If a candidate has applied for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination but has not appeared at any paper in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will it be counted as an attempt?

This is one of the most common queries among the UPSC aspirants. As we all are aware that the Civil Services Examination (CSE) comprises of two successive stages: the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (CSP) and the Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview). No, an attempt is counted only if a candidate has appeared in at least one paper in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination. (i) An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be taken as an attempt at the Civil Services Examination. (ii) If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, it shall be taken as an attempt at the Examination. (iii) Notwithstanding the disqualification/ cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the Examination will count as an attempt.