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Preparation from Current Affairs Magazine

The First Ever Magazine Which Teaches Current Affairs Through Q&A.

Current Affairs is of paramount importance for the preparation for the Civil Services Exam in all the 3 stages of this exam. Realizing its significance, we treat current affairs as a separate subject, as its relevance is more than 50% of the civil services exam syllabus. Analytics IAS content teams make efforts to comprehensively cover the different facets of current affairs from multiple sources through our different platforms such as-

  • Daily Articles on Current Issues on Analytics IAS Student Portal
  • Daily News on Analytics IAS.
  • The Recitals- The Monthly Current Affairs Magazine.

The daily articles on Current Affairs uploaded on the students’ portal is exclusively for the students enrolled with the institute, where current affairs from different newspapers is covered extensively for the Prelim test and Main exam. At the end of each month students are asked to appear for a monthly quiz on current affairs, which helps in revision and test their understanding of current affairs. Apart from comprehensive coverage of the exam related articles, the portal is regularly uploaded with editorial summary analysis, important magazine summaries, answer writing practice, Prelim Test Series, Main Exam Test Series etc.

Analytics IAS had launched a dedicated website and App called to extent its enriched programmes in current affairs. Daily news on the analyticsias.com covers 10 snippets of important news and also students are asked to appear for daily current affairs quiz by the end of the day. App users have the privilege to access the archive section of the current affairs news as well the daily quiz at a later date. The news and daily quiz are available free to Analytics IAS devoted subscribers.

Having read the extensive current affairs either from the App and students’ portal, Analytics IAS current affairs team believes that students now would have gained good knowledge over the monthly current affairs and it upon itself to further help students to apply this current affairs knowledge in the form the question and answers.

Analytics IAS has introduced a new monthly current affairs magazine called ‘The Recitals’, which approaches current affairs through question and answers. ‘The Recitals’ deciphers current affairs in different section necessary for Prelims Current Affairs through Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), Mains Current Affairs Question & Answers and Interview Current Affairs. The current affairs magazine does not merely provide information, but focuses on the analysis on current issues necessary for the exam. 

This innovative and unique approach in The Recitals current affairs magazine helps a student gather over 600 Prelims MCQs and 600 Mains Questions & Answers to appear for the Prelim Test and Main Exam, thereby helpful to students.

  • To identify different news articles that can be converted to a MCQ or Main Q & A.
  • Question Bank of Prelims and Mains questions with model answers.
  • Helps prepare for all the 3 stages of the civil services exam.
  • Apart from General Studies, helps to prepare for Essay as well.
  • Learn the art of answer writing.
  • Countering the surprise element that the UPSC exams throw every year.
  • Being prepared for most current affairs questions.
  • Organizing and presenting a good answer.
  • Helps in timely completion of the exam.

The Recitals Current Affairs Magazine is a teacher in itself helping a candidate to realise his/her dream of clearing the civil services exam and other related exams to the civil services.

The Recitals has five sections. These are:

  1. Feature Article: The civil service mains exam has become quite exhaustive and analytical, especially since 2013 after the change in syllabus. Features article section picks and focuses on 2-3 topics every month that provides an insight into the issue so as to help students understand the core of the issue giving at most importance to analysis. This will help in Essay writing for the Mains Exam.
  2. Mains Q&A: This section contains descriptive question and answer based on current developments. A hallmark of the current affairs team, posts a daunting tasks to come out with Mains Q &A every month. A challenge the experienced and efficient team handles with care to deliver the best to its ardent readers. Extra Mile is a sub-section that provides extra information on the topic in discussion, with additional information to use in the exam depending on the need of the question.
  3. Prelims Q&A: This section contains objective based questions that will test your diligence while reading the current issues. These MCQs will be of UPSC standard with detailed explanation. Students are advised to attempt these MCQs honestly and read the explanation carefully. The idea is to also provide students with a question bank of around 600 current affairs MCQs (50 Qs × 12 months = 600 Qs) before appearing for the prelim test, which will act as revision on issues spanning over the entire year.
  4. Bridging Gaps: This miscellaneous section is to cover current affairs topics that could not be converted to a MCQ or a Q & A, but are important for the exam and it is important for candidates to be informed about this content.
  5. Case Study: This section has been prepared to help prepare for G.S Paper -4. This section would contain a case study based on a happening in the month along with analysis and solution to the problem asked in the case.

It is advised that students follow, study and revise the current affairs regularly through the Analytics IAS / which help in systematic and thematic coverage of syllabus over the months. ‘The Recitals’ current affairs magazine complements the content on the App and the Student’s portal through questions & answers and helps complete a candidate’s pursuit for success.

Good Luck!

How To Study Maps for UPSC IAS

India

Neighbours:

  • Learn about all the India’s neighbouring countries. Make a note of various Indian states which share their boundaries with such neighbouring countries. Give relatively more importance to countries of Indian Subcontinent.
  • Study thoroughly India map for oceanic region around the peninsular part of India and the islands in the Indian Ocean. For example: Extent of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Countries closest to Lakshadweep Islands, Various channels – 10 degree, 9 degree, etc.

