UPSC Full Form : History, Stages, Categories and More

UPSC Full Form

UPSC full form is Union Public Service Commission.

UPSC Full Form: This agency conducts national-level public service exams.
The agency conducts a National Level Exam for 24 services under the Central & State Government of India.

CategoryUPSC Full Form
Polity, Governance, AdministrationUnion Public Service Commission

UPSC examination consists of three phases:

  • A preliminary examination consists of two objective-type papers (General Studies Paper I & General Studies Paper-II).
  • followed by the main examination containing nine conventional (essay-type) papers. Two papers are qualifying, and only seven marks are counted.
  • The final phase entails a personality test (interview). During the entire process, a successful candidate will sit for 32 hours.

Preliminary Test:

UPSC CSE Preliminary Exam is a screening exam to choose candidates for Civil Services Main Examination. It consists of two compulsory papers that one needs to take up simultaneously via offline mode (pen-and-paper) in two sessions.

Civil Services Mains Examination:

The UPSC (Full Form) Mains is the second stage in the Civil Services Examination. IAS candidates who have passed the Prelims, i.e., The UPSC Mains, are open to those who have scored above the cutoff for General Studies Paper I (CSAT) and more than 33% in General Studies Paper-II(CSAT).

Candidates who want to be IAS officers, IPS, IFS, IRS officers, or IPS officers will need to complete UPSC Mains to proceed for the IAS interview/UPSC personality test stage.

Civil Services Personality Test:

Officially known as “Personality Test”, it is used to evaluate the personal suitability for public service by a panel composed of competent and impartial observers. 
The test evaluates a candidate’s mental abilities. The test is intended to evaluate not only the candidate’s intellectual abilities but also their social traits and interest. 

The qualities that they will evaluate are: mental alertness; critical powers of assimilation; clear and logical expression, balance of judgment, variety and depth interest, ability to social cohesion or leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

Interviews should not be conducted with a strict cross-examination. It should instead be conducted in a natural, yet directed, and purposeful conversation, which is meant to reveal the mental characteristics of the candidate.

List of services/Posts under UPSC (Full Form):

  1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  2. Indian Police Service (IPS)
  3. Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  4. Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS)
  5. Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
  6. Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
  7. Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
  8. Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
  9. Indian Information Service (IIS)
  10. Indian Telecommunication Service (ITS)
  11. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
  12. Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
  13. Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS)
  14. Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
  15. Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
  16. Indian Railway Protection Force Service (IRPFS)
  17. Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
  18. Indian Revenue Service (IRS-IT)
  19. Indian Revenue Service (IRS-C&CE)
  20. Indian Trade Service (ITrS)
  21. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHCS)
  22. Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS)
  23. Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service (DANIPS)
  24. Pondicherry Civil Service (PCS)
  25. Pondicherry Police Service (PPS)

Eligibility for applying for UPSC Exams:


  • For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service and Indian Foreign Service the candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For other services, the candidate must be one of the following:
  1. A citizen of India.
  2. A citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
  3. A Tibetan refugee who settled permanently in India before 1 January 1962.
  4. A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India

Educational qualification to appear in UPSC (Full Form) Exams:

All candidates must have as a minimum one of the following educational qualifications:

  • A degree from a Central, State or a Deemed university
  • Degree received through correspondence or distance education
  • A degree from an open university
  • A qualification recognized by the Government of India as being equivalent to one of the above

The following candidates are also eligible, but must submit proof of their eligibility from a competent authority at their institute/university at the time of the main examination, failing which they will not be allowed to attend the exam.

  • Candidates who have appeared in an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified enough to satisfy one of the above points.
  • Who have passed the final exam of the MBBS degree but have not yet completed an internship.
  • Candidates who have passed the final exam of ICAI, ICSI and ICWAI.
  • A degree from a private university.
  • A degree from any foreign university recognized by the Association of Indian Universities.


The candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained 32 years (for the General category candidate) on 1 August of the year of examination. Prescribed age limits vary concerning caste reservations.

  • For Other Backward Castes (OBC), the upper age limit is 35 years.
  • Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), the limit is 37 years.
  • For Defence Services Personnel disabled in operations during hostilities, the limit is 40 years.
  • For Candidates belonging to veterans, including commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered military services for at least five years as of 1 August of the year and have been released
  1. on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1 August of the year otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency or
  2. on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service or
  3. invalidation or
  • Relaxation of up to a maximum of five years will be given in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as of 1 August of the year and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months’ notice on selection from the date of receipt of the offer of appointment, the limit is 32 years.
  • For Domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir from 1 January 1980 to 31 December 1989, the limit is 32 years.
  • For the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category, the standard age limits apply.

Number of attempts

The number of times a candidate can appear for the exam are given below.

  • General category candidates – 6
  • OBC category candidates – 9
  • SC/ST candidates – unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.

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