What are some hacks you use to complete the paper? - ForumIAS

What are some hacks you use to complete the paper?

So some of us have a tough time finishing the paper? What are your hacks to finish the paper on time? I am taking both Prelims & mains, but primarily the Mains.

ssver2,DMand15 otherslike this
6.4k views

21 comments

Mains- do first 3, 10 markers and then attempt all the 15 markers

Don't overdo Introduction, write a simple statement if you can't think of a good intro.

Don't get excited when you know a question and spend disproportionate amount of time, write above average content and move on.

Write 3-5 mock test/PYQ question outside examination hall, this would help in overcoming the "writer's block" during the initial hour.


Neyawn,D503and27 otherslike this
5.2k views

1. Use of diagrams and flowcharts

2. Tight sentences and better structure of answers

3. Simulation: Wrote 2 sets of FLTs in mains like condition (2 papers in 1 day for 2 days) 

so far seems to be working 


Per Aspera 

Ad Astra

ssver2,Darveshand5 otherslike this
4.5k views

1. Use of diagrams and flowcharts

2. Tight sentences and better structure of answers

3. Simulation: Wrote 2 sets of FLTs in mains like condition (2 papers in 1 day for 2 days) 

so far seems to be working 

What kind of flowcharts and diagrams do you mean? Can you show an answer illustrating it? When I try to use a diagram it ends up taking more time. 

GaryVee,Darveshand1 otherslike this
4.4k views
@sbhati you can turn anything into a flow chart if it has cause and effect relationship, it improves visibility of answer and saves us from verbose sentences. 
Diagrams require practice though, to build speed .  



Per Aspera 

Ad Astra

4.2k views
@sbhati you can turn anything into a flow chart if it has cause and effect relationship, it improves visibility of answer and saves us from verbose sentences. 
Diagrams require practice though, to build speed .  


If it is not too much to ask, can you please show an aswer where you have used it? 

4k views
Hey ,like this u can draw this vicious cycle of railway ( present status of railway) if question comes on  railway.----
1.political interference>2.low passenger fares high freight charges cross subsidization>3.modal shift from railways to road >4.higher operating ratio poor financial position>5. low capacity addition poor service delivery.
like this i have n no.of cycles in every gs paper.

note- moderator not allowing me to upload image 




3.8k views

DMsaid

Hey ,like this u can draw this vicious cycle of railway ( present status of railway) if question comes on  railway.----
1.political interference>2.low passenger fares high freight charges cross subsidization>3.modal shift from railways to road >4.higher operating ratio poor financial position>5. low capacity addition poor service delivery.
like this i have n no.of cycles in every gs paper.

note- moderator not allowing me to upload image 




But if we write points in this format, there is no scope for substantiation (e.g. railway accounts for only 35% of modal mix). Wouldn't that affect marks awarded?


And also, shouldn't in this particular case, it should be more of a causal chain rather than a vicious cycle?

sstarrr,
3.8k views

DMsaid

Hey ,like this u can draw this vicious cycle of railway ( present status of railway) if question comes on  railway.----
1.political interference>2.low passenger fares high freight charges cross subsidization>3.modal shift from railways to road >4.higher operating ratio poor financial position>5. low capacity addition poor service delivery.
like this i have n no.of cycles in every gs paper.

note- moderator not allowing me to upload image 




Try and share the problem you are facing.

you can also share your photo by hosting on imgur

DM,
3.7k views

Limit yourself to bullet point format, wherever feasible. Once you put a bullet point mark, you will have to limit yourself to one, or two lines max, wrt that point.

Don't elaborate on intro/conclusion part. I limit myself to a two sentence intro and simple one sentence conclusion. I know of people, who straight away addressed the question in bullet points, without any intro and still scored high marks (in fact, the guy I have in mind had scored 136 in GS1, writing like that! The highest GS1 marks that I know of, and also proving the point that an intro is not an absolute must).

Now, where this doesn't apply is in ethics answers and also where you have to bluff totally. 

Third thing is keeping the time. Calculate the 'time to marks ratio' and adhere to it, no matter what. For example, a 10 marker Qn will proportionately allow you around 7 minutes. So, once you see it's almost 7, end writing it and jump on to the next one. You can comeback later, if time allows. 

