What are Current Affairs?
Generally speaking, Current Affairs means ‘news’. Speaking from the point of view of competitive exams, Current Affairs refers to the national & international events of such importance & relevance that a student must be aware of them. Good knowledge of Current Affairs is a reflection of the student’s awareness of his surroundings. The competitive exams tend to test this awareness in the students.
Why are Current Affairs important?
The importance of Current Affairs to the students is two-fold:
- It can help them fetch good marks in an exam
- Improving their understanding of the events, bringing in clarity of thought which is an essential requirement in any interview/Group Discussion/WAT, etc.
Which exams have the GK/Current Affairs section?
The GK/Current Affairs section is a major part of almost all the competitive exams like Civil Services exams, SSC Exams, Bank & Railway Recruitment Exams, Law entrance exams (CLAT, AILET, SLAT, MHCET Law, etc.) BBA entrance exams (DUJAT, SET, CUET, Xaviers, etc.), MBA entrance exams (IIFT, TISS, XAT, IRMA, MICA, CMAT, etc.), and others (Hotel Mgmt entrance exams, Humanities & Social Sciences entrance exams, etc.)
What is the weightage given to GK/Current Affairs in various entrance exams?
The weightage of the GK/Current Affairs section varies from one entrance exam to another.
In Law & BBA entrance exams (CLAT, AILET, SLAT, MHCET Law, etc.), the GK/Current affairs form roughly 25% of the paper.
In MBA entrance exams, IIFT has a 10% weight of GK/Current Affairs whereas for TISSNET this weightage rises to 40%. Generally, 20-25% of a competitive exam is comprised of GK/Current Affairs. Exams like Civil Services are almost exclusively based on GK/Current Affairs.
Which are important categories of Current Affairs and how to prepare for the same?
The most important categories of Current Affairs are:
- Days & Dates
- Awards & Recognitions
- National News
- International News
- News from the field of business, commerce & economy
- Sports news
- Science & Tech-based news
The relative importance of these categories varies depending upon the exam. For example, while Business awareness is more important for MBA entrance exams, the Law-entrance exams demand a greater understanding of the news about government policies/regulations/laws, etc. The best way to prepare these categories is to read newspapers regularly.
What is the best way to prepare for GK/Current Affairs for competitive exams?
First of all, check the past years’ paper of the exam to get a hint of types of GK/Current Affairs questions asked. Prepare a list of categories from which questions appeared the most frequently in that exam. Select the study sources based on this list. Some of the standard study sources are newspapers, news magazines & GK Books. Make newspaper reading a daily habit. The Hindu/Indian Express/Times of India etc. are recommended newspapers. For better coverage of business & economy-related news, The Economic Times/LiveMint/Business Standard, etc. are good options. Monthly news magazines can be used for revisions. Subjects like History, Geography, Polity, etc. should be prepared from a good quality GK Book. These GK books & monthly news magazines are released by many publication houses and are available in both hard as well as soft copy versions.
How many months of Current Affairs is required for preparation for competitive exams?
As a thumb rule, the current affairs of the last year (i.e. 12 months) immediately prior to the date of the exam are relevant, unless specified otherwise. E.g. – if the exam is scheduled in June 2021, the relevant duration of current affairs is from June 2020 – May 2021. Some exams mention the relevant current affairs duration (1 year or 2 years) in the syllabus itself. In such cases, follow the mentioned duration.
How do I remember GK/Current Affairs for competitive exams?
GK/Current Affairs as a subject is very vast and practically limitless. An enormous amount of facts/figures/data makes remembering all this information a daunting task.
The two scientifically proven methods of remembering GK/Current Affairs are:
Make a revision schedule and periodically revise GK/Current Affairs. Also, practice as many tests as possible. Cognitive psychology has proven that actively testing oneself on study material is much more effective in recall than passively highlighting the text while studying. So, make (i) Revisions & (ii) Testing a part of your study strategy. For more such science-based learning strategies, refer to the book “Make it Stick” by Peter Brown.
What are the types of GK?
The GK or General Knowledge section in competitive exams can be broadly divided into two parts:
- Static GK
- Dynamic GK
The Static part refers to subjects like History, Geography, Constitution of India, General Science, etc. which remains the same over the years. The Dynamic part refers to News events or Current Affairs, which change from one year to another. As referred to as part of an earlier question, the Static portion should be prepared from standard GK Books/Manuals while Current Affairs can be prepared with the help of Newspapers & News Magazines.
How do I improve my General Knowledge?
The successful method to improve General Knowledge is – Read -> Revise -> Improve your reading habits to include newspapers, magazines, books, etc. Also, watch good quality documentaries & web series. Make notes out of your reading & watching. Revise these notes periodically. Continuously check your progress by practicing mock tests (Click to take free mock Law Entrance, BBA Entrance, and MBA Entrance).
In order to prepare for GK and Current Affairs, Endeavor Careers releases informative content weekly and monthly through our popular properties (Monthly GK Capsule, Newsmaker of the Week, Weekly Current Affairs) giving you the best of current affairs and GK content in a free and easy to consume format. Head over to these pages to learn more about them and prepare for exams.