Number of Attempts For UPSC IAS and Age Limit

First thing that comes in the mind before applying for UPSC exam is, what is the number of attempts for UPSC/IAS exam that an aspirant can take. Also, what is the UPSC IAS age limit?  Although every serious aspirant wants to crack this exam in one go, it helps them make their future plan accordingly as per the age limit and start their preparations based upon that.

The UPSC IAS age limit for General Category candidates is 32 years and number of UPSC attempts available are 6. Initially the UPSC attempts for general category candidates were maximum 4 and UPSC CSE age limit for the same was 26 years. In last few years, there were some rumors that UPSC will reduce the UPSC attempts and UPSC CSE age limit. It led to panic among the students. But nothing happened. So, it would be advisable for the students to prepare for UPSC IAS exam well and not divert their attention towards these kinds of rumors.

In this article we will discuss about the UPSC CSE IAS limit and UPSC attempts limit.

The following table will clarify the UPSC CSE age limit and UPSC attempts limit:

CategoryNumber of Attempts for UPSCAge Limit


Unlimited till the upper age limit is reached37
Physically Handicapped9 for General and OBC. And it is unlimited till upper age limit for SC/ST.42
Disabled servicemen disabled from dutyUnlimited till the upper age limit is reached.37-For General

38- For OBC

40-For SC/ST


It is advisable to the students to start the preparation UPSC IAS prelims exam at the early age (in their 20s) once they are determined that they want to get into Civil Services without wasting much time and without waiting for upper age limit. It will help them to avoid unnecessary tension and focus more on study.

Recent News for UPSC IAS aspirants regarding UPSC IAS age limit: The Central Government has decided not to grant an extra attempt to Civil Services’ aspirants, who could not appear for the Preliminary exam held in October last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SC bench comprises of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari gave the judgement.

Debate over lowering the UPSC CSE age limit:

There is also a general debate whether UPSC IAS age limit should be reduced or not? Previously a few commissions also recommended reducing the age limit but it is a very emotional issue for lakhs of aspirants that have already crossed certain age limit and are looking to crack this exam.

Argument in support of reducing number of UPSC attempts and IAS age limit
  • Those who are in favour of lowering the UPSC CSE age limit and number of attempts say that UPSC IAS aspirants waste their precious youthful 6 years preparing this exam. Those who get into the service start their career with success and achievement and with full of dedication and determination. But those who do not get into it, they have to think about Plan B and have to rush to start their career very late. Lowering age limit and UPSC attempts will lead to early decision making by the candidates in their career.
  • Also, to prepare this exam, students need lots of financial support from their parents. Students from all over the India and from different financial backgrounds prepare for this UPSC IAS exam. As currently, the upper age limit for UPSC CSE is 32 years, students keep trying hard till their attempts gets exhausted. Some of them clear it and most of them are not able to get into the service as the success rate is too low. Those with good financial support, do not struggle if have to choose Plan B and start their career. But those with poor financial background suffer a lot because this long year of preparation put their family under financial loss. So, early results whether they are cracking it or not will also help their parents financially.
  • Young officers can be easily molded as good, integral and impartial administrators who will serve the society in a better way. Hence, the decision of lowering the age limit seems to be beneficial for many students.
Argument in support of reducing number of UPSC attempts and IAS age limit:
  • Lakhs of students prepare for this exam. Some of them start their preparation just after completing their graduation. But some of the students start their preparation after doing 2-3 years of job. For them, it takes more time to clear this exam as they have to start afresh. Some even prepare for UPSC CSE while they are working. For them also, it takes lots of time to finally get into the service. Hence, lower UPSC CSE age limit and UPSC attempts limit will hamper their career as they will get very less time for the preparation.
  • Also, increased age limit and attempts limit ultimately increase the experience of the candidates which helps them in their service. Every decision which they will take as an administrator will involve lots of thought process and experience which will make them a good public servant. Because ultimately it is the intention and dedication of the civil servant that matters and not the age.
  • At the end, it the UPSC who will take the final decision and we have to abide by its decision whole heartedly. We just need to be clear in our aim of serving the society impartially and passionately.
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