Detailed UPSC Eligibility Criteria

Detailed UPSC Eligibility Criteria


UPSC is one of the biggest exams conducted in India. This exam is conducted once a year. There are various eligibility criteria given for appearing in the examination. Eligibility criteria are dependent on the category, nationality, educational qualification, and age of the candidate.

Union Public Service Commission is responsible for the conduction of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE). The exam is conducted for the selection of eligible candidates for various posts of Indian civil services such as IAS, IPS, IFS, and other related services. This test is conducted in three phases- The UPSC Prelims, UPSC Main, and the personality test or UPSC Interview.

The UPSC Preliminary Examination is the screening exam and therefore qualifying in character is the first step of the IAS Exam. The UPSC Prelim exam score is not included while preparing the final merit list. The prelims exam has two objective-type MCQ-based papers.UPSC Mains Exams have 9 papers and they all are descriptive.

The first step in the IAS preparation from a reputed IAS coaching is to gain a thorough understanding of the exam eligibility requirements. This article discusses the UPSC Age Limit and IAS Eligibility for the 2023 Civil Services Exam. This article provides a detailed explanation of the entire UPSC qualifying requirements for the civil services test.

Table of Content

  1. Scheme of Examination
  2. Nationality
  3. Age Limit
  4. Educational Qualification
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs

Scheme of Examination

UPSC exam is conducted in three phases:

  1. Pre Exam – General Studies Paper I and CSAT (General Studies Paper II) are the two papers that make up the UPSC CSE Prelims. Even if the CSAT is a qualifying exam, still the selection of candidates for UPSC Mains is based on the performance of candidates in its General Studies test. This means that the Prelims cutoff will take into account the General Studies Paper result. Negative marks are also awarded for incorrect responses.

As a penalty for selecting the incorrect response, one-third of the total marks awarded for the question would be taken away. There will be no deductions, though, if the candidate chooses not to attempt the question. As a result, candidates should only take measured risks when marking questions that are in doubt.

  1. Main Exam – There will be a total of 9 papers among which Papers A and B would be qualifying in nature and the marks scored in the other paper will be taken into the account for the preparation of the final merit list and will contribute to the determination of the rank of the candidate. All the papers are descriptive in nature.
  2. Interview – The UPSC exam’s last phase is the IAS Interview. Candidates who clear the Mains exam then receive an electronic summon to appear in the UPSC interview. The exam is held at the office of the Union Public Service Commission, located at Dholpur House in Delhi. The maximum mark is 275 and this round provides a lot of scoring possibilities.

Candidates must be fully informed about the IAS Interview process, they must be informed earlier because it is their final opportunity to raise their final score.Interview helps in the overall assessment of the candidate and also provides a basic understanding of their personality and problem-solving skills that can not be determined by the examination.


  1. The candidate must be an Indian national.
  2. Candidates who are governed by Tibet, Bhutan, or Nepal can also apply for the exam. Such applicants must, however, show evidence that they hold the papers needed to live permanently in India.
  3. People originally born in India (PIO) and who have immigrated to India from countries including Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire, and Vietnam want to stay there permanently and should have official documents for the same.

Age Limit

Relaxation in age limit  can vary based on the category of the candidate. The minimum age for general category candidates is 21 and the maximum age is 32 for appearing in the examination. For OBC candidates the minimum age is 21 and the maximum age is 35. For the EWS candidate age limit is similar to that of the general candidate.

UPSC CSE category-specific age restrictions, relaxations, and maximum attempts-

  1. EWS & General Category upper age limit is 32 years and gives 6 attempts.
  2. OBC (with certificate): Upper age limit is 35 years and the person gets nine tries.
  3. 37 years is the upper age limit for the SC/ST candidates and get unlimited attempts.
  4. For a Physically Disabled person age limit is 42 years, General/OBC/Person with Benchmark Disability (EWS category) gets 9 tries, and SC/ST gets unlimited tries.
  5. Kashmir, Jammu Domicile age limit is 32 years plus five years plus three years (if OBC or five years, if SC/ST), depending on the number of attempts.
  6. Discharged and ineligible Armed forces have 35 years of upper age limit (35 years if Gen/OBC OR 37 years if SC/ST)
  7. Ex-Servicemen Commission Officer: 37 years (three if you are OBC or five years if you are SC/ST)

Educational Qualification

  1. According to the UPSC IAS Educational Requirements, candidates must have graduated from a university that is accredited in order to apply for the position.
  2. Candidates who are awaiting results or in the last year of the qualifying test may also apply for the UPSC preliminary exam. However, they will need to present evidence that they passed the qualifying exam with their application.
  3. Candidates with professional or technical credentials deemed by the government to be equivalent to a degree in those fields are also eligible.
  4. Candidates who passed the final professional M.B.B.S. exam or any other professional test that is equivalent but who have not finished their internship by the time their application for the Civil Services (Main) test is submitted will be temporarily allowed for the examination for the Civil Services.


To sum up, the eligibility criteria for the UPSC exams encompass a broad range of requirements that candidates must meet to qualify to appear in the exam. These criteria take into account factors like educational qualifications, age limit, nationality, and physical standards.

Meeting the eligibility criteria is just the preliminary step towards cracking the highly competitive UPSC exams. Aspiring candidates must focus on preparing for the exams and building a robust foundation of knowledge in various subjects to excel and achieve their aspirations.


1. What is the minimum educational qualification required to appear for the UPSC examination?

The minimum educational qualification required to appear for the UPSC examination is a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.

2. Is there any age limit to appear for the UPSC examination?

Yes, there is an age limit to appear for the UPSC examination. For the Civil Services Examination, a candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st of August of the year in which he/she appears for the examination.


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