Tips for 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 to this question. 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. So here goes the response from the Student Counselor:
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. Starting with tips on how to study Pakistan Studies.

– In paper 1 there’s a lot of repetition of questions. So just focus on mark schemes and see what actually is demanded by the examiner.

– Paper 1 consists of a lot of fact and figures. so you need to memorize all of them.

– There’re three types of questions set in this paper: 4 marks, 7 marks, and 14 marks questions. 

In 4 mark questions, you need to give at least four facts about the event 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 an elaboration of a fact will give you 2 marks.In 7 mark questions, you’re to give 3 reasons with proper elaboration for the question. 

In 14 marks questions, start by writing by a brief introduction of no more than 2-3 lines. Then 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.

Actually, 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.)

For Paper 2 of this paper:

– Read the book completely from beginning to end. Focus on every line, and analyze each paragraph and understand what its trying to say. By the time you’re done reading, you should have all the information in your mind. 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. Do the latest ones (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 on how important these past papers are. Do 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 each and 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 ain’t 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 the recent years, there’s a trend that 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.

Moving on to Islamiyat now.

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 markschemes to know what you actually 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 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 definitely 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. Actually these are the 4 mark questions that are the real toughies here. They depend upon you analysis skills. If you’re good at analysis, they won’t be a problem for you, but if you aren’t you will definitely need to work on them (Use Markschmes + 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 the 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 definitely 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.
Below is plan you may adapt for your revision:
– There’re 8 topics in Islamiyat. So you must do atleast 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 in at most 5 days. Though it depends upon your memorizing power, but 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 of 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 under perform in your papers. 

61 thoughts on “Tips for Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat – 1 month revision plan!

  1. 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

  2. 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*???

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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 …

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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 🙂

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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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