Studying newspapers, magazines and making notes

I started reading studying newspapers from 1st November 2013 and I didn’t miss even a single day till 13th December, 2014 (Mains started from 14th December, 2014). I restarted the newspapers again from 1st Jan, 2015. I feel that one year of newspapers reading studying before mains would suffice (this is purely my personal opinion).

The reason why I’d like to call it studying newspapers is because unlike reading, this involves a lot of thinking and analysing the issues. Try and see, in what way it fits into the static portion covered from standard textbooks. For example, last year there was a controversy that was sparked off when a former Chief Justice of India was appointed as a Governor. First I’d identify what the qualifications are for a Governor and then the restrictions on post-retirement positions for judges, along with respective articles in the Constitution. Then accordingly, I’d make notes of this whole issue including its pros and cons. In the end, I’d also try to form my own opinion on the issue.

The “news” is something that I’d ignore in the newspapers. For example, isolated developments like petty crimes and all news about politics are some of the things that I would not care to look into. I would study an article only if it fits in to the exam syllabus. I would also study the newspapers from Geography and History points of view. Friday Magazine and Sunday Review cover important articles from History point of view, so its better not to neglect them.

I would start my day with newspapers. I used to study 2 newspapers till mains – theHindu (hard copy) and the Indianexpress (digital). After mains I started studying Livemint (through feedly) and (for State news) and restricted to the opinions section of Indianexpress, in addition to the Hindu. It used to cost me about 3 hours to complete the newspapers including the notes making.

I used to keep the weekends for reading magazines – frontline, downtoearth and idsa (selected articles) using feedly, a chrome app.

I used to make notes online on Google Docs which makes it easy to maintain and access. I would make notes on topics/issues basis and I’d write all the developments regarding a topic/issue at one place. This would help me in tracking all the developments at one place and also be able to cover multiple dimensions of a topic.


35 thoughts on “Studying newspapers, magazines and making notes

  1. Anna..
    I’m thinking of making e-notes.. either on Onenote or Evernote..
    in your opinion, which one is better among MS Onenote and Evernote..??
    You are telling us, you ‘ve made it on Google docs..
    Can you suggest me one among three, with pros n cons possibly..?
    (And of course i’m waiting to see your friend, Roshan sir’s Anthropology Strategy)

    Thanks & Regards


  2. Oh sorry bro.. forgot to check that you have already answered reg: Anthro strategy in ur earlier post..
    Anyway i’m expecting a suggestion reg Onenote Vs Evernote Vs Google docs for making e-notes..
    Thanks once again


  3. Reasking :
    My question is : What is the basic difference between the terms : Discuss,Comment, Analyze,Evaluate, Examine,Explain?
    Because Sometimes we can’t judge that what is really asked.
    So Requesting you to differentiate this terms. Thanks 🙂


  4. Hi sir,
    Are conventional text books of much use in mains for paper 2 and 3 as maximum questions seem to be from newspapers and all? Can we solely focus on the hindu newspaper after clearing prelims and put the conventional books aside?


  5. Hello sir i am reading ncert,the things which I am underling in the ncert,I am writing on paper(separate book),I am revising stuff that i write in my notebook only .Is my practice is correct or should I change it?IF wrong what is the mistake in it?


    • Piyush, there is nothing right or wrong in it. Just do whatever that makes you feel comfortable for revision. I used to underline and scribble in the text books itself, because I found it comfortable to revise that way. I felt that it’s a waste of time to rewrite everything that’s there in the textbooks into a separate notes. Also whenever I revise, I used to find a new concept which I had missed earlier. Thus I found this method suitable to me. So please take the liberty to adopt whatever method that made you comfortable.


  6. Brother sorry for asking you something again and again,but I have no idea about reading text books,sorry but in second reading will you read the underlined stuff or again will you read the word to word again and again,with special reading the underlined part?


  7. Hello Anna, In mrunal interview you said rc reddy ias academy is good for history and geography! Then what about polity, economy and ethics brother how are they good or bad? What is lacking in it?
    Do rc reddy keep regular tests, how are their prelims and main question paper?
    Brother why did you take srichaitanya and naryana, most famous test series in Delhi mock test how are they different from others.
    I am planning to join in rc reddy your guidance will valuable thank you


    • I personally did not like other subjects there. And moreover the exam has become so dynamic that no coaching institute can be relied upon. I didn’t write any tests at RC Reddy Study Circle, so can’t comment on their quality.
      I took the other two test series because I’ve heard very positive things about them and they turned out to be quite good.
      All the best!


  8. Hello brother I am reading hindu,I facing problem in reading in business page what are the things we need to concentrate in that paper ?


  9. Hello brother,while reading macro economics text book I am facing problem in reading that formulas and graphs . how should I solve this problem?


  10. thanks for the post . i want to join upsc but my eng is not good . i have given my class board exam last year . and in graduation lst year with economic honors . please suggest me how to start my preparation . i hve plenty of time . my 2- 3 hours go in vain
    . from where should i start


  11. i want to start my preparation early wt al books can i go refer n regarding ncert old or new edition am reading hindu wn i read city state news am able to understand but wn world nation business am struggling its lookng al new to me am in state confusion sir wt can i do to feel free with the rest of the paper


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