How to Improve Analytical Skills for UPSC Exam

When the idea of UPSC comes in your mind, you should have a clear idea regarding its pattern.UPSC exam is a test of your in-depth knowledge and analysis and not merely static knowledge. Off late, the focus is also on what is called the ‘dynamic portion’ of the UPSC syllabus. The questions are asked in an indirect manner with an analytical bent of mind.

This is because USPC wants to appoint officers into the civil services, who can apply their knowledge in problem-solving as well. This is why it is important to develop and improve analytical skills for the UPSC civil services exam. Read on to know the techniques for this.

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How to develop analytical skills for IAS exam

Below we have listed some tips on how to improve analytical skills for the IAS Exam.

1. Go beyond theory

Merely knowing facts won’t do for IAS examination. You have to know the details of the topics. So, only theory won’t work, you should be aware of the application as well. For instance, if you are learning about the President’s Rule in polity, you must also read about where it was implemented and under what circumstances.

2. Getting a hang of the Basics

You need to know the basic concepts properly. Only then you can write good answers. Only if you understand the fundamentals of a topic, you can analyse it deeper.

3, How and why, not just what

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.

4. Read editorials

Editorials are one of the most important parts of the newspaper.UPSC aspirants should come into the habit of reading editorials. You must also remember to read the editorials especially the ones that come in ‘The Hindu’. They provide good insight into many relevant and headline-grabbing news items.

5. Engage in brain games

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.

6. Multi-pronged approach and connections

You should always look at 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, the 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.

7. Ask questions

If you really want to develop analytical power, you need to ask questions. Ask yourself why things are the way they are. Then only you can get to know the root cause of any problem. 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 practised in parts of the country? Don’t be satisfied with just knowing the facts. Ask questions and strive to get the answers.

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