UPSC is the most prestigious examination in India. Are you planning to appear for the UPSC CSE examination? The procedure starts with understanding whether you are eligible for the exam or not.

Wondering What is the age limit for UPSC? Here in this article, you will find out all about eligibility criteria and the UPSC age limit 2022 of the exam.

Therefore read this article to understand the procedure of UPSC.


Name UPSC Civil Service Examination
Level National level
Authority Union Public Service Commission
Duration Once in a Year
Application form Online
Mode Offline
Total Vacancies Decided every year
Number of Phases 3 (Prelims, Mains, and Interview)
Official Website

The CSE examination comprises two stages: Preliminary examination and mains examination. The successful candidates are recruited for various civil services and posts.

The preliminary examination is the first round of UPSC. It is the qualifying stage for the mains exams. It comprises two papers: Paper I(General Studies) and Paper-II(CSAT).

After clearing the Prelims exam successfully, candidates have to apply for the mains exam by filing the detailed application form (DAF).

Exams Mode Language Papers Marks Question types Negative Marks Time Allocation
Preliminary Exam Offline English and Hindi 2 400 marks Multiple Choice 0.33 2 hours
Mains Exams Offline English and Hindi 7 1750 marks Descriptive 1/3rd 3 hours

UPSC Eligibility Criteria

UPSC provides multiple eligibility criteria components:

# Nationality

# Age limit

# Education qualification

# Attempt

# Medical standards


Nationality requirements of IAS, IFS, and IPS are as follows:

# One must be a citizen of India.

For other civil services are as follows:

# A candidate must be a  citizen of India, or

# A subject of Nepal, or

# A subject of Bhutan, or

# A Tibetan refugee who came over on 1st January 1962.

# A person of Indian origin migrated from East African countries of Kenya, Pakistan, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Zaire, Burma, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Zambia and Vietnam.

Also Read:UPSC Age Limit for SC/ST: Breaking Down Age Limit for the UPSC Exam

What is the Age Limit for UPSC?

The basic age limit as prescribed by UPSC is 21 years minimum and not more than 32 years as of August 2021 or 2022.

Age Limit for UPSC

Here is the age limit for various categories such as General age limit, SC age limit, ST age limit are as follows:

Categories UPSC Exam Age Limit Age Relaxation
General 21-32 years
OBC 21-35 years 3 years
SC/ST 21-37 years 5 years
Defense Service Personnel 21-35 years 3 years
Ex-servicemen 21-37 years 5 years
General PWD 21-35 years 3 years
OBC PWD 21-38 years 3+3 years
SC/ST PWD 21-40 years 5 years+3 years

The upper age limit is as follows:

# Maximum five years of candidates belonging to Scheduled caste and Scheduled tribe (SC/ST)

# Maximum three years for OBC candidates except for the creamy layer of other backward classes.

# Maximum three years in the case of Defence Services Personnel, that are disabled during war or operation with a foreign country.

# Maximum five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Cos/ECOs/SSCOs and have at least rendered five years of service.

# In the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed at least 5 years of Military service as of 1 August 2021.

# Maximum 10 years for the candidates belonging to Persons of Benchmark Disability.

# Maximum of 5 years of candidates belonging to the domicile of J&K from Jan 2981 to Dec 1989.

By PWD it means:

#1. Blindness and poor vision

# Deafness

# Locomotor disability

# Autism or any other mental illness

# Multiple disabilities

Certificates for Proof

The commission accepts the DOB that is entered in the high school, intermediate certificate, or degree certificate.

Education Qualification

The Commission holds that one must hold a graduation degree in any discipline from an affiliated university.

Some common degrees are: Bachelor’s degree (BA, B.Com, B.Sc, BBA, BCA, B.Tech etc.) from a recognised university

Also Read: Which Degree is Best for IAS? Here’s How to Start Preparing for UPSC in College?

Number of Attempts

The commission prescribes different attempts limits for different categories. They are as follows:

Category Number of Attempts
General/ EWS 6
SC/ST No limit
General PWD 9
SC/ST PWD No limit

Medical Standards

A Candidate must be physically fit as per rules prescribed in the Gazette of India Extraordinary every year.

Also Read: Is UPSC Age Limit Increased to 35? Here’s the Latest Age Limit for General Category UPSC Aspirants

Who is not Eligible to Apply?

#1. A Candidate who is recruited as IAS or IFS is not eligible to appear in the CSE Examination Mains examination if they continue to hold the position even after completing UPSC Preliminary examination.

#2. Candidates who are appointed as IPS and continue to hold the position are not eligible to choose IPS as the option for that exam.

UPSC 2021 Cutoff

Category Cut off for Prelims Cut off for Mains (1750) Cut off for Final
General 98 751 961
EWS 90 696 909
SC 96 718 925
ST 82 706 989
OBC 78 699 893
PWD 50-60 400-600 650-900

Also Read: IAS Exam Age Limit for Female: Understanding the UPSC Age Limits

COVID Impact

Several Candidates sought to Supreme Court against the government to give them one more chance as a result of COVID-19. This plea was made because of the mental effect and being physically hampered to prepare and give their examination with full potential.

The government denied giving them another chance. But a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar gave a verdict in February 2021, that candidates who were not able to pass their UPSC CSE examination the previous year due to CoronaVirus or are ineligible to give their examination this year will be given one more chance.

The Supreme Court declared that it will grant aspirants one-time relaxation to all those who were debarred from giving their exam due to COVID impact.


But there is one exception to this judgment. This verdict is only applicable to candidates who are not more than 32 years or have exceeded the upper age limit.


The Supreme Court verdict is a boon for all those candidates who have exhausted their number of attempts in the pandemic situation. Coronavirus had a negative impact on every country and section of society. It has deprived many students of preparing for their exams well. It has devastated the mental and physical abilities of the candidates. Given the unpredictability and level of difficulty of UPSC, this one-time chance was important and necessary.

Need help in your preparation? Let us suggest you a website that is solely devoted to UPSC and is perfectly suitable for the preparation of UPSC exams: UPSC Pathshala.

As the name suggests, this website is solely devoted to UPSC and helps you with every stage of your UPSC journey. So don’t wait anymore and explore the website now.

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About the Author


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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