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How to Manage Time UPSC Mains | IAS Answer writing practice
5 January, 2022 0 2555
How to manage time while writing answers in UPSC Mains?

After you receive the Question cum answer booklet and before the bell rings, read the instructions!

· First things first! Read the question paper well. Check if the booklet is printed correctly. If needed,
ask for a replacement.
· Read the question paper. Take a few minutes for this.
· Split the entire time into 3 separate hours. Look into the question paper very well. Divide them into
8 easy questions, 7 average questions, and 5 difficult questions (Considering there are 20 questions).
· Follow the 8-7-5 method. Answer your best known 8 questions during the first hour of the
examination. 7 in the next and the rest 5 in the last hour.
· The well-known questions answered in the first hour should be written with maximum speed.
· Mentally frame answers for all the questions as to how you are going to start the answers. This
should take a few seconds for every question. Practice this well now.
· Follow bullet points where ever possible. Underline the important points using the same pen.
Follow a framework like introduction, headlines, and conclusion for the answer. This will help in
saving time and help with the flow of points.
· Plans inside the exam halls may go wrong and we should have a plan B. In case you feel you have
wrongly read the question in the course of writing answers, don’t panic and waste time. Writing one
wrong answer will not ruin your prospects. Regretting about that and wasting your time may ruin
your chances.
· Never spend so much time only on the answers which you feel strong.
· Always try to incorporate diagrams, flow charts, etc in your answer as this will help you substitute
words and make you convey the essence easily and save time.
· There may be some questions where you do not have even an iota of knowledge. If that is the case,
don’t attempt those questions as you will not get any grace marks. It is a waste of time.
Also,
Have a watch near your paper.
Have enough number of your choice of a pen with you.

How to attain these beforehand :

· Practicing answer writing will make your studying process more refined and exam-oriented.
· As Mains exam mark’s play a dominant role in determining your All India Rank, to crack it one
should practice answer writing every day.
· In the first attempt, you cannot come up with a good answer and this does not mean that after
practicing you can write a perfect answer as there is nothing called a perfect answer. All you have to
do is to understand the question, what answer it requires, and try to write accordingly.
· Ideally, candidates should write answers for Optional, General Studies every day and for essays
once a day.

· You can consider following IAS Parliament which offers questions for daily answer writing practice.
· Joining a Test Series and getting the proper feedback is very important.
· Above all, correcting yourself from the evaluation points and improving those from the next answer
writing is what makes your preparation worthy.



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