Answer writing Tips:
Good writing skills miraculously step up your chances to get through Civil Services Examination. Good writing skills not only help in Mains, but will enable candidate form opinions on various issues which would help him during the personality test.
All the same, UPSC does not expect candidates to acquire exceptional writing skills in English. It just wants candidates who are able to put across their ideas and knowledge in a simple way so that everybody understands the message explicitly.
Here are some tips to improve your writing skills:
(1.) Most of the aspirants think that reading a good newspaper is sufficient. After going through an editorial or an opinion piece, form an opinion of your own. Write it in 100 words and send it to the editor without hesitation. The next day when you do not see your letter published, don’t lose heart. Shoot another mail and one day it will appear neatly edited with your proud name below. This is how you learn to form a strong opinion on an issue and also improve your English.
(2.) Writing answers to previous year questions is a potent tool not only to better writing skills, but also to discern pattern of questions asked in previous years’ examinations. You can take up a question bank and start answering every question. It is recommended to solve at-least the last 10 years’ questions as it will improve your answer writing ability and help in time management.
(3.) Writing a blog can help you express your opinions explicitly without any restrictions. When you start a blog, you are the editor and the publisher– writing on your own terms help a lot. If the content is good, readers will be gravitated towards your blog and leave back valuable comments. But as an IAS aspirant, you should cling to the topics that will help you in the examination. Later, when you crack the examination, you can diversify your posts.
(4.) It is a long established fact that you cannot write well if you don’t read well. Reading newspapers will broaden your outlook towards various issues and augment your awareness.
(5.) Although good vocabulary does not guarantee your success in mains, it does help in thinking fast. Thinking process banks upon words, i.e., we think by connecting words. If we know more words, we will be able to connect our thoughts and think faster and better. Having a good dictionary is indispensable for a serious and avid reader. Likewise, oodles of books that increase word power are available which substantially enhances the vocabulary in no time.
This will add to your knowledge base and endow you with critical thinking abilities.
Mains exam calls for speed, consistency and clarity of thought and these can be acquired easily through writing practice.