Ms Maleeha Iesar, a highly talented young woman, has achieved her dream by securing first position in Pakistan in CSS-2016 exam. She aspires to make a difference in the lives of the people through her work in a constructive and pragmatic way.
Q: First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Maleeha Iesar (MI): I did matriculation from Rawalpindi’s Sir Syed Public School by securing 94 percent marks and overall 10th position in BISE Rawalpindi. In FSc I secured 90 percent marks and overall 14th position in Federal Board. Later, I did earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from NUST.
Q : As everyone starts dreaming of a future career in childhood, so what were your dreams? Did you always aspire to be a CSP officer?
MI: I always aspired to be on a position where I could work for the people. My father also wanted me to become a CSP officer. So, after FSc, I made up my mind that I have to go for CSS and try to be on a position where I would be able to make a difference in the lives of the people in a constructive and pragmatic way.
Q : What feature of PAS attracted and inspired you most?
MI: Since, I am an ambitious person, aspiring to deliver something unique and matchless for the humanity, society and the government. I thought PAS gave me all that I wanted to achieve my goals as in PAS, we come in direct contact with common man to alleviate and address his grievances.
Q : What, in your opinion, is the key to making a difference in written part of CSS exam?
MI: By working smart to identify areas on which we have to work and then working hard on them is the key in my opinion. I think, to achieve one’s goal, one’s style of study must be goal-oriented.
Q : Generally, compulsory subjects are considered low-scoring, what was your strategy to get through these very papers?
MI: I studied compulsory subjects on daily basis. I used to write complete essays and get them checked from my teachers. I attempted questions from past papers of all compulsory subjects and got them checked from mentors. I think, doing so helps us in identifying our loopholes. Reading and writing a lot is the key to score well in CSS exam.
Q : What were the toughest and the easiest parts in the whole process of CSS exam?
MI: The toughest part was rejecting negativity around. To all aspirants, I would say that if someone says that you can’t achieve your goal, you must reject that negativity and exert your strong will to achieve your aim. The best part, however, was that I enjoyed the journey toward my dream with the power of positivity and conviction.
Q : How the answers should be written to get maximum marks?
MI: Your answer should be comprehensive; touching every aspect asked in the question. It should have a proper introduction should be supported with valid and concrete arguments and must end with a reasonable conclusion. It must be a manifestation of your analytical skills.
Q : Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
MI: In my case, I used to write 5-6 pages for a single answer with 7 or 8 words per line.
Q : How essay should be structured to secure excellent marks?
MI: First of all, introduction should be impressive. You essay must be expressive, coherent, logical and encompassing (covering every aspect). There must be thesis statement. Secondly, its contents should be relevant, intellectual and logical to topic. Thirdly, conclusion should be well-organized, touching every aspect of an essay.
Q : Some tips on selection of optional subjects
First trend should be reviewed and subjects should be selected with proper guidance from a senior teacher/mentor.
Always make your own notes. Note the points mentioned by mentors or teachers or the ones you extracted from your study sources. This is a competitive exam and syllabus is not limited, so try to think out of the box by consulting relevant material and other sources.
At least one time, course must be revised
My interview with FPSC panel went very well. It continued for nearly 30 minutes and the environment all through the process was very positive. Questions asked by the panelists were mostly opinion-based in nature. I answered them to the best of my knowledge. I was able to answer some of the objective-type questions too. It was overall a very good experience to sit in front of such prestigious members. Before my interview, the feeling of nervousness had been overcome by this very thought that I am going to appear in front of policymakers of the country.
My Advice for Fresh Aspirants
Always have the conviction if you are working hard, reward is waiting for you. It might come late, but it would, if not in one then in another form. Smartly Identify areas on which you have to work hard. Read a lot and write a lot. Be relevant in writing. Always be positive and try to become torch in the lives of others rather than discouraging and disrespecting fellow human beings.