UPSC reading: Expert tips & techniques
Starting with a strong foundation is essential for success in the UPSC exam. This involves mastering basic UPSC reading techniques for various materials. They include books, newspapers, magazines, and online reports. So, by developing these skills, one can quickly comprehend more advanced materials. Therefore, to achieve a strong foundation, one must study fundamental books. Some are Indian Freedom by Bipin Chandra, Indian Constitution by DD Basu, and Class 9-12 NCERT textbooks in Geography and History.
It is crucial to make notes instead of underlining because it helps internalize the material, and saves time. Also, notes should be made on a computer as it is editable, easy to format and create a comprehensive story. When it comes to reading newspapers and magazines, it is essential to focus on issues instead of just news.
Identifying and analysing key points and connecting them to current affairs, and news items can help to understand the issue. It is also necessary to keep an eye on any committee, law, rules, policy, and supreme court orders as these are critical to UPSC preparation. Reading is an essential part of UPSC preparation, and it is crucial to develop the right techniques to maximize its benefits. This article provides an overview of different reading techniques that can help you prepare for the exam.
Right reading techniques for UPSC
Basic book reading
Firstly, for basic book reading, it is important to understand the significance of building a strong foundation. This means studying basic books thoroughly and developing the right techniques for reading. Also, understand newspapers, magazines, reports, and the internet. If you fail to develop a strong foundation, you may end up wasting time. The idea is to understand higher-level concepts easily. The recommended basic books include Bipin Chandra for Indian freedom and DD Basu for the Indian constitution. Moreover, read old NCERT textbooks for Geography, History, and Science.
Note-making and reading for UPSC
Secondly, note-making is an important aspect of reading. While some people prefer underlining, note-making is more effective for several reasons. First, in UPSC Mains exams, it is the information you have internalized that helps you answer questions. Making notes helps you convert the language of the book into your own language, which helps in internalizing information. Second, notes save time in the long run. Although it takes more time to prepare notes than underline, revising notes is more efficient. Third, notes are customizable, and you can frame your questions to suit your understanding.
Right medium for taking notes
Thirdly, you need to choose the right medium for taking notes. If your typing speed is decent, then computer notes are recommended. The advantage of making notes on a computer is that they are editable and can be easily formatted. You can delete, append, insert, and do anything with notes on a computer and still maintain a clean and organized structure. In addition, online note-making helps you revise your syllabus quickly and efficiently. It is also advisable to develop a habit of making notes for anything you read, including basic books, advanced books, newspapers, magazines, and reports.
UPSC reading: Right focus on news
Fourthly, when reading newspapers and magazines, it is important to focus on the issues, not just the news. UPSC doesn’t ask questions about news items but about issues. So it is essential to focus on the key points of a particular issue. For instance, when reading about MDR-TB, key challenges. You should focus on why it is more challenging than normal TB, and the institutional factors leading to its spread. While reading news, you should connect it to key points you’ve identified, rather than just focusing on facts and figures.
Watch out for crucial points
Lastly, when it comes to reading newspapers and magazines, some aspects can be skipped, such as politics, sports, and masala news. Instead, it would be best to keep an eye out for committees, laws, rules, policies, and Supreme Court orders as these are crucial for UPSC preparation. In summary, understanding and applying the right reading techniques can help you develop a strong foundation and prepare effectively for UPSC exams.
Developing strong reading skills is essential for success in many aspects of life, including education, career, and personal growth. By utilizing effective reading techniques, such as active reading, skimming, scanning, and critical reading, readers can improve their comprehension, retention, and analysis of the material. It is also important to develop the habit of reading regularly to expand one’s knowledge, understanding, and perspective. With dedication, practice, and a willingness to learn, anyone can become a better reader and reap the benefits of improved reading skills.