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Old Sunday, July 21, 2019
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Default Current Affairs Query

I have been wondering why candidates generally end up scoring relatively well in current Affairs.
To somebody who's starting to prepare for CSS, current affairs seems to be the most difficult subject.
But if you analyze the dmc's of the candidates, even the unsuccessful ones, you'll realize that they end up scoring 50+.
Why is that? Is it that the examiner only requires the relevant information and not checks for grammatical mistakes or is it that after preparing for a while, people normally find it easy and are able to build their opinion on the topic.?
Also its so vast and extensive, how can we make sure if we are covering the most hot topics of current Affairs?
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Old Sunday, July 21, 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamzabutt View Post
I have been wondering why candidates generally end up scoring relatively well in current Affairs.
To somebody who's starting to prepare for CSS, current affairs seems to be the most difficult subject.
But if you analyze the dmc's of the candidates, even the unsuccessful ones, you'll realize that they end up scoring 50+.
Why is that? Is it that the examiner only requires the relevant information and not checks for grammatical mistakes or is it that after preparing for a while, people normally find it easy and are able to build their opinion on the topic.?
Also its so vast and extensive, how can we make sure if we are covering the most hot topics of current Affairs?
At first it might appear as a difficult subject because most of us are not in habit of reading the newspaper (you only have to read the op-eds and not the whole paper), and we do not understand the nature of the questions (they ask about policy problems and structural issues and not day to day problems). And then we also hear that one has to read some 10 newspapers. All these things make us feel that it is a difficult subject. However, as you go ahead in your preparation you get command on the subject. Reading dawn editorials for six months will build your knowledge a lot. Other than that, watching Zara Hut Key, and Al Jazeera Inside story will be more than enough.

The reason that a lot of candidates score well in the subject is because it does not require a lot of analysis like IR or PA will. And a lot of candidates have in past said that they only prepare for CA and complement PA prep with that. Furthermore, CA is the most important subject as we see that the examiner is making the optional papers out of current events. In 2019 ICC question came in ILaw, and it was inspired by a statement of John Bolton. So all the successful candidates work extra hard on CA because it will help in optional, another reason for more marks.
If you are having trouble in CA rn, then dw by the end of your prep you will be an expert. Read Al Jazeera and Dawn op-eds and watch them as well. Furthermore, there are some YT channels that will help you. I am adding the links:

VOX (watch their political and social videos)
https://www.youtube.com/user/voxdotcom

Hank and John Explain
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIGt...u7ACeVc7qOn8Dq

This world now (few of their videos have mistakes so look into the comments as well)
https://www.youtube.com/user/TestTubeNetwork

Caspian Report (all facts for background knowledge)
https://www.youtube.com/user/CaspianReport

This is an Indian UPSC YT Channel. It has some very useful and informative videos on CA
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrC...S6rQ/playlists

Daily Show (don't read or watch any american newspaper or show. Daily show is a good take on domestic American politics, but not the international one. Trevor does some really good interviews like the one with IMF head, do watch them. He talks about race and other issues as well. So this is a complete package on US domestic politics)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwW...2TyRM4Wstoq8HA

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is another good source
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCar...9QY-fy-Z6apIDQ

Geography Now (a lot of info on a lot of countries. This will increase your knowledge a lot. Do Pakistan's neighbors from this)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmm...Pw1HL2lq6H4ffA

This channel makes summary of a lot of current affairs issues, but it is only facts. Use them for info only
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZA...ajmehOw/videos

Search "issue" explain and there will be multiple short videos explaining it all
If you think that videos are too slow then watch in 2x

Also read Munir Akram in Dawn. At least his articles from 2013 (they are not a lot)
If you are short on time then use this website https://ttsreader.com/ paste the article text in it and it will read everything to you. That will be quick and it also has speed options. Only one problem: it is a robot reading to you.

If you are starting now then first of all go online and read last 6 months dawn. Make notes in a word doc. Once you have all that info, you will do well in IR. There is a Sir Fareed in NOA, and he has a good CA book (much of which is copied), but if you have not been in touch with newspaper for years, then it is a good place to start. Use the syllabus and google every topic in it, then you will be able to do well in CA as well.


then lets come to your answer presentation
you need to add analysis that is simply breaking down the events

If you are discussing US-Iran issue the you have to break down the events.
Trumpís withdrawal of the deal (event)
Wants regime change
Pompeo and Bolton are not friendly to Muslim nations
Pompeo is anti Islam
Israel has an issue with Iranís nuke power capacity and Iran supports Hezbollah
KSA, a close US ally, has a cold war with Iran and they are against each other in Yemen.
Trump sees this as Obamaís deal and he wants to undo it. He has a very personalized way of working and wants to redo North Korea with Iran.

You can add more points here. Higher marks come with your ability to break down the events and see them from different angles. Like here we saw from the perspective of Trump's team, his own preference, geopolitics, and the US allies. In that Indian YT channel's link there is a video on this in detail where they discuss the scientific aspect of Trump's side. Have a look at that as well.

