Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat – 1-month revision plan!


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.

Islamiyat (2058)

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.


Additional Resources:

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.

121 thoughts on “Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat – 1-month revision plan!

  1. I have even less than a month left. Around 25 days. Due to a lot of extracurriculars and school requirements, I have not been able to study for CIE before now. But I am one of the toppers pf my school and my prior results are great. Now I have finally gotten a break from school to study. Please tell me honestly, is there still a chance that I can get A* in pst, islamiyat and urdu? And if so, what should be my strategy?

    1. Okay, so as i am in the same situation i might be able to give you some tips on how i am preparing. In my view if you use the revision plan mentioned above, as a rough guide to make your own schedule it will be an excellent step. Secondly the books to use and tips on what to study mentioned above are also very helpful and these are the same tips i have heard from my friends numerous times so i would suggest you to follow them.In addition you may adjust the workload which is preferable for you and the amount of past papers you want to or can do according to your goal.Don’t worry or stress out because if you have been the topper in the prior years then this is not such a huge task the main goal here should only be to focus on what you have to achieve per day according to your schedule and you will be able to have an excellent preparation by the deadline.Remember prepare for the worst and hope for the best, InshaaALLAH you’ll be able to achieve your goal of getting an A*. Best of luck buddy.

    2. uhh im so scared too. i got A* A B in mocks. but i feel like the stress is gonna ruin the cie paper for me. i dont work good under stress. oh and i face alot of time managment problem in Islamiat and history. im so scared uhh i just cant

      1. it will be really helpful to divide your time according to the number of questions you have to attempt in the paper

      2. InshaAllah you will get all 3 A* because the expected grade in your externals is always two grades ahead of the school grading system so if you got a b in any of the subjects it means potentially youll prolly get an A* hopefully . The rest depends on the threshold which for islamiyat and pakstudies is usually low (allhamdullilah) and for urdu it is kinda high but less than the threshold for the oct/nov urdu threshold.

        1. InshaAllah. p.s r u doing syllabus a or b? im doing a and i can’t find time to prepare for urdu cuz islamiyat and pst are too lengthy themselves

  2. Sir i am much depressed about the questions asked in CIE.I am not sure that wheather the common questions are important or the questions which have not been asked in exams are important? So please can u help me.

    1. you can do past paers and then ask your teacher to help you with the new questions.
      In history you should do past papers which cover 90% paper. in geo do past paers if yo have time. in islamiyat past papers and neww question are equally important.

    1. you may use muhhamad shoaibs topical past paper book i have also used it and it was very helpful it gives you sample questions and those that are repeated and gives model answers for each and every question in the past papers buy the latest edition i am sure it would be quite helpful

  3. Is one month enough for studying each of the topics history , geography and Islamiat? I’ve been ignorant towards studies in the previous months neglecting any sort of practice and now that I’ve finally realised there’s only 3 months left for revision. Do you think it’s too late?

    1. no 1 month isn’t enough if yo haven’t studied before . You should at least have solved the past papers of 2010 and further.
      You can ask me if you have any question on instagram it’s @od._.d

  4. Hey there!
    I m going to appear in caies in april may 2019 and I m very stressed about islamiat and pst. I have always been getting awesome grades in these subjects since I have started o levels but still, i want someon eto answer my some queries.
    If I have mastered my course book that is farkhanda noor muhammad’s for islamiat amd nigel kelly for pst 1, and practising past papers with mark schemes, is that enough for my preparation, or shud i consult other resources like books of other authors or notes of tution teachers? Almost all my classfellows have joined tution academies and I havent, just bcz my teachers say that they shudnt be the guarantee of having a* and self study is more effective. What shud I do? Are botes of tution sirs a must for a* or shud i just go on with coursebooks? Anybody tell me please….

    1. Keep on practicing past papers as much as you can. There is no better way to prepare than to do past papers. If you have prepared well (which seems quite evident you have, as you mentioned you have been getting good grades in school), then I would recommend that you read EXAMINER REPORTS for these 2 subjects as well. They will help you identify the most common mistakes candidates make, and how to avoid them. Also what better advice can be there than examiners’?
      Also if you have time, try to go through Nigel Smith’s book for pakistan studies paper 1 for topics not covered in Nigel Kelly. And you may want to use Dr. Iftikhar’s book for learning additional references which you may use in your exam.

      And as far as you query about coaching centers is concerned, it does not really matter. From what we have seen, if you are capable of doing things on your own, then going to such centers is a mostly a waste of time. Many students get A* with just self study! Self-study is by far the most effective way of learning.


