CDS (II) 2021 Notification (Exam Calendar out), Eligibility, Syllabus, Pattern & Cutoff

Updated On -

Sep 23, 2020

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 CDS 2021 official notification will be released by UPSC in October 2020 (tentatively). It can be anticipated that the Combined Defence Services (I) 2021 will be scheduled on the first Sunday of February 2021. If the aspirants will complete their graduation by the anticipated time, they can apply for the exam. For more updates, the aspirants should check the official website of UPSC that is The mode of UPSC CDS I 2021 will be pen and paper. The CDS entrance test is conducted twice in a year for completing the admission to the Indian naval academy, Indian Military Academy, Officers’ Training Academy, and the Air Force Academy.

Practice Free All India CDS Mock Tests free of cost.

This exam consists of two stages such as the written test and SSB Interview. Both men and women can apply for several posts of 418 vacancies offered by the CDS Exam. The Application Fees is 200/- which need to be paid online in the Application Procedure. Check Here CDS 2020 Application Form

Latest Updates:

UPSC has released the 2021 exam calendar and the CDS II exam is scheduled for November 14, 2021. Check the official dates here.

The results of CDS(I) 2020 have been announced on March 23, 2020, in the PDF format on their official website The further notification for CDS(II) will be released on August 05, 2020. Check Here CDS (I) 2020 Results

  • The CDS syllabus of the Written test includes Three sections: English Language, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.
  • After cracking the CDS theoretical written test the qualifying candidates need to prepare for a two-staged SSB Interview. Check Here CDS 2020 Selection Process
  • Through this interview, recruiters will recruit the candidates as per their capability and preference.
  • candidates can expect 56,100 - 1,77,500 at the beginning of their careers.

Click here to read the official notification

Prepp Test Series

Check Here CDS 2020 syllabus and Exam Pattern

CDS 2021 Highlights

Name of Exam Combined Defence Services
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission
Mode of Application Online
Application Fees INR 200
Mode of Exam Offline
Total Vacancies 418
Frequency of Exam Twice a year
Type of Exam Written test ( objective type ) and Interview
Negative Marking - 0.33( for each wrong attempt)
Stages of Selection
  1. Written test
  2. SSB Interview
Official website
Contact Number 011-23098543/ 011-23381125 / 011-23385271
CDS Exam Dates 2021

UPSC CDS (1) 2021 Tentative Exam Dates

Events Important Dates
Release of CDS 1 Notification 2021 & Online Forms Last week of October 2020
Last Date to fill UPSC CDS 1 2021 Application form Last week of November 2020
Release of CDS I 2021 Admit Card 2nd week of January 2021
Combined Defence Services Examination (I) 2021 February 7, 2021 (tentative)
Release of Answer Keys February 7, 2021 (tentative)
Declaration of CDS 2021 Written Result April 2021
Dates of Personality Test/ SSB Interview July/ August 2021
UPSC CDS 1 2021 Final Result October 2021

Also check CDS (II) Exam 2021, since the examination is not yet conducted. Read the following table:

CDS (II) Exam 2021: Important Dates

Events Dates
Starting date of Application Form August 4, 2021
Closing date of Application Form  August 24, 2021
Date of Admit Card 3 weeks before Exam
Exam Date November 14, 2021
Date of Results December 2021 (tentative)

To Know more CDS(II) 2020 Application Form and Procedure

CDS Eligibility 2021

CDS 2021: Eligibility Criteria

CDS 2021 Eligibility Criteria is divided into 4 sections: Nationality, Age, Marital Status, and Gender. Though candidates from both genders can participle in this exam the criteria are different. Physical fitness also plays a vital role here. To know in details, click CDS 2021 Eligibility Criteria


Candidate must be unmarried and must be any of the followings:

  1. a Citizen of India,
  2. A subject of Bhutan,
  3. A subject of Nepal,
  4. A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India,
  5. A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.


  • Candidates under 2, 3, 4, and 5 must-have a certificate or proof issued by the Indian Government in favor of their statement.
  • Candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal are not required to show any kind of certificate of eligibility.
  • A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary may be admitted to the examination provisionally subject to the necessary certificate being given to him/her by the Govt. before the declaration of result by UPSC.

Age Limits, Sex, and Marital Status

As per the declaration of UPSC, the candidates need to be unmarried and should not be a widower or should not be a divorcee. Here is a chart clarifying the eligibility criteria related to Age relaxation, gender, and marital:

Category Age (years) Gender Marital Status
Indian Military Academy (IMA) 19 – 24 Male Unmarried
Indian Naval Academy (INA) 19- 22 Male Unmarried
Air Force Academy 19- 23 Male <25 years unmarried or >25 years both married and unmarried.
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for Men) 19- 25 Male Unmarried
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) 19- 25 Female Unmarried Women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible.

