#17: What should be the Strategy for UPSC Mains answer writing?

What should be the Strategy for UPSC Mains answer writing?

What is the Mains Exam? Am I Eligible for the Exam? How is the Exam conducted? These are few questions prevailing when any aspirant starts their preparation or at maximum covers one reading of the entire syllabus. Let us break down in detail and understand each of them.

UPSC CSE conducts its Mains Exam which has 9 (7+2) paper. Those who have qualified the preliminary Exam are eligible for this round. The UPSC Mains exam is designed to evaluate the academic proficiency as well as the broad skills of the candidates. Hence, it is descriptive in nature.

This examination is devised to help the commission understand your cerebral awareness and rational thinking.

How to write Good answers in the Mains Exam? How should I improve my mains score? What are the points I should keep in mind while contemplating a possible answer?

Answer writing practice for the Mains exam is utterly important. Doing so will not only hone your skills but also will help you manage your time for the actual Exam.

Many of you have always been confused about strategy for writing a impartial answer which is not only precise but also siphons your knowledge at the same time to the Examiner. So to start, we shall first understand that there is nothing as a ‘good’ or ‘correct’ answer .Answer writing is not a rocket science it is just how you formulate your content based on the type of question asked. To understand the prerequisite for answer writing you must understand that content is same . The only thing which yields you good marks is how you present it effectively.

Some prerequisite for Answer writing are:

  • Have a deep understanding of the subject. Understand the crux of the subject and start making notes of some important keywords.
  • Stick to one resource, do not switch your books and notes .Stick to what you have prepared and revise it thoroughly.
  • Contemplate your answer based on the previous year question paper. Try to formulate 2-3 types of answers for your question for variation.
  • Analysis of previous year subject papers is very important.
  • Do not just focus your preparation entirely on current affairs,yes they are essential but a balanced approach would be wise.
  • Try to work on your vocabulary as it will advance your content.

Formulation of answer : Mains answer writing is based on following few points:

  1. Introduction
  •  Keywords: In order to write a good answer you must know that UPSC often gives directives in its question in the form of keywords. It is the definition and different interpretations of a question that may exist.
  • Analysis of question : before answering and marking the keywords you must analyse the question asked.

    2. Body :

  •  Content : Explain the keywords precisely and stick to the word limit.
  • Make use of diagrams and maps wherever necessary to make an impact
  • Answer your question concisely.

3. Conclusion

  • Come up with possible positive outcome. You can balance your conclusion with a healthy positive opinion. The opinion does not necessarily have to be original but ideally (and mostly) has to be a positive one ,try to put forward a solution or a way-forward.
  •  To conclude your answer, begin with a simple sentence that brings together all the main elements/points/arguments of the answer.

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