How to prepare for Current Affairs in UPSC Civil Services Examination?
Current affairs form a major chunk of the total preparation by playing an indispensable role in clearing the examination. However, we must bear this is mind that current affairs does not exist in isolation. Current affairs are like events which come and go in flashes, and if you try catching them as they happen without a proper understanding and background it will be very difficult. We need to understand that there are issues in the current times which have been in the background for a year and one needs to first have a clear understanding and comprehension on where the current affairs are going.
You should first have a very comprehensive look at the syllabus, and you should be very clear about the current affairs that actually needs to be mounted on. You should go through the questions in the past years papers and analyze what kind of current affairs are required that can be contextualized. So one has to really understand the trend and underlying reasons regarding the kind of current affairs that may be in a particular question.
When you pick up current issues, you should try and see that they have a long shelf life as lot of things that happen on a sudden basis keep on changing and one may not be too much worried about it. On contrary, the focus should be on current affairs which have been in the news for a longer time. While choosing the current events you should also try and see if they concern large number of people or not.
On your apprehension about the retention of current affairs, your interest in current affairs should be determined by your thirst and capacity to consume it and not just for sake of studying them. While studying current affairs you should approach ‘mind mapping’ by putting the things in between and looking at it from different dimensions. Current affairs can be an edge component of your entire preparation. Many current affairs issues concerning important topics like woman and children or environment can be understood and retained through various dimensions.
One method which has been found useful by people in memorizing current affairs is by listing the key words of the current affairs along with important key data. Revision is a creative work and you should revise current affairs as often as you can. The best way for revision is by making a schedule and by going back to the compilation of sources you have. If you revise once, it will last in your memory for few days. If you revise twice, you will retain it for few weeks. Revising thrice, will help you retain it for few more extra weeks. Multiple revisions are very important, and it will help you retain the same thing for months till the examination. You should try retrieving them, by looking at these flowcharts and mind maps which you have compiled for yourself. It should focus on retention by retrieving and not reading or revising. You should always remember that current affairs should be studied in the perspective of using them in the examination and not solely for retention.