Educational Qualification:

Candidates who are applying for the CDS Exam, have to be a graduate or at least appearing the final exam of eligible degrees.

  • For I.M.A. and OTA, candidates should have a degree of a university or equivalent degree from institutions that have been recognized by Central/State Government.
  • For INA( Indian Naval Academy), candidates will need to have a Degree in Engineering from a recognized University/institution.
  • To apply to the Air Force Academy, applicants need a degree of a recognized university( with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2) or a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering.

Note: candidates who are in the final year of their eligible degree also can apply for CDS. but they will need to show the proof of passing the qualifying exam by a date to be specified in the Commission’s Notice for the CDS Exam.

Practice Elementary Maths Sample Papers for free during your preparation time of CDS Exam

How to Apply for CDS 2021?

The mode of application is online. There is no other option to apply for CDS 2021. Candidates are advised strongly that they should not wait till the last date for submission of Application Form. There are 4 steps to fill up the CDS Application Form:

Step 1: CDS Registration

  • Go to the home, UPSC official website –
  • Click on Part 1 registration to open the CDS Registration Form.
  • Enter the required details: candidate’s name, Date of Birth, parents’ name, address, category, mobile number, email address and other basic details.
  • A message will be sent to your mobile number and email address. It will contain the candidate’s registration number and password.

Step 2: Pay CDS Application Fee

For general candidates, the application fees are INR 200, but candidates who belong to the reserved category will be exempted. CDS Application Fees can be paid both online and offline.

Category Fees 
General/ OBC/ EWS INR 200
Female (All Categories) Exempted
SC/ ST Exempted
PH Exempted

To pay online mode: Application Fees can be paid in online mode via Debit/ Credit/Master/Visa Card or SBI Netbanking. If you are paying online, take a print out of the payment receipt for future reference.

To pay by cash: candidates will generate a bank challan during the CDS registration process and submit the same along with the fees at any SBI bank whichever branch they prefer.

Step 3: Fill the CDS Application Form

  • Candidates must complete their application procedure by mentioning the personal details and academic details.
  • Every candidate has to choose their preference for the positions among IAF, IMA, INA, and OTA.
  • Select CDS Exam Centre as per your preference. This will be considered as your most preferred venue for the written test.

Caution: fill the application form very carefully. No further correction will be allowed once the form is submitted.

Step 4: Upload CDS Photo, Signature, and Photo ID Proof

Required documents and their size and format is mentioned below:

Documents Size Pixels Bit Format
Photograph 20 – 300 Kbs 350x350 – 1000x1000 24 .jpg
Signature 20 – 300 Kbs 350x350 – 1000x1000 24 .jpg
Photo Identity Card 20 – 300 Kbs _ _ .pdf

Other required details:

Other than the mentioned documents, candidates have to mention several documents as proof:

  • Matriculation and Degree Certificates.
  • Any Valid ID proof ( Adhaar card/ Voter ID/ PAN card/Driving license/ Passport)

Caution: submitted details and documents must contain correct information. Any kind of false information can be taken under legal action. Once the form is submitted and the payments are processed, cannot be refunded for any reason.

CDS Exam Center 2021

CDS 2021: Exam Center

Candidates who are applying for CDS 2021, must choose exam centre from the below-list while they are filling the Application Form:

Name of Exam Centres
Agartala Ahmedabad Aizawl
Bengaluru Bareilly Bhopal
Chandigarh Chennai  Cuttack
Dehradun Delhi Dharwad
Dispur  Gangtok Hyderabad
Imphal  Itanagar  Jaipur 
Jammu  Jorhat  Kochi 
Kohima  Kolkata  Lucknow 
Madurai Mumbai Nagpur 
Panaji(Goa)  Patna Port Blair
Prayagraj(Allahabad)  Raipur Ranchi Sambalpur 
Shillong  Shimla  Srinagar 
Thiruvananthapuram  Tirupati  Udaipur 
Visakhapatnam  - -
CDS Admit Card 2021

CDS 2021 Admit Card

CDS Admit Card is expected to be released 3 weeks before the exam. Admit Card will not be sent to any applicants through SMS or email. They need to log in on the official website of UPSC and download individual admit card: the details every applicant will find in the Admit Card are:

  1. Name and address of the allotted exam centre.
  2. Roll number
  3. Category
  4. Photograph
  5. Signature
  6. Name, etc.

