How many attempts for General in UPSC?

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) sets limits on the number of attempts for different categories of candidates. Especially, the candidates who belong to the General category can appear only six times in the IAS Exam till the age of 32 years. 

The article will provide information about the UPSC attempt limit for general category and their possible relaxation regarding the number of limits. 

The candidates can also read related information about UPSC Notification from the links provided below:

UPSC Attempts for General category – An Overview 

The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) requests the candidates to carefully read the Rules of Civil Services Examination notified by the Government (Department of Personnel and Training) before applying and preparing for the examination. Many competitive exams in India do prescribe the maximum age limit but does not restrict the number of attempts like UPSC. The General Category can attempt the UPSC Exam only six times, and just applying doesn’t count as attempting. The UPSC attempts for general is less in comparison to other categories such as OBC/SC/ST/PwBD. 

UPSC attempt limit for General category

Category to which the candidate belongs to 

Number of attempts



EWS (Economically Weaker Sections)


PwBD (Persons with Benchmark Disability) for General


PwBD (Persons with Benchmark Disability) for EWS


The above table shows that both EWS and General category has the same number of attempts, whereas the candidates belonging to PwBD and come under General or EWS gets relaxation in their number of attempts. 

To read more about the UPSC Eligibility Criteria, check the linked article.

Who is eligible for EWS relaxation under UPSC?

The EWS (Economically Weaker Section) can be called a sub-category of the general category. This sub-category is similar to the Non-creamy Layer sub-category of OBC, but they do not enjoy any relaxation in terms of the UPSC Attempt limit. They are also provided with the same number of attempts as the UPSC attempts for General. 

A candidate will be eligible to get the benefit of the Economically Weaker Section reservation only in case the candidate meets the criteria issued by the Central Government and is in possession of requisite Income & Asset Certificate based on income for Financial Year (FY) 2019-2020. 

To read more about the EWS Reservation Eligibility, check the linked article. 

Should EWS Certificate be submitted compulsorily?

Yes, the candidates belonging to the EWS category and claiming the reservation has to submit the certificate during the verification process. 

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