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Old Thursday, May 19, 2011
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Hamza Salick Hamza Salick is offline
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Smile CURRENT AFFAIRS;Taming the monster--My humble tips

I know Current Affairs proves to be a very tricky subject for most of CSS candidates..When I started preparing for it,I too,was in a fix..The problem is that You don't know where to start,how to go about it and how to make proper arguments and substantiate answers for exam questions,especially with the barrage of contradicting information u get about a single topic from different newspapers,internet etc.Thanks to Allah,in my case I deciphered the situation early enough and was able to prepare for C.A in a systematic way.I am not saying these are all my ideas.I got majority of them form some of my teachers,who had scored 65-70 odd in this subject..I add my findings,and my insights on the preparation of this subject..I think they should help..

First things First,buy a BIG register or notebook for Current Affairs.Make a list of about 15-20 topics which are the current hot issues and u expect things to be asked about them in the exam..Now bear in mind,that C.A has two kind of topics:
1-Those topics that are of permanent nature,and have been asked in CA since the dawn of CSS (e.g Kashmir Issue,Pakistan's foreign relations,terrorism etc.)
2.Those topics that are really 'current'.i.e,which have arisen recently (e.g Raymond Davis case,OBL fiasco,ISI incompetence etc)

Now put all the topics that u have decided upon in ur register so that u write a topic name,leave atleast 9,10 pages after that,then write the name of another topic,leave another 9,10 pages blank and so on..I called this my scrapbook,and believe me,it was a really precious thing(And it was almost stolen by one of my CSS students)How this is going to help??I will come to that.
So now,ur sources for knowledge of C.A should be
2-Contemporary Affairs Book series by Imtiaz Shahid
3-Economist/Washington post or/and stuff from the internet
4-An atlas
5-Dudes u seriously need to improve ur general knowledge.I don't know from where u do so,but u gotta do it.Us internet,use books,use anything but u need a stock of general knowledge,especially about geography,politics,history and a little I.R
Now ur 'scrapbook' comes in..Start with a topic..Lets say 'PAK-INDIA RELATIONS' relevant material about the history of this issue.Write this material down in ur scrapbook in the form of bullets.Under the main topic make subheadings of different issues like Kashmir,Siachen,Sircreek,Most Favoured nation Debate etc and so on..Study about these issues and write their history as well as the current developments and the future predictions/solutions regarding them.REMEMBER.This is Current Affair paper so ur emphasis should be more on Current scenario and developments.U need a background knowledge so u can connect it and derive logic about the present from the past,but emphasis should be on current affairs.Hope u get me here.Write facts,information,statistics,quotes about every subtopic.Make a mock answer(in bullets) about every subtopic,as u would be giving/ attempting it if it came in the exam.This would help u in arranging the facts and quickly go about writing about it properly if that topic comes in the exams.Also,if there are topics that u think have pros and cons,Positives and negatives,convergence and divergence,prepare points in favour and against them.This would help u in analyzing it critically.
Now,u must be reading DAWN daily.U would come across an article or two about these topics u have chosen every week.Read that article.If u think it is half good,cut it from the newspaper.Highlight the important things in it.Now paste/staple it onto ur scrapbook under the relevant topic head.My scrapbook had about 8,9 articles about major topics.This would help in revision.U can go through the highlighted points quickly during revision.This wouldn't only help u in keeping abreast with the current perspectives,but also keep it fresh in ur mind(depending upon if u revise current affairs 4,5 times)Bar bar ja k akhbaron ka bundle khojney ki zaroorat nahy pre giKeep on updating ur scrapbook.Whatever new information u get from anywhere regarding that topic,write it down in ur scrapbook.Now u understand y I asked u to leave so many pages blank after every topic?
In my view,contemporary Affairs books by Imtiaz Shahid are excellent.Nobody of us has the nerve to go about reading dozens of newspapers and journals.Imtiaz Shahid collects the articles on current affairs from across the newspapers and journals of the world in a single book.So I found that thing very helpful.
Start your preparation thiway and u are going to find that suddenly the monster of C.A seems a lot smaller.
In the next post I am going to shed light on how to attempt a C.A question in the exam.
I shall either find a way,or make one
'Wa tu izzu man-ta shaa, wa tu zillu man-ta shaa'
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