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Answer Writing for UPSC

Answer writing is an artwork. The great news is that any type of art is often learnt over a period of your time. All it takes is energy, regular practice and guidance. We are here to provide you help with the guidance part and that we hope you successfully integrate the guidelines we are giving to provide in your preparation. This answer writing guide has been divided into three types – Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. Because the names for the section headings recommend, one should proceed step by step, understand every section fully before continuing to subsequent. Ultimately you must be ready to use the ideas from all sections in your answer writing in a very holistic manner.

 The Basics section of answer writing tackles the bare minimum .Ideally, the introduction shouldn’t only introduce the topic/issue/idea to the examiner but also (very) briefly narrate the central premise of the solution. If the question has two or other parts, then all parts must be introduced briefly. The introduction shouldn’t be lengthier than 20% of the word limit at any cost, and its ideal length is about 10% of the word limit. For 200 words, 20-40 words is what you must to be watching for the introduction (and the conclusion too).

 The civil services mains exam consists of descriptive sort of questions. It focuses on testing the candidate on varied levels. The deadline for the essay paper is 3 hrs. without a word limit, except for the optional paper, there are questions with specific word limits like 250 words in optional subjects and 250 words, 150 words normally for general studies. The candidate then has got to prepare himself to answer all kinds of questions. The foremost important thing to be kept in mind is that the time constraint. Thus it becomes necessary to answer these questions quickly and effectively and in minimum words.

 One common doubt that students have is with reference to the design of answering questions, whether to adopt the paragraph or bullet points. Though there’s no set rule, it’s knowing adopt a method counting on the question asked. If the question says to debate, analyse or critically examine, it might be higher to answer the question the paragraph format. On the opposite hand, if the question asks you to list the benefits or give reasons for/ against etc., it’s better use pointers.

Style of Answering Questions:

  • For this it’s vital to know the question first. Counting on what the question is, whether one is asked to “discuss”, “elucidate”, “explain”, “Critically appreciate” or “give reasons for and against”, the solution should be written accordingly because it’s only through the examinee’s sort of answering questions that one can assess his or her originality of thought and analytical talents. The question must be read properly, actually the question paper should be read thoroughly within the first five or ten minutes of the exam then one should choose the questions which are to be answered first. 
  • Time should even be given to outline the solution in order that there’s no confusion afterward. Our answers should present the facts and ideas in a stimulating way and will never read like sort of a passage from a book. It’s best to use simple English and avoid flow and ornamental language which takes our attention far away from the first facts and our opinions a few given topic. Making a practice of writing out answers is particularly helpful in managing the deadline set for the exam and to write down the most effective possible answer within the assigned time. It not only improves one’s sort of expression, but also one gets used to the time and word limits.

How to Write an Honest Answer

  • It is simply not enough to grasp all the facts and knowledge but the foremost important thing to be kept in mind is to write down a solution which features a clear and a logical frame, that presents information during a clear and concise manner, , which is interesting and ready to hold one’s attention. So the next logical step is to understand the way to write an honest answer. The primary step is to organize the framework where one can list all ideas, thoughts and facts and write them down. It’s important to adopt an answering style which is natural, original and to the purpose. Emphasis should tend to the type of language used, one which is easy and clear without unnecessary use of nouns and verbs. Use of archaic and fancy words or language should be avoided in the least costs. Care should be taken to avoid grammatical mistakes which can provides a negative opinion however good the solution could also be.

 How to Answer the Effective a Part of the Question:

  • Everyone repeatedly talks concerning the effective a part of the question. This can be completely different from the Introduction, Body and Conclusion of any answer that is its structure. The effective part means that angle or perspective do they want the answers to be seen. The facts remain an equivalent but the presentation differs. So enumerate means represent in numbers and views means your opinion on those very numbers or facts. For instance in enumerate the population ratio you give data like 93 females per 100 males. However, in views you write that – the person woman ratio must be an equivalent that we’d like to require care of the women child etc. We will inform you the means and application of a number of the terms that seem repeatedly in questions within the IAS mains exam.

 Some important tips to master the solution writing skills and excel in upcoming UPSC Exam.

 Understand the syllabus:

  • See the syllabus of every subject completely to review only what’s relevant. Although we are assuming that you simply did integrated preparation while preparing for Prelims exam, and have a Fine basic knowledge of GS subjects.

Read NCERTs then choose standard books:

  • Always kind a stronger base with NCERTS first of all, as most of the general studies’ syllabus is roofed from the NCERTS of 6th to 12th class. While optional subject syllabus is roofed through the quality books of 12th class till graduate level. Once you kind a stronger base, then shift your focus to plain books, and make sure you study only relevant standard books, and not everything below the sun.

 Stay tuned with current affairs:

  • The first and foremost source of studying daily current affairs and covering the dynamic part of the syllabus is Reading Newspaper. The Hindu and the Indian Express are the foremost suggested ones. Then, sources like Rajya Sabha TV, Lok Sabha TV, AIR News, editorials, current affairs compilation, budget, economic survey are a number of the important sources to remain well abreast with current affairs, that is extremely important part of the IAS preparation process, as quite half of the syllabus in Civil Services Mains is all about current affairs.