To Download CDS Admit Card

Candidates who have filled the application form, should follow the instructions to download CDS Admit Card:

  • Visit the UPSC official website-
  • On the homepage, check the ‘What’s New’ Section and click on “e-Admit Card-CDS Examination(II) 2021” link
  • In the new page, click “ Download”
  • Read all the instructions and can take a printout for future reference
  • Click on yes and then a new page will open.
  • In this new page enter the following details:
    • Registration Number and Date of birth
    • Or
    • Roll number and date of birth
    • Or
    • Name, Father’s name and date of birth
  • Then click on “Submit”
  • The online Admit card for CDS 2021 will appear on the screen.
  • Download the softcopy of the Admit Card and also reserve it as well as take a printout of it.

To uplift your General Knowledge Skill, click here

CDS Syllabus & Exam Pattern 2021

CDS 2021: Syllabus and Exam Pattern

CDS syllabus and Exam pattern are different for IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA. the written test is a one-day exam, it is quite a long procedure. Candidates applying for IMA, INA, and AFA give the test of 6 hours containing 300 marks whereas the OTA applicants give 4 hours of exam containing 200 marks.

CDS 2021 Syllabus

CDS syllabus consists of three sections: English Language, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics, and Elementary Mathematics are divided into 7 parts such as Arithmetic Ability, Trigonometry, Algebra, Mensuration, Geometry, Statistics, and Numbers System.

Section Topics
  • Usage of words, 
  • Grammar, 
  • Vocabulary,
  •  Antonyms & Synonyms, 
  • Parts of Speech,
  •  Direct & Indirect Speech,
  •  Idioms & Phrases, 
  • Active & Passive Voice, 
  • Ordering of words in a sentence,
  •  Spotting Errors, etc. 
General Knowledge
  • Indian History, 
  • Indian Geography, 
  • Current Events (National & International),
  • Indian Culture & Heritage,
  •  Indian Economy, 
  • General Politics,
  •  Indian Constitution, 
  • Biology
  • Statement true/false
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Defence-related
  • Environment
  • Current Awareness 
  • Sociology
  • Award
  • Sport
  • Book

Subsection and Topics of Elementary Mathematics

Sub-Section Topics
Arithmetic Ability
  • Number System
  • Fundamental operations
  • Unitary method
  • time and distance
  • time and work
  • percentages
  • applications to simple and compound interest
  • profit and loss
  • ratio and proportion
  • variation
  • Elementary Number Theory
  • Division algorithm
  • Prime and composite numbers
  • Tests of divisibility
  • Factorization Theorem
  • H.C.F. and L.C.M
  • Euclidean algorithm
  • Logarithms
  • Basic Operations
  • Simple factors
  • Remainder Theorem
  • H.C.F. & L.C.M.
  • Theory of polynomials
  • Solutions of quadratic equations
  • analytical and graphical solutions
  • Simultaneous linear inequations
  • Practical problems – simultaneous
  • linear equations or inequations
  • Rational expressions
  • conditional identities
  • Laws of indices
  • Simple cases of s and distances
  • Use of trigonometric tables
  • Simple trigonometric identities
  • Sine ×, cosine ×, Tangent × when 0° < × < 90° Values of sin ×, cos × and tan ×, for × = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°
  • Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle, and circle.
  • Areas of figures
  • Surface area and volume of cuboids
  • lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders
  • surface area and volume of spheres.
  • Lines and angles
  • Plane and plane figures
  • Theorems on:
    • Properties of angles at a point
    • Parallel lines
    • Sides and angles of a triangle
    • Congruency of triangles
    • Similar triangle
    • The concurrence of medians and altitudes
    • Properties of angles, sides & diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle, and square. 
    • Circles and its properties including tangents and normals,
    •  Loci.
  • Collection and tabulation of statistical data
  • Graphical representation frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts, etc.
  • Measures of central tendency.
Numbers System
  • Natural numbers
  • Integers
  • Rational and Real numbers

Practice Previous Years Question Papers more to know about the exam pattern

CDS 2021 Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme

The syllabus for IMA, INA, and AFA consists of 3 sections: English language, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics. On the other hand, the syllabus of OTA consists of 2 sections: English and General knowledge. There will be a negative marking of -0.33 for each incorrect attempt.

