IAS Topper Shares Strategy to Ace the Essay Paper In UPSC CSE Exam

This article is a story of Nishant Jain, who was a pass-out of the 2015 IAS Examination. This young IAS officer has an amusing anecdote to share that would surely inspire all the readers. Besides holding an All India Rank of 13 in the IAS Examination, he has been credited with maximum marks in the essay writing paper. He has bagged an M.Phil degree in Hindi Literature from Delhi University and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He completed his Public Administration degree from Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA). Best known for being an author of ‘All About UPSC Civil Services Exam,’ this man has helped many prepare for this competitive Examination with this UPSC Examination preparation book. 

Even though Nishant is an IAS topper, but he has extended his helping hands to many aspirants who look forward to passing this prestigious Examination with high scores. Therefore, his strategies that one can use while writing the essay paper have been immensely beneficial. According to the Union Public Service Commission’s syllabus, there can be varied topics on which candidates might be asked to write the essays. However, the candidate’s job is to stay close to the subject as much as possible and emphasize properly arranging the ideas. Another important thing that candidates should consider is to write precise paragraphs when it comes to essay writing. The essays that are written concisely get the maximum scores and the best credits. 

According to Nishant, when it comes to writing essays in the writing paper, you need to stay connected to the topic. Firstly, you need to understand the subject and its basic idea, and it will help you to remain focused. Also, presenting your essay using an organized structure is crucial; it can help you get the best scores!

Writing the essay in the Examination is not an easy task and can be a daunting experience. However, Nishant has laid down the following rules to help you stay on track and write perfect and concise essays.

1. The flow:

While writing an essay, your primary focus should be on how to catch the examiner’s attention. Grabbing attention is not a simple task, and it can only be possible if your essay has a natural flow. Good essays are always written in an orderly manner. They are presented in sequence so that all the events are mentioned following a definite order. Hence, while attempting the essay, it is crucial to locate the interrelated ideas and follow a sequence while writing it. As you will write one paragraph, the flow of the next section should be exceptionally smooth. Hence, well-structured and well-sequenced paragraphs will allow you to move on to the next paragraph. According to Nishant, the examiner must have a clear view while going through your essay. All his answers should be answered, and there should be no questions in his mind. Regular writing practice of essays will help one to become an expert in writing well-structured and seamless essays. 

2. Comprehensive View of the Essay:

According to Nishant, it is always better to go with the middle path while attempting essays as taking the extreme sides are not credited with the best scores. Hence, the thumb rule is to write, keeping both sides in mind, and writing the broader version of the essay. It is good to ignore the narrow points and write taking the middle path for a more powerful impact. Looking at the topic through one prism is not the right thing to do; exploring the different aspects, including social, political, economic, philosophical, historical, and environmental, must be considered while writing the essays. Therefore, covering comprehensive elements will give you more opportunities to earn credits for your essay.

3. Sharing your opinion that can earn respect

: It is also advised to look at the essay from the point of totality. Focusing on only one aspect will make your essay narrow; it will become one-dimensional. It is essential to respect other opinions and share the composition in an orderly manner. Writing about your idea will not attract the examiner and hence does not guarantee the best scores. Therefore, while writing the essay, focus on all the aspects, and take care of the overall point of view. 

4. Pay attention to the introductory and concluding paragraph:

The first and concluding paragraph should be made as strong as possible. Although there is no definite rule to construct the introduction and conclusion; however, the following points can be kept in mind when it comes to writing these paragraphs:Some writers include statistics while some write quotes. Some include facts or short stories. No matter what you pick up, it is crucial to keep in mind that it should go with the essay’s flow. 

The conclusion must be written tactfully so that the overall paragraph is well-balanced, and it should capture the attention of the examiner’s mind. 

5. Style of Writing and Presenting the Essay:

It is vital to spend some good time on your essay so that it looks good. Also, keep in mind to write the essay in readable handwriting; otherwise, it would be difficult for the examiner to follow. 

The following points are to be remembered when it comes to presenting the essay: 

  • Use small and precise paragraphs
  • Reduce grammatical errors
  • Write using simple vocabulary
  • Write using good handwriting
  • Highlight the main points in the essay

6. Use quotations depending on the context:

As per Nishant, it is essential to use quotes depending on the essay’s context. It should be included in such a way so that it suits the essay topic and should not seem like imposed. Also, refrain from using controversial sentences.

7. Topic Selection:

You will surely win half the battle if you choose the topic prudently. Hence, it depends on the right selection of the topic. Nishant feels that one should go for a topic that he knows well and has knowledge of it. Being familiar with the topic gives you an extra edge and makes you write better essays. According to Nishant, he chose a topic that he had a piece of proper knowledge and better understanding. So, if you are familiar with the topic and have a good understanding, there’s nothing like it. 

Things that one should do and things that one should refrain from doing while writing the essay: 

  • It is imperative to build a habit of regular reading, writing, and discussing. Maintain this habit and practice well before you sit for the Examination.
  • When it comes to writing, there is no other way but to practice. So, you can get better if you carry on with the writing. If you write essays every week, it will help you enhance your writing. It is vital to get your essays evaluated every week.
  • Another way using which you can improve your writing is by participating in group discussions. It will improve your comprehension skills and help you to think or brainstorm and keep you engaged.
  • Preparation is a vital part, and nobody can skip homework if you have to fare good marks. Believe in yourself, and keep preparing. Also, stay positive throughout.
  • Managing time is valuable; pay attention to it. As it is mandatory to attempt both essays in one paper hence devoting and managing the time is crucial.
  • Exceeding the word limit will waste time as you do not get any additional credit for that.

Nishant Jain is known for taking up a government job in Group C and then passing out Group B and finally cracking the UPSC Examination that helped him to reach Group A. 

His advices are excellent, and he has shared them with other aspirants to help them excel too! 

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