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Q.Ira Singhal's tips on Mains answer writing?

- If you know 1% of the answer, and repeat the same point over and over again 500 times to fit the word limit, then examiner is not
going to be fooled, he has seen thousands of copies, lets not disrespect his intelligence. I made this mistake in 2013, but realised this
only wastes our time and fatigues your hand.
- I only wrote what I knew, I skipped questions where I didn't know the answer.
- if I knew 10-40%, I only wrote that much, without bothering about reaching the 100% answer length by writing stories.
- Don't write vague answers that remotely resemble to what is being asked in the question.
- I write in bullet points for both general studies and optional papers in Mains
- I underline the keywords but I dont use colored pens like most girls do, I dont understand how do you hold so many pens in your
hands without sacrificing speed and efficiency.
- I didnt have time to write introduction or conclusion.
- Good if you write diagrams, especially for geography questions and GS3.
- Do read question again and again while writing the answer, to ensure you're not drifting away from what is being asked.
- Language matters but dont write complicated sentences, do better than medium, dont write Shakespeare thing- I tried previous time
but didnt work
Q. Experts say were supposed to write balanced answershould we drift towards a conclusion? Consider this question asked in GS
Mains paper-2 in 2014, "Do governments schemes for up-lifting vulnerable and backward communities by protecting required social
resources for them, lead to their exclusion in establishing businesses in urban economics?"
Ans. In ethics paper youve to take a stand. In GS2 and GS3 also, If particular question requires, you should give some suggestion /
stand. Example:
The said question on urban economies- it is an opinion based question. Id say whatre the benefits of these schemes, what are the
possible negatives? and does this exclusion happen? Once youve written points, youll know whether it can be generalised conclusionwhether we need to have such schemes or not? This type of questions usually come from government data or committee report, thered
would be opinion in it. You should read such report. youve to give suggestions in such question
Q.If asked about environment vs development in GS3- we can still write the ethical dimensions?
Ans.No need to confine the ethical perspectives only in GS4. You can put ethical perspectives in all papers. Same way in GS4, we can
put economic and social dimensions.
Q.In the Mains answer wordlimit, should we count the flow-chart and mindmaps?
Ans. Question paper clearly says "content of the answer is more important than its length." dont worry about the wordlimit. It could have
been a 150 words or 400 words, no matter as long as the points are concrete. Lets go with rational assumption that a rational evaluator
is going to check your answers.
Theres a gap in our way of studies, were preparing in silos- history, economy, geography but youve to create a world in your head.
Geography is the reason why History happened the way it did, so you cant study in silos anymore.
Q.What mistakes did you make in previous attempts?
Ans. I performed bad in essay paper in first attempt. I could only see the mistake in my approach towards answer-writing after third
attempt. Language matters but I didnt build it within 4 attempts. Ive read over 1500 novels since schooldays. Ive not done any practice
for mains answer writing, however you should do it, it can help.