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CDS Selection Process: Interview Method 2020

Updated On -

Oct 21, 2020

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Nikkil Visha

Exams Prep Master

CDS I 2020 Result has been released on March 23, 2020. All the candidates who have successfully qualified in the written exam are required to register themselves online on the Indian Army Recruiting website within two weeks of announcement of written result. After that, candidates will be allotted Selection Centres and SSB Interview Dates. Any candidate who has already registered earlier on the site will not be required to do so. Check  CDS Result

Get FREE CDS 2021 Mock Tests, Sectional Quiz, Previous Years Papers. Click Here

CDS Selection Process comprises of two stages i.e. Written test and SSB Interview round.

  • In the first stage (written exam), candidates have to attempt three papers for selection in IMA, INA, and AFA whereas OTA candidates have to attempt only 2 papers.
  • In the second stage of selection, they have to appear for an Interview which will test their intelligence, personality and psychological aptitude. In order to be eligible for CDS 2020, candidate has to qualify both stage 1 and stage 2.
  • UPSC will release the final cut offs for the CDS I 2020 examination soon after the conclusion of the whole process. 

CDS Selection Process 2020 - Highlights

Conducting body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Official Website
Mode of Exam Offline
Stages of Exam 1. Written Exam
2. SSB Interview
Vacancies 417

Also Check  CDS Eligibility Critiera

CDS Selection: Stage 1

CDS Selection Process: Stage 1

  • The first stage of CDS 2020 selection process is written test which includes three papers - English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics for admission in Indian Military, Naval and Air Force Academy.
  • For admission in Officers’ Training Academy, candidates have to appear for two papers only – English and General Knowledge.
  • CDS written exam will be objective in nature, with time allotment of 2 hours for each paper.
  • Candidate who will qualify the written test will become eligible for the second stage of CDS i.e. Interview.

Also Check CDS Exam Pattern

CDS Selection: Stage 2

CDS Selection Process- Stage 2

  • The second stage of CDS Selection Process is SSB Interview.
  • CDS Interview 2020 is a 5-day process which involves intense scrutinization of candidates covering all the major aspects of the overall personality.
  • Candidates are judged physically, mentally and psychologically as well. However, before undergoing the stage 2, candidates must appear for stage 1 tests. 
  • The Officer Intelligence Rating & PPDT is a 1-day program. Candidates are scrutinized for their verbal and non-verbal abilities.

Officer Intelligence Rating

Officer Intelligence Rating test is the first part of the Stage 2 selection via CDS Interview 2020. The test comprises two sections- Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning. In this test, candidates have to answer some 55-60 questions from both the sections combinedly.

Verbal Reasoning Section: The total number of questions asked in Verbal Ability Reasoning section in OIR test is 50. Candidates will be given 30 minutes to complete the test and then proceed to Non Verbal Reasoning Section.

Non- Verbal Reasoning Section: In this section of CDS Interview Stage 2, candidates are asked to attempt 50 questions in the time period of 25 to 30 minutes.

Once done with this test, the second set of the test is given to the applicants, i.e., Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT).

Know More  What is Officer Intelligence Test?

Picture Perception and Description Test

This section of Stage 1 CDS Interview is quite challenging since it examines candidate’s memory retention along with the abilities to comprehend situations. This screening test is interesting to attempt as candidates are given only 30 seconds to observe a hazy picture and expound on it within 3 minutes. Within this limited time frame, candidates have to focus upon seven basic parameters-

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Mood
  • Character
  • Past (what happened in the picture situation just before the click)
  • Present (what events currently take place)
  • Future (what will happen next in the picture)

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

CDS Interview Schedule

CDS 2020: Daywise Interview Schedule

Dates Events
Day 1 Reporting, Filling of forms, Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT)
Day 2 Psychological Test- This includes TAT (Thematic Appreciation Test), WAT (Word Association Test), SRT (Situation Reaction Test). SD (Self- Description)
Day 3 The most important leg of CDS Interview is Group Tasks wherein candidates have to prove their physical as well as mental prowess. Also, Officer Like Qualities are judged on the basis of these tasks. The tasks allotted to candidates include Group Discussion, Military Planning Exercise, Progressive Group Task, Group Obstacle Race, Half Group Task
Day 4 Individual Obstacle Task (IOT), Command Task, Final Group Task (FGT), Personal Interview and Individual Lecturette
Day 5 Conference and Document Verification
  • Requests for postponing the interview will only be considered only for very genuine circumstances. It will be considered if it is convenient for which Army headquarters /Air Headquarter /Naval HQ will be the sole deciding authority. Such kinds of requests should be sent to the Selection Centre/ from where the call for interview has been received.
  • Navy candidates can download their call up letters from the naval website or send email at officer-navy" 3 weeks after the declaration of CDS 2020 results.

