Effective Notes For UPSC IAS Exam

The UPSC civil services mains exam is about three months away and candidates must now be busy trying to complete the rather large UPSC syllabus on time. There are several strategies for effective learning but one of the most recommended is making notes for the exam. Almost everybody makes notes. But only a few can make effective notes that actually help in the UPSC exam. This article gives you a few handy tips on how to make effective notes for the UPSC civil services exam.

How to Make Notes for UPSC?

You can make notes either while in the classroom or while studying by yourselves at home. While it is important to take down notes from the teacher in class, it is equally important to create your own notes on relevant topics when you study. These notes should incorporate selected information from your classroom notes. If you think classroom notes are enough for your IAS preparation, remember that studying and revising is easier when you have neatly written and comprehensive notes.

What is required to take down effective notes in class?

  1. Be prepared: First things first. Always be prepared with enough stationery.
  2. Be an active listener: When you are an active listener, you will not miss out on any important point that the teacher makes. Also, small tips and expected questions that the teacher gives you in class can go a long way in fetching you some extra and much-needed marks.
  3. Ask questions: Whenever you get a doubt, do ask your teacher or coach right there. This will aid you immensely when you make your own notes to study.

How to make notes for IAS exam preparation?

Many aspirants are confused about what format of notes to make – e-notes or handwritten ones. This is a personal decision and both formats have their own pros and cons. While it is scientifically proven that handwritten notes offer better retention to students, e-notes are more portable and they make revision easier and faster since all your notes are available in one place. At the end of the day, you should assess your own comfort levels and decide.

Handy Tips

  • Create organised notes. Have different books or files for different subjects.
  • Avoid writing stories in your notes. Effective notes are crisp, precise and contain only the important points.
  • Make UPSC exam-relevant notes. Don’t let your personal bias into the picture! You might love history but make sure to include only IAS exam-relevant information. Remember you are using these notes to prepare for the IAS exam.
  • Incorporate tables, figures, charts, etc. in your notes.
  • Write in bullet points and make sure to leave some space at the end of a topic. This way, you can add information that you gather later on in your notes.
  • For current affairs notes, it is suggested to use a file rather than a notebook because of information in these topics burgeons on a daily basis. Here, it is convenient to add information on specific topics if you maintain a file.
  • Notes should simplify IAS preparation and not make it more complex. So, use simple words and sentences.

Use these tips and make effective notes for IAS preparation. Note making helps you retain what you have learnt and also makes revision easier. When you do a last-minute revision before the UPSC mains exam, it is any day convenient to use notes rather than heavy books to read.

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