7/31/2019 How to Answer Questions
Please consider a few sign-post that are fashionable attributes of UPSC to consider relevence :
Analyze: Literally, take apart. Break down a subject into its component parts and discuss how
they relate to one another.
Compare: Identify similarities and difference between (or among) two (or more) things. Onemay end by drawing some conclusion from these similarities or differences.
Contrast: Set two (or more) things in opposition in order to bring out the differences between
(or among)them. Again, draw some conclusion from these differences.
Criticize: Make a judgment on the merits of a position, theory, opinion or interpretation
concerning some subject. One must support ones judgment with a discussion of relevant
evidence.Critic must remain equal or superior and should emphasize upon the area of
Defend: Provide one side of an argument and offer reasons for the opinion held.
Define: State as precisely as possible the meaning of some word, phrase, or concept. Develop the
definition in detail.
Describe: Give a detailed account of something. Where UPSC subjects are concerned, this
account will typically be step-by-step, with the emphasis on cause and effect.
Evaluate: Appraise something, rendering a judgment on its truth, usefulness, worth, or validity.
Support the evaluation with relevant factual evidence.
Explain: Clarify something and provide reasons for it.
Identify: Define or characterize names, terms, things, places, events or other phenomenon.
Illustrate: Provide an effective example of some stated point, principle, or concept.
Outline: Show the main features of some event, concept, idea, theory, or the like. Please omit
the details. Often such an answer will be in outline rather than narrative form.
Pros & cons: A more specialized form of evaluate. List and discuss the positives and negatives
about a certain position, idea, event, theory, or the likes.
Relate: Narrate an observation or set of observations thereby emphasize the relation of one
observation to another, especially focusing on cause and effect.
Review: Survey a subject. This is much like an outline, but put in narrative rather than list or
State: Present the answer briefly and clearly, usually using a simple declarative sentence: Such-