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.