UPSC exam candidates are constantly seeking smart and innovative methods for preparation. Nikhil Agrawal, who successfully cleared the UPSC CSE three times in 2016, 2017, and 2018, offers helpful tips for better preparation.

1. Charts

Nikhil suggests using charts to condense a large amount of information onto a single page, useful for repeated revision. Many high-ranking individuals use this method.

Additionally, you can place your chart anywhere in your home for easy and constant access.

2. Revision

Revision, according to Nikhil, is the most crucial part in UPSC preparation.

“Our brain forgets things easily. Read the same book repeatedly. You can revise properly if you have made charts and notes of your own.”

3. Connect the dots

This technique involves interlinking topics with each other, helping you remember what you have studied.

“Connecting the dots will surely fetch you additional marks in every answer. It also helps develop your thought process and is useful in prelims,” he adds.

4. Taking notes

Making notes from newspapers is of utmost importance, according to Nikhil.

“Newspaper reading without revising it every month or so is of no use, so make effective notes.”

5. Mnemonics

This is a popular technique used by successful aspirants to remember important points like dates, years, details about countries, etc.

“Remember that mnemonic acts as a supplement to your core preparation which should include extensive reading and hard work,” says Nikhil.

Here are a few mnemonics Nikhil used: SAAB: Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bengal (Bhutan and Indian state border) PATNA: Prithvi, Akash, Trishul, Nag, Agni (All five missiles developed under IGMD programme India).