CDS Exam: Marking Scheme

The marking scheme is different for each section of the CDS Exam:

  • In both sections English and General Awareness, for each correct answer, candidates will obtain +0.83 and for each wrong attempt will be deducted -0.27 marks.
  • In Mathematics, candidates will gain +1 marks for every correct answer and will be deducted - 0.33 for each wrong attempt.

CDS Exam Pattern for IMA, INA, and AFA:

Section Number of Questions Duration Maximum Marks
English  120 2 hours 100
General Knowledge 120 2 Hours 100
Elementary Mathematics 100 2 hours 100
Total - 6 hours 300

CDS Exam Pattern for OTA (officer’ Training Academy)

Section Number of Questions Duration Maximum marks
English 120 2 hours 100
General Knowledge 120 2 hours 100
Total  --- 4 hours 200

Exam Day Guidelines of CDS 2021

  • Do not forget to bring a CDS 2020 admit card along with the other required documents such as a photo of the candidates, identification proof to the exam center.
  • The aspirants can bring a hardboard or clipboard apart from carrying a black ball pen to the center of the CDS exam.
  • The invigilator will give a sheet to the aspirants for doing their rough work.
  • Candidates do not need to bring loose sheets, notebooks, calculators, or any other electronic gadgets, drawing instruments, mathematical equipment, stencils, test booklets, rough sheets, log tables, etc.
  • Bringing a mobile phone or any digital gadgets to the CDS exam center would be highly offensive. Also, you should not carry Bluetooth or pagers or any other communication devices.
  • Do not carry any sharp objects to the exam centers.
CDS Selection Process 2021

CDS Selection and Interview Procedure

Candidates who successfully qualify the written test will only be eligible for the Interview procedure. CDS Interview has 2 stages:

  • Stage I contains Officer Intelligence Rating Test that means this test will check candidates’ capacity of Picture Perception and Description Test (PP&DT)
  • Stage II contains tests like Psychological Test, Interview, Group Testing Office Task, and Conference.

Candidates also can request for postponing the Interview. This request will only be considered if the circumstances are very genuine and if it is convenient for Army headquarters /Air Headquarter /Naval HQ will be the sole deciding authority.

After the interview process, candidates will be taken for the document verification. Documents like Qualification Certificates, Proof of Identity( PAN, Aadhar, Voter Card), Birth Certificate, Passport-size Photograph, Category Certificate if belong to Reserve category and Residence Proof will be required in the document verification procedure.

CDS 2021: Vacancies

The number of vacancies varies every year. UPSC is offering 418 vacancies through CDS exam Here is tabular which denotes the number of vacancies each post has:

Name of Course Number of Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun— 150th (DE) Course commencing in January 2021 [including 13 vacancies reserved for NCC `C’ Certificate (Army Wing) holders] 100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala — Course commencing in January 2021 Executive (General Service)/Hydro [including 06 vacancies for NCC ‘C’ Certificate (Naval Wing through NCC Special entry ) holders ]. 45
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad—(Pre-Flying) Training Course commencing in January 2021 i.e. No. 209 F(P) Course. [03 vacancies are reserved for NCC `C’ Certificate (Air Wing) holders through NCC Spl. Entry] 32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai (Madras)— 113th SSC (Men) Course NT) commencing in April 2021 [(i) 170 vacs for SSC (Men) (NT) UPSC, (ii) 05 vacs for JAG (Men) (NT) April, 2021 Non-UPSC and (iii) 50 vacs for NCC Special entry Non-UPSC]. 225
Officers Training Academy, Chennai—27th 16 SSC Women (Non-Technical) Course commencing in April 2021.  16
Total 418

CDS 2021: Salary structure

The salary scale of commissioned officers recruited through CDS is quite high and tempting. The range of salary changes with the rank and years of service. The expected salary that the candidates can expect is below:

Rank  Expected Salary
Lieutenant to Major INR 15,600-39,100 ( PB-3 )
Lieutenant Colonel to Major General INR 37,400-67,000 ( PB-4 )
Lieutenant General HAG Scale INR 67,000/- ( annual increment @ 3% ) – 79.000
VCO / AS / Army Cdr / Lt Gen ( NFSG ) INR 80,000/- ( Fixed )
COAS 90,000/- ( Fixed )

CDS Other Facilities and Allowances

Other than the gross salary, Commissioned Officers gets a lot more facilities and allowances than any other government jobs are offering:

  • Other than the above-mentioned pay band, a fixed sum of INR 6000/- per month is also payable as Military Service Pay ( MSP ).
  • During the training period, recruited candidates will get a fixed Stipend of INR 21,000/- per month.
  • The officer entitled to the post of Captain gets an average qualification Grant. It can increase from INR 6000/- to INR 20,000/-.


