In one word if I have to answer ,I would say REVISION .
I shall not stop here though ,because my experience with aspirants has taught me that students revise in different ways and some make the same common mistakes during revision. Taking this space to share my insights .
1. Timing your revision is important .
Eg- If I read 5 chapters of Polity today,I should revise it before I tend to forget what I read. Some of them allot revision time at the end of a month. How will you revise all that you have read just once ,after a month ?And how do you expect yourself to remember everything ?
So ,let’s say a weekly revision or daily revision will give better results .
2. Revision does not mean reading the whole thing again .
E.g.- I took 3 hours to read the chapter – President in Polity . Now revising does not means allowing 3 hours again and reading it line by line .
While revising,you should try go recollect what you read in less than 15-20min .Then allot another 15min to flip the pages and see what you forgot . So ,revision means letting your mind do the Recollection work and then evaluating your memory yourself .
3.Revision can be time and place independent.
Revise or rather recollect what you read while you are bored of reading new things. It can be while travelling,while jogging,while lying down,etc.
Infact if you are having constipation,use that time to recollect what you read the previous day !
4. Revision can involve scribbling but not attractive notes making .
Take a piece of paper and scribble all what you remember from your last reading session .Then go back and verify what you missed. This way ,you will retain things longer .
However ,making attractive notes (time consuming process )cannot be called revision. Because there your focus is more on presentation than content .
5. Tests without revision is of no use!
Whether tests at institute or online,if you have not revised before the test, you are not doing justice to your reading hours.
6. Bright or dull ,smart or average ,all need revision.
This is the crude fact. Both Prelims and Mains require revision .
7. Involve attractive mechanisms like drawing chart or mind maps to revise .
8. Making notes for revision is also a good idea. Or you may borrow notes of seniors /toppers if available online .
9. Read only that which you can revise.
Some students study numerous source for a subject. Eg- They read all the 3 – Laxmikant ,DD basu and PM Bakshi for the same subject Polity . This is appreciable,only if you have the time to revise what you read. While it comes to revision,they have to make a choice because of lack of time. In that case ,I suggest you to read only one book in the beginning itself .
Read only that much which you can revise .
I hope you find it helpful ,
All the best