Do you often feel tired while practising your UPSC Mains paper? Do you think your current speed will hold you back in the Mains? All these worries can be resolved through a thoughtfully chosen pen. Let’s see what should be the ideal pen for your UPSC Mains examination.

Which Pen is Best for Writing UPSC Exam?

Apart from the preparation, you may also get anxious about your writing skills and presentation in your UPSC Mains examination. Since, UPSC Mains is all about how and what you write, your writing and control over your pen may prove to be a significant factor affecting your result. Thus, the pen you choose to write within your Mains examination must be suitable for writing a long and descriptive paper. Here are some basic characteristics that you should keep in mind while choosing the pen for your writing exam.

Things to Keep in Mind while Choosing a Pen

  • The pen you choose should be light in weight and not heavy in your hands, as a heavy pen may cause fatigue in your hand and fingers, reducing your writing speed than usual. On the other side, a lightweight pen may help in increasing your speed.
  • Always choose soft-tipped pens over sharp-tipped ones, as they tend to tear the pages of the answer sheets. Sharp-tipped pens may also result in impressions on your following answer sheet pages.
  • Get pens with rubber grips and not plastic grips. Rubber grips provide more friction and a better grip, while the plastic grips can be slippery, and sometimes painful for fingers.
  • Don’t buy a pen just because of its high cost and fancy body. Get a pen that you can hold with a light grip, as tightly holding a pen can cause tiredness and pain.
  • Gel pens can be better than ball pens on some occasions, but for Mains, you should go for ball pens. Gel pens can be a little troublesome for a long and description paper. With a ball pen, you can enhance your speed and writing.
  • After choosing a particular pen, you should get on a regular answer writing practice with the pen. All your test-series and practice should be with that chosen pen.

Is a Ball Pen Better than a Gel Pen for UPSC?

For prelims, you have to fill the OMR sheet; therefore, you require a dark and soft pen. A ball pen is ideal for prelims paper, but is a gel pen a better idea over a ball pen when it comes to Mains? Well, ballpoint pens have oil-based ink, thick and soft, whereas gel pens have a slippery texture in writing. To avoid any sudden leakage, one should avoid gel pens and get ball pens for the Mains exam. The ballpoint pens are cheap and readily available.

Is Pilot V5 Pen a Good Pen for UPSC Mains?

Should you go for a Pilot pen for your UPSC exam? There has been a growing popularity of this pen for being used by many of the toppers. The characteristics are:

  • Crisp and clear writing
  • Better contrast
  • Ink is bluer than the ordinary ball pens
  • Better grip
  • Ink dries faster than a ball pen
  • Your handwriting looks better

However, this pen is quite costly and is not affordable by every candidate. Therefore, one should not consider it as the only option for a good result. Remember, it is just a pen and not a magic wand that can promise you a good attempt.

Is Handwriting Important for UPSC Mains?

Is handwriting really a factor affecting your Mains performance? Let’s find out.

  • Although UPSC does not provide extra marks for good handwriting, poor handwriting and presentation may deduce marks. This deduction will not be direct because of your poor writing, but there may be misunderstandings that your poor handwriting may cause.
  • Your handwriting should not be necessarily beautiful or fancy, but it must be readable and clear. One should remember that the handwriting is for the examiner who will check your paper according to his/her understanding of your handwriting.
  • Your handwriting should be clear and readable enough for the examiner. A messed up handwriting may cause irritation and strain for the examiner to check your paper with ease.
  • Your clear handwriting proves your clear thoughts about a topic; therefore, there must be tons of practice before the actual exam.

What are Some Best Pen for UPSC Mains?

You may get confused about the best ball pen for UPSC Mains or the best gel pen for UPSC Mains. Let’s resolve this for once. UPSC toppers in their Mains exams use no such specific pen. However, the following list of pens will let you know the most preferred pens used by UPSC toppers.

  • Uniball eye rollerball pen
  • Cello Pinpoint Pen
  • Flair Writo Meter Pen
  • Reynolds 045 Fine Carbure Blue Ballpen
  • Pilot V 7 Hi-tech Pen with the cartridge system


Choosing a better pen can benefit you significantly for your Mains examination. Therefore, you should not ignore the relevance of a pen for your overall Mains result. Giving a little importance and thought to your pen’s choice can prove beneficial for your paper. For more blogs on UPSC preparation and details, visit  UPSC Pathshala.

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Best Pen for UPSC Mains: Here are the Pens Preferred by UPSC Toppers
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Best Pen for UPSC Mains: Here are the Pens Preferred by UPSC Toppers
Preparing for UPSC Mains brings questions: Which is the best pen for UPSC Mains or which pen is best for writing UPSC Exam? This article will answer it all.
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UPSC Pathshala