How relevant is current affairs for your UPSC exams? (Both prelims and Mains)

How relevant is current affairs for your UPSC exams? (Both prelims and Mains)

Current affairs is the most dreaded part of preparation for any civil service aspirant. Any aspirant, not only you, will always feel a sense of incompleteness and insecurity when it comes to current affairs. Now as i said before, this feeling is normal among all the students, let them be in their 1st attempt or 4th attempt. So realise this commonality and try and relax because though current affairs makes a lot of noise among the students’ community, current affairs is not the single most deciding factor of success in prelims or mains examination.

Why is Current Affairs so overhyped among the students’ community in their civil service preparation?

1. Because current affairs syllabus is undefined and unknown: Hence students don’t know where to start and from which year/month to start.
2. Current affairs is a marketing gimmick used by several coahinigwallas: Very attractive names, very attractive content presentation and reinforcing the students’ mind that their material is a “Must Read” to clear this exam.
3. Reading current affairs gives a sense of accomplishment: Reading static again and again seems to be boring and gives a feeling of not progressing whereas reading current affairs which is constantly something new will be interesting and gives the feeling that we are truly working hard.
4. Material available to students is ever increasing: The material is increasing manifold in the form of Magazines, Compilations, Quizzes, YouTube videos, Daily analysis and the list goes on.

All these reasons create a sense among the aspirants that reading current affairs is the single most important thing to achieve success in this exam. But is this all true? Let’s examine .

So how much of current affairs is really enough to crack this exam. To answer this, what you need to know is how many questions are asked by UPSC from current affairs syllabus? Knowing the answer to the above question, will give you an orientation as to how much depth one needs to prepare for current affairs.

How important is current affairs to crack this exam?

Current Affairs in Prelims: The maximum questions from current affairs asked in prelims is somewhere between 8-12 questions. And amongst them, even if one has clocked 4-5 hours daily for an entire year, they could crack just 6-8 questions in the exam. For cracking these 6-8 questions the efforts put in an entire year is enormous. AS you can see returns for your hard work is very less.

Current Affairs in Mains: Out of 20 questions, GS1 you can observe 3-4 questions, GS2 it is 6-7 questions and GS3 it is close to 5-6 questions.

As you can see current affairs plays an important role in mains compared to prelims.
How much of current affairs is enough to crack this exam?

Reading newspapers (Current affairs for mains): This is a must for civil service preparation. The advantages of reading newspapers are that it improves your vocabulary, it makes you aware of different issues, the editorials help provide perspective on several issues and newspapers are storehouses for facts, examples, quotes, anecdotes, case studies and reports. All these make your mains preparation that much meaningful. Note: Remember we told you before that current affairs is more important for mains than prelims. Preferable newspapers: Indian Express or Hindu (Both or any one will do) An article on how to read the newspaper and make notes out of it will be coming out soon!!

Reading Current affairs for Prelims: The questions asked in prelims are very few and amongst them, most of the questions are very difficult as they are highly factual. This makes the preparation very tricky. So, it is advisable to read static many times more than current affairs in prelims. (Detailed strategy on how to prepare for prelims coming soon!)
So for prelims it is advisable to read the monthly magazines. But please make sure you stick to one magazine and refrain from the temptation to cover many. It is a futile exercise. For people who couldn’t cover the monthly magazine, they can go for a year long compilation itself. Again advice here is that you cover from one source but make sure you read multiple times the same source. Note: One year of current affairs compilations are enough. Do not do more as the returns on your time is very low.

What about Daily current affairs quizzes, Daily analysis videos and all the “Out of the box” marketing gimmick?  Waste of time!

I hope everyone got some idea on how important current affairs syllabus is for the exam. The next time someone tells you about this new current affairs material in the market, I think you know exactly what you need to do. IGNORE  🙂

We need your support to grow. That doesn’t mean you buy something from us, it just means keep coming back to read more articles.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *