How to Effectively Cover Current Affairs for the Civil Services Exam

A UPSC aspirant must have a good general awareness and needs to be well abreast with the current happenings. Analysis of the question papers from the recent past shows the shift of focus from static syllabus to current affairs. There also is an influence of the current affairs news on the static questions asked in the exam. Therefore, an aspirant cannot ignore current affairs preparation at any cost. It has to be an integral part of preparation. But, it is natural for a candidate to have questions like “How to prepare?”, “Which sources to refer?”, “How to make notes?”. Read on find out how to effectively cover current affairs topics for IAS exam.

Sources for covering the Current Affairs:

  • Newspaper:

Newspaper is the best source to cover the Current Affairs for UPSC exam. To score well in Prelims, you need to remember certain facts, to be able to write a good essay, one needs fodder, which comes from reading the newspaper. You do not have to read multiple news papers. Pick a newspaper of your choice, and read it thoroughly. Read only those topics which are relevant for the exam. You can skip entertainment news, political news etc. Start off by keeping a copy of the UPSC syllabus in front of you, gradually you will be able to identify the important articles.  Cover the editorials intensively and make small notes which will help you at the time of revisions.

  • Rajya Sabha TV Debates:

RS TV debates cover important national and international affairs that shape India. The points from debates and discussions aired on the Rajya Sabha TV can serve as a brilliant source of information for mains answer writing. By watching the debates, you get a holistic view of the topic in discussion, which will help you form a balanced view about the topic.

  • Magazines:

Magazines can be a supplement to the newspaper reading and are not a substitute. For in-depth knowledge about the burning issues in news, relevant to the UPSC syllabus, you can read magazines Kurukshetra, Yojana etc. You can either buy the copies or download them. Add the pointers from these magazines to the short notes that you have made by reading the newspaper.

  • Websites for IAS preparation:

There are a lot of blogs and websites that can be helpful for your IAS exam preparation. Experienced teachers and subject matter specialists analyze the topics and publish comprehensive articles. These articles can be used as a source of reference. But DO NOT treat them as a substitute to the newspaper.

A few general guidelines:

  • Have a thorough understanding of the UPSC Prelims Syllabus and Mains Syllabus while preparing for the exam. All the questions asked in the exam are well within the framework of the syllabus.
  • Cover the current affairs, for at least a year prior to your exams. Do not give it a break until you have completed the entire UPSC examination process.
  • Do not get overwhelmed by the material and websites dedicated for IAS coaching. Pick and choose a few that you are comfortable with and follow them regularly. Do not waste your precious time reading unnecessary articles.
  • Revision is the most important! With a huge syllabus to cover and regular current affairs updates, it is highly impossible to remember what has been studied – without revising the topics multiple times. Always revise within a week after covering a topic. The second revision can be within a month from the date of the first revision.

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Author: gktoday

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