How many attempts do you have? UPSC age and trial limit explained

MK Pandey Fast track to objective arithmetic

10 Feb 2014: Central Government decided to give two extra attempts and consequent age limit to all category: click me to read more.
Old Article goes below
I’m getting many questions regarding Age and trial limit so here is the answer.

  • Union Public Service Commission civil service prelim exam is taken in May Month of every year (2011, 2012,2013… and so on.)
  • The notification for this exam comes in December of previous year.


  • 2011′s exam’s notification will come in 2010′s December.
  • 2030′s Exam notification will come in 2029′s December.

Minimum age

for appearing in Union Public Service Commission civil service exam
Minimum age (irrespective of caste/category etc.) is 21 years.

You must be minimum 21 years old on 1st August of that given year when the exam will be held.

For example,

  • If you want to give exam in 2011, you must be atleast 21 years old on 1st -Aug-2011
  • if you want to give exam in 3040, you must be atleast 21 years old on 1st-Aug-3040)

Maximum / Upper Age Limit

If you’re a _______ category candidate, and want to give exam in the year xxxx, then you must not be ** years old on 1st August of that year.

Now in above sentence, fill in the blanks as per following LIST

Quote Originally Posted by LIST
  1. General category= 30 years
  2. SC/ST=35 Years
  3. OBC=33 years
  4. blind, deaf-mute and Orthopaedically handicapped persons=40 years
  5. Citizen of Jammu and Kashmir=35 years
  6. Defense Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof:=33 years
  7. Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service =35 years

example sentence

if you’re a general category candidate, want to appear in 2011‘s exam, then you must not be 30 years old on 1st August of 2011.

++ above LIST‘s age relaxation is cumulative for SC/ST/OBC

for example,

  • SC citizen of Jammu Kashmir = gets 5+3 = 8 years extension.
  • OBC Ex-service man gets 3+5=8 years.
  • ST category blind candidate =5+10=15 years relaxation means 30+15=45 years.

this cumulation works upto 2 levels or categories only.

i.e. ST citizen of Jammu Kashmir who is blind =5+5+10=20 years age relaxation (=can give exam upto 50 years age!) : No!! it doesn’t work like that.

Trial / attempt limits
Now regarding the trial limits. The moment you go inside the preliminary exam hall and sign the attendance sheet, your trial is counted (it doesn’t matter if you fail or pass..your attempt is counted)

If you only fill up the form but don’t go in the exam hall, your attempt is NOT COUNTED.

Most important thing
In the mains application form, they’ll ask about all your previous attempts’ roll numbers! so DONOT throw away your hall-ticket if you fail in the prelim-exam because you might pass it in the next trial and then you’ll have to fill up the mains form! and Noone at Union Public Service Commission is going to find your roll number in that case. So keep record of everything from hall-ticket to form number.
Now lets see the trial-limits.

  • General=4
  • SC/ST=unlimited till they reach the max age.
  • OBC=7

Physically Handicapped /disabled candidates-Attempt / Trial limits

  • General=7
  • OBC=7
  • SC/ST=unlimited till they reach max age.

Still confused, then read the notification for 2012′s exam (click me) and calculate age for future exams accordingly.

Don’t believe in Rumors!
Numerous Commissions appointed for civil service exam reforms, have recommended reduction in age and trial limits. After every 5 months, some people in Delhi start scaremongering that its going to be implemented!! So new-comer turns panic and runs to coaching class ‘sirs’ and calling Union Public Service Commission helpline (which is offline 24/7 or otherwise ‘engaged’ so the new-comer turns further panic). But you don’t need to worry about it, because they’re beating that drum since last 10-15 years but in the nation of vote-bank politics, its quite unlikely they’ll ever fiddle with age/trial limits, at least in next 20 years. Besides the only way to confirm any of the Union Public Service Commission’s reform is their December notification, so you mustn’t quite the game or fall in the rumor trap before that!