UPSC Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS)

The Combined Defence Services Examination (abbreviated as CDS Exam) is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Indian Air Force Academy.

The Notification for the examination is usually released in the months of October and June, and the examinations are conducted in February and November respectively. Only unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam. Successful candidates are admitted into the respective Academies after an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).

Nationality

Check nationality for the CDS exam mentioned below

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India
  • A subject of Nepal of Bhutan
  • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962, to forever live comfortably in India or
  • An individual initially Indian who has relocated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and East African nations Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the expectation of forever living in comfortable India.

 

Educational Qualification

CDS Exam Educational Qualifications is given below.

 

For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy

Degree from a recognized University or equivalent

For Indian Naval Academy

Degree in Engineering from a recognized University or equivalent

For Air Force Academy

Degree of a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering

 

Age Limit

Indian Military Academy

19–24 years

Air Force Academy

19–24 years

Naval Academy

19–24 years

Officers Training Academy

19–25 years

 

Physical Standards

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards criteria given in the official advertisement.

Union Public Service Commission has set the eligibility criteria For Combined Defence Services. Before applying to the CDS exam Candidate must check the eligibility criteria. The basic physical standard for a candidate is:

  • The candidate should be physically as well as mentally fit.
  • Permanent tattoos on the body are prohibited.
  • No hernia anywhere on the body.
  • No hearing impairment, deformities/disabilities in-ears vestibule-cochlear system.
  • There is no active congenital venereal disease.

Here are the requirements for the Height and Weight standards to qualify for CDS exam:

 

Height and Weight Standards (Males)

Height in Centimetres (Without shoes)

Weight in Kgs.

 

18 years

20 years

22 years

24 years

152

44

46

47

48

155

46

48

49

50

157

47

49

50

51

160

48

50

51

52

162

50

52

53

54

165

52

53

55

56

168

53

55

57

58

170

55

57

58

59

173

57

59

60

61

175

59

61

62

62

178

61

62

63

64

180

63

64

65

66

183

65

67

67

68

185

67

69

70

71

188

70

71

72

74

190

72

73

74

76

193

74

76

77

78

195

77

78

79

81

 

CDS Exam Pattern

Stages of exam

Written exam and SSB Interview

Mode of exam

Offline / Pen and paper based

Subjects

1- English 120 questions

2- General Knowledge 120 questions

3- Elementary Mathematics 100 questions

Exam duration

2 hours for each paper

Number of questions

340 MCQs for – IMA, INA and AFA

240 MCQs for – OTA

Language of paper

English & Hindi

 

Indian Military Academy / Air Force Academy / Naval Academy

All the papers are of objective type.

Subject

Marks

English

100

General Knowledge

100

Elementary maths

100

Total

300

 

Officers' Training Academy

Each paper contains objective type questions.

Subject

Marks

English

100

General Knowledge

100

Total

200

 

CDS Marking Scheme

It is important to know the CDS marking scheme for candidates to devise an effective exam-taking strategy. The CDS marking scheme as prescribed by UPSC is as follows:

  1. 1 mark is awarded for each correct answer
  2. 0.33 marks are deducted for each wrong attempt
  3. Questions left unanswered are not covered under negative marking
  4. If two answers are marked for one question. It will be considered wrong and negative marks will be deducted. 

Intelligence and Personality Test

The SSB interview process consists of a two-stage Selection process – stage I and stage II. Only those candidates who successfully clear the stage I SSB interview are permitted to appear for stage II.

(a) Stage I comprises Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests are Picture Perception* Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on the combination of performance in the OIR Test and PP&DT.

(b) Stage II Comprises Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests, and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days. The details of these tests are given on the Indian Army career portal.

The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors viz. The Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO), and the Psychologist. There is no separate weightage for each test. The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in all the tests.

Test/ Interview by Air Force Selection Board

All candidates who apply for the Air Force through more than one source will be tested/interviewed at the Air Force Selection Boards only once for Air Force. Common candidates who fail in Computer Pilot Selection System (CPSS) and/ or Pilot Aptitude Battery tests as an NCC or Airmen candidate will be called again for OLQ testing for Army/Navy/OTS only if it is found that they have applied through CDS Exam.

 

CDS 2021 Highlights

Name of exam

Combined Defence Services Examination

Conducted  by

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) 

Exam level

National

Exam frequency

Twice a year

Exam mode

Online

Exam mode

Two hours

Language of question paper

English and Hindi

Exam Fees

Rs 200

Exam purpose

To select candidates as Commissioned Officers in Indian Army, Navy and Air Force

CDS 1 vacancies 

345

No of test cities

41

Official website

upsc.gov.in

 

CDS I 2021 Vacancy

CDS 1 2021 Total number of vacancies are given below.