Lines:

  • Study the important latitude and longitude lines on the India map. For example, you must study the states through which Tropic of Cancer passes.
  • Make a note of different states and places through which Indian Standard Meridian (i.e the longitude of Indian Standard Time) passes.
  • Also, you must study ‘concept based’ lines, nature of coastlines, etc. For example: Division of India on the basis of 10°C isotherm.

States:

  • You should be able to draw political map (an outline) of India by hand (Very important for Mains Paper GS I and GS II). Learn about which states share boundaries with which other and how many states.
  • Study all the important cities on India map. You should be able to point them and also be able to locate which city is to the west/east/north/south of a particular city.
  • Make a note of important cities which were in news recently. Ex. Kasargod in Kerala came into the global limelight, after excessive use of the pesticide Endosulfan.
  • You should be able to identify the eastern/western/northern/southern extents of the states and UTs. Whenever a new state is carved out from the existing territory of India, the subsequent changes in the state boundaries must be duly noted.

Rivers:

  • Note down – Origin, Sources, Flow routes and tributaries of all the rivers in India. For example, question asked in Prelims on River Teesta needed such information to correctly arrive at an answer.
  • Identify left bank and right bank tributaries of major rivers. You should draw rough diagram on a blank paper for each important river drainage basin.

Lakes:

  • You should be able to point out lakes on political map and also identify which states share any particular lake.
  • Also, many lakes have certain unique features. Make a separate list of such lakes. For Example: Wular Lake (Jammu & Kashmir) is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia.

Mountains/Glaciers:

  • Note down the extent and important peaks of all the mountain ranges i.e. both – Himalayan and Peninsular. You should be able to draw the full mountain range on a India political map and show the highest peak for it.
  • Study locations of various glaciers which are to the north of the Vindhyas. Also, various rivers originating in these mountain rangers/ glaciers should be noted.
  • Study various gaps/passes, national parks, flora, fauna, states etc. lying within the geographical spread of such mountain ranges.
  • Adopt a comparative approach for the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats mapping.

Natural Vegetation:

  • The great diversity in the Indian natural vegetation should be studied in context of variation in the climate across India.
  • Make a note of spatial distribution of a particular type of forest across India. For example: Rainfall deficient areas of Rajasthan – Thorny Shrubs and no forest.

National Parks:

  • You should be able to locate all the important national parks, tiger reserves, wild life sanctuary, biosphere reserves, etc. and also their extent across states.

Important Places:

  • You should be able to identify all the important places in India, including pilgrimages, world heritage sites, nuclear power stations, ports, plateaus, wetlands, mineral rich locations, etc and also other important physiographic features nearby.

World

Lines on the Maps:

  • Study the important latitude and longitude lines on the world map (like Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle, Equator). Note the countries through which each of the lines pass.
  • Also, study the International Date Line, Prime Meridian and which countries fall on which side. (Update such information from the current affairs magazine).

Physiographic Features:

  • Note all the important physiographic features that you come across in the NCERTs and standard geography/history/economy books. NCERTs have many relevant maps and you must study all of them.

From Current Affairs:

  • For any important recent news, check out the required location on the Atlas maps. Learn about the National boundaries and bordering nations. For example, if Syria is very much in the news, you should be able to tell which country shares border with which other countries in West Asia. Also, you should know which countries border Mediterranean sea, or other nearby seas. etc.

Practice:

You should purchase blank Political India maps from market. First learn to draw guidelines on such blank map. You can use Latitude 76 °E, latitude 92 ° E, Indian Standard Meridian and Tropic of Cancer as guidelines for mapping work. With the help of these guidelines, start plotting important places/features (which are already asked by UPSC in previous year papers) on your blank Political India maps. This method will help you to learn which important place/feature lies in which state/s. When you get comfortable with Political Maps then repeat the above process on ‘blank Physical India’ maps. You can create your master record of all such Physical India maps. Value addition can be done by writing one liner unique quality / feature about the entry on the map itself. You can adopt the method mentioned above for World Maps also.

Drawing Schematic Maps of India/World:

Search for a small size India Physical (Blank) map outline in google. By using it as a reference map, try drawing India map outline on a blank page. You must divide your map outline in 4-5 parts. Then practice each part separately. When you are comfortable in drawing all parts of India map then you can start drawing complete India map outline. Start from the top i.e Jammu & Kashmir and then draw map in clock-wise direction. You can adopt similar method for World Maps also.

Note to Students:

Studying maps is not an additional burden and can be done as recreational work during your study breaks. Mind maps of India and world will make study of large portions of current affairs, geography, world history, economy etc. very intuitive and they will aid greatly in understanding. Map work is not useful in scoring easy marks in the prelims, but being able to draw good maps and locating important places/features will be very useful, especially in GS-1 Geography/History and GS-3 Economy.

