Studying for the UPSC exams is definitely a big task, but practicing your answer writing skills is the toughest.
It is extremely necessary that you keep practicing your answer writing skills, as that is what would fetch you the rank you desire in your IAS exams.
Before diving into the answer writing skills and preparations, you need to understand that the UPSC exam is all about producing a great analytical explanation of your understanding and opinions on the topics that you have learned so far.
Thus, your answers are a presentation of your overall thoughts and your analytical thinking ability, along with how you can effectively link fact and data with your answers.
Importance of Answer Writing
With that being said, practicing answer writing is really important in this exam, because it’s not just your accuracy and precision that matters, but also your speed of writing. With answer writing practice, you will not only learn to put your thoughts on the paper perfectly, but also be able to manage your time more efficiently.
And at the end of the day, no matter how many books you have read, or how much study material you have referred to, it is the answer that you have written in the answer sheet that matters the most and that will decide your future into the administrative field.
Tips for Answer Writing in UPSC Mains
Here are some basic tips to help you with your answer writing skills and how to improve them with time.
Basic Construction of Your Answer
It is a very good idea to have a proper introduction to your answer to begin with, which should constitute of only around 10% words of the entire answer. Make sure to introduce the crux of your answer in this intro.
Answer Style: Paragraph & Bullet Points
Now, while writing the main body of the answer, it is important to include the major points in the right chronology and maintain that throughout the answer. Also, if need be highlight the main events or facts in a bulleted list style for more emphasis. Make sure you know what type of question is asked, whether factual or opinion based, and provide the relevant information accordingly presenting your knowledge of the topic in a systematic manner.
Use of simple language is a must. Do not complicate your answers unnecessarily with the aim to grab the attention of the examiner. Make sure to use clear and concise words that are error-free.
Word Count Specification
Try to stick to the word count for the answers as specified in the examination.
Substantiating Your Answer
Be ready with the absolute facts, figures, and other relevant data to be able to provide the exact evidence required to back up your answers. For example, try to give the reference of a recent news that you read relevant to the topic. This will certainly help you secure more marks, as it gives more legitimacy to your answers by giving proofs of real life situations.
It is also very much essential that you stick to the question and what is asked, rather than start lingering around with your words. Be more specific and concise with your answers, and stay focused. Make sure to take a multi-dimensional or 360 degree approach to your answer, think it well beforehand and start writing.
Making the right use of keywords, and terminologies
Highlighting the keywords in your answers will definitely fetch you good marks, as that will make your answers look more to the point. Also, it is very much necessary that you demonstrate your knowledge with a clear, relevant and appropriate terminology that will certainly make your answer communicate clearly and effectively to the examiner.
Practice, Practice and more practice!
And ultimately practice your answer writing as much as possible to help you learn from your mistakes and improve it with time.
Hope you got the tips and insight into the effective answer writing techniques that are sure to help assist you in scoring high in your UPSC exams.
At IAS Brains institute, you will get such in-depth guidance and assistance on answer writing (along with practice) and many more things under the tutelage of the experts who have been there and done that.