Effective Techniques for Reading Newspapers for UPSC Preparation

When it comes to achieving success in the UPSC Preparation for Civil Services Exam, the significance of newspaper reading cannot be overstated. In addition to relying on standard NCERT textbooks and reference materials, newspapers offer essential content for staying updated on current affairs, a vital aspect of the IAS exam.

However, it is crucial to note that reading the entire newspaper in exhaustive detail is not necessary for effective IAS preparation. By adhering to certain do’s and don’ts, you can extract maximum benefit from your newspaper reading routine. Let’s explore some strategies for reading newspapers specifically tailored for the UPSC IAS exam.

To begin with, ‘The Hindu’ newspaper is widely recommended as a valuable resource for IAS aspirants. Alongside newspapers, it is equally important to refer to other sources to gain a comprehensive understanding of national and international events that hold significance. These sources include:

1. Yojana Magazine:

Offers in-depth analysis and insights on various socio-economic issues and government initiatives.

2. Press Information Bureau (PIB):

Provides official press releases, government announcements, and policy-related information.

3. PRS India:

Facilitates access to parliamentary debates, bills, legislative briefs, and analysis.

4. Websites of various ministries:

Exploring the official websites of different ministries allows you to gather information directly from the source.

By incorporating these sources into your newspaper reading routine, you can enhance your comprehension of diverse topics and develop a holistic perspective on current affairs—an invaluable asset for the UPSC IAS exam.

Reading the newspaper for UPSC exam

Focused News Selection for UPSC Preparation: Polity, National Affairs, Economy, International Relations, and General Knowledge

When it comes to preparing for the UPSC exam, selecting the right news articles is essential to optimise your study time. Here’s a breakdown of what news to prioritise and what to avoid.

Under Polity:

Government press conferences announcing policies, schemes, and reforms.

Important bills in Parliament.

Advertisements by the ruling party highlighting achievements and developmental schemes.

Election-related news on reforms by the Election Commission.

– News concerning the Constitution, amendments, and legal verdicts from Supreme Court/High Courts.

Parliamentary debates.

Avoid focusing on:

Press conferences by political parties.

Results of by-elections and similar events.

Under National Affairs:

– News of national importance, emphasising the implications of events. Focus on understanding underlying causes and deficiencies.

News related to ISRO and significant scientific developments in the country.

Avoid political news centred around blame games and personal allegations.

Under Economy:

Government press releases related to SEBI, Planning Commission, RBI, banking reforms, economic reforms, agriculture, industry, etc.

News impacting business from organisations like NASSCOM and ASSOCHAM.

– Indicators like GDP, CPI, IIP, etc., with an emphasis on understanding the reasons behind the numbers.

Avoid delving into:

– Intricacies of the stock market.

Under International Relations:

Prime Minister and President visits, including treaties and agreements signed during bilateral visits.

News concerning international organisations such as the UN, ASEAN, WHO, IMF, etc., and India’s role within them.

Major political events abroad that have potential international ramifications.

Avoid getting caught up in general international news unrelated to India’s interests.

General Knowledge.

Climate change and global warming news.

– Environment and ecology-related news.

Science and technology advancements.

News about endangered species and extinctions.

News to avoid:

– Entertainment news.

– Sports news, unless it is relevant to politics/administration.

– State-specific news, unless it has broader national implications.

– Regional news, unless it pertains to the UPSC interview.

By following these guidelines and focusing on the relevant news categories, you can efficiently utilise your time and enhance your preparation for the UPSC exam.

Tips to read the newspaper for IAS exam

Effective Techniques for Newspaper Reading in UPSC Preparation

1. Familiarise yourself with the UPSC syllabus: Before diving into newspaper reading, have a clear understanding of the UPSC syllabus. This will help you identify the relevant topics and focus your attention accordingly.

2. Select exam-relevant articles and editorials: Read only the articles and editorials that are directly related to the UPSC exam syllabus. Avoid getting distracted by personal interests or unrelated topics.

3. Prioritise your goal over personal interest: While reading the newspaper, remember that your primary objective is to clear the UPSC exam. Stay focused and resist the temptation to delve into favourite topics that might consume precious study time.

4. Take concise and relevant notes: Make it a habit to take notes while reading the newspaper. Ensure your notes are brief, highlighting key points, figures, people, relevant policies/laws, and the implications for the country and society.

5. Avoid excessive details: In most cases, you don’t need to remember every single name or number mentioned in articles. Instead, focus on understanding the core issues, key figures involved, associated policies/laws, and the broader impact.

6. Analyse editorials from multiple perspectives: When reading editorials, note down both the positive and negative aspects of an issue. Include points from different perspectives to maintain a balanced approach, as editorials may have inherent biases based on the newspaper’s stance.

