How To Make Notes for UPSC Civil Services Exam

One of India’s most esteemed and difficult exams is the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE). Candidates take this exam from all across the nation who want to join the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), or Indian Foreign Service (IFS). Prelims, Mains, and Interviews are the three stages of the test. To pass the exam, aspirants must carefully prepare because the cut off UPSC CSE is fairly high. Making notes is one of the most crucial components of the preparation. This article will review how to take notes for the UPSC Civil Services Test.

Table of Contents:

  • Why Are Notes Important for UPSC CSE Preparation?
  • How to Make Notes for UPSC CSE?
  • Tips for Effective Note-Making
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

Why Are Notes Important for UPSC CSE Preparation?

Making notes is a crucial component in UPSC CSE preparation. Notes are crucial for the following reasons:

  1. Memory Retention: Taking notes enables candidates to remember knowledge for longer. Aspirants will remember concepts and essential points more easily if they write them down.
  2. Revision: For UPSC CSE preparation, revision is essential. The extensive syllabus must be reviewed numerous times by aspirants. Taking notes is a useful strategy while revising.
  3. Clarity: Taking notes might aid candidates in better comprehending challenging material. Clarifying questions and enhancing knowledge are facilitated by concisely outlining key ideas and concepts.
  4. Time management: UPSC CSE candidates must finish a lengthy curriculum in a condensed amount of time. Aspirants can save time and revise more swiftly by taking notes.

How to Make Notes for UPSC CSE?

Aspirants must learn how to take notes for the UPSC CSE. Aspirants can use the following steps to create effective notes:

  1. Read the Syllabus: Understanding the syllabus is the first step in taking notes. Go through the UPSC CSE curriculum carefully and make a list of the key themes and subtopics.
  2. Get Information: Gather information for your studies from various sources, including books, newspapers, and online sites. Ensure sure the information is pertinent to the course syllabus.
  3. Employ Short Forms: To save time while taking notes, use short forms, abbreviations, and symbols. Use “w/” for “with” and “&” for “and,” for instance.
  4. Mark Key Points: While reading the study materials, mark crucial points. Use highlighters of various colours to group the points into categories based on importance.
  5. Employ Diagrams and Flowcharts: For presenting complicated topics, use diagrams and flowcharts. When presented in diagrams and flowcharts, the topics are simpler to comprehend and recall.
  6. Make Separate Notes for Current Affairs: Current affairs should be noted separately because they are important for UPSC CSE preparation. Keep separate notes for current events, and update them often.
  7. Organize Your Notes: Arrange your notes in an orderly fashion. To organize the notes, use headings, subheadings, and bullet points.

Tips for Effective Note-Making

Here are some pointers for applicants to remember when taking notes:

  1. Be Brief: Notes should be brief and straight to the point. Use bullet points in place of lengthy paragraphs wherever possible.
  2. Use Keywords: Employ words and phrases as keywords to help you recall the ideas. As memory triggers, keywords assist hopefuls in recalling key information.
  3. Use Mind Maps: Employ mind maps to connect various ideas and subjects. Mind maps make it easier to see how various concepts are related.
  4. Review Regularly: Check the notes frequently to ensure you remember the content. The UPSC CSE preparation process requires consistent review.
  5. Take Several Notes: Take several notes on various topics and issues. The topics can be reviewed independently to save time for candidates.
  6. Employ Internet Tools: Create digital notes by using online applications like Evernote and OneNote. Aspirants may organize their notes and access them from anywhere using these tools.
  7. Keep Updating: Continue adding new details and current events to the notes. Aspirants will benefit from staying current on new developments.


Making notes is a crucial component in UPSC CSE preparation. Candidates must master this ability to pass the test. Aspirants who use notes can better recall crucial information, rewrite fast, and conserve time. To take effective notes for the UPSC CSE, candidates should pay attention to the advice provided in this article.

Success in the UPSC CSE requires constant review and updating notes with new material and current events. The UPSC Prelims cut-off marks are fairly high. Hence candidates must study hard to pass the test. One of the key areas of UPSC CSE preparation that candidates should concentrate on is effective note-taking.


Can I make notes in my native tongue?

Candidates may utilize their native tongue when taking notes. Yet, it is advised to speak clearly. It is simpler for candidates to comprehend the notes during revision when written in simple language. Moreover, candidates should refrain from overusing technical phrases and jargon in their notes, which could cause future misunderstandings.

How often should I go through my notes again?

To retain the crucial details, aspirants should review their notes several times. The UPSC CSE preparation process must include regular revision. Depending on their preferences, aspirants should review their notes daily, weekly, and monthly. Revision regularly aids in memory retention and elevates the standard of the notes. Based on input from their lecturers and peers, aspirants should revise their notes regularly.

Is it necessary to divide my current affairs notes?

For current affairs, applicants should keep separate notes. The UPSC CSE preparation process heavily relies on current affairs. Therefore, candidates must keep up with the most recent occurrences. Applicants may choose to separate their notes into different weeks or months based on their preferences. It’s also crucial to constantly evaluate the current affairs notes to make sure they’re correct and current.

Can I take notes digitally?

Candidates can create digital notes online by utilizing programmes like Evernote and OneNote. Aspirants may organize their notes and access them from anywhere using these tools. Candidates can also give their friends and professors’ opinions on the notes. Aspirants should ensure they have a backup of their notes, though, in case of any technical difficulties. According to their preferences, aspirants can also take notes using a regular pen and paper.

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