UPSC Answer Writing - UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : June 30th, 2022

UPSC Answer Writing is the key aspect in the UPSC Mains preparation. To ace the second stage of the UPSC Exam, one needs to practice Mains Answer Writing daily. The UPSC Mains consists of nine descriptive papers, and to get a call for the UPSC Interview, a candidate needs to score well in the Mains Examination. Every year, thousands of students appear for UPSC Mains, but only a few get shortlisted for the Personality Test. This is so because the selected candidates had something different and they knew how to ace the UPSC Mains Answer Writing.

UPSC Daily Mains Answer Writing has its own benefits. The candidate is in the habit of writing answers according to the demand of the question, in the stipulated time. The Mains Answer Writing helps in increasing the writing speed of the candidates as well as it accustoms the brain to think at a very fast pace. Through this article on UPSC Answer Writing, we will be highlighting the need for UPSC Mains Answer Writing, and why is it so important for every UPSC aspirant. We will also be sharing the tips and tricks to master the UPSC Answer Writing.

Table of Content

UPSC Mains Answer Writing

The UPSC Mains is the most crucial part of the UPSC preparation journey as the marks obtained in the Mains exam impact your overall rank in the IAS Exam. The UPSC Mains Exam consists of a total of 9 papers in all, including the two qualifying language papers, one essay paper, four GS papers, and two papers on the optional subject. The total of these papers is 1750 marks.

Having said that, it is very important for a candidate to be in line with the practice of Mains Answer Writing. During the Mains Exam, there is not much to think about and write. Normally, a candidate is expected to write an answer to the question in a stipulated time of 7 minutes.

If we see the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers, we get a fair idea about the types of questions that are asked in the UPSC Mains. The major types of questions asked in the UPSC Mains Exam include these specific keywords:

  • Comment
  • Discuss
  • Evaluate/critically evaluate
  • Elucidate
  • Critically Examine

7-5-3 Rule of UPSC Answer Writing

Following the 7-5-3 rule is what most of the aspirants follow during the UPSC Exam. The two of the basic and essential features that decide the level of the UPSC Mains Answers are understanding the question and adherence to the word limit.

The 7-5-3 Rule of UPSC Answer Writing are:

  • 7: Candidates should try to answer within 7 minutes, each of the questions asked.
  • 5: Each answer should be written in majorly 5 points, which are related to the keyword. These 5 pointers could later be broken into sub-bullets points.
  • 3: Each answer of the UPSC Mains should focus on 3 dimensions as- Social, Economic, Political and Geographical perspectives; For, against, and conclusion & What/Why/How aspects.

How to improve UPSC Mains Answer Writing?

The best way to enhance the skill for UPSC Mains Answer Writing is to focus on the following points:

Read as much as you can

Reading is one of the very best habits a UPSC aspirant can inculcate. Reading more from newspapers and magazines familiarises the aspirant with good vocabulary and writing styles. This is well reflected in the UPSC Answer Writing.

Follow a dedicated approach

UPSC Mains Answer Writing should always focus on three pillars- an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Write in a simple lucid style

Avoid using fancy jargon, use of unnecessarily technical words, and clichés. Always keep in mind that the examiner is more knowledgeable, so there is no way you can fool him with an unnecessary stuffing of words. Its always advised to maintain quality over quantity.

Be original and avoid generalizations

It is advised that while writing UPSC Mains answers, substantiate your answers with valid proofs and stats. Generalizations should always be avoided, as it never gives out a good impression

Always practice

A serious UPSC aspirant should never miss out on answer writing. Even if one does not feel like writing a full-fledged answer, try writing just the keywords for the answers. According to scientific studies, it is proven that writing helps us in retaining knowledge in a much better way.

Avoid unnecessary information

Whenever writing any UPSC Mains Answer, .always focus on keywords asked in the question. Unnecessary information leads to an increase in the word limit, resulting in missing out on vital points. Whenever practising at home, keep updating the answers with relevant updates. This can be done through reading Current Affairs on daily basis along with watching Daily Current Affairs Video to critically analyse any topic.

Always practice on the UPSC Answer Writing Booklet

It is suggested that while practising UPSC Daily Answer Writing, try answers on the Commission’s sample answer booklet. It helps in getting a better idea of the page, word limit and style of writing the answer.

Daily Answer Writing Practice for UPSC 2022

The UPSC Mains stage of the UPSC Exam is considered to be the toughest stage to crack, owing to the fact that it requires producing the answers in a limited span of time with accuracy. Before starting with the UPSC Daily Answer Writing, a candidate must be well versed with the UPSC Mains Syllabus. Reading editorials, commentaries, and watching analysis videos helps in writing a multi-dimensional answer, which is very important from the UPSC exam point of view.

