If you are preparing for UPSC Civil Services Exam, you must be knowing that exam is taken in pen paper mode. Prelims is objective type while mains exam is descriptive type. In the UPSC mains, you have to write down answers within a certain word limit. You need a neat and legible handwriting and yes, you should possess good answer writing skills. It is recommended that you write clearly if you are not doing it already.
Importance of handwriting for UPSC Mains
- You must know that good handwriting will not fetch you any extra marks, as for getting good marks quality of answer matters. But a bad handwriting can cause loss of marks for sure (Even one mark can decide whether you make the cut or not in the UPSC exams.)
- Your writing should not make the examiner strain his eyes hard to read. The examiner is, after all, a human being and his mood while correcting is also important. Illegible handwriting may cause you to lose a mark or two in each answer.
- A good handwriting gives the impression of a person who is very sure of his/her knowledge. It also gives the impression that a person is very calm and composed. A haphazard writing may give the impression of a harried and confused writer.
- It is true that content of the answers is most important but the content should be decipherable to the examiner. He can be able to appreciate it only when he is able to read it properly. A valid, correct answer that the examiner cannot read will not fetch you marks.
How to improve handwriting
- Your letters should not be too small. Increase the size so as to avoid eye strain while reading.
- If you don’t have cursive handwriting, you should leave sufficient space between words. This will improve clarity in writing.
- It is generally advised to kids to have the correct grip for a neat handwriting. As an adult preparing to take the UPSC civil service exam, it is difficult to change something as ingrained as your pen/pencil grip, but having the correct grip does ensure a clean and readable writing.
- Sit with good posture. Relax your shoulders and arms.
- Use the right kind of pen. Use a pen that you are comfortable with to hold and to write smoothly. (It need not be a fountain pen as you were told in school) Avoid a pen that blotches since it greatly impairs readability.
- You need to write fast as the mains papers are quite lengthy, no doubt. But the trick is to strike a balance between speed and legibility. Don’t compromise one for the other.
Have a bad handwriting?
In order to develop a legible handwriting, try to practise the above-mentioned points. It is worth investing time in it. There is no use writing perfect answers if the examiner cannot read them!
Although it is difficult to make much changes in handwriting as an adult, but practice can make it happen. To clear the UPSC civil services exam, you must practice writing answers and when you do this, you should practise for good handwriting as well. It will definitely help you in scoring good marks in the mains exam.
Practice writing with the previous year papers. Download question papers here.
If you already have a clear handwriting, don’t bother too much about not having a ‘beautiful’ writing. The idea is to make your answer paper readable, not decorative!