How to Improve Analytical Skills for UPSC Exam
Unlike mobile phones, we humans can't insert any memory card to extend brain storage. Right? So, rote learning for the IAS exam is a foolish strategy you can ever follow. There is a long list of subjects and ocean-like syllabus of the UPSC exam for which a year or two falls short. So, it is quite a good idea to develop some analytical skills. So here are some tricks for all the UPSC aspirants that help them to write answers analytically.
What We Mean By Analytical Skills
Well, if we see the exam pattern of UPSC CSE, it is designed to test the in-depth understanding of the students and not just theoretical knowledge. In simple words, we can say that analytical knowledge is a practical approach to solve the questions. This approach is a must for cracking the UPSC Mains exam.
The questions asked in UPSC exams are not straight and direct to understand. The reason is justified because today's aspirants are going to be tomorrow's administrators of the country and they have to take a practical approach to serve the public. For writing the Mains exam, mere knowing facts is not enough, students should be able to know how these facts and information can be put to use in a practical situation. This is called "Analytical Skills".
Let's now talk about the areas where you should improve to develop these analytical skills.
Go Beyond Theory
Reading theoretical information is good but it won't be useful unless you dig into the details. Say, if in the subject of Polity, you read the topic of "Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution", you should not only know all the rights but you should also be able to understand that where, by whom, and in which circumstances are these rights exercised. UPSC papers are applied in nature and can't be cleared with only having the basic details of subjects without knowing the practical applicability.
Strengthen The Basics
For analyzing the situation and writing an analytical answer, one must have his basics right. Without knowing the fundamentals, you can neither evaluate it better nor can you write it properly. So, it wouldn't be wrong to say that start with building your basics.
Find the Answers of Why & How
It is not just answering WHAT. UPSC exam pattern also demands from you the answer of WHY and HOW! Let us tell you this with the help of a simple example. Suppose, if you read a news article in a daily newspaper that a group of individuals is protesting against certain policies of the government then UPSC students should understand the reasons and causes behind it. In this way, students have to think and analyze the reasons for each and everything. And write the answer in light of its evaluation.
Don't Miss Reading The Editorial Section
The most recommended editorial section is from 'The Hindu'. It is written by intellectuals and experts discussing the current issues and ongoing matters in the country. Reading editorial is also helpful in developing an analytical approach towards any change in the policies or any related matters. Plus, students will also learn about the writing tactics, the way to analyze things and how to write them in an eye-catching way.
Play Mind Games
Yeah! Although it is not at all related to the academic preparation of UPSC exams, playing some logical and brain games help in developing analytical skills. You can play games like puzzles, Sudoku and alike. This helps to develop a reasoning and analytical vision to evaluate questions and their answers.
Ability To interconnect Different Topics
To write unique answers to common questions, you should have the ability to relate the topics. Say for example, under the subject of the economics you are studying about poverty and its causes, you should also relate it to unemployment in your answer although it is a different topic. But both are interrelated so it makes sense to relate both the topics. It also helps in writing a particular answer from different perspectives so that you can write a better answer even without having in-depth knowledge.
Keep Asking Yourself Questions
For developing analytical skills, it is very important to keep asking yourself questions. Develop a questioning mind and find out the answers of HOW and WHY for every topic you read. This helps you to gain in-depth knowledge of all the topics without a need to memorize line by line. This helps you to write on any new topic which you have not read before. So you will be able to improvise and write the answers spontaneously.
So these were some awesome tips and tricks by adopting which you will be able to develop analytical skills for writing answers based on the analysis in UPSC exams which is much needed looking at the current pattern of examination.