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Twice a year, the Union Public Service Commission conducts the CDS exam for recruitment to the defence forces: Army, Navy and Air Force. Nearly 3 Lakh aspirants appear in this examination to secure an officer level job in the Indian armed forces.

At Vidya Guru, our experts provide the Best Online CDS Coaching in India and offer complete guidance to aspirants who aim to crack the Combine Defence Services examination. Given below are some very significant details that a candidate must learn in order to successfully clear the CDS recruitment process.

Educational Criteria

(I) Indian Military Academy (IMA) & Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai: Graduate Degree from a recognized University or an equivalent qualification.

(II) Indian Naval Academy (INA): Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from any recognized University or an equivalent qualification.

(III) Air Force Academy: Graduation Degree (with Physics & Math at 12th level) from a recognized University or a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering.

Note-1: Graduates with 1st choice as Air Force / Army / Navy have to submit requisite proof of their Graduation/provisional certificates at the Services Selection Board (SSB) at the start of the Interview rounds.

Note-2: Candidates studying in the final semester / year of Graduation who are yet to pass the final degree exam may also apply provided they don’t have any backlog till the last year / semester for which the result has been declared. Such candidates will have to submit evidence of having passed the Graduate degree exam at the time of the start of the training course at IMA / INA / Air Force Academy / OTA.

Marital Status, Age and Gender Criteria

(I) Indian Military Academy (IMA): Only unmarried male candidates between the age of 18 and 23 years, as on the cut-off date mentioned in the UPSC notification, are eligible to apply.

(II) Indian Naval Academy (INA): Only unmarried male candidates aged between 18 and 23 years, as on the cut-off date, can apply.

(III) Air Force Academy: Unmarried male candidates between the age of 20 and 24 years, as on the cut-off date, are eligible to apply. Maximum age limit permitted for candidates having a valid and current DGCA India issued commercial pilot licence is 26 years. Candidates aged less than 25 years should be unmarried. However, married candidates aged more than 25 years can also apply, subject to their fulfilling the other eligibility criteria.

(IV) Officers Training Academy: (For Males) Unmarried candidates between the age of 18 and 24 years, as on the cut-off date, are eligible to apply.

(v) Officers Training Academy: (For Women) Unmarried women, issueless divorcees (having divorce papers) and issueless widows who haven’t married again, aged between 18 and 24 years as on the cut-off date, can apply.

Selection Process

The selection process comprises (a) Written Exam (B) Interview (Personality & Intelligence Test). The candidates who get shortlisted on the basis of their performance on the written exam are called for the interview by the SSB (Services Selection Board) at one of their designated centres.

CDS Exam Pattern

(I) IMA / INA / Air Force Academy Admissions

Subject Duration Max. Marks
English Language 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
Math (Quantitative Aptitude) 2 Hours 100

 

(II) Officers Training Academy (OTA) Admissions

Subject Duration Max. Marks
English Language 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100

 

Noteworthy Points

(I) The marks allotted to the interviews will be the same as those allotted to the written exam.

(II) 300 marks each will be allotted to the interviews and the written exam for IMA / INA / Air Force Academy admissions.

(III) 200 marks each will be allotted to the interviews and the written exam for Officers Training Academy (OTA) admissions.

(IV) The written exam will comprise objective type (multiple choice) questions only. Except the English language paper, the papers of other subjects are set in both Hindi and English medium.

(V) The commission may set sectional cut-offs for any or all the subject areas of the exam.

(VI) Negative marking to the tune of 1/3rd of the marks allotted to a question is applicable in case of an incorrect answer.  Questions which are not attempted by the candidate don’t attract any negative marking.

Syllabus of Math (Quantitative Aptitude)

The difficulty level of Mathematics paper will be Class 10th (Matriculation) level. A total of 100 questions are there which need to be answered in 2 hours. The topics covered under this subject are as follows:

(I) Arithmetic: Number System, Percentage, HCF & LCM, Logarithms, Ratio & Proportion, Unitary Method, Time & Distance, Euclidean Algorithm, Time & Work, Simple Interest & Compound Interest and Profit & Loss.

(II) Algebra: Basic Algebraic operations, Polynomials, Quadratic Equations, Simultaneous Linear Equations (with two variables), Surds & Indices and Rational Expressions & Conditional Identities.

(III) Trigonometry: Properties of Basic Trigonometric Functions, Trigonometric Identities and Height & Distances.

(IV) Mensuration & Geometry: Lines & Angles, Loci, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Circles, Volumes & Areas of 3 Dimensional Shapes such as Cubes, Cuboids, Parallelepiped, Cones, Spheres, Hemispheres, Cylinders and Pyramids.

(V) Statistics: Tabulation & Collections of Statistical Data, Bar Graphs, Pie Charts, Frequency Polygons, Histograms and Central Tendency (Mean, Mode &Median).

Syllabus of English Language

The test of English language checks you for a proficiency level desirable in a candidate who has completed graduation degree from an Indian University. It assesses the candidate on the following areas:

  • Comprehension of the written text
  • Correct Grammatical Expression
  • English Usage
  • Vocabulary
  • Spellings

A total of 120 questions are there which have to be answered in 2 hours. Questions from the following topics are seen in the English language written exam: Reading Comprehension (Unseen Passages), Sentence Error Spotting, Jumbled Sentences, Idioms & Phrases, Sentence Rearrangement (Para Jumbles), Fill in the Blanks (Sentence Completion), Synonyms, Antonyms, Spellings, Sentence Transformation, Identification of Parts of Speech and Direct-Indirect.

Syllabus of General Knowledge

The test of GK comprises 120 questions aimed at checking the candidate’s knowledge of current affairs and scientific temper pertaining to everyday experience and observation. Questions based on Indian History and Natural Geography will also be a part of this test.

SSB Personality & Intelligence Test

Candidates who crack the written examination have to appear in the SSB selection procedure. It comprises:

(A) Stage-I: It includes Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and Picture Perception & Description Tests (PP&DT). Based on the overall performance of candidates in PP&DT and OIR Test, they are shortlisted for further rounds.

(B) Stage-II: It includes Group Testing Officer Tasks, Interview, Psychological Tests and the Conference. This stage is held over 4 days. For further details of these tests, you can check the online portal: www.joinindianarmy.nic.in.

A candidate’s personality evaluation is conducted by 3 different assessors: a Psychologist, an Interviewing Officer and a Group Testing Officer. Marks for Conference are assigned on the basis of the candidate’s performance in the 3 techniques and Board’s decision.  All of them carry the same weightage.

How to Apply

The candidates must apply online by logging on to www.upsconline.nic.in.

CDS Exam FAQs

Question-1: Are women candidates eligible to apply for CDS?

Answer-1: Yes women candidates are eligible, but they can apply only for Officers Training Academy (Short Service Commission) positions.

Question-2: Is there any limit on the number of attempts that are permitted to candidates applying for the CDS exam?

Answer-2: No, there is no upper limit on the number of attempts. Candidates can appear in the exam any number of times, subject to their fulfilling the age criteria.

Question-3: What is the frequency of the exam?

Answer-3: The exam is conducted twice every year, generally in the months of February and November.

Question-4: How can I apply for the CDS exam?

Answer-4: Candidates need to apply online on the website of the UPSC (www.upsconline.nic.in).

Question-5: Can only unmarried candidates apply for the CDS exam?

Answer-5: No. Married candidates can also apply for certain vacancies subject to their fulfilling the other relevant criteria.

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About the Course

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