How can you clear IAS Examination with one year of smart preparation?
Newspapers are an integral part of IAS preparation. We have already shared the tips to select the right newspaper and identifying the relevant news articles in our previous blog (). After picking up the right newspaper and identifying the relevant news articles, one question still remains: How to master the art of making notes from the newspaper for the IAS exam? Educrat IAS focuses on two things, regarding newspaper-notes: firstly, copy-pasting the news article will only kill your time and waste your efforts; secondly, keep less in the paper, more in the mind. Most essentially, your newspaper notes should be at par with the requirements of the UPSC syllabus; nothing more, nothing less.
- Avoid Copying the Articles from the Newspaper
Only important keywords, names, dates, data, etc should be jotted down. Before starting off with note-making, at the first place, it is important to read and understand the news article. A basic understanding of the issue is the most important thing and for that note-making is not necessary. Once you form an idea of the issue and are aware of good amount of facts related to the issue, jot down the main points in the copy; only the ones which you find difficult to remember.
- Make notes in question-answer format
At Educrat IAS, through the newspaper analysis and discussion classes, students are taught to learn the technique of framing questions from newspaper articles. We believe that if your are able to frame questions of our own, you are not only understanding the concerned issue but at the same time, you are able to understand the pattern of question that can be asked in the IAS exam, regarding the topic. Although this technique is more helpful for mains oriented notes, it is also beneficial from the perspective of the prelims. The IAS exam is more about conceptual clarity, analytical prowess than knowing facts and figures. However, adding data in the answer adds to its credibility and makes the answer stand out among the other competitors’. Hence, fact and analysis complements each other when it comes to newspaper notes for the IAS exam.
- Backward linkages of Newspapers
Newspaper articles are mostly repetitive, and hence if you read minutely, it is easier to form a complete idea of every issue. Backward linking of newspapers is very important, which means when you come across an issue in today’s newspaper edition, which was there in some previous edition, go back to your notes and revise the points, and updates the note with new facts, if necessary. For example, during elections, one day you will find some news on the ‘model code of conduct’, whereas on some other day you will come across the fact that the Election Commission has notified about violation of the model code of conduct in some areas where elections are being held. Again, some other day, the newspaper will have an article on the use of EVMs and VVPAT machines. Points to remember are: Which article of Indian Constitution mentions about the role of the Election Commission? What is the model code of conduct? What are EVMs and VVPAT machines? What is the concept of postal ballot and why is it necessary in the context of elections held in India? etc.
- Revise your newspaper notes
Keywords and notes written in pointers are easier to revise compared to large sentences. Note-making alone will not ensure your success in the IAS examination; revising is more important than writing notes. Periodic revision classes at Educrat IAS aim at developing the habit of revising in each of the students ensuring that what is in the copy is also in the mind. Also, if you revise the notes on a regular basis, you will not miss out any update on the issue, which you can keep adding to your notes. By doing this, at the end of the year, you will have a compilation of your own handwritten notes, which are easy to revise before the exam, compared to the monthly compilations available on the internet. This process will take care of the holistic preparation, with up-to-date current affairs notes, which is the key demand of the UPSC examination. Revising your newspaper notes will also give you an edge to master the art of elimination in the GS paper of the IAS prelims exam. Even if you are not aware of the exact answer, will have a fair knowledge of the issue with the help of which, you can strike out irrelevant options and increase your chances of attempting more questions and clearing the cut-off percentage.