These study tips for exams will help you improve your focus, memory, and study habits so you can ace any exam, including the GK and current affairs exams.
Most government exams and competitive exams in India include a section on general knowledge and current affairs that candidates applying for Government jobs in India are expected to answer.
There is a great deal of importance given to GK knowledge and current affairs for UPSC, Banking, Railways, and other competitive exams in India, as this is considered an important part of a student’s education, especially if they plan to go into public service.
17 Exam Preparation Tips For The GK & Current Affairs Exams
In this article, you’ll find a list of exam preparation tips and study tips for exams to improve your focus, memory, concentration, and study habits, and help you ace the GK and current affairs exams.
1. Read the newspapers for daily current affairs
Reading about the daily current affairs in the newspapers or online is the most important exam preparation tip to prepare for the current affairs section of the exam, as many UPSC toppers recommend.
To improve your general awareness of the news and current affairs, list the most important news of the day in a notebook and add an interesting fact about the news item to help you remember it.
Go through these study notes before the exam to revise and memorize the facts and information you have noted down.
Some people recommend watching news channels to learn all about current affairs today. However, this can be very distracting because of all the advertisements and the fact that news channels tend to repeat the news frequently.
Instead of wasting your time watching these channels throughout the day, you can just catch up with the highlights of the day by subscribing to their YouTube channels and choosing the news you want to watch.
You can also catch up on monthly current affairs by subscribing to a monthly newsletter from any of the news channels. In addition, SHEROES career counselor, Monica Majithia, advises:
2. Use study materials for GK questions with answers
There is a lot of study material available to help you memorize general knowledge questions with answers. Here are some of the most popular UPSC material and books to study GK questions with answers:
- Manorama English Yearbook 2022
- General Knowledge 2022
- General Knowledge Today Magazine
- Yojana Magazine
- Kurukshetra Magazine
- NCERT books
These study guides have an extensive list of GK questions for students, so memorizing them will help you learn all the information you need to ace your general knowledge questions for the competitive exams.
3. Stop worrying that you’ll forget
Memorizing current affairs and general knowledge questions and answers are all about remembering facts. When you try to memorize facts, you tend to work hard on doing it and may rely on things like organizers to help you retain the information better.
But, if you worry that you’ll end up forgetting the material after learning it, the very act of worrying will create a negative impression on what you’re capable of doing.
In the end, instead of having retained the information, you’ll be left with nothing to recall. This is because your tendency to worry is actually blocking what you need to remember.
4. Use the power of intention to remember
Your willingness to remember facts about common general knowledge questions and answers makes a big difference. Using the power of intention to remember what you learned will work wonders and boost your capacity to remember.
When you set an intention to remember, it will give you the confidence to know that you can and will be able to remember what you’ve just studied.
5. Use the power of selective memory
The most interesting fact about memorizing facts is that selection is an important part of memorization for students studying for an exam.
The selection of important or significant details alone makes it possible for the learner to omit unnecessary words and concentrate on key points.
The technique here is to read or study the material as a whole and then go through it afterward picking up important and major ideas along the way.
Going through the entire material first before actually picking up important parts for memorization is essential since memorization can never be done without a complete understanding of the context in which you are learning these facts.
6. Revision is essential for recall
When you study for a test, you shouldn’t be learning something completely new. It is faster and easier to recall something you have already learned than to learn something completely new. This is why it is so important to revise your study notes.
According to the Curve of Forgetting, if you do not revise what you have learned, you’re likely to forget 50 to 80% of it in the next 24 hours. Reprocessing the same chunk of information sends a big signal to your brain to hold onto that data.
Here is one of the best revision techniques to improve recall:
So revise your material after each day of classes. It doesn’t have to be a long review. Simply scan through the day’s topics or any notes you took. That way, you give your brain another chance to soak up the information.
This revision technique is one of the best exam tips for students because it will make any future study less time-consuming and less of a learning process.
7. Do online mock tests for GK and current affairs
Another of the best study tips for exams and one that many UPSC toppers have recommended is to do practice tests or online mock tests for GK quiz questions as they can boost your memory recall.
You can find free GK quizzes and current affairs mock tests, to help you crack the toughest questions in the exams, on the Glow & Lovely Careers portal.
You can do the general knowledge quiz with answers, as well as free online mock tests for a number of competitive exams, to help you learn what mistakes to avoid during your study preparation.