For ethics, I believe case studies are more important. So, you can break this time: mark ratio there. For example, the 13 theory questions collectively have 130 marks to them, and the 6 case studies have 120 marks. As per the mark: time ratio, the time should be divided like 95:85 minutes for theory and case study respectively. But you can take 95 minutes for case study and vice versa. 

ssver2,Spandanaand6 otherslike this
3.6k views

Plus, prepare well those areas, where you can get direct questions. For example, history-culture area, physical geography in GS1. Next in line would be the polity questions of gs2 (they tend to have an objective aspect, mostly from last 2-3 years current affairs). If you can avoid the time spent recollecting these factual points during exam, you will gain time on those questions, which you can add to other questions where you have to think more.

Other thing is, gs papers may have 1 question you don't know anything about and there are no hints provided for you to bluff too. In such cases, don't panic, just think in your mind that if I don't know this, most of them don't either, and use that time for other questions, by varying the marks: questions ratio. This I meant for only those questions which doesn't give any clue/hint at all for you to beat around the bush. Eg: McBride commission in 2016.

ssver2,sbhatiand4 otherslike this
3.5k views

Limit yourself to bullet point format, wherever feasible. Once you put a bullet point mark, you will have to limit yourself to one, or two lines max, wrt that point.

Don't elaborate on intro/conclusion part. I limit myself to a two sentence intro and simple one sentence conclusion. I know of people, who straight away addressed the question in bullet points, without any intro and still scored high marks (in fact, the guy I have in mind had scored 136 in GS1, writing like that! The highest GS1 marks that I know of, and also proving the point that an intro is not an absolute must).

Now, where this doesn't apply is in ethics answers and also where you have to bluff totally. 

Third thing is keeping the time. Calculate the 'time to marks ratio' and adhere to it, no matter what. For example, a 10 marker Qn will proportionately allow you around 7 minutes. So, once you see it's almost 7, end writing it and jump on to the next one. You can comeback later, if time allows. 

For ethics, I believe case studies are more important. So, you can break this time: mark ratio there. For example, the 13 theory questions collectively have 130 marks to them, and the 6 case studies have 120 marks. As per the mark: time ratio, the time should be divided like 95:85 minutes for theory and case study respectively. But you can take 95 minutes for case study and vice versa. 

I guess intro and conclusion can be skipped in 1-2 question due to time paucity. But I don't think it would be advisable to do it in more no. of questions. If you see topper copies, they follow intro-body-conclusion format in all questions. I have not come across a copy where they have just written points.

Spandana,Admgenalanezhand3 otherslike this
3.2k views

sbhatisaid

Limit yourself to bullet point format, wherever feasible. Once you put a bullet point mark, you will have to limit yourself to one, or two lines max, wrt that point.

Don't elaborate on intro/conclusion part. I limit myself to a two sentence intro and simple one sentence conclusion. I know of people, who straight away addressed the question in bullet points, without any intro and still scored high marks (in fact, the guy I have in mind had scored 136 in GS1, writing like that! The highest GS1 marks that I know of, and also proving the point that an intro is not an absolute must).

Now, where this doesn't apply is in ethics answers and also where you have to bluff totally. 

Third thing is keeping the time. Calculate the 'time to marks ratio' and adhere to it, no matter what. For example, a 10 marker Qn will proportionately allow you around 7 minutes. So, once you see it's almost 7, end writing it and jump on to the next one. You can comeback later, if time allows. 

For ethics, I believe case studies are more important. So, you can break this time: mark ratio there. For example, the 13 theory questions collectively have 130 marks to them, and the 6 case studies have 120 marks. As per the mark: time ratio, the time should be divided like 95:85 minutes for theory and case study respectively. But you can take 95 minutes for case study and vice versa. 

I guess intro and conclusion can be skipped in 1-2 question due to time paucity. But I don't think it would be advisable to do it in more no. of questions. If you see topper copies, they follow intro-body-conclusion format in all questions. I have not come across a copy where they have just written points.

Not a great fan of writing conclusion in every question , rather I would write way forward instead of a very general conclusion which makes little sense. 

However Intro is must, it gives the much needed start to question along with some background. 

