Updated on: Friday, January 07, 2022, 10:30 AM IST

FPJ-Ed: What to expect from UPSC Mains Essay?

Representative Image
 | Pexels

Representative Image | Pexels


Today, January 7, is the first day for the Mains exam by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). UPSC Mains is to take place on the following dates - 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, and 16 January.

The first paper is the Essay paper, which holds 250 marks. Free Press Journal spoke to a few experts in the field for some tips for the paper and the formula for writing the essay and the scoring pattern.

Academic head from Elite IAS Academy, Delhi, Mr. Arpit Adlakha, said that “as part of the essay paper, one should write two essays out of four topics. Each essay should be 1000-1200 words. The topics UPSC asks are based on current events.” He cited a few examples to make it clearer.

In 2015, APJ Abdul Kalam Passed away. UPSC asked a question based on a quote by him.

In 2016, GST was introduced. UPSC then framed a topic around it.

In the same year, there was a conflict between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka regarding the Kaveri river. UPSC asked that too.

Hot topics for this year can be the following

  1. Healthcare system of India

  2. Crossing 100 crore vaccinations

  3. Farm laws

  4. Position of India at the global level

Additionally, there could be topics based on statements. The candidates can be given one-liners or a phrase, and they must write an essay based on them. In 2019, one section was dedicated to statement-based questions. “However, they will only be part of a larger section this year,” informed experts.

Hot topics for this year can be the following-

  1. History

  2. Ethics

  3. Philosophy

  4. Art, culture

Apart from these, UPSC also covers technological, scientific, ethical, environmental, and political.

How to write a better essay?

The essay should be more informative than creative and should be appropriately framed. In UPSC or any other competitive exams, the essay papers prove how well planned you are and how well you execute your thoughts. So, you have to write 1000-1200 words aptly.

Essay can be written in the following ways-

  1. Form a blueprint of your idea first

  2. Make sure the flow is smooth

  3. Make sure the reader does not feel disconnected

  4. Make sure to use technical words, not fancy

  5. Start with a brief history and then the information

  6. Focus on the statistics

What scores to expect for the essay?

UPSC never gives 250 for an essay. 50% of 250 marks is a decent figure to score. The highest a candidate can score is 140-160 marks.

All the best!

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Published on: Friday, January 07, 2022, 10:30 AM IST