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Effective Way of Making Notes for IAS Exam

You might have heard a hundred times about the importance of taking small or micro notes for the IAS exam. But how do you do it in a manner that the notes are concise, effective, readable in a short time, all at once. After all you will need to go through these small notes for IAS exam before the preliminary and/or the Mains in just a few days. Or even hours.

The first step is to maintain a dedicated register, book or even take down notes on pages or flip cards if you are comfortable with this method. Next, divide the pages by months or topics. In a particular month you could write events topic wise on each page or you could divide the register topic wise, like some pages devoted exclusively for Economy, some for Sports etc. I prefer the first approach and will explain it with the help of the illustration below.


Click to enlarge



Notice that I have clubbed different events month-wise and have written the topic name before each entry for easy scannability. Also observe that each entry is just a few sentences long and it contains only the most relevant information from Prelims view point. Another important aspect of this notes making strategy is that I’ve included some background information to that immediate event as well.

That’s why in the Sports entry I’ve mentioned that India and Sri Lanka were both beaten by Australia in their previous finals. This is important as UPSC has a habit of asking questions concerning not just the immediate issue but some past events as well connected to the current event.

For this reason in the PSU entry, I’ve mentioned the names of other Maharatna PSUs as well so that I can easily recollect all the Maharatna PSUs while going through these micro notes for IAS exam. This is also a good way to prepare for current events and GK at the same time.

As mentioned above, whichever method you follow, the notes should never be more than few sentences long. Keep the long notes separate. The micro notes for IAS exam notes are meant for quick revision before the Prelims or during the break between the two Prelims papers. If you’ve something more or different to add, we’re all interested.

Note: Also learn to Read the Newspaper for IAS

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