Newspapers are a very important part of your preparation and it is also true that you can’t spend your precious UPSC preparation time reading only the newspaper. People who are aware of the exam pattern do not consume much time reading it as compared to the beginners. Here are a few tips to help you read the newspaper better for the IAS exam.
Know the syllabus: Read the syllabus thoroughly as it will help you in picking the articles while leaving out the irrelevant ones. This is a major time saver.
Don’t focus on political news: Do not put your focus on political news or remarks. Also it does not serve any purpose to read local political news e.g. BBMP officials bracing for mass transfers.
Focus on socio- economic news: It is important to read socioeconomic news like women issues, educational issues, health issues, issues or policies affecting vulnerable sections of the society.
Read issues of national and international importance: You must read all news that are of either national or international importance. You should focus on the political issues related to the Indian Constitution and the legislative and administrative processes.
Avoid the death, awards and sports section: These sections should avoided completely, you can just have a look at the headlines of the sports section.
Do not try to learn the basic concepts: For you to be able to understand the articles better it is advisable to have some understanding of the concepts. It is a complete waste of time to try to learn the basic concepts from the newspaper. This will definitely kill your time and confidence.
Focus on high/supreme court verdicts: These are very important from the exam point of view.
Read the editorial section: This is the most important section in the newspaper. While reading this section, you should have a pen/pencil in your hand and underline every specific information you feel will be helpful.
It will take some time for a beginner to be able to extract relevant information from newspapers. you will learn gradually and once you have mastered the basic concepts, your outlook towards this exam and preparation will change upside down. That will be the time when you will start loving your preparation process. Try to enjoy the process and not treat it like something you have to do. This is very important so that you can extract maximum beenfit out of this process.
Initially, it will take much time. Only newspaper studying will take 4 to 5 hours per day. Cutting and putting them in files will take another 1 hour. But slowly you will realize which news are important and which are not. At the time of exam, you will see that this effort of yours will put you much ahead of others in GS score.