How to Read Newspapers for the UPSC Exam?

Have you ever wondered why some people take hours to read the same content of a newspaper that takes under a few minutes for others? 

Being an aspirant of the Civil Services Exam, you must know that the importance of newspapers cannot be overemphasised to attain success in UPSC. Newspaper readings on a daily basis are crucial to cover the maximum subject and relevant topics of the syllabus. It provides vital study material for current affairs, which is a crucial component of the questions asked in the Civil Services Exam.

The problem is that you can’t spend your precious preparation time reading only the newspaper. People who are aware of the exam pattern do not consume much time reading it as compared to the beginners. To save your time, it is important not to give more than an hour to your daily newspaper reading. Hence, this article has come up with ways to read newspapers quickly for the UPSC exam.

8 Tips to Read Newspaper Quickly for UPSC Preparation

  1. Know the detailed syllabus – Having a clear idea of the Civil Services Exam syllabus before starting your preparation is imperative so that when you read the newspaper, you know what is related to the syllabus and what is not.
  2. Understand how articles are written in newspapers – Newspapers follow a technique called the ‘inverted pyramid’. In this, the gist of the whole article is given in the first paragraph, and then the additional information which may or may not be relevant to you is given in detail. Hence, you don’t have to read through the whole news item to extract relevant data for your notes.  
  3. Categorise the news – Try to divide what you read into categories like geography, polity, economics, environment, ecology, science and technology, etc. This will help you make notes and also ease your preparation.
  4. Avoid irrelevant news – Read only exam-specific news and editorials. For example, do not put your focus on political news related to local political parties. You can avoid news related to philosophy, relationships, lifestyles, etc. You can skip reading sports news unless it is of national importance. Also, avoid articles based on local news unless you appear for a CSE Interview.
  5. Jot down the notes – As and when you read the newspaper, immediately start writing down notes or cut and paste newspaper cutting. Keep your notes crisp and relevant. Initially, it will take a lot of time, but slowly you will realise which news is important and which is not. At the time of the exam, you will see that this effort of yours will put you much ahead of others.
  6. Concentration can help increase the speed – This is an important factor that can increase or decrease your newspaper reading speed. Don’t multitask while reading. Focus on your job at hand and read. You can increase your speed as well as comprehension with higher concentration levels.
  7. Don’t go in-depth – When you read a lengthy text, it is not essential to read everything. Learn when and how to skim the important facts included in it. Look for bold headings and subheadings. Look for highlighted text. This way, you can get the gist and points to remember from your text. You only have to understand the basic problem, the key figures and the people involved and don’t have to remember every name and number that figures in articles.
  8. Remember your goal – The most common mistake committed is getting tempted to read about a favourite topic or person featured in the newspaper, and all this takes away precious time from your hands. Your goal is more important than your interest when it comes to reading the newspaper. Remember you are reading the paper with the clear aim of clearing the Civil Services Exam.

Reading the newspaper will help you in all the stages of the UPSC exam. Be serious about your newspaper reading time. The only way to increase your reading speed is to practice. Don’t give up too soon. To cover the vast syllabus, you must employ some techniques in your Civil Services preparation. Beginners, before starting off with the preparation, should understand properly what is upsc and crucial details such as syllabus, exam pattern, eligibility, etc.

Amelia J. Bell

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