8. Where you study is important
The best way to study for exams is to find a place that has minimal distractions. Most students prefer to study at home. However, for some, home can be too distracting as it is easy to get sidetracked with television, family interruptions, and social media.
What may help is if you study in a place that’s similar to the place where you’re going to take the test. When you study, you might associate certain topics with the environment.
So if you take the test in a similar environment, you can more easily recall these associations. For example, if you’re going to take your test in a lecture room, it may help to study in a college lecture room or a library.
9. Determine whether you study best alone or in a group
Some people study well in a group since they can get help from others in areas in which they are lacking. They may also gain valuable insight from others on what they have overlooked and which critical areas to focus on for the test.
On the other hand, some people study well alone. They know what they have to study. A group can be distracting as some members of the group may engage in off-topic conversation or try to do absolutely everything but study.
You’re the only one who knows which of these is your best way to study for a test, so determine what study method works best for you and stick to it.
10. Try out different study methods and see what works
There are various methods you can use when studying. You can use memory-improving techniques like mnemonics, visualization, and association.
You can also try out different things, like reading through your textbook, reading through course notes, answering textbook questions, redoing past assignments, reviewing previous tests, researching online, discussing with others, and more.
Try a combination of different studying methods and track your results to see what works best for you.
11. Take frequent breaks to rest your mind
A method that works well for most people is studying in small sections of time, instead of large chunks of time. Studying in large chunks of time increases the chance that you will overwhelm your brain with information and start forgetting things.
By introducing time intervals between study sessions, you can remember more – even if you spend fewer actual hours studying.
This memorization technique is called spaced repetition, and it may be the most powerful technique in existence for improving your brain’s ability to recall what you study.
If you study in small sections of time, you won’t need to absorb all of this information at once and your mind will get a chance to rest. You should also revise what you study and do it in expanding time intervals.
For example, if you memorize ten digits of PI, you could attempt to revise the ten digits in one minute, then two minutes, then four minutes, and so on.
12. Take a yoga break to reduce anxiety
Take a 20-minute yoga study break to help calm your nervous system, rest and reset. This short, home yoga practice can help reduce exam anxiety in the lead-up to your exams.
13. Get good sleep and nutrition
Getting enough sleep is important, as a lack of sleep can impair your ability to focus and learn efficiently. If you think there’s not enough time to sleep, consider learning some time management tips to help you manage your time more efficiently.
Keep yourself hydrated and eat nutritious foods and healthy snacks to make sure you’re getting all your vitamins, as they are essential for the proper functioning of your brain and nervous system.
Make sure you’re not deficient in any of these micronutrients as they are essential for healthy brain function:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- B-Vitamins like folic acid and B12
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
You could consider taking ayurvedic herbs, like Brahmi, that can promote optimal brain health and boost memory. Always consult your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements.
14. Practice yoga to boost focus and concentration
Daily yoga practice has been proven to be beneficial for the body and mind. Some yoga asanas can help you concentrate better, improve focus, and boost your memory power.
In this video, you’ll learn how to do simple yoga poses which will help you achieve concentration, focus, and awareness.
15. Cultivate good study habits
Effective study habits are a very important part of the learning process. Good study habits are all about keeping to a daily routine and giving all subjects equal treatment.
Keep in mind that good study habits are built over time, so start off slowly and get into the habit of studying. Maintain a balance between your study time and other areas of your life.
Set aside time for friends, family, and fun activities as well, so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything important in life.
16. Practice meditation to reduce stress
Regular meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, increase focus and learning concentration, improve memory and attention span, help you sleep better, boost your immune system and psychological resilience.
This daily meditation has helpful positive affirmations for students and can help you improve concentration and focus.
17. Reward yourself often
Every time you complete a task or a milestone in your study preparation, reward yourself so that your brain gets a hit of dopamine and you feel like studying more. After all, you deserve to be rewarded and celebrated for a job well done.
If you’re finding it difficult to prepare for the upcoming government exams in India, remember that it’s quite alright to feel frustrated and stuck when you are preparing for a competitive exam.
Just remember your own will and desire behind studying for the competitive exams and learn how to prepare well for exams with these study tricks and tips.
For more final exam study tips for competitive exams, free career guidance, and support from professional career counselors, join the Glow & Lovely Careers Community on the SHEROES app for women.
About the author:
Priya Florence Shah is the Group Editor at SHEROES and author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women.