    2. i will also be appearing in my caies this april. for islamiyat i would prefer you to have the following books: Dr.Iftikhar and Maulvi Jahangir, Yasmin Malik, Dr habib ur rehman and for history my teacher recommended me Bajwa she says it is an excellent book and it will definitely help you in achieving A+.

  5. Ughhh just 6 months left for CAIE’s!! im dying srsly. The thing is that Farkhanda Noor Muhammad’s notes are very difficult to understand and usually written in a style difficult to comprehend. Techically ive beeen using my lecture notes simce to past year and got a B in Final Exam of 9. However the feeling that others are using so may reference books is awakening some guilt in me… what book is best for 1; Caliphs and 2; Early Muslim Community.. Speakin of that can u leave out Early Muslim Community by memorizing life of Prophet by heart? If not, what topics are the most important in early islamic community which i can memorize to be on the safe side? I really want this a* in my hand!!!

    1. Hamza Arshad you could use Yasmin Malik’s book “Islam Beliefs and Practices”
      It is a good reference book along side Farkhanda Noor Muhammad ..

  6. Hii. Im a private candidate appearing for pak studies & islamiat in 2019 April/may session. the thing is, I understand islamiat a lot more than pak studies. Can someone give me tips on studying for it?

    1. Do as many past papers and mark schemes as u can and memorize everthin according to the assigned pattern (for history) meaning that learn 4 point for 4 mark qs, 3 reason for 7 mark qs, and technically all the info plus success and failure for 14 mark qs

  7. Hi, I have to give my pakstudies and islamiyat CIE in May/June 2019 session. I have almost 8 months left in my CIEs. I would like to ask that should we learn the theme and importance of passages and Ahadith word to word though the translation is provided in paper. How to attempt this specific part in islamiyat paper?
    Secondly, about geography how sould we learn the descriptions of types of trees and types/uses of minerals as I have always skipped this part in every monthly and Final. Is this important?
    And what notes do you recomend for each of the subjects?
    I have always been scared of these CIEs despite scoring good grades throughout my OLevels, how not to stress for CIEs?
    Hoping for a quick reply answering all my questions. By the way this shedule looks great and I have decided to follow it.

    1. Hello,
      I gave my exam 4 to 5 days ago of islamiyat and pak studies… I was also really stressed and worried about these exams but my teacher helped me alot..I would suggest you to read the book thoroughly and try to solve as ,many past papers as possible. this is the only way to get A*… N regarding the theme and importance of Ahadith, dont learn it.. just try to understand the passage and you will be able to write it yourself… learn how can it help us with our daily lives today.. how can we implement it in our lives… Just answer these questions for each surah and read the mark schemes over n over again….
      Now regarding the geography chapter forests…. u have to learn the key factors of the trees. (coniferous, rakh trees and tropical shrub) these r the most important ones and yes Mangroves also….a few point for each tree are enough for eg..Mangroves are found near the coast of Arabian Sea..and they filter salt through their roots and learn where they are found on the map..the map for the trees is given in my book…ive seen that map in a few past papers as well soo its important to go through that map.
      I hope my explanation would help u.Best Of Luck

      1. Oh was the paper easy? what question came compulsory in history? and islamiat? Can u plz tell cuz past papers get uploaded pretty late

      2. Okay.. I will try to tell you whatever i remember.. soo in the history paper. the compulsory question was of Section 2 as i remember.. It was not of section 3 cuz when i saw the paper i was like thanks god compulsory question is not from section 3 and apart from the compulsory question ..there was a question abt the Round table conference…N for islamiyat I don’t really remember the compulsory question but there was a question regarding jihad (not compulsory tho) , n question regarding the ways in which the quran was revealed to the prophet. Overall both the papers were easy

  8. I want A* in Pakstudies and Islamiyat , only 9 months are left for my CIE EXAMINATION

    Give me any idea of books of pakstudies and islamiyat from which should i prepare for CIE EXAMINATION. ALSO give some tips how should i prepare

    1. Nadir Ali you could use Yasmin Malik’s book “Islam Beliefs and Practices” alongside Farkhanda Noor Muhammad..
      You could use HumaNazSethi along with Fazle Karim Khan for Geography .
      And Farooq Bajwa , Nigel Kelly and Nigel Smith for History ..
      They all are very good books and it’s easy to prepare from them too ..
      Good luck ☺️☺️

  9. Sir,I am a private student appearing after two months for cie’s,I am studying History from nigel kelly,Geography from huma naz sethi and Islamiyat from Dr.habib ullah khan.Are these books good enough to help me score an A*???