Good Luck!

How to Succeed in IAS Mains After 3 Attempts

Continuously failing 3 times in the UPSC Main examination could be due to any, or a combination, of the following things:

  1. Lack of comprehensive preparation in terms of content.
  2. Poor comprehension of the questions’ demand.
  3. Poor quality of answer writing.
  4. Poor time management in the exam.
  5. Average marks in the optional.

So let us address them one by one.

  1. Comprehensive Preparation: With the syllabus so vast, and competition so strong, you preparation must be comprehensive and smart. You are required to have complete understanding and control over the pattern of the examination. For instance, one should have a thorough understanding of the sub topics of the syllabus, type of the questions they are asking, current scenario etc. Please go through the syllabus again and again along with previous years’ questions for better understanding. As part of your preparation strategy, make notes on each topic mentioned in the syllabus, and supplement them with the current affairs. You should be able to write one page or 150 words on each topic mentioned in the syllabus with an adequate emphasis on current affairs. For example, on topics like communalism, regionalism, secularism etc in GS-1, along with notes on the concepts, you may add small notes on contemporary developments as well.
  2. Understanding the questions: Pick up questions from previous year’s papers and read them again and again to see if you able to clearly identify the demands of the questions. Discuss with your friends and try to identify if there are any lapses in identifying the key aspects in a question. It is common for many students to misread 2-3 questions in any paper in a hurry to complete the paper. Practicing a lot of papers with fixed time will surely help you get better even in a tight situation.
  3. Answer Writing Practice: It is important that one should know how to present his/her answer- basic step is you should write your answer following a proper structure according to the demand of the question, keeping in mind the key words like (discuss, comment etc). Also, each part should be addressed under separate subheading to improve the physical appeal of your answer.
    1. Self-Practice:You can start by writing the summary of newspaper editorials in your own words. It which will help you assess your own abilities in presenting your ideas and improve continuously. You may also write answers to questions given by teachers, or previous UPSC papers or question from any online portal or mock tests. Analytics Ias mains answer writing practice:We, at Analytics IAS, conduct answer writing practice sessions for about 6 months for our classroom students. The students are given three questions to answer regularly to update their knowledge, improve presentation and understand the finer aspects of developing a habit of writing answers. The answers are evaluated our experts and valuable feedback is given to students to improve their answer writing skills. Model answers are also provided so that students can learn from the content and structure of the answers.
    2. Test Series:Once you are confident of writing answers to individual questions, you may join test series programme to get an expert feedback on your content and presentation. It will also help you in managing time so that you will get accustomed to completing the paper in the stipulated time. Analytics IAS test series:Both online and offline main exam test series programmes are offered by Analytics IAS. The test series programmes are conducted in two stages- Basic and Advanced Main exam Test Series. Basic Test Series carries question that are relatively easier and students are asked to answer 10 questions initially and gradually made to answer 20 question towards of the end of the session. The Advanced Test Series is for students who have attempted the Main exam earlier and are asked to answer 20 questions in the UPSC patter. Students opt to join the two programmes, depending on the level of confidence in writing answers.
  4. Time management: If your preparation is of very good quality, then you should have enough content to attempt at least 17-18 questions in any GS paper and almost all the questions in the optional paper. To attempt them well, time management is important so that you do not leave any questions for lack of time. This is one thing that can easily be improved by more and more practice.
  1. Marks in the optional: To excel in optional, one should develop a thorough understanding of the subject. Complete your optional preparation well ahead of the prelims exam. Here also, you should be have understanding and notes prepared on all the topics and sub-topics mentioned in the syllabus. You should also be prepared for some out of syllabus questions (teachers usually will be able to guide you on this and past papers will also help). After that, it is a question of practicing and revising regularly. Start with answering individual questions and then practice answering the full question paper (past years’ papers or some test series papers). Joining a test series would really be helpful as each optional is unique in terms of what is expected in the answers. There is simply no other way but to study and practice till you are able to truly excel in your optional papers.
  2. Essay: You may prepare notes on few topics which recur many times like women empowerment, role of technology etc. One good way to see topics in trend is to see the essay questions of various test series in the market. Write essays and prepare notes on these topics – they will help you in structuring essays as well as time management, and if you are lucky, you might get a prepared topic in the essay paper. In the essay, try to maximize the coverage in various dimensions. For instance, students tend to ignore dimensions like environment, ethics etc in writing essays.

General advice: After repeated failures, the first thing you need to do is an honest analysis of where you went wrong in your previous attempts. Identifying shortcomings will help you to arrive at the most proper recourse. Do not be shy in taking advice from teachers, senior aspirants or if you know any, those who have actually cleared the exam. There are ample videos available on the internet for guidance – pick one or two rankers you associate most with and try to pick tips from them. Too much information from too many sources will only add to the confusion. Remember that there are many different ways to get a rank, so you need to carve out your individual path or strategy to reach there and others can only tell you their experiences and it’s not necessary that what works for them may works for you.

All The Best!