Academy

Total Vacancies

IMA

100

AFA

32

INA

26

OTA (Men)

170

OTA (Women)

17

Total

345

 

CDS Syllabus

syllabus of CDS is divided into three sections-

  1. English
  2. General Knowledge
  3. Elementary Mathematics

CDS Syllabus – Elementary Mathematics

Algebra

Basic Operations, Simple factors, Remainder Theorem, HCF/LCM, Theory of polynomials, Quadratic equations,Relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered), Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns—analytical and graphical solutions, Simultaneous linear inequations in two variables and their solutions, Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions, Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices

Arithmetic

Number System: Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers.

Fundamental operations: addition, substraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions

Unitary method, Time and Distance, Time and work, Percentages, Simple and compound interest, Profit and loss

Ratio and proportion, Variation, Elementary Number Theory: Division algorithm, Prime and composite numbers, Tests of divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 11, Multiples and factors. Factorisation Theorem H.C.F. and L.C.M., Euclidean algorithm, Logarithms to base 10, Laws of logarithms and use of logarithmic tables

Geometry

Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Theorems on Properties of angles at a point, Parallel lines, Sides and angles of a triangle, Congruence of triangles, Similar triangles, Concurrence of medians and altitudes, Properties of angles, Sides and diagonals of a Parallelogram, Rectangle and square, Circles and its properties including tangents and normals and Loci

Trigonometry

Sine ×, cosine ×, Tangent × when 0° < × < 90°

Values of sin ×, cos × and tan ×, for ×= 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°

Simple trigonometric identities

Use of trigonometric tables

Simple cases of heights and distances

Statistics

Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation frequency polygons, Histograms, Bar charts, Pie charts, etc., Measures of central tendency

Mensuration

Areas of squares, Rectangles, Parallelograms, Triangle and Circle. Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), Surface area and volume of cuboids, Lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, Surface area and volume of spheres

 

CDS Syllabus – English

  1. Antonyms
  2. Sentence improvement
  3. Comprehension
  4. Synonyms
  5. Word substitution
  6. Ordering of sentences
  7. Spotting Errors
  8. Selecting Words
  9. Ordering of words in a sentence

 

 

CDS Syllabus – General Knowledge

Current Awareness, Economics, Physics, Biology, Sociology, Chemistry, Award and honours, books and authors, History, Politics, Geography, Environment, Defence, Sport and Culture.


CDS Admit Card 2021

The steps to download the admit card of CDS is given below.

  • Visit the official website 
  • Click the admit card link on the home page of UPSC 
  • Download it either by registration number or roll number
  • CDS admit card appears on the screen
  • Download the admit card and take its printout

 

UPSC CDS  Result 2021

UPSC releases Conbined Defence Services result through online mode on the official website. Candidates who want to download CDS Result PDF from the official website can follow the steps given below:

  • – 1st Step: Go to the official website of UPSC – upsc.gov.in.
  • – 2nd Step: Click on the tab ‘Examination’.

 

UPSC CDS Cut Off

UPSC CDS 1 Exam 2021 Expected Cut-offs

Name of the service

Cut-offs

AFA

135

IMA

121

INA

112

OTA (Female)

84

OTA (Male)

84

 

UPSC CDS Previous Year Cut Off 2019

 

Academy course

Written exam 

Final Exam 

IMA 

116

242

OTA (Male)

78

160

OTA (Female)

78

162

INA

105

233

AFA

129 

264

 

UPSC CDS-I Previous year cutoff Marks 2018

 

Academy course

Written exam 

Final Exam 

IMA 

118

240

OTA (Male)

69

154

OTA (Female)

69

150

INA

138

278

AFA

98 

225

 

UPSC CDS-II Previous year cutoff Marks 2017

 

Academy course

Written exam (minimum qualifying marks in each subjects) 

Final Exam (marks of last recommended candidates)

IMA 

125

248

OTA (Male)

82

163

OTA (Female)

82

164

INA

144

268

AFA

118

241

 

 CDS Preparation Tips 2021

  • Know the syllabus and exam pattern
  • Previous Year Papers and Mocks
  • Keep the fundamentals clear
  • Focus on important topics
  • Attempt easier questions first
  • Make a proper timetable