As a beginner starting from point zero one can buy upsc previous years question paper module and attempt some questions daily, moreover the questions from NCERT to will help.
Start writing answers as and when you study, don’t wait for the whole or even sufficient amount of syllabus to be finished you take help of mentor from the best upsc coaching in indore.
Say you are studying polity and finished President, soon after, check previous year’s papers on this topic and try to answer as many as you wish, you could pick a single question that is the easiest for you and start answering on a piece of paper. You might not able to answer question that involve president and the prime minister as you wouldn’t have covered the latter yet. You can skin such questions for later.
Practice Answer Writing
Answer writing is an important aspect of UPSC civil services exam.
While prelims is only the qualifying exam which separates the grain from the chaff i.e. serious candidates from non-serious candidates, its marks are not added for creating the merit list. Mains exams is worth 1750 marks spanning over 7 papers (4 papers of GS, Two papers of Optional, and 1 paper of Essay). Also there are two qualifying papers of languages which one must write nonetheless even though their marks are not counted in the final list. Since success in Main evidently depends on one’s ability to write close to 100 questions and some 24000 words in all the papers, it is of absolute necessity that one develops the articulation necessary for writing meaningful, to the point and concise answers In the previous era of UPSC exam (read before pattern change in 2013). UPSC used to ask lower no of questions and lesser words to write. There was comfortable time pressure and hence it was possible to try and frame answers in the exam hall itself. But after the pattern change. UPSC asks 20-25 question with 200-250 words to write in each answer.
Sure, they emphasise that the content of the answer is more important than its length in the instruction, still you must think on the spot and create a mental framework for 20 – 25 questions then and there in the exam hall. And if you don’t practice before hand and that too intensively, you might spend 1-2 mins on creating a framework on each question. That means anywhere between 25-50 mins only on answer framing! So, you are left with very less amount of time to write the answer. This is the biggest issue as far as not writing an answer is concerned. Writing answers also helps in organizing and prioritising your though process. You learn to put forward what exactly is asked and not what you know. You learn to write meat of the argument and not beat around the bush. Last but not the least writing helps in internalising information and in better retention than only reading.
So for the process part one should begin by writing answers or previous year question papers. In addition to giving, you adequate answer practice they also help you understanding the exam pattern and the demand of the exam very well. After finishing with previous year’s papers one should move on to writing answers on websites and other sources. As the mains exam approaches one should start taking mock test and get them evaluated.
So a tentative timeline could be:
Every day : Write 1- 2 questions and analyse them your self. If possible show them to seniors and get comments
- Immediately after prelims : Write 2-5 questions /day; start taking weekly topical mock tests
- 2 months before Mains : start taking full length tests.
- A week before Mains : take 3-4 FLTs at the same time when the Mains exam is conducted just to conditions.
How to improve handwriting
Handwriting is important but not the most important factor. For mains, presentation is everything. How much you know matters less in comparison to the following factors:
- Ability to understand the question – this is far more difficult than it seems, when you are under exam stress most often only the key words register in our minds and we start off writing on and on, not realising that the question demands something entirely different.
- Ability to brainstorm points in a short period.
- Ability to bring in various perspectives into your answer. The more perspectives you bring to your answer, The better your answer will be. For example, for a particular question you should be able to analyse the same from its social, political, economic, geographical, scientific, governance viewpoints and more.
- And to do all this in a span of 7 minutes and present it in legible handwriting. That is all that matters, the person who is correcting the paper should be easily able to read your answer, without straining her eyes.
You need to worry only if your handwriting is illegible. If it is so, please give due importance to improve the same. Dedicating 20-30 minutes a day for cursive writing will make a world of difference. You may or may not get extra marks if you have very good handwriting. But you are sure to lose out, if your handwriting is illegible.
Here are a few tips to improve the presentation and readability of your answer:
- Increase the font of your writing. Generally bigger the font, easier it is to read.
- Give adequate spacing between lines.
- Start each paragraph from the middle of the page. This will give a good appearance to your answer, and it will also be easier for the examiner to differentiate between paragraphs. This will be particularly useful in the essay paper.
- Underline the key words. This is essential. This will bring the evaluators attention to the important points. Especially if you have a clumsy handwriting there are chances that evaluator may miss our on key points. Divide you answer into sub heading. You can include the different perspectives under each sub heading.
You need not have a very good handwriting, but you only need to give an impression of a good handwriting. And you can easily do that by following the above tips. And finally your content and the way of presentation is the king.