☛Also Study:- Daily Current Affairs in Hindi


Few Topics for Daily UPSC Answer Writing Practice

You can learn to practice 2 questions every day, one from GS Syllabus and another from Optional Subjects for UPSC. One of the best practice questions is from previous year's papers. Download UPSC 2020 mains question paper and UPSC mains 2021 question paper to get started. 

Tips to Crack the Art of UPSC Answer Writing

If one has practised the Previous Year Questions repeatedly and has understood the UPSC Exam Pattern, then writing and understanding the demand of the question asked is just a cake-walk. Candidates should also refer to the UPSC Syllabus from time to time.

The key to writing a good answer in UPSC Mains is to:

  • Write in simple language.
  • Have a proper introduction and relevance to the topic.
  • Try writing in bullets, incorporating mind maps and flowcharts. 
  • Try relating the answer to recent scenarios or Current Affairs. Include Government policies, data, and initiatives in the answer.
  • Attempt all questions asked, even if you have a vague idea about any topic asked.
  • Conclude your answer in a way that summarizes your answer well.

UPSC Answer Sheet PDF 

Applicants can also use an A4 sheet for the UPSC answer writing practice sheet PDF. The official UPSC Mains answer sheet consists of margins on both the left and right of the paper. So to ensure that you are practising as per exam guidelines, make margins on the A4 sheet. 

Subject-wise UPSC Answer Writing Tips

To segregate tips according to the four GS papers of the UPSC Mains, we have compiled a comprehensive list of how the UPSC Answer writing should be done.

Follow these paper-specific tips to score well! 

General Studies Paper 1

  • Indian and World History, Indian Heritage and Culture-Answer to the point including dates, and timeline according to the demand of the question.
  • Geography of the World and Society- Add flow charts, diagrams, maps, etc. Can also state data from Government websites.

General Studies Paper 2

  • Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice- Add SC verdicts, cite articles, relevant quotes from personalities and newspapers, new policies and schemes and national and global survey reports, and findings.
  • International Relations- Recent developments, international relationships, highlighted terms featured in newspapers, maps if needed.

General Studies Paper 3

  • Economic Development- Recent statistics and figures highlighted by Economic Survey, use phrases from the Economic Survey, Global rankings, reports and findings and Schemes and policies.
  • Technology- Innovation, way forward and add multi dimensions perspective and draw figures if possible.
  • Bio-diversity, Environment- Relate it with recent happenings wherever needed, Environment reports and rankings and Flowcharts and diagrams.
  • Security and Disaster Management- Include recent and highlighted issues, and case studies

General Studies Paper 4 

  • Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude- Be thorough with keywords in the syllabus, cite logical solutions and draft simply, and quote wherever needed. As examples, give case studies or day-to-day examples.


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UPSC Answer Writing FAQs

  • UPSC Answer Writing practice is a crucial part of the UPSC civil services examination, and should never be taken lightly. Practising UPSC Answer Writing daily always helps in the long run during UPSC preparations.

  • To practice Mains answer writing for UPSC without coaching, a candidate needs to focus on the following pointers:

    • Read NCERT Books for UPSC and other standard UPSC Books.
    • Read newspapers and make notes daily.
    • Practice writing answers daily for the UPSC Mains exam.
    • Practice UPSC Previous Year Question Paper as well as attempt full-length mock tests.
  • The 7-5-3 is a very essential tool for any candidate preparing for the UPSC Mains Exam. It emphasizes three main aspects of daily UPSC answer writing. The rule suggests that for every question, not more than 7 minutes should be given. The answer to the question should atleast cover 5 major pointers related to the keyword and the answer should cover the requirements of the question in a 3-way manner.

  • A basic rule which should be followed during writing the UPSC Mains Answers is to focus that if the question has a 150-word limit, then the answer should be written within 1 and a half A4 pages. If it's 250 words, then the answer does not proceed beyond 2.5 pages.

  • To increase the speed for UPSC Answer Writing, keep in mind that:

    • Use a pen that slides easily. Rollerball and pilot pens are considered best for writing fast. 
    • Write lightly on paper and avoid impressions on the back side of the page. 
    • The grip over the pen should be loose and the pen should not be held too close to the tip of the pen.
    • As the UPSC Mains are mostly held before the onset of winters, candidates are advised to keep their hands warm. Warm hands let avoid sweating and help in maintaining a good flow
  • Pilot V5, Cello Butterflow, Cello Buttergel, and Reynolds Trimax are some of the best pens which can be used for UPSC Answer Writing.

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