To be a rank holder in UPSC CSE, the Mains answer writing is the main weapon to make the battle count. So knowing how to write answers in UPSC mains is very crucial.
Just preparation or going through study material won’t help you unless and until you write a precise answer to questions asked in UPSC Mains Exam. Writing opens a window to a personality test interview in UPSC and becomes the deciding factor of your final rank.
Hence, you have to be very careful about how to use this weapon to qualify UPSC IAS Mains Exam with a good rank.
This section lays emphasis on 3 phases of how to write answers in UPSC mains:
- Score booster tips
- Keep some ready-to-use points in mind
- How your answer finally looks like
Score Booster Pro Tips For UPSC Mains Answer Writing
Answer writing practice, long hours of studies, reading, and covering a major portion of the UPSC syllabus will not work, if you are unable to write a lucid answer in a UPSC Mains. And that too in a predefined time limit with a word count constraint.
So the following strategies or points need to be followed while writing a clear-cut, precise, and well-illustrated answer in the UPSC Mains exam. Let us find out how to write answers in UPSC mains.
Read The Questions Carefully
Before attempting any question, try to be careful while reading the question paper and understand what the examiner wants you to write.
For example, try to understand whether the examiner is seeking critical thinking or needs an explanation of the question asked.
Up To The Mark
UPSC Civil Services Examination score directly depends on what you write in an answer sheet provided to you in the UPSC mains exam and indirectly depends on how much you studied, because the examiner will check your answer sheet and not your study schedule.
So write a concise answer which is up to the level expected by an examiner. Don’t diverge from the question.
Jot Down Or Sketch A Structure Mentally
When you’re writing an answer for an exam, it’s useful to mentally sketch the structure of your answer. By doing so, you’ll have a better idea of what to include in your answer.
This is important because answers must be well-structured and contain sufficient content to justify the length of your answer.
For this, first of all, list down all the points (with pencil) which are essential from the point of question (or try to mentally sketch all the important points) and then compose your answer with these jotted down points. Make this a regular practice in the exam preparation phase and it will become a habit over a period of time.
Make It Presentable
Try to write in neat handwriting. Your complete answer should be more precise, clear-cut, and not make an impression on an examiner that you had just filled the answer sheet. As there will be a time constraint in the exam hall, it is better to practice good handwriting daily to increase speed.
When writing an excellent answer for UPSC mains, it is important to consider several factors. Your answer should be clear, precise, neat, and illustrative. It should also demonstrate your understanding of the topic.
It is important to know the direction in which the question is framed, as it will influence the quality of your answer.
Analyze all important topics and subjects. Write a brief summary of all relevant facts and data. Start your essay with an introductory paragraph. Then, state your main point.
Finish with a positive conclusion. Use as many examples as possible. Be specific, but remember to avoid jargon and technical words. Make your answer presentable by adding sub-points and flow charts.
You should also underline keywords and phrases.
Induce The Keywords
Don’t forget to induce the keywords in your answers as these are the words that the examiner seeks. Remember keywords act as a score booster, so make sure that you highlight all the keywords while writing answers in UPSC Mains Exam.
Now have you ever mulled over the fact why keywords are important? It is because keywords not only highlight the main points of your answers but also convey to the examiner the deep understanding of the aspirants in that respective subject.
Don’t Cross The Word Limit
One of the most important things to remember in UPSC Mains answer writing is not to go over the word limit. While you may think that this is a simple rule, the truth is that it is far more difficult than it looks.
Often, we make the mistake of exceeding the word limit without realizing it.
Try to stick to the word limit and induce all the important points within that word count. To follow the word count constraint, omit all the points which are unnecessary from the viewpoint of questions asked in the UPSC IAS Mains Exam.
Important Points To Be Kept In Your Mind
The following points should be kept in mind while writing an answer in UPSC Mains.
- Make sure that you first attempt the question which you know very well. This will not only save your time but also help you to write such answers with a fresh mind and under less pressure.
- To fill the entire answer sheet doesn’t mean you have done your part. Stick to the point which was needed for answering the questions. Resist your pen from writing bush in Mains examination.
- Write a magnetic answer to drive the score from the view of the competition. This doesn’t mean using fancy or flowery language. This implies using simple error-free language. But remember, whatever you write should make sense with little to no complex language.
- Opt for a multifaceted approach for effective answer writing in UPSC CSE Mains Examination. That is try to think from each and every aspect( i.e., use a 360° viewpoint before answering) and then write it on paper.
How Your Answer Should Be?
- Your answer should match the level of an officer. What is meant here, is that when the examiner goes through your answer, he/she should straightaway make out that this answer has been penned by a future officer.
- Your answer imprints an impression on a grader in such a manner that would compel him to understand that the aspirant acquires a deep understanding of a chosen subject and have a clear-cut knowledge of GS paper as well.
- Your answer should give a hint to the examiner that you deserve to be an upcoming administrative officer as he/she has a different but much-needed point of view to observe the nation and its problems. To make your effort count you must practice answer writing for UPSC Mains Exam as “Rome was not built in a day”.
This UPSC Mains answer writing strategy can help you produce high-quality work on the exam.
With answer writing skills you will be able to row your UPSC boat and make it reach the shore of the personality test.
Henceforth, two factors are needed for clearing your UPSC viz; if strategies, study plan, reading, and practice all are important then writing a brief, to-the-point answer in an answer sheet is equally important.
We hope that we were able to help you guide on how to write answers in UPSC mains.