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10 Ways to Stay Focused While Preparing for UPSC Exam

You have finally decided to go for the civil services exams but your brain is not yet ready to accept this fact....

Written by Abhinash Chaudhary · 7 min read >
UPSC Exam

You have finally decided to go for the civil services exams but your brain is not yet ready to accept this fact. Your brain keeps attracting you with the lifestyles of your friends who are either earning or going on a Goa trip. Sounds unfair, right? Don’t worry, we are here to convince your mind to focus on the preparation of the UPSC exam and keep other things at bay. 

People may have common goals or dreams but every individual has a unique journey of life. Some achieve their dreams early in their lives while others take time. Those who take a longer time to succeed in their lives aren’t losers. Also, this doesn’t mean they are never going to achieve their dreams. As long as you are putting efforts and determined to live your dreams, nothing in this whole world can stop you to achieve what we desire for. 

The first thing you need to keep in mind while preparing for the IAS exam is that you don’t need to completely isolate yourself from the worldly pleasure. The life of an IAS aspirant isn’t a bed of roses. It’s no less than a roller coaster ride with all its twists and turns which finally ends in overwhelming emotion.

You can prepare for UPSC exam along with having fun with your friends or attending a marriage in your family, it’s not a big deal. You just have to be careful about how hours you spend on your quality study.

Before jumping into the section where we will provide ways to stay focused while preparing for the UPSC exam. Let’s know the main reasons for distraction.

Stress

Peace of mind is very important for the successful accomplishment of any task. There are times when our brains get clogged with too many useless thoughts and we stop caring about important things.

Stress can take a toll over our lives and we may miss important opportunities because of that. IAS aspirants are more prone to anxiety, depression, or stress because of the vast syllabus and limited attempts than any other competitive exam aspirants.

It is one of the most common reasons for the distraction of people preparing for the UPSC exam. They complain about regular headaches, sleepless nights, and suicidal thoughts.

Family expectation

As soon the family gets to know that one of its members is going to prepare for UPSC exam, he/she is burdened with a lot of expectations. The pressure of the family is so strong and penetrating that the IAS aspirant loses focus from the preparation.

Indian families are emotional and think a lot about what society thinks about them. So, when anyone from the family goes for the preparation of the UPSC exam then it not only becomes the matter of discussion in the family but also in the whole locality. 

Somewhere parents feel proud of the fact that their child is going to attempt India’s toughest exam. But, their over-expectation ruins the focus of the child and he/she ends up feeling pressurized and depressed.

Career comparison

As discussed in the article above that some people achieve their dreams early in their lives while others take a bit longer to reach that place. Some of the IAS aspirants compare their careers with the ones who have already cleared the exam. This causes frustration and eventually, distraction.

Another factor of career comparison is when family members, relatives, and friends start questioning your efforts and doubt your caliber by looking at the success of UPSC qualifiers. In such condition, other’s success might become torture for the one who is preparing for the competitive exams.

Instead of getting inspired by the success stories of the IAS toppers, aspirants start cursing their fate for not reaching the same position as the toppers. Career comparison can mentally disturb IAS aspirants and may cause distraction in the preparation of the UPSC exam.

Failure stories

With the only handful of success stories amongst the thousands of failure stories make IAS aspirants feel that they have made a wrong career choice. They start questioning themselves: How I would succeed when so many talented people around me have failed?

Failure stories of so many people around them will make IAS aspirants feel awful and miserable. Spend a few days in Karol Bagh, Mukherjee Nagar, and Rajender Nagar of Delhi and you will surely understand what we are talking about.     

Some aspirants take inspiration from failure stories and ensure that they don’t make the same mistakes in the UPSC exam. While many lose their focus and start believing that UPSC is not their cup of tea and give up on the initial stage. 

Financial Crisis

Money is an important factor to keep you going with the UPSC preparation. If you are facing a financial crisis then you may not be able to fully concentrate on your studies. 

The coaching fees are quite high for UPSC preparation. Also, the price of books and study materials are unaffordable for many aspirants. That’s why so many IAS aspirants prepare for the exam on their own by taking help from the internet.

Although coaching is not important for UPSC preparation still an aspirant needs professional guidance to prepare for the exam. And for study material, coaching, and books you need regular financial support for a year or more. So, the financial crisis is also one of the reasons for the deviating concentration of the IAS aspirants.

Exam Pattern

UPSC exam is not easy to crack because of its unfixed exam pattern. This problem is not widely discussed. IAS aspirants get frustrated by the exam pattern which appears to be constant and fixed but in reality, it isn’t.

Nobody knows what would be the weightage score of a particular topic or subject. Sometimes it’s History that dominates the UPSC question paper while other times it’s Current affairs or Indian Polity.

This makes the UPSC syllabus vast, lengthy, and ambiguous. Some IAS aspirants give up because of the wide syllabus as they feel it’s impossible to cover everything.

