Question Types in UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Mains Exam

 

The UPSC Mains Exam is to be held on September 28th, 2018 and the timetable has also been released. Find below the UPSC 2018 Civil Services (IAS) Mains Timetable.

Date/Day

Forenoon Session 9.00 A.M. to 12.00 Noon

Afternoon Session 2.00 P.M. to 5.00 P.M

28.09.2018 (Friday)

Paper‐I Essay

No Paper

29.09.2018 (Saturday)

Paper‐II General Studies‐I

Paper-III General Studies-II

30.09.2018 (Sunday)

Paper‐IV General Studies‐III

Paper‐V General Studies‐IV

06.10.2018(Saturday)

Paper-A Indian Language

{Assamese/Bengali/Bodo/Dogri/ Gujarati/Hindi/Kannada/Kashmiri/ Konkani/Maithili/Malayalam/Manipuri/ Marathi/Nepali/Oriya/Punjabi/Sanskrit/ Santhali/Sindhi (Devanagari/Arabic Script)/Tamil/Telugu/Urdu}

  Paper-B English

07.10.2018 (Sunday)

Paper‐VI Optional Paper‐I {Agriculture/Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science/Anthropology/ Botany/Chemistry/Civil Engineering/ Commerce & Accountancy/Economics/ Electrical Engineering/Geography/ Geology/History/Law/Management/ Mathematics/Mechanical Engineering/ Medical Science/Philosophy/Physics/ Political Science & International Relations/Psychology/Public Administration/Sociology/Statistics/ Zoology/Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese/Bengali/Bodo/Dogri/ Gujarati/Hindi/Kannada/Kashmiri/ Konkani/Maithili/Malayalam/Manipuri/M arathi/Nepali/Oriya/Punjabi/Sanskrit/San thali/Sindhi /Tamil/Telugu/Urdu/English}

Paper‐VII Optional Paper‐II {Agriculture/Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science/Anthropology/ Botany/Chemistry/Civil Engineering/ Commerce & Accountancy/Economics/ Electrical Engineering/Geography/ Geology/History/Law/Management/ Mathematics/Mechanical Engineering/ Medical Science/Philosophy/Physics/ Political Science & International Relations/Psychology/Public Administration/Sociology/Statistics/ Zoology/Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese/Bengali/Bodo/Dogri/ Gujarati/Hindi/Kannada/Kashmiri/ Konkani/Maithili/Malayalam/Manipuri/Mara thi/Nepali/Oriya/Punjabi/Sanskrit/ Santhali/Sindhi /Tamil/Telugu/Urdu/English}

Here, we bring the types of questions asked in the UPSC Mains Exam to the aspirants preparing for the mains, which they should be aware and ready to answer accordingly in the actual exam.

Below listed are the types of questions and a few tips on how to attempt each type of question in the UPSC Mains Exam.

Question Types

(Questions asked in UPSC 2016 Mains Exam)

How to attempt the questions?

Analyse

E.g. Evaluate the economic and strategic dimensions of India’s Look East Policy in the context of the post-Cold War International Scenario.

This type of question requires  a detailed analysis, pros and cons and supported by facts.

Here, candidates’ need not present their views.

Critically Examine

E.g. “In the Indian governance system, the role of non-state actors has been only marginal.” Critically examine this statement.

This type of question requires suggestions and reforms and reasons for the recommended reforms along the analyzing, merits and demerits supported with facts. (similar to discussion type)

Discuss

E.g. Major cities of India are becoming more vulnerable to flood conditions. Discuss. (UPSC 2016-17 GS Paper I)

In this type of question, the answer should have both the pros and cons or should be a kind of discussion writing for and against the keyword, in general, a debate or argument kind backed up with facts and finally with a conclusion.

Elucidate

E.g. Early Buddhist Stupa-art, while depicting folk motifs and narratives successfully expounds Buddhist ideals. Elucidate.

Here, they are required to make the question clear or explain or elaborate in detail. Candidates’ views on the matter are not required in this type of questions.

Comment/Express your views

E.g. South China Sea has assumed great geopolitical significance in the presence context. Comment.

This type of questions requires candidates’ unique perspective. Right or wrong does not matter; what matters in answering this type of question is candidates clear views supported with relevant facts.

Here are some quick tips to follow while answering questions in the UPSC Mains Exam.

  • Look for the keyword in the question, a question will have at least 2-3 keywords. Centring that keyword, construct your answer according to the need of the question.
  • Write five points about the keyword
  • Explain each point in three dimensions i.e.
    • Socio-economic-political-geographical point of view
    • For, against, and conclusion
    • What/why/how
  • Finally, to back up their answers with facts and add diagrams wherever required.

These are the major question types asked in the UPSC Mains Exam and a few crucial answer writing tactics one need to know and follow respectively to see their name in the final merit list.