Every year, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) holds the IAS exam (also known as the Civil Services Examination), and it is widely regarded as one of the most difficult exams in the country. A candidate can pass the IAS test on the first attempt if they use the appropriate approach and plan. This article enlightens us with some ways in which you can prepare notes for UPSC CSE.
Making notes is crucial for Civil Services test preparation for a variety of reasons. In just 24 hours, we often lose roughly 40% of new information. As a result, it is crucial to continuously update it in order to retain it effectively. It is hard to revise numerous times directly from books because the syllabus is too large and the books are too numerous. UPSC Notes are the most powerful weapon available in such situations.
Why is it important to prepare notes?
Taking notes is frequently misconstrued as writing everything down on paper or on a computer. Students frequently go through the process of taking notes all at once, without fully comprehending the meaning or significance of taking notes. The precise definition of taking notes is to jot down items that you might forget and that can be corrected in a short period of time. Making notes is an art in which you read something and then use that information to scribble it down in a crisp and precise way so that you can remember it.
One can thoroughly comprehend the material if one takes notes. This is because you must pick out crucial topics and condense them into a few words or sentences while taking notes. Any information that you write down improves your ability to recall it. Preparing notes is an excellent method to get some exposure to analyzing and writing about the topic at hand. You can save time by skipping over tiresome study material with well-written notes. Taking notes aids in final revision by allowing you to remember the most crucial aspects of each topic.
Linear Notes and Pattern notes
Pattern notes: Each topic should be at the center of the page, with each line radiating from it representing a branch of the main idea. Each point is written in the shortest possible time using a keyword or phrase. This is a good way to employ because it is more versatile and allows you to add new information at any moment.
Making pattern notes is advantageous since you can see the complete pattern at once without having to turn the pages. You can more easily indicate the connections between several topics. It is beneficial to one’s memory because one can scribble down points as they arise in one’s head. It’s considerably easier to comprehend the contents of pattern notes. Because only brief keywords are used to write notes, this pattern speeds up revision.
The disadvantage of writing pattern notes is that if you have too many facts and information, your notes can become cluttered and untidy. Keywords can help you recall basic concepts, but they aren’t enough when it comes to recalling details. So, the best way to take good notes is to combine Linear and Pattern approaches and develop your own unique pattern of taking notes that will aid you in your last-minute changes.
Linear notes: You summarise the stuff you’ve read and take down the most significant ideas using headings and subheadings in the Linear notes approach. After reading a book, newspaper, or magazine, this is the ideal way to take notes. Here, one must avoid duplicating a large amount of text and exercise extreme caution when compressing the contents. It is preferable to create notes on a certain topic on loose sheets of paper because it is easier to maintain adding material through subsequent sheets.
Colors, boxes, block letters, and highlighters can all be used to make notes. This will assist you in putting the notes in order and drawing attention to the real contents, as well as making it much easier to recall the key aspects of a topic quickly.
Some tips for preparing notes:
- Study the Books
When studying for UPSC Notes, the initial step is to read the books without underlining or jotting anything down. Otherwise, you’ll have to rewrite everything because you might forget anything vital. So, give it a short skim and try to grasp the main points. You would know what is crucial if you had read the curriculum and prior years’ papers. As a result, on the second reading, only take down that section!
- Write key phrases
The second thing to remember when writing UPSC Notes for NCERTs is to use short sentences. Long sentences will be difficult to read, so avoid them. Make a list of words in your native tongue. It is not required to rewrite all of the book’s sentences. Shorten them to make your notes concise and simple.
- When You Can, Go Digital
For everything, digital is the new era technique. To make UPSC notes, you should utilize programs like Evernote. It will help you in saving a significant amount of time when writing. It also makes it simple to alter or update the notes. You won’t have to worry about physically rescuing them.
- Create Flowcharts
Flowcharts can be used to replace the text-heavy material. Whenever possible, use flow charts since pictorial information is easier to read and remember than long sentences. Flow charts make it simpler to remember information when there is a sequence of events, particularly in history. As a result, make flow charts out of your UPSC notes.
- Make a list of bullet points
The second thing you should not overlook is bulleted writing. Never write UPSC notes in paragraph form because reading and filtering them would be difficult! As a result, when taking notes, always use bullet points and underline whatever is important. It will assist you in quickly filtering information. To make revision easier, use sticky notes to split the chapters.
- To prepare UPSC notes, use loose sheets over registers.
Make UPSC notes on loose sheets against registers for each subject and store them in several folders. It will be simpler to save data in this manner. Registries are large and easily misplaced. Furthermore, storing too many registers against the loose sheets is very difficult. UPSC notes on loose sheets are more manageable and simpler to read.
- Continue to revise your UPSC notes in preparation for the NCERTs.
Regular revision of your UPSC Notes serves two goals. The first is to remember what you learned, and the second is to remember what you wrote. Most students, as amusing as it may sound, forget the half-sentences they wrote if they read their notes after a long period. As a result, revise your notes frequently to keep them fresh in your memory. Keep it up to date with current events and new information at the same time.
- Notes should be as short as possible.