THE_MECHANIC,
3.1k views

sbhatisaid

1. Use of diagrams and flowcharts

2. Tight sentences and better structure of answers

3. Simulation: Wrote 2 sets of FLTs in mains like condition (2 papers in 1 day for 2 days) 

so far seems to be working 

What kind of flowcharts and diagrams do you mean? Can you show an answer illustrating it? When I try to use a diagram it ends up taking more time. 

You should not draw flowcharts and diagrams just for the sake of it. Draw those which makes sense. 

Ex - there is a vicious cycle of economic growth and poverty ( poverty ->lack of demand ->investment slows down->economic growth reduces ->increase in poverty) . There is a financial vicious cycle. There is a virtuous cycle of inflation and economic growth ( when factors of production are not optimally used ) as well as a vicious cycle of it. 

Similarly there could be some cycles or flowcharts in polity. 

Apart from that when people say diagram most of time they mean the hub and spoke model, which is a good way to represent points I think when you have issues with prioritisation and want to write less. 

Baaki its alright, not having too many diagrams and just writing in points. 


 

Admgenalanezh,schrute_farmsand2 otherslike this
3.1k views
@sstarrr yes. Most of the times diagrams means hub and spoke waala stuff


Admgenalanezh,
3.1k views

sbhatisaid

Limit yourself to bullet point format, wherever feasible. Once you put a bullet point mark, you will have to limit yourself to one, or two lines max, wrt that point.

Don't elaborate on intro/conclusion part. I limit myself to a two sentence intro and simple one sentence conclusion. I know of people, who straight away addressed the question in bullet points, without any intro and still scored high marks (in fact, the guy I have in mind had scored 136 in GS1, writing like that! The highest GS1 marks that I know of, and also proving the point that an intro is not an absolute must).

Now, where this doesn't apply is in ethics answers and also where you have to bluff totally. 

Third thing is keeping the time. Calculate the 'time to marks ratio' and adhere to it, no matter what. For example, a 10 marker Qn will proportionately allow you around 7 minutes. So, once you see it's almost 7, end writing it and jump on to the next one. You can comeback later, if time allows. 

For ethics, I believe case studies are more important. So, you can break this time: mark ratio there. For example, the 13 theory questions collectively have 130 marks to them, and the 6 case studies have 120 marks. As per the mark: time ratio, the time should be divided like 95:85 minutes for theory and case study respectively. But you can take 95 minutes for case study and vice versa. 

I guess intro and conclusion can be skipped in 1-2 question due to time paucity. But I don't think it would be advisable to do it in more no. of questions. If you see topper copies, they follow intro-body-conclusion format in all questions. I have not come across a copy where they have just written points.

Not a great fan of writing conclusion in every question , rather I would write way forward instead of a very general conclusion which makes little sense. 

However Intro is must, it gives the much needed start to question along with some background. 

Unless way forward is asked in the question, I treat way forward as conclusion only. But even after way forward, I try to write 1 line. It does not have to be generic. You can include keywords, quotes etc. which will give additional value to the answer. 

ssver2,GaneshGaitondeand3 otherslike this
2.9k views
» show previous quotes

Not a great fan of writing conclusion in every question , rather I would write way forward instead of a very general conclusion which makes little sense. 

However Intro is must, it gives the much needed start to question along with some background. 

Conclusion and way forward alag alag hote hain kya ? xD  
In midst of time crunch, sab ek hi chiz rheti hai, until and unless question explicitly asks for suggestions. (for me atleast.)

ssver2,Admgenalanezhand4 otherslike this
2.8k views

I write 15 markers first as initially speed bit slow and they are more analytical. After finishing them also gives a satisfaction of writing lengthy part of paper.

Then write 10 markers in 6-7 min each, they are more direct.

I skip diagrams if time less, just scribble some points in body with headers.

ssver2,tarun17and2 otherslike this
2.8k views
Small input from my side as per my experience, write and memorize small definitions for all topics, this week help in starting the intro and will avoid thinking more on intro, by the time your intro ends, you will have some more input to continue in the mein body
ssver2,Villanelleand3 otherslike this
2.7k views
@Neyawn ty so much respected sir,
i will do that


2.1k views
Be detached to every answer. 10-11 minutes for 15 markers, 7 minutes for 10. 1 minute left? Conclude and move on. Forget about the question. We gave enough attention. Writers block? 
D503,ssver2and4 otherslike this
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