I am going to tell aspirants four major things they should focus on while studying current affairs for prelims:

  1. Sources
  2. How to study these sources?
  3. Make notes or not for current affairs?
  4. How to solve and study previous year questions for current affairs…


There are four sources for prelims:

  1. The Hindu newspaper or the Indian Express
  2. Vision IAS monthly current affairs compilations
  3. GK Today monthly current affairs compilations
  4. Using Google effectively for searching topics and studying them

How to the study the above sources:

  1. As for the Hindu Newspaper or the Indian Express — Pick only one.
    • Remember that you are reading this for two purposes —
      • Firstly, to improve your reading skills, which will further help you to improve writing skills as well.
      • Secondly, to get familiar and aware about what is going on in the world — what are the major trends, what are the major events, developments — political, technological, economical, environmental, social etc.
    • Newspaper will not be a direct source from where you will remember many questions coming in the exam. But without newspaper, you will not be able to become holistically strong about the level of awareness and intellectual capability/width you need to have for UPSC.
  2. Vision IAS monthly current affairs magazine and GK Today monthly compilations should be your two primary sources for reading about all the current affairs, and for revision as well.
    • Why do I recommend two magazines? Because, Vision IAS will help you to prepare for mains as well, and GK today is purely prelims focused and covers more routine facts and information also which Vision IAS does not cover.
    • I believe, having two good sources for 1 topic (apart from some Googling) is a must for UPSC. it helps to break monotony of studying from one source. It also helps in covering wider aspects and some more nuanced things that are otherwise missing in preparation sometimes.

Making Notes and Google

  • NO, just write on the margins of current affairs magazines print outs. CA notes are totally useless.
  • Using Google Effectively: Just google the topic and look for 1-2 main sources for that topic. Let’s say the topic is Artificial Intelligence or DNA technologies. Just google and look at the Wiki page, go through it quickly, read some interesting developments in the field in major publications, that’s it.
  • Focus on things UPSC would ask: characteristics of the technology, major organizations etc.


  • Print out old UPSC papers or get a PYQ book
  • Do at least last 10 years PYQs 2-3 times. Know them cold. Some will repeat for sure.
  • Try to see major trends — questions from sports are a new development, or questions from certain environmental facts UPSC likes to ask
  • Test yourself
  • Practice elimination — and the way UPSC frames questions (keywords etc.) shown in one of my video classes on youtube.