Answer Writing Tips for Civil Services Mains Exam

One of the biggest challenges faced by an IAS aspirant is to perform well in the UPSC Mains examination as we know that the pattern of Mains examination is purely descriptive. Apart from having proper knowledge of IAS Eligibility and prelims stage, one needs to have a clear idea regarding the requirements of Mains exam from the very beginning. The approach of the answers to be written in Mains has to be an analytical one. Thus, to write impressive answers in the examination, you require in-depth analysis of the topic asked along with good writing skills. After all, you will be writing the answers to get good marks in the examination.


We all have heard a famous saying-

“Rome was not built in a day.”

So, keep in mind that you cannot write good answers in the Mains exam without proper practice. Practising answer writing skills is as important as having proper knowledge about the answer. Answers written should be clear enough logically and should be structured properly. Thus answer writing practice is an important part of IAS Exam preparation.


Here, we give you some Answer writing tips which will definitely help you to perform well in the Civil Services Mains exam.


Answer Writing Tips for IAS Mains Exam

 1.Understand the approach towards the question

It is very important to understand the required approach towards the given question. One should read a question carefully and not in a hurry so that one doesn’t end up in writing details which are not asked. Whether the question requires points in favour of a topic or against the topic, whether you need to elaborate with examples or explain the concept with more focus, all these points have to be kept in mind before starting writing down an answer.


2. Writing Answers  for Optional Paper

In case of Optional papers, there are two types of answers required-one with a word limit of 200 words and another with a word limit of 600 words. Essay style should be opted for 600-word limit answers and in case of 200-word limit, answer focus should be more on facts and examples.


3.Answer the effective part of the Question

You have to analyze how you should answer the effective part of a question. Certain words in the question give you the idea of what has to be written in the effective part of the question like-

Enumerate– In this case, you just need to list important points. Detailed explanations are not required.



You need to explain whatever is asked giving proper details including introduction, advantages, disadvantages, implications, limitations, conclusion, etc.



You have to write what you feel regarding the topic, mostly in such a way that it gives an overall positive impact.



You need to present your theoretical knowledge as you can write about characteristics, components, attributes, etc



In such questions, you need to support your views with good examples and give details.’


These are some of the important tips you need to keep in mind and start developing answer writing skills so that you put your best in the IAS exam.


For a better understanding of  UPSC exam, IAS Eligibility, UPSC online current affairs preparation, subscribe to our Byju’s YouTube Channel which provides tips and tricks to crack competitive examinations.

About Paresh Duseja

Informatics Assistant in Rajasthan Government

Leave a Reply