Answer writing for CSE Mains

This post is written by Abhishek Surana (Rank 10, CSE 2017,  Rank 2, IFoS 2016, Rank 250, CSE 2016)

I’ve improved my marks  from 394/1000 last year to 471/1000 this year in GS papers. I feel that improving my answer writing skills played an important role in this. There was no new addition of content as such besides the regular current affairs. So in this post I will try to jot down my two cents on this topics

Directive words – Please try to understand the difference between tailwards. Not every question demands pro and cons.  A better understanding of these tailwords will help you in writing relevant content and give better structure to the answer. I am attaching  two pdfs  from which I benefitted for your perusal

Structuring – Use diagrams, double underlines, pragraphing, sub headings, bullet points etc to give structure to your answer. There are no rules on how you go about this. This can come only by practice

  • Draw borders around your diagrams
  • Use double under line for your subehadings
  • Dont strectch a paragraph beyond 3-4 sentences
  • You can us directive words as sub heading in certain cases

I found this document immensely useful for diagrams – IAS4Sure material – for presentation and diagram. 

I ALSO use to analyse answer booklets of each year toppers as well as best copies for the test. Used them to get ideas on presentation and diagrams

Practice –

  1. If this is the first time you are writing answer then go for InsightsonIndia Secure inaitive. It will help you in gradually improving your answer quality. You will see what other candidates are writing, improve your content and strcutring, learn about difference between tailwords.
  2. Join a test series once you are able to do 4-5 questions from insights in an hour.
  3. Never sit for more than 3 hours during a test. Many aspirants have the habit of taking time beyond the permissible limit. I feel this does not help you prepare psychologically which is much needed in mains exam.
  4. Use Previous year Questions for practice

Some of my answer booklets

Wishing you all the best


Original Post:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top