Both AFCAT and CDS are conducted to select suitable candidates for training in the academies for the post of commissioned officer in the Indian Armed Forces. While the complete AFCAT procedure is conducted by the Air-Force CDS exam, which is conducted by UPSC, and SSB for both exams is conducted by respective SSB boards, selected candidates go through the SSB interview, and those who are recommended by SSB undergo a medical examination. Only candidates declared medically “fit” are issued joining letters, subject to their rank in the final merit list calculated on the basis of the aggregate marks in written and SSB interviews.
AFCAT Entry admits candidates to Air Force Academy where
- AFA (Air Force Academy, Dundigal) where candidates train for a duration of 74 weeks in the case of Flying and Tech branches and 52 weeks for non-tech branches, before being commissioned as Flying Officers in Indian Air Force. The nature of the commission is SSC for flying branches and both permanent and temporary for ground-duty branches.
CDS Exam is conducted for the following training academies:
- IMA (Indian Military Academy, Dehradun) where candidates train for 1.5 years before being commissioned as Lt. in Indian Army. The nature of the commission is permanent.
- AFA (Air Force Academy, Dundigal) where candidates train for a duration of 74 weeks in the case of Flying and Tech branches and 52 weeks for non-tech branches, before being commissioned as Flying Officers in Indian Air Force. The nature of the commission is permanent.
- INA (Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala) where candidates train for 18 months before being commissioned as Sub-Lt. in Indian Navy. The nature of the commission is permanent.
- OTA (Officer Training Academy, Chennai) where candidates train for 49 weeks before being commissioned as a lieutenant in Indian Army. The nature of the commission here is temporary.
- Age Limit: Flying Branch: 20-24 years and Ground Duty Branch: 20-26 years
- Educational Qualifications:
- Flying Branch: Minimum of 50 % in Physics and Maths at 10+2 level and
- BE/B. Tech with a minimum of 60% marks or Graduate from a recognized university with a minimum of 60%.
- Ground Duty(Technical) Branch :
- For Tech Branch: Minimum of 50 % in Physics and Maths at 10+2 level and B.E/B.Tech in one of the streams as per notification.
- Ground Duty(Non-Technical) Branch :
- Weapon Systems (WS) Branch. Candidates should have mandatorily passed with a minimum of 50% marks each in Maths and Physics at 10+2 level and (aaa) Graduation with a minimum of three years of degree courses in any discipline from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent. OR (aab) BE/B Tech degree (Four years course) from a recognised University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.
- Administration: Passed 10+2 and Graduate Degree (Minimum three years degree course) in any discipline from a recognised university with a minimum of 60% marks
- Accounts Branch: Passed 10+2 and done graduation in any of the following streams with 60 % marks or equivalent from a recognized university:- (aaa) B. Com Degree (Min three years course). (aab) Bachelor of Business Administration (with specialization in Finance)/ Bachelor of Management Studies (with specialization in Finance)/ Bachelor of Business Studies (with specialization in Finance) (aac) Qualified CA/ CMA/ CS/ CFA. (aad) B.Sc. with specialization in Finance.
- Education: Passed 10+2 and Post-Graduation with 50% marks in any discipline including integrated courses offering PG (Single degree without permission to exit and lateral entry) and with 60% marks in Graduation in any disciple
- Meteorology: Passed 10+2 and Post Graduate Degree in any Science stream/ Mathematics/ Statistics/ Geography/ Computer Applications/ Environmental Science/ Applied Physics/ Oceanography/ Meteorology/ Agricultural Meteorology/ Ecology & Environment/ Geo-physics/ Environmental Biology with a minimum of 50% marks in aggregate of all papers put together (Provided Maths and Physics were studied at Graduation Level with a minimum of 55% marks in each).
CDS Exam :
- Age Limit: IMA: 19-24 years, OTA: 19-25 years, AFA: 20-24 years, and INA: 19-24 years
- Education :
- IMA and OTA: Graduate from any recognized university/ or in the final year of graduation and can get the degree in advance to commencement of the course.
- INA: Completed B.Tech/B.E or in the final year of engineering
- AFA: Degree from any recognized university with Physics and Maths at 10+2 level or Bachelor in Engineering
- AFCAT Exam :
- There will be a total of 100 questions with a time limit of 2 hours from General Awareness, Reasoning, Numerical Ability, Military Aptitude and English.
- There will be +3 marks for each correct answer and -1 for an incorrect answer.
- Candidates who opt for technical branches have to give EKT (Engineering Knowledge Test) wherein there will have to attempt a total of 50 questions in 45 minutes. The questions will be based on Mechanical, Computer Science and Electrical & Electronics. The scheme of marking will be the same as the main paper
- CDS Exam :
- There are three papers: English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics
- Each paper is of 100 marks.
- Correct Answer: +1 Wrong Answer: -0.33
- Time-Limit for each paper is 2 hours.
- Candidates who fill OTA as their first preference have to attempt only two papers: English and General Knowledge
There is much more variety in questions of CDS as there are three papers for three sections whereas in AFCAT all are combined into one. Whereas CDS demands accuracy AFCAT requires a good pace of problem-solving.
Both exams can easily be cracked if candidates have a strategic plan. The focus should be on conceptual clarity as once concepts are cleared you won’t have to start from zero again in case you reappear.
To crack the SSB Interview and join the Indian Army as an Officer, You can join our SSB interview live classes batch and we recommend you to Enroll SSB INTERVIEW ONLINE COURSE. Trusted by thousands of defence aspirants.