The UPSC Civil Services Mains exam is the second stage of the IAS exam, and the marks that you fetch play a major role in your final rankings. The Mains Exam for the Civil Services is a subjective type of exam with nine papers and a total writing time of 27 hours. The Mandatory Indian Language paper (Paper A) and the English paper (Paper B) are the two qualifying papers. The essay paper (Paper I) requires you to write two essays in three hours. One topic from each part will be available on a list for the candidates to pick from (Sections A & B). Each essay has to be between 1000 and 1100 words in length.
Moving onto the GS, there are four General Studies (GS) papers (Paper II through Paper V), each with a maximum of 250 marks. For the Mains GS exam, UPSC will give students a booklet with pre-printed questions and a designated space to submit their answers. The GS papers will each have 20 questions. In GS exams, there are two different kinds of questions: those worth 10 marks and having a word restriction of 150 words, and those worth 15 marks and having a word limit of 250 words. There are two optional papers (paper VI and paper VII), and each one is worth 250 marks. Click here to watch the video of our student Sivanandham(AIR-87) explaining the scoring strategy for Mains. As he achieved this feat in his very first attempt, he is a shining example of Officers’ IAS Academy coaching methods, making us the best IAS academy in Chennai.
What are the important features of a good answer?
- In your answers, be sure to adhere to the traditional structure of Introduction – Body – Conclusion. Additionally, check that your answer is appropriate for the kind of question you were asked, such as “Evaluate,” “Discuss,” “Elucidate,” “Examine,” “Critically Examine,” “Comment,” etc.
- The response must include pertinent details, illustrations, diagrams, keywords, etc. Try to use flowcharts and diagrams in your responses to break up the monotony and make them stand out from the crowd. Since we all primarily study the same books, adding extra information like statistics, facts, diagrams, or graphs earns you a few marks more overall and adding them all up results in a high score.
- Use pertinent keywords that match the question’s requirements.
- Underline and emphasize the crucial heading or keywords.
- Understanding the question’s requirements, based on which you choose the body part’s subheadings, is crucial.
- Structuring the flow of the answer per the demand of the question
- You ought to make every effort to include as many dimensions as you can. Additionally, try to include 4-5 points for each sub-heading.
- Create a list of examples for each topic on the syllabus. Because it is sometimes difficult to convey your thoughts using a single sentence the use of examples strengthens your argument.
- The candidate should make an effort to address diverse factors, such as social, economic, environmental, etc., in each answer as necessary.
Answer writing is an art, and like every artist who has mastered it, you must not lose trust in yourself and keep working toward it, which I want to remind my beloved aspirants. No matter how difficult it becomes, continue writing answers. As the clock runs out, attempt to finish each answer in 7–8 minutes. Our coaching method has produced many civil servants and if you wish to see the video of two such aspirants who got IAS and IPS on their very first attempt, then click here. Our detailed study program brings the best IAS coaching methods and has made our academy one of the top IAS coaching institutes in India. Wishing you the best for your IAS exam.