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Updated: October 16, 2013 10:12 IST

Under great stress

Martand Jha
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Pressure build-up: Preparing for UPSC affects students physically and emotionally. Photo: Harini Shibaraya
The Hindu Pressure build-up: Preparing for UPSC affects students physically and emotionally. Photo: Harini Shibaraya

Civil services aspirants have to cope with immense stress as the UPSC exam draws nearer

Food, health and recreation are trivialities that UPSC aspirants cannot spare time for. With limited number of attempts and nearly five to six lakh applicants taking the exam each year, out of which only a 1,000 or less make the cut, UPSC exam is one of the toughest exams to crack.

Most aspirants come to cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad for preparation. Many of them don’t believe in cooking for themselves as it means cutting down on precious time meant for studying. As a result they revert to tiffinwalas, whose food quality is questionable. Many students have reported cases of food poisoning and stomach ulcers.

Living alone, managing expenses, cooking are added pressures to the existing ones of studying at hours on end, keeping up at coaching institutes, fee and health concerns. Many aspirants face societal and peer pressure along with the pressure of competition.

According to psychologist Dr. Rippan Sippy, who runs a clinic in Rajender Nagar in Delhi, in the past couple of months, many aspirants have come in reporting cases of emotional breakdown and anxiety. “Preparing for civil services affects the students physically, emotionally, socially and psychologically as they are disconnected from the outside world… many of them turn to heavy drinking and smoking,” said Dr. Sippy. “In the last one month, I have seen nearly 20 cases of anxiety and depression among these aspirants who come from the age group of 22-28 years.”

The coaching institutes also put pressure on the students which “they consider necessary for focusing on the preparation”, said a student of Rao's Coaching Institute. “We are asked to study at least 10 hours a day, and increase this to 15-18 hours when the exam approaches nearer,” the student informed.

However, many UPSC aspirants have started practising yoga and meditation to de-stress while some engage in outdoor sports. “I play volleyball for an hour in the morning with my friends, all of whom are preparing for UPSC,” said Siddharth Mishra. For an exam like UPSC, where there is cut-throat competition, the only ray of hope for these aspirants is to somehow clear the exam or else there is just disappointment, Siddharth remarked.

UPSC exam - one the most difficult exams to crack...AGREED. But not
because of its vast and somewhat "vague" syllabus but lack of proper
guidance so rather than going for a fast forward approach (or
institutes approach of studying 10 12 hours a day) take a study bite
which you can digest easily (say 4 or 6 hours a day). Start around age
of 22 or 23 and if you really want to clear this exam in one go...go
for 2 year approach (if you are new to this field of study) as one
will escape in knowing what how and from where.

Try internet and read some articles on "how to study for IAS exam" you
can get a fair idea and at least you will have a base to stand upon.

from:  Gaurav Singh
Posted on: Oct 17, 2013 at 00:06 IST

this is the toughest exam in the world. we need to evolve ourselves and
just be prepared for the test of the time.

from:  yogita
Posted on: Oct 16, 2013 at 19:00 IST

Yes I Agree but going to Delhi for UPSC exam is waste of money time etc sitting in home we can easily crack this exam only required patience and dedication thats all dear fellow aspirants don't disappoint yourself if you fail try again and again until you reach your goal UPSC is not the end of your life its a beginning.

from:  Mohith S Yadav
Posted on: Oct 16, 2013 at 18:41 IST

there is no doubt that there is immense pressure on civil services
aspirants. the pattern of exam is demanding, that is why aspirants are
under pressure. it is not only here but in other areas also pressure
is there on people in general because of globalisation and
privatisation. the resources are scarce, but demand is huge, so cut
throat competition. we need to think seriously about this and come
with innovative approaches so that the general well being is not
harmed.various studies should be started to look into mental, social
and economic health of the aspirants and come with right solutions. it
will be beneficial to the society as a whole.

from:  harbajan singh
Posted on: Oct 16, 2013 at 11:11 IST

[Reference to "the only ray of hope for these aspirants is to somehow
clear the exam or else there is just disappointment, Siddharth
Well, having such an aspiration is all very well, but the whole point
of the PROCESS of preparation is to become a more aware and pragmatic
person. A pragmatic person is one who is rooted in ground realities:
this is a competitive examination (and the most competitive of them
all!), and as such the candidates must obviously have a plan and a set
of skills which they can cash in upon IF this endeavour fails.

from:  A. K. Tripathi
Posted on: Oct 16, 2013 at 10:29 IST
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