I would say some of the aspirants miss to clear UPSC exam just because they don’t know How to Maintain Notes for UPSC Exam Preparation. Aspirants preparing from home and who are just not in metropolitan city would not be aware about this. So I decided to write about it.
Why to Make notes
UPSC has a vast syllabus. If you read Samacheer Kalvi Books or NCERT Books, It takes so much time and perseverance to complete even 50% of its syllabus. While reading various subjects, we would forget what we have read already. Humans tend to forget more if they haven’t revised. So memory problem is not an issue only for you. Each and every human tend to forget. Revision is a key point.
For revision you should not be reading the whole book or paragraph. Revision should be fast and efficient. You can read twice or thrice before making notes. But even after that if you were asked any question in that you may struggle to recall.
Instead of reading a whole paragraph just reading two important points can help you a lot and gain more time. Writing notes will help you to increase your focus while studying. Also, read More easy concentration techniques for UPSC exam preparation.
Underlining on Book is not sufficient
For some books, it may work but not always for UPSC preparation. UPSC doesn’t just refer a book to ask questions and so you need to learn from various sources. Practice test would make you better. You should be writing nearly 50 tests before appearing for Prelims. The test contains more facts than books, especially the Insights on India. If you are just underlining it will be hard to add more points and there won’t be any structure. If you have notes simply you can add more information to it.
More than that our brain wires better and the ability to recall will be better if we write rather than just read a text. So without doubt taking notes is inevitable.
Which Note Should I buy
It depends on your need. If you are attending class and not ready to carry a lot of books 5 subject note may help. But the note I would recommend will be useful for all aspirants whether you study from home or by joining some institutes.
Some subjects would require more number of pages and some needs less pages. You may find some other book or material and wanted to add more content to it. But you have to scribble in a small font nearer to points which will make your notes messy.
Buy 1 bundle of A4 sheets. It would have 500 papers. Use 100 papers to Spiral a notebook. It is enough. You can add any number of pages to this notebook at any time. Sometimes I would write GS1 notes in my GS 4 notebook and wold later move it back to GS1 note. You are not bound to any limitation. Even your friend or juniors can take a photocopy from your notes without much hassle. This is the best alternative that I have found to organize my notes.
There was a second-best choice too. You could buy a ring binder file and attach each A4 papers in that regularly. It would give a lot more flexibility. But follow this if you can maintain those individual A4 pages. If you can’t maintain it or would lose it with poor organising skills please switch to Spiral Binding.
You should also be leaving a very big margin to the right or left of notes so that you can just write some important facts or write something you wanted to remember or add to it. I would add something that I have did mistake in practice tests.
If you have more doubts. Comment below so let me know and answer them.
Do not forget to read How to read Newspaper for UPSC Civil Services Exam.