Easy Tips on How to Prepare for Current Affairs in UPSC


Are you planning to give the UPSC Civil Services Exam? Or,

Are you preparing for the UPSC IAS Exam?

Then definitely go through this whole article because here I am going to discuss:

How to Prepare for IAS Exam and How to Prepare for Current Affairs for UPSC

UPSC Civil Services Exam is the most challenging exam in the country. It would be best to have a good strategy and be a smart aspirant to pass the UPSC exam. UPSC Civil Services exam consists of 3 stages:

  1. Preliminary exam (objective- facts)
  2. Main exam (written- analysis, opinion, interlinkages, etc.)
  3. Interview (verbal- personality test).

Current affairs are a very prominent component in the Civil services examination as many questions are asked from this section at every stage of the exam. Current Affairs is a dynamic and undefined part that confuses everyone about dealing with it. It would be best to have a strategy to prepare for the current affairs section. But before that, you need to go through and analyze the previous year’s question papers to understand the type of questions generally being asked from the current affairs section. Current Affairs are all the events of national and international importance, so you need consistency of effort to gain success.

Easy Tips on How to Prepare for Current Affairs in UPSC
January 16, 2022
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Table of Contents

Identify sources: There is a lot of online and offline reading material on current affairs, making it difficult for the aspirants to understand what to read.

You should choose quality over quantity.

Some of the best sources on How to prepare for current affairs UPSC

Best Source for current affairs

  • Newspapers– The Hindu, The Indian Express, etc.
  • Monthly Current Affairs Magazine– Pratiyogita Darpan, Civil Services Times, Yojana, Niti Aayog reports, Economic and Political Weekly (for some topics only), World Focus year-end issue only, etc.
  • Internet- There are a lot of available resources on the internet which you may follow.
  • All India Radio

How to prepare for current affairs for UPSC Prelims study

  • Practice 50 MCQs on current affairs daily
  • When the exam is nearer, practice 100 MCQs daily

Mains study:

  • Newspaper reading (30-45 min) – every day
  • Look for issues and make notes on them (one or two a day)

Detail about how to prepare for current affairs for UPSC

You should focus on issues and not news: You should always look for something more than the news and headlines because, in UPSC, they generally ask questions on the issues in the news. This is a very important point to how to prepare for current affairs. So you must understand the news issues and make notes on them. News is the incident, but issues are the ideas. You may follow the following points.

  • Reason- Why is it in the news?
  • Background Knowledge- Reports, Facts and Data.
  • Current Status- Is any action taken so far regarding it?
  • Both sides- Pros and Cons
  • Opinion/ Suggestion- What we must do about it?

Note making: You should practice making notes online or offline because it helps you quickly revise before the exam. It is one of the most important solutions to preparing for current affairs. Writing of notes can be categorized into two types:

  • Date wise Notes- These are generally of no use because sorting important and studying from these daily notes is impossible.
  • Topic Wise Notes- These are the best because the information related to a single topic is stored in one place.

The most important point you should remember while preparing the current affairs notes is that your notes should be short and up to the point because, in the UPSC exam, you will be allowed to write 250 words (maximum) for a question where you also need to present all the important aspects of the topic with a suitable solution to the issue which you think would justify the issue.

It would be best to use pointers, flow charts, mindmaps, etc., to make notes. These help in concept clearing and also to remember everything. So it would be best if you wrote the topic of the note wise, and you can practice online/offline whichever best suits you.

Focus on keywords: Make short notes after reading a topic several times, as they will help you identify the keywords. This is another important solution to how to prepare for current affairs. So look for keywords when preparing a certain topic because keywords are very important for current affairs. Write all the keywords related to one topic at a single place for preparation so that later you can relate a keyword directly with a topic of the current affair.

It makes it easy for you to write the exam, such as whenever you find a keyword in the question, you try to remember the news/ topic related to it, which you can remember everything and easily answer the question. Every question has a tag with it, which is the same keyword you need to find out while preparing for a topic of current affairs.

