How to Make Notes for Current Affairs

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How to Make Notes for Current Affairs

Generally, candidates tend to lose almost 40% of new information very soon after the first reading but if they make notes then this information can retain by almost 100%.

Due to the vast syllabus of the UPSC exam, it is almost impractical for aspirants to revise all the textbooks and entire syllabus just before the examination but revision plays a major role in scoring good marks and cracking the examination at the same time. Therefore, to overcome this problem most candidates rely on their self made notes. These notes are very helpful for a quick revision during exam days.

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Note making is a part of active learning and candidates cannot expect to clear the IAS exam without preparing notes and revising them regularly. Note making plays a crucial role, even UPSC toppers of any year also prepare notes and make them a part of their strategy to crack the examination.

Candidates are able to retain things by looking back at their own notes or other person’s. Note making processes improve our learning and retention capacity. Although note making is crucial, it is suggested not to waste much of your time making such notes. The simple meaning of note making is to write down things which you tend to forget, make them in such a manner that you can look back and understand them in one reading and also revise in quick succession of time.

The first step of making notes

Note making is quite confusing for some candidates; they don’t know if everything is to write down on paper or use digital devices. You can often see some aspirants go for notes making in one go. They actually don’t know the exact meaning of notes making and its importance of it.

Inarguably, the meaning of notes making is to write down things but it is an art where you read things and use that information smartly in pinning them down in a crispy and precise manner. First of all, collecting information is the key to the note-making process. So, read all the topics before note-making.

So before note-making, you should go for information collection in the initial age and later on disseminate that information in note-making. 

Analyze things

Forgetfulness is one of the common problems that are found in students. They generally forget all things that they have read after some time but don’t worry about this. It is absolutely normal. We all tend to forget the studied things but revising them again and again holds the key to examination. Try to visualize things, read less and analyze more. UPSC exam needs knowledge beyond The limited knowledge of books. So apart from reading the books, analyze the things and understand the concept more innately. 

Write in your own words

Make a mind map or flowchart and utilize it in Mains answer writing to get an edge ahead as compared to other candidates. Making a diagram or flowchart is beneficial in notes making point of view and also in terms of answer writing. So if you have a time crunch in the exam hall you may depict relevant information on your copy to fetch good marks.

Make crisp and precise notes

Confine notes as small as possible. Make your not into a format: when, how and where… Also, notes should be crisp and precise. Don’t fill your notebook with irrelevant information because they are not of any use but sticking to the point is most important. 

In brief, you may end up making lengthy notes for yourself before the exam, which might not be much useful. Linear notes are more useful as compared to writing down the whole thing. It will only increase your work burden so try to stick with the information like you have to carry it for a lifetime.

There are different methods of making notes. For example, linear notes and pattern note. Choose the method which suits you the best.

Pattern notes

In pattern notes, each topic is at the center of the notebook and every line radiating from it represents a branch of the main point. All points are written in brief using keywords. This method is flexible and appropriate; you can also add extra information at any point in time.

Pattern notes making is advantageous because you can see the entire pattern at one time on a single page. Moreover, you can also indicate the links between different topics very easily. It also helps in jotting down the points as and when they creep into the mind. 

Pattern notes help in revision much faster. These notes are very easy to remember as only brief keywords are being used to make notes.

But sometimes due to overloaded facts and information notes become very messy. Pattern notes can remind a basic idea but they are not sufficient alone to remember details. Therefore, the best method of making notes is the combination of both pattern and linear notes. You can use your own pattern of making notes that may help you in revision.

Linear notes

The linear method is best to make notes from a book, newspaper or magazine. In this method, you will have to condense the material that you have read and also jot down the important points by using appropriate heading and subheadings. Be careful while condensing the contents as you have to avoid copying a lot of material.

It is good to use loose sheets of paper to make notes on a given topic so that you can add information through additional sheets. You can also use colorful pens, blocks, letters, highlighters and boxes while making notes. It not only arranges the notes in sequence but also makes them attentive so that you can quickly recall the important points of any topic. 

How to make notes from the newspaper for UPSC

Newspapers are considered to be the gateway to covering current affairs. A standard newspaper provides us exclusive news from every corner of our country and the world as well. Being a Civil service aspirant, you must be updated with all the current happenings around the world. Hence, newspapers are the best sources for answering current affairs. In this article, we will learn how you can make notes from the newspaper to answer the current affairs question in the IAS examination.

You can use notebooks, registers and pages to make current affairs notes and organize them by categorizing all the data as per month, subjects or topics. Not making is considered an art because this would be brief and concise including all relevant information. It is also a good choice to make notes online since the internet gives us the most updated result. You can use Google docs or the Evernote app to classify data very easily. 

Some important factors to be remembered

The newspaper’s editorials are highly recommended while preparing notes as it consists of the most important information regarding geographical issues, government schemes, poverty RBI initiatives, drought and monsoon conditions. 

Over the articles that mostly involve reading about the political parties, issues regarding the elections have no relevance to the constitution or administration of India. 

Entertainment and sports news cover a major part of the newspaper but they are not helpful with the UPSC syllabus so don’t consider them while making notes.

The Science and Technology part of the newspaper provides all the news regarding the current research and projects going on around the world. So don’t forget to check them and the latest inventions obtained from Modern research.

There are common social issues and challenges that our society is facing. Pay attention to them as they help write down the essay type questions. 

Also, check out the hot topics including water conservation, linking of rivers, water disputes etc. 

Make the note category wise so that you can give a quick revision and find any topic easily whenever required.

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