Newspaper reading is one of the essential habits you need to inculcate if you wish to crack the UPSC civil services exam. A lot of socially aware people read the daily newspaper. As IAS aspirants, you should imbibe this habit and also know how to extract meaningful and exam-relevant information from the papers. But you should also know how to be smart about reading newspapers. Why is it that some people take an hour to read the same content that it takes under 15 minutes for others? As IAS aspirants, you would be hard pressed for time and it is important not to take more than an hour or so for your daily newspaper reading. This article gives you a few tips to improve your newspaper reading skills for the UPSC exam.
First of all, you must understand how articles are written in the newspapers in order to read them effectively. It is said that reading is the reverse of writing. Newspapers follow a technique called the ‘inverted pyramid’. As per this technique, the gist of the whole article is mentioned in the first paragraph itself. Then, they expand it giving additional details which may or may not be relevant for you. Therefore, you don’t have to read through the whole news item to extract relevant data for your notes. Also, it is important to note that interesting and important facts and figures related to the news item would mostly be published in little boxes or made prominent in the article. This way, you can get all the information you need just by going through the first or, first and second paragraphs and these boxes only. You can then move on to the next news item.
To know, what items to skip and what to read, click here.
How to improve speed while reading?
We also give you some handy techniques you can develop in order to help you speed-read. This will be useful for your other reading as well. (You do have to do a whole lot of it if you wish to clear the IAS exam!)
What we give below is a scientifically researched technique and not an old wives’ tale.
Reading is a matter of jumps and stops. When children start to read, they read character by character. When they advance, they move to reading words as a whole. And further, readers can progress to phrasal reading where a phrase or a group of words are read together. This is in fact, most effective as meaning is hidden in the phrases and not words. When we read in phrases, your ‘stops’ in the reading process are reduced and this naturally increases your overall speed. So, phrasal reading gives two benefits:
- Increases speed by reducing the number of stops.
- Improves your comprehension and prevents you from going back to the sentence (thereby increasing speed again).
For more tips on speed-reading, click on
Quick tips on reading newspapers for UPSC exam
- Avoid political news especially regarding political parties
- Avoid local news unless you are preparing for the IAS interview.
- Philosophical articles or articles on relationships, lifestyle, etc.
- Avoid sports news unless very prominent of national importance.
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