Can Final Year Students Appear for the UPSC Exam?

Can final year students apply for UPSC exam?

Every year the UPSC conducts the civil services exam to recruit officers into the Indian civil services. The civil service promises an exciting career to youngsters who have a yearning to give back to the country and take an active part in her progress. There are a few eligibility conditions to satisfy before an aspirant can take the IAS exam. Among other things, they have to be graduates. Many final year university students, who nurture the IAS dream, wonder if they are eligible for the exam in their final year itself. This article answers their question.

The UPSC exam pattern

There are three stages in this exam. They are:

  1. UPSC prelims
  2. UPSC mains
  3. UPSC personality test

Eligibility conditions for the exam

Nationality: A candidate must be an Indian citizen for the posts of IAS and IPS. For all other posts, he/she can be:

  1. a citizen of India, or
  2. a subject of Nepal, or
  3. a subject of Bhutan, or
  4. a Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  5. a person of Indian origin (PIO) who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

For the last four categories, the candidate must produce an Eligibility Certificate issued by the Indian government before appointment to the service. It should also be noted that a candidate belonging to categories 2, 3 and 4 are not eligible for the India Foreign Service.

Age limit and number of attempts: The UPSC also has restrictions for the age limit and the number of permitted attempts. Check the following table for the conditions:


Upper Age Limit

Number of Permitted Attempts









Till the upper age limit

Physically Handicapped


General & OBC: 9

SC/ST: Till the upper age limit

J&K Domicile

General: 37

OBC: 40

SC/ST: 42

Physically handicapped: 50

Till the upper age limit

Servicemen disabled from duty

General: 37

OBC: 38

SC/ST: 40

Till the upper age limit


Educational Qualification: The UPSC mandates candidates to be graduates from a recognised university.

Can final year students take the IAS exam?

Yes, final year students can also sit for the UPSC prelims exam. But there are conditions attached to this:

  • The passing of the said final year exam should render the candidates eligible for the UPSC civil services exam, i.e., it should be a graduation-level degree from a recognised university. It can also be a professional or technical degree.
  • All such candidates who are declared as eligible for the UPSC mains by the board (i.e., those who clear the UPSC prelims) should produce the proof of their passing the required university examination along with their mains application. Only then will they be permitted to take the IAS mains exam.
  • If they fail to produce the required proof, they will not be admitted to the mains exam. This will result in the loss of a precious attempt because an attempt at the prelims is counted as one attempt.

Also, MBBS graduates who are yet to complete their internship can also take the UPSC mains exam. But such candidates should produce a certificate from their university or institution stating that they have completed all the requirements (including internship) for the medical degree at the time of the personality test/UPSC interview.

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