Is note-making is mandatory for UPSC Preparation?

Most of the students in their UPSC Preparation remain confused about note-making. This happened to even some toppers of UPSC also. Note making takes time and time is precious in preparation. Therefore, your mind should be clear about this confusion.

The necessity of note-making for UPSC depends upon person to person. But, it is also true that note-making helps to crack UPSC. It is a scientific fact that hand-written notes help to remember something easily. Moreover, revision is easy with notes rather than books. Therefore, most of the UPSC Teachers and Toppers advise note-making while preparing for this exam.

UPSC Topsper’s View on Note-Making:

01. Tina Dabi (UPSC Rank-01) in 2015:

She is a brilliant topper of UPSC. She cleared the UPSC in her first attempt. She also took coaching for this purpose.

02. Nidhin Biju (AIR – 89 UPSC) in 2019:

He always preferred to make notes for all the subjects of UPSC. He made notes of 20 pages for most of the subject. But, sometimes he crossed 20 pages limit according to the subject.

03. Sanya Chhabra (AIR – 89 UPSC) in 2018:

She made all his notes in offline mode. But she believed that the online mode is more useful. Because we can easily edit notes.


“Note-maling is essential to passed the UPSC Exam.But, your notes should be effective. “

Sanya Chahabra (AIR-89)

04. Pratiba Verma (AIR – 03 UPSC) in 2019:

She believed that note-making is very important. But, the notes should be effective and brief.

It is also possible that a person can crack the IAS Exam without note-making. And, some people did this. But, notes make the task easy. Everybody is unique. Therefore, everybody’s journey is different from the others.

I believed that first, you should analyze yourself. In analysis, you should figure out that what suits your personality. i.e. Does note-making work or not work for you?

How to find whether you should make the notes or not?

When I started my preparation, I did not make notes. I read the whole book about a topic. But, when I started the 2nd reading, then I was blank. I retained very less information. And I was like that I was reading this book the first time in my 2nd reading.

I did proper high-lighting in my first reading. But, the fruit was very small. So, I dropped the idea of 2nd reading. Moreover, it will take a lot of effort to read the book again as well as time

So, I sat at that time and thought deeply about this matter. One thing, I analyzed that I retained much information when I made notes. Then, I decided to make the notes.

Therefore, you should see in yourself that what is going to work for you. If you are still confused, then you should do an experiment with yourself to take the final decision.

Why should you make notes for UPSC Preparation?

Note-making has many benefits. The benefits are as follows:

  • Revision is very easy as compared to revise the whole book. For example, if you make the notes of 20-25 pages of a book (500 pages). It is clear that 20-25 pages notes are easy to revise rather than 500 pages book.
  • Notes takes less time to revise as compared to notes. Take the above example again, you can see that 20-25 pages will take less time to read as compared to whole book.
  • Hand written notes are easy to remmeber because human brain save a lot of information automatically at the time of writing.
  • Notes give clarity about the topic. When we prepare notes then, we try to find important information about that topic. It gives the 360 degree idea about the topic as well as clarity.
  • Notes are very helpful in Prelimany Exam as well as Mains.
  • Note help us to consolidate the whole information about the topic at one plance.

In Conclusion, the note-making process is a personal choice. It depends upon your learning style. A student can crack UPSC without note-making. But, the students, who make notes, look more confident and comfortable. Note making works for many UPSC aspirants and it can also work for you.

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