Various types of allowances are provided to all officers of each post though the number of allowances may vary.

  • Dearness Allowances(DA): Admissible at the same rates and under the same conditions as are applicable to the Civilian Gazetted Officers from time to time.
  • Kit Maintenance Allowance: Subsumed into the newly proposed Dress Allowance i.e INR 20,000/-per year.(variable)
  • Transport allowance: INR 3,200/- + DA thereon p.m. in A-1/A class cities and Rupee1,600/- + DA thereon p.m. at other places shall be admissible to officers.
  • Highly Active Field Area Allowance: INR 6,780/- to INR 8,400/- per month.
  • Compensatory Field Area Allowance: INR 4,200/- to INR 5,200/- per month.
  • High Altitude Allowance: INR 1,060 p.m. to INR 11,200 per month above 9000ft though depends on the post and ranking as well as the location of the posting.
  • Siachen Allowance: INR 14,000/- to INR 42,500/- per month.
  • Uniform allowance: Subsumed into the newly proposed Dress Allowance i.e. INR. 20,000/-per year.
  • Free Rations: In Fd Area to all Defence Officers and Defence officers posted in peace area to get Ration Money Allowance (RMA) every month
  • Force also allows a special Children Education Allowance to all its officers.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • The primary responsibility of the Armed Forces in defending the territorial integrity of the nation.
  • Armed Forces also assist civil authorities if required whenever the need arises like in the case of disasters.

CDS 2021: Career Growth and Opportunities

Candidates are always excited about the career opportunities and growth that have been offered to qualified CDS candidates. Let’s discuss the ranks and promotions:

Ranks Promotion (years of service)
Lieutenant On completion of training
Captain 2 years
Major 6 years 
Lieutenant Colonel 13 years
Colonel(TS) 16 years
Colonel 15 years
Brigadier 23 years
Major General 25 years 
Lieutenant General 28 years 
General No restrictions
CDS Results & Cutoff 2021

Solve CDS Mock Tests both in Hindi or English during your preparation time

CDS 2021: Results And Cutoff

UPSC releases two types of Cutoff :

  1. CDS cutoff of Written
  2. Final CDS Cut off

Candidates need to score a minimum of 20% marks to qualify in each subject. Those who are declared as qualified candidates will only be able to attend SSB Interview. The final Cutoff is announced based on the written test and SSB Interview.

Academy Expected Cutoff
OTA(Women and Men) 85-99
IMA 115- 125
INA 110- 120
AFA 135-145

Previous Year Cutoff

CDS (I) 2019 had a sectional cutoff also. From previous year cutoff candidates will have an idea the cutoff range:

Academy Written Exam  Final Exam 
IMA 130 225
INA 110 225
AFA 150 264
OTA(Men) 86 169
OTA(Women) 86 172

How to check CDS 2021 cutoff?

To check cutoff, candidates should follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Visit the official website
  • Go to the cutoff from the 'Examination' tab
  • Click on the link
  • Course wise cutoff will be in the PDF format ( download and save it if needed)

To know more, click CDS 2021 Cutoff and Final Results

CDS I Answer Key

Once the CDS 2021 exam will be completed, the coaching centers will first publish the unofficial answer keys. The aspirants can check their four sets that are Set A, B, C, and D sets of questions. As per the answer key, the candidates will be capable to examine their number of right and wrong answers and can assume their scores.

Steps to Download the CDS

  1. Open the official website of UPSC that is
  2. Click the Examination tab from the Website Menu Bar
  3. Now, you have to select and click the Answer Key option
  4. Choose the particular set of paper answer key link
  5. You can now see a PDF file on the display screen once you click the link
  6. Lastly, the aspirants can download the PDF and then can take a printout of the answer key for your future reference.

Boost up your English Knowledge before CDS Exam

CDS 2021: Preparation Tips

Every candidate has their own method of preparation and rules. But there are few things those should be kept in mind while you are preparing for CDS Exam:

  • At the starting of preparation, go through CDS Syllabus and CDS Exam Pattern very carefully so that you can understand it thoroughly.
  • If you have planned to appear for CDS, try to start your preparation at least 4 to 6 months before CDS Exam.
  • Follow the regular schedule that you have made by yourself as per your merit and comfort according to CDS Syllabus.
  • Follow Current Affairs on a daily basis both online and offline.
  • Try solving the question papers of previous years and sample question papers you can get and save the scratch papers for analyzing your merit.
  • Take mocks tests by setting up the timers in your watch. This will help you to maintain speed and accuracy to develop yourself.

