M Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity needs no introduction to UPSC aspirants, who believe this is the best available option to cover the subject effectively.
As an India Today report stated, “This book is…a Bible to study Indian Polity subject in detail. It is one of the most popular and comprehensive books on the subject and has been a consistent bestseller for many years. A UPSC aspirant must go through this book thoroughly to get maximum marks in UPSC Mains exam 2021.”
Quora user Nikhil Agarwal, who cleared his UPSC prelims in 2016, 2017, and 2018, shares six tips to crack the subject using the book:
1. Use charts
“You can use charts for many small chapters of polity. Charts can help you in fast and repeated revisions,” wrote Nikhil. He explained it using an image where he has made a chart of three Parliamentary Financial Committees. This helps in better understanding without turning pages every now and then.
This idea can be applied not only for studying polity, but other subjects as well, Nikhil noted. Making acronyms to remember important points is always an effective way to study. Using certain keywords will also make studies easier.
“For some lengthy chapters like ‘Parliament or Fundamental Rights’, I don’t find Charts or making notes as useful because every line of such chapters in Laxmikanth is important,” he wrote. Underlining or highlighting vital words/parts will help in detecting them easily.
“You should make your own notes of the chapters which you find more lengthy and which contain irrelevant data,” shared Nikhil. Without one’s own notes, remembering significant facts from irrelevant data will be difficult.
Newspaper reading is inevitable for a UPSC aspirant. When any news regarding polity comes up, look for the subject in the book and study accordingly. Thereby, a revision of covered parts is also possible.
According to Nikhil, to make all the above tips work, revision is a must. “Revision is the backbone of your preparation for the civil services exam, which most of the students ignore and after prelims, they start blaming the question paper,” he opined.
This Quora post has received over 1,200 upvotes and many comments thanking Nikhil. The Nagpur-native is an educationist and musician by profession. He engages his followers with UPSC related content and has over 796k total content views.
Offering more tips on how to make the best of this book, Dhruva Kumar Hiremath, an administrative officer and a polity teacher, is of the opinion that, “Laxmikanth’s Polity is a very interesting book to study, if you can arrange the chapters in their logical order.” He suggests switching up the order of reading the text to break monotony. More details can be found about how he teaches his students this book under ‘Quora 2’ below.
Meanwhile, Adil Iqbal, a post-graduate in Sociology and an active Quora user suggests, “Read this book three-four times without expecting anything. In the first reading, please don’t try to memorise anything. Use a pencil and underline what you find important in the second reading. Use a pen and underline only those parts which need to be memorised during the third reading. In the fourth reading, use a highlighter, and now onwards, you need to read the highlighted areas only.”
Providing a timeline, he states that the first reading should take about 20-25 days, the second should take about 20 days, the third about 15-20 days, and the fourth and final reading should take about 10-15 days.
Quora users also suggest that aspirants must not feel intimidated by the bulkiness of the book, and instead take their time to understand what strategy works for them best.
You can purchase the book on Amazon, here.
(Edited by Divya Sethu)
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