Some Answer Writing Tips For the UPSC Mains Examination

  • The article starts with the topic of Answer Writing Tips For the UPSC Mains Examination which consists of 8 Powerful Tips For Best Answer Writing in the UPSC Mains Examination, 4 Answer Writing Strategy by UPSC CSE Topper 2022 AIR 2 Jagrati Awasthi, Importance of Answer Writing Practice and Some FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions.
  • In the article, we will figure out the 8 powerful tips to write effective and concise answers to the rational yet complicated questions of the UPSC Mains examination. What points to remember before composing your answers and how many specifications a candidate must follow will be taught to the candidates.
  • Next, there are 4 answer-writing strategies from the UPSC CSE Topper 2022 AIR 2 Jagrati Awasthi for composing a good and significant answer. She followed the skills so, these are tried and tested.
  • After that, the candidates will learn about the importance of practising answer writing. Which will clear their thoughts about the process.
  • This article will end up with the frequently answered questions of the candidates.

UPSC (Mains) exam is an important part of the candidate selection process for appointment to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and other civil service positions. In the main examination, all the answers have to be written with clarity and intelligence. Writing is an art and any art can be learned with desire, effort, regular practice and enough time with some guidance.


In this article, we will walk the aspiring students through the Answer Writing Tips For UPSC Mains. Check Study Material for Free IAS Preparation and Prepare for UPSC Exam Online for important information related to the UPSC examination.

8 Powerful Tips For Best Answer Writing in the UPSC Mains Examination

The following tips are as follows –

1) Understanding the Question Properly

Before starting to write, read and understand the question thoroughly twice. One of the most basic but important skills is to know what the examiner is expecting from you in the answers. Use understanding keywords such as discuss, analyze, explain, comment, critically analyze etc. Discussion means presenting and comparing different points of view on a topic. Analyzing means breaking down a topic or text into its parts and examining each of them. Explain means to provide further explanation or definition of a subject. Comment means to express your balanced opinion on a subject. 

Taken Lesson: Think before you write

2) Make a Proper Outline of the Answer

Before writing anything, develop a basic mental outline of the answer. If necessary, write down in pencil what you can remember. With this, you will be able to connect the dots. The quality of the written content is everything. Keep the time in mind while outlining the answer. This means suppose you have to write an answer with which four points, but you can remember only two points. Without spending too much time on the remaining two points, start writing what you know. While outlining, also keep in mind that you have to answer only what has been asked and do not show unnecessary imagination, or philosophizing.

Taken Lesson: Visualize the answer in mind

3) Answer Structure

The answer structure consists of three parts – (i) Introduction, (ii) Body and (iii) Conclusion. 

The introductions should be able to introduce the topic and explain the body. Its ideal length should be 10-15% of the entire answer. The answer body should contain detailed answers. It can be written in paragraphs or points (with bullets) as per the requirement. Each paragraph or bullet should have only one point and the most important point should be written first. Write the conclusion in a balanced way with a healthy positive opinion. Don’t write a conclusion questioning someone else. The conclusion should bring together all the main elements/points/arguments of the answer.

Taken Lesson: Follow the set pattern

4) Quality of Content

Do not talk unnecessarily in the air, write answers only by giving examples, full of credible information. It is important to have specific knowledge about key terms and concepts. Being familiar with these many topics will enable you to answer most of the questions in the main exam with confidence.

Taken Lesson: No Nonsense

5) Style of Answer

An opinion-based answer should be written in paragraphs (in the form of an essay). Fact-based answers can be written in both paragraphs and bullets or a combination of both. Diagrams are especially important in geography, international relations, internal security and disaster management. In addition, illustrations (short stories) can enhance your answer by providing additional insight or perspective. The handwriting should be in such a way that anyone can read it easily.

Taken Lesson: Keep the burden light

6) Keeping in Mind the Word Limit

Expressing yourself in a concise (limited) manner is one of the most important skills. Getting straight to the point is often more impressive. It helps the examiner to understand the gist of your answer. Plus it keeps you within the word limit.

Taken Lesson: Follow the limit

7) Answer Presentation

The answer should be precise, simple and written in appropriate vocabulary. Remember the content written should be of high quality, not just word-heavy. Avoid using extreme sentences. Try to give real-life examples.

Taken Lesson: Ideas Should Be Heavy, Not Words

8) Time Management

Speed is of utmost importance. In UPSC exams, the questions are quite long. Time management in this case three rules – (i) write in flow with confidence, (ii) write in natural language and (iii) don’t stick with a question. Skip unfamiliar questions. First, write those questions on which you are confident.

Taken Lesson: Keep on the watch

So the basic principle is that Best answer writing is not an impossible skill, and with these 8 tips the skill can be developed in one year.

4 Answer Writing Strategy by UPSC CSE Topper 2022 AIR 2 Jagrati Awasthi

Although the whole process of the UPSC Civil Services Examination is very difficult, when it comes to mains answer writing, it becomes very challenging. In such a situation, good answer writing (Answer Writing strategy) practice is required. Let us talk about some of the best strategies for answer writing that can fetch you good marks by AIR 2 Jagrati Awasthi.

The following strategies are-

1) Try to Justify Your Answer

During answer writing, note that you have to certify what you write in your answer. Doing this will increase the validity of your answer. If you do this then you will get better marks in answer writing.

2) Use Keywords

Whenever you write your answer, keep in mind that you should use keywords to indicate important topics. By doing this you will be able to highlight the important points and the paper checker will get an idea of what you want to say. This is the most economical and easy idea to score good marks.

3) Use Simple Language

While writing the answer, keep in mind that the language you are using should be very simple and conversational. Your writing should be easy, clear and complete. Avoid using heavy and technical words.

4) Take Care of The Presentation

It is very important to take care of the presentation at the time of answer writing. Give headings and sub-headings wherever necessary with neat handwriting. Apart from this, keep the use of tables and data in your answer. By doing this the quality of your answer will also improve.

Significance of Answer Writing Practice

UPSC Civil Services Main Exam is the most essential phase of the entire UPSC exam for the candidates. This is due to the following reasons –

  • UPSC Civil Services Exam prepares the final cut-off of the selected candidates on based marks secured by a candidate out of a total of 2025 marks.
  • The maximum total of 2025 marks includes 1750 marks for the UPSC Civil Services Main Examination and 275 marks for Interview Examination.
  • This marking pattern reflects the importance of the main exam in the final selection and securing a good rank in the final list of selected candidates.
  • The art of answer writing becomes very important to score good marks in the main examination.
  • To illustrate the importance of answer writing, suppose you get extra 5 marks in each question because of your good answer writing technique.
  • Through this, you will gain 40 more marks in General Studies question papers alone (10 marks in each paper). Mastering the art of answer writing will have a positive impact on your marks in essay papers as well.

Hence, aspirants appearing in UPSC Mains this year or next year must master the art of answer writing comprehensively.

Some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on Answer Writing Tips For the UPSC Mains Examination

Write straightforward or to-the-point answers, read the query thoroughly and figure out the significance of the question. Make an effort to restrict your answer to the necessity of the question and avoid writing massive paragraphs describing unnecessary information. Maintain your answers left justification.

When writing an answer in 100 to 150 words, it is suggested to put down approximately 10-15 lines of text. This permits sufficient space to articulate an obvious and concise statement while also handing over adequate facts to endorse your opinions or facts.

The importance of handwriting for UPSC Mains is essential. A candidate must understand that fine handwriting will not only bring the candidate extra marks but for obtaining promising marks, the quality of the answer is needed. But poor handwriting can result in losing marks for sure. Even one mark can decide whether you got clear or not clear in the UPSC exams.

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