Make as many concise and exact notes as possible. Notes in a when, how, and where the structure should be written within the points. Sticking to the point is critical when taking notes, as you don’t want to waste time filling your notebook with useless material. In a word, you might end yourself drafting yet another lengthy note for yourself before the exam, which might not be useful. When compared to jotting everything down in a notebook and increasing your workload by adding additional material, linear notes are considerably superior. So, try to stay with the content and read as though you’ll have to remember it for the rest of your life.
- Create your own set of questions
After you’ve finished reading a topic or a subject, develop a list of potential questions that can arise from it, and create a template response for each one. This allows you to save a significant amount of time throughout the exam. You only have 8 minutes to write each answer, so you can’t afford to waste time deliberating over the material. Making templates helps you remember the points, and once you know what the question is about, you can immediately begin writing the answer.
- Keep Editing your notes
A set of notes should never be considered the final version. You can begin by creating basic notes on a topic and then continue to add information to it as time goes on. Later on, you’ll be able to extend and organize your notes much better. As a result, this is a far better approach to taking notes since while you’re updating the material, you’ll be revising your notes at the same time.
- Less reading, more analysis
Visualize things to help you recall what you’ve learned. One of the most prevalent issues among students is that they forget what they have read after a period of time. You don’t need to be concerned about these issues since, while it’s natural to forget what you’ve learned, revising time and time again is the key to success in this exam. The civil service examination is not about bookish knowledge, but rather knowledge that extends beyond books. So, continue to broaden your knowledge, not just through books, but also through practical analysis, which entails a deeper understanding of the topic.
Some ideas to take good notes from newspapers for UPSC:
- Make a list of things you want to remember in your own words. Important keywords should be highlighted and underlined, and information from reputable sources such as PIB, Yojana, and PRS should be included.
- To have a thorough knowledge, one must learn how to connect dynamic and static sources. When a student writes down a decision or ruling, he or she must also comprehend how it relates to the syllabus by correlating it with Polity, Economics, or Geography.
- Editorials, defense news, the economy, constitutional changes, the environment, government laws and schemes, international affairs, social issues, court judgments, and other topics should be prioritized.
- A candidate is supposed to jot down a summary of key problems and articles. Keep the essence of the article in mind; jot down the theme, facts, justifications, benefits, consequences, etc.
- There are a variety of topics that might be asked in the Prelims, Mains, and even the Interview. For example, news about river linking, water conservation, and water disputes. Maintaining a close eye on these hot subjects will provide an applicant with a thorough understanding.
- Current-events notes should be short and to the point.
- When it comes to adding notes, don’t put it off because the news piece may merely be a brief report on a complex continuing situation.
- Ignore all political news, celebrity news, hyperlocal news, and the majority of sports news.
- Notes can be kept digitally or on paper, but they must be organized according to the UPSC curriculum for speedy revision and optimum impact.
- Make it a practice to keep track of societal concerns and challenges that our society is confronted with. To substantiate their thesis, a candidate might mention the same in UPSC GS or Essay papers. While writing this down, make sure to include any relevant facts, advantages, and disadvantages, as well as any recent incidents.
- Editorials are vital because they include opinions and analyses on a variety of topics. Editorials can have skewed viewpoints. However, as a UPSC applicant, you should be able to recognize points that are both for and against the topic. This aids in the development of one’s neutral perspective.
Making notes is a skill that may be learned through time. Notes should be brief, to the point, and legible in a short amount of time. Without hard study and the preparation and continuous revision of one’s own notes, one cannot expect to succeed in the Main examination. The IAS main test requires candidates to think conceptually and organize their views, perceptions, and thoughts flawlessly. Regular writing practice is the only way to achieve such intellectual clarity and structure. Making short notes is one of the most effective ways to do so. Hope this article will help with some ways in which you can prepare notes for UPSC CSE.
FAQ 1: How do I start preparing notes for UPSC CSE?
Answer: Begin by thoroughly understanding the UPSC CSE syllabus. Break down the subjects into smaller topics and create a schedule. While studying, make concise notes summarizing key points, facts, and examples. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to organize information effectively.
FAQ 2: What should be included in my UPSC CSE notes?
Answer: Your notes should cover essential topics from the syllabus, and include key facts, figures, and relevant examples. Focus on understanding concepts rather than memorizing. Incorporate current affairs, government reports, and statistical data. Additionally, jot down your own insights and perspectives to make the notes personalized and easier to recall during revision.
FAQ 3: How can I maintain consistency in note-taking for UPSC CSE?
Answer: Consistency is key. Design a daily or weekly study routine and allocate specific time slots for note-taking. Stick to your schedule to build a habit. Use techniques like mind maps, charts, and tables to make the process more engaging. Regularly review and update your notes to ensure they stay relevant and comprehensive.
FAQ 4: Is it better to take handwritten or digital notes for UPSC CSE preparation?
Answer: Both methods have their advantages, so choose based on personal preference. Handwritten notes can enhance memory and understanding, while digital notes offer searchability and easy editing. Some candidates prefer a combination, using handwritten notes for conceptual understanding and digital tools for organization and quick access.
FAQ 5: How often should I revise my UPSC CSE notes?
Answer: Frequent revision is crucial. Plan regular review sessions, especially focusing on weak areas. As the exam approaches, increase the frequency of revision. Ensure that your notes are concise and highlight the most critical information. Active recall techniques, such as self-quizzing, can help reinforce your understanding during revision.
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