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How to write a good Essay in KAS (Main) Examination:
In the Civil Services examination for KAS, where each number is important to give the shape of your future, how can you mismanage the Essay Paper, which carries 150 marks? Writing an essay is an art and if you are not naturally inclined to write that way, you will have to spend at least some time in practicing, more so because many of the issues asked in the form of essay are the ones that you generally prepare for your General Studies where you limit your preparation up to about 250 words. Candidates are advised to keep a thorough eye on all the happenings of the last one year with critical evaluation of those which could be asked in the form of an essay.
As you all are aware, there is an Essay paper in KAS (Main) Exam of 150 marks. This paper is very important as it is possible to score 120 or more marks in essay and thus, essay can act as a buffer to your performance in General Studies and Optional. Candidates, who have appeared in KAS (Main) Exam once or more and could not finally make it, very often complain that in spite of writing very good essay to the best of their ability, they got poor scores in range of 40-65/150. It clearly shows that they hold essay as a culprit for their poor overall scores.For the benefit of all, once again, I am hereby reproducing the title from KAS (Main) Exam Essay Question Paper, which reads as under:-
“Examiner will pay special attention to:
1.      Candidate’s grip of his material;
2.      Its relevance to the topic chosen;
3.      His ability to think constructively;
4.      His ability to present his ideas precisely, logically and constructively.
These points are self explanatory and therefore require no discussion here. Now, before proceeding further, if I may put a question to readers “How many of aspirants have actually read this title with some understanding of what the examiner looks for in an essay in KAS examination”? And I can tell from my personal experience that very few would have an answer in affirmative.
World Limit and Time Management:-
There is no prescribed word limit for essay paper. Going by the 150 marks allotted to essay, it can be presumed that 2000 words should be the word limit. But I recommend and strongly so, that ideal word limit for a quality essay should be 1200 +/- 300 words i.e., 900-1500 words. Not less than 900, as you would not be able to cover many aspects of topic and not more than 1500, as it becomes more and more difficult to retain quality after 1500 words.
Now, coming to time-management, PSC gives 3 hours i. e., 180 minutes for essay paper. Going by the recommended word limit ( 1200 +/- 300 words), I recommend that you devote 90-100 minutes to develop the essay on 3-4 rough pages at the back of your answer booklet and roughly 80-90 minutes to actually write down a neat 900-1500 worded essay. And believe me, in 100 minutes, you can develop a very high quality essay on virtually any topic, provided you stop thinking in a narrow, constricted and skewed manner.
What are the steps in essay-writing in KAS examination?
1.      Selecting the topic.
2.       Enumerating various aspects of the topic.
3.      Finding out supporting illustrations, examples, statements etc. for all these aspects.
4.       Integrating various aspects organically and logically.
5.      Winding up.
Now, let us deal with each of these steps in the backdrop of above statement “Examiner will pay special attention to ……….”
Step I: - Selecting the topic
I am not for a divide between general topics and philosophical topics. What I suggest is that:
1.      Spend 5-7 minutes on each topic of which you have some knowledge in the process of developing steps II and III below.
2.      Choose the topic for which you can think of maximum aspects and maximum supporting illustrations, facts, examples and statements etc.
This whole exercise should be completed in about 35 minutes. At the end of this exercise, you will naturally be left with only one topic to write essay on, whether it be a philosophical topic or technical topic or any other general topic.
Step II and III :- Enumerating various aspect of the topic along with supporting statements
Once you decide your essay topic in 35 minutes, the steps II and III should be completed in 25 more minutes, bringing the total time consumed to 35 minutes ( for step I) + 20 minutes ( for steps II and III) = 60 minutes.
Steps II and III are to be undertaken simultaneously and not separately, as aspect without supporting example does not impress the examiner and examples without relevant aspect do not actually make sense. While you were choosing your topic (Step-I) in initial 35 minutes, you must have written down some aspect and examples of chosen topic. Now in these 25 minutes, write down as many aspect and supporting illustrations as you can. A good quality essay must have at least 5-8 aspects and 10-15 illustrations to support these aspects.
Examiner will definitely look at these pages to get an idea of how you have developed your essay and this will affect your total essay score also.
Step IV: - Integrating various aspects and supporting illustrations organically and logically
If qualitative 60 minutes have been spent by you up to step III, then this step IV should not consume more than 10-15 minutes of yours. Take care to write the essay in such a manner that all aspects and supporting illustrations of the topic flow out naturally and effortlessly, one after the other and not in a discord or broken manner. Up to step IV, you have thus consumed 75 minutes.
Step V: - Winding - Up
Winding-up requires 10 minutes of careful thinking and a 100-150 words write-up, which is a part of overall word limit of 900-1500 words and not separate. Whatever be the topic, winding-up must be on an optimistic note with certain novel suggestions from your side, if you can think of some.
Thus in 85 minutes, your essay should be ready.
What now after steps I to V are complete:-
Don’t jump start at writing essay now. Take a break, have a glass of water, take a walk to the toilet, see here and there, relax. Spend at least 5 minutes on this. That takes total time consumed to 90 minutes i.e., the half time
Review of what you have done so far:-
After this 5 minutes break, start thinking again. See what you have written. You might recall another aspect of the topic or some other illustrations to support existing or newer aspects of the topic. Include that too in your draft. Read your draft essay once more.
This review exercise should take at least 10 minutes, taking total time consumed to 100 minutes.
Actual writing of essay:-
Now you start writing essay in neat handwriting and for this, you have 80 minutes, which are fairly sufficient to write 1500 words. While actually writing, you can add more aspects or illustrations, if you recall, but do not disturb the draft much. If you confine to 1500 words’ limit, you should usually not require a supplementary answer book, but if required, go for one and securely attach to main answer book in last 2 minutes.
This finishes the crux of our discussion here. Before I wind-up, here are some “do nots” in essay:-
1.      Condemn Constitution, Government Policies and Court decisions, unless you have an authentic source for this to draw from.
2.      Give regional / religious / communal fervours to your essay. The examiner should not be able to judge after reading your essay that which part of India you come from and which religion / community you belong to.
3.      Exceed word limit of 1500 words, as far as possible.
4.      End essay on pessimistic note.
5.      Fill your essay with technical facts, jargon and technical knowledge.
Expected essays in Comming Examination:
  1. Corruption in Public Life
  2. Democracy in India
  3. Global Climate Change/Sustainable Development
  4. Globalisation
  5. Right to Education
  6. Woman Empowermen
I wish all the reader of this article a very happy essay writing experience and good score in Essay paper in KAS (Main) Exam.




