mains answer writing

How to start mains answer writing practice for UPSC in 2021

Answer writing is a very important aspect in UPSC civil service examination. A good answer not only reflects the knowledge of a candidate but it’s understanding, thoughts and vision also.

If you are looking for How to start mains answer writing practice then you are at the right place.

In this article, you will get to know full details on mains answers writing tips and tricks.

Points to remember before mains answer writing preparation

  • Please practice your answer on the UPSC size loose sheet. UPSC has given sample sheets on their website. So it is better to practice on those sheets.
  • Always practice using time limits. I believe that everybody can write a good answer if they have given unlimited time. So it’s better to practice answer writing within a time limit.
  • Always self-evaluate your answers.
  • Develop your own model answers rather than copying from other answers.

Basic guidelines for UPSC mains answer writing practices

There are certain guidelines which you need to follow while writing your answers-

  • Always read the questions very carefully and underline the important keywords in the question itself.
  • The introduction should be 2-4 lines long and you should always use definition and facts in the introduction.
  • The subheading should match according to the question demand.
  • No need for proper sentences when writing in points.
  • Always underline important keywords and capitalize reports / committee’s/organisations. ( For ex. You are using NITI AYOG, 2nd ARC, capitalizing them while answering writing.
  • Use flowcharts, tree charts to improve your answer writing presentation.
  • Finally, regarding the conclusion, It should always be forward-looking. It means the conclusion must show a positive aspect, a positive ending.
  • Stick to the time limit and overall time limit.

How to self-evaluate your own answers

  • You must compare your own answer with the model answer and you can also compare your answer with the topper’s answer.
  • After comparing, look at each element of your answer i.e the introduction, main body, and the conclusion, and find the areas of improvement.

Upsc Mains answer writing strategy

  1. Solve previous year questions:

Solving previous years questions will help you in understanding which type or what type of questions are asked by UPSC so that you can practice properly.

  1. Do proper word management:

As you know, UPSC seeks more quality answers so without wasting the time on rewriting some points, write approximately 15 words per mark. So, for a 12 marks question you have to write a 150 word answer in approximately 6 minutes.

  1. Keep your answers point wise:

Instead of writing answers in big paragraphs, it is better to write in points. An approximate of 20 points in each answer is good and there is no need of writing a full sentence in your points.

  1. Always keep your answer simple

UPSC doesn’t look for the ornamentation of your answer. They will look for applied concepts and the quality written down as a precise comprehension in basic vocabulary.

Always highlight important keywords while writing the answers.

  1. Try to add quotes in your answer

Make sure to use quotes in between your answers. A relevant quote will increase the weightage of your answer and can fetch good marks.

  1. Always keep your handwriting neat and clean: If your handwriting is not good it’s ok but try to keep your handwriting so simple so that the invigilator should read your answer clearly.
  2. Add various presentation skills: Try to add pictures, diagrams, pie charts, flowcharts, tree charts to improve the presentation style of your answer. If you don’t have a lot of points to write in an answer then by using a diagram you can present it.
  3. Don’t leave any questions: As there is no negative marking in UPSC mains examination. Hence it is recommended to attempt each and every question asked in the exam.
  4. Don’t scan the entire question paper: Always try to finish half of the question paper within the first 90 minutes. Avoid looking through the question paper in the beginning. To save time answer the question sequentially.


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So that’s it. Hope you have liked this article on How to start mains answer writing practice for UPSC“. 

f I have missed anything regarding this article tell me in the comment section below.

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