Current Affairs for the IAS Exam: Various candidates opt for various methods to prepare well for the Current Affairs for the IAS Exam. There is no one specific method that can be considered to be the best for the preparation of the Current Affairs for all of the candidates facing the Civil Services Exam.
An IAS aspirant is required to opt for the right kind of the study material he is most convinced of to prepare for the Current Affairs. For instance, some of the candidates prefer reading books, others refer to websites including the government ones for authentic information, many would opt for listening to the TV News, others may go for reading the magazines regularly etc. And a huge majority opts for reading The Hindu.
Tips to Prepare for the Current Affairs for the IAS Exam
It is only logical that the sources opted for to prepare for the Current Affairs for the IAS Exam vary from one candidate to another, so do the methods to do the same.
However, here are a few tips to prepare for the Current Affairs for the IAS Exam that would be of considerable help to all the IAS aspirants in general.
1. Do not pile up the study material
It is better to scan all the sources available and limit them to the most suitable ones. It is not the deluge of the study material that counts, but how well you prepare for the Exam. It is the quality of the preparation, rather than the quantity of how much of the material you read that would ultimately count.
Most of the IAS aspirants pile up a lot of study material for the preparation of the Current Affairs on their study table. However, they only end up spending unnecessarily purchasing all the books, newspapers, magazines etc., they come across. Besides, they usually do not find it easy to organize their time to read the entire study material that they have collected.
The IAS aspirants do need to understand that more of the study material does not imply that it will fetch you more of the marks. Thus, you might be purchasing books, magazines or newspapers one after another, but might not be having sufficient time at your disposal to read them all attentively.
It is how you prepare and understand what you have been reading that would equip you with a critical insight into various issues related to the Current Affairs. And that is definitely going to contribute to your writing skills and hence add to your final score.
2. Research well before going for a selective reading
It has already been insisted upon above that piling the study material is not going to serve any purpose. However, before you opt for a selective reading, it is advisable that you research well.
Only then you would be able to decide for yourself, which of the study material would be the most suitable for you to prepare for the Current Affairs. You might be having your own preferences.However, here is a list of what you should study in order to prepare for the Current Affairs for the IAS Exam in one of the best ways:
a. The Hindu
- All India Radio Discussion/Spotlight
- Miscellaneous Resources including:
I)Big Picture – RSTV
II) India’s World
IV)Various government websites, apart from other resources available at the Internet.
3. Time Management Skills
- Some of the IAS aspirants spend a lot of time over looking for the suitable study material for the preparation of the Current affairs. And, once again, when they actually acquire the study material of their choice, they are not left with sufficient time to read it.
Besides, there is no dearth of the IAS aspirants who take down notes for the preparation of Current Affairs. But, they pile up bulky registers taking down notes. And again, they do not have the time to read the notes, let alone revise them.
Thus, it is only logical that you finalize the resources you are going to read from. Plane your schedule. It is best to think of a time table.
Now, fix the time to prepare for the Current Affairs. And read the study material with focus and concentration.
For the sake of your convenience, a guideline is given below in order to help you divide your time for different activities for the preparation of Current Affairs:
- ReadThe Hindu regularly (30-45 minutes)
- Read a good online analytical compilation on News daily (45 minutes)
- Revise the previous week’s issues related to Current Affairs. You may refer to Internet for the same or the notes you might have been preparing while reading.
- Read a monthly compilation. You may refer to a magazine or a monthly Current Affairs publication.
4. It is the issue and not the news that is important for you
There is a huge difference in between the news and the issue. As an IAS aspirant, you are supposed to focus on the issue and not on the news.
The news talks of the details of an incident whereas the issue conveys the basic idea co-related to the same. Here are a few examples to illustrate the point further. It is news when the PM talks of the $5 trillion-economy. However, the issue is based on a much larger issue. Why the particular amount of $5 trillion only? Analyze the entire issue.
Focus on getting to understand what sectors would be affected. And what steps need to be taken by the government. Can the pace of investment be increased? If yes, how? Are their impediments faced by our economy? In case there are, what can be done to overcome them so that the nation may be able to realize the $5 trillion economy goal by the time it is 2024.
You may pick up a lot of other news and analyze the issue related to it as explained in the example given above. You may follow the framework given below in order to study the issue behind the news in an effective manner:
- Focus on the reason- Focusing on the reason, try to find why is the specific news there in the first place itself? That is to say, what is it that has made something so important that it should be treated as a news?
- Background— Get to know the facts, data, authentic reports etc.
- Current Status— Has the government taken any steps to resolve the issue, (whatsoever the case may be) so far?
- Flip side of the picture — Try to see both sides of the picture, i.e., keep in mind all the pros and cons of an issue when you analyze the same.
- Any opinion –What do you think should be done toresolve the issue?
If you feel that the source for preparing the Current Affairs that you have been referring to does not give a comprehensive treatment to an issue, you may get the same on the Internet after a little search.
Current Affairs refer to the current developments. No wonder, there would be some development taking place almost all of the time. As a result, you would be moving ahead with your preparation for the subject including all the details for the new developments.
It is very possible that you begin to forget some of the details and/or relevant facts that you might have studied, say, a week ago. So, make it a point to revise regularly.
Besides, retaining the facts in your memory for longer spans of time, frequent revisions would also make it easier for you to recall all the details as and when required. And the same is going to be of great use when you face the IAS Exam at various stages including the Prelims, Mains and also the Interview.
Apart from the benefits of making the revisions for Current affairs as stated above, you would realize for yourself that whenever you revise, you get a deeper insight into an issue. As a result, you can analyze an issue at various perspectives. This would definitely sharpen your answer writing skills. As a result, you would be able to answer well not only in the Mains, but also the Interview.
To sum up, Current Affairs is a highly dynamic subject. Besides, it helps you prepare for the Prelims and sharpen your answer writing skills for the Mains. Moreover, preparing for the Current Affairs would equip you better for the Interview. Thus, Current Affairs is crucial to your success in the IAS Exam. So, prepare it well and you would be far better equipped to score higher than what you had been initially.
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