 Give important emphasis on every subject:

  • Every subject in UPSC Mains exam is equally necessary and thus the aspirants should make sure that they set right schedule and divide equal time and stress of every subject, alongside the optional one.

Practice answer writing:

  • Answer writing is one amongst the foremost important parts of the preparation process, and aspirants are always suggested to begin out the blend writing practice a day after forming a base knowledge of subject. UPSC features a set time-frame for each exam, and it’s important for aspirants to execute writing well framed answers covering all the size within the stipulated time.

Keep revising on regular intervals:

  • Aspirants must confirm to dedicate at least each day during a week for less than revision of what has been studied the entire week. Revision is vital to retain the vast syllabus of IAS Mains exam and make proper notes which can be quickly revised even at the end most moment.

Make short and precise notes:

  • As aligned within the point , it’s usually advised to make short, precise and handy notes of the important topics for a fast cram weekly and at the last moment. Make separate notes for each subject, including the current affairs and thus the notes should be designed in such a fashion which may remind you of the entire topic studied throughout the revision.

Solve previous year question papers:

  • Once you get an honest hang over the syllabus and acquire sound knowledge of the topic through NCERTs and standard books, and next step is to unravel previous 5 years question papers. It is not going to only assist you in answer writing practice, but also will offer you a honest idea of the examination pattern and analysing the trend of questions.

 Enroll in mains test series:

  • One of the foremost crucial step after forming a base knowledge of Mains subjects is enrolling for Mains Test Series and assessing your preparation level. Ghaziabad IAS Academy offers Mains Test Series assessing by experts under the guidance of Mr. Sanjeev Pandey exactly following the UPSC Civil Services Mains exam pattern. Mains Test Series not only helps student do a practice of answer writing and understand the exam pattern, but also gives a good idea of the probable question and most significantly gives you a opportunity to urge assessment by the UPSC experts.

Keep yourself involved in important discussion and alter your perspective from a standard man to an administrator:

  • UPSC not only search for candidates with strong knowledge of the theoretical subjects given in mains examination, However, a candidate who features a problem solving approach and an administrator like perspective alongside with  right deciding ability of these can only be incorporated within the personality by involving oneself within the important discussions about the problem being long – faced within the society, or on the topics of National and International importance; then searching for the solutions. This must even be reflected in your answers in IAS Mains Exam.

 To write down a good answer there are certain basic tips that you simply got to know and these are mentioned below:

 Solve Previous Year Question Papers

 Write Approximately 15 Words per Mark

  • In the case of a 250 mark question paper that has got to be attempted in 3 hours, understand that you simply are expected to write down approximately 4000 words. UPSC mains exam is both about the standard and quantity of your answers. Don’t waste energy rewriting and paraphrasing an equivalent points. Write approximately 15 words per mark.

·         So, your target should be, 200 words per 8 min approx.  for a 12 mark question

ü  200 words and eight minutes approximately for a 12 mark question

ü  150 words and 6 minutes approximately for a ten mark question

 Get to the purpose instead of Beating round the Bush

  • There is no got to waste crucial time in writing unnecessary introductions. If you’re still keen on writing one, keep it short and minimally obscure.

 Right Pointers

  • You must attempt to write approx. 20 points for each answer. This might sound difficult as you’ll need to spend an honest chunk of your precious time recalling the items you’ve learnt about. Attempt to imagine a real-life scenario and relate your answer to it, rather than investing time in recalling what you’ve read. Your sense and logic must precede recall.

 Learn to Link to other Questions

  • While you need to answer on to your question, it’s helpful to link points that are relevant to the queries asked.

Try to keep it Simple

  • The UPSC doesn’t take care of the ornamentation of your answers. What they expect to read is applied ideas and understanding written down as a definite comprehension in basic vocabulary. Continually use relevant and layman terms concerning queries asked. You need to check that that relevant keywords are appropriately used. For instance, within the gesture regarding sectors of the economy, the relevant keywords would be goods and services.

 Adding Quotes to Your Answer

  • Adding Quotes to Your Answer advantages in your evaluation Make use of the quotes you jotted down in your notes. A relevant quote by an authority in relevance to the question asked can add weightage to your answer.

 Your Handwriting Neat and Clean

  • You Should Keep Your Handwriting neat and Clean Remind you of what your academician told you in school, please write in a very neat and legible handwriting. We all know that you simply have a time-frame to stay to, and therefore the tension of the examination hall paired with the necessity to recall just makes it tougher. This can be why you need to apply daily to write down within the set time we mentioned in point 1, in clear, neat and presentable handwriting.

 Add Diagrams to Your Answers

  •  Adding diagrams to your answers will always help facilitate if you don’t have plenty of points to write down. Make diagrams as long as the question demands it. For instance, it’s not necessary to draw pie-diagrams showcasing the GDP share of various sectors. Simply highlight them in your words.

 Write in Points over Paragraphs

  • Writing in points makes your answer more readable, clear, legible and presentable for the examiner. If your answer demands paragraphs, confirm to separate them into small paragraphs of 4-5 lines each.

