Essay Paper often scores an edge over all others in getting you a good rank. It’s so because if you have a flair for writing, apart from a tight grip over the subject you are writing on, you may score well in the Essay Paper. And as a result, you obviously get more of the time to prepare for the Optional Subject and the GS papers.
There are quite a few who are gifted with a natural flair for writing and know it well how to present their knowledge on almost any subject in a logically convincing manner. But Essay writing skills may also be cultivated with a little effort.
And it should not be taken for granted that you are going to write the Essays in the IAS Exam. Thus, frequent practice is required. Besides, a proper evaluation of your efforts is also essential. IAS Test Series and more specifically, the Essay Test Series may be of a considerable help as you not only get to write more of the Essays frequently, but you would also be getting to know what kind of the writing skills are required to write a highly scoring Essay for the IAS exam? Thus, attempting the IAS Essay Test Series as frequently as possible is highly essential.
It can be argued that Prelims Test Series are not to be ignored either, but it’s the Mains where the score is going to matter, thereby moving your rank higher. However, that is definitely not to say, that you shouldn’t spare time for the IAS Prelims Test Series for Prelims is the qualifying exam.
How to Develop the Essay Writing Skills?
Acquiring Essay writing skills, like any other expertise, requires a little effort. And it is to be continuously kept in mind that you are not going to practice Essay writing as a hobby, but to score well in the IAS Exam. Thus, the skill is to be gained in a manner so that you finally write the Essay in the Exam that UPSC approves of, providing you with an excellent score.
Here are a few tips that will help you develop the right kind of the Essay writing skills for scoring well and ranking higher in the IAS Exam.
Keep An Essay Notebook Ready: Even if you are preparing for the subjects other than the Essay Paper, it’s good sense to keep an Essay Notebook Ready on your study table. Take down the details that you come across (while say, studying for the GS or the Optional Subject), that you feel might be well utilized while attempting the Essay Paper in the Exam. Your list of the relevant details that you choose to write down might include:
- Case studies,
- Government schemes and initiatives,
- Facts and figures, etc., that you can use in the essay paper.
You may very well quote Kofi Annan concerning gender equality while writing an Essay that needs to focus on any of the issues that result from some kind of the gender bias. Similarly, the details from the Mckinsey report may be referred to while talking of India’s potential GDP in 2025 in an Essay that requires you to discuss India’s economy. Besides, quoting and stating the facts serves to support your point and your Essay gets more convincing to UPSC!
- Keep Your Knowledge of the Current Affairs Continuously Updated: Your alert and aware mind can contribute well while co-relating a socio-economical issue or for that matter, any subject/topic that you have been writing an Essay on with the Current Affairs in a relevant and logically convincing manner. Reading Newspapers daily may be of a great help. For example, the news, or say, article cum news that reveals important details of the Karnataka government’s Bhoomi Program can be of considerable help to you while you write an Essay based on the agriculture and the computerized land records.
It’s also advisable to read the books written by the prominent scholars, say Amartya Sen, to support your Essay with facts and case studies concerning Indian economy. Similarly, knowledge gained about Polity, Environment can also be put to good use to make your Essays convincing on the co-related topics.
- Practice, Practice and Practice: Once you feel that you have gained sufficient knowledge to write upon a relevant topic, practice writing the Essay. This is highly important. Finally, when it comes to write the Essay in the Exam, you would be required to write 2 Essays. Do not be in a hurry to choose the topic.
You will soon discover it for yourself that the more you practice writing the Essays, the more comfortable you would get with the process of writing. As a result, you would enjoy an excellent knack for Mains Essay writing. It’s bound to be highly beneficial when you finally write the Essay in the IAS Exam.
You will find that you will naturally spend 10 minutes or so, choosing the topic of the Essay in a highly careful manner. Thus, you would contemplate all the details, facts, data, charts, graphs, quotes etc., with a cool mind rather than beginning to write impulsively. When you write in an impulsive manner, it shows off in your writing. The mind that works impulsively is far from being alert and aware. And a good IAS officer must be absolutely alert and aware and far from being impulsive!
So, it’s best to keep practicing so that you school your mind to stay relaxed, choose the topic carefully, contemplate all your thoughts well and finally write the Essay that presents you as a potential administrator to the UPSC. And that’s what that counts!
And last, but not the least, it’s best to stay unprejudiced. You may opt for an excellent Essay style, the one you prefer as far as it has a logical beginning, middle and end. Conclude in a logically convincing manner. Use quotes, details, facts, and even charts etc. Make a logically suitable use of your knowledge.
But, apart from all your well-gained knowledge, your awareness of all the Current affairs and a highly alert mind, do not forget that you have to stay unprejudiced (as already said earlier)! A prejudiced mind cannot be just to all! And hence, can’t make a good administrator. Take care of all these qualities and you will find for yourself that your score would enable you score better and rank higher.