Strategies for Studying Current Affairs for UPSC
Current Affairs play an important role in IAS Exam preparation. It is essential in all the three stages of the examination i.e., Prelims, Mains, and the Interview. Often, questions asked at different stages are directly or indirectly linked to the static part of the syllabus.
The previous years’ papers’ trend shows that the percentage of weightage for dynamic portions is increasing every year. Therefore, candidates appearing for UPSC-CSE should give importance to Current Affairs and related issues while preparing for the exam. Candidates can go through Current Affairs 2021 for UPSC 2021 preparation. The importance of current affairs at each stage is explained below.
Every year, around 20-30 questions are directly or indirectly asked about current affairs. For example, In Kerala, a pregnant elephant died after consuming pineapple stuffed with crackers in 2020. In that year’s prelims, a question was asked on the elephant’s gestation period, lifespan and its population. So, current affairs is an extremely important and deciding factor for the Prelims exam.
The present trend in UPSC-CSE mains questions shows that questions are asked linking current events with static portions. So, concise and precise notes on current events are required to face the mains exam. Current affairs help develop analytical and logical thinking about different topics linked with the static portion. It also helps in dealing with mains questions correctly and scoring good marks.
An interview is conducted to test the candidate’s knowledge and capability of dealing with a real situation. So, the candidate must be innovative and well aware of current events. The candidate must also have theoretical knowledge of different subjects. Often, questions are asked on applications of current events in the static portion. Therefore, current affairs form an important part of the interview preparation. A proper strategy is required for in-depth preparation of current affairs in a time bound manner.
Strategies for studying Current Affairs
- Candidates should focus on inclusive revision of both sections i.e., current and static parts, instead of considering current affairs as a standalone part.
- Candidates must be aware of the syllabus. They must have detailed knowledge of subjects such as Art & Culture, Geography, Economics, Science & Tech, International Relations, Security etc.
- The above should be again divided into subtopics. When candidates read newspapers related to these subtopics, they should focus on the background of the event, its current status, and the relevance of the issues.
- The facts and figures will be helpful in prelims, interlinking news with the static portion, and its analysis will help in the mains exam. A holistic approach is necessary at the interview stage.
- Apart from reading newspapers, candidates are expected to update their notes regularly in a crisp and concise manner.
- It is said that humans often retain images for a longer time than the texts read. Hence, aspirants should use pointers, flow charts, mind maps, etc for making notes.
- The market is flooded with current affairs material. If you refer to multiple study sources, you will find that most of the information is usually repetitive. So, limit your sources for the Current affairs preparation.
Multiple revisions of limited resources help in the UPSC journey. Aspirants must solve MCQs on current affairs on a daily basis. It helps in enhancing MCQs solving skills which is crucial for Prelims. Candidates can find Current affairs MCQs on the linked page Current Affairs Quiz. Also, one must write at least one answer daily on issues related to current events to improve answer writing skills. Current affairs constitute a major part of the prelims paper. It also helps in increasing awareness and building the character of a person. So one cannot deny its importance.