The Civil Services Examination is mainly a test to choose suitable administrators. It tests the candidate right from the stage when one starts the preparation. A candidate should be in the right frame of mind and the will power to succeed in the exam. Note making is of great importance for a student. This is because there are few good reasons for making notes:
One is that you cannot make notes without understanding the given topic, since you have read out the important points and tried to summarize them.
Next is that writing down any information helps you to remember it better. It makes a good practice for thinking and writing out essays. Well-organised notes make the writing process much more efficient.
It will prompt you to revise your work since it does not take a long time to go through a set of well-made notes.
It helps you in your final revision by reminding you of the most important points of each topic.
Note-making habits will help to train a critical mind, and it helps a student pass his examinations as well as develop a discerning, insightful mind which is quick at grasping relevant information.
On the occasions when one is called upon to give a lecture, speech or to paricipate in a discussion, note -making skills helps in providing a record of the essential points so that the speaker does not have to read out what he has prepared. The notes remind of the contents and sequences of lecture or contribution to a discussion.
It allows you to focus on the points relevant to your purpose.
Make your notes brief and be selective. As understanding a topic would be easy for you but remembering certain points would be difficult, hence it is important to make notes of important points as this would make you easy to summaries and have a glance whenever you want.
Keep them well-spaced so you can see individual points and add more details later if necessary.
Show the relationships between the main points.
Use your own words to summarize.
Illustrations, examples and diagrams can help to put ideas in a practical context.
Make them memorable using: color, pattern, highlighting and underlining.
Read through to make sure they’re clear and understand them when you come to revise.
File with care! – use a logical system so you can find them when you need them, but keep it simple or you won’t use it.
Writing down points helps you to remember it better, it is also a good practice for thinking and writing; it is easy to revise your notes as it helps in your final revision making easy for you to recall important points of each topic.
Here is the list of some strategies that should be followed while making notes:
Try to write on loose white sheets as they help in organizing and adding content relating to a particular topic.
Try to use different colored pens for headings, sub-headings etc.
Maintain separate folders/files for each subjects.
Always keep revising the notes or just have a glance at the important points once in a while.
After analyzing the syllabus and selecting the recommended books-Make notes on the particular chapters from the recommended books as you study.
Whenever you read some other books or come across a news/update about a particular topic, directly go to your notes, add one page and write down all the new things you learnt.
Notes For Current Affairs:
Try to segregate the news/articles/features etc. in following categories:
Polity (PIB, PRS, Yojana etc.)
Diplomacy and International Relations (The Hindu, IDSA etc.)
Economics (The Hindu – Economy, Industry , EPW etc)
Environment and Bio-diversity (The Hindu – Environment, Indian Express etc.)
Science and Technology ( The Hindu, Indian Express)
Collect news from various sources and take notes from it on day to day basis.
Try to group the similar news/features/articles under same heading and you will get a bigger picture after some time.
Also update the corresponding sections of GS subjects/ optional by adding one extra page in between their notes.