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The Importance of Essay In UPSC Civil Services Exam

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  • Published
    20th Aug, 2021

WRITING ability is a fine combination of skill and art; but essay writing for Civil Services Examination requires something more. It requires a mastery over current facts and information backed by skill to write precisely and cogently for three long hours. Perhaps, the UPSC essay writing wants to ensure amongst the selected candidates writing skills as well. For this reason, Essay writing Paper was reintroduced in 1993. But it is not necessary that English is the only language which could test the writing abilities of a candidate. Therefore, the Satish Chandra Committee recommended a compulsory paper in essay writing of 200 marks, either in English or in any one of the ‘Indian Languages’ included in the eighth schedule of the constitution.

In the opinion of the Committee, main examination will bring out not only the candidate’s linguistic skills but also his knack for comprehension and critical analysis, and quality of his integrated thinking, assimilation of ideas and clarity of expression.

To ensure uniformity of standards, the evaluation of the answer scripts of the Essay Paper should take into account:

  1. Comprehension
  2. Originality of thought
  3. Clarity of expression and
  4. Integrated thinking with assimilation of ideas

In order to overcome the problem of lack of uniformity of standard, evaluation of the answer scripts in the answer paper will be done by two independent examiners. In this system the marks scored by a candidate should be the mean of the two scores.

For Instance: Mirant Parikh (AIR 67, CSE 2016) Essay Copy

Click Here for Full copy

Candidates will be required to write an Essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay, to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

It is clear now, that what qualities are to be tested in a candidate through the essay writing paper. Therefore, your aim should be to attempt the essays, keeping these requirements in mind.

Whatever be the reasons for introduction of essay writing paper in the UPSC IAS Mains, it cannot be denied that writing or Essay Writing is a skill necessary for Civil Services Aspirants.

Best Essay Writing Strategy By: Mirant Parikh, IAS


Style & ability

There are several other scholastic abilities that may well be reflected through an essay. As no two individuals are exactly the same, so no sets of essay  writing by two individuals could be exactly the same. Thus, writing style is entirely individualistic and reflective of an individual’s personality. Most of the students are under the impression that writing an essay in the UPSC Examination should have an ornamental style, lot of hard words and expressions, full of quotes etc. However, this is far from true. A deliberate attempt to make your essay ornamental, flowery and tough could even be disastrous. Maximum mistakes in some one’s essay writing occur when the personal style or natural style is discarded. A good writing should reflect analytical and logical abilities. It will indicate whether you are able to assimilate your ideas or not and the most important of all, it will also indicate whether you have sufficient information or not, especially in the topics which require factual inputs. In the UPSC exam there will be several topics, including the topics of factual nature from which one has to choose just one topic.

The essay writing paper is, therefore, intended to serve as the testing case, over and above the academic and subject tests. The generalist officers should be able to express themselves clearly, coherently and logically on a wide range of topics - imaginative, descriptive or factual. That is why the essay writing has been re-introduced in the civil services examination conducted by the UPSC.


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