Choose quality over quantity: You might find some people who research a lot about the best source available to study, like the best website/ newspaper for current affairs but don’t read them with effort. You might also find people who read a lot and read things from every possible available source and make huge notes for the exam to study.

Well, these things do not work at all. The more you do these things. The more is, the chances that you fail. Please do your research for a day or two, decide on your sources, and stick with it, i.e. read everything from the source you chose, so choose your source wisely. You’ll do just fine.

Not everything in the newspapers is essential for the UPSC exam. It would be best if you always avoided news on issues such as political parties, in-depth details on the share market, entertainment, sports news, etc. unless it’s your hobby to read them. So it would be best if you read what’s important for the UPSC exam. Reading everything blindly will not work.

Do Not Try to Mug Up: We all try to mug up when giving an exam. In UPSC, there are certain sections that you can clear by mugging up, but you cannot apply the same mug up the process while preparing for the Current Affairs section.

So if you are puzzled with the question of how to prepare for current affairs, follow the above steps, but please don’t mug up everything. It won’t work at all. Hence, in this case, you only need to memorize the dates and specific names related to the current affair topic.

Revisions: The best revision method is re-writing again and again. That is why nothing is better than revision for you if you want to clear UPSC Civil Service Exam. These methods will ensure that you capture more of the current affairs in a manner relevant to this exam.

But as because current affairs are continuously evolving daily, the best way to retain the content is through constant revision. Revise daily and execute them in the answers (in a sentence or two). It will evolve your quality of answers.

Answer-writing practice: Practise writing daily. There is no substitute for answer-writing, so you must learn it before too late. You should prepare yourself well and keep answering, considering how an IAS officer answers.

You should learn from your mistakes and improve from them. Please pick up an editorial from a newspaper or a topic from the syllabus, frame a question, and write its answer. This is the key answer to your question on preparing for current affairs.

Well, here are a few more tips on how to prepare for IAS.

tips on how to prepare for IAS

Understand your syllabus: You need to understand the nature, clarity, and scope of the syllabus because it is crucial for good preparation. It will help you understand what to study and what not to study. The questions asked in the exam are always within the syllabus; hence you always need to keep a close eye on the updated syllabus as it will surely give you success.

Choose your study material: Choosing study material is not a simple task you require proper guidance for that. It is always good to begin preparation by getting subject fundamentals in place. The best source to get good information on the various subjects is the NCERT books (from class 6 to 12).

Study the pattern: You must go through the previous years’ question papers because it helps determine the type of questions in UPSC. Solving those questions will also help you find the best source of study material. An analysis of the previous years’ papers will help you to understand the syllabus in a better way and also to identify the areas from where more questions have been asked frequently.

Mock Tests: Mock tests are available for candidates all over India, both Online and Offline. These tests help you prepare for the mains and give you a real experience of the UPSC exam, i.e. how it will be, what the exam rules are, etc. By giving regular mock tests, you also learn time management. Mock tests are chargeable, but they are equally helpful if you give them genuine sources.

Overall Advice

You need to find the important current affairs, make notes, and study daily but only revise everything together on weekends. It is generally observed that because the current affairs become a burden, the people spend all the time covering the current affairs only whereas compromise with the time allotted to other subjects.

This is a bad strategy for the long run because all the other subjects play an equally significant part in current affairs and need very good preparation, without which you will fail. Only Current affairs will not help you pass the UPSC Civil Services Exam, so you need to have a proper balance between everything while preparing for the examination.

It would be best to practice writing directly straight to the point notes to concise your answers. This will increase your writing speed and help you put more information in your answers for the exam. With more and more information written in a shorter way, you need to have a strong vocabulary with other skills which you will automatically grow once you start reading the newspaper.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, I suggest that you follow the above points to succeed in your UPSC Civil Services Exam. I have answered the questions on how to prepare for IAS in general and prepare for current affairs for UPSC. Study hard, give it your best shot, and don’t lose hope. It doesn’t depend on your luck.

It solely depends on your hard work. Believe me. And when you give your 100%, luck is always there by your side. So keep all the points in mind, practice regularly, and prepare yourself smartly.

All the best for your UPSC Civil Services Exam or IAS.

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