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General Instructions for Civil Services Exam 2018


The Application Procedure for the Civil Services Examination has been completely digitized at the preliminary level and applications can be made only online. No more the forms that need to filled and posted to UPSC. Even admit cards will be issued online and candidates are expected to download their copies.

Scheme of Examination

The successive stages of examination are:
  • Preliminary Examination for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination.
  • Main Examination for the selection of candidates for interview for a Personality Test.
  • Interview (Personality Test)

Minimum age to appear for UPSC


The minimum age to appear for civil service is 21 years. This means that the candidate must have at least 21 years of age on 1st August of that given year when the exam is held. For example, if the candidate is appearing for 2018 prelims, he/she should be above 21 years of age by Aug 1, 2018.


Upper age limit to appear for UPSC


Upper age limit is also calculated on the Aug 1 on the year of Exam. This means if the candidate is appearing for 2018 prelims, he/she should be below the mentioned maximum age limit by Aug 1, 2018. Upper age limit is fixed different for different categories are given below.

  1. Upper age limit for General category: 32 years.
  2. Upper age limit for OBC: 35 years.
  3. Upper age limit for SC/ST: 37 Years.
  4. Upper age limit for Citizens of Jammu and Kashmir: 37 years.
  5. Upper age limit for 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.
  6. Upper age limit for Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service: 37 years.
  7. Upper age limit for blind, deaf-mute and Orthopaedically handicapped persons (general category): 42 years.

How many attempts are allowed for UPSC Civil Services Exam?


For a general category candidate has an age limit of 32 years, but that doesn’t mean that he can write this exam as many times as he wishes. There are some restrictions on the number of times this exam can be taken, which again is different for different categories.

  • The number of attempts for IAS exam: General Category: 6 attempts till 32 years of age.
  • The number of attempts for IAS exam: OBC: 9 attempts till 35 years of age.
  • The number of attempts for IAS exam: SC/ST: unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.
  • Physically Handicapped /disabled candidates belonging to General category will get the benefit of 9 attempts till the age prescribed by UPSC – 42 years.


How are attempts for Civil Service Exam calculated?


If a candidate appears for any of the papers of the Preliminary Exam, the attempt is counted. But, if a candidate fills up the UPSC application form but didn’t go to take the Preliminary Exam, these attempts will not be calculated.

Application Details of Civil Service Examination