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Essay Test Series - CS (Mains) 2017 - Santhosh

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Essay Strategy


Santhosh B M

Rank 307, CSE 2016


Essay Score: 159/250

(This is the highest score, as we have come across, in the Essay paper in CSE 2016)


Here I would like to share my essay strategy. Before I would explain my strategy it is necessary to understand the importance of essay, even though it has similar weightage (250 Marks) as other GS subjects and Optional the scope for getting high marks is more in essay. And also here the variation of marks is also very high. Hence it plays very important role in ones selection or rejection. So clear focus and strategy is needed to score good marks in essay.


Coming to the strategy first the selection of one essay among four is very important in each section. Here you need to be careful and take sometime before deciding the topic. The selection of topic should be such that you have sufficient knowledge about the topic and have multi dimensional view . Usually science topics are preferred over philosophical topics, but you can chose any topic which one feels comfortable with.


The first part of the essay is Introduction. I usually divided Introduction into two parts one is introduction to the given topic and second introduction to my essay i.e hint of what I am going to write in my essay. For the first part of introduction it is better to start with a quote relevant to the topic, then explain the meaning of topic and its relevance in present world. As mentioned earlier second part give a brief introduction or insights into how you are going to explain the topic with multi dimensional view.


Second part is the body of essay here one should show his/her critical thinking. Various aspects of topics should be critically analyzed by highlighting both pros and cons and also providing innovative solution to the problems. Giving solution is very important and one must always provide solution to the negative aspects highlighted. For multidimensional view I usually used to think in terms of all the four GS papers that is to say, in GS Paper 1 we have History, Society and Geography, in paper 2 Polity, International relations, paper 3 is mainly about Economy ,Environment and Technology and paper 4 about Ethics. So one can think in these many aspects and take those aspects which is very relevant to the given topic.


While writing in different aspects one should always take care that it is not deviating from the central theme of the essay. Structure of essay is also important, there should be continuity from one paragraph to another. In each of aspects you should give both positives and negatives and also solution to overcome the negatives. Here supporting your argument with facts and figures is important . One cannot remember all the facts so it is better to know the basic data like socio-economic indicators like IMR ,MMR ,HDI ,Ease of doing business, GDP, growth rate etc. These data can be taken from Economic Survey .You can also take important data from current affairs materials which you would have studied. Just make notes from those materials and revise those data.


Last part is Conclusion. It should always be OPTIMISTIC  and if possible futuristic. No new topics should be introduced here .It should summarize your entire essay. If possible a quote can be used here which shows the broader aspect of the topic. Finally reading your conclusion examiner must get a sense that the topic has been analyzed in different ways, solution has been provided to all the challenges and the person is optimistic about the future.


And finally practising essay is very important. For practice part I would suggest you to go through previous years essay papers and mock tests of any good institution. 


Having said  these I would suggest any aspirant to follow only those things which s/he feels logical and correct. Finally as saying goes “Practice makes man perfect”, practice some essays, try to incorporate points said by me or any other persons who has good knowledge on essays, get it corrected by resourceful persons and keep getting better everytime.


All the Best!




Santhosh B M has scored Rank 307 in the Civil Services Examinations 2016 and 159 marks in the essay paper


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