Making notes is an art, more so for UPSC exams. To know what should be included and what should be excluded is the ultimate key to making UPSC notes. In the beginning, it won’t be easy to understand how you should structure your notes. But with time, you will get well-versed with it.

Here are some tips which will aid you in understanding how to make some great notes for UPSC.

Do Not Start Writing Books

Sometimes, UPSC applicants copy down precisely what is written in the study material. Making notes doesn’t mean you start curating your books. You must make notes on point. Your notes must include only the important points from each subject. Try to focus on what can work best for you while curating your notes.

Notes should stick to the most important part of the course. This will help you focus only on every subject’s critical aspects when you are revising for IAS exams.

Be Very Selective

It would help if you selectively choose your time while curating notes. Some of your subjects won’t require making notes because of its availability on the web. It will only waste your time and energy to make notes of content available on your fingertips. So try to make notes for subjects for which content is not readily available. This is the best practice we can suggest for curating time-saving notes for UPSC CSE.

Time-management is one of the essential factors in UPSC exams. If you are not selective about what you read, you will waste time unnecessarily. If you revise your subject material consistently, you won’t even require notes for revision.

Read before Curating

Be thorough with your textbooks. You must carefully read your textbooks while doing your UPSC preparation. UPSC toppers suggest that you must read your textbooks at least thrice. In the first two times, try and understand the subject. While reading next time, you must underline the important points and curate notes accordingly.

Continuous revision of the study material is very essential when you are curating final notes. The extent of accessibility of your notes should be such that, even if you go through your UPSC notes a day before your exam you can cover every topic with a glance.

Piling Study Material Won’t Help

Curating notes doesn’t necessarily mean piling up various study materials. While doing IAS preparation, many applicants think that piling up study material would aid them in making notes. But that wouldn’t be much of use. Rather, target your study material to focus on what’s important. You must read-only from the targeted study material and note down what you understand from it.

Running after every study material would take a lot of time. You would unnecessarily lose energy reading the same things over and over again. The content addressed in each study material would largely be the same. The lesser the study material, the more you can retain it.

Concentrate on Your Ultimate Goals

Formulating notes can be a hectic task. You may zone out while studying or lose interest in the subject. In such situations, try to concentrate on your ultimate goal of becoming an IAS officer.

It would be best if you segregated your time equally to each subject so you can focus on all of them. We tend to read our favourite subjects over and over again. You must avoid doing that. Well, every subject helps you secure a good rank, regardless of whether it interests you.


Time-managing skills play an important role while preparing notes for IAS exams. Nevertheless, even IAS toppers agree with the fact that perseverance is key to success. You can clear UPSC exams easily if you follow these tips. These strategies were curated with the help of IAS toppers.

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Tips for UPSC Preparation: How to Make Effective and Useful Notes for UPSC?
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Tips for UPSC Preparation: How to Make Effective and Useful Notes for UPSC?
It is crucial to understand how to make great notes for UPSC. Include these simple tips in your IAS preparation to bring your UPSC dreams true to life!
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UPSC Pathshala
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