Check CDS 2020 Preparation Tips

Recommendation of Books for CDS Exam

Here are some recommended books which candidates should follow with online mock tests and can find online market also:

Subject Name of Books  Author / Publisher
English Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & Composition S. Chand
Word Power Made Easy Norman Lewis(goyal Publishers)
Objective General English  S.P. Bakshi(Arihant Publishers
General Knowledge General Knowledge (Latest Edition Manohar Pandey( Arihant Publication)
Manorama Yearbook Malayala Manorama Publishers
Mathematics Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination Dr R. S. Aggarwal
Mathematics for CDS Examination Dr R. S. Aggarwal

Candidates usually get worried about General knowledge. Following newspapers like Times of India, The Hindustan etc will provide enough general knowledge and are really affordable for every kind of candidate. All the sections of the CDS Exam is important equally.

Pay Scale after Passing CDS (I & II)

The pay scale for different ranks will be published with CDS Exam 2021 Notification by UPSC. The grade pay of all level officers varies as per their ranks. During their entire service period, the officers will get the Military Service Pay. On the other hand, the cadets also get a stipend of 56,100 per month during their training time. Follow the below-mentioned table to know more about the salary breakdown of all ranks:

Rank Pay Scale Grade Pay MSP
Lieutenant PB-3/15600-39100 5400 15,500
Captain PB-3/15600-39100 6100 15,500
Major PB-3/15600-39100 6600 15,500
Lt Colonel PB-4/37400-67000 8000 15,500
Colonel PB-4/37400-67000 8700 15,500
Brigadier PB-4/37400-67000 8900 15,500
Major Brigadier PB-4/37400-67000 10000 NIL
CDS 2021 FAQs

CDS 2021 FAQs

Ques. Can women apply for CDS exam?

Ans. Yes, women can apply for CDS exam. They are eligible for OTA and are allotted SSC (Short Service Commission) in the non-Technical cadre. Check Here CDS 2020 Eligibility

Ques. Can I give CDS exam after class 12?

Ans. No, you cannot apply after qualifying class 12. To be eligible for CDS 2021, you must have passed a Bachelor’s degree from any recognised university or institution.

Ques. What is the difference between CDS 1 and CDS 2?

Ans. Union public service commission i.e UPSC conducts Combined Defence Service Exam (CDS Exam) twice a year i.e CDS 1 & CDS 2.

  • CDS 1 - in the month of Feb ( training will start in the month of April)
  • CDS 2 - in the month of November ( training will start in the month of October)
  • CDS is a written exam which one has to clear for further SSB interview.

Ques. How many attempts are there for CDS?

Ans. There are no limits of attempts for CDS Exam until you age limit exceeds.

Ques. How much percentage is required for CDS exam?

Ans. There is no fixed percentage, you just need to be a graduate and need to pass CDS exam.

Ques. What is the mode of CDS written exam?

Ans. It is offline exam. For both writing and marking answers in the OMR sheet (Answer Sheet) candidates must use black ball pen only. Do not use Pencil or Ink pen.

Ques. What is CDS?

Ans. CDS is Combined Defense Services Examination, conducted to recruit eligible candidates for Indian Military Academy, Officers' Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

Ques. Who conducts CDS 2021?

Ans. The CDS exam is conducted twice annually by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) which is India's central recruiting agency.

Ques. Where will candidates be posted if they crack CDS 2021 examination?

Ans. There are few reputed government organizations, where candidates who have qualified CDS 2021 will be posted. They are listed below:

  • Indian Military Academy, Dehradun
  • Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala
  • Air Force Academy, Hyderabad
  • Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai
  • Officers Training Academy, Chennai Women (Non-Technical) Course

Ques. What is the age limit to get recruited through CDS 2021?

Ans. Various government organizations that recruit candidates with respect to their CDS 2021 scorecard is bounded with different age limits, which is elaborated below in tabular form:

Organization Age limit
Indian Military Academy 19-24 years
Air Force Academy 19-23 years
Naval Academy 19-22 years
Officers’ Training Academy 19-25 years

Ques. What is the minimum required qualification to get recruited for Indian Military Academy via CDS 2021 scorecard?

Ans. Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University or equivalent to get selected for Indian Military Academy after clearing CDS 2021 examination.

Ques. What education qualification is required to get recruited for Indian Naval Academy via CDS 2021 scorecard?

Ans. Candidates must have completed their Bachelor’s in technology aka engineering from a recognized University to get selected for Indian Naval Academy after getting through CDS 2021 examination.