7. Classify information into categories: Categorise the content you read, such as geography, polity, economics, environment, ecology, science and technology, etc. This will facilitate note-taking and simplify your overall preparation process. 

8. Use your own words for note-taking: While making notes based on newspaper articles and editorials, express the information in your own words. Keep your notes concise, clear, and easy to comprehend.

9. Treat newspaper reading time seriously: Dedicate focused time to read the newspaper, preferably at your study table. Avoid reading while travelling, as it may lead to missing vital news. Reserve travel time for reviewing the notes you’ve made from the newspaper.

By implementing these strategies, you can optimise your newspaper reading routine and ensure that it contributes effectively to your UPSC exam preparation.

Pro tip- It is advised to read the newspaper for no longer than an hour before the IAS exam.

How to Read Newspapers for UPSC IAS Exam: A Comprehensive Guide


When it comes to UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) preparation, staying updated with current affairs is of paramount importance. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by reading newspapers regularly. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the best strategies on how to read newspapers for UPSC IAS exam, enabling you to optimize your preparation and stay ahead in the competitive race.

  1. Importance of Reading Newspapers for UPSC IAS Exam:

Staying informed about current events and issues is vital for aspirants aiming to crack the UPSC IAS exam. Newspapers are an abundant source of valuable information that covers a wide range of topics, including politics, economy, international relations, social issues, and more. This not only helps you in the Preliminary Examination (where questions on current affairs are asked) but also enhances your performance in the Mains Examination and the Personality Test.

  1. Selecting the Best Newspaper for UPSC Preparation:

Choosing the right newspaper is crucial to ensure you receive accurate and relevant information. While various newspapers are available, ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Indian Express’ are widely regarded as the best newspapers for UPSC preparation. Both publications provide in-depth and unbiased coverage of current affairs, making them ideal choices for aspirants.

  1. Developing an Effective Reading Strategy:

a. Start with the Front Page: Begin your daily newspaper reading with the front page, as it contains the most important and headline-worthy news. Focus on national and international affairs, government policies, and significant events.

b. National and Editorial Pages: Move on to the national and editorial pages for a deeper understanding of important issues. Editorials offer valuable insights and diverse opinions on current topics.

c. Economy and Business Section: Pay close attention to the economy and business section to keep track of financial developments, budgetary updates, and economic policies.

d. International Affairs: Stay updated on international affairs to grasp the impact of global events on India and its foreign policies.

e. Science and Technology, Environment, and Social Issues: These sections are essential for a comprehensive understanding of contemporary challenges and advancements.

  1. Making Notes and Highlighting:

While reading, make concise notes and highlight crucial points. Note down facts, figures, and important data related to various topics. These notes will be invaluable during revision and while preparing for answer writing.

  1. Use Online Resources:

Supplement your newspaper reading with reliable online platforms that provide UPSC-oriented news analysis. Such resources offer in-depth insights into complex issues and help you stay abreast of recent developments.

  1. Consistency is Key:

To reap the full benefits of newspaper reading, make it a daily habit. Consistency in reading newspapers will not only enhance your knowledge but also improve your comprehension and retention abilities.

  1. Time Management:

Allocate a specific time slot in your daily schedule for newspaper reading. Ensure that it doesn’t interfere with your other study activities and is well-balanced with the rest of your preparation routine.


Reading newspapers is an integral part of UPSC IAS exam preparation. By following the strategies mentioned above and selecting the best newspaper for UPSC preparation, you can develop a comprehensive understanding of current affairs and significantly boost your chances of success in the examination. Remember, staying informed is not just about gathering information but also about analyzing and connecting the dots between different events and subjects. With consistent effort and a focused approach to newspaper reading, you will be better equipped to tackle the UPSC IAS exam with confidence.

1. Which newspaper is good for UPSC preparation?

This English daily, which Ramnath Goenka founded in 1932, is beneficial for the UPSC IAS Exam. The Indian Express is regarded as the greatest source of up-to-date news for competitive exam preparation, along with The Hindu.

2. How many hours should I spend on reading the newspaper for UPSC exams?

For UPSC preparation, an hour is the recommended amount of time to read the newspaper.

3. What is the one most important tip for reading newspapers for UPSC exams?

Consider grouping the material you read into topics like geography, politics, economics, the environment, ecology, science, and technology. You can take notes more easily and your preparation will be made easier. Write in your own words as you take notes from editorials and newspaper articles. Keep it simple and comprehensible.

Also Read:- https://www.borthakursiasacademy.com/blog/strategies-to-prepare-for-current-affairs-in-upsc/

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