Note: In case a qualified candidates does not get the interview call letter before the date then candidates should write to-

Army HQ/Rtg. (CDSE Entry/ SSC Women Entry for Officers Training Academy)

175, West Block-III,

Ramakrishnapuram, New Delhi- 110066

OR contact on telephone No. 26176028

For similar query by the Navy/Air Force candidates, having first choice, should write to Naval HQ or Air HQ (in case of non-receipt of call letter).

Also Read  What happens during CDS Interview?

After CDS Interview

What after CDS Interview 2020?

After the interview process of CDS 2020 is completed, candidate’s verification takes place which includes the document verification. Candidates who qualify the interview will have to present their required set of original documents along with the 2 self-attested copies at SSC (Services Selection Center) after interview. Given below is the list of documents that are to be carried at the time of selection process.

Original certificates will be returned after the verification. Certified true copies or Photostat copies of the certificates will not be accepted in any case.

  • Qualification Certificates
  • Proof of Identity (Pan Card, Aadhar Card, Voter ID etc.)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport Size Photographs
  • Category Certificate for the Reserved Category Candidates
  • Proof of Residence

Medical Examination is the last but very important step. This step is held to verify that the selected aspirant is physically fit for the officer cadre or not. This verification is must. For final recruitment, you have to clear all the verification formalities.

Note: In accordance with the conditions of the admission to the examination, they are required to submit the original certificates in support of age (Date of Birth), educational qualifications, NCC (C) (Army Wing/Senior Division Air Wing/Naval Wing) etc. claimed by them along with attested copies to the address provided by the authorities. The original Certificates are to be submitted within two weeks of completion of the SSB Interview and not later than 13th November, 2020 for AFA and not later than 01st January, 2021 for IMA and not later than 01st January, 2021 for admission to NA (1st April, 2021 in case of SSC only). The candidates must not send the original Certificates to the Union Public Service Commission.

Change in Communication Address

Selected candidates, who have changed their communication address as mentioned on the CDS 2020 Application Form are recommended to notify the changed address soon after the declaration of CDS 2020 result. Candidates have to notify at the following address along with the unstamped self-addressed envelope-

1. For IMA/SSC as first choice

Army Headquarters,

A.G's Branch, Rtg. (CDSE Entry Section for males & SSC Women Entry Section for women candidates)

West Block-III, Ground Floor, Wing 1,

Ramakrishnapuram, New Delhi-110066

2. For Navy as first choice

IHQ of MOD (Navy) DMPR (OI&R Section),

Room No. 204, 'C' Wing,

Sena Bhawan, New Delhi-110011

3. For Air Force as first choice

PO 3 (A) Air HQS. 'J' Block,

Room No. 17, Opp. Vayu Bhawan,

Motilal Nehru Marg, New Delhi-110011

Failure to comply with this instruction will deprive the candidates of any claim to deliberation in the event of their not receiving the call letter for interview by the .

For all the queries regarding the allotment of centers, date of interview, merit list, Joining Instructions, and any other relevant information regarding the CDS 2020 selection process, candidates can visit website Candidates can contact to Recruiting Directorate on Telephone No- 011-26173215 and Fax No- 011-26196205 between 2PM to 5PM on all working days in case candidates having IMA or OTA as their 1st choice.

Boost up your English Knowledge before CDS Exam

Disqualification Criteria

  1. Candidates who were admitted at the Air Force Academy, Indian Military Academy, National Defence Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai but were removed due to objectionable behavior, will not be considered for getting into the Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy, Indian Naval Academy or for Short Service Commission in the Army.
  2. Candidates who have been withdrawn from the Indian Military Academy for the lack of Officer-Like Qualities (OLQ) will not be admitted to the Indian Military Academy.
  3. Candidates who have previously selected as Special Entry Naval Cadets but have withdrawn from the National Defence Academy or from the Naval Training Establishments for lacking in Officer-like qualities, will not be eligible for admission to the Indian Navy Academy.
  4. Candidates who have withdrawn from the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Officers’ Training Academy (OTA), NCC and Graduate course for lacking in Officer-like qualities will not be considered for grant of Short Service Commission in the Army.

Frequently Asked Questions

CDS 2020 Selection Process FAQs

Ques. Does CDS 2020 interview a one day process?

Ans. No the interview is not a single day process. It involves 2 stages - Stage 1 and Stage 2. Both the stages are 4 days process individually.

Ques. What happens in Officer Intelligence Rating Test?