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Overview of comments

to bukhari sir

(nusrat, 2011-03-01 08:39)

thanx brother

Expected Current Affairs

(Bukhari, 2011-03-01 06:09)

Bilateral Relations
1. Indo-US (in the light of Obhama’s Visit)
2. Indo-Pak
3. Indo-China
4. Indo-Bangladesh
5. India-Africa Policy
6. US-Iran
Latest Summits
1. G-20/G-8/G-15
3. SCO
6. Indo-EU
7. Indo-ASEAN
8. Nuclear Security summit
9. Cancun Summit
10. International Summit On Nuclear Disarmament
11. Nuclear Security Summit
1. UID-Adhaar
2. National Solar Mission
3. MNERGA- a critique
4. Rajiv Awaas Yojana
5. 13th FC Report
6. Libheron Commission Report
7. Yashpal Committee Report
8. Ranganthan Commission Report
9. Srikrishna Committee Report- issue of States Reorganization
10. Yashpal Committee Report
11. CAG-Constitutional Position-2G/3G Reports
12. Telecom Spectrum Scam
13. Mission Solar India
14. National Mission for Empowerment of Women
15. National Innovation Council
16. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)
1. Women’s Reservation Bill (Constitution 108th Amendment Bill 2008)
2. Judicial Standards Accountability Bill
3. Nuclear Liability Bill
4. Foreign Universities Bill
5. Education Tribunal Bill
6. National Food Security Bill
7. Right to Education Act
1. Internal Security in Pakistan
2. 18th Constitutional Amendment Act in Pakistan
3. HDR-2010- Criteria Changes
4. Civil unrest in Arab
5. Middle East Peace Process
6. India-UN
8. CABLEGATE crisis in U.S.A.
9. Ethnic crisis in Kyrgyz and Uzbek
S & T
2. Wetlands, Ramsar Convention/Sites, Latest conservation measures in India
3. Biodiversity Conservation
4. Phyto-remediation
5. Cloud computing
6. Nanotechnology
7. Biotechnology
8. Graphenen & its Applications
9. 2G/3G Spectrum
10. Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS)
11. Geo Augmented Navigation system (GAGAN)

Deserving admiration

(Dr. Bashir Ahmad Bhat, 2011-02-24 08:26)

JazakALLAHu khaiyran Sir!. . . U r doing a marvellous job... May ALLAH reward u THE BEST 4 it!... Keep it up bro. . .

Deserving admiration

(Dr. Bashir Ahmad Bhat, 2011-02-24 08:22)

JazakALLAHu khaiyran Sir!. . . U r doing a marvellous job... May ALLAH reward u THE BEST 4 it!... Keep it up bro. . .

questions on GK

(nusrat, 2011-02-21 14:24)

can u please give us a list of expected questions/ topics on GK and science and tech for the forthcoming exam.