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Complete details about IAS Exam Eligibility - UPSC CSE

Dec 30, 2022

Complete details about IAS Exam Eligibility - USPC CSE

It is impossible to make a plan for the future without knowing how long you will be eligible for UPSC CSE and how many attempts you have left. 

In this blog post, you will find everything you need to know about the IAS exam eligibility criteria for the UPSC CSE. 

Once you are equipped with the correct knowledge, you can strategize your UPSC-GS preparation, optional subject preparation and your revision accordingly. 

This blog post will clear all your doubts regarding the number of attempts, age limits, educational qualifications and more regarding the IAS exam. 

Let’s begin with the Educational Qualifications required to appear for the IAS exam. 

Minimum Educational Qualification - IAS Exam Eligibility

Candidates willing to appear for the civil services examination (CSE) must have a graduation degree in any discipline from:

  • Any University incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India. 
  • Any educational institution incorporated by an Act of Parliament.
  • Any educational institution declared to be deemed as a university under section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. 
  • Any educational institution that possesses an equivalent qualification. 

Please note: Final-year college students can also apply for the CSE. 

If you are looking for information beyond IAS exam eligibility criteria then you must look at the complete guide to UPSC preparation strategy for IAS 2023 exam. Here you will everything to know about the UPSC CSE or the IAS exam. 

In addition, if you are serious about preparing for the UPSC exam, how to read the newspaper and the best monthly magazines for UPSC are a few important things that you must know beforehand. 

Age Limit Criteria for the IAS Exam

Minimum age to appear for UPSC CSE

To appear for the IAS exam, a candidate must have reached a minimum of 21 years of age. This means that on the year the IAS exam is held, the candidate must have reached 21 years of age by 01 August of that year. 

For example, if you plan to appear for UPSC CSE 2023, then you must be 21 years of age by 1 August 2023. 

Maximum Age to appear for UPSC CSE

Just like the minimum age, the upper age limit is also calculated using 1 August as a reference point. Similarly, if you plan to appear for UPSC CSE 2023, then you must be below the maximum age before 1 August 2023. 

The upper age limit is different for different groups of people. Let’s have a look at the same below:

  • For the General category - 32 years
  • For the OBC category - 35 years
  • For the SC/ST: 37 years 
  • For Defense Services personnel who have been released from duty following disability earned in operations during hostility with any foreign country or in a recognized disturbed area - 35 years
  • Ex-servicemen who have rendered at least five years of military service including commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs - 37 years. 
  • Blind, deaf, mute and handicapped persons (General Category) -  42 years

In addition to these, OBC candidates have the benefit of earning cumulative relaxation. For example, if the aspirant is an ex-serviceman and an OBC according to his/her certificate, then that person will get an extension of 3+5=8 years. Therefore, that person’s final upper age limit will be 40 years.  

Before you move to the next part, here is the complete UPSC 2023 exam strategy by India’s top faculty Vivek Singh sir. Watch the full video and arm yourself with all the knowledge you need to crack the 2023 IAS exam.

Number of attempts allowed for UPSC CSE

A higher upper age limit does not mean that candidates are allowed to write the exam as many times as they wish. There is a cap on the maximum number of times candidates can appear for the IAS exam. 

The number of allowed attempts is again different for different categories:  

  • For General category candidates - Maximum 6 attempts till 32 years of age
  • For OBC category candidates - Maximum 9 attempts till 35 years of age. 
  • For SC/ST category candidates - Unlimited attempts till 37 years of age. 
  • For physically handicapped and disabled candidates - Maximum 9 attempts till 42 years of age.  

How does UPSC calculate attempts for the Civil Service Exam?

The UPSC counts your attempt if you appear for any of the papers of the Civil Service Examination. 

On the other hand, if you fill up and submit the application form but do not appear on the day of the exams, your attempt is not counted. 

UPSC CSE Syllabus

To clear the coveted IAS exam, you have to be familiar with the UPSC exam syllabus. 

Being thorough with the UPSC syllabus has benefits. They help you see a roadmap of the topics you need to prepare and the topics you can avoid in your preparation. 

Moreover, once you have identified the important topics you can plan and strategize your 2023 Prelims preparation and Mains preparation.  

When to apply for UPSC Civil Services Exam 2023?

The UPSC will release the notification for the Civil Services Examination on February 01, 2023. You can apply for CSE anywhere between February 01, 2023, and February 21, 2023. 

If you want the complete details, check out UPSC Exam Calendar 2023. Here you will find everything you need to know about the 2023 notification. 

Download the official notification from UPSC’s website if you want to download the 2023 exam calendar.  

As of now, the only official date that is confirmed and, which you need to know is that UPSC Prelims 2023 exam is scheduled to be held on May 28, 2023 (Sunday).  

As a serious aspirant, do not make the mistake of thinking that UPSC CSE is a solo journey. There are many areas where you can take help and it will speed up your preparation. 

For example, PrepLadder’s structured video lectures remove the tension of wondering where to start. You can practice and improve your test scores with UPSC Prelims Test and Discussion and our high-yield QBank. Plus, you can cut your revision time in half with our student-favourite mock tests. 

Download the PrepLadder App from Google Play and achieve your IAS Dream! 

PrepLadder has everything you need to crack the IAS exam on one single platform which includes well-structured and conceptual video lectures by the DREAM TEAM, extensive QBank, Test Series, Current Affairs Magazine, NCERT notes, Past year questions, Custom Module, and much more. 

Follow PrepLadder’s Telegram channel for more posts like ‘Complete details about IAS Exam Eligibility’, daily quizzes, current affairs and more. 

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Arindam Goswami

Arindam is a Content Marketer who looks after the Medical Super Specialty segment, specifically the NEET SS category, at PrepLadder. He aims to help aspirants crack exams and realize their dreams through his work.


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