The UPSC Mains-2020 is almost upon us. Very little time now remains to start studying from the scratch and prepare notes from the beginning and get geared up to face the grueling examination. As a UPSC aspirant, preparation now enters into the revision phase. However, exams being nigh is no reason to sweat and lose sleep. One can always start revision quickly and efficiently to make sure nothing is lost in the exam hall.
Current affairs make up a major portion of the exams and are an important aspect of every officer’s life. We had previously explained a few methods to make notes while reading current affairs. This time, let us delve into the tactics and tips to help you revise the last 12 months’ current affairs rapidly.
For the best revision of current affairs, one needs to approach studies in a slightly different manner and follow a few steps. This ensures you don’t lose an unnecessary amount of time behind unimportant news.
- Limit Your Sources Strictly
While preparing notes for current affairs, we were habituated to not rely on only one source of information. Instead, we used to go to multiple sources such as newspapers, TV, social media, online journalism houses etc. This time around, limit it strictly. We don’t have that kind of time anymore. Sticking to trusted sources such as The Hindu, Online News (choose ONE of your likings), RSTV (Rajya Sabha Television) Big Picture etc. Going to too many sources will result in time expenditure one may not be able to afford.
- Limit the Time Spent
A lot would be going on right now in the face of the examination. As stated just now, spending time behind details will do more harm than good. Assuming we already prepared notes, reading the issues on the surface should jog the memory enough to get a gist of what had been going on pertaining to the issue. Spending not more than 5 minutes, reading the highlights and surface-reading of news should be enough for revision.
- News Aren’t the Focus, Issues Are
Speaking of news and issues, the major difference lies in the number of details. Issues give you a surface-level idea of the larger picture and what a certain state of affairs is/was about. News focus upon an individual event and all the tiny details around that event. As we told earlier, individual news is just a part of the entire state of affairs. Unless news was about a major turn in the chain of events, details don’t offer great clarity to have a surface-level understanding.
- Read. Revise. Execute
This is by far, a very effective technique to burn things down the frontal lobe of the brain. Once you read, make notes. Shortly thereafter, revise those notes. Then execute whatever you remember of your notes. Do these three steps in a few minutes interval and do other things during that interval. On comparing what we wrote with what we read and revised, one can make an educated guess to understand what more we can do.
- Problem Solving
Multiple choice questions and mostly knowledge-based. You need to know facts to score there. However, when it comes to problem-solving of hypothetical scenarios based upon a current state of affairs, your understanding of the issue is tested. You can try to solve various problems that had arisen when the issue at hand was being tackled by the system and officers already in place. By knowing all the parameters we can make a better judgment call. That is when our preparation will be revised automatically. Repeating the same process for all such issues helps in revising things quickly.
- Focus on the Core of the Issue
Often times, events and developments alongside an affair are usually figments of unnecessary knowledge or are loose ends which make very little sense to the issue itself at hand. Let us take the example of the current economic situation of the country as of Nov’20-
The nation’s economy took a major hit during the lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ministry of Statistics reported a 29% dip in the GDP during the April-Jun quarter in September 2020. These figures were in comparison to the same time period in 2019. The government, in May 2020, announced a large fiscal stimulus package amounting to INR 20L Crore, and the economy was unlocked step-by-step. In the subsequent quarter, the gap had been closed significantly and current predictions state that there would be an average drop of 10-11% in the entire financial year, which would eventually close down and the economy would be in the green once again.
This is the current state of affairs in a very short summary. The number of jobs lost, salary cuts, labour migration, etc., though are major issues, are not as significant for this issue in particular. All these events were a result of the economic downfall brought about by the lockdown and unlock processes. In case you need to write an essay on this, all these events may only find a mention. They don’t form the core of the issue. The major focus would be the cause of the lockdowns, impact on the economy, the steps taken to recover, current status, and future predictions and expectations.
Focussing on the core of the issue would help you revise rather quickly and get a quick picture in mind.
Cutting down on sources of info, time spent behind issues, and filtering out all things not directly related to the state of affairs reduces the time taken to revise your last 12 months’ notes and prepares you for the exam a little bit better.
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