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 www.upsconline.nic.in. 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
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 upsc.gov.in. The further notification for CDS(II) will be released on August 05, 2020. Check Here CDS (I) 2020 Results
Check Here CDS 2020 syllabus and Exam Pattern
|Name of Exam||Combined Defence Services|
|Conducting Body||Union Public Service Commission|
|Mode of Application||Online|
|Application Fees||INR 200|
|Mode of Exam||Offline|
|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||
|Contact Number||011-23098543/ 011-23381125 / 011-23385271|
|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:
|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 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:
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.|
Candidates who are applying for the CDS Exam, have to be a graduate or at least appearing the final exam of eligible degrees.
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
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:
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.
|General/ OBC/ EWS||INR 200|
|Female (All Categories)||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.
Caution: fill the application form very carefully. No further correction will be allowed once the form is submitted.
Required documents and their size and format is mentioned below:
|Photograph||20 – 300 Kbs||350x350 – 1000x1000||24||.jpg|
|Signature||20 – 300 Kbs||350x350 – 1000x1000||24||.jpg|
|Photo Identity Card||20 – 300 Kbs||_||_|
Other required details:
Other than the mentioned documents, candidates have to mention several documents as proof:
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.
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|
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:
Candidates who have filled the application form, should follow the instructions to download CDS Admit Card:
To uplift your General Knowledge Skill, click here
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 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.
Practice Previous Years Question Papers more to know about the exam pattern
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.
The marking scheme is different for each section of the CDS Exam:
|Section||Number of Questions||Duration||Maximum Marks|
|General Knowledge||120||2 Hours||100|
|Elementary Mathematics||100||2 hours||100|
|Section||Number of Questions||Duration||Maximum marks|
|General Knowledge||120||2 hours||100|
Candidates who successfully qualify the written test will only be eligible for the Interview procedure. CDS Interview has 2 stages:
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.
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|
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:
|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 )|
Other than the gross salary, Commissioned Officers gets a lot more facilities and allowances than any other government jobs are offering:
Various types of allowances are provided to all officers of each post though the number of allowances may vary.
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|
|Lieutenant Colonel||13 years|
|Major General||25 years|
|Lieutenant General||28 years|
Solve CDS Mock Tests both in Hindi or English during your preparation time
UPSC releases two types of Cutoff :
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.
|OTA(Women and Men)||85-99|
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|
To check cutoff, candidates should follow the steps mentioned below:
To know more, click CDS 2021 Cutoff and Final Results
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.
Boost up your English Knowledge before CDS Exam
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:
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.
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|
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.
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:
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:
|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:
|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:
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:
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 upsc.gov.in.
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:
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:
|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:
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:
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:
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:
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.