IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service. It is one of the three All India Services. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Civil Services Exam (CSE), to recruit IAS officers.

The IAS test is given by lakhs of candidates. It is a desired career option of many due to the power, social recognition, job security and monetary benefits associated with the position.

Before jumping to the answer of how many attempts for UPSC, let us go through the test pattern for the IAS exam.

IAS Exam Pattern

Indian Administrative Service test is conducted in 3 legs.

  • Preliminary test: It has objective type questions. The preliminary test is not counted for the final results. It is used to qualify a candidate for the main exam. There are two papers covered in Prelims. Questions covered are to test general knowledge and aptitude.
  • Main test: It is a written examination to test academic knowledge. It consists of 9 papers in total.
  • Interview: Candidates who have cleared the Main test would be called for a face-to-face interview with the UPSC board.

So, on the basis of the performance/ ranking in Main test and Interview, the candidate will be given offer or appointment. To reach the end phase of the recruitment process, one has to work hard keeping in mind the IAS exam syllabus.

Education Qualification Criteria

Candidates, who hold a graduate degree, at the time of filing application for the exam, are eligible to apply for the IAS exam. Candidates in the final year of graduation are also eligible to apply.

Also Read: What are Endogenic and Exogenic Forces? IAS Geography Notes

IAS Age Limit

Age limit for participating in the IAS exam is as below:

  • Minimum age limit: 21 years at the time of filing of the application.

Upper age limit

  • General category person of Indian origin: 32 years
  • OBC citizen of India: 35 years
  • SC/ ST: 37 years
  • A resident of Jammu & Kashmir: 37 years
  • Also, 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
  • Similarly, Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/ SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service: 37 years
  • Also, Blind, deaf-mute and Orthopedically handicapped persons (general category): 42 years

How Many Attempts for IAS? 

  • General category citizen of India: 6 attempts till 32 years of age.
  • OBC person of Indian origin: 9 attempts till 35 years of age.
  • SC/ ST person of Indian origin: No limit on attempts till 37 years of age.
  • Physically Handicapped/ disabled candidates belonging to general category citizen of India: 9 attempts till 42 years of age.

Role of IAS Officers

The duties of an IAS officer change at different points of his/ her career. The role of the prestigious and proud servant of the Government of India is considered to be very important and powerful, whatever designation they hold.

However, this is because IAS Officers are Primarily Responsible for Below:

  • Maintenance of law and order.
  • Collection of revenue and function as Courts in revenue matters.
  • Act as a bridge between the Government of India and the citizen of India.
  • Decision-making and execution of administrative matters. This is diverse and includes:
  • Interfaces with the general public. Providing the citizen of India with solutions for their problems.
  • Developing a framework to modify law, rules, and regulations after proper approval.
  • Effecting developmental policies and schemes of the Government of India.
  • Represent Government of India in International forums, in case the officer is a senior.


Of course, it is very true that along with authority comes responsibility. So, the IAS exam is as tough as the power and perks it offers. So, it is not impossible, however, to meet the challenge. Hence, with proper guidance and coaching, it should be possible to encounter the exam smoothly to be successful.

It is tough but definitely endurable. One has to be very hardworking and dedicated to achieving the goal of becoming a proud civil servant of the Government of India.

So, now that you know all the education qualification criteria, upper age limit, the number of attempts for UPSC along with all the other essential things required for exam preparation, how do you plan to start? Do you have any strategy in mind? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Also Read: List of Important Committees and Commissions in India for UPSC Exams

How Many Attempts Are Required for UPSC? What is the Age limit for UPSC Exam?
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How Many Attempts Are Required for UPSC? What is the Age limit for UPSC Exam?
What is the IAS exam pattern? What is the required education qualification? how many attempts are possible for UPSC? What is the age limit for this? Read on to get all your answers.
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About the Author

Akshay Palande

Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.

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