The UPSC Civil Service Examinations is one of the toughest competitive exams conducted by India. Conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, this exam is responsible for the recruitment of the officers in the Indian Administrative Services. This exam helps candidates shortlisted candidates for the IAS, IPS, IFS and other 20 such services. The candidates are selected via a three-level process of preliminary, mains and a personality test.

This year’s long selection process begins in June and concludes in April, with the release of the final merit list in May. Students applying for the IAS exam often wonder whether an individual with anxiety disorders can apply for Civil Services? Continue reading this article to know more about the UPSC preparation and eligibility criteria.

Also Read: Should I Start UPSC Preparation if I am Over 25? What’s the Ideal Age for UPSC Preparation?

Can Students with Anxiety Disorders Apply for the IAS Exam?

Students with OCD and Anxiety disorders can apply for the exam. Having any disorder has no relation to you clearing the exam or not. Multiple personalities have cleared and have gotten selected in the civil services despite having these disorders. The selection of these services depends on both the marks you score in the mains round and also the interview and medical test. If you are consuming medication that is not allowed by the Indian government, then you won’t be able to apply for the UPSC exams.

UPSC Eligibility Criteria


Candidate must be a citizen of India.

Candidate must be a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan Candidate must be a Tibetan Refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, to be settled permanently in India.

Candidate must be a person of Indian Origin who has migrated from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zaire, or Zambia to permanently settle in India.

Educational Qualification

Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s Degree from any of the recognized universities

Candidates who have appeared for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results or those who are yet to appear for the qualifying examination are also eligible for the Preliminary Examination. Such candidates have to produce proof of passing the said examination along with the application for the Main Examination.

Candidates with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government or its equivalent are also eligible to apply.

Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination.

However, they must submit a certificate from the concerned University that they have passed the final professional medical examination.

Also Read: What is the Work of a Medical Officer Who is Recruited through UPSC? Here’re the Details

Age Limit

A candidate should be a minimum of 21 years and a maximum of 32 years old as of August 01, 2021. But he/she must have been born not earlier than August 02, 1989, and not later than August 01, 2000. Necessary action will be taken to make corresponding changes in respective Rules/Regulations about various services.

The upper age limit prescribed above is relaxable for the following candidates:

5 Years – Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST).

3 Years – Other Backward Classes (OBC) 3 Years – Defence Services personnel.

5 Years – ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years Military Service as of August 01, 2020.

5 Years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs.

10 Years – Blind, deaf-mute, and orthopedically handicapped persons .

5 Years – In the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1st August 2019 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months’ notice on selection from the date of receipt of an offer of appointment.

Number of Attempts

Restriction on the maximum number of attempts is effective since 1984:

For General Candidates: 6 attempts (Up to 32 Years).

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Candidates (SC/ST): No Limits (Up to 37 Years).

Other Backward Classes (OBC): 9 attempts (Up to 35 Years).

Physically handicapped- 9 attempts for general and OBC, while unlimited for SC/ST.

Also Read: UPSC Combined Medical Services: Check Out the Selection Process, Eligibility Criteria & More

How to Prepare for UPSC Exams?

Start Your Preparation Early

Students can begin attempting the UPSC exam from the age of 21 years. Students can do so after completing their graduation or in their final year of an undergraduate degree. Most students start preparing for the UPSC Civil Service Exams extremely late. If you start your preparation early, you will have a lot of advantages as compared to your counterparts.

Buy the Books that are Most Recommended

Once you decide what you want to pursue, buy the books that are recommended by toppers for UPSC CSE preparation. Some of the recommended books are:

Polity – by Laxmikanth

Economics – by Ramesh Singh


History – by Bipan Chandra

Utilise Your Spare Time Wisely

You should try to read as many resources as possible in your free time. You can do this while you are on a bus or in the library. You can also listen to interviews with toppers and podcasts in your free time. There is a time constraint for your UPSC preparation so utilising your time to perfection can help you do well in your UPSC exams.

Read Newspaper Regularly

Reading the newspaper regularly is something that all toppers recommend to aspirants. You should do that irrespective of the time constraints you face. It is recommended that students read the Hindu or the Indian Express for some unbiased articles.

Also Read: Why UPSC Vacancies are Decreasing? Decoding the Reasons for the Shortage of UPSC Vacancies


This article might have given you a clearer idea whether an individual with anxiety disorder can apply for the UPSC exams. You might have also understood how to prepare for the UPSC exams. For more such tips visit the UPSC Pathshala website.

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Can an Individual with Anxiety Disorders Apply for Civil Services? What is the Eligibility Criteria for UPSC?
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Aaditya Anand

Aaditya might have completed his engineering in computer science, but he has always had a passion for writing. He believes that writing a code and a story are much more similar than they might seem. You need to imagine the end product in both of them and you can only reach there once you start writing. Aaditya’s love for food is the only thing he can’t describe with words and more than eating he enjoys cooking for his family and friends. In his free time, Aaditya enjoys watching cricket and football. He knows how to lighten the mood with one-liners in a serious situation. If he is not writing or reading about any of his interests, you can find Aaditya in a sports bar cheering for his favourite sports club.

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