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Mastering the Art of Answer Writing

Crack UPSC Mains with
Raj IAS Academy

Passing the UPSC Prelims is a great first step for UPSC Aspirants, but the Mains exam is the main test. It's where you show what you know and how well you can explain it. Here's the catch: everyone studies the same things, so the key to winning is how you write your answers in the UPSC exam.

Just like learning any other skill, writing good answers takes practice. This guide will give UPSC Mains challengers some winning tips to write super answers that impress the examiner.

Mastering the Art of Answer Writing

Why is Answer Writing Important in UPSC CSE?

The UPSC Mains exam heavily relies on written answers for UPSC Mains Answer Writing typically carrying around 75% of the total marks. This emphasises the importance of clear, concise, and well-structured responses that showcase your in-depth knowledge, analytical skills, and problem-solving abilities.

Time Management in the Exam Hall:

The UPSC Mains exam presents you with a time crunch. Essay questions typically carry 250 marks and allot you 35 minutes each. For other answer types, the time varies based on the question length and allotted marks.

UPSC Mains Exam

Question Types and Answer Strategy

The UPSC Mains exam is your chance to shine after clearing the Prelims. It has 9 essay-style papers where you write detailed answers. Here's a breakdown of the question types and a handy trick for answering them effectively.

Evaluate/Critically Evaluate

Analyse both positive and negative aspects of a topic.


Give a balanced overview of a topic, considering different viewpoints.


Explain a concept or idea clearly and in detail.

Critically Examine

Analyse a topic deeply, identifying strengths and weaknesses.


Share your thoughts and opinions on a topic.

The 7-5-3 Rule

How to Answer Effectively

Imagine this like a martial arts trick! Here's what it means:

7 Minutes

Aim to finish each answer within 7 minutes.

5 Points

Include 5 key points related to the question's main idea. Bullet points are great for this.

3 Dimensions

Explain each point in 3 ways, depending on the question:
• Social, Economic, Political, and Geographical (SEPG) perspective
• Pros, Cons, and Conclusion
• What/Why/How

Tips for Applying the 7-5-3 Rule

Read Carefully

Read the question twice and identify the keywords.

Plan Your Answer

Briefly write down your 5 points.

Write & Explain

Explain each point using the 3-dimension approach.

Wrap it Up

Conclude by summarising your points.

Our Approach to Answer Writing Mastery

At Raj, we go beyond rote memorization. We equip you with a comprehensive framework to understand what to write and how to write it effectively.

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Beyond the Syllabus

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