Ans. This is the first step in stage 1. It involves verbal and non-verbal reasoning sections. Candidates have to answer 55-60 questions in both combined.

Ques. I have applied for the Air Force exam but the address mentioned in the application form has been changed. What can I do for that?

Ans. Notify the changed address at the below-mentioned address, along with an unstamped self-addressed envelope.

PO 3 (A) Air HQS. 'J' Block,

Room No. 17, Opp. Vayu Bhawan,

Motilal Nehru Marg, New Delhi-110011

Ques. What documents are required in the Interview process?

Ans. The list of documents required is: 

  • Qualification Certificates
  • Identity Proof
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport Sized Photograph
  • Category Certificate
  • Residence Proof

Ques. I have to change my Interview date. Can this be done and whom I need to contact for the same?

Ans. Interview can be posponed only for very genuine cases. The request for postposned should be sent to the Selection Centre/ from where the call for interview has been received.

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


aashi shukla
Can a female candidate apply for CDS OTA after her graduation 2nd year?
common admission test

Hii Aashi. Yes female candidates can apply for CDS OTA after completing her degree from university or equivalent degree from institutions that have been recognized by Central/State Government. For more details click here:- CDS ELIGIBILITY

rashi dasgupta
Can I join the Indian Army after ear surgery?
kavita rani

Hi Rashi. Indian army has set its own medical standards for the selection of candidates. Candidates can join Indian army after an operation only in case they meet the medical standards set. In your case it is advised to contact doctors at the army hospitals as they will let you know whether you meet those standards or not. You can refer to the medical requirement eligibility before appearing for an exam to join Indian army.

riyaz sen
Why is the entry through CDS considered better than the TGC Entry in the Indian Army?
kavita rani

Hi Riyaz. All entries are considered equal as individuals giving these exams look for a promising and rewarding career ahead. Entry through CDS is considered a better option as the number of vacancies through CDS is much more as compared to TGC. Almost 250(permanent commission) and close to 200 (SSC) vacancies are announced every six months. So people prefer CDS as it has higher probability of selection in case you clear the written exam.

ranu kanwar
Does qualifying in the CDS exam mean a permanent commission in the Indian Army?
kavita rani

Hi Ranu. Getting Permanent Commission means having a career in the Indian Army till the age you get retired. Presently there are four different training academy including NDA, IMA, OTA Chennai and OTA Gaya. To get a permanent commission, candidates need to join the National Defence Academy or the Indian Military Academy. Candidates joining OTA Gaya through TES entry are entitled to get permanent commission. An Army officer need to join the National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy, or Officers Training Academy to get for permanent commission.

rachita mitra
There is leukoderma (white spots) on my right side knee. Am I eligible for the SSB (Indian Army)?
kavita rani

Hi Rachita. You are eligible to write SSB exam but you might be declared medically unfit based on the medical condition, which can be diagnosed by doctor. It is advisable to get in touch with some doctors in military hospital who can solve your query. \Skin disease normally result in temporary rejection but they must be treated before second medical examination. Any permanent skin disease results in rejection in the Indian army.

mansi bhatnagar
What are the different exams that I can write to join the Indian Army? I am currently a +2 student.
kavita rani

Hi Mansi, 

Post qualifying the CDS written exam, shortlisted candidates will be asked to appear for SSB Interview which is mostly conducted for 5 days. The qualified candidates need to appear for Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference conducted on different 4 days. CDS (OTA) day-wise events • 1st day - Picture Perception and Description exam • Day 2 - Psychology Tests • Day 3 - Group Testing Officer’s Task • Day 4 – Interview • Day 5 – Conference The final selected candidates will get admission to three forces and OTA.

ajay singj
Currently I m 2nd year student of mlt then can I fill CDS form or not?
arvind kumar

Hi Ajay, you can fill the CDS form after you complete your graduation. For more details visit: CDS eligibility.

aniruddha rajendra lakholkar
I have got my name in cds 1 2020 selected candidates list for ota , when will be my ssb,??
shobhna chaturvedi
Hi Aniruddha, SSB center in CDS exam is allotted by the organization only. You would soon receive a mail with SSB admit card attached to it.
gajendra singh
I am getting 123 marks in cds 2020 for IMA , Any chance for SSB or not?
shobhna chaturvedi
Hi Gajendra, cut off marks and the list of the selected students for SSB will be released by the organization itself. However, considering your marks, you have moderate chances of making it to SSB.
akshat chandrashekhar tiwari
How to select dates for ssb interview in kolkata ?
shobhna chaturvedi
Hi Shekhar, in CDS exam, exam centers are not selected by the candidate, they are allotted by the organization. Thus, you cannot make choice for a specific exam center.