“The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.” Jon Stewart, Comedian
The above quote might be funny but it does resonate with the times. In this information age, anything and everything is going online. The internet has changed the way we shop, study, research, find love, eat, and pretty much live. Needless to say that it has also transformed the way aspirants prepare for the UPSC civil services exams. Gone are the days when books and newspapers were your only study material; and classroom teachers were the norm for IAS coaching. The World Wide Web has revolutionised preparation for the UPSC exams. Today’s civil services aspirants cannot afford to ignore the Internet in their preparation. The number of Internet users is also increasing in India. In 2016, around 35% of the Indian population had access to the net as opposed to 27% in 2015. This explains the steady rise in internet users in the country.
Let us look at the advantages of using the internet for the civil services exam preparation.
Availability of data – there is a huge collection of information on the net. It is a virtual library of anything under the sun. Gone are the days when you had to get hold of a book to read about a topic. Today, just search on the net and get an idea about the topic. Of course, you must know to filter the data before you use it.
Notes and storage – you can save a soft copy of all the relevant data collected from the net in your PC or laptop itself. You can make notes and save it on your systems.
E-books – Books are available online, many of them for free. This saves time and money. Even NCERT books (that are a must-read) are available online free of cost. You can even buy books through e-commerce sites. Download free NCERT books.
News sites – reading newspapers is an elementary part of UPSC civil services preparation and every newspaper offers their online versions free of cost. You cannot subscribe to every paper but you can select the best articles and editorials and use it in your IAS preparation. The same goes for magazines also.
Government websites – you can regularly check the websites of various ministries and the government for the latest schemes and programs. These give you the latest updated information.
Online coaching – No time to attend classes? Don’t worry. BYJU’S free IAS prep gives you result-oriented coaching for the UPSC civil services absolutely free. All you want to know and need to crack the civil services exams in one website featuring books, notes, video lectures, mock tests, preparation guidance, faculty’s help, news analysis and more. Click here for more.
Mobile Apps – Mobile apps are a brilliant way to maximise the internet for your UPSC civil services exams. Get the BYJU’S learning app and learn on the go.
Online Test Series – The internet gives you the choice of taking mock tests and assessing your knowledge and preparation levels. Intense writing practice is required to ace the UPSC exams. Click here for the latest prelims test series.
Blog – You can blog your thoughts and views on the internet. This way you can interact with fellow IAS aspirants and coaches. This will greatly enhance your reasoning skills which will help you in your UPSC board interview.
Visuals – Subjects like Geography, Physics, Chemistry, etc. are better understood through 3D visuals rather than text. The internet offers interesting videos and simulations for topics in these subjects.
However, be wary of certain drawbacks of using the net which is discussed below.
Plethora of info – The biggest advantage of the internet is its biggest disadvantage also. The sheer volume of data on the net is so large that most of it would be irrelevant for you. You must learn to discard the weeds before you take out info from the net. You should take only validated and adequately sourced information.
Temptation to surf – All the time spent researching on the net is not studying. There is a tendency to dig deeper on a topic or also go completely off topic while collecting info. Avoid this and stick to what you want from the net. Research only limited and important material.
Distractions – There are distractions galore on the internet like FB, twitter, etc. Avoid straying on the net if you want to clear the UPSC civil services exams.
As you saw, the internet should be used judiciously if you want to leverage it for the UPSC exams. Remember it is only a tool to help you in your civil services preparation. The internet cannot replace diligence and sincerity. In a nutshell, use the following tips when you want to use the internet to study.