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Top 12 Tips to Beat Exam Stress: UPSC Civil Services Preparation

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.”

The above quote tells you clearly that to be a diamond and shine, you need to be able to handle stress well. The Oxford Dictionary defines stress as ‘a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.’

There is simply no doubt in the idea that preparation for the Civil Services exam puts a lot of pressure on the candidates.

The UPSC Syllabus is so vast and the entire process can be so tiring that it is very important to manage stress. Only that will bring out the best in everyone.

In this article, we provide you with a list of certain tips that can help you manage your UPSC exam stress properly. 

12 Tips to Beat IAS Exam Stress

Making a study plan Yoga/meditation Dealing with Competition
Time table Exercise No distractions
Sound sleep Breaks Have faith
Eat right Power of positive thinking Have a hobby

All the tips listed above are explained below so that you can grasp and implement them better.

Making a study plan

The first step in any endeavour is to outline a plan. Before you embark on your mains preparation, make a realistic study plan. In this plan, you must include dates for all the GS papers, language papers and the optional subject. You should also incorporate a dedicated time every day for newspaper reading. If you are a beginner and find it difficult where to begin, click here for Tips for Beginners from Shashank Shekhar Singh.

If you find it difficult to scan the newspapers for UPSC-relevant information, you can rely upon the daily news analysis at the link.

Time table for UPSC Preparation

Make a timetable and stick to it ardently. Make a schedule for all your activities and follow it sincerely. Click here to know about Making a Time Table for UPSC Preparation.

Refer to the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers and complement your preparation with the links below:


Yoga is the most effective stress-buster and its practice will take you a long way not only in your UPSC preparation but also in your life. There are several asanas that you can practice especially for stress, like Simhasana and Anjali Mudra. You should also meditate and do breathing exercises like the Pranayama to feel stress-free and relaxed. This keeps your mind and body fit and healthy. Find out more about how Mediation for UPSC Preparation helps you score more. 

Sound sleep

Many aspirants believe that UPSC preparation requires less sleep. You need to understand that your body and mind, both need a proper rest phase every day so that you can continue to work hard the next day. Lack of sleep will cause havoc to your system and also tire you out badly, leaving you with no energy and will to study. Have adequate sleep of at least 6-7 hours per day. Sleeping is not a waste of time when you do it at the right time and for the required number of hours. 

Eat right

Eat healthy food like fruits, veggies and nuts. You should avoid junk food. Junk food is known to be a cause of depression too. You should make conscious efforts to eat healthy food whenever you feel hungry. Click here to read about the Importance of good health for cracking UPSC civil services.


Exercise helps you in beating stress and keeping your body fit and healthy. Sitting for long hours in your room buried in books can be wearing. Exercises increase the production of endorphins in your brain. Endorphins cause a feeling of euphoria. So make sure that you exercise every day to energize your body.

Have a hobby

Having a hobby is a way to beat stress. It is well known that the UPSC syllabus needs a quite long time to cover, but you need to study it with a fresh mind. Thus, do something which makes you happy. Listen to music, read a relaxing book, or do some gardening. 


Taking breaks is an important part of the preparation of the IAS exam. When you feel you can’t take any more studies, do not try to sit through another hour of reading. It would be a waste of time and energy. When your brain is tired and cannot take more things inside, it is better to take a short break and relax. You can increase your efficiency by taking short breaks in between your studies.

Power of positive thinking

Positive thoughts play a key role in one’s selection. The power of positive thinking has been reiterated by many life coaches. STOP NEGATIVE THOUGHTS LIKE, ‘I CAN’T HANDLE IT. IT’S TOO MUCH.’ In life, nothing good is easy to get. Think happy and positive thoughts like, ‘I can get through this’ when you are feeling down and out. These thoughts will lift your spirits and get you going. Click here to understand the Power of Positive Thinking for your UPSC Preparation.

Handling competition

You should never compare yourself to other UPSC candidates. Everyone is different, and so are their style and pace of study. You should just stick to your study plan and focus. 

No distractions

Avoid unnecessary distractions in the form of negative friends and mindless TV. However, there are TV Programmes for UPSC Aspirants that can put you ahead of the competition. 

Click here to find How to Ward off Distractions While Studying for UPSC Exam?

Have faith

If you have doubts about your own abilities, you can never succeed in life. You should keep faith in yourself and believe in the fact that you are putting efforts in the correct direction like getting the right UPSC books, getting appropriate IAS Coaching whenever needed, having a study plan and preparing meticulously. Remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s saying – ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’

Practice the above 12 tips and beat stress while you prepare for the IAS exam. Anxiety and stress are bound to occur when you are studying for such a tough exam. You need to be smart enough to handle this to be a winner of this battle.

Daily News
Other related links:

UPSC Calendar 2022 How to enhance your study for long hours?
Public Service Commission NCERT Notes For UPSC
How to study smart for UPSC Exam IAS Questions & Answers for UPSC 2021-22
Static GK Government Exams
Best Optional Subjects for UPSC IAS Toppers


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