1. Understand the Question:
The first and foremost requirement to write great answers is an understanding of the questions. Candidates should try to understand the demand of the question asked, see whether the question has two parts or three parts, and answer it accordingly. It is often seen that candidates sometimes write only half of the question and leave the other half. Such a thing should be avoided.
2. Organize Your Thoughts
Before you start writing answers, organize your thoughts in a rough space where you can write an introduction, main points, and conclusion for your answers. Such an approach will give your answer a logical flow. And nothing pleases an examiner more.
3. Relevant Content
Many times candidate write only what they know from their previous knowledge and ignore the actual demand of the question. So, stick to the demand of the question and also add examples and relevant data, say from a report of an International Organisation. This shows the examiner that you have a clear and in-depth understanding of topics.
4. Clarity and Conciseness
Avoid using long jargon and come straight to the point This way you will be able to make good answers and will also be able to adhere to word limits. Using long unnecessary jargon can result in negative marking and could become a reason for your name to not come up for an interview.
5. Balance in Presentation
Try to mention both the pros and cons of a situation. But avoid extreme positions. Even if you feel extreme positions could be taken, still avoid them and always provide a solution to the problem in question, even if you are not asked. As an officer, I will be expected to have solutions for problems.
6. Answer the Question Directly:
Avoid unnecessary knowledge. Just because you know a question in detail but if the same is not asked then don’t try to stretch it try to stay available then no marks for lighting and in case you do you will lose time for your remaining answers
7. Use Subheadings:
Always use sub-headings while writing PCS’s mains answer. This way your answer looks structured and it is easy for the examiner to read it it will surely lead to more marks than others
8. Time Management:
Divide 3 hours of each paper with the number of questions and you will get the actual time that you will have to answer each question. It will take around 7 minutes to answer each question. There will be some questions, where you know the answer by heart but there will also be some questions where you will have to think and that requires extra time, keep this in mind. and to write in the given period, do a lot of answer writing before the main exam. So that your hands get used to writing so much in a limited time. Also, remember to keep the last 10-15 minutes for revision purposes.
9. Follow a Formal Writing Style
Avoid short forms and use a formal writing style. Use correct grammar and syntax. Clarity in expression enhances the overall quality of your answers. Otherwise your answers
10. Revise and Edit
Before submitting your answer booklet always keep time to revise your answers and try to correct if there are any mistakes. Your answer should be aligned with the requirements of the questions.
Practice is the key!
The more you write, the more refined your answers become. If you follow these few tips for mains answer writing you will be able to produce quality answers in your PCS mains exam 2024. All the best!