How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains: Tips and Strategy to Write UPSC Mains Answers

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains? This question is on the minds of the aspirants who have decided to sit for the UPSC Exam or those who have cleared the UPSC Prelims. The Prelims is objective in nature, while Mains is subjective, and how you represent your answer decides your selection. For Mains answer writing, candidates need to have in-depth knowledge of every topic covered in the UPSC Syllabus. Here we will share some effective tips and tricks on How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains that would help you to fetch good marks and enhance your selection chances.
Those who have cleared the UPSC Prelims or those who are aiming for the upcoming UPSC exam must know how to How Write Answers in UPSC Mains for fruitful results.

Table of content

  • 1. Why UPSC Mains Answer Writing is Important? (more)
  • 2. How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains? (more)
  • 3. How to Structure UPSC Mains Answers? (more)
  • 4. UPSC Mains Answer Writing (more)
  • 5. Tips to Write Answers in UPSC Mains (more)
  • 6. How to Start UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practise? (more)

Why UPSC Mains Answer Writing is Important?

As you all know, the UPSC Prelims is just a screening process to find eligible candidates for UPSC Mains. So, the difficulty level of Mains is higher than that of Prelims. The subjective nature of the UPSC Mains paper is one of the biggest challenges for the candidates. In Mains, the answer writing must be perfect to fetch good marks.

It doesn’t matter how you must have studied and worked hard because you only get marks for what the examiner thinks of your answer writing. So the conclusion is that the Mains answer writing holds significant importance.

How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains?

Below we have mentioned How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains based on the question type.

How to Write UPSC Mains Answers When Asked to Enumerate?

In this case, you just have to simply list the points about the topic without giving a detailed explanation.

How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains When Asked to Narrate?

Here, time-related sequencing is crucial. The narration should occur in an ‘Early to Late’ manner. You can also predict the future if asked.

How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains When Asked to Define?

When you are asked to write a definition, try to include all the possible phrases and keywords which are part of the particular definition.

How to Write UPSC Mains Answer When Asked to Evaluate/Examine/Access?

  • Here, a detailed explanation is required.
  • Try to write in detail-answer and include one or two lines of introduction followed by 3-4 lines in favour and 3-4 lines against the given topic.
  • The conclusion in 2-3 lines needs to be added as well.

How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains for Opinion/Views/ Comment?

  • When asked to give an opinion, it should be given full of optimism.
  • Your answer should reflect zeal and enthusiasm.
  • You can add constructive opinions with future-oriented ideas.
  • However, the opinions you provide must be largely acceptable.

How to Write Answers in UPSC Mains when asked to Analyse?

  • These types of questions require your opinion.
  • When you keep your opinion, it shows you are interpreting the event as per your knowledge.

How to Structure UPSC Mains Answers?

Let’s discuss ways to structure your answers, which can be highly rewarding.

  • Introduction- You must choose the issue/idea or problem the question is about. Your introduction can be around 3 sentences, and you need to explain in such a way that the examiner knows beforehand that you have the right answer.
  • Main Body- This paragraph must contain all the essential and important details of the topic. The main body should be divided into 2-3 short paragraphs, specifically on pros/cons, facts and data, etc. This answer a complete picture.
  • Conclusion- while writing the conclusion part, bring all your main points/elements or arguments of the answer. At last, frame a sentence in a general statement reiterating the ‘verdict/judgment/sentiment’ mentioned in the introduction part. Always be optimistic in this approach.

Whether to Write the Answers in Bullets or Paragraphs in UPSC Mains?

  • An opinion-based answer can be written in paragraphs.
  • A fact-based answer can be written in both bullets and paragraphs. The fact-based answer in bullets would consist of an introduction paragraph, and the main body will be in bullets.
  • Most questions in the IAS Exam are a mix of opinions and facts, so it would be best if you develop a method that suits you naturally.

UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Before practising or writing the UPSC Mains Answer, beginners must remember a few things.

  • The answer must be impressive, and the examiner must think that a future administrator is writing it.
  • The answer needs to be clear, neat, precise and represented in a concise way. The answer must be what the question has asked and not related to other irrelevant topics.
  • In optional subjects, the examiner expects a deep understanding of that subject’s concepts. The answers should reflect that understanding.
  • However, in General Studies papers of the UPSC Mains Syllabus, candidates can represent the answers multi-dimensionally for better results. It means candidates can correlate one domain with other domains if they want.
  • To a great extent, UPSC Mains Writing should always be correlated with Current Affairs. This makes an impression on the examiner that the candidate is aware of his/her surroundings and has a positive approach.

Tips to Write Answers in UPSC Mains

Below are useful tips to improve your UPSC Mains answer writing practice.

  • Complete Answers- as we have mentioned above, candidates can take a multi-dimensional approach while writing answers. Candidates can think about the answers from 360 degrees and then proceed further.
  • Keywords- Highlighting the important points and using the right keywords can be highly rewarding.
  • Presentation- your answers must be written in legible handwriting and presented in a concise and neat manner. You can add subheadings and headings wherever required.
  • Simple Language- You don’t have to use fancy language to get marks. Try to write in simple and error-free language, and avoid using flowery language, or it can reduce marks.

☛ Know: What is the 7-5-3 Rule of Answer Writing?

How to Start UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practise?

One of the major challenges candidates face during the UPSC Mains paper is the limited time. That’s why it is crucial for the candidates to start UPSC Mains answer writing practice as early as possible.

  • However, before starting answer writing for UPSC Mains, one must have basic knowledge and a strong foundation. Then candidates can glance through the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to see what questions are asked in the Mains exam.
  • Before 3-4 months of the UPSC Mains, candidates must start their answer writing practice so they are accustomed to the UPSC Exam Pattern.
  • Candidates can easily crack UPSC Mains if there is enough knowledge and practice in answer writing with time management skills.
  • Candidates should solve 2-3 questions on a daily basis by reading the editorials from the Newspapers. It would help in developing comprehensive knowledge about a particular topic.

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