The Best Ways to keep up with General Knowledge

General knowledge is broad knowledge and information on various topics. It is not specialized information on a specific topic, rather, it is about every aspect of human life- current affairs, health, art, science, and technology.

When it comes to UPSC preparation, general knowledge and current affairs can be the game changer. For static part once completed, it remains same and only needs to be revised from time to time, but general knowledge has to be updated regularly and periodically.

Not only for CSE but general knowledge also plays an important role in other exams such as CDS, SSC CGL and State PSCs.

Note: You have to be very well versed with the pattern of UPSC. The best way to achieve it is to read the syllabus uploaded by UPSC multiple times till it gets memorized.

Best Ways to keep up with General Knowledge

Here are some of the best ways to keep up with the general knowledge which will help you to crack the various exams-

1. The power of reading a newspaper daily- Reading a newspaper builds an important base for the knowledge. Reading a daily such as The Hindu is extremely useful for all UPSC exams. It gives you a critical analysis of the hot topics which with the static i.e. the basic portion and helps you in further correlative linkage. It is recommended to have a pen or marker with you while reading a newspaper.

Underlining the information and news helps you to remember them more easily. Further, after reading the newspaper completely, you can quickly glance over the underlined things to absorb the crux in five minutes.

2. Magical Magazines- Magazines such as Yojana, Kurukhetra, Frontline are useful for current affairs. Solving the questions given at the end of the magazines is very important as it helps you to evaluate yourself.

3. Rajyasabha and Loksabha TV discussions are very beneficial in understanding and analysing the government policies.

4. PIB- Press Information Bureau gives a good insight about various schemes launched by various government ministries.

5. Daily current affairs MCQs uploaded by various portals are a good way to check your knowledge and get a better idea about how questions can be framed.

6. Pocket Diary- It may seem old fashioned, but pocket diaries can be very useful. Each time you find out something new, take out your pocket diary and write it down. You can centralize all the data you gathered in a format you find easier to handle.

If you are tech savvy and do not want to use old fashioned diary, you can write down the information in the notes on your mobile or tablet using note taking apps.

7. Mobile phones- If you can’t access hard copy of newspaper or magazines, you can access the soft copy of the same on your mobile. The apps of various newspapers and online preparation portals help you to access information anywhere and anytime. You can utilise your traveling time and other time window which you get here and there. These small steps and learning can take you a long way in building a very strong current affairs base.

8. Any issues related to Geography or International Affairs– You should make sure to prepare this area keeping a map aside. This will help you analyze the issues with the neighboring countries and give you a complete picture of social and political problems faced.

9. Discussion with peer group- Knowledge increases by sharing. So, the next time you read anything new, share it with your peer group or family and you will notice that you will retain it for a longer period.

The more you are updated the better your knowledge and also in UPSC Preparation it helps in writing quality answers in Mains exam. So, stay updated on all current issues.

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Open University: 60-Second Philosophy Lessons

Open University gives us 6 philosophy lessons in under one minute each:

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Guide to Your Freshman Year in College

Getting ready for your freshman year in college is both an exciting and scary. In college, you will finally have more freedom after years of being subject to parental supervision. This will mean more responsibilities, a more challenging academic life, and dealing with all sorts of folks in and out of campus. It’s easy to feel like you’re heading toward an uncharted territory during your first few months in college. This guide is aimed at helping you discover what university life is all about and what you can do to have a fulfilling and memorable first year in college.

Thinking like a college student

Your first year in college is going to be stressful, but there is nothing you can’t handle with adequate preparation. Preparing yourself for college life is going to be all-important. If you want to be able to breeze through your college days effortlessly, you need, first of all, to think like a college student.

Thinking like a college student involves the realization that you are now out of your comfort zone. For some, college may be a simple walk in the park but for many, the first year will be chock-full of adjustments. There is the perpetual pressure of doing well academically as well as the need for you to socialize and blend in. Many first year students also have issues and worries about living on their own. If this is your first time to live in a dorm and have a complete stranger as a roommate, then these fears are simply rational. Whether you’re about to enter the first day of college or you’re already months into university life, these simple tips will have you walking through the hallways of your campus with more verve and confidence: Click to continue reading…

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How To Support Your Spouse While Attending Law School

It all starts out like a dream relationship. You and your spouse graduate from college, get married, and even move into your first house. Your spouse now brings up the idea of going back to school. He has always wanted to be an attorney but put it all on the back burner. Now that things are somewhat calmed down the opportunity has presented itself. Instantly, a lot of thoughts go through your head – thinking about exactly how do you become a lawyer? How much does it cost? Or how long does it take to become a lawyer? These questions are valid and important to discuss before making a decision.

What’s Involved in Becoming an Attorney?

Graduating from high school and college are the first steps to becoming an attorney. After getting your four year degree you need to apply and attend law school to get your Juris doctorate degree. After law school the bar exam needs to be taken. Finally, after passing the bar exam a newly appointed lawyer will be sworn in. Including high school, it’s an 11 year journey to become a lawyer. Law school is typically only 3 years though.

What’s The Cost Associated With Becoming an Attorney?

Some schools can be as “inexpensive” as $20,000 a year and more prestigious schools can cost upwards to $50,000 + for each year. The good news is that there are a lot of student loan options available. Interest rates are pretty reasonable and you can take out a little more then what school costs to help cover additional living costs. Some people take out loans to make up for the lack of income the miss out on if they are going back to school later on in their life.

Paying Our Bills? Where Do We Start?

Student loans are available to individuals looking to go back to school. Most student loan programs understand that working full time while attending school isn’t plausible. For the spouse not going back to school is can sometimes be difficult for them to understand but it’s an important part to recognize in order to be supportive. Bills need to be paid but you would be amazed how much you can save by just making small cuts from your normal spending patterns. For example:

  • Making your coffee at home – each coffee from Starbucks costs $3-$5.00
  • Readjust cell phone plans – $5-$10 per month can be saved by downgrading data & texting plans.
  • Downgrade or cancel your cable – Netflix and RedBox is an extremely cheap alternative to cable saving nearly $50.00 per month.
  • Call up insurance companies – Do you need full insurance on your car? Can you raise your deductible on your house? These have their pros and cons but you’re looking to cut just a little from several bills. This option can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
  • Nobody said the money aspect of going back to school would be easy but outlined above are just a few options to easily save hundred dollars per year. When you’re living off of an income that is less then what your use to every dollar saved counts.

Being Supportive Is Hard But Rewarding

It’s never convenient for you or a spouse to go back to school. It’s a big commitment, expensive, and adds stress to the entire family. Knowing that your significant other is supportive of your career choice is very rewarding. They will remember that you stuck with them and you both can share stories and laugh about the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ experiences together. Life isn’t always meant to be easy, hopefully you both can get through this together and enjoy more good times later on in life.

Nicholas is a husband to a law school student and has gone through the debt and pressures of getting a family member going back to school. To help other aspiring lawyers he created which lists all the legal requirements and law schools by each state.