The UPSC exam is conducted across the whole nation. It is considered one of the most popular and prestigious examinations in India. There are several things to know about this exam to crack it easily. You must be aware of the facts like eligibility and marking criteria along with the numbers of attempts for each category, especially the one that belongs to you.

If you don’t know about it, you need not worry anymore because this article will let you know about all the possible details related to the total number of attempts for UPSC. You need to be conscious and concentrated while reading this article. 

Also Read : UPSC Exam Syllabus 2021: Know all the Insights about Prelims, Mains and Interview Round

Total Number of Attempts for UPSC

The total attempts for this highly competitive examination are 6. There are relaxations given to the backward sections of the society but the number of attempts for general categories and other upper classes is 6 attempts. The candidates must be aware of this fact so that there might be no confusion while giving the examination.

The candidates must prepare for the exam in a way that they have to clear it positively within their given number of attempts. This is highly important for all UPSC aspirants. There are multiple things related to the UPSC exam present in this article. Keep going through it to enhance your knowledge.  

Number of Attempts for OBC

The relaxation has been given to other backward classes, OBC and scheduled tribes and scheduled classes, SC/ST. This category also extends to provide the same relaxation to PwBD candidates.

The SC/ST candidates have unlimited opportunities to give this exam. There is no specific number of attempts for them. The candidates must be aware of such advantages and information related to the exam so that they are not untouched by any profitable implementation.

It is being done for the candidates, so all of them must know it perfectly and take its full advantage. The sections of the society that are not given the privileges tend to get this profit in the CSE. 

How Many Attempts for UPSC in the General Category?

The candidates aspiring to be the future IAS, IFS, IRS or IPS must know how many attempts they can have to crack the examination. It is often said that youngsters waste their productive years preparing for the UPSC exam. If they do not prepare for it too long, they can start with something else in their lives.

According to the factual data, the number of attempts for general category is six attempts for the UPSC civil services exam till the age of 32. If you belong to the OBC, you will have nine attempts till 35 years and the SC/ST candidates unlimited attempts till they turn 37.

UPSC Exam Pattern

The UPSC exam is conducted in three phases. Each phase has its importance and marking criteria. Look below to know each portion. 

#1. 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. The questions covered are to test general knowledge and aptitude.

#2. Mains Test: It is a written examination to test academic knowledge. It consists of 9 papers in total.

#3. Interview: Candidates who have cleared the Main test would be called for a face-to-face interview with the UPSC board.

Also Read : How Many Years are Required to Crack IAS with Training? Know the Criteria to Consider

How Many Attempts for the UPSC Exam?

There are a different number of attempts for different sections of society. It is because of the backwardness faced by the SC, ST, OBC, and PwBD candidates. They have a fair chance over the general category candidates to apply for this exam and try their hard work and luck simultaneously.

The aspirants must understand their level of understanding and capabilities for this examination so that the young years of their life must not get wasted. They must start on something else if they wish so after believing in the fact that they are not capable of this exam. The inner potential and passion of everyone are known to them. So, take the steps carefully with wisdom.  

Have a Look at the Latest Eligibility Criteria!

The plea was made to the court that the attempts must get lowered for the UPSC exam. This is because of the ideology and fact that the candidates waste much of their young life in preparing for it without any positive outcomes. If they stop it on time, they can initiate something productive in their lives.

Moreover, due to the number of attempts, money is spent largely on preparation by the candidates’ family members. It leads to a huge loss of time and money for the family and individual lives of the aspirants.

The young aspirants do commit suicide because of not making it. The plea has been avoided for now and it would come into consideration later.

Also Read : Are You Fit for the Civil Services? Know What is Needed to Handle the Responsibility

UPSC Age Criteria

The age limit for participating in the IAS exam is given below. The minimum age limit for all the candidates is 21 years at the time of applying.

#1. General category person of Indian origin: 32 years.

#2. OBC citizen of India: 35 years.

#3. SC/ ST: 37 years.

#4. A resident of Jammu & Kashmir: 37 years.

#5. Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof: 35 years.

#6. Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/ SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service: 37 years.

#7. Also, Blind, deaf-mute, and Orthopedically handicapped persons (general category): 42 years. 

Responsibilities of an IAS Officer

#1. They maintain and administer the laws and orders of the government. 

