How To Make Notes For UPSC Preparation

"All our dreams can come true if we dare to pursue them."

As students, we all have our very own dreams that we would want to come true. For many of us, our dreams are the life goals that we would want to achieve someday. Clearing the UPSC Exam is one such hurdle goal for many students in our country. A dream many follow, but not many can achieve.

Every year, lakhs of aspirants give up on their UPSC dream. Some due to lack of time, others due to lack of guidance, and some blame their luck. If we want to achieve something in life we will find a way. And if we don’t want to achieve something we will find an excuse.

How do I start preparing for UPSC Exam? Is the exam is difficult and deserving of the hype it gets? Can I just prepare at the last minute and get away with it? These are a few questions that baffle many of us.

Don’t stress too much. Here are some significant tips that will help you to manage this struggle.


1. Identifying what is important

Students tend to get tensed about exam preparations. Simply mugging up everything we can lay our hands on is nothing new in our education system. Although this is a common practice, the correct approach is distinguishing between what is going to be useful for you and what isn’t going to be useful.

Gulping down everything in a go won’t necessarily help you clear the exam. While preparing notes, you must make sure you keep a track of what exactly you are jotting down.


2. Acquire general knowledge

UPSC Exam is a more current affairs based exam. This means having the habit of reading a newspaper and looking up current world affairs is a good idea if you are preparing for the UPSC Exam. UPSC Exams tend to ask questions about world affairs from the past year to the present scenario. Keeping notes about current affairs and general world knowledge is going to be useful in the long run. Especially if you are someone who struggles to recall things you studied in the past.

Keeping notes on such topics will give you the advantage of being able to look them up at times. This can help you refresh your memory. Make notes only of national and international topics that you feel are important or significant.

Keeping notes on each and everything isn’t practically possible. And remember to trust only credential sources, whether it is from a newspaper or a website.

Questions based on current affairs are asked in both the preliminary stage and the main stage of the exam. This makes knowing about current affairs important in helping you clear the UPSC Exam with more ease.


3. Going through old question papers

Going through previous year questions isn’t something new to anyone who is preparing for the UPSC Exam. But it isn’t something many of us give the importance it deserves. It is recommended that you have a separate revision by going through previous year questions. This will give you a better idea of the exam pattern and the type of questions the exam leans towards.

This factor is extremely helpful for aspirants who are appearing for the exam for the first time. This will also make you understand the pattern the exam follows and topics where you require more attention.


4. Reading

“A man who won’t read has no advantage over a man who can’t read” – Mark Twain

Not mugging it up, but reading. As important as it is to look up current affairs, it is equally important to go through more books. Read books related to subjects in the exam. The UPSC Exam doesn’t follow a strict syllabus from a particular book, so you never know what might come in handy.

There are books dedicated to UPSC exam preparations as well. Along with that, going through general books for each subject is going to be key as well. A handful of the questions asked in UPSC Exams can be found in NCERT Books. Reading the NCERT books isn’t going to be a waste of time, in fact for people confused about what to read, NCERT books will be a good beginner. And don’t forget to make notes on these subjects that you read as well.


5. Giving equal importance to every subject

While preparing or making notes for your UPSC Exam, one thing to be kept in mind is to not omit out any subject. While it isn’t a bad idea to concentrate more on topics that you find easy, but completely avoiding a topic that you find difficult will do you more harm than good.

The UPSC Prelims Exam consists of two papers, a General Studies paper, and CSAT paper. Both of them have different topics and a different approach as well. But giving one paper more importance or one subject more importance over the other won’t help. Try to cover equal grounds from all the available topics.


6. The early bird catches the worm

While many people do struggle with clearing the UPSC Exam, many of them have their reasons for not being able to clear the exam. And the most common one out of them is “lack of time”. Rushing through your syllabus in hopes of clearing the UPSC Exam does not have many success stories.

If you are passionate about clearing your UPSC Exam, then you should find time to start preparing as early as possible. We recommend you start at least 2 months before the exam. Any exam without preparation is going to be a disaster for you, and UPSC Exam is no exception in that aspect. To be honest, many consider it to be the most or one of the most difficult exams in the country.


7. Managing your time well

“The key is not spending time, but in investing it” – Stephen R. Covey

A small yet important detail not to forget is time management. The UPSC Exam has a set time limit to which all candidates must adhere to. Practicing and trying to solve previous question papers will help you better with time management. It will also give a clear idea of subjects where you require more time than others.

This time management skill will come in very handy when appearing for the exam. Spending too much time on certain questions will make you end up having no time to complete the exam.

Remember that both the prelims and the mains are equally important for you to qualify for the exam. And both these exams require some level of time management to clear them. Failing to score a minimum of 25% in these exams will automatically eliminate you from the exam. So attending questions without spending too much time is crucial.


8. Revision

Revision is the key. Nothing is better than a good revision. Revise everything you studied and go through them once again to make sure that you remember. But revision isn’t something that should be rushed through either. It is the final step, but not something to be done in the final hour. Decide when you will revise and keep a calm mind and concentration when doing so. Doing a panic revise won’t help you.

This is the reason that we recommend you to make a schedule for revising and stick to it. After all, who knows your abilities better than you.

Since the UPSC Exam is based mainly on current affairs, make sure your notes are updated and you haven’t left out anything in a hurry. Revision is an important aspect and isn’t something that should be ignored.

At Opdemy, we make sure our students receive nothing but the best. We have incorporated all the above methods into our teaching style. We have taken fulfilling our student’s dreams as our mission. We strive to give our students the excellence they deserve without any compromises. We help them make their dreams into reality.

“You have to dream before your dreams can come true” – Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam


Remember that in the tips we have given each of them have their significance. Following all of them together will bring you the best result possible. And don’t prepare for the UPSC or any exam with a stressful mind. Studying under stress or pressure is not worth the effort in the end. Keep a cool head and remember to enjoy the spare time you get.

There is nothing impossible if we put our minds to it. Saying so, we hope we could help you with your UPSC Preparation. Even if it is a tiny drop, we are happy we could help. And remember, even with a tiny drop, the ocean is never the same and so is our knowledge.

All the best for your UPSC Exam preparation!

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