Try to Target every a part of the Question

  • You must answer all the various parts of the question, whether asked implicitly or expressly. Don’t forget to answer any a part of the question, it also can cause your marks getting deducted.

  Try to Target Longer Hours of Practice

  • While practising, don’t target only a couple of questions. Instead, write for an entire section. This may assist you adapt yourself to the ultimate day’s continuous writing method. You’ll begin by writing continuously for an hour and move it up to 4.  This daily answer writing practice is crucial otherwise your hand and brain can quit on you   within the UPSC examination hall.

 Don’t Leave Any Questions

  • There is negative marking while answering the questions within the mains. Hence it’s recommended that you simply attempt each question asked in the exam paper. It’s fine to not know the solution. You should try to attempt to answer this question together with your logic.

 Don’t Scan the Question Paper

  • You must attempt to finish half the paper within the primary 90 minutes. to avoid wasting time, avoid rummaging through the whole paper within the beginning. Simply start with the first question, and tackle the remaining sequentially.

Here are some directives used in questions with their meanings:


  • Simply list the points concerning the subject and do not give careful explanation.


  •  ‘Early to late’ this is can be however narration happens. So, temporal (time related) sequencing is vital. You’ll be able to even predict the course in future if asked.


  • This simply means write the definition. 

 Guage / Assess / Examine:

  • Detailed explanations are needed. Write in details whatever you recognize, include one to 2 lines of introduction followed by three to four lines in favour and three to four lines against the given topic. One to 2 lines of implications if any, then limitations of the concepts and eventually the conclusion in two to 3 lines must be added.

 Opinion / Comment / Views:

  • Whenever your opinion is asked, it should be filled with optimism and your answer should be filled with zeal and enthusiasm. Give constructive opinions with optimistic, future homeward-bound and progressive ideas. But your opinions ought to be for the most part acceptable.

 Purpose / Goal / Objective / Target:

  • What is to be achieved, what’s the aim, the goal, the objectives or the targets?


  • When it involves analyse, it’s an identical, evaluation, assessment or examination plus your opinion is additionally required here. So, once you give your opinion it means that you’re deciphering the event consistent with your knowledge aside from exception of fully explanations.


  • A frequently used term, it means you’ll be able to write whatever you recognize however, the foremost important thing is to write down as if you’re lecture the examiner. A differing opinion may be used.


  • This is the simplest thing to try to and just simply theoretical knowledge is required here. You’ve got to write down essentially basically its parts, what it’s made from, constituents, characteristics and attributes.

 Critically examine:

  • An important term and a favourite of Civil service examination. Whenever it’s asking Critically Examine, Critically Comment or Critically Analyse simply keep in mind that you just need to write both pros and cons and provides a good, unbiased or value loaded judgement.

Elucidate / Elaborate / Expand / Exemplify:

  • These are more or less similar words however not precisely the same. Elucidate means that build it clear with examples to form it clear. Elaborate and Expand mean detailed explanations. Exemplify means – provides a typical example of that individual category. Please include up to date affairs, connections or current affairs.

 Implications / Consequences / Outcomes / Results:

  • Write about the possible scenario or impact of the event in question.

 Contrast / Distinguish:

  • It means write differences not similarities. You’ll be able to write similarities also as differences if asked to match and distinction.

 Significance / Importance

  • What happens as it exists or what happen if it doesn’t exist.

 Justify / Advocate:

  • Here you’ve got to argue in favour of and write favourable comments as far as reasonably possible.


  • Use examples; information, data, diagrams and charts to form it clearer.

 Some more Tips to stay in Mind

  • You must use applicable headings and jot them down as they are available into your mind.
  • Do not forget to stay a check on time.
  • Do not waste time on questions you aren’t sure about. Start with those you’ll answer simply.
  • Sometimes it’s alright to use indefinite words. You’ll use words like almost, presumably, probably, etc. but limited.
  •  When it involves answering writing practice for the UPSC mains, we highly suggest you can join our test series and also offer the advantage of your answers being reviewed and remedied by a mentor.


  • Conclude your answer with a well-balanced conclusion. You’ll be able balance your conclusion with a healthy positive opinion. The opinion doesn’t necessarily need to be original but ideally (and mostly) has got to be a positive one. Never endways a negative note or tone, you want to be ready to see the bright side within the clouds. Also, never end the conclusion by motility another question. If you would like to pose an issue as a part of your answer, do so within the main body of the solution only. Also, avoid ending your answer within the rhetoric and instead attempt to suggest an answer or a way-forward. This shows a positive bent of mind and a willingness to seek out solutions – things that any UPSC Aspirant should possess.  We provide you a transparent idea of the way to write answers during this UPSC mains exam. Use the following pointers for daily answer writing practice for UPSC. For more such tips you’ll visit the Ghaziabad IAS Academy‘s website. Ghaziabad IAS Academy also offers regular test series during which the scholars can enroll to enhance their skills. Students can inspect all the courses also available on the website. We provide help to students through personal mentors who guide aspirants in their UPSC preparation keeping everything in line with their strength and weakness.

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