Conventional paper: A boon not bane

What fears most of the candidates is writing mains/subjective/conventional paper of ESE. The question is why? In my perspective its because most of the other exams(Gate/PSU’s etc) have objective papers only and we have a lot of practice that fear of objective paper is almost gone . But, Lets face it, no one can clear this exam without scoring a decent marks in conventional paper . So how to overcome this fear. One  can do so by understanding the importance of conventional paper. with no second thoughts it is a boon for candidates aspiring to be IES officers.

ESE conventional paper is the most scoring part of this exam where right presentation can increase your marks manifold. I would share few points which I followed while preparing for Conventional paper and also while writing the paper. Conventional paper writing is an art and if done right can sail you high in ranking.

Conventional paper has questions which have sub parts that can be from one topic or different topic. As soon as you get the paper analyse all questions then follow the below steps-

  1. First question- Remember first impression is the last impression. Pick your first question to be answered very carefully as this will set your image in the eye of examiner .Try to avoid cutting and solve the question in one go. For this choose question which you have confidence that you can attempt it in one go.
  2. Use separate color pen to highlight important points that you want examiner to notice. You can underline with black pen if you are answering with blue. This saves time and also makes your answer sheet interesting to check.
  3. you are writing your final answer in a numerical type question cover the answer in a box.
  4. Try to depict with figures and block diagrams as many as possible. This will show that you have a great grasp of basics.
  5. Avoid writing in paragraphs as this makes answers look boring. Also eaxminer may miss important lines in middle of paragraphs. Make your habit of writing in points the way I am answering this question. Believe me this will surely help you in scoring big and also lengthening your answer.
  6. Don’t write unnecessary things and try to be to the point.
  7. Always ,always,always start with a new page for new question. You don’t have to worry about the number of pages in this exam.
  8. While attempting if you are stuck in midway in some part of a question, leave blank space and continue the remaining paper.
  9. You don’t have to answer questions in sequence . But there is one question that you must attempt. You can either attempt this in start or later depending on your convenience.
  10. Try to solve numericals question first because they need fresh mind and it also reduces the chances of silly mistakes.
  11. There is step marking also so if you don’t know full answer then also try to write atleast something. Always try to attempt all questions.
  12. Practice in room for writing conventional. For this, I will suggest to practice only previous year conventional paper of ESE . Most of the questions will be of similar type only.
  13. This is a very easy technique , when you are selecting a question to attempt in conventional make a flow chart in your mind as how u will answer this question. This will avoid unnecessary cutting in middle of question.

Try to understand why I am more focused on impressing the examiner because no doubt if your answer is correct he will give marks anyways. But they are also human and generally IIT profs. So they focus more on approach and proper presentation. Thats why always think of examiners perspective as how can you make your answer sheet stand apart from lakhs of others.

All the best 🙂

2 Replies to “Conventional paper: A boon not bane”

  1. From this year, UPSC has introduced Combined Question cum Answer Booklet(QCAB) for ESE mains…do we still need not worry about the number of pages???(point no.7)

    1. No , it’s never about the number of pages …. They will give sufficient space to write to the point answers … You need to put in a habit of writing precise and concise answers .

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