The general notion is that most of those students who clear the civil services examination are from science background. And here is a list of advantages to a science student.

1.You have not lost the habit of preparing for exams and working hard.

2.You have been used to writing crisp, short and accurate answers.

3.You should have imbibed the skill of presenting your answers well.


When you prepare for mains ,your target should be to score maximum marks with the optimum preparation.

At the face of it ,it might look like GS preparation will help you score more marks. Hence,many students start GS preparation first and try to complete it . However ,the syllabus is so vast that they never feel they have completed.

However ,I would suggest you to start and complete your optional paper preparation first. Please look into the marksheets of few 2014 toppers .They have scored as much in 2 optional papers as all the 4 GS papers put together.

Also,dont take the essay paper lightly and just face it on the day of exams .Look how the toppers essay scores have helped them in scoring really well.
Practise atleast 5 essays and get them evaluated.


Answer writing practise should start from the past question papers .90% of the candidates who take up mains know the same information as you know .But still, only around 3000 candiditates make it to the interview .Why is it so ?

Its not what you know,but what you write and how you write .


Tip 1. Answer the question completely. Read the question twice to understand ,what all is asked.

Foreign direct investment in the defence sector is now said to be liberalized. What influence this is expected to have on Indian defence and economy in the short and long run?

(GS Paper 3,2014)

In this question ,you have to answer two parts –

a)Impact of FDI in defence .

b)Impact on economy .

Also ,in both the parts ,you should write about “short run” and “long run” perspective.

Tip 2. Understand what is exactly asked .Do not write whatever you know in the topic without understanding what is asked.

While we flaunt India’s demographic dividend, we ignore the dropping rates of employability. What are we missing while doing so? Where will the jobs that India desperately needs come from? Explain.

(GS Paper 3,2014)

The moment you see “demographic dividend”,do not start writing about it . Read the question again. The question is refering to the unemployability of the demographic dividend. Thereby refering to skill development of the demographic dividend. Now connect the two and write your answer.

Also ,dont miss the second part of the question on “where will the jobs come from”.

Tip3.Use key words and phrases

Though the federal principle is dominant in our Constitution and that principle is one of its basic features, but it is equally true that federalism under the Indian Constitution leans in favour of a strong Centre, a feature that militates against the concept of strong federalism. Discuss.

(GS Paper 2,2014)

Use key words related to the question like cooperative federalism,bargaining federalism,etc.This will add weight to your answer.

Tip 4. Manage your time for each answer properly.

Every paper of GS requires you to answer 20/25 questions. Hence , do not spend too much time on one particular answer because you know it too well /you are not able to generate points .And dont spend time too much time to write introduction /conclusion in the GS papers.

Tip 5. Present the answer well .

Keep this in mind .An examiner has to evaluate a lot of sheets along with yours,on a single day . How will you make the examiner feel your answer is better ? How will you make it easy for him to give you marks ?

Its possible when you write legibly,make use of charts/diagrams/subheadings/maps .

Donot write at a stretch.Break into paragraphs/ subheadings /bullet points .Follow according to the needs of the question.

Tip 6. Use relevant facts/data to substantiate your answer.

Instances of President’s delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions? Analyse.

(GS Paper 2,2014)

To substantiate your argument in the above answer, you should quote instances of Supreme Court ruling ,Bhullar case ,Constitutional provisions on death penalty,etc .This will give more validity to the answer.

Tip7. Practise Answer writing.

Practise .Practise .Practise .Thats the only way !

Take up mock tests and monitor your performance 🙂
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