Hyderabad: In continuation of the previous article, in which we discussed the strategy for preparing current affairs for the main examination, we learned about three important rules to master current affairs. Now we are going to learn the last two parts of the current affairs preparation. These are Rule 4 and 5.
Rule 4: How to make concise notes?
Apart from handmade notes, the best way to make notes is through online note-making.
You can use various tools like Microsoft word, Note, Evernote, etc. The main advantage of online note-making is that you can edit and delete them easily. You can copy any important data from any source. You can edit it to cut the information short or you can elaborate on it if you get additional information about the same topic from the news.
Aspirants also make handmade notes, which is good as you make them with a lot of focus, and using your own hands will make you memorise them for a longer duration. The main disadvantage is that editing—adding and deleting—the information will be cumbersome.
So, if you haven’t made any notes yet, I recommend doing so online; otherwise, do it by hand, whichever is easier for you to prepare and revise. So, make notes from the newspaper (related to the specific subject) and utilise the daily current affairs compilation of any reputed institution.
Students often enquire if they can avoid reading newspapers and rely only on compilations by institutions.
Here I would like to draw your attention to why reading the newspaper is important for the exam, mainly for two reasons:
Recurring issues in the newspaper will tell you that the topic is the most important and we should give more weightage in our preparation for that.
Reading about the current happenings related to our subject topic, will make us revise the core concepts multiple times.
For example, if President’s rule is imposed in any state, reading about it in the newspaper will make you revise it again and again and become a master of that specific topic.
The newspaper also forms our source for case studies, anecdotes, and examples. These are useful in essays, ethics, and also in interviews—making your answers much more current and updated than those of other aspirants who do not read the newspaper on a daily basis. Last but not least, reading the newspaper will enrich your vocabulary and grammar.
Rule 5: Consolidation through the RRR Strategy
RRR here stands for Read-Repeat-Recapitulate.
Reading a topic is the beginning of understanding it. Revision and recapitulation will imprint them on your subconscious mind and thus enhance long-term retention of the topic.
Every topper and subject expert recommends multiple revisions, which we can simply call the RRR strategy: Read-Repeat-Recapitulate.
So, how can you use this in your current affairs preparation?
First, read the current events section immediately after reading the related static section of any subject. If you are preparing for an economy mock test, it is best to finish the static part and immediately finish the relevant current affairs segment. This causes your mind to associate static with current events, which will aid you in writing a good test answer. Repeating the same static topic related to current affairs and recapitulating before the test also helps in the retention of the topics.Before we conclude, let me tell you a common mistake made by aspirants regarding the above two rules. There is nothing called the “best notes in the world.” Your job is to present whatever you wrote in your notes by revising them to recollect during the examination.
Aspirants in the quest to make the best notes ignore revising before a mock test and finally end up remembering little from their notes. Just trust your instincts while preparing your notes and even while taking the test, because there is no such thing as best notes or best answers. Both are refined in your journey of preparation day by day and week by week.
In presenting your answer, you can only write the best answer you can within the limited time you have in your hand during the test. Thus, in this paragraph, we have drawn parallels between making the myth of best notes and the myth of best answers.
In our next article, we shall understand how to approach vast subjects like History, Art and Culture, Geography, etc., so that you improve your answer presentation in the best possible way.