What Is CDS Exam UPSC?

Gentleman Cadet at IMA

CDS stands for Combined Defence Services, candidates  who wants to be a part of Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy have to apply for Combined Defence Services Examination. CDS exam is conducted twice in a year by UPSC (Union Public Services Conducted), candidates who have cleared CDS written exam will be called for interview by Service Selection Board (SSB) and the successful candidates will be appointed with respective training academies.

The Notification for the CDS exam is usually released in the months of October and June, and CDS exam is conducted twice in year in the months February and November.

What is CDS Exam

Its a written test conducted by UPSC two times every year. CDS written exam has three different tests namely English, General Knowledge and Mathematics. Under the topic of “what is cds exam” we are going to discus about required educational qualification and age limit along with instructions and preparation of CDS written examination.

 Eligibility criteria for UPSC conducted CDS Exam:

  • Age Limit for CDS Exam

Indian Military Academy         :   19-24 years
Air Force Academy                   :   19-24 years
Naval Academy                         :   19-22 years
Officers’ Training Academy  :   19-27 years

  • Educational Qualification for CDS Exam
  • Degree of a recognized University or equivalent for IMA and OTA
  • B.Sc. with Physics & Mathematics or Bachelor of Engg for Naval Academy
  • B.Sc. with Physics and/or Mathematics or Bachelor of Engg for Air Force Academy


For CDS exam, applicants can be from any stream but for entry to Air Force and Navy, candidates should have studied physics and maths up to Class 12. Candidates who are studying in the final year degree course and have yet to pass the final year degree examination can also apply for CDS Exam.

  • Syllabus for CDS Exam

Candidates who have opted for IMA, NA and AFA will write objective type three papers each of 100 marks i.e. English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics.

Candidates who have opted for OTA only will write objective-type two papers each of 100 marks i.e. English and General Knowledge. To Know More Click Here

  • Instructions for CDS Exam
  • The whole paper will be comprise of multiple choice questions only.
  • Negative is applicable in CDS examination, 1\3rd marks will be deducted on every wrong answer.
  • Commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks in any one or in all the subjects.
  • Use of calculators are not allowed for the candidates for answering the objective type papers like Test Booklets.

To know more about instruction on CDS Exams , Click Here


Candidate who have cleared their written CDS exam will be called service selection board (SSB) and two stage selection procedure will be conducted based on Psychological Aptitude Test and Intelligence Test. To qualify,  a candidate needs to score minimum qualifying marks separately in written exam and SSB test as fixed by the commission. Qualified candidates will then be placed in the final order of merit on the basis of total marks secured by them in the Written examination and the Services Selection Board Tests along with consideration of their medical fitness.

  •  How to Prepare for CDS Exam

To help those candidates in preparation who are interested in writing CDS Exam, SSBCrackExams provides an online coaching program named that helps candidates in CDS Exam preparation in a quickest and convenient way.

SSBCrackExams team hopes that your doubts regarding “what is CDS exam” have been cleared by reading this article, if you have any further queries please ask in the comment section.


  1. Prem

    Sir if we complete bcom degree we can take the exam
  2. Prem

    Sir if we complete bcom we can take the exam
  3. Sameer sharma

    Hi sir can I get CDS with IGNOU back degree
  4. Aasif

    Is there any criteria for height or weight...or anybody can appear?

    Sir my name is Mayuresh satish ahire ,im from nashik , So my question was I'm studying in SY in arts so I can apply cds yes or no
  6. archa anil

    can a female join in the indian naval academy after completing 12th
  7. Harish

    Hi sir, I'm going to write CDS exam i have a doubt on it . which if i pass the exam once it is applicable for attend the ssb interview multiple times..
    1. Leo Nova Rabinson

  8. akshay

    sir ota me join karunga
  9. Udhav

    I am student of commerce and completing my class 12 can I give the exam of CDS
    1. Leo Nova Rabinson

      yes. If you have Physics and math in 12th, You can.
  10. Soni

    I am student of b. A can I gave exam of cds
    1. Arpit

      Of course
  11. Priyanka sutar

    Me CDS preparation kese kru................ can i jond CDS
    1. singh

      Padna ata h apko
  12. Ashish Jadhav

    Sr I'm Complete 12 science in pcb group. Can I give exam of cdse?
    1. Leo Nova Rabinson

      if you have a degree, you can
  13. Vaishali gupta

    Sir I am a bio student..can I join cds
  14. Chopda Jayesh Rajubhai

    Hello sir, Me PH me aata hu so ye Exm de sakta hu naval academy ki?
  15. Mohit Dhiman

    Can I give exam after passing 12th class
    1. Leo Nova Rabinson

      No. You want to complete a degree
  16. Rajesh Kumar

    I am currently an integrated Msc student in a research institute, NISER. I am from biology background. May I know how my biology research degree can help me get into cds.
  17. richa gupta

    Mai CDS Ki preparation kase kruu??
    1. axelblaze

      mat karo jao
    2. bobby

      richa gupta ji kya pako patta ha ki apko reply me kya mila h
  18. sana mushtak shaikh

    Hello sir, sir im a bcom student. can i join CDSE
    1. Anil

      Yeah. ..brother u can ...but only for Indian military academy ...because for naval and air force u should have studied physics and math upto 12th level
  19. suresh

    exam is negetive mark?
  20. Mohsin khan

    Comment sir maine b.a ki hai mai cds mai form apply kar sakta hu
    1. Omprakash netam

  21. Anubhav Mishra

    Sir iski hight kitni honi chahie
  22. sai

    Sir my eyes one is small onether one is bigger i don't have any eye sigt my i eligible for cds, ssb
    1. Sewi

      I'm Bachelor of pol.sc student. Am I eligible for CDS Exam
  23. khushboo kushwaha

    Hii im tha b.tech 4th year .aAm i able for CDS?
  24. Rahul GEHLAUT

    I am student of medical sciences and I waanaa join indian army. I m graduated in Bsc (med.) am I applicable for cds exam If yes then tell me how?????
  25. B Saravanakumar

    I have completed my B.E in may 2016.am I eligible for cds exam..?
  26. Rameshwar Singh

    i want to know if i am preparing in hindi version, am i should prepare in english version of cds. Please guide me
    1. Anil

      It is better for u if u will prepare in English
  27. Shalin Roger

    I'm in my pre final year. I,ve already applied for my AFCAT. But my atmost passion is to enter into defence. So i thought of applying for SSC(T) in Indian army. But its showing that I am not eligible. Any guesses ????
  28. Gaurav.panwar

    I am in b.a final "can i join iaf.
    1. ashutosh

      Apply for AFCAT next month
  29. Abhishek

    Till what age limit service will be offered after clearing the interview??
  30. Shreenath Iyer

    I wanted to know about the age limit for Officers training academy i have completed my graduation and i am currently 27 am i eligible
    1. Rahul Singh

      Following is age limit for CDS 2015-1 in OTA, Male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January 1991 and not later than 1st January 1997 are only eligible. You are check your age eligibilty accordingly.

2 Pings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.