Ques. What academic qualification is required in order to get recruited for Air Force Academy via CDS 2021 scorecard?

Ans. Candidates must either have a Bachelor’s degree in engineering/technology or a qualifying degree for Physics and Mathematics as subjects from a recognized University to get recruited for Indian Military Academy after qualifying CDS 2021 examination.

Ques. What education qualification is required to get recruited for Officers Training Academy through CDS 2021 scorecard?

Ans. Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University or equivalent to get selected for Officers Training Academy after qualifying CDS 2021 examination.

Ques. What academic qualification is required to get recruited for Officers Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) through CDS 2021 scorecard?

Ans. Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree from any recognized University or equivalent to work for Officers Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) after qualifying CDS 2021 examination.

Ques. What should be candidate’s marital status for CDS 2021?

Ans. The marital status should be different for recruitment in different CDS affiliated government organizations as listed below:

Organization Marital status
Indian Military Academy Unmarried
Indian Naval Academy Unmarried
Air Force Academy Unmarried till 25 years
Officers’ Training Academy Married or Unmarried

Ques. What is the basic exam pattern for Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy, Naval Academy?

Ans. The basic exam pattern for Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy, and Naval Academy is similar. The question paper will be objective type and the test’s syllabus and corresponding marks are listed below:

Subjects Marks
English 100
General Knowledge 100
Elementary Mathematics 100
Total 300

Ques. What is the basic exam pattern for Officers’ Training Academy?

Ans. Officers’ Training Academy’s question paper will be objective type (MCQs) and its syllabus along with the corresponding marks are listed below:

Subjects Marks
English 100
General English 100
Total 200

Ques. How can one apply for CDS 2021?

Ans. CDS 2021 application will be made via online mode from the official website of the exam conducting authority, UPSC by visiting link

Ques. What are the documents that are required to fill CDS 2021 Application Form?

Ans. All the pre-requisites for filling CDS 2021 application form are bulleted below:

  • Class 10th Mark sheet and Certificate
  • Class 12th Mark sheet
  • All the graduation Mark sheets for all the semesters
  • Those who are studying in the final year of their degree course, all the Mark sheets up to their final semester should be available.
  • Scanned image of candidate’s photograph and signature.

Ques. What is the specification for scanned photograph and signature?

Ans. Candidates need to abide by the below-mentioned specifications for successful submission of scanned photograph and signature:

Image Format Resolution Size Dimension
Candidate’s Photograph .jpg 200 dpi 3 to 40 kb 140 x 110 pixels
Candidate’s Signature .jpg 200 dpi 3 to 40 kb 110 x 140 pixels

Ques. What are the steps to fill in CDS 2021 application/registration form?

Ans. All the steps to fill in CDS 2021 application/registration form are mentioned below:

  • Log in to the official site of UPSC.
  • Locate and click on the examination tab à ‘Combined Defense Services Examination (I)’
  • CDS 2021 registration part 1 will then be displayed.
  • Candidates need to fill in all the details and hit submit.
  • Candidates will come across a registration number that needs to be kept safe.
  • They are also recommended to take a print out of CDS 2021 registration part 1.
  • Select the option Registration part 2.
  • Fill in the form and pay the registration fees
  • Enter submit.
  • A confirmation page will appear which must be saved for future reference.

Ques. What is the mode of payment for CDS 2021 application fees?

Ans. Aspirants can pay the application fees for CDS 2021 exam by cash, card or net banking. The process for rendering fees via each method is given below:

  • Pay by Cash On selecting this option, a system-generated bank challan of State Bank of India will appear on the screen. Applicants must print out this challan and submit the requisite fees by cash at any branch of the bank. They must save the student copy of the challan as the proof of payment.
  • Pay by Debit/ Credit Card or Net banking Aspirants can pay the fees through Debit/Credit card or through the Net Banking facility of State Bank of India/ State Bank of Patiala/ State Bank of Travancore/ State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur/ State Bank of Hyderabad/ State Bank of Mysore. They must enter the required payment details on the bank page and save the receipt of the transaction.

Ques. Can CDS 2021 application be canceled and requested for a refund, after the submission of the requisite application fee?

Ans. No, UPSC does not refund the application fees for CDS 2021 under any circumstance whatsoever.

Ques. Can a candidate submit multiple forms and the corresponding fees for one form be adjusted to the other?

Ans. Candidates can make multiple forms submit only under some unavoidable circumstances. However, they have to repay the fees as the fees of another form will not be adjusted for the accurate one.

Ques. How many exam centres across India will be allotted to conduct CDS 2021 examination?

