The UPSC syllabus is voluminous, and Current Affairs make up one of the most significant portions of CSE across all three stages- preliminary, mains and interview. The topic is very vast, undefined, and dynamic, making it appear confusing for many CSE aspirants.
Unlike other subjects for the UPSC CSE, current affairs is a different ball game altogether. Adopting a defined approach and a set strategy to prepare for current affairs can aid your exam preparation.
Typically, the current affairs section covers contemporary international and national events of immense significance. You need to prepare for it rightfully and revise regularly. BYJU’s Exam Prep can help guide you by giving a proper roadmap to follow while preparing notes for current affairs.
Here are some aspects you must keep in mind while making notes:
● Go through only the most relevant newspaper editorials.
● Avoid going through articles that talk about political news and political parties.
● Focus on the science and technology sections of newspapers, and note down global technological advancements, latest findings and inventions.
● Note down significant social challenges and issues in the news. Such insights can serve as great examples for essays and mains answers.
● Prepare brief notes about pressing legal, economic, and environmental issues in the news.
On the face of it, preparing the notes to face the current affairs section of the UPSC exam seems to be a daunting task. But, with assistance from BYJU’s Exam Prep program, the process can become a joy ride!
Here are some tips that can help you make effective current affairs notes for the Civil Services Examination:
● Limit your sources: Preparing for the current affairs section for the exam can be overwhelming owing to the information overload in the form of reading materials, newspapers and online portals. Yes, materials like Pratiyogita Darpan, EPW, CSR, Chronicle, Yojana, etc. are helpful. But, referring to too much material can be counterproductive. Give preference to quality instead of quantity. Stick to 2-3 reliable sources for current affairs throughout your preparation, and make notes out of them in brief.
● Organise your time: Candidates often devote a significant portion of their time reading newspapers and visiting online news portals. As a result, they can hardly devote quality time to reading other subjects. It is crucial to find the perfect balance between preparing for current affairs and other subjects. So, ideally, limit the former to 2 hours a day, and try to use it effectively by making notes of all topics you read concisely.
● Give importance to issues and not news: The former focuses on ideas, whereas the latter talks about a specific incident. For example, ICJ’s or the International Court of Justice’s verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav is more of a news story. As a UPSC aspirant, you must focus on making in-depth notes on ICJ—its structure and mandate, and bilateral relations between India and Pakistan from this story.
● Make notes online: Making hand-written notes can be extremely time-consuming. Apps like Evernote, One Note, and Notion serve as great platforms for note-taking. They are easy to use, can be accessed from anywhere and considering the dynamic nature of current affairs, they give you the luxury to add or delete data later.
● Never skip reading newspapers: Examiners tend to ask about topics that have been in the news recently. This is true for both static and dynamic topics, so do not skip reading the newspaper under any circumstances. Make note of certain outstanding pieces of information and use them as anecdotes or examples for ethics, essay, and interview.
If you still find note-making for current affairs overwhelming, check out Byju’s Exam Prep. It is exclusively designed for focused learning, keeping the Civil Services Examination in mind. The study material is tailor-made and covers all the latest national and international news and current affairs in the form of recorded lectures, notes and articles. The UPSC Preparation magazine can help supplement your preparation and help you keep track of your progress through MCQs and sample question-answers.
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