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  • #4086 Reply
    Vishesh Saraswat Vishesh Saraswat 
    Points: 16
    Rank: Amateur

    In UPSC examinations terms like critical comment,analyse,elucidate etc are used. How can I differentiate between such terms ?  What should I write when such terms are used ? What is the right approach to begin my answer ?. I am confused please answer me.


  • #9612 Reply
    Anam Kidwai Anam Kidwai 
    Points: 37
    Rank: Rookie

    Some of the main features of a high scoring answer are clarity of thought, flow, use of proper language and a multi- dimensional approach. Read the question a few times before you begin to write. Make sure you are clear about what is being asked. Try to frame the answer in your head before you begin to write it on paper.
    Some of the most common terms used in UPSC exams questions are:

    In order to frame a proper answer for questions which say ‘discuss’, you need to write about the given subject matter in detail, mention its various aspects and present both the sides of the argument. End your answer with an apt conclusion.


    Here you have to frame your answer and clearly express what, why, where and/or how something happens. These answers deal with the topic in depth. Remember to include all the important points related to the subject. An appropriate introduction and a conclusion are a must.

    Here you need to mention all the important points and then explain these points one by one.

    For the questions which say ‘describe’ a certain topic or phenomenon, the candidates have to mention the various aspects of the subject matter. Don’t forget to write the positive as well as the negative points.

    Examine and critically examine
    Here, you need to deal with the subject in detail, search for causes and write implications (if any).
    When you are asked to ‘critically examine’ a subject, you have to mention the positive as well as the negative points related to it and then give a sound judgment.

    Comment and critically comment
    Here you need to write an opinion based answer. You have to express your views and then validate them. It is recommended that you use arguments, evidences and data to justify your opinion. In case then question says ‘critically comment’, you will have to end your answer by giving a fair judgment.

    Here you have to a provide a suitable reason for the given subject and explain it in detail.

    Analyse and critically analyse
    In order to analyse something, you need to talk about the various factors related to the given topic/statement. You can separate the topic into different parts and then connect all the points in the summary. If the question says ‘critically analyse’, you need to give an unbiased judgment.

    Here you have to compare different aspects of the given question. In case the question says ‘differentiate’, you will have to present a more detailed comparison.

    Hope that helps!


Reply To: I am unable to differentiate between comment,critical comment,elucidate,illustrate and other terms used in UPSC exams. How do I differentiate between such terms?
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