After the prelims result of UPSC Civil Services Examination, there is very less time to prepare for Mains. A huge syllabus has to be covered in a few months. But apart from covering the syllabus, many other factors decide the success or failure of the candidates. Like the art of writing good answers in UPSC Mains, the way to write a good essay, the reason for making a subject an optional subject, all these also ensure your success. IRS officer Anjani Kumar Pandey, who often shares useful tips for UPSC aspirants, has told how to score well in UPSC main exam, what things should be kept in mind while selecting optional, how to write the essay. Anjani Kumar became an IRS officer by securing 314th rank in the UPSC Civil Services Examination 2009.
IRS officer wrote on Twitter, ‘Scoring well in the main exam.
1. Understanding the demand of the question: This is most important. Write what is asked regarding the topic and do not write what you know about the topic.
2. Control over curriculum is necessary: Most of the students who score low marks in the main examination do not even complete the entire syllabus. By completing the syllabus I mean that you need point wise notes on each and every topic of GS Mains which helps in revision.
3. Writing Practice in Test Series: Very few candidates do regular writing practice, hence their answer writing speed is low and they are unable to complete the paper. The safest way to score more marks than others is to complete the paper.
4. Writing Mains Test Series requires a trusted teacher who checks each and every word of your copy and gives you proper feedback.
5. Structure of the answer: Answer structure is the key to score high marks. Correct structure of answers with average content can get you good marks.
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6. Presentation: Although there is no substitute for content, presentation is important as it keeps the examiner engaged. Handwriting plays an important role in presentation. Even if the handwriting is not beautiful, it should be neat and legible.
7. Relevant Facts and Figures: Most students never use facts to prove their point. Facts and figures make your answer strong and impressive.
8. Pictures, Diagrams and Charts: Pictures can say what thousands of words cannot. But make sure that the diagrams and pictures are absolutely correct. Incorrect pictures and diagrams can reduce your marks to a great extent.
In another tweet he wrote, ‘How to choose optional in UPSC
1. Choosing a right optional subject is very important for UPSC and it becomes even more difficult if you are opting for an optional subject which you have never studied during your graduation or post graduation. Generally people say that interest in the subject and scoring ability are two factors that should be kept in mind while choosing an optional.
I always believe that interest in the subject should be the only criterion for choosing an optional subject. Everyone used to tell me that History is an optional subject which cannot bring you in the list of successful candidates because being a theoretical subject you will never get full marks. History only gives you average marks unlike other humanities subjects, the average marks in other subjects are generally higher than the average marks in History and History is too long to cover. My friend took mathematics and got very good marks in his previous attempts. I thought this was pure bad luck because no matter how hard I tried, the problem of good scoring options would never go away. But then I realized that history is also a safe subject. I mean in maths if your answer is wrong you will get zero, but in history if you write something far away from the question you will still get some marks.
2. Also, I thought why not make a benchmark that History subject is the best. I studied a lot and got one of the highest marks in the history of UPSC so far. Marks in History ensured my selection. History made my life because if you work hard it can give you extraordinary marks.
In further tweet he wrote, ‘How to keep essay in UPSC
1. Clarity is key- Clear writing is essential for effective communication. When you write essays clearly, your examiners are more likely to understand your essay and your ideas.
2. Be brief- Get to the point quickly and avoid using unnecessary words and phrases. Use quotes but they must be excellent.
3. Use simple language- Avoid using jargon and technical words that your examiners may not understand or your essay may become boring.
4. Be specific- Avoid using vague language and generalizations. Instead, use specific examples and details to illustrate your points.
5. Stay organized- Prepare your essay writing in a way that is easy to read and enjoyable for the examiner. Headings Headings Subheadings Subheadings and Bullet Points Use bullet points to break up your essay and make it more readable.
6. Proofread your work carefully- Before submitting your copy, be sure to proofread it carefully for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
7. Be yourself- Don’t try to look like someone you’re not. Write in your own voice and style. Examiners understand when your writing shows the potential for cramming.
8. Change your sentence structure- Avoid using the same sentence structure repeatedly. This can make your essay appear dull and repetitive.
9. Practice makes perfect- The more you write before attempting the essay in the examination hall, the better your performance will be. So don’t be afraid to write and experiment with different styles and techniques.
10. Clear and effective writing is a valuable resource for those who want to improve their writing skills and get the best marks in essays.’