Eligibility Criteria

IAS Exam Eligibility: Number of Attempts and Age Limit Permitted

UPSC Eligibility crietria
UPSC Eligibility Criteria

Minimum Educational Qualifications to appear for UPSC Civil Services Exam | IAS Exam Eligibility

The minimum age to appear for IAS / UPSC Exam is 21 years. This means that the candidate must have at least 21 years of age on 1st August of that given year when the exam is held. For example, if the candidate is appearing for 2020 prelims, he/she should be above 21 years of age by Aug 1, 2020.

Upper age limit to appear for UPSC IAS Exam | IAS Exam Eligibility

Upper age limit is also calculated on the date Aug 1. This means if the candidate is appearing for 2019 prelims, he/she should be below the mentioned maximum limit by Aug 1, 2019. Upper age limit is fixed different for different categories, which is as given below.

  • Upper age limit for General category: 32 years.
  • Upper age limit for OBC: 35 years.
  • Upper age limit for SC/ST: 37 Years.
  • Upper age limit for Defense Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof: 35 years.
  • Upper age limit for Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service: 37 years.
  • Upper age limit for blind, deaf-mute and Orthopaedically handicapped persons (general category): 42 years.

Apart from the mentioned limits, OBC/ SC/ ST candidates will get the benefit of cumulative age relaxation. This means age relaxations gets added in special cases, say, for example, if the person is OBC + Ex-service men, he will get an extension of 5 + 7 = 12 years, ie his upper age limit now stands at 42 years.

How many attempts are allowed for UPSC Civil Services Exam?

A general category candidate has an age limit of 32 years, but that doesn’t mean that he can write this exam as many times as he wishes. There are some restrictions on the number of times this exam can be taken, which again is different for different categories and eligibility for UPSC Exam.

  • The number of attempts for IAS exam: General Category: 6 attempts till 32 years of age.
  • The number of attempts for IAS exam: OBC: 9 attempts till 35 years of age.
  • The number of attempts for IAS exam: SC/ST: unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.

NB: Physically Handicapped /disabled candidates belonging to General category will get the benefit of 9 attempts till the age prescribed by UPSC – 42 years.

How are attempts for Civil Service Exam calculated?

If you appear for any of the papers of the Civil Services Preliminary Exam, your attempt is counted. If you filled up the UPSC application form but didn’t go to take the Preliminary Exam, your attempt will NOT BE COUNTED.

UPSC Civil Services Exam Notification

VignanIAS always recommend aspirants to clarify your queries regarding IAS/IPS exam eligibility from the official UPSC Civil Services Exam notification.

The UPSC CSE Exam notification has all the details you are looking for. This includes further details of relaxation, medical requirements for various services like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS etc, and even the entire UPSC syllabus.

If you are unable to find it from the UPSC website, don’t worry. Just download the ‘Beginner’s Guide to Success in UPSC Civil Services Exam‘. The latest UPSC notification is added towards the end.

When did UPSC relax the age and number of attempt, for the last time?

Last UPSC relax was in 2014.

Read the notification by Center giving relaxation in the number of attempts and age limits for UPSC Civil Services Exam. We kept updating this post whenever we come across any changes in the age-limit or number of attempts, however, it is always advised to cross-check the latest notification about IAS exam eligibility criteria published in the official UPSC website