Ans. There will be 41 cities in the country that will be selected as exam centres for CDS examination. However, candidates will be given an option to select the preferred centre nearest to their place in the CDS 2021 registration form part 2.

Ques. What are the stages of CDS 2021 selection process?

Ans. CDS 2021 selection process includes 4 stages as follows:

  • Written examination
  • Personal Interview
  • Document verification
  • Medical examination

Ques. What does the second stage of the CDS 2021 selection procedure, personal interview comprises of?

Ans. After the written CDS 2021 examination, UPSC conducts a personal interview for candidates who have qualified the former. This stage comprises various activities to shortlist the deserving candidates such as Group discussion, Group activities, and Interview in person.

Ques. What document will be verified by UPSC for CDS 2021?

Ans. Once written examination and personal interview are cleared by the candidate; they are required to submit the below-mentioned documents to clear with their 3rd stage of the selection procedure:

  • 10th standard mark sheet and certificates
  • 12th standard mark sheet and certificates
  • Graduation mark sheet (all semesters)
  • Graduation provisional and degree
  • Other educational documents
  • Government identity card (PAN card, smart card, voter id card, driving license and suchlike)

Ques. What does the examination conducting authority test in Medical Examination?

Ans. Medical examination is the final stage of the selection procedure for CDS 2021. In this stage, candidates will be tested on their physical fitness. Those who qualify the medical examination, will be further recruited for various government organizations.

Ques. What are the two phases of CDS 2021 results?

Ans. CDS 2021 results are segregated into two phases namely written exam results and SSB (Services Selection Board) / personality test interview. Those who manage to get in the cut off for the written test will be called for the personality test.

Ques. What is the estimated cut off for CDS 2021?

Ans. CDS 2021 expected cut off would fall in the ranges of 65-85.

Ques. What are the formulae for calculation of estimated marks for English and General Knowledge?

Ans. Estimated Score = (Total number of correct responses X 0.83) – (Number of wrong Answers X 0.33)

Ques. What are the formulae for calculation of estimated marks for Mathematics?

Ans. Estimated Score = (Total number of correct responses X 1) – (Number of wrong Answers X 0.33).

Ques. What is the time duration of CDS 2021 exam?

Ans. The time duration for CDS 2021 examination will be 6 hours (360 minutes), 2 hours for each section.

Ques. What are CDS expected cut off for Academy-wise?

Ans. The expected CDS 2021 cut -off academy wise is tabulated below:

Training Academies Location Wing UPSC CDS 2021 Cut off (Expected) Vacancies
Indian Military Academy Dehradun, UK Indian Army 120-130 100
Air Force Academy Hyderabad, AP Air Force 140-150 32
Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala, Kerala Indian Navy 100-110 45
Officers Training Academy Chennai, TN Indian Army 75-90 225(Male), 16(Female)

Ques. Can I take the CDS exam after class 12?

Ans. No, CDS is a graduation level exam and the minimum required qualification is graduation. If you are a male child however, you are eligible for NDA after class 12. You can learn more about it here.

Ques. What is the medical fitness required for CDS?

Ans. There is an array of fitness criteria that should be fulfilled in order to be eligible for the CDS exam. The height, weight, waist-hip ratio, body fat percentage, health conditions, etc. are several important factors that should be fulfilled in order to qualify the medical fitness required for CDS. You can learn about the physical and medical fitness required for CDS in detail here.

Ques. Can a graduate soldier apply for CDS?

Ans. If you are fulfilling all the eligibility criteria required for CDS, you can also apply and will be treated like any other candidate.

Ques. After the CDS exam, how will I get a call for the SSB?

Ans. If you qualify the CDS exam, you will receive the SSB interview call via email where the time, date, and venue will be specified. Candidates have the option to appeal for a change in date or time provided they can cite a genuine reason but whether the request will be considered or not is as per the discretion of the conducting body.

Ques. Which is better, NDA, or CDS?

Ans. While the exam pattern is nearly the same, NDA is conducted at the school level while CDS is at the graduation level. Moreover, the positions offered are also different and so is the pay scale. Which is better is entirely dependent on the candidates’ perspective and preferences.

Ques. Can I get into IMA through CDS?

Ans. Yes, you can get “direct entry” in IMA by clearing CDS and SSB interviews. The age limit for the same is 24 years.

Ques. Which preference should I fill in CDS?

Ans. You should fill the preferences in the order or your liking while filling the CDS form. For example, if your first preference is Air Force, you must select the air force first and follow the other options.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.