Welcome to Lukmaan IAS Test Series section

Testing is an important step in preparing for this giant exam. Any unsuccessful attempt will take one year of your precious life. So while you are studying, you must also test yourself, weather your studies are up to the mark.

Lukmaan IAS test series program has been carefully designed to suit the newer approach of the UPSC testing. We try to test the candidate’s abilities in the traditional topics as well as the current and view based topics.

ENHANCE YOUR WRITING SKILL

“Your answer should have originality in structuring content, presenting, analyzing, giving an insight on the question and leaving an appealing impression”.

THE PREFACE

Generally, the aspirants’ main focus is to write answers so that the paper is completed on time. In that intense pressure, it hardly matter that what exactly is being asked by the question, especially the key terms used in the questions and the pre-fix or the suffix mentioned in the question, for example, analyse/describe/explain, etc., therefore, there is a mismatch between the demand of the question and what actually has been written.

Most students know their subject, the concepts, theories and topics but they do not know how to present them. Remember,

  EXAMINATION IS AN ART AND NOT NECESSARILY A TEST OF KNOWLEDGE.

You often see a student who has studied less hours but do well in examinations. Those who burn their midnight oil for nights and nights together and do not even pick up the calls of near and dear ones` do not do well in their examinations. Why so? They often blame their bad luck, some bad omen, curses of the hated ones. Quit this blame game, don’t curse your labour and sincerity. Probably the cause lies in your lack of writing skill.

Give some thought to this, for every question of GS and Optional you follow a pattern of writing answers in which you normally first introduce the topic or the problem, then you write all aspects in different paragraphs and then you write a good conclusion. You have not written anything wrong but you don’t get good marks. The question is why? We think you did three things or at least one of them:

 

THE THREE PRINCIPLES THAT YOU IGNORE IN UNDERSTANDING QUESTIONS

 

1.       You did not read the questions very sincerely
2.       You did not care for the directions or commands or demands or whatever you may call it like Discus, critically examine, Explain, Illustrate etc.
3.       You did not give attention to the context of the question, parts of the question and the interrelation of the questions.

PLEASE, PLEASE AND PLEASE read the questions as sincerely as possible followed by

  • Take your time in selection of the questions
  • Write first that question answer you are most prepared
  • Focus on the substance of the answer rather than length
  • There should be a balance between quantity and quality
  • Relate with context, content and command of the question

 THE LENGTH OF THE ANSWER HAS LES RELEVANCE THAN THE SUBSTANCE

You may say, Sir, where is the time to brood so much, I will miss the answers. We must tell you don’t write the maximum number of words you are allowed. There is a limit on the maximum words but not one on the minimum but then the words must be adequate. In writing your answers you write the first paragraph in essay form and the rest in points but the last paragraph of conclusion should be in essay form. There can be changes in this scheme if there is expediency.

So, to come to the main point; Read the question carefully and decide on three things:

  1. What is the exact meaning of the question?
  2. How many parts the question has?
  3. What are the directions, demands or commands of the question?

Explanations

  1. How better one understands the meaning depends upon the level of knowledge and understanding on the subject-matter /topic on which question has been framed.
  2. The context of the question means largely why/when/what of the question.
  3. A question can have different parts which may require answering to all parts.
  4. One should have better understanding of Pre-fixes and suffixes which determine the command and direction of the question.

UNDERSTAND THE TERMINOLOGIES USED IN THE QUESTIONS

It is the pre-fix or suffix of the question which determines direction and command of the answer. It is for your convenience, we are trying to make explicit what is meant by these words and what you will write.

 

Terminology Meaning and demand
Discuss In discuss you have to write two or all the aspects of an issue. Don’t criticize, simply present all the sides in an analytical manner. As the conclusion you write a brief summary of all the sides.
Critically Discuss

Critically discuss again has to aspects. In discuss one writes two aspects or all aspects of an issue or the problem. Discuss is an elaboration in which all the aspects of a problem, issue and a phenomenon are to be presented. Critically discuss is a popular command. Critically discuss indicate, one has to present all the aspects by examining its pros and cons. One does not only present all aspects but evaluate the different aspects.

Critically discuss refers to examine either two aspects or aspects by examining aspects. One has to give the plus points and minus points of a phenomenon. For example one has to critically discuss the Gandhian view of nonviolence. In this one has to see the plus points of nonviolence and one must give the example of India`s national struggle. Then one has to severely criticise the concept of non violence and cite all the negative aspects of nonviolence.

