How to Write Answers for GS in IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains- Strategies by Akshat Jain (AIR 2 UPSC 2018)

Updated On -

Mar 10, 2021

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Sudeshna Bhar

Exams Prepmaster

The descriptive papers of the Mains of IAS (UPSC CSE) Exam test the candidates on various levels. There are multiple types of questions asked in the GS papers of the exam.

All the candidates must practise answer writing by following different strategies. Here we have shared the strategies of the 2018 IAS (UPSC CSE) topper, Akshat Jain, AIR 2 to help you with the GS paper of the Mains Exam.

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The Approach of Answer-Writing

Here are three phases that you should follow on different levels of your preparation period.

  • 3 answers every day

Follow this approach for 2 months at the beginning of your preparation. The practice of writing answers every day will help you in gaining confidence and framing your model answers.

  • Full tests every day

After the first two months, when you have gained enough confidence and learned how to frame answers, go for full 3 hours tests. Make sure to follow the complete and the latest format of UPSC.

  • 1 hour every day

This is to be followed 2 weeks before Mains. Right before the exams, with all the revisions, there is not much time to practice the full tests. However, don’t give up on writing completely, take out one hour for writing answers to keep the habit.

Points to Remember

  • Practice in UPSC-sized loose sheets

UPSC shares a sample of their sheet on their website. Practice your answers on those loose sheets instead of A4 sheets or registers. This will help in creating a format for your answer.

  • Always practice using the time limit.

It is necessary to practice in a time-frame. Anybody can write high-quality answers with no time limit but time-constraint is a real challenge. So always write within a time-limit.

  • Self-evaluate your answer

  • Compare your answers with model answers available on various sources and the toppers’ answers.
  • Look at each element of your answer (introduction, main body, conclusion).
  • Compare the way of presenting the answers with other aspirants, toppers’ or model answers.
  • Incorporate flowcharts, diagrams, and tree charts and learn what works the best where.
  • Do not forget to appreciate your own answers and pat yourself on the back for a good presentation.
  • Incorporate what you learn while evaluating in the next answers that you write.
  • Develop your own model answer

  • Develop your own blueprint or a structure of the paper in your mind.
  • The introduction must contain definitions and facts
  • Divide the main body into subheadings.
  • The subheadings must match the question.
  • Write answers in points and sub-points.
  • Incorporate flowcharts, tree charts, and schematics.
  • Put a positive subheading before the conclusion and conclude in a few lines.

Read Tips and Tricks for IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Answer Writing

Basic Guidelines

  • Always read the questions properly, and underline the keywords in them.
  • Keep the Introduction 2-4 lines long.
  • You don’t need to write in full sentences while writing the points.
  • Underline the keywords of your answer.
  • Capitalize the reports/committees/organizations if you are using them.
  • Keep your conclusion optimistic and visionary.

Every individual has their own methods and tricks for doing things. No strategy suits everybody. It is only through practice and incorporating different tips that you can get your best approach up to your sleeves. Click here to check IAS Result

Thus, keep the things shared by the toppers in mind and practice all of them till you frame your own model approach to the answers.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.