Tips For UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Writing the answer for the UPSC Main Exam is just as important as studying for it. Your goal while studying for this exam is to learn and produce an effective answer. Many candidates are disqualified because of their writing skills and disregard for facts depending on the mode of writing, such as using keywords, providing a complete and crisp answer, presenting, language, word choice, word counts, drawings, and so forth.

It goes without saying that answer writing should be practiced on a regular basis in order to score well and gain an advantage over other candidates in the UPSC Main Exam. Unlike the UPSC Prelims, the Mains paper is descriptive in nature, so effective answer writing is critical to making a good impression on the examiner.

UPSC Mains is about expressing your thoughts on the topics covered in the exam. Thus, knowing how to present your point of view is an important part of UPSC exam preparation. One fundamental error that many aspirants make during their Mains preparation is that they read and revise endlessly, but they don’t practice enough answer writing. A renowned IAS coaching institute will make you go through an entire set of do’s and don’ts to include in your answers.

Remember that the examiner checking your copy has no idea how many books you’ve read or how many hours you’ve worked hard. He/she can only judge you based on your responses. So practicing and mastering the ‘Art of Answer Writing’ makes sense.

1. Write an Engaging Introduction 

Ideally, the introduction should not only introduce the topic/issue/idea to the examiner but also very briefly narrate the answer’s central premise. If the question is divided into two or more parts, each part must be introduced briefly. The introduction should never exceed 20% of the word limit, and its ideal length is around 10% of the word limit. The introduction should be 20-40 words long for a total of 200 words.

2. Use accurate and appropriate terminology

In order to demonstrate understanding of the question, it is also necessary to use accurate and appropriate terminology. The UPSC Main Examination necessitates a high level of precision and accuracy. Terms used in the question must be correctly used in the answer, and vice versa. Using the proper terminology can also aid in the clear communication of an idea or argument. Furthermore, it is critical to understand the connotations that different terms carry and to use terms appropriately depending on the context. For example, the terms ‘terrorist’ and ‘militant’ are not interchangeable. In short, using accurate and appropriate terminology is an important part of good writing skills and can aid in the clear and effective communication of ideas.

3. Align the Answer with the Queries Directly

The most important aspect of UPSC’s main answer writing technique is to structure your answers so that they align with the major questions. This will help you stay focused while writing and ensure that no important points are missed. Your answers’ sub-parts must adhere to the structure of the questions so that the examiner can easily understand your arguments. Another important thing to remember when structuring your answers is to use question-specific keywords in your introduction and conclusion. This will help to emphasize the link between your answer and the question and will reinforce your arguments.

4. Always substantiate

An answer has three legs: observation, data, and argument. A good response always backs up its observations, generalizations, and arguments with facts and data. The key to providing a good answer is to use the appropriate type of evidence for each section of the answer. Use statistical data, for example, if you’re making a broad statement. If you’re giving an example to demonstrate your point, use something you might have read in the news. This will earn you more points and improve your chances of passing the exam.

5. Use Illustrations

A graphical representation of data is what an illustration is. It could be a map, chart, diagram, table, or graph. Illustrations always capture the attention of the examiner and earn you higher marks. They make your response more reader-friendly and understandable.

When discussing complex topics, illustrations are especially useful. They aid in breaking down information into smaller chunks, making it easier for the reader to comprehend. Furthermore, illustrations can add value to your response by providing additional insights or perspectives. When selecting an illustration for your response, make sure it is relevant to the topic at hand.

6. Be Concise

Expressing oneself concisely is a necessary skill for UPSC Mains answer writing. It is often more effective to get straight to the point and avoid beating around the bush. This allows the examiner to quickly grasp the essence of your response. The substance is always rewarded more than beauty, so concentrate on your argument rather than trying to make your response look pretty. Try answering practice questions in a concise manner to practice this skill. This will help you get used to effectively communicate your ideas.

7. Use Points and Paragraphs

Many aspirants are unsure whether to write in points or paragraphs. There are no rules that you must follow here. It all depends on your level of comfort and what you’re used to. If you believe you can write better in points, keep doing so; if you are more comfortable expressing yourself in paragraphs, keep doing so.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have gained some insight into effective writing techniques for the UPSC Main Examination. The best way to get started is to just start. It is true in all aspects of life, but it is especially true for the UPSC Main Examination. As a result, you should begin honing your writing skills as soon as possible.