How to Write Impactful Answers for IAS Mains 2017

How to Write Impactful Answers for IAS Mains 2017

How to Write Impactful Answers for IAS Mains 2017: IAS officer is a dream job for a lot of aspirants looking to serve for their nation. UPSC will conduct its second round of recruitment i.e IAS Mains on 28th October 2017.

The civil services mains exam consists of descriptive types of questions. It focuses on testing the candidate on various levels. It is just not enough to know all the facts and information for each question. What matters is how you are able to understand and attempt the questions in a given time frame. Many candidates get confused while reading questions and as a result their answers do not match the questions’ requirements.

To avoid this confusion, we have come up with this article focusing on How to Write Impactful Answers for IAS Mains 2017.


How to Write Impactful Answers for IAS Mains 2017

Civil Services Examination is one of the most popular examinations. Lakhs of candidates from various backgrounds appear for the examination every year. Due to such fierce competition, a candidate is expected to give his best shot at all levels of the examination.

After clearing the preliminary stage, the most dreaded one is the IAS Mains stage which requires a lot of hard work and an effective preparation strategy. Good answers to descriptive essay type questions need excellent knowledge of the subject

Apart from this, it is very important for the candidates to know the style of answering the questions asked in UPSC mains. The questions will clearly state you to discuss, explain, evaluate, examine, critically examine etc and you should be particularly careful in noting the phrases used in the question and must answer accordingly.

Head over to our next section of How to Write Impactful Answers and learn the meanings of certain terms used in the questions of IAS mains.


How to Write Impactful Answers for the Different Types of Questions

The most important thing to keep in mind is to read the questions carefully. Try to pick out those questions which you are confident about. Then, understand what it demands and how you can frame your answers in a concise and logical manner.

The angle or perspective of the questions differ from each other. The facts remain the same but the presentation differs. Candidates must know the answer writing style for each of the questions asked in the exam. Here, we will explain to you the meaning and application of some of the terms that appear repeatedly in questions of IAS mains exam and how to write impactful answers for the same. Have a look at some:


This means that you must explain the answers in accordance to what, why, where, how etc. You have to present all important points with justification. This term requires you to give detailed explanations of the facts in a concise format.


You have to present all necessary points and need to give explanation one by one for each point. You should not give any type of unnecessary/ irrelevant information.

Elucidate/ Illustrate

This part of the questions requires you to make your content enriching by giving possible examples. You must clear your point by giving intelligent examples for uplifting your content-matter.


This simply means write the definition. A bit of memory helps here as you should try to reproduce verbatim and at least include all possible keywords and phrases which you know are essential parts of that particular definition


You have to check the validity of the statement on the basis of evidences, data etc and at the end you have to give sound judgement.

Critically Examine

If you find the word critically examine anywhere in question then you have to look at the positive and negative aspects of the given topic and at last you have to present sound judgement.

Opinion / Comment / Views:

Whenever your opinion is asked, it should be full of optimism and your answer should be full of zeal and enthusiasm. Give constructive opinions with optimistic, future oriented and progressive ideas. However your opinions should be largely acceptable.

Critically Assess

You have to analyze and judge the topic in detailed manner along with it you have to give your comments and opinions.


Here you have to argue in favour of the theme discussed and write favourable comments as far as possible. In a way, you have to prove the validity of the statement.


It refers to elaborating the statement concerning the questions. You add necessary details as well as examples to make your answer fuller.

Highlight the Salient Features

In this case, you have to write the most important point related to each topic of the question. You can also support your answers with the help of examples. The sole purpose is to highlight the necessary points with apt headlines and explain them in detail.

Contrast / Distinguish

It means write differences not similarities. You can write similarities as well as differences if asked to Compare and Contrast.

Once you know about the types of questions asked in the exam, you must focus on the structure of your answer. Take the time to make a rough outline of what you want to write and in what order you want to present it.

We hope this article provides you with necessary information on How to Write Impactful Answers for IAS Mains 2017. Let us know if you have any doubts or queries in the comments section below. All the Best for UPSC Civil Services Examination 2017. Stay connected for more information regarding UPSC Civil Services Exam Recruitment 2017. To excel in Civil Services Examination, download the Best IAS Exam Preparation App for free.

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