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How to Read Newspaper for UPSC Civil Services Preparation?

Jul 28, 2021

How to Read the Newspaper for the UPSC exam?

Newspapers are a wonderful treasure of information, facts, and analysis- all of them required for efficient UPSC Civil Services preparation. Newspaper reading is an inevitable part of the IAS exam preparation. While reading newspapers, you don’t have to ‘Read’ news, but ‘Study’ news. Ask any successful IAS officer about the importance of reading newspapers; they will strongly recommend following this vital ritual for at least one hour.

Newspapers are a crucial knowledge bank and keep UPSC aspirants updated with the recent developments and happenings of the national and international levels. They also provide the much-needed study material for current affairs which is a crucial ingredient of the questions asked in the IAS exam. Not following current affairs daily is doing injustice to yourself!

However, aspirants should note that it is not essential to read the whole newspaper in detail. Not everything that is in the newspaper will be relevant from the IAS preparation point of view. Hence, there is a specific way in which newspapers should be read to make the most of the reading session. Read further to understand The ‘Art of Newspaper Reading’.

Recommended Newspapers for UPSC Exam Preparation

Almost every IAS aspirant knows the importance of reading newspapers for UPSC exam preparation. The most recommended newspapers for the Civil Services Exam preparation are ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Indian Express’.

Suggested primarily for their high standards, ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Indian Express’ distinguish between News and Opinions very well. From Prelims till the Final Interview round, if you become Pro in reading newspapers effectively, you are bound to manage time effectively and will stand a chance to crack India’s toughest exam.

How to Read the Newspaper for the UPSC exam?

Candidates should strategically and smartly read the newspaper. For effective reading, follow the suggestions given below. The goal is to facilitate the UPSC exam preparation without wasting much time. Keeping the UPSC syllabus in mind, you should carefully read the newspaper from Polity, Economics, National news & International Relation, and General Knowledge point of view.

What to Read in National News

  • Important national news and do a little research on that.
  • Important Nationwide schemes/initiatives launched by the government in recent times.
  • News related to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • Events of national importance.

What to Read in Polity

  • Important/Contentious Bills passed in the Parliament.
  • Any amendment or constitution-related news.
  • Election-related news or any major decision taken by the Election Commission.
  • Major schemes/reforms announced by the government.
  • News related to Judiciary. Important supreme court verdicts.

Also read: How to Prepare for UPSC 2021: Important Tips & Tricks

Must Read in Economics

  • Press releases issued by SEBI, RBI, NITI Ayog, NASSCOM, ASSOCHAM, etc from time to time.
  • Various Financial reforms and measures introduced by the government.
  • For eg, GST reforms, relief packages released by the government.
  • News related to GDP, Inflation, CPI, IIP, etc.

Must Read in International News

  • Any major news that affects India’s International Relations.
  • Recent International conferences and events attended by the Prime Minister and President.
  • News related to crucial Treaties and Agreements signed.
  • Reports published by various international organizations such as the UN, WHO, UNICEF, ASEAN etc.
  • Important political events of other countries.

Must Read for General Knowledge

Since major topics have been covered already, you should also read and study important global issues such as Climate Change/Global Warming. Also, brush up your knowledge related to issues related to the environment, biodiversity, news about endangered and extinct species, culture and heritage news, and other science and technology-related news.

Also Read: 10 Ways How Watching TV Can Boost Your UPSC Preparation

6 Best Monthly Magazines for UPSC CSE Preparation

What not to ‘Focus’ in Newspapers?

  • Entertainment News
  • States’ news unless it has a larger national implication.
  • Local News (Unless you are preparing for the Final Interview).

Pro Tips to Read Newspapers for IAS Exam

  • First things first have a clear understanding of the UPSC syllabus. Only then you will be able to extract the important news from the newspaper.
  • Always read only the exam-relevant articles and editorials.
  • Try to classify what you read into the categories such as geography, polity, economics, environment, ecology, science, and technology, etc. It will help you make notes and also ease your preparation.
  • To read more systematically, refer to Previous Year Questions. You will get a fair idea about the current affairs questions that have been asked in the exam.
  • Last but not least, do not read the whole newspaper. There is no need to absorb literally all the information that is there in the newspaper. Only read what you think is relevant from the exam point of view.

Reading newspapers will assist you right from the beginning till the end in the UPSC exam preparation. Apart from that, it is always a good idea to stay updated with everything that is happening across the country and globe, and newspapers provide you with the desired information.

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All the best for your exams. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Auther Details

Raminder Singh

Raminder is a Content Manager at PrepLadder. He has worked in several aspects of the education industry throughout his career and has assisted numerous candidates in cracking major competitive exams.


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