upsc main writing practice

Tips to Improve Answer Writing Skills for UPSC Mains 2020

Author's column

As the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the world is still severe, the educational institutions in the country remain closed. The examinations continue to be postponed and the Union Public Service Commission will decide on the civil service preliminary examination date in June first week. Many candidates are happy about the extra time they get to prepare. But one should not be complacent and should try to utilise the time productively. One should think about the Main examination too as the time between preliminary and Main is very less.

Let us discuss important points which can be to improve answer writing skills for UPSC mains 2020

  • NCERT is the basic all books if you are seriously preparing for this exam then starting from NCERT would be a best option, further you may proceed for standard book.
  • Current affairs has the most important segment in UPSC IAS exam, the best source of current affairs is PIB news, hindu editorials make a habit of making notes from editorials, then TV sources like rajya sabha, lok sabha, economic survey, budget headlines are most important part of daily current affairs.
  • Don’t forget that every subject is important, give equal time to each subject, schedule your time table accordingly along with the mains subject.
  • All upsc aspirants are advised to make a habit of answer writing practice everyday, this helps to enhance your writing skills, refer hindu articles and ncert books for better writing.
  • As upsc syllabus is vast and must requires revision, make a habit when you read a topic try to revise at the end about what have you read. This can be done by making notes and at the end of the day revise those notes even before exams (this would be a great guide for you).
  • Have you heard the term hitting at the bullseye, in upsc practicing previous years questions will increase your chances to clear an exam.
  • Enroll yourself in mains test papers series, chankaya IAS acadmey offers mains test series by experts. Main papers also gives you an idea of probable questions and provides an opportunity to assess yourself.

Unique challenge



Among the papers in Main examination, the overall essay paper is exclusive since the way one must steel oneself against this is often quite different. The general essay paper consists of 250 marks and one must write two essays of around thousand words each within three hours.

Now one must select two questions from the given list. There is a neighborhood A and Section B with four questions each and therefore the candidate must select one question from each section. In recent years, it’s been observed that one section contains more factual topics and therefore the other has more abstract ones.

By making a candidate write both types, the general ability of expression and knowledge are often assessed better. The topics covered within the general essay paper include development, governance, environment, diplomacy and social issues.

There are topics associated with philosophy too like “We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws”. The overall idea is to analyse the subject intimately and present an equivalent during a lucid manner.

Since the candidate must write around thousand words for an essay, it’s important that one chooses topics during which he/she has maximum knowledge. Then the entire structure of the essay must be planned intimately with a correct introduction, main content and conclusion.


Be smart while writing mains



Numerous a period, applicants pick subjects which looks somewhat troublesome. The thought is to compose a subject which a great many people don’t set out to pick and in this way establish a positive connection.

Be that as it may, on the off chance that one doesn’t know a lot, picking an interesting inquiry won’t get great imprints. While I was composing the Main assessment in 2005, the exposition questions were on equity, ladies, training, improvement and psychological warfare.

Shockingly 50% of the competitors picked fear based oppression believing that very few would have endeavored it! At long last, none of them got great imprints on account of their restricted information on the subject.

Exposition is the main paper in the Main assessment where one can score a zero! This is conceivable when an all out deviation from a given point occurs. An applicant who expounded on the mental idea of disposition wound up getting a zero, which should have been investigated in a more extensive point of view.

As a matter of fact, this paper is very high-scoring contrasted with different papers. So as to score well by and large article, one ought to stay away from banalities and uneven contentions.

A point should be secured from every single imaginable bearing. In points where two arrangements of contentions are feasible (for instance: Can free enterprise bring comprehensive development?), one needs to inspect the two sides before thinking of an end. A fascinating presentation is an absolute necessity with the goal that the individual who esteems the paper sets aside more effort to peruse the article.


Procedure of writing answers



A generic introduction may make the evaluator lose interest and he/she may run through the entire work and find yourself giving a mean mark. It should be followed by the main points presented in an orderly manner.

A logical conclusion should be there within the end. One should attempt to avoid spelling and grammatical errors the maximum amount as possible for effective answer writing. One needn’t have a flowery language to write down an honest essay.

An officer within the government of India must submit tons of reports and therefore the general essay paper may be a similar task given to the candidate.

So, during this lockdown period, my suggestion to all or any aspirants is to require time to read quality articles from good online sources. you’ll try writing essays too and obtain them corrected. it’ll be very useful for all stages of preparation.


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