IAS Sachin Gupta’s UPSC Mains Strategy, Booklist, Tips and Tricks.


In our previous article, we have discussed about IAS Sachin Gupta’s Prelims strategy. But now we will move a step further and will discuss his mains strategy. Let’s start reading his exciting Journey and tips for mains.

IAS Sachin Gupta’s Mains Marksheet

IAS Sachin Gupta scored a massive 946 marks in Mains exam. Also, his interview score was 176 which is quite decent. You can look at his marksheet to know how much he scored in each exam.


IAS Sachin Gupta Marksheet

Mains Strategy By IAS Sachin Gupta

IAS Sachin Gupta believes that Mains is the most important phase of UPSC exam. Scoring maximum marks in Mains gives an incentive to a person that if his interview doesn’t go well. Still he have chances of selection for IAS.

If you work really hard, trust me guys, you too can score like IAS Sachin Gupta. Now, I will share with you his strategy, what he did different from other years in which he gave exam which paid off.

Friends, it’s my genuine request to you that you have to make your own strategy. This is because everyone is unique, everyone is living under different circumstances. But my main motive behind writing this is to help you to get some guidance regarding how to approach UPSC exam and others strategy can help you in framing your own one.

To score high, you need to be persistent in Answer Writing as well as you should know how to study particular topics in the syllabus.

Read: UPSC Topper Kanishak Kataria’s Preparation Strategy

Art of Answer Writing

Everybody understands how crucial answer writing is in Mains Examination. You should understand that at the end of the day you would be evaluated on how you write your answer or how you express yourself in the best way in those 150-200 words. It doesn’t matter to the examiner, how much you have studied. You can impress the examiner only through your answers.

Now to handle such situation, one has to do hard work and have to persistent in answer writing. Many times we feel demotivated during our preparation and we don’t like writing answers. We start focussing on reading more content. But at this point your peer group can help you. If you don’t have any peer group then mock test series can help you in identifying what to read and what to avoid.

After writing around 8-10 papers you will develop the ability of writing answers (IAS Sachin Gupta did the same). But you have to internalise the Answer Writing format in your mind in such a way that it becomes a natural style of writing. You have to put your heart and soul into writing answers and have to solve a lot of papers to give the best possible answer of the questions.

Importance of Reading the Question

Most of us do a mistake while writing an answers which is writing about the 2-3 keywords which are in the questions. IAS Sachin Gupta also admits that he made the same mistake in his first two attempts. Later he tried to  understand what actually examiner wanted from his answers. He wrote all that which he knew about the topic asked in the question but he when started to think in this new way his score increased and he got rank 3.

Read: UPSC Female 2018 Topper Srushti Jayant Deshmuk Strategy


We all know that first impression is the last impression, similarly Introduction is very crucial part of your answer. There are 4-5 ways which IAS Sachin Gupta used to begin his answers:

  1. Definition: IAS Sachin Gupta used this technique when he knew the definition of crux of issue. For example: If a question is asked regarding Food security so he used to introduce his answer with definition of Food Security then he interlinked the subparts of the questions with the definition. It will give a good flow and a defined structure to your answer. He suggested Ayush Sir (Forumias) videos available in Youtube which you can watch to enhance your answer’s quality.
  2. Current/Recent Events: Suppose a question is asked on the topic “One Country, One Election”. So , you can start your answer with President or Prime Minister’s speech on this issue.
  3. Facts/Figures: You can start your answer with a fact or any figure. For example: In a question related to underemployment you can give some figures or reference to Niti Aayog report on this issue.
  4. Location: This is most helpful in History and Geography questions. For example: If you were asked about the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization, you can start your answer with the location of Indus Valley Civilization and its timeline. 
  5. Interlinking: In this method you can interlink all the subparts asked in the question and then write the Crux of your answer and one line.

Break the Question into subparts: Usually UPSC asks 2-3 sub-questions in a question. So, you have to break them properly and address each part with proper attention. 

Visibility: When you have break the question into subparts then try to highlight them in your answers while writing. This helps the examiner to easily find out how you have addressed different parts of the questions. This helps in ensuring a good flow of answer and you answer all the subparts.

Point Format: In GS Paper 1, 2 and 3 write answer in points format( Though you can do it in other exams but it is most important in these GS papers ). While you are writing any subpart’s answer make subheading in front of every answer. This helps you to understand which points you are going to write further. After writing the statement, substantiate your answer.

Smart Answering: While answering any question you should understand that the question is asked in which context and from where. For example: IAS Sachin Gupta faced a question in 2016 Mains which was on Urban Floods in GS 1 and GS 3. But the context was different. In GS 1, it was more inclined towards the problem of Urbanisation but in GS 3 on Infrastructure and disaster management. Since these questions are made from syllabus, so you should try to act accordingly.

Importance of making flowchart/ Diagram / Map: These things can help you a lot in your exams. Try to make at least one diagram/ flowchart in each question because it can give you around ½ marks which becomes important when we have around 20 questions in each paper and we have 6 papers. So, do make them in each and every question.


When you write your conclusion, you should be clear what you want to tell/communicate to the examiner. Your conclusion should be between 2-3 lines. You can also give solutions before writing conclusion. Though we know time is very precious in GS but when you write conclusion it makes your answer an edge over others.

Note: Don’t write conclusions in each and every answer as it make your answer more mechanical. You have to convince the examiner that you know the things and your opinions are not vague but based on facts.

Read: Best UPSC Interview Strategy

How to Study Particular Topic

  1. UPSC Syllabus: You should have the UPSC Syllabus with you and you should internalise the syllabus . This is important because when you read the newspaper you can easily recognize and relate the topics in the news with the syllabus which makes your preparation more sound and effective.
  2. Definitions: You have to make a separate notebook where you have written the various terms written in the syllabus and have to learn their definition. Though you may not like it but it helps you a lot in the introduction of your answer. For example: In GS Paper 2, you can simply write good definition of terms like  Governance, Poverty, Hunger, Citizen Character,etc.
  3. Mind Maps/Charts: You can make mind maps or flowcharts as they will help you to learn the topic easily and will help you in revision too.
  4. Collect important Facts and Figures: You can take the help of Government or International reports in collecting figures and information. Making notes of these things help you to revise easily and provide you the much awaited confidence.
  5. Notes of Important Historic Personalities: This helps you to deal the history section effectively. Try to cover those figures which are in the news.
  6. Important Judgments: You can make notes on important Judgements and can use them in your answers in GS paper 2 on topics like Privacy, Centre-State Relations, etc.

Download: NCERT Books

UPSC is not just an Exam its a journey. Enjoy this journey you will definitely get a positive outcome.

IAS Sachin Gupta

I hope this article has given you the much needed help and we would like to thank IAS Sachin Gupta for sharing their strategy with CrackUPSC.

We have to understand IAS Sachin Gupta has done his job now its our responsibility to ensure that we also clear this exam. We will make new paths just like IAS Sachin Gupta did and we will.



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