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BPSC AE Civil Syllabus

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How to read the newspaper for cracking a Competitive Exam?

Sacred Gurukul

Challenges and Motivation

Every student, who is appearing for the competitive exams, understands the importance of Newspaper Reading for covering their Current Affairs section.


But most of the students are not aware of the following things:

  • The approach for newspaper reading,
  • What information to look for in it,
  • What are its important sections,
  • How to read the Newspaper, 

and so on. 


In this article, Sacred Gurukul —  Best BPSC & UPSC Coaching institute in Bihar — has discussed all these points in great detail so that you know what is the best of doing it.


So without further ado, let’s get started.


What Should Be Your Approach?

So now you decided to get newspaper reading into your routine. Now what?

If your approach is to just grab any newspaper & reading anything thinking it will get you through the you’re wrong.

You have to have a proper strategy as to how you’ll approach to it.

Good thing is that Sacred Gurukul has brought you a sure short strategy that can help you straighten your approach to it.

Here are some things that you need to take care of before proceeding any further with newspaper reading.


Choose a reliable newspaper/news portal (or maximum 2)

Well, there’s to much to digest here. Let’s understand it one by one:


Why only a reliable newspaper/news portal?

Someone from your teachers or seniors must have told you to read The Hindu or Indian Express if you want to tighten your grip on Current Affairs & General Knowledge.

But why only these two and not any other newspaper?

The answers is very simple — They have a reputation of providing the reliable & quality information.

It is because the columns are written by the reputed experts that adds to their authority.

Here’s how you can identify if a news source is reliable.

  1. Comprehensiveness: They contains the all the important events that are happening around the world. Hence, it is recommended to avoid local/state newspapers until or unless you’re preparing for state competitive exams.

  2. Quality of English: Articulation, sentence construction, vocabulary — A reliable newspaper helps you to improve on these aspects so you pass your written exams with flying colors.

  3. Unbiased: Most competitive exams have the interview round as the final stage. When interviewer ask for your opinion on some current affair, it’s good to have one but it’s very negative if it reflects your biasness.

    Reliable newspaper gives you a 360° view on a topic, so you form your opinion but equally open for something better.

  4. Authoritiveness: As already discussed, being written by reputed experts give these newspapers/news source an authoritiveness.


Why you should not read more than two newspapers?

The reason is simple: Trusted & reliable newspaper covers all the important affairs. Hence, there is no use to go back to the same piece of information again & again.

Also, when preparing for competitive exams, your time is very precious. Hence, you can’t waste it on reparations or gathering unnecessary information. 

Analyze Your Syllabus

What you’d have to read should be in accordance to your syllabus requirements. This helps you to cut the noise and focus on the relevant part that saves you a big-time from your valuable preparation hours.

However, generally, you can skip pure politics, Bollywood, stock market predictions, fashion trends, etc. 

Also, to have a better understanding, check the previous 5 years' question papers and analyze the types of questions they ask from the current affairs.


Know The Weightage

Understand the weightage current affairs hold to your overall marks. 

So, if you’re appearing for a competitive where the total marks are 100 and current affairs alone hold 20 marks, you should devote 20% time of your overall preparation to current affairs.

What To Look For In A Newspaper?

As per our experience, these are some of the common things to read in a newspaper for competitive exams:

  • International (International affairs for GK)
  • Environmental
  • Important decisions of the Supreme Court and High Court
  • Policies of Government
  • Social issues (related to children and women empowerment)
  • Health & Medical issues
  • Constitution (Related to any Article and Amendment)


Important Sections Of A Newspaper

Newspaper can be a maze if you don’t know which section to target for study. But don’t worry, we’ll navigate you through it.

Here are the sections that you must study if preparing for competitive exams:

  • F: Front Page
  • E: Editorial
  • B: Business
  • E: Economic
  • S: Science
  • W: World


How To Read The Newspaper?

Analyze the newspaper

Scan for the sections & information that we’ve told you in the previous sections.

With a quick analysis of the complete newspaper (in 5-10 minutes), you can figure out all the relevant articles that you need to pay your attention on. 

This way you can manage your time more efficiently while reading. 

Avoid the unnecessary clutter as it’d take your time & then you may not be able to do an in-depth analysis of the articles (even the relevant ones).


Make Notes

  • First thing that you need to take care of while making notes is, you should avoid copy/pasting the complete information.

Try making one-line notes or use only keywords (if possible). This makes the revision efficient & easy to memorize. Also, don’t cut newspapers articles and paste them in a notebook.

  • Second thing that you have to include in your practice is, make separate notes for different topics. This way information will be easy to locate when you revisit it. It also makes revision super easy.

Active Reading

Reading newspapers is not like passive reading like the novel you read before your bedtime. It requires your attentiveness

Take time to think and reflect upon what you’ve read — its background & future implications. 

Also, ask yourself if there could be a question framed on this. This way you’ll make the most of newspaper reading.


It is important to revisit your one-line notes time to time. This way you are not over-burdened before the exam.

Based on that, you could also participate in quizzes to test your knowledge.


To sum up all that we have stated above:

  • You should choose only one or maximum two reliable newspapers to read.
  • You should analyze the syllabus to clear the clutter and devote your time on relevant information.
  • The reading time should be of the same proportion to the weightage (in percentage) it holds.
  • Look only for specific information & sections.
  • Also, analyze your newspaper before reading, make notes, actively read it, and revise it regularly.


This article was brought to you by Sacred Gurukul — Best BPSC & UPSC Coaching institute in Bihar.

Also, if you want to know how to manage exam stress, read this.

Share it with your friends or near ones who are preparing for the competitive exams. Also, stay tuned