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How to Prepare for Essay Paper in UPSC 2021?

Updated on 08 February 2021
UPSC & State PSC
6 min read 6 views
Updated on 08 February 2021

UPSC is the most prestigious exam that aspirants give in order to become an IAS. The level of this exam is quite tough and not many aspirants clear this exam on their first attempt. Many of them either enroll for offline or online UPSC courses and try to boost their preparation. Aspirants should know that in order to prepare for the UPSC mains paper (general studies section) it is important to give special attention to Essay writing. 

The Essay paper is a scoring section in the entire mains paper where aspirants are given the freedom to choose any two topics out of eight topics which are given as an option. Aspirants have to write essays on any two topics in a duration of three hours. Note that the marks allotted to each essay topic are 125 marks and the word count should vary between 1000-1200 words each. 

In this article, we have curated some tips that will help you to score the best marks in your essay paper. 

Reading is Necessary 

The most effective way to prepare for the Essay paper is to refer to as many articles, magazines, newspapers, etc as you can. Reading is very essential as you have to carefully observe the way of writing of other talented and professional writers. You can also refer to the various materials posted on the internet to know the style of writing good and effective content. Apart from this, you can also take help from various NDA courses that will help you to prepare for the Essay section easily. 

Note down whatever you learn 

Aspirants should note down whatever they learn on a daily basis. Make a note of the important words and their meaning. You must get a hold of the overall language by knowing the correct vocabulary and grammar. So by writing the difficult words that you have come across, you will be able to improve your language skills and use those words effectively in your essay. 

Know the Structure & Language 

A proper structure is very necessary when it comes to writing a good essay. Note that while checking the essay papers, invigilators prefer those essay that looks neat, well written and has a structure. The highest scoring essays are those who possess these combinations. So, start by deciding the structure of your essay, for example, generally, the structure should start with your introduction followed by the main body and then the conclusion. 

Tips & Tricks to crack UPSC 2021 Exam in your First attempt

Apart from the structure, focus on the language and the tone used. Always use simple and neutral language rather than using an aggressive and negative tone. Your essay should revolve around real-life examples and should be to the point. You can also take up UPSC online coaching if you feel that you need more practice and guidance to prepare for this paper. Online coaching will provide you with rigorous practice sessions and will evaluate you from time to time. 

Practice Important Essay Topics 

Each year there are some common topics that UPSC provides in the Essay paper. Candidates must choose the topics wisely and only those that they are able to write. We are providing some important and common topics that are asked by UPSC each year. Candidates should refer to the below-mentioned topics to prepare for their upcoming UPSC exam. 

  1. Economic sector 
  2. Education 
  3. Judiciary 
  4. Media & Society 
  5. Democracy 
  6. Administration
  7. Environment 
  8. Indian culture & society 
  9. Social justice 
  10. Character 
  11. Philosophy 
  12. Poverty/organization 

Take help from Mentors 

To know whether you are on the right path, it is necessary to take constant guidance from mentors. You can either take offline or online coaching and prepare for your UPSC exams. However, online coaching will give you an edge over offline coaching because of the flexibility and low cost that comes with online coaching. Candidates have to keep certain things in mind before choosing good online coaching as your entire UPSC preparation will depend on it. Refer to some of the important points to remember while choosing the best online coaching for IAS below. 

How to choose the Best Online Coaching for UPSC 2021? 

While choosing the best online coaching for UPSC 2021, candidates should compare the benefits and pricing that is offered by that particular coaching with the others. Along with this, they should check the study materials that are offered by the coaching as you need clear and concise study materials that are available according to the latest UPSC syllabus. Candidates should also check the type of lecture delivery and guidance that the coaching offers. 

Some additional things to keep in mind:

  1. Write a great introduction paragraph that urges the invigilator to further read your essay with full focus and interest. 
  2. Try to score above 100 marks in both essays as that is considered one of the best scores for your essay paper. 
  3. UPSC can give very low marks to poorly written essays i.e. they can give zero marks as well. 
  4. Essays are very scoring in nature so make sure to give enough amount of time to this section daily by practicing at least for an hour or so. 
  5. Take help from previous year’s question papers and observe the type of essays asked in the examination so you can get a fair idea about the topics and you can prepare accordingly. 

To conclude, candidates often make the mistake to neglect the essay paper but in reality, you can score very less marks if not prepared properly for this section. You must understand that thorough practice is necessary while approaching this section. As we mentioned above, you can also take the help of UPSC online coaching and boost your preparation. Remember to write in a simple yet interesting way and use real-life examples in your essay. By doing so, you can surely ace this section with good marks. All the best to all the UPSC aspirants.

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