A good number of UPSC IAS aspirants are hardworking students. They do their studies diligently. They gather material from relevant sources. They approach mentors and seniors when required and do not hesitate to learn from them. They regard the UPSC syllabus as bible and cover it as much as possible. They also keep track of the latest current affairs for the IAS exam. In spite of all this, they don’t make it beyond the IAS prelims exam. The reason is that they didn’t practice answer writing for the UPSC civil services mains. It is not how much you know that matters but what you write on paper that the examiner can evaluate. So, make answer writing a regular feature of your IAS preparation. This article discusses the importance of answer writing practice for IAS questions in the exam.
Why should you practice answer writing for IAS exam?
The obvious reason is to save time in the exam hall. In the revised pattern of UPSC exam (post 2013), you have to write around 20-25 questions with each answer demanding 200-250 words for the nine papers of the IAS mains exam. In the three hours you get for each paper, it is no mean feat to draft and frame answers for the questions and be able to finish it. You need to take care of presentation. Each answer requires a format in that it should have an introduction, body, conclusion, subheadings, etc. Ask yourself: Should you waste time thinking about all this in the exam hall (whose result can alter your life) or should you practice it beforehand and concentrate only on what to write for the questions in the hall?
Your answer should be:
- Adhere to the word limit
Inculcating all these qualities in your answers takes practice.
Another major advantage of answer writing practice is that you will be able to learn more by writing. Writing helps in internalising what you have read. This assumes greater significance when you have to read a huge syllabus (and the UPSC syllabus is huge!).
Also, writing helps in organising your thoughts. You will learn to write what is asked and not what you know.
So, start answer writing practice NOW as the more you practice anything, the better you get in it!
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