Essay Paper UPSC 2023 (Mains) question paper and analysis of the exam are mentioned in this article below. Aspirants are advised to take a look to get a deeper understanding of the exam.
UPSC conducted the Civil Service Mains exam for essay paper on 15 September 2023.
The CSE mains essay paper comprises two sections. Each section contains 4 essay topics. Out of which 2 topics of choice from each section need to be picked.
Candidates were supposed to answer about 1000-1200 words for each essay.
UPSC CSE Essay Paper 2023 Instructions
General instructions mentioned on the essay paper, that need to be followed by every aspirant are provided here.
- Total Marks: 250 marks, Time duration: 3 hours.
- The essay must be written in the medium authorized in the admission certificate which must be stated clearly on the cover of this question-cum-answer (QCA) booklet in the space provided.
- No marks will be given for answers written in a medium other than the authorized one.
- Word limit, as specified, should be adhered to.
- Any page or portion of the page left blank, must be struck off clearly.
Essay Question Paper: UPSC Civil Services Main Exam (Written) 2023
The question paper of the UPSC CSE mains essay paper is provided here.
Write two essays, choosing one topic from each of the following Sections A and B, in about 1000-1200 words each:
1: Thinking is like a game, it does not begin unless there is an opposite team.
2: Visionary decision-making happens at the intersection of intuition and logic.
3: Not all who wander are lost.
4: Inspiration for creativity springs from the effort to look for the magical in the mundane.
5: Girls are weighed down by restrictions, boys with demands- two equally harmful disciplines.
6: Mathematics is the music of reasons.
7: A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.
8: Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
UPSC Mains Essay Paper 2023: Exam Analysis
The essay topics for the UPSC Civil Services Main Exam in 2023 were intellectually demanding and philosophical in nature.
They required candidates to engage in deep critical thinking and present their thoughts logically.
All the questions in this year’s paper aimed at assessing the candidates’ ability to handle abstract concepts and express their ideas effectively in a structured manner.
This year’s essay topics look like that UPSC has taken inspiration from a wide range of sources, including philosophical and literary works.
Thinking is like a game, it does not begin unless there is an opposite team
This topic seems to revolve around the idea that critical thinking often emerges in response to opposing viewpoints or challenges.
Candidates may have been asked to explore how the clash of ideas leads to innovation and progress.
Visionary decision-making happens at the intersection of intuition and logic.
This famous saying belongs to Paul O’Brien.
This statement likely prompted candidates to discuss the balance between intuition and rationality in making important decisions.
It encourages a reflection on the role of both factors in effective leadership and problem-solving
Not all who wander are lost
This saying belongs to
The topic expected from candidates to think about how exploring and being spontaneous in life’s journey can be really good.
It’s a deep topic that can be understood in many different ways.
Inspiration for creativity springs from the effort to look for the magical in the mundane
This essay topic appears to emphasize the idea that creativity is not limited to rare moments of inspiration but can be found in everyday experiences.
It probably asked people to think about where creativity comes from and how we can express it in our daily lives.
Girls are weighed down by restrictions, boys with demands- two equally harmful disciplines
This is the saying of Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir was a prominent French existentialist philosopher and feminist thinker. She made significant contributions to feminist philosophy through her work, including “The Second Sex,” where she discussed the concept of “The Other” and examined the role of societal expectations in shaping women’s lives.
The quote by Simone de Beauvoir presented the idea that both girls and boys or individuals of different genders, often face distinct but equally harmful forms of societal pressures and constraints.
It suggests that expectations placed on girls (referred to as “restrictions”) and boys (referred to as “demands”) can be damaging and limit their potential.
Mathematics is the music of reasons
The complete saying of James Joseph Sylvester is that mathematics is the music of reason. May not music be described as the mathematics of the sense, mathematics as music of the reason? The musician feels mathematics, the mathematician thinks music: music the dream, mathematics the working life.”
This statement suggests a poetic connection between mathematics and music. Candidates likely had to discuss the beauty and logic inherent in mathematics and its role in shaping our understanding of the world.
A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity
This topic seems to touch upon the ideas of social justice and charity, which have been discussed by philosophers like John Rawls and the concept of the “veil of ignorance.”
Candidates may have been asked to explore the relationship between justice, equality, and philanthropy in society.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school – Albert Einstein.
This essay topic likely demands from candidates to reflect on the value of education beyond rote memorization.
It may have expect discussion on the practical application of knowledge and lifelong learning.
What Should Aspirants Preparing for UPSC CSE for Next Year do for an essay paper?
Taking the essay paper in the UPSC exam seriously is important. This paper requires you to write 10-12 pages about abstract or philosophical topics, which can be challenging if you’re not well-prepared.
To succeed in this exam and perform well in the essay paper, you should work on improving your comprehension and analytical skills. To get additional guidance you can join the ClearIAS essay writing program as well.
One helpful way to prepare is by reading various types of essays, especially philosophical ones. Pay special attention to the ideas of famous philosophers like Immanuel Kant, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, and others.
Practice writing essays based on famous quotes, as this is a common format in UPSC exams.
Additionally, be ready to write essays on a wide range of topics, including society, politics, the economy, and technology. UPSC asks such types of questions too.
Keep in mind that there isn’t a fixed pattern for UPSC questions. Analyze previous year’s question papers to get valuable insight. So, focus on understanding the way UPSC frames questions rather than expecting a consistent trend.