Answer writing for CSE Mains

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




28 thoughts on “Answer writing for CSE Mains

  1. Sir pls guide about usage of ARC reports in answer writing…which reports we need to go through

  2. you can just go through the recommendations if you dont have much time. I referred to 7th,11th and 12th report.

  3. Ayushi, I am sorry. Couldnt reply earlier to your query. Yes you can use abbreviations. But not like govt. instead of Government. You can use WHO or WTO. To be on safer side, the first time you mention them in answer/essay – use the full form and write the abbreviation in brackets. When you use it again then you can directly use the abbreviations.

  4. Thanku sir…i must say u r truely helping students by replying to all the queries very effectively ….

  5. Hello sir,my these are my doubts kindly clearify them
    1. from where to make notes of anacdotes and stats daily newspaper or ca monthly or somewhere else it ok if i read daily newspaper one and not make any notes then revise the issue from monthly ca like vision
    3. Sir which test series you suggest for gs,ethics and essay i m confused because it is my 1st attempt
    Thank you

  6. 1 from all sources
    2 I’ll favor making notes out of newspaper too
    3 there’s no such preference. I joined forum and Orient

  7. Which provide good feedback nd mentorship you have attended almost every test series so whats your experience

  8. Rohan, almost every test series promise this and does not actually do that. It is due to large number of student intake. I joined forumIAS and Orient IAS in my last year if prep because they were relatively new with less student intake. My experience with both was good for personal feedback.

  9. Add gravitation force component as potential energy term in the Schrodinger equation. Best

  10. Sir, which pen did you use? The font thickness in the MGP papers is really good; my Pilot V7 doesn’t give that thickness. Sorry for the noobish question 😐

  11. Thank you sir. I’m guessing you mean Rorito gel. Which model?
    Also, did you write conclusions for every question? How do you manage it? Is a way forward in point format OK?
    I often run out of time by the time I reach the end of the answer, and manage to write conclusions only for a few questions..

  12. Yes rorrito gel. My bad. Don’t know the model. Get one which has good grip.

    Yes I did try to write a conclusion. You can use SDG, UNDHR etc to give one. Or give a quick suggestion in the end.

    Yes way forward can be written in point format. But I never wrote so.

  13. Sir , for answer writing ,did u go for data statistic collection for different topics

    Sir ,how you developed flow charts, diagram approach in ethics
    I hv seen it ethics copy ,it is really novel.??
    Ps ..Dig , flow charts are not available in your Evernote notes.
    How to get that? Kindly guide

  14. yes i did collect data alongwith quotes, anecdotes and keyword for each topic. Although it is difficult to utilize them in the final exam but in 6-7/20 question you can write something which no one else is writing and that might gives you an edge. plus it helps in essay preparation.

    for diagrams, you need to look at notes from various sources, toppers booklet from last year and finally google search.

  15. Hello sir
    Sir M 2023 M apna attemt dunga
    Kya sir muje optional physics ko prepare krna chahiye q ki optional remove krne ki batt bhi ho rhi hai
    Plz suggest me sir

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