How to Write Best Answers to IAS Main Questions?

How to Write Best Answers to IAS Main 2020 Questions

Everyone loves to read answers which are well presented, has a systematic flow of ideas, and the right grammar-syntax. IAS Exam is no exceptions. But if you want to get your answers the best, here are a few helpful insights.

Follow the Basic Rules of Formal English

There is always a tendency to write answers in colloquial language because English is not our First language. IAS exam has no regard for this common error. A conscious effort is necessary to follow the Basic rules of formal English. IAS exam is known for being exceptionally competitive, average language skills cannot help to stand in the competition. Thus, along with strong command over the English Language, adhering to the rules while writing answers is highly essential to be at the forefront of success.

Here are a few must-know basic rules of formal English: 

Rule#1: Before any Abbreviation give the Full Form

Like any other writing, IAS answers need to follow the basic rule of providing the complete context of an abbreviation. The full form should be accompanied by the abbreviation within the brackets. Here is an example:

#Wrong: IAS is the most sought offices in Indian government.

#Right:  Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the most sought offices in Indian government. 

Rule#2: Avoid using shortened or informal words

IAS answers have no place for shortened words or informal words which we are used to conversing in the text messages over the social media. Make your words refined and suited to the formal grammar rules.

Here are a few examples: 

Wrong Right
yrs Years
Avg. Average
Plz please

Rule#3: Avoid Random Capitalization

As per the syntax of writing any sentences, capitalization starts at the beginning word of a sentence, the use of “I”, and on proper nouns. It is an error to capitalize each word of the sentence or as per the whims in IAS answers.

Here is an example: 

#Wrong: “Honesty Is The Best Policy.”

#Right:  “Honesty is the best policy.”

Here the word “Honesty” needs to be capitalized.

Rule#4: Avoid Verbose and Passive Language

The use of passive language lengthens the sentences. It shows verbosity. Hence, IAS answers should be bereft of Verbosity and the constant use of Passive language.

Here is an example:

 #Poor: Primary motive for this is the fact that humans are irrational sometimes.

#Better:  Primary motive is humans are irrational sometimes. 

Rule#5: Subject Verb Agreement/Use of Plural Terms

Make sure to put the right verbs in the sentences.

Here is an example:

#Wrong: None of the factors is relevant.

#Right:  None of the factors are relevant. 

Rule#6: Section and Article

If you are writing about the constitution use ‘Article’. For instance: Article 21 of the Indian Constitution says, “No person…..”

If you are citing from a Law, use ‘Section’. For instance: Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) declares… 

How to Write Introduction to IAS Mains Questions?

The introduction is the first impression which gives to the invigilator. A poor introduction sets off the reader, no matter how much worthy the other pages have. Here are 3 steps to get the best introduction to your answers to IAS Mains Questions: 

Step1: Introduction through Definition

Here are a few examples:

  1. Q. Discuss the rationale for introducing Good and Services Tax in India.

Your Answer: Introduction: [Definition] Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a destination-based indirect tax on consumption.

Begin your answer with the Definition.

Step2: Introduction through Origin

Here is an example:

  1. Should there be a time limit specified for the president to accept/reject the petitions for commuting death sentences? Analyze

Your Answer: Introduction: (Origin) Article 72 of the Constitution empowers the President of India to grant pardons to convicted persons. 

Step3: Introduction through Data

Here is an example:

  1. Q. Critically examine whether a growing population is the cause of poverty in India or vice versa.

Your answer: (Data) India is home to over 120 billion people, 23% who live below the poverty line or India is Home to one-sixth of humanity. 

How to write the Body of the answer to IAS Mains Questions?

The next part of the exposition of the answer consists of the body of the answer. Depending upon the type of question, you can split the body of the answer:

  • Write the Background-Historic Origin/Present Circumstance/ Future Roadmap
  • Write the Nature of Problem/Action Taken/Further reforms
  • Write the Positive-Pro arguments/Negative-Anti-arguments.
  • Write through Direct bullets points/list items

How to write the Conclusion to IAS Mains Questions?

Not many cares to write the Conclusion well. Just like the introduction, or the body of the answer, the conclusion has its own importance. Here is an outline on how to write the conclusion to IAS Mains Questions.

  1. If the question has the Keywords like discuss, narrate, describe, elaborate, chronological, elucidate, substantiate, enumerate, outline, compare-contrast, distinguish- the conclusion just need to be a summary of the ideas expressed in the body of the answer.
  2. If the question has the keywords like, justify, reason, explain, discuss critically, comment, examine, evaluate, analyze, the critically analyze-the conclusion should be a finding of the elements of positive, negative, agree or disagree.

Disha Publication brings you some of the sample questions which were asked in the previous years of IAS exam. Write and evaluate yourself by answering these questions.


1. Assess the importance of the accounts of the Chinese and Arab travelers in the reconstruction of the History of India. (Answer in 150 words) 10 (2018)
2. Discuss whether the formation of new states in recent times is beneficial or not for the economy of India. ( Answer in 250 words) 15 (2018)
3. Mention the advantages of the cultivation of pulses because of which the year 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by United Nations. (150 words) 10 (2017)
4. The women’s questions arose in modern India as a part of the 19th-century social reform movement. What are the major issues and debates concerning women in that period? (250 words) 15 (2017)


1. In the light of the recent controversy over the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (Answer in 150 words) 10 (2018)
2. Why do you think the committees are considered to be useful for Parliamentary work? Discuss, in this context the role of the Estimate Committee. (Answer in 150 words) 10 (2018)
3. The local self-government system in India has not proved to be an effective instrument of governance”. Critically examine the statement and give your views to improve the situation. (Answer in 150 words) 10 (2017)
4. The question of India’s Energy Security constitutes the most important part of India’s economic progress. Analyze India’s energy policy cooperation with West Asian Countries. (Answer in 250 words) 15 (2017)


1. Examine the role of supermarkets in supply chain management of fruits, vegetables, and food items. How do they eliminate a number of intermediaries? (Answer in 150 words) 10 (2018)
2. Assess the role of National Horticulture Mission (NHM) in boosting the production, productivity, and income of horticulture farms. How far has it succeeded in increasing the income of farmers? (Answer in 250 words) 15 (2018)
3. Account for the failure of the manufacturing sector in achieving the goal of labor-intensive exports. Suggest measures for more labor-intensive rather than capital-intensive exports. (Answer in 150 words) 10 (2017)
4. What are the major reasons for declining rice and wheat yield in the cropping system? How crop diversification is helpful to stabilize the yield of the crops in the system? (Answer in 250 words) 15 (2017)

Note: Stay tuned, we’ll share the solutions of above questions soon..!

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