All You Need To Know About Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination

Combined Defence Services (CDS), which is one amongst the Union Public Service (UPSC) examinations, is conducted twice a year to