Explain

It is also a common directive. You write the meaning of the problem, all aspects involved in it. You simply try to write all the why which may emerge in the problem. We can give an example; Why smart city programme, this has to be written in `explain smart city. Explain is the answer to all `why`. It touches and explores all aspects.

Explanations require you to write the context of the question. You explain or convince by providing this context. In simple terms you write all aspects without any criticism and your opinion.

critically examine, examine and evaluate

These all indicate the same meaning. You first write after two lines of introduction, a brief statement of what the idea or presentation is. Only then you evaluate, criticise or examine. Examine does not mean only a rejection of the idea it also mean support and praise. In such questions you do not criticise on your own. You are not eligible to criticise as scholars. Criticise on the basis of scholar`s views.

In nutshell, you should demolish the proposition.

Comment

Generally this is presented at the end of the question and so it is called suffix. In comment, you write the different aspects of a problem or issue or the topic in an analytical manner and you also give your opinion.

In comment the whole problem or issue is presented and different aspects and different views are presented related to the issue or the problem. No criticisms are to be attempted. Criticism is the view of a scholar and comment is your view.

Critically Comment

Critically comment is a double evaluation in simple terms. In comment one has to give one`s view on any particular issue. In comment one has the liberty to make any comments showing the for or against views. The comment is not baseless. It requires you to do a general perusal and then you comment. This general perusal is also a type of evaluation.

Critically comment requires you to show all the aspects with an evaluation which is systematic and on concrete grounds. One has to meticulously  see one by one all issues issue. The evaluation is on certain criteria. This evaluation must indicate the merits and demerits of the given topic or problem.

Critically comment therefore, indicate to comment after evaluation in a systematic way. Comment is the view of some body in a deliberate manner but when it is critically comment then the view has to be given after systematic evaluation. For example,  if one has to comment on the question of nationalism, one can simply say nationalism is sacrosanct and nobody should be allowed say anything against it.  The other non critical comment can be nationalism has many bases and there can be different views on it.

Critically comment has to go by an evaluation of  the principle of nationalism and then one takes a position. One has to evaluate both the consequences of nationalism and also the positive effects of natinalism.

 

Analyse It is also a very frequent directive. You simply remember one analogy. As the medical students dissect insects or human organs in their laboratories so you analyse a problem. You go deeper, you want to see the inner meanings.
Critically Analyse

We have already presented the meaning of analyze. One has to dissect any phenomenon trying to go deeper and present the causes of any phenomenon. This requires one to go inside any phenomenon and do the drain searching. Critically analyze means one is an intense drain inspector. One does not only show the underlying causes of a phenomenon but show all other dimensions.

Critically analyze requires any one to show the underlying causes but also the plus and minus of any cause. This refers to seeing and imagining all the interrelated aspects  of the causes. This is in-depth and analyzes underlying and interrelated causes. For example one has to critically analyze the problem of black money in India. One has to write the sources of black money, the causes of black money, why it is difficult to identify black money, how other countries like USA have done this. Critically analyze does not mean you have to more rather deeper causes in very brief.

Describe It is the simplest directive. Describe is the description of a phenomenon or a simple statement of facts. In describe neither you criticise nor you analyse. You directly write about the apparent features. You write in straight way the features.
Illustrate, Elucidate, Enumerate and Elaborate They are almost identical terms. Normally in central services examinations `describe` is not given but other queries are there. In all these cases you state the facts or arguments in a straight forward manner. No criticisms should be attempted. Detailed description is required.
Distinguish It indicates a directive when you have to write the differences between two or more phenomenon. You distinguish all aspects.
Compare It is a directive in which you first, in very brief present the meanings of the phenomena you are to compare. Then you write the differences as well as similarities of the two. In the conclusion when you are summarizing write what are more, the similarities or the differences.
Substantiate It means you have to prove a particular proposition. You give only positive aspects. You present your arguments as a lawyer. You convince the examiner.

 

We hope this precise instruction and exposition will help you in practising answer writing as well as the final exams.

FOLLOWING TESTS SERIES ARE AVAILABLE

Please click here for Prelim test series.

Please click here for General Studies Mains test series.

Please click here for Essay test series.

Please click here for Public Administration optional test series.

Please click here for Sociology test optional series.

Please click here for History test optional series.

Please click here for Geography optional test series.