CDS - Combined Defence Services Exam

Combined Defence Services Exam is conducted by the UPSC two times in a year for admissions to Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun, Indian Naval Academy (INA) Ezhimala, Air Force Academy (AFA) Hyderabad and Officers Training Academy (OTA) Chennai.

Important Dates

CDA (I) Exam

  • Notification Date: 28 October, 2020
  • Last Date to Apply: 17 November, 2020
  • Date of Exam: 07 February, 2021

CDS (II) Exam

  • Notification Date: 05 August, 2020
  • Last Date to Apply: 25 August, 2020
  • Date of Exam: 08 November, 2020

Exam Pattern

The competitive examination comprises:

  1. Written examination
  2. Interview for intelligence and personality test
S.No. Paper / Subject Questions Duration Marks
1. English 120 2 Hours 100
2. General Knowledge 120 2 Hours 100
3. Elementary Mathematics 100 2 Hours 100

Elementary Mathematics is not required for admission to Officers Training Academy (OTA).

The papers in all the subjects consist of objective type questions only. There is penalty or Negative Marking for wrong answers. There are four alternatives for the answer to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by you, one-third of the marks assigned to that question is deducted as penalty. If you give more than one answer, it is treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happens to be correct.

If a question is left blank (no answer is given by the candidate), there will be no penalty for that question.

Eligibility Criteria

You must be unmarried. Women candidates are eligible for OTA only.

Education: For IMA and OTA, you need a degree of a recognised university. For INA, degree in engineering is required. For AFA, you should have a recognised degree and Physics & Mathematics at 10+2 level or Bachelor of Engineering.

Candidates who are studying in the final year or semester and have yet to pass the final year degree examination can also apply.

How to Apply

You are required to apply online by using the website https://upsconline.nic.in. You should have details of one Photo ID Card - Aadhaar Card / Voter Card / PAN Card / Passport / Driving Licence / Any other Photo ID Card issued by the State or Central Government. The details of this Photo ID Card have to be provided while filling up the online application form.

The eligible candidates are issued an e-Admit Card three weeks before the examination. No e-Admit Card is sent by the post. You are required to provide valid and active e-mail while filling up online application form.

You are required to specify clearly in the online application, the Services for which you wish to be considered in the order of your preference. Since women candidates are eligible for OTA only, you should give OTA as your first and only preference.