So, the vague exam pattern gets messy in the brains of IAS aspirants.

Let’s discuss the 10 ways that can help to stay focused while preparing for the UPSC exam

Finally, we know almost all the reasons of distraction. IAS aspirants have to face a lot of obstacles during their preparation of the exam.

Enough of negative talks. Now, let’s talk something positive. We can help you with the concentration and focus. All you have to do is to follow these simple ways.

1. Keep your mind calm by doing meditation

You can easily identify a pimple on your face because it’s visible but not the invisible problems of your mind. The problem is that we don’t care about our brain as much we care for our body.

  • Meditation helps IAS aspirants to have a strong memory.
  • It makes the process of remembering, recalling, and understanding of the topics easy.
  • Due to the hectic study schedule and vast syllabus of the UPSC, the minds of the aspirants get tired. Meditation refreshes the mind. 
  • It helps to diminish useless thoughts going inside the head to fully utilize the energy in the preparation.

2. Run like Forest Gump 

Well, several theories are there to explain how physical exercise can keep your mind and body to stay fit. If you are not sporty or gym person then try out simple things like running to keep yourself fit.

  • Try running. Run as much you want and vent out your emotions, or troubling thoughts.
  • Running can help in maintaining the weight of the body.
  • It can help to release the tension and pressure of studies

3. Focus on efforts, not on the result

Your result is directly proportional to the hard work, perseverance, and determination. So, the focus should be on preparation of the exam and not on its outcome. 

  • Prepare without bothering about the result.
  • Keep the tension of outcomes out of your mind.
  • You will feel confident about the exam soon after your solid preparation. So, don’t worry about that.

4. Surround yourself with positive people

Positive vibes are the most essential thing for IAS aspirants. If aspirants are supported by their family members and friends than the task of cracking India’s toughest exam seems easy.

  • Make distance from the people who bring negativity in your life.
  • Remember not everyone wants good things for you. So, you better have a proper understanding of people you want to be friends with.
  • Positive people can reduce distraction and boost your morale.
  • They would act as a negative-vibe-repellants to protect you from less important things so that you can concentrate on your preparation.    

5. Keep a distance from family drama

Family is important but what your relatives think or say about you is least important.

·        Don’t think in-depth about how much you can change everyone’s lives in the family, how much expectation they have from you, or how badly they want you to become an IAS officer.

·        Stop overreacting. You are not the cause of every problem in the family. So, it’s better to concentrate on your preparation and ignore these useless thoughts.

6. Sleep as much your body requires

IAS aspirants often compromise on their sleep because of the hectic study plans. But, irregular sleep can harm the health of aspirants in the long run.

·       A sleep of at least 6 hours is required for the proper functioning of the body.

·       If you don’t get enough sleep eventually, your body will give up and you might suffer some health issues

·       Proper sleep helps your body to regain energy and start over again the next day.

7. Fix or ignore things worrying you

Life is not constant. It always surprises us with different things. You might experience heartbreak or even a fight from your friend can distract you. But, despite all these obstacles you have to keep going in life and give your best while preparing for the exam.

·       If you can fix things then do it. If a fight from your best friend is bothering you enough that you are unable to concentrate on your study then go and talk to the person and sort it out.

·       Remember, you can’t solve everything. Some problems will have to go alongside with your preparation. So, the best way to deal with such problems is to ignore them.

8. Don’t underdo or overdo your routine

If you have planned to study GS for two hours, then stick to the routine and follow it. If you spend too much or too less time on the subject then you might feel exhausted and frustrated.

·       Study as per the plan. If you are not comfortable with your routine then change it according to your needs.

·       If you skip your routine for a week or two then you will start feeling bad about your preparation. So, maintain a balanced life.

9. Don’t force yourself for things you don’t like

If you are forced to prepare for the UPSC exam then you might not be able to give your hundred percent in the exam preparation.

·       Whether you want to go for civil services examination or not. Set your mind and achieve the goal. If becoming an IAS officer is not your passion then there is no point in wasting time on the preparation.

·       UPSC should be your dream and not the dream of your parents for whom you want to crack the exam.

·       Enjoy what you study. Unless you love your subjects and the topics you are reading about you can never fully concentrate on your preparation.    

Conclusion

Clearing a UPSC exam needs extreme focus and hard work during the preparation. More than six lakhs aspirants in India give UPSC exam every year but only a handful of them qualify it. There are several reasons for their failures. Those who identify their mistake and pledge not to repeat it in the next attempt succeed in their lives whereas those who fail to rectify their mistake are doomed.

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Written by Abhinash Chaudhary
Abhinash Chaudhary is a Passionate blogger, Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer in India. He has been blogging since 2013 & writes about Education, Web Design, Web Development, SEO and Technology. Profile