#2. They work for the Collection of revenue along with holding the functions as Courts in revenue matters.

#3. They act as a bridge between the people and the government. 

#4. They are responsible for the decision-making and administration of policy matters.

#5. They act as a helping hand to society by providing them aids and help with their problems.

#6. They modify rules, regulations, and laws for the betterment of society. 

#7. They are responsible for affecting and implementing the developmental policies and schemes of the central government.

#8. They maintain harmony and peace in society. 

Also Read : Who got the Highest Marks in UPSC Ever? How to Score Well in Prelims, Mains, and Interviews

Educational Qualifications

All the candidates must know the educational criteria to sit in the UPSC examination. It is helpful in many ways.

Firstly, you will be aware of the certain age that you can apply for this exam.

Secondly, you can opt for the study area in a way that supports and upgrades your knowledge for the examination.

Thirdly, it will let you know about the knowledge that you will require for this honorable examination. Candidates, who hold a graduate degree, at the time of applying for the exam, are eligible to apply for the IAS exam.

Candidates in the final year of graduation are also eligible to apply. So, if your graduation is completed, you can start preparing for it dedicatedly. 

UPSC Exam Strategies

There are many strategies for the UPSC exams. The candidates want to ace this exam with lots of preparation in the effective areas. The strategies include the given points. 

#1. NCERT Books 

All the candidates must be aware of the books needed for their performance in the exam. The NCERT books are a must for you to read. These books are authentic and trustworthy for the information.

It contains information about every field related to the subject with questions and answers. It will help you in upgrading your concept knowledge and preparation for the exam with effectiveness with practice. It should be completed within time to give it proper time for revision as well. If you complete your topics from these books, you will not need any other book to understand the concepts. You will ace the exam perfectly. 

Also Read : Does the Syllabus of UPSC CSE Change from Year to Year? Know Everything Here

#2. Find Platforms

The major way to prepare for the civil services exam is by finding the correct platforms for yourself. There are a lot of options present in the platform selection. You should do the best for yourself.

Due to the pandemic, everything is now available on online platforms from personalized mentorships to video lectures. It will help you immensely in growing your knowledge along with solving various other issues popping in your head. This is the best way to get high scores in the exam. If you choose the correct place for preparation, it will help you in managing your time and getting maximum output. 

#3. Keep Tranquil and Positive

The preparation for this esteemed and toughest exam is not easy. It brings many challenges during the voyage. The candidates get into negativity and stress. If you want to crack this exam, the most significant thing is to keep yourself calm, composed, and positive. It will help you in completing the syllabus and revising it within time limits.

The distraction of stress or anxiety leads to time wastage and health issues. You should eat healthily and sleep on time along with keeping yourself away from the heavy drowning thoughts. You will rise like a phoenix when you opt for this strategy. 

#4. Grab Information

The syllabus is heavy for this exam but you must go for finding new concepts and information related to the topics of the syllabus or current happenings. This will help you in the interview section.

It is good for scoring because you will be able to identify the other questions related to the syllabus in the exam and make a great impression on the minds of the examiners in the interview. You will come closer to your dream by having maximum knowledge.

An IAS officer knows from all around the globe. So, if you will have many beneficial learnings, you will enhance your future as well. 

#5. Maximum Practice 

The candidates of the UPSC exam should reach the place after the completion of the syllabus to practice the previous year’s question papers or sample question papers. It will improve your skills in question-solving areas and will make you more experienced.

When you start solving the question papers, you start assessing yourself and your level of learning. It will make you understand what you should focus on and what are your strengths. This will be great for you to fetch high scores.

Therefore, keep yourself timely in completing the syllabus to have time for self-assessment. This has proved magnificent for many UPSC toppers.

Also Read : Documents Needed before IAS Interview: Here is All That an IAS Aspirant Needs to Know


Hopefully, this article has helped you to resolve your queries related to the number of attempts and other related things to the UPSC exam. If your mind is popping up with some other questions related to this exam, you must visit UPSC Pathshala. The website contains various articles on different topics related to UPSC and the experts are there to help you in all possible manners. You will get personalized mentorship with our best professionals to enrich your skills in every field related to civil services. They will also guide you on stress management in the exam. It is a perk for your preparation and excellence in the examination.

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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