I hope that this helps.
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Old Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Default Beautiful response

I must commend thee on that superb response. Makes CA appear so much lighter and easier now. Thankyou!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by anzabb View Post
At first it might appear as a difficult subject because most of us are not in habit of reading the newspaper (you only have to read the op-eds and not the whole paper), and we do not understand the nature of the questions (they ask about policy problems and structural issues and not day to day problems). And then we also hear that one has to read some 10 newspapers. All these things make us feel that it is a difficult subject. However, as you go ahead in your preparation you get command on the subject. Reading dawn editorials for six months will build your knowledge a lot. Other than that, watching Zara Hut Key, and Al Jazeera Inside story will be more than enough.

The reason that a lot of candidates score well in the subject is because it does not require a lot of analysis like IR or PA will. And a lot of candidates have in past said that they only prepare for CA and complement PA prep with that. Furthermore, CA is the most important subject as we see that the examiner is making the optional papers out of current events. In 2019 ICC question came in ILaw, and it was inspired by a statement of John Bolton. So all the successful candidates work extra hard on CA because it will help in optional, another reason for more marks.
If you are having trouble in CA rn, then dw by the end of your prep you will be an expert. Read Al Jazeera and Dawn op-eds and watch them as well. Furthermore, there are some YT channels that will help you. I am adding the links:

VOX (watch their political and social videos)
https://www.youtube.com/user/voxdotcom

Hank and John Explain
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIGt...u7ACeVc7qOn8Dq

This world now (few of their videos have mistakes so look into the comments as well)
https://www.youtube.com/user/TestTubeNetwork

Caspian Report (all facts for background knowledge)
https://www.youtube.com/user/CaspianReport

This is an Indian UPSC YT Channel. It has some very useful and informative videos on CA
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrC...S6rQ/playlists

Daily Show (don't read or watch any american newspaper or show. Daily show is a good take on domestic American politics, but not the international one. Trevor does some really good interviews like the one with IMF head, do watch them. He talks about race and other issues as well. So this is a complete package on US domestic politics)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwW...2TyRM4Wstoq8HA

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is another good source
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCar...9QY-fy-Z6apIDQ

Geography Now (a lot of info on a lot of countries. This will increase your knowledge a lot. Do Pakistan's neighbors from this)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmm...Pw1HL2lq6H4ffA

This channel makes summary of a lot of current affairs issues, but it is only facts. Use them for info only
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZA...ajmehOw/videos

Search "issue" explain and there will be multiple short videos explaining it all
If you think that videos are too slow then watch in 2x

Also read Munir Akram in Dawn. At least his articles from 2013 (they are not a lot)
If you are short on time then use this website https://ttsreader.com/ paste the article text in it and it will read everything to you. That will be quick and it also has speed options. Only one problem: it is a robot reading to you.

If you are starting now then first of all go online and read last 6 months dawn. Make notes in a word doc. Once you have all that info, you will do well in IR. There is a Sir Fareed in NOA, and he has a good CA book (much of which is copied), but if you have not been in touch with newspaper for years, then it is a good place to start. Use the syllabus and google every topic in it, then you will be able to do well in CA as well.


then lets come to your answer presentation
you need to add analysis that is simply breaking down the events

If you are discussing US-Iran issue the you have to break down the events.
Trumpís withdrawal of the deal (event)
Wants regime change
Pompeo and Bolton are not friendly to Muslim nations
Pompeo is anti Islam
Israel has an issue with Iranís nuke power capacity and Iran supports Hezbollah
KSA, a close US ally, has a cold war with Iran and they are against each other in Yemen.
Trump sees this as Obamaís deal and he wants to undo it. He has a very personalized way of working and wants to redo North Korea with Iran.

You can add more points here. Higher marks come with your ability to break down the events and see them from different angles. Like here we saw from the perspective of Trump's team, his own preference, geopolitics, and the US allies. In that Indian YT channel's link there is a video on this in detail where they discuss the scientific aspect of Trump's side. Have a look at that as well.

I hope that this helps.
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Old Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamzabutt View Post
I have been wondering why candidates generally end up scoring relatively well in current Affairs.
To somebody who's starting to prepare for CSS, current affairs seems to be the most difficult subject.
But if you analyze the dmc's of the candidates, even the unsuccessful ones, you'll realize that they end up scoring 50+.
Why is that? Is it that the examiner only requires the relevant information and not checks for grammatical mistakes or is it that after preparing for a while, people normally find it easy and are able to build their opinion on the topic.?
Also its so vast and extensive, how can we make sure if we are covering the most hot topics of current Affairs?

This year (CSS 2019) the average marks would be lower I think for CA.
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Old Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Originally Posted by anzabb View Post
Pompeo is anti Islam

This is not something you write in a CSS exam.
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Old Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obaidd View Post
This is not something you write in a CSS exam.
You can write that trump's team is not know to have best interest of Muslim world at their heart. Also you can say that they are Islamophobic. I don't think that it is prohibited. I was replying in simple language. Also, every one has a different expression and written style, so it really depends on how you write it. Furthermore, it is a fact that he is anti Islam, so i don't see how one can not write it? CSS CA is a social science paper and not a maths paper, as long as you have given an informed opinion then it is good to go.
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Old Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obaidd View Post
This year (CSS 2019) the average marks would be lower I think for CA.
Yes there was a lot of focus on public policy and not IR as generally believed, another reason why one should prepare oneself and not rely on academy
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