How To Make Notes From Newspaper For UPSC Current Affairs

For UPSC Civil Services Examination, reading newspapers is extremely crucial as the weightage given to the dynamic part of the UPSC Prelims syllabus and Mains syllabus is pretty huge. In this article, you can learn how to make notes from newspapers for IAS exam.

Newspapers of Choice for IAS Aspirants

  1. The Hindu
  2. The Indian Express

It is pragmatic to be well versed in the IAS exam pattern and the UPSC Syllabus before kick-starting the current affairs preparation. A beginner having less understanding of the UPSC syllabus and pattern will take substantial time to read and prepare from the newspapers. Going through the syllabus and previous years’ papers thoroughly help an aspirant to pick the right articles/issues from the newspaper(s) from the exam perspective while leaving out irrelevant ones. This way, the time spent on the Newspapers will be reduced and the aspirant would be well aware as to which articles to read and which ones to skip.

Making Notes from Newspaper for UPSC

The question is how to make notes from a newspaper for UPSC and make it meaningful. Note making is indeed an art and one picks it up over a period of time. Notes should be concise, effective and readable in a short time. The ways in which notes can be prepared for IAS exam can vary from person to person. Two methods are mentioned below:

  1. A few aspirants prefer to maintain dedicated register/book/pages or flip cards and categorise them by months, subjects and topics.
  2. Being the dynamic portion of the syllabus, some prefer to make notes digitally as it’s easier to classify and edit/append notes. Use of the internet is inevitable for current affairs and this method makes it easier to update from the net directly. Notebooks in Evernote can be used and aspirants can divide it as per subject and topics.

Both the techniques of note-making mentioned above have their pros and cons. It is up to the individual to figure out which method works best for them.

Here are a few pointers on how to make effective notes from newspapers for UPSC:

  • The primary focus should be given to editorials, defence news, economy, constitutional amendments, Environment, Government bills and schemes, International affairs, social issues, court rulings, etc.
  • Ignore: purely political news, celebrity-related news, hyperlocal news, and most of the sports news.
  • Make notes in your own words. Highlight, underline important keywords and add information from trusted sources like PIB, Yojana, and PRS.
  • An aspirant is expected to note down the summary of important issues and articles. Maintain the very essence of the article, note down the theme, facts, reasons, benefits, implications, etc.
  • The notes prepared for current affairs need to be crisp. As they say, “Less is always more in UPSC preparation”.
  • For making notes, BYJU’S video news analysis can be a good starting point to understand relevant issues pertaining to the UPSC exam.
  • One needs to learn how to relate dynamic and static sources to get an in-depth understanding. When a judgment or ruling is noted down, a student also needs to understand its relevance to the syllabus by associating it with Polity, Economics or Geography.
  • Make a habit of noting down social issues and challenges that our society is facing. An aspirant can quote the same in UPSC GS or Essay papers to substantiate their point. While noting this down, including all the facts, pros and cons and also note down any recent incidents related to that.
  • There are many issues which can be asked in Prelims, multiple GS papers in Mains and even in the Interview. For e.g., news related to the linking of rivers, water conservation, water disputes. Keeping a check on these hot topics will give an aspirant a detailed understanding.
  • Editorials are extremely important as they contain opinions and analysis on various subjects. Editorials can have biased opinions. But as a UPSC aspirant, it is expected of that person to identify points, both for the topic and against the topic. This helps in building one’s perspective which needs to be neutral.
  • The note-making can be digital or on paper but they need to be sorted as per the UPSC syllabus for quick revision and maximum impact.
  • Don’t procrastinate when it comes to adding/appending notes as the particular news article may only be a short report on a complicated ongoing issue.
  • Finally, revise, revise, revise!

Many students who read the newspapers, fail to streamline their note-making process. This creates a problem as questions in the UPSC exam often have a mix of static and dynamic content. To know more about UPSC preparation, please refer to the links given below.

With prelims 2023 around the corner, IAS aspirants can follow our Daily News Analysis and keep up-to-date with the current affairs.

Also, read:

How to Read the Newspaper Exclusively for IAS Prelims and Link it to the UPSC Syllabus UPSC Calendar 2023
UPSC Question Papers NCERT Notes For UPSC
How to Read ‘The Hindu’ Editorials for IAS Preparation How To Read Yojana Magazine for IAS Preparation


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