    1. Brother , you could use Yasmin Malik’s book “Islam Beliefs and Practices” alongside Farkhanda Noor Muhammad..
      You could use HumaNazSethi along with Fazle Karim Khan for Geography .
      And Farooq Bajwa , Nigel Kelly and Nigel Smith for History ..
      They all are very good books and it’s easy to prepare from them too .. Good luck ☺️☺️

  10. My cie is in October 2018, and I am preparing for islamiyat studies 2058 ,Pakistan studies 2059,I am using all type of sources
    Like internet, books to make my concept clear, if anybody who has given did recently can advise me something, thank you!

  11. Kindly give some humble advice for these days as in what to do and what to prioritise
    Plus how exactly do ppl who get A*s and distinctions study and get them ??
    Some key points for that too pls hurry
    No time left now

  12. Pls i need some help now. Im done with this plan now and have done all but still feel something is empty. past paper practice isnt really helping. i seem to have mastered the whole course from my side but i keep on feeling that im forgetting stuff which worries me with only 13 days to my cie now and im unsure what to do
    pls some humble advise …

  13. reply please, can we write more sepecifically in both pak.studies and islamiyat, or the length effects the marks of question?
    hurry plz

    1. Length of your answer does not matter at all. Quality matters not quantity. Just stick to the what is asked in the question. There is no need to write irrelevant information, or lengthening your sentences just to cover pages. Write to the point!

  14. I have a certain query…….for islamiyat paper 2 i have always left articles of faith and prefer doing pillars of islam to depth so i could answer any question i get for pillars with not doing articles. Now being familiar with the paper pattern that we are certain that there are always one or two questions on caliphs and one on pillars and one on articles, with the option to do 2 of the 3 last questions, is it possible i continue this ignornace for articles while preparing for cies???

    1. I’m gonna be honest with you, I’ve been doing the same exact thing as you, always leaving the articles of faiths. However, keep in mind that those were the mocks exams and not the real deal. The cie can give you anything as they haven’t officially stated that you’re not gonna get 2 questions from the articles of faith. Plus sometimes questions of the pillars can be very challenging. I personally advise you to master the pillars of islam and do the articles briefly, if not in depth, and make just one last struggle for it. Good luck btw!

  15. hey, i want to know that length of a question effects the question? i mean it is neccesary of writing 1.5 pages for 14 marks question in history nd islamiyat or we can right it more sepecifically in order to manage the time..

    1. One thing I would like to mention…plz don’t mix the usage of vocabulary with the usage of subject terminology… Which is rather necessary

  16. Thanku soo very much…this is a quite helpful article addressing almost every question of a student appearing for these exams….i find section 3 of history quite difficult …can u please help me by guiding me the way to prepare all those ministeries….thanking u in advance

  17. Its just less then two months left to prepare for IGCSE exams. Can you please help me out with a study plan. I am not a single percent prepared for exams and stressing out so much. I have to take my other subjects along as well and I am unable to manage time. Please guide of when to do past papers and marking schemes. I have a habit of not remembering dates and other informations (specifically the facts), just the basics of events. I do not wish for an A* as I know my position but at least an A.
    P.S I am using Nigel Smith, Nigel Kelly and Huma Naz Sethi for Pak. Stds and Farkhanda Noor and Yasmin Malik for Islamiyat.
    P.S Your tips out there are extremely helpful but I can’t manage in my schedule.
    Looking forward to your reply ASAP.

    1. Extremely sorry for the delayed response. I hope my reply that follows still would be helpful. I would say that given the time is short, just stick to one book per subject. This way you can atleast get an A. Stick to Nigel Kelly for Pak Studies, Farkhanda Noor for Isl. Now divide the topics into the number of days left (making sure you have atleast 10 days for revision before exam). For you to remember dates effectively, always revise whatever you learn during the day before you go to sleep at night and once again revise all the stuff before you start to study the next topic. This way it gets easier to retain the information. Moreover, try to do active study (by writing down the dates, and facts as you read; making sticky notes etc) not just passive reading of the text books.

