How To Deal With Pressure During Competitive Exams


The UPSC will be hosting the UPSC CDS exam on 8th November 2020. This means that candidates have about 60 days to prepare themselves in accordance with the UPSC CDS Syllabus. Under these circumstances, a candidate must be prepared to go the extra mile.

To help students deal with the ever increasing pressure to clear any of the competitive exams, read the following pointers and get cracking.

Organize your work station

It may sound as the least important item on your to-do list while considering preparation, however, according to research, this must top the list. Is my chair comfortable? Is the room well lit? Is my table too cluttered or is there insufficient space for my stationery? As trivial as these things seem, they are however the real culprits of distraction and loss of focus.

Use flow charts and diagrams

It has been observed that people retain images better than text. Once a topic has been completed, try to jot down whatever you can retain and highlight all that was left out. The notes can then be condensed to diagrams and charts as the exams get closer. This helps as a quick reference and also to recall the chapter learnt with ease.

Explain answers to others

Yes, another strange point, right? But give it a try! Try to explain what you have just learnt to someone, it could be your parents, friends or even your 5 year old sibling. This will enable you to gauge how clear a concept is and which part of it needs work.

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Attempting previous year papers

This is one of the most fruitful ways of preparing for the exams. This is because, attempting previous year papers allows the candidates to get acquainted with the paper pattern, the time taken while answering a particular section. It also helps in measuring one’s efficiency. This is an excellent exercise once the candidate is confident about having finished the portion.

Organize group studies

Organizing group studies is a great way of breaking the monotonous environment but is an effective way to study. This is mainly because a candidate may be the most comfortable with friends and thereby will find it easy to communicate about topics that he/she may find hard to grasp and vice-versa.

Take regular breaks

It is a well known saying- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. As rosy as it looks but studying for hours without taking a break can do more harm than good. Taking a break helps blow steam and helps in better retention of what is learned. Having said this, it is important to acknowledge that every individual functions in a different manner. Some are larks and love to bask in the sunshine and can give their all during the morning hours whereas, some others are night owls who love their peace and function to their optimum capacity at nights. Depending on what works best based on ones liking, breaks should be incorporated accordingly.

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Healthy snacking habit

An important lesson that this pandemic has taught us is that snacking on junk will only add those extra kgs to your weight. It is therefore important that the body is indeed treated as a temple and healthy snacking habits are inculcated. We can replace chips, the ever famous maggi, biscuits with nuts, fruits, yoghurt, etc. So, go out there and soak up some vitamin D.


Meditation and Yoga even for 15-20 minutes a day allows you to recharge yourself with positivity. Meditating helps fight stress and helps increase focus. Yoga helps combat diseases and maintain health. So get that yoga mat and begin, ‘OOMMMMMMM’.

Let us know in the comment section how and what you do to deal with the pressure when things get tough, maybe we too can learn a thing or two!

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About the Author: Steve Smith

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