How Many Attempts For UPSC?

how many attempts for upsc exam

The Union Public Service Commission, abbreviated as UPSC, is a constitutional body that conducts various competitive exams for the recruitment of candidates for various Government services like IAS, IPS, IFS, etc.

Attempting the most prestigious exam in India comes with a set of rules and regulations. This article discusses the age limit and different rules that define how many attempts for UPSC a civil service aspirant can take to crack the UPSC CSE competitive examination. Read on to know more about the IAS attempts.

Also known as the Civil Services Exam, the IAS Exam is for high-level positions. The Civil Services Examination is a national examination that the Union Public Service Commission carries out to recruit candidates for government Civil Services positions in India.

What Is The UPSC Age Limit For IAS Exam?

In this section, we discuss category-wise age limits for various categories:

  1. At the minimum, 21 years is the age to appear in UPSC CSE. That means the candidate should at least be 21 years old ( by August 1 of the year in which he/she is going to attempt CSE)
  2. For General category candidates: Upper Age Limit is 32 years
  3. For Other Backward Classes (OBC): Upper Age Limit is 35
  4. For Scheduled Classes (SC): Upper Age Limit is 37
  5. For Scheduled Tribes (ST): Upper Age Limit is 37
  6. For the blind, deaf-mute, and orthopedically disabled persons(general category): Upper Age Limit is 42 years

Note: A cumulative age relaxation will be granted to OBC/SC/ST candidates in addition to the above-mentioned upper age limits. This implies age relaxations will be added in certain special cases.

For example, an extension of 8 years (3+5) will be granted if the person is OBC + Ex-serviceman; his maximum age limit for IAS attempts will be 40 years.

How Many Attempts For UPSC?

As mentioned above, the upper age limits for various categories are different but that doesn’t imply that he/she can give the exam n-number of times.

Consider a candidate of the General category, meaning his/her upper age limit is 32. It doesn’t mean he/she can attempt the IAS Exam unlimited times before their maximum age. There are restrictions on how many attempts in UPSC one can partake in for the examination, which again varies for different categories.

  • For General Category: 6 attempts till 32 years of age
  • For OBC: 9 attempts till 35 years of age
  • For SC/ST: unlimited attempts till 37 years of age
  • Physically disabled/handicapped candidates of the General category: 9 attempts till 42 years of age.
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Minimum Educational Qualifications To Appear For UPSC Civil Services Exam

Any candidate who is willing to apply for UPSC Exam should at least hold a degree of graduation from a University recognized under UGC or have an equivalent qualification. In short, he/she must possess a bachelor’s degree in any discipline or equivalent qualification. The UPSC Exams are also open to final-year students awaiting their results.

Apart from these eligibilities, one also needs solid preparation. For UPSC preparation try Examarly. It is a free platform to double the speed of your preparation.


There are many aspects that can alter your preparation journey for the civil service exams. Although there are various provisions for age limit and how many attempts for UPSC one can make, you will need to produce relevant certificates if you choose to avail of any of these relaxations.

Different categories enjoy various relaxations for attempting the exam. Aspirants must visit the UPSC website to know about the latest notifications about the exam and read more about these relaxations and other rules regarding the UPSC Civil Services Examination.

Head on to the blog of Examarly for more informative articles and preparation techniques, tips, and tricks. We also talk about many topics that will help you boost your preparation by getting many topics on a single platform. We hope we cleared your doubt about how many attempts for UPSC Exam. Keep learning!

FAQ About UPSC Attempts

Q.1 At What Age Can I Apply For The Civil Services Preliminary Exam?

Although there are relaxations for the upper age limit for various categories, the minimum age eligibility criteria remain the same. A person who wants to apply for the UPSC Civil Services exam must be, at the minimum, 21 years old by the 1st of August of the examination year. The upper age limit is 32 years for General category people of Indian origin, 35 years for Other Backward Classes(OBCs), 37 years for aspirants belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and 42 years for persons with benchmark disabilities.

Q.2 Are There Some Relaxations For Economically Weaker Sections’ Aspirants?

There are no age relaxations for an EWS category person of the general category. However, they can avail reservations based on guidelines for a reservation to EWS by the central government.

Q.3 If I Apply For UPSC Civil Services Exam And Don’t Attempt the Exam, Will It Count As An Attempt?

You need to have attempted at least one paper of the Preliminary Examinations for it to count as one attempt. Simply filing your application form doesn’t count.

Q.4 Do I Need To Pursue Any Special Degree Course Before Attempting The UPSC Civil Services Exam?

An aspirant only needs to have a graduate degree while applying for the exam. Aspirants currently awaiting their final year examination results can also apply for the UPSC CSE. Though you don’t need any special degree to attempt UPSC, you can choose a graduate degree that can help you with your UPSC preparation. A bachelor’s degree in a subject that has relevance to the UPSC Syllabus can cover a sufficient part of the vast syllabus of the UPSC Civil Services Exam.

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