• Strategy for mains

Answer writing is an art. The good news is that any form of art can be learnt over a while. All it takes is will and effort, regular practice, and some guidance. We are here to help you with the guidance part, and we hope you successfully integrate the tips we will provide in your preparation.

Answer writing can be divided into three sections – Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. As the names for the section headings suggest, one should proceed step by step, understanding each area completely before moving to the next. Ultimately you should be able to use the tips from all sections in your answer writing holistically.


The Basics section of answer writing tackles the basic minimum requirements needed for effective answer writing. The answer you are going to write has to be adequate to earn an advantage over the competition. To write an adequate answer, there are certain basic tricks that you need to know, and these are discussed below.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • To understand the question fully and correctly before contemplating an answer for it.
  • To develop a basic mental framework of the solution before actually committing anything to paper. 
  • Please don’t wait for the answer to come to you. Instead of that, force it out.
  • Don’t overstretch your imagination. 


The Intermediate section will handle the second set of challenges that aspirants face in the Mains examination. To score well and above the competition.

  1. Sticking to the word limit.                                                                                                                                               
  2. Brainstorming, outlining, idea/argument placement, and structuring before writing an answer.
  3. Time management in the exam hall
  4. Choosing when to attempt a question
  5. Whether to leave or attempt unfamiliar questions.


Practice answer writing

  1. The abilities to recall, process, and write down thoughts in a streamlined and time-bound manner
  1. To do this, you need to cultivate a habit of processing information quickly and thoroughly. 
  1. As such, begin with open-book answer writing – you will have the source/ reading material in front of you and refer to these while answering a question.
  2. To practice answer writing, begin with using previous year’s papers which are an excellent source for quality questions.
  1. Whether to enroll in a test series
  1. Develop a lucid answer writing style
  1. Use words that have a chance of being universally understood.
  1. Develop templates for answers that you can recall at short notice.