Hi, everyone! We have been getting a lot of queries on how to prepare for Pakistan Studies & Islamiyat in 1 month. So, our student counselor gave the following response on tips for Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat preparation. We hope this helps answer most of the queries. Even then if you have any queries, feel free to email us, contact us, or leave us your queries in the comments section below.
Following are certain tips you should adapt to study Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat. Since you have a complete month left in your exams, you can revise everything easily.
Pakistan Studies (2059) – Paper 1
In paper 1 there’s a lot of repetition of questions. So just focus on mark schemes and see what is demanded by the examiner.
Paper 1 consists of a lot of facts and figures. Therefore, you need to memorize all of them.
There are two sections. Section A consists of 3-, 5-, 7- and 10-mark questions, and Section B consists of 4-, 7- and 14- marks questions.
For guidelines about how to answer Section A questions, please go to the following link. For section B, keep reading this article.
In 4-mark questions, you need to give at least four facts about the event/person asked. Just giving of four correct facts will earn you full marks here. For example, a question is: “What was the doctrine of lapse?” You may answer this by giving these facts:
“In 1852. (first fact) by Lord Dalhousie (second fact) According to it, if a ruler died without a natural heir, the British would annex his lands (third fact). So many states like Nagpur, Jhansi came under British control. (fourth fact)
However, in some questions, giving of four facts is not possible, so elaboration of a fact will give you 2 marks.
In 7-mark questions, you are to give 3 reasons with proper elaboration for the question.
In 14-marks questions, you can start by writing by a brief introduction of no more than 2-3 lines – this makes your answer look well-structured. However, it is not mandatory to write an introduction like this (and better to avoid if you are running out of time), and move on to explaining 5/6 reasons for the question, and at the end write a sound conclusion. Always make a short plan before attempting this question, as it will help you keep on track and not veering off the requirement of the question.
The basic requirement to get an ‘A’ in this paper is to follow the mark schemes. Almost every question is repeated in this paper apart from a few (which are usually the 4-mark questions.)
On the exam day, time management is key. Do not spend too much time answering a question; you get marks for relevance and quality, not quantity.
Pakistan Studies (2059) – Paper 2
Read the book completely from beginning to end. Focus on every line, and analyze each paragraph and understand what it is trying to say. By the time you’re done reading, you should have all the information in your mind. I can’t stress enough how important this reading part is. You won’t be able to do well without thoroughly reading the book because the CIE exam can be unpredictable. Believe me, every single question asked in the paper is made from this book. Even the pictures are mostly taken from this book!
Once you’re done with the book, straight away dive into the past papers. Solve the latest ones, the last 5 years are sufficient. And what I would say is that you should cram the points given in the mark schemes. Do the papers again and again. I can’t stress how important these past papers are. Do the latest past papers with time and mark yourself. See what you got wrong, and look at the answers in the marking scheme to know what exactly the examiner wants.
Focus most on Agriculture, Climate, Population, Water Resources. A question is bound to come from these topics every year. In the history of O-Level, there hasn’t been a single year when a question on Agriculture didn’t appear. It’s by far the most important topic, and you should know every detail about it. Topics like Fishing, Forests, Transport don’t come every year. There rarely is an entire 25-mark question about these topics. So, they shouldn’t be your top priority. If you spend all your time learning Fishing only to see that no question on it shows up, you’ll be disappointed and this will cause you to under-perform in the rest of the important topics. A complete 25-mark question comes on Agriculture most of the time.
So, my point is master Agriculture completely from the book. Know every single detail about it, enough that you can score full marks on every Agriculture question you face. Then master Climate, Population, and Water Resources. Then, if you have time, go through Topography (but topography chapter should be your least priority as mostly a map comes from it. I am not saying you to leave this topic completely, but should not focus too much on it), Power Resources, Forests, Fishing and the rest. You should know what’s important, tackle that first, then move onto the less important things.
Also, in recent years, there’s a trend that the examiner is asking mostly about the sustainability issues of natural resources. So, you should know every detail about sustainability.
Give the paper confidently and try to write eloquently and present your points clearly while answering the question. If you write 1 reason for a 5-mark question, obviously you’ll lose marks. If it’s a 5-mark question, try to present 5 distinct points. Finish the paper on time, and recheck.
Paper 2 is mostly general stuff, so you can even answer some questions by just using common sense and general knowledge.
A similar methodology should be adapted for Islamiyat.
Go through the whole book of Islamiyat. Learn all the minute details, regarding different events. After completing a certain topic, see its past questions, and try solving them. Once you’re done with solving, see the mark schemes to know what you were the demands of the examiner.
As you go through the book, learn at least 2 verses, hadiths, or quotes about each topic. And try to mention these in your answers. Honestly, they give you an edge in case you mess up a complete question. Also, they are the mark discriminators between the weak and strong answers; they earn you many marks and an easy way to A*.
10-mark questions are the easier ones. You just need to mention all the relevant MAIN points only with + relevant quotes/references. Just these things will give you 10/10 marks in it. These are the 4-mark questions that are the real toughies here. They depend upon your analysis skills. If you’re good at analysis, they won’t be a problem for you, but if you aren’t you will need to work on them (Use mark schemes + examiner reports to help you here if you aren’t good at these 4-mark questions).
There are 15 set passages in Paper 1 and 20 set hadiths in Paper 2. YOU MUST MEMORIZE THEIR TRANSLATIONS.
I said that because mostly Question 2 of each paper comes on these set texts, so to score high you are required to cite these translations in your answer as support. If you aren’t going to mention them, you’ll lose marks, and you can’t expect a mark higher than 5. Though you don’t need to mention every single verse, you must mention them as required.
Also never start your answer straight away, always give some brief starting lines before writing down your answer.
The Final Revision Plan:
There’re 8 topics in Islamiyat. So, you must do at least 1 or 1/2 topic per day together with its past papers. If you follow up with this, you’ll be able to finish your syllabus in max 16 days. Then in the rest of the days, you can revise the verses, and practice past papers.
For Paper 1 of Pakistan Studies, do each section is at most 5 days. Though it depends upon your memorizing power, it should not exceed 5.
Do past paper questions side by side. There’s no need to write down whole answers while preparing. Just write down the answers in point form. When you’re done with your whole preparation, you may pick up any random paper, and solve that completely under timed conditions.
For Paper 2, go through the whole book in 20-25 days, doing 1 chapter or even a half per day. You must concentrate fully on the book of HUMA NAZ SETHI. This is an extremely good book. If you want an A*, you must read this book. Do the past papers in the manner as mentioned before in the last 5 days.
One day before every paper, just skim through the books, or mind maps you may have created while preparing. Don’t feel stressed out before exams, otherwise, you may underperform in your papers.
If you have time, also go through the following example candidate response file to get an idea of how your papers are going to marked.