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Making of Notes for Civils / Competitive Exams ?

Friends!! This topic helps you how to make notes for Civils/ Competitive Exams.

Since the competition is relative, your answers in the examination should not only be correct but also different with a touch of creativity. The creativity and innovation is not something that you will get in the textbooks. They have to be developed on your own. It requires lot of thinking and observation. 

By innovation in answers what is meant is –
• Catchy introduction
• Diagrams
• Graphs
• Flow charts
• Maps
• Case studies
• Contemporary touch and applicability
• Catchy conclusion.

Basics with clarity will come when there is lot of questioning while studying. The topic has to be studied in a logical manner. Suppose you are studying a topic on Inflation. 

Think logically as a layman, then you should get the following sequence of questions
• What is inflation

• Why should there be inflation, i.e., causes

• So what if there is inflation, i.e., impact

• If impact is negative, then naturally we should be doing something to reduce it, so what steps were taken and what happened

• If still inflation is there, then what’s wrong with the steps taken

• How to control inflation, any suggestions by experts and recent developments.

You can add innovations like a simple graph showing how the inflation has been in recent times and also a flow diagram about the impact of inflation.

In this manner, the basics in the topic can be covered with clarity. And the topic should be remembered in this logical structured way for the exam. It should be understood that once you have done the topic in this comprehensive method through logical questioning, the preparation is over for that topic. 

You need not go through any journals or hi-funda textbooks for becoming an expert in the topic. This much of basics with clarity are sufficient for the exam. And, this is what humanly possible in view of the huge syllabus.

The following points should be kept in mind while doing preparation:

• The focus should be on gaining basic clarity in each topic, which will come only through lot of logical questioning

• More time should be spent on thinking about the topic and making innovations, rather than on reading too many study material.

• The previous papers should be thoroughly analyzed to understand the expectations of the examiner.

• The preparation should be focused and all the hard work should be channelised in the right direction.

It is always better to prepare notes for every topic in the syllabus, especially for the topics, which you prepare from various sources. This aspect is the most crucial stage in the preparation. Finally what you write in the exam only matters. You write only what you remember. You remember only that which you revise before the exam. 

Note that you will have to revise as many as 1000 topics including all the sub-parts in GS and optionals. Therefore your efficiency in revision matters a lot for your performance in the exam. The revision efficiency depends on the notes that you prepare. So you should always be aware of this practical aspect while you prepare notes for the exam.

The notes should not be prepared as if writing a thesis paper. For any topic, you should have a brief synopsis. Do not even use sentences while writing notes. Note down the key terms and the logical structure with side headings. Also note down the figures and diagrams in a simple manner, which can be reproduced in the exam within time limit.

For most topics, one or two pages of notes are sufficient. Write them down in a logical framework using different inks, so that your efficiency in revision increases. Finally, when revising just before the exam, you cannot spend more than 5-10 minutes for each topic. So keep that in mind always.

Do not spend days together on any topic. The exam only requires a basic clarity which can be obtained by studying one or two standard books and spending more time on thinking. Usually, 3-4 hrs sufficient for each topic. Just be cautious if you are spending more time on any topic inspite of availability of good material.


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