In the long and tiring process of the Civil Services Exam, most of the students keep themselves engaged in the higher intellectual purposes of studying everything they could get their hands on.

In this intellectual caste system of sorts, the lowest pedestal is given to the thing, which fetches the maximum marks in the eventual selection process. I am pretty sure, most of you would not have been able to guess it even now. I am talking about writing skill!

UPSC Exam Writing Skills

In the Main Examination, you are supposed to write 9 papers and all of them involve answer writing. Now, it is generally presumed by the aspirants that if you know the content, the writing will follow. There could not have been a bigger misconception about it. It is just like saying that if you have all the ingredients, you can make amazing food! Just like in cooking, in writing also, there is a need for a sense of proportion, flow and structure of the answer.

Correct usage of it may make an answer look like a good coherent thought, which is exactly what is expected of a civil services aspirant. Let’s have a look at an example.

Also Read : List of Geography Books for UPSC: A Guide Through the UPSC Geography Syllabus

Sample Question

Black money is not just an economic, but a social menace as well. Critically examine.

IAS Tips

Before reading on, please do a small exercise. Try writing an answer to this question is around 250 words. Now, this is a topic everyone must be aware of, as it was all over the news. Just try it! Take a pen and paper and do it before reading further.

At this point, you should check out if you were the person evaluating the answer books, how will you mark both the answers, out of 12.5? In case you give my answer even one mark higher than yours, then, in a course of 1750 marks of Mains, I will score 140 marks more than you! In an exam like UPSC, this difference can propel you from a not selected candidate to a topper.

UPSC Preparation Tips

Having established the importance of writing, let’s understand how challenging it is. In UPSC, the paper is of 180 minutes and you are supposed to write 20 answers of around 250 words. That means you get around 9 minutes to read a question, understand it, frame an answer and write it. 9 minutes! So now, go back to the question and try repeating the same exercise in 9 minutes. You will realize how difficult it is.

The problem and the difficulty must have been well established by now. But surprisingly, most of the aspirants do not spend any considerable amount of time and effort on solving this problem. They try to practice writing 10-15 answers and assume that their preparation has been taken care of. 


Writing accurate answers is an art which needs to be learnt and nurtured with practice. It might take one even years to reach a level of perfection in this.

If you are starting to prepare for UPSC, this is the first aspect you need to take care of. Whatever method of preparation you are adopting, make extensive efforts to ensure that your pen and your mind are in sync. Because eventually, it is the latter which will take you across the line.

Also Read : How to Write an Essay? 9 Tips To Score Better in UPSC Essay Paper

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UPSC Preparation Tips for Better Answer Writing in The Exam: Guide to Great Score
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UPSC Preparation Tips for Better Answer Writing in The Exam: Guide to Great Score
How to crack the UPSC exam? What are the most important UPSC preparation tips to master the answer writing? From where to get those? Read on to know everything in detail.
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About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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