‘Always keep yourself updated with the happenings around you’. This is something that we have heard and were told to follow since our school days. If you were not told so then, don’t worry now, because as an MBA aspirant, you should definitely be updated with the latest as well as the general awareness. The benefits of doing this are multitudinous. If nothing, it will help you to crack the MBA exams such as TISSNET, SNAP, IIFT or XAT. Not only does this helps in cracking the GK sections, but also during the GD-PI-WAT rounds of the b-school admissions.
Now, some of us are naturally curious and wish to ‘know everything’. People who are ardent quizzers would agree with me on this. They usually don’t have any difficulties in following a routine to increase their general knowledge because learning new things is a part of their everyday lives. But what about most of us who only focus on such an activity after planning to take one (or all) of the above-mentioned MBA exams?
With General Knowledge questions in the exams, there is no chance of subjectivity to their answers. You either know the answer or you don’t. There are no calculated guesses, only complete knowledge. This section gives nightmares to even the quant or the verbal experts. If you think about it, GK section could be your strong area easily, only if you follow the various occurrences around you dedicatedly and then prepare effectively. So here, I talk about a few effective ways to prepare for GK. This is in no way an exhaustive list and so I urge everyone to add their own tried & tested methods to it.
1) Consistently follow the news- This is the first step you need to take, i.e. following the news every day (yes, every single day). If your schedule for a day is tightly packed with office work and coaching classes, then take out a few minutes to do this. Even for 15 minutes, thrice a day would work wonders. But only if you do it regularly and commit yourself diligently. This shouldn’t be tough for the busy souls since many short news apps are there for us to download for free on our phones. However, developing a habit of reading a newspaper daily is highly recommendable!
2) Create Flash Cards- You can create one-liner to remember the important facts, such as- Pepsico’s new CEO- Ramon Laguarta – October 3 onwards; India’s first National Sports University – to be set up in Imphal, Manipur; TIME-100 Most Influential People 2018- Four Indians: Satya Nadela, Bhavish Aggarwal, Virat Kohli, Deepika Padukone and more. These would also be helpful in remembering names, for example, create a flashcard for ‘famous personalities who passed away in 2018‘. Some of whom are- Atal Bihari Vajpayee- former PM of India- age 93; M Karunanidhi- DMK chief- died age 94; Kofi Annan- former UN secretary General- age 80; John McCain- former US Senator- age 81; V S Naipaul- Nobel prize winner & author- age 85.
3) Maintain Active Discussions- This is something that could be done easily. You speak to many people throughout the day on various topics. Politics & Sports are the dominated topics of discussion. But, in addition to those, you can discuss an interesting piece of news you came across recently. Such discussions would help you revise those topics which are, in general, easy to forget after a few days. Moreover, having a new piece of fact every day would lead to a healthier discussion (since we all know how easily does those friendly discussions on politics and on your favourite football teams turn into altercations).
4) Use Smart Keywords- We all look up to Google for access to the information we need. We do the same when we want to increase our general awareness. But, when you just go and search for something like ‘current affairs 2017 & 2018’, you get a list of collective information on countless subjects. This is the reason why we get agitated or alarmed and give up the moment we open such a list. How many of you start doubting yourselves and wonder whether you would be able to complete all the topics, especially with just a month or two left before the D-day? Hence, it is important to first familiarise yourself with the topics from which the greatest number of questions are asked in these exams. Various analyses of past years’ papers are available and you can narrow down a few topics which you may want to focus upon. Then, based on those topics, you may go on to conduct searches on Google using smart keywords such as “All about XYZ”, “All the major sports events in 2018”, “Various Bills passed in the year 2017 & 2018 in India” “All the latest mergers & acquisitions around the world” and so on.
5) Write Short Summaries of News Topics- Doing so not only helps you to get a better understanding of a major news but also helps you to remember them. In addition to the GK section, this approach will help you during the GDs and WATs. You may write a summary of about 100-200 words. You can start with some of the interesting topics of 2018- “Warren Buffett to invest in Paytm”, “IIM Kozhikode to create 60 women-only PGP seats”, “The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill (FEOB)”, “The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Scandal”, etc.
Check this out for a list of important events around the world so far.
And, if you need a list of free resources for GK preparation, then click here.
I hope these tricks make your general knowledge preparations more easy and fruitful. Feel free to discuss in the comments below, some more (or better) ways to carry out an effective preparation for GK.
All the best!