How To Prepare Current Affairs For UPSC:- One year ago, thousands of people who wanted to get tested sent me an email with their UPSC exam questions. Another topic that has always stood out to many of them is Current Affairs. Although I tried my best to respond to these emails individually, the mail volume of current news did not diminish. So I thought a detailed post for your blog would be great for everyone to read and clarify their doubts.
Table of Contents
Current Affairs For UPSC
As I mentioned in my posts on Essay and GS, there is no better way to prepare for this exam. Some posts simply reflect what I read; you have to pick and choose what you feel is right and what you are sure of. For example: I read a daily newspaper carefully, but I never made handwritten notes on it because I felt it was a waste of precious time. I found another better way to make notes online (more on this later). But if you are accustomed to making effective handwritten notes in the newspapers in a limited time, do not change it for the sake of it.
In this post, I list 5 principles that have helped me to cover the whole story and get good points in GS-1 (123), GS-2 (123), and GS-3 (136).
Principle 1: Limit your resources
The biggest problem with current news is the overflow of reading material. In my previous attempts, I used to buy things that went on automatically, with the deceptive hope that many things meant extra marks. My room was often filled with CSR, Pratiyogita Darpan, EPW, Chronicle, Yojana and all the random magazines you could mention. I would buy them for fun, keep them safe on my desk, and never open them again due to lack of time. I have learned the hard way that running a lot of things does not produce good results. Choose quality over quantity.
“Information wealth leads to poverty of attention.” – Herbert Simon
My Current News Sources:
Some aspirants spend unlimited time researching the “best website” and ‘best teaching materials’ website of current news and investing little time in reading it. Some have this idea of perfectionism that compels them to make many notes and to combine with tons of available items on the market. Get rid of this. Do your research day, decide on your sources, and stick to it. You will do well.
Principle 2: Limit your time
The problem with many aspirants is not that they do not care about the newspapers, but they overreact to their value. Some read newspapers for about 3-4 hours a day, leaving them with no time to read other subjects.
Current news is important, newspapers are important, but not so much that you spend a lot of time on it. In my experience, one has to finish reading the current news of the day in less than 2 hours. 3-4 hours of current daily news is an overworked activity.
Preparing for my current stories included
Principle 3: Focus on the news, not on the news
What is the difference? The news is about an incident. Stories focus on ideas. Let me give you a few examples.
So to understand any current problem, I used to follow the following framework:
In most cases, the material is completely covered. If not, use the Internet to find quality content and make notes online to get a full understanding of each issue.
Rule 4: Learn how to make notes online
I have never made any handwritten notes about current affairs. Doing it online saved me a lot of time. I used to read the papers, and then use Evernote to photograph and highlight the compilation of daily news releases by training institutions (select any.)
However, the next question is often asked. Can I skip a newspaper completely and just read these combinations? I will not recommend it because:
Alternatively, download the Evernote Web Clipper extension to the Chrome web store. This tool is amazingly useful for pasting online articles, highlighting them instantly and organizing them neatly into your Evernote. Here’s what my Evernote collection looks like: Screenshot
Principle 5: Read. Update. Do it.
The methods mentioned above will ensure that you capture 90-95% of current news in a way that is consistent with this test. But the current news is an ongoing theme that has been accumulating day by day. The best way to keep track of content is to review it regularly and apply it in your comments during your daily practice or test series. Simply stating a relevant subject in one or two sentences will add a great deal of value to your answers.
Alternatively, it is best to review current news as soon as possible after reading the relevant section of the paper. For example, if you are preparing for a mock GS-2 test, as soon as you have completed the standing part, update that relevant current news section. This will help you to balance the static and the current and help you write a positive response when you take the test.
Even after reading and reviewing, you may not be able to recall all the current news in the exam hall. All right. No one really can. Like complete notes, complete answers are a myth. Your task should be to write down the best response you can in the limited time you have. Trust your instincts and have that never-ending personal belief. You will exceed your expectations.