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How to Make Notes for UPSC?

How to Make Notes for UPSC?

Creating Effective study notes is crucial for UPSC exam preparation. You can choose between traditional linear notes or visual mind maps. Instead of duplicating your efforts by making separate notes for the Prelims and Mains, consider building integrated subject-wise notes. These will support your preparation for both exams, saving you valuable time and energy, and proving handy during last-minute revisions.

Importance of Effective Notes

There are a few advantages of effective notes:

  1. Comprehensive Coverage: The UPSC syllabus is vast, spanning various subjects like history, geography, economics, and current affairs. NCERT books offer a well-structured and comprehensive source of information to help you grasp these diverse topics.
  2. Quick and Effective Revision: As the exam date approaches, you’ll need to review a lot of material in a short time. NCERT notes can be your savior, allowing you to quickly revise key points and essential concepts.
  3. Better Understanding and Retention: Writing notes is an effective way to not only comprehend topics better but also retain them for the long haul. NCERT materials can aid in this process by providing a strong foundation.
  4. Focusing on Core Concepts: Through the process of note-making using NCERT books, you naturally hone in on the core concepts. This helps deepen your understanding of the subject matter, making your preparation more effective and fruitful.

Steps to Create Effective Notes

To make great study notes for the UPSC Civil Service Examination, follow these steps outlined below.

Understand the Syllabus: Start by getting a good grasp of the UPSC syllabus, breaking it down into manageable topics.

Source Selection: Choose your study materials wisely, keeping them limited. Stick to trusted sources and make sure to revise them regularly. Also, consider including government websites for the latest policy updates.

Active Reading: Stay engaged while reading your study materials. Underline or highlight key points to aid your note-taking.

Summarization: After finishing a section or chapter, summarize the main ideas in your own words, focusing on essential concepts and facts.

Do Not Make Notes in the First Reading: Avoid making detailed notes during your first reading. Many aspirants make the mistake of noting down everything, creating bulky notes. Save note-taking for the second or third reading.

Use of Diagrams and Mind Maps: Use visual aids like diagrams, flowcharts, and mind maps to simplify complex topics. These can be handy for both your notes and the main examination.

Structured Format: Organize your notes with clear headings, subheadings, bullet points, and numbering. Keep your notes concise and avoid unnecessary details.

Conciseness: Make regular revision a part of your study routine to keep the information fresh in your mind.

Regular Review: Connect related concepts from different subjects to understand the bigger picture. For example, analyze how a policy change can impact the economy and society.

Current Affairs Integration: Integrate current affairs into your notes. The UPSC exam often includes questions about recent events, so staying updated is crucial for success.

Tips for Efficient Note-Making

Sure, here are some helpful tips for effective note-making:

  1. Consistency is Key: Stick to a regular note-making routine that works for you. Experiment with different writing styles to discover what suits you best.
  2. Keep Your Notes Up-to-Date: As you make progress in your studies, make sure to update your notes with new information and recent developments.
  3. Practice Smart Revision: When revising, challenge yourself with questions related to the topic. This active recall method will boost your memory and understanding.
  4. Avoid Going Overboard with Details: Your notes should strike a balance between being comprehensive and concise. Focus on key concepts likely to be tested in the exam, and don’t get bogged down by every minor detail.


Crafting Effective study notes for the UPSC IAS exam is a skill that improves with practice and dedication. Summarizing and visualizing information can enhance your understanding of topics and events. This article outlines steps to help you create notes that are both easy to grasp and valuable for your UPSC IAS exam preparation. It’s essential to tailor your notes to your unique learning style to optimize your retention of crucial information.

Read Also: How to Prepare for Civil Services Examination After 12th

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