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Exclusive interview: Batool Asadi 1st in Balochistan, 21st in Pakistan CSS-2012

(Q): Kindly tell us about your educational background and achievements in detail?

Batool Asadi : I hail from Quetta. After acquiring elementary education, I started B-Pharmacy. But, I soon realized that it was not my cup of tea. I feel I am naturally inclined to literature. Therefore, I earned my Master’s degree in English Literature by securing 2nd position. In 2008, I started my career as a lecturer in English Department of Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences. I continued my endeavours in pursuit of higher education, and in 2010, I was the only student from Balochistan to secure admission in MS (English Literature) at International Islamic University, Islamabad. My husband, a Civil Servant himself, convinced me to go for CSS. I attempted CSS in 2012 and stood first in Balochistan and 21st overall.



(Q): What is so special in PAS and how it is better than other groups?

Batool Asadi : PAS holds a pivotal position and is like a nucleus in the very structure of the executive pillar of the state. Its tremendous scope along with diversity in postings and assignments make it a prime group.

(Q): Between books and notes, what did you prefer for the preparations?

Batool Asadi : Proper guidance ensures smooth sailing in the sea of CSS. My husband recommended books and helped me prepare notes. I used nothing specific for English, as that has been my subject, but for other papers, I consulted books along with Dawn newspaper. Besides, internet and discussions with my husband have been the constant sources of help to me.

Moreover, I studied in accordance with past papers. I followed an ambitious schedule. I did not prepare detailed notes, rather made only the outlines. I focused higher conceptual clarity, rather than cramming. Finally, for the sake of conditioning or prior mock experience, I attempted all the papers at home. I would suggest that all aspirants must start preparation at least 8 months before the exam.

(Q): What strategy, in your opinion, one should adopt to make a difference?

Batool Asadi : The dream of making a difference demands a walk of some extra—and intelligent—miles. This includes, proper guidance, study aiming at conceptual clarity, drafting introductory paragraphs beforehand, applying analytical and logical instruments rather than simple and plain narrations.

(Q): As you know, most candidates fail English Essay, and English Précis & Composition papers. What steps would you suggest for these two crucial papers?

Batool Asadi : Very true! Despite being a thesis writer, it was really a tough task, even for me, to tune myself to the requirements of English Essay paper. I would suggest that to get a command over essay, the aspirants should prepare comprehensive outlines covering all the aspects of a particular topic. In addition, they should prepare introductory paragraphs which may be altered as per situation. They should strictly follow the format of essay and their writing should have spontaneity and logical flow. Do misused bombastic vocabulary, spelling mistakes as it is like a crime in competitive exams.

As far as English composition is concerned, one should work on the basic grammatical structures, enrichment of vocabulary, and above all, more and more writing practice for précis, comprehension and expansion of idea is inevitable.

(Q): Who can opt for psychology? Is it true that only the candidates having a science background can perform well? Also suggest some good books and tips to get high score in this very subject.

Batool Asadi : Any aspirant having an aptitude can go for psychology. For instance, I have studied literature and have a passion for it, but in psychology, I secured 157 marks. I would suggest the books of Feldman and other writers of such stature. Securing high marks in psychology requires memorization of some terms, but more emphasis must be on conceptual clarity and application of concepts in everyday life.

(Q): Do you believe in luck factor in CSS? We always notice numerous average students getting allocated while talented and scholarly students get out of the foray?

Profile

Name Batool Asadi
Group Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS)
Star Pisces
Fave Personality & Book Prophet Muhammad (SAW); Orientalism by Edward W. Said
Fave Quote “The only lasting beauty is the beauty of heart.”                 (Rumi)
The Toughest Part Toughest part was to keep myself motivated
The Easiest Part Psychological Test

Batool Asadi : I do believe in luck factor, but it’s not that simple to be addressed in ‘Yes-No mode’. It will be an extreme fatalist view if only luck is considered the absolute factor. It is a blend of wise planning, smart execution, vigilant monitoring and evaluation. Having completed all the prerequisites, luck favours the bold.

(Q): You message to CSS aspirants?

Batool Asadi : I believe that hard work hasn’t killed anyone so far. Therefore, my message for upcoming CSS aspirants will be to adopt the following lines of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as theme song of their life:

“Let us be up and doing
With heart for any fate
Still achieving still pursuing
Learn to labor and to wait”

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