What is the UPSC exam? Know the Basics Before the Exam Prep – Part 2

What is the UPSC Exam? Know the Basics Before the Exam Prep – Part 1
August 28, 2019
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What is the UPSC exam? Know the Basics Before the Exam Prep – Part 2

Now that you know the basic structure of a UPSC exam, let’s have a look at the other important criteria. Candidates have to satisfy certain norms in different categories to be eligible for the exam.

UPSC Eligibility Norms

Candidates require eligibility in four categories: Age limit, nationality, number of attempts, and educational qualification.

  1. Age Limit

The candidates must be 21 years of age as on August 1, 2019. The maximum age limit allotted is 32 years. The following table indicates the assigned age limits with caste reservations:

Category Relaxation of Rules        Maximum Age Limit
General No relaxation    32
Other Backward Classes (OBC) Up to 3 years    35  
Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) Up to 5 years    37
Defense Service Personnel disabled during service Up to 3 years             35
Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years military service as on 1st August 2019 and have been released  Up to 5 years 37
Visually challenged/hearing impaired/physically challenged candidates Up to 10 years    42


  1. UPSC Nationality Criteria

The candidates should have the following nationality criteria.

For the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS),

  • the candidate must be an Indian citizen.

For all the other services, the candidate must be:

  • A citizen of India
  • A citizen of Nepal
  • A subject of Bhutan
  • A refugee of Tibet who has permanently settled in India before January 1, 1962.
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, or Vietnam to settle in India.


  1. Educational Criteria

The candidate must at least have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized University or possess an equivalent qualification.

  • Candidates who have written the final exams of a bachelor’s degree and awaiting results can also apply. Students who have yet to write the final exam can also appear for the UPSC prelims. But they would have to submit the proof of passing the exam for the UPSC Mains.
  • In exceptional cases, the UPSC may consider a candidate who doesn’t have the above-mentioned qualifications as a qualified candidate provided that he/she has passed the exam conducted by the other Institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his / her admission to the examination.
  • Candidates with professional/technical qualifications that are recognized by the Government as equivalent to professional/technical degrees are also eligible.
  • MBBS candidates, who have not yet completed their internship at the time of applying for the UPSC Mains, will be given a provisional admission to take the mains. They should submit a copy of the certificate from the concerned University/institution authority that recognizes their passing of the requisite final professional medical examination. At the time of the interview, these candidates have to produce a certificate from the University/institution stating that they have completed all the requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the medical degree.


  1. Number of Attempts

The number of attempts by candidates for the IAS exam is shown below:


Category Number of Attempts
  General      6
OBC    9
SC/CT    No restriction
Physically Handicapped (General) 9
Physically Handicapped (OBC) 9
Physically Handicapped (SC/CT) No restriction


Admit Card

The UPSC admit cards, distributed three weeks before the exam date, can be downloaded from UPSC’s official website.


The results of the UPSC exam will be published on the official website which can be downloaded in PDF format. Candidates will have to search for the results using their roll no. from the Admit card.

Would you like to know more? Send us an email at info@alchemyias.com. Happy studying!