Competitive exams are the initial milestones in a student’s life. These exams are relatively tougher compared to the exams in school. And one of the hardest parts of the exams lies in their GK and Current Affairs section. Students wail even at the mention of GK for it is certainly a Herculean task to master this particular area. Through this article, we will analyse this particular section, and share tips and strategies to help approach the segment with a freer and open mind.
General Knowledge Preparation tips
General Knowledge, or GK as is popularly called, tests the knowledge of students in various fields in both national and international developments. GK is particularly important because it tests the student’s awareness of the world.
Common topics in GK
- Sobriquets of personalities
- Firsts in various fields
- List of prime ministers
- National parks and wildlife sanctuaries of India
- Wonders of the World
- Important days and years
- Power plants and thermal plants
- Dams and rivers
- States and capitals
- States and culture
- National symbols
- Airports and seaports
- Research centres in India
- Longest- Highest-Largest
- Awards and Trophies
- Tribal groups
- Books and authors
Upon closer inspection, we can say that GK constitutes the static part of the knowledge section. Topics asked in this segment are generally past happenings that remain fixed even after years. Hence, GK is by far the easiest segment to handle, for it never changes.
Study Material for GK
The Pearsons General Knowledge Manual exhaustively covers both GK and Current Affairs in its various topics. It also contains objective questions after each topic taken from previous years exam papers so as to provide students with practice and test their knowledge.
Lucent’s General Knowledgeis widely popular among the student circles. It is ideal for topics about India like Indian polity, constitution, etc and it too contains question banks and question sets to prepare students in each topic.
Mobile Applications for preparing GK
There are numerous mobile apps to help students in GK preparation. Some of the most common and widely popular apps are given below:
- India GK and Current Affairs
- 20+ Categories
- General Knowledge
- GK India
- InShorts GK
The best part of having mobile applications is that you can learn GK on the go. Some of these apps are offline which also serves as an advantage. There are other apps that focus solely on some certain topics and those are ideal for the relevant competitive exam. Majorly, these apps are sufficient for exams like UPSC, Civil Services exams, Bank exams and other exams that contain general knowledge as a component.
Tips to Learn Static GK
Preparation Strategy for GK
GK in itself is very vast and is impossible to study at one go. Students try to memorize and learn facts by-heart which is an ineffective method. The best way to learn GK is by having tricks and abbreviations. There are various channels in YouTube which provide tricks for almost every topic covered by these exams. The best part is that they provide tricks in one’s own mother tongue which further helps in remembering facts. Some of the channels are given below:
- Crazy GkTrick
- Crack GK Tricks
- Study Corner
- Funny GK Trick
Current Affairs for competitive exam
The current affairs section is, what can be called as, dynamic GK. This section focuses on the changing aspects of national and world advancements. It is synonymous to news. Since the current affairs segment is constantly changing, the materials used must also be regularly updated. Generally, competitive exams focus on current affairs of two previous years. Hence, proper planning and faithful follow-up is the key to success.
The current affairs segment generally covers a huge array of categories like Indian polity, art and culture, international summits, government schemes, budget reviews, persons in news or who’s who, geography and environment and awards and ceremonies, to name a few.
Study Materials for Current Affairs
Books for current affairs
Manorama Yearbook provides complete information of affairs and happenings of the year. It also contains essays and articles written on general topics which further advance student’s knowledge.
Magazines for current affairs
Competition Success Review is a monthly magazine that supplies fresh content of monthly affairs. It comes supported with a supplement that generally provides objective tests or sometimes general knowledge facts.
Mobile Applications for current affairs preparation
There are several apps available to update students on daily basis. But one disadvantage that apps pose is that they have to be updated regularly, failing which, students might get left behind in their progress. Some apps are mentioned below:
- Current Affairs and General Knowledge Quiz
- Latest Current Affairs and GK in English and Hindi
- Smart Abhyas
Media Sources for Current Affairs preparation
Obviously, reading a newspaper everyday is a must. Not all newspapers provide standard content, so newspapers that provide reliable and quality material must be chosen. The Hindu and The Times of India are two leading newspapers that provide good quality news. The editorial pages should be given a read as they not only provide information but also are examples of good writing and vocabulary. Students should also make use of televisions and make it a habit to watch news for at least an hour every day. Televisions are very effective since they provide visual content that is easy to remember. There are channels like Rajya Sabha TV, Lok Sabha TV, Doordarshan etc. These media sources offers better quality content and reliable information.
Tips to Master Current Affairs
Students should be very strict when it comes to current affairs. Procrastination can be the biggest enemy as a lag of even one day piles up onto the next. Candidates should update themselves regularly and keep themselves informed about the worldly affairs. Ideally, a student should spend minimum of two hours on this section.
There are various websites that provide questions online that students could use to test themselves routinely. Students should also enquire if their coaching centres provide periodical newsletters and sign up for it to get additional resources. It might seem daunting but perseverance definitely pays.
Competitive exams decide the future of a student. So it is extremely important that the student is well motivated and dedicated towards the exam. Sometimes, the student might lose sight of the goal and feel lethargic towards preparation. It is at these times that students must be re-inspired towards achieving the goal. Most of all, it is imperative to remember that exams are only a part of one’s life, not one’s life itself. So no matter what the result is, it is better to keep moving forward without looking back and not be under pressure to over-achieve. The worth of a student must not be determined by a few numbers.
Best wishes and good luck to all the students appearing for various exams!