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Impact of data and facts in Mains answers?

Hello all,
I am going to write my 1st mains this year, and have been practicing answer writing for past 1.5 months. But I feel that my answers are very generalist and lack factual information/data points.

Eg: for relations with china it would be just "huge trade deficit" instead of "$52 billion trade deficit".
Similarly, in a question where Ease of doing business was being discussed, I wrote - "poor ranking in ease of doing business" instead of "India is 130th in ease of doing business rankings"

I think this is making my answers look that they are lacking a lot of substance while the meaning and analysis remains same.

Can some seniors put some light on the impact of data and factual information on marks in mains :)

thanks in advance


  • It doesn't matter if you are writing the idea. Huge trade deficit will be sufffice. What matter is the analysis you build up on it. Don't load ur self with unnecessary facts.
  • @failure_2016, I feel some important data is good to remember, Eg: You cannot say, I don't remember my brother/sister's birthday because its data and I can't remember :). But the data should be presented in a lucid manner like generalist. If you know some numbers like FD/world ranking of India in various perspectives/poverty numbers etc you can enrich your answer. I feel one should not write answer like a layman neither like a technical expert. The answer should cover multiple perspectives that is built logically on standard facts and information.

    At this point, what I feel is: If you have jotted down important areas in news, then just spend few hours to collect data/phrases which can be used. And then start incorporating them in your answers.

    PS: Please go through answer scripts of toppers who scored well in GS.
  • Check the answer sheets of Tina Dabi available on vision ias platform. They are not very factual, rather the presentation and way of building answer is very good. She has scored 424 marks in GS.

    What matters is the answer should be as per the demand of question and very integrated and cohesive with whatever knowledge you have. Boasting with unnecessary data should be avoided at all costs.
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