This article was originally written by Sivaharimani on ioforum way back in 2007.

  1. 9 types of Questions in Mains Exam
  2. Break the Question in 3 parts
  3. 7 steps answer writing

9 types of Questions in Mains Exam

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, 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)

Break the Question in 3 parts

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.

  1. Focus on  topic on e-governance (subject of question)
  2. How to do in the cotext of india(base of question)
  3. What to do  dicussing the positive and negative points of view(tool of question)

7 steps answer writing

  1. Find out the conclusive theme, when you read the question at first.
  2. Write shortly what is meant by e-governance(should be ideal/neutral)
  3. Directly go to the discussion neutrally.
  4. Try to begin with the positive points
  5. 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.
  6. Carefully keep the word limit
  7. 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.
  8. 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)