The UPSC civil services exam focusses on not just factual information or static knowledge. Off late, the focus is also on what is called the ‘dynamic portion’ of the UPSC syllabus. The questions are not direct and USPC expects candidates to tackle those questions with an analytical bend of mind. This is because USPC wants to appoint officers into the civil services, who can apply his knowledge in problem-solving as well. This is why it is important to develop and improve analytical skills for the USPC civil services exam. Read on how.
You must go beyond theory to develop analytical skills. Don’t stick to facts. Focus on application as well. For instance, if you are learning about President’s Rule in polity, you must also read about where it was implemented and under what circumstances.
To develop an analytical mind, you must get the basics right. Only if you understand the fundamentals of a topic, you can analyse it deeper.
When you read about a topic, understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ and not just the ‘what’. For example, if you are reading an article in the newspaper about protests in the country regarding any step taken by the government, understand why some people are against it and some for. This way, by thinking about the pros and cons of an idea, you can evaluate it for yourself.
Reading newspapers daily is an essential part of your UPSC exam preparation. You must also remember to read the editorials especially the ones that come in ‘The Hindu’. They provide a good insight into many relevant and headline-grabbing news items.
Engaging in brain games like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, etc. can polish your logical and thinking skills. This will also help you in developing an analytical mind for the UPSC civil services exam.
Always remember to approach a topic from different angles. This will give you a more broad-based view of things. Also, look for dots to connect. For instance, the issue of urban pollution is linked to several factors like industrialisation, waste disposal, large-scale migration from rural areas, rural debt, growth of cities versus capacities, urban planning, etc. Think of all possible angles to a problem. This will give you material to write and also unique solutions.
Finally, an important point to remember if you want to develop analytical power is to ask questions. Ask yourself why things are the way they are. If there is communal tension in the country, where did it originate? If farmers are committing suicide every year due to debt, what causes this? It is just a poor monsoon? What are the reasons female infanticide is still practiced in parts of the country? Don’t be satisfied just knowing the facts. Ask questions and strive to get the answers.
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