      I hope this helps 🙂

  18. Assalam O Alaikum, I have just one confession and that is in history in the 14 mark question many people say that it is necessary to write 7 paragraphs, but no where on the CIE website the limit of paragraphs is stated. So will my answer get to the level 4 marks if I have answered everything asked in the question but only have written 5-6 paragraphs (including the conclusion). Please assist me. Thank you 🙂

    1. Sorry for the delayed response. There is no rule of paragraphs as such you have stated. CIE marks you based on quality not quantity. Just try to cover the the points. Paragraphing is important only to the extent that you must mention each reason in a separate paragraph; otherwise, there is no such compulsion of writing 6-7 paragraphs. I hope this helps answer.

  19. Aslamualaikum, so can anyone guide me wich books(O LEVELS) for isl nd pk,studies i shud study? For islamiyat i got: GHULAM SHABIR islamiyat textbook and topical solved past papers by MUHAMMAD SHOAIB. For pak studies I’ve got: HUMA NAZ SETHI’s, UMER KHAN’s, ZULFIKAR ALI ALAMGIR’s and FAZLE KARIM KHAN. So if anyone kindly guide me wich books i shud study for may/june 2018 exms for isl nd pak studies? nd URDU too?

    1. W.s…ghulam shabbir i a good book but refer to farkhanda noor and dr iftikhar ahmad’s books too….dr iftikhars solved past papers by redspot are too good…n dont rely on shoaib’s book…in history just go for nigel kelly book and learn the max out of it….geography is best by huma naz sethi… forget all others….for urdu u just need to practice alot and solve the past papers…..i hope this is going to help u

    2. for islamiat you only need farkhanda nur mohammad book. and pastpapers…
      for pakistan studies history use nigel kelly
      and for geo huma naz sethi is best..
      of course past papers too..

    1. 3 Months is enough time to cover everything. Without wasting anymore time, start now. Follow the above guide (but expand it over 2 months). Use the last month for revision. I hope it helps.

    1. It depends from person to person. However, in my point of view, it would be better if you set targets for yourself. Like set yourself a reasonable target (not too much; not too less), and don’t give up unless you have achieved that target. This is a better approach to studying than specifying the number of hours for study.

  20. Can you help me! I just keep stressing out , I can’t seem to get As in both.
    Can you tell me that should past papers be my top priority? Should I use any source guides in both?
    What schedule can I come up with?
    There are only two months left.

    1. Please go through the above guide. It answers most of your questions. Past Papers should be your priority. Once you are done with atleast last 5 years of papers, you can go with any other sources you like, but make sure papers are #1 priority for you. Do not leave them out at any cost!

    1. Please follow the tips given above. I hope they will be helpful for her. In case she needs personalized guidance, please make sure to send us the exact details of where she is facing trouble through our contact section!

  21. hello my friend
    please tell me how to prepare for for an a*, i have only 5 months left and very little time to give
    please be precise about the books, notes and a study plan to strive for an a* and please tell that how should i study , should i cram the syllabus or whatsoever is important

  22. Can the answers be given pointwise using bullets or subheadings… Or the requirement is running paragraph covering all salient points

    1. You are required to present your answers in proper paragraphs with proper development of ideas (not point form). Headings can be given in some instances, but writing the content in bullet points is not allowed.

    1. We recommend that you download the Topical Past Papers for Islamiyat compiled upto 2017 and look for the repeated questions. Otherwise, at the moment, we don’t have any separate resource/document containing such compilation of questions. Topical Past Papers will help you in this regard.

    1. I did not get your question, but from what I understood, there is no such thing. Examiners do not penalize you for copying from someone’s notes. But make sure that whenever you write an answer, it should be related to the question asked. You should never start writing haphazardly. I hope this helps answer your query.

    1. Six months is a lot of time. You can follow the same revision plan, but just expand it to 6 months if you like. Otherwise, just follow this routine (more recommended). Once you are done, keep revising all of the stuff. Because for these two subjects, this is all that is pretty much required. These subjects require you to learn facts and figures; so the more accurately you know them, the better you will perform.

    1. Well, there are many references mentioned in the Farkhanda Noor’s Book. However, for more references, you can consider studying Dr. Iftikhar’s or Yasmin Malik’s Book. They’ll help you in gathering more references.

    1. The most recommended books for Islamiat preparation are : Farkhanada Noor Muhammad’s book, David Thomsons’s book or the book by Dr. Iftikhar. You can use any book from these. Any of these books, coupled with marking schemes, is enough to score a decent grade.

  23. lol i didnt study from this book a single word i swear to god i just studied basics and got A In both pst and isl

  24. Well said my friend. These are by far the most relevant, important and workable tips I got. everyone reading this message please pray for me to score two distinctions and one A* in may 17 Session. Please guys I need it.

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