fuels her to fulfil her dreams to become a writer, reviewer, coach and researcher. With time, she is stepping forward and managing to achieve her little milestones through hard work, consistency, and determination. She has engaged in research in the field of pharmacy for years and started her own clothing brand. Moreover, being an expert chemist, she has also started solving the CSS and PMS past papers of the subject of Chemistry to help thousands of aspirants. She is solving these questions on the given pattern of Sir Syed Kazim Ali, and the way she attempts questions has been helping aspirants score the maximum marks.
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