This article was originally written by Sivaharimani on ioforum way back in 2007.
In UPSC Civil service Mains exam, by and large you’ll face these nine types of descriptive questions:
|Question is instructing you to||What should you do?|
|Discuss||Give both the positive and negative points(prelution and conclusion are must)|
|Describe||focuss should be only on that particular subject matter(for ex: e-governance only)(prelution is must but conclusion is your optional)|
|Explain||the answer should be based on answering in detail Why, How, for what, of that subject of the question.ie., we have to give all the important points.(prelution and conclusion are must)|
|Distinguish||answer should be based on How the suject of question differs from otherthings.(only prelution is must)|
|Differentiate||there should be detailed comparision and distinguishing(as said above) the subject of question with others.(only prelution is must)|
|Examine||the answer should consist of the how good, what disadvantages, what impact of the subject of question.|
|Enumerate||first list out the all the relevant points, then explain one by one.(prelution and conclusion are must)|
|Reason||Find out what is the correct reason for the subject and explain one by one without side heading but highlighting the point with dots or numbers.(only prelution)|
|Analyse||try to give your view with future impact and goods and bads.(both prelution and conclusion are must)|
First step is break the question into its configuration parts.
For example, consider this question asked in General Studies (Mains) exam of 2004
“Discuss the e-governance in Indian context”
Let’s start the process of breaking this question.
- Focus on topic on e-governance (subject of question)
- How to do in the cotext of india(base of question)
- What to do dicussing the positive and negative points of view(tool of question)
- Find out the conclusive theme, when you read the question at first.
- Write shortly what is meant by e-governance(should be ideal/neutral)
- Directly go to the discussion neutrally.
- Try to begin with the positive points
- Give a negative point only after a positive point. This shows you to the evaluator that you are on the correct way of the answering the question and understood the question perfectly.
- Carefully keep the word limit
- At the end, give a finishing touch with the positive points. Why because, the evaluator provide marks only at the end of the answer, if you do so, it will make a good impression in the minds of the evaluator. Then we will get more and plus marks.
- Draw a conclusion in accordance with your answer. Do not give your suggestion but give the existing fact with currant context of India. Worth noting when handling a question(what you are asked to do)