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Dr Anam Faryal Afzal, 58th in Pakistan, CSS-2015

First of all, please tell us about your educational background?

Dr Anam Faryal Afzal: I got my early education from my native city Arifwala. I was a high-achiever and a topper throughout my school years. Since there was no college in Arifwala where I could do my intermediate (Premedical), my grandfather sent me to Lahore. Here, after FSc, I did my graduation from Allama Iqbal Medical College in 2013 and completed my house job in Oncology, Paediatrics, Urology and Gynaecology. Then I worked in Ittefaq Hospital for one and a half years in Paediatrics.



As everyone starts dreaming of a future career in childhood, so what were your dreams? Did you always aspire to be a CSP officer?

Dr Anam Faryal Afzal: I always dreamed to become a doctor and serve my fellow humans to the best of my abilities. Thanks to Allah Almighty, my dream came true and I served as a doctor for three years—undoubtedly, the best period of my life. However, during this period, I realized that in this position I will be serving only a small segment of people, and this thought spurred me to join the Civil Service of Pakistan where I would be able to serve the masses at a much broader level.

What feature of PSP attracted you most?

Dr Anam Faryal Afzal: PSP is not merely a job; it’s a gratification, an honour and an opportunity to enjoy the bliss of being a saviour. It’s a platform to articulate fearlessness, boldness, sacrifice and honesty. I think, as a police officer I would be better able to do a lot for the masses, especially for the marginalised women of my country.

Generally, compulsory subjects are considered low-scoring, what was your strategy to get through these?

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Dr Anam Faryal Afzal: The way you attempt a paper matters the most. It’s an art and every aspirant should learn it as it’s the key to getting good marks. Handwriting does also play a very crucial role. Examiners check thousands of papers and it’s a skill to make the examiner realize that you are the best and rightfully deserve maximum marks.

Anything important about your CSS journey you want to share with the aspirants?

Dr Anam Faryal Afzal: There is a famous quote of Lao Tzu: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. The CSS journey is very long, arduous and full of ups and downs. There come a lot of phases when one feels depressed, unsatisfied, broken and in the grip of anxiety. If you can control this thing, you can succeed easily. So, keep firm belief on the Creator, give your best, and leave the rest unto Allah.

How answers should be written to get maximum marks?

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Dr Anam Faryal Afzal: Your answers should be well-structured and well-presented. Use marker for headings and pen for details. Do avoid cutting as much as possible. If there is something very important, you should underline it with marker to attract the attention of the examiner. Just remember that you’ve to snatch marks from the examiner and you can’t unless you prove your worth.

Besides, one should allocate equal time to all answers. One should practice time management by attempting past papers. It will boost one’s confidence and will also pay off in actual exam.

How one should structure one’s Essay for getting good marks?

Dr Anam Faryal Afzal: First of all, read the essay topic at least 5 times and understand what examiner wants you to write on. Second, do brainstorming and start writing whatever comes to your mind at the last page of the Answer Sheet. Third, do not get tangled in unnecessary things. Fourth, be precise, specific and to the point. Fifth, try to write outstanding outline as it determines the scoring capacity of your essay. Sixth, use simple, lucid English and make sure that there are no grammatical and spelling mistakes. Seventh, be more attentive and focused while writing introduction and conclusion because examiner always reads these parts with full attention.

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My Interview Experience

This was an altogether different experience because I appeared in interview of any competitive exam for the very first time. During the interview, what matters the most is your confidence and that comes with knowledge and practice. Build your knowledge by reading books, magazines, newspapers, trusted websites and other authentic sources and try to answer the questions with logic and also provide references. There is nothing right and wrong in interview questions as they mostly require answers based on your opinion. Nobody is a know-it-all; if you don’t know the answer, just say sorry politely and just don’t try to outsmart the panellists. They have wide experience of interviewing people and you can’t bluff them. Be simple, straightforward and confident while answering questions.

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