UPSC CSE Mains Answer Writing
Answer- Writing Strategy
- The UPSC Civil Service examination is considered amongst the toughest exams in India. UPSC Main Examination requires descriptive answers for nine papers out of which two language papers are of qualifying nature.
- Answer writing plays a pivotal role in your selection as a Civil Servant. Answer- writing is like an art that can’t be mastered overnight. At the same time, it is not a rare skill. One needs to be consistent and motivated enough to deal with the answer-writing part.
- One does not need flawless English or fancy vocabulary. An answer is written simply and is likely to fetch more marks.
- Writing- strategy for Mains GS papers and Optional Papers remains more or less the same.
- Know the syllabus inside out and prepare for at least 90% of topics with enough fodder material to be able to write at least(200- 250) -word answers.
- Start with the last 4 years’ question papers and attempt all the questions & get them evaluated by your mentor. Proper feedback at this point is very crucial. It will give you excellent exposure.
- Use of the internet for selected topics is highly recommended, especially for GS-2, GS-3, and Essay.
- Learn to organize your notes properly.
- Timely and regular revision is essential. Without it, you will not be able to recall whatever you may have read.
- Reading and revising, over and over, but never actually practicing it will not benefit you. Get over the inertia to write.
- Regular evaluation of answers will help you stay at the desired pace and on track.
- During UPSC Main Examination- Writing uncompromisingly for 6 hours per day for 5 days in a row will definitely cause serious mental and physical weariness. Hence, the only way to overcome it is to practice enough before the final exam.
- Don’t aim for perfection. It is a myth in UPSC. There is no perfect answer, hence don’t waste your time struggling to write one.
- Learn to draw a map of India & a world map in less than a few seconds
- Attend a proper Full Length – Test Series for Main Examination
- Do attempt all questions in Main Examination- do not waste time in thinking too much about the perfect opening line or a perfect conclusion. “Aiming for perfection is your biggest enemy”.
- Proper time management in the exam hall is only possible when you have gone through a minimum of 5 full-length- Mains Test Series.
- It is best to start answer-writing practice after a minimum of 3- 4 months of initial preparation.
- Daily, 2-3 questions should be practiced and submitted for evaluation.
- Editorials from The Hindu & Indian Express Newspapers will come in handy in developing insights into certain topics comprehensively.
- Always try to use keywords to highlight important and scoring points in your answers and underline the keywords.
- Do not give vague references in your answer. Always support your answer with relevant data to provide legitimacy to your answers.
- Give headings and subheadings in your answer wherever necessary. Include graphs, tables, and flow charts to increase the appeal of the answer.
- Always write in a simple but error-free language. Do not make grammatical errors.
- You should prefer to write your answers in points but there is no rule against writing answers in paragraphs. At the end of the day, the content has more value.
- Adhere to the word limit specified by the UPSC (+/- 30 words – safe zone)
DO’S AND DON’TS IN ANSWER- WRITING:
- Read the question thoroughly to understand the demand of the question
- Do not philosophize the answer
- Write to the point to address the main demand of the question while maintaining the proper flow of the information.
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