APSC Mains Answer Writing Techniques, Strategy & Tips – How to write better answers

APSC Mains Exam Answer Writing Techniques, Strategy & Tips 

How to write better answers in APSC Mains 2018

APSC Mains Answer writing tecnhique strategy tips

APSC Mains exam questions are of descriptive nature and these should be attempted by keeping in mind the various  requirements of the questions, including instructed word limit, approach to the question, demand of the question.

You have to ‘analyze and evaluate’ the question and then write the answer accordingly in prescribed manner. Only by practicing Answer writing with discipline can prepare you for the exam and improve your writing skills for better answer writing in the Mains Exam.


What to do after getting the Question paper?
  1. Read the instructions on the question paper, for any changes from that of previous year’s instructions.
  2. Take 5 minutes to fast-scan the whole question paper, mark the questions by pencil which you are comfortable answering.
  3. Start with big questions – Read the question carefully. Find the directive word and the main topic/issue.
  4. Think for a minute and make a mental outline of your answer and then start with the answer writing.


Tips/Strategy to write better Answers (to fetch good marks in APSC Mains exam)
  1. Understanding the question – Understand what the question ask, so that you can write only relevant points and opinion to the same. ( Never beat around the bush, if you know the exact answer ).
  2. Organise Answers well – Answers should be organised well according to the question. If Question is in many parts, try to break answers also in parts or at-least put it in the logical order of the question.
  3. Use important points and keywords – This will establish your strength the subject/topic. 
  4. Maintain the word limit – This is very important. Always try to stick to the word limits directed by the question paper.
    If word limit not mentioned, generally try to put answers in (Marks x 10) words, i.e. for 10 Marks = 100 words.
  5. Dividing the Answers – For large essay type questions, try to impart sections like introduction, body, conclusion
  6. Point-wise – Try to keep answers in point-wise like bullet-listing ( if possible) and facts that support their viewpoint or main argument in the answer.
  7. Logical Flow – Try to maintain a logical flow of the paragraphs you are writing, so that the order of the paragraphs gives a good coherence. 
  8. Simple & Precise – Use simple words, write precise and effective answer. Don’s use too many jargon or flowery/ornamental language. Don’t just dump the facts and never try exhibit superfluous knowledge.


Answer Structure
  1. Introduction – A short introduction is a must for big questions (Qs with 8 marks and above). This part gives brief about what the answer is about. Skip or give just one line intro in Qs of 5 and 2 marks.
  2. Body – Start writing the main answer based on the directive word of the question. Put all contents, arguments etc. in few small paragraphs, in an orderly fashion.
  3. Conclusion – The introduction and all the paragraphs should lead to a logical conclusion.


Types of questions asked in APSC Mains Exam
  • Elaborate: In this type of question candidates are required to explain in details the main point/concept in question in detail. Don’t give your personal views.
  • Discuss: Candidates should go through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. They have to pros and cons by giving reasons for both.
  • Elucidate: They are required to make the question clear or explain or elaborate in detail. Candidates’ views on the matter are not required in this type of questions.
  • Examine: Candidates have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Analyse the main idea of the question and try to provide a balanced view.
  • Critically Examine: Candidates have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Analyse the main idea of the question and associated merits and demerits and try to give a fair judgement.
  • Express your views: This type of questions require candidates’ unique perspective. Candidates show express their clear views supported with relevant facts.
  • Comment and Critically Comment: Candidates have to pick main points and give his/her own ‘opinion’, may be for or against, but must be backed by argument or evidences.
    If the word is ‘Critically comment’, then at the end you have to provide a fair judgement.
  • Analyze and Critically Analyze: Examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.
    If the word is ‘Critically Analyze’, then at the end you have to provide a fair judgement.
  • Evaluate: Candidates have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given topic based on evidences. You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question.
  • Compare: Discuss the similarities and differences between two or more things. Also explain why the comparison is useful.
  • Define:: What something means or does or how we know it.
  • Describe: You should provide a detailed account of the topic/issue. List out it’s characteristics.
  • Explain: Explain why or how something happened and justify it.
  • Express your views: It requires candidates’ unique perspective, either positive or negative, and supporting the logical stance with facts and reasoning.

Disclaimer: The above mentioned views/opinions are of Adhikary Education team’s recommendation. If any/some aspirants have different ideas/approach/style, which works for well for them, they may stick to that if they wish.


Answer Writing Practice Question ( Set 1 – 26) Page – Click Here

This initiative is created to motivate serious APSC Assam civil service aspirants to practise  answer writing  to improve performance in the APSC CC (Mains) Exam. Questions covering mostly of dynamic sections of  GS syllabus are posted regularly. Learners please write the answers and review others’ answer, which will ultimately improve the answer writer, reviewer and most importantly the answer itself.


Test Series will be of immense help to help you prepare for the GS Paper of Mains Exam.

APSC mains 2018 test series GS & Optional Paper