A large group of experts believes that UPSC (Union public service commission) is one of the two great things that happened to India due to British rule, the other one being the introduction of trains. UPSC (also known as Civil Services Examination) is India’s top-level examination for the topmost service posts like Indian administrative service, Indian police service, Indian foreign service, and the list goes on.
This examination is conducted in 3 phases, preliminary examination (also called prelims commonly), Mains examination which includes one written and one personality test (also called an interview). Aspirants who sit and are able to clear all 3 rounds are offered India’s most prestigious services to opt from and serve their country.
This exam has been around since the British era when it was known as the Imperial civil service test, however, the overall structure has existed since the Maurya Empire and Mughal empire. UPSC is considered the toughest examination in India.
What is the Eligibility Criteria for the UPSC Examination?
Nationality has to be Indian if an aspirant wants to apply for Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, or Indian Foreign service but one can be from Nepal or Bhutan if they opt for other services apart from the above 3.
Under some conditions, a Tibetian refugee, an Indian origin migrant also holds eligibility for few specific countries if they meet certain conditions.
If you hold a bachelor’s degree from either a government, private or deemed university or any other qualification that can be considered equivalent (like distance learning, graduation from open university, etc) also makes an aspirant eligible for the examination.
Another factor that plays an important role in ineligibility is the medical test which includes your height, eyesight, weight, and a lot of other things.
How can an Aspirant Manage Anxiety and Pressure during UPSC Preparation?
“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handles stress exceptionally well” While the word may sound a bit harsh or negative in a way, but if we specifically talk about UPSC examination pressure then it is just a “demanding circumstance” which can’t be categorized as super bad, as it won’t last forever and the other end of this journey is becoming a diamond that can handle stress and workload as required by the service profile.
But while the final outcome is worth putting temporary pressure on ourselves, one can’t ignore the mental pressure and anxiety they go through while preparing for the competitive exam, places like Rajendra Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, etc in Delhi are the hub for Civil Services Examination preparation. Every year thousands of aspirants leave their comfort zone, their homes, established jobs, and what not to enter this exhausting journey and if not handled well, this may lead to severe mental health issues or even a permanent change in personality for few individuals.
Tips to Stay Relaxed and Manage the UPSC Stress
When all you keep hearing from everyone throughout the journey is that 99% of aspirants from any coaching centre, any Civil Services preparation hub won’t end up achieving their dream of serving the nation, even the confident ones start to doubt themselves. The first step to start with relaxing your mind is knowing about stressors.
The few most common stressors in UPSC preparation are:-
#1 Absence of study plan or frequent failure to cope up with the prepared plan.
#2 Managing a job (if you can’t leave your job while preparing) or other life events in those years.
#3 Leaving a comfortable home and facilities, shifting to a room that’s surrounded by books.
#4 Constant comparison of own self with others.
#5 Failing in attempts or not scoring enough.
While all this journey will be exhausting, thinking about failure or putting yourself in previous year stats, the aspirants must always keep a positive approach towards everything coming in their way. Not being in a calm state of mind while doing things other than the online preparation or offline preparation due to the fact that preparation is not going as intended, will only lead to more difficulty. Don’t let this affect the other basic tasks of your life while you’re on this journey
Having Realistic and Positivity Giving Plan
In today’s time, the most common and most affecting factor is an absence of a good and realistic plan that not only prepares you for the ultimate goal which is far but also helps you balance the day-to-day mental health. Including motivational videos, speeches, or going out once in a while is never a bad idea and will only increase the overall productivity by taking very little of your time. As they say “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” so don’t let this happen.
Physical Activities to Keep Up the Blood Pressure and Body Active
You don’t really need to hear it from anyone or go through the common benefits physical activities have on one’s mind and body. While you’re not planning for physical fitness right now but mental fitness is the much-required companion for you in this journey and you gotta keep your mental fitness good throughout, this can be achieved with as low as 15 minutes of exercise/yoga each morning.
Be in Contact with Someone Who has Already been through this Journey
Have you ever been in any discussion with someone who has already been through what you’re about to begin? The most common advice we get is to chill as it isn’t as difficult as we make it by overthinking or overanalyzing by digging deeper out of fear.
Apart from this relieving conversation, the person will also give you highly filtered guidance which will ultimately develop confidence and hence bring down the fear drastically!
Eat Well and Sleep Well
Generally, it is said that all the knowledge gained by a person throughout the day remains in their temporary memory and about 30% of it is sent to the permanent memory when we’re asleep, sounds like a much-required thing for UPSC aspirants, isn’t it?
While you might be away and not getting nutritious food like at home, but you gotta manage it because this is the most underrated and left-out problem, just eat well, eat clean and eat well and you will be ready to accomplish daily tasks with energy and good mood.
Ignoring Few Things like Mock Test Results, Poking into Other’s Progress, etc
Have you heard of the term “self-rejection” where one hasn’t even failed yet or even given an attempt but develops negativity due to the thought process? Well, this can be easily curbed if you stop poking into other’s progress or stop believing the mock tests to be the actual preliminary examination result.
Will a UPSC aspirant be able to prepare for the UPSC examination if he is not in sound physical and mental health? The obvious answer is no, one’s health is precious and UPSC aspirants miss it out of the mind. But if you are one of the aspiring individuals to become an IAS officer, then don’t make this mistake and give your health time that it needs. It is imperative for you to be UPSC stress-free and then start the preparation. Go through the tips to keep yourself relaxed and less anxious given above in the article, and try to inculcate in your preparation routine, once you do so you will see the change.