UPSC Examination (CSE) essay papers are for 250 marks with each essay carrying 125 marks. Here are tips by five Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers to achieve a score above 125.

T Prateek Rao: Marks 147

“Starting the essay with an anecdote will help grab the examiner’s interest immediately. Break monotony with your creative side.”

Satyam Gandhi: AIR 10

“Read non-fiction books and expand your understanding of the world around you,” he says, urging aspirants to spend up to an hour each day just on reflection. 

Sonalika Jiwani: AIR 192

"Topical essay question requires an understanding of all major subjects like environment, governance Abstract questions should have logical thoughts with proper justification, provoking the examiner’s thoughts." 

Nishant Jain: AIR 13

“Attempt one essay every 15 days to push an average score to good and a good score to excellent. Pick a topic that you feel familiar with – whether you have read something on the topic or have some knowledge about it. 

Devyani Yadav: AIR 11

“Aspirants must ensure that they attempt the philosophical questions when working on the mock papers. While the essay question might be abstract, one can base the essay on facts. Ensure you cohesively present points.”