How To Take Notes on Most Important Topics for UPSC Prelims

UPSC exams are considered one of the toughest exams in the country because of their vast syllabus and toughness. Thousands of people enroll in UPSC prelims exams but only a few make it to the final stage. Passing UPSC prelims is indeed a herculean task and you would need to be well prepared to go through prelims.

Taking notes is considered really important while preparing for exams as it is helpful in remembering important details. Research shows taking notes allows us to remember better and organize the stuff. As far as UPSC Syllabus exams are concerned, there is a broad range of subjects with no defined syllabus. So all of this comes down to how better we prepare for it. Preparation is the key to success for competitive exams like the UPSC prelims and mains. With good notes, you could not only pass exams but could secure a good rank too.

There are a lot of things that you can do to prepare better notes for your exams. These notes can be really helpful to ace your exams. Few strategies can help you make quality notes that can help you ace UPSC Prelims are :

Choose things that should be in your Notes

One of them is to know what should be in your notes and what shouldn’t be. Read your textbooks thoroughly to extract essential details. It is actually an art because you need to filter important stuff from the lengthy text. Jot down the stuff in your notes and make sure to keep it to the point as writing long passages will be of no help. The best advice is to make bullet notes. Make sure not to include irrelevant things in your notes. You should be able to distinguish between important and not or less important topics. This is very important in preparing short notes.

Staying updated with current affairs

Another important aspect considered while preparing is that you need to be well aware of current affairs as they might come to be a part of your exams. For this, you can read newspapers, watch talk shows, and listen to podcasts that relate to your study subjects. It is important that you write it down in your notes so you can recall it whenever you revise.

When you read a newspaper there are a lot of articles that are current affairs related. You need to just note down current affairs on a daily basis. It will make learning easy for you. Besides this, while watching news on T.V you can also write down current affairs. It will not only boost your current knowledge but also will help you to keep it in mind for the long term.

Textbook reading and understanding

A good book is a good friend. You need to read your textbook first in this way you can get a better understanding of the topic. You need to read one paragraph at least two times.  For the first time, you need to just read the topic. In this way, you will get a clear concept of the topic and you will be able to extract the key points which are really worthy of the test. After reading a second time, make notes of important things.

Prepare short key points

Once you have noted the key points now you need to generate the bullet points or short captions which are easy to remember. It will help you revise the main and important points again and again. Through continuous revision, your mind will feed it for the long term and you will not forget it. Keep in mind that the repeated practice of writing will also repeat in your actual exams. So write these captions or bullet points carefully in your best way.

Use diagrammatic explanations

If some topics cause trouble for you and you cannot remember them by writing or theoretical explanations you can also make flow charts and diagrams to understand them in a much better way. It will not only help you to remember your topic but also will save your time. You can use some tools to recall the stuff better such as flashcards to get hold of important dates and events. Flowcharts and hierarchical schemas might be useful as well. According to a study, we can remember pictorial stuff better than text so this technique will prove to be useful while preparing. A lot of people use diagrams to understand tough topics in an easy way.

Write down template answers

Last but not least once you have completed your writing notes and have learned them you need to generate questions and possible answers of those questions. It will help you understand the topic more clearly. Secondly, if you do so, you can easily attempt the exam after reading a question one time as you have already prepared all possible answers. and you can join UPSC Class in Best IAS Coaching in Delhi


For 100% success in UPSC (Union Public Service Commission), it is important to learn how to make notes of important topics and questions. The syllabus of UPSC is so vast and it is not something that you can cover within a day or week. This is the main reason why you should be making short notes for your exams. Short notes play a crucial role in UPSC exam preparation. The one who is ready to get enrolled for UPSC cannot hope for success until he goes through an extensive study and prepares his/her own short notes to revise them regularly. Once you have generated your own notes you need to keep them up to date. It will help you to get the latest information at one place which will save both your time and energy.

Read More:- Why People Fail to UPSC Mains? And how not to repeat it next year.