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Anticipate which questions the examiner might ask and plan answers for those question. Use notes and assigned readings to formulate questions, remembering that subjective questions test more than one’s memory for basic facts. Typically, examiners want you to demonstrate a clear understanding of major concepts and ideas and to extend and apply that knowledge in the essay answer.

STUDY TIP:  Try creating a brief sentence outline when preparing responses to exam questions. In the outline, focus on the main points that should be included in the response and the specifics that are needed to support each main point.


  1. Before planning or writing an answer, read through the whole exam first.  As you read through the question, jot down any information that comes to mind.
  2.  Budget your time. Make sure you allot roughly the same amount of time to answer each question on the test.  First answer the question that you know best.
  3. Read each question carefully and determine exactly what you are being asked to do.

Underline cue and key worked in the question and any specific writing instructions.

  1. Plan before you write. Take a few minutes to jot down ideas and then structure your answer by creating a brief outline which includes main and supporting points.
  1. Examine the information you have listed and develop a thesis for the essay question.State your thesis in the first sentence and summarise any key points early in the essay. Support generalisations or main points with specific details.
  1. Stay on the topic. Answer only the question asked; don’t wander off in new areas. Most Instructors prefer clear, well-structured answers. They don’t appreciate filler
  2. Allot enough time to reread, revise, and edit all your answers. Carefully read each world you have written and neatly make any corrections needed
  3. To write good answers to essay questions, a writer must clearly understand the meanings of the key words used in the question. If a question asks that you describe an event, then simply relaying background information may satisfactorily answer the question. However, if a question asks that you compare and contrast two historical events, and you simply describe the events, then you have not provided a complete answer to the question. Usually, answers to essay questions only receive complete credit if they directly answer the question that was asked. Therefore, make sure you carefully read each question and understand what it is asking.
  4. Global IAS Mains Mock tests and Writing skill development programme planned on above parameters.

Type of Questions asked in IAS Mains