There is a compulsory Essay Paper in the UPSC Civil Services Main Exam. It carries 250 marks out of the total 1750 in written exam (Main). Since 2014 Main exam candidates have to write essay on two topics among listed topics in 1000-1200 words. Both the Essay carried 125 marks each. Most of the top rankers scores above 55% in this paper. Some candidates have also scored around 60%. Essay paper plays a crucial role in determining the final selection and rank of the candidate.
In 2014 Main exam the final cut-off of general candidate is 678 which is out of 2025(1750 written + 275 interview).
Based on the above data it can be comprehended that it has a weightage of approximately 12 to 15 percent in final selection and can be even as high as 20 percent for written part of Main exam. The essay paper tests the personality of the individual and how he approaches any topic. The Essay topics are very dynamic in orientation. One can write a good essay only when he can comprehend the idea of the topic.
Tips for Writing Essay
First and foremost is allocation of optimum time for both essays that is one and half hours. Further we must allocate judiciously this time among different parts of the essay. Correct choice of topic and the appropriate method of writing are important. The whole essay can be divided into three parts such as Introduction, Body and Conclusion for the sake of analysing.
The beginning of the essay should consist of the “Introduction” which briefly introduces the topic and set stage for detail discussion in the body part. The body primarily incorporates the detail information and takes all the aspects into consideration. The last part of an essay is conclusion which envisages summation of topic along with candidate’s final call on the topic and its efficacy.
The Essay is a reflection of the candidate’s personality and his thinking and comprehending powers. It is not a collection of facts and figures only but a interrelated flow of Ideas and perception. The essay should include the past, present and the future of all the related aspects of the topic. The candidate should relate the topic with its Historical, Geographical, Economical, Social, Environmental and other important dimensions. The candidates can also incorporate the what, why, how, where and the likes in the essay to explain it in a comprehensive way.
The conclusion should always be a on a futuristic and positive note. The candidates can use the solution given in the government documents and reports. The candidates can also use the famous proverbs for ending the Essay with an addition of Spark in it. The candidate can also suggest new ideas, different solution of a persisting problem and the links. The conclusion should show the problem solving capabilities of the candidate.
Word limit, as specified, should be adhered to otherwise it will have a negative impact. Before you start writing the essay on the topic you choose from the list, the following points should be kept in mind:
• Before starting your essay writing do a little brainstorming
• Focus on understanding the topic in its totality
• Jot down all the points coming to your mind on a rough page
• Start the essay with realistic approach and end with optimistic approach
• Incorporate Quotations of famous personalities
• If you can explain something better with the help of a diagram you should draw and explain; it would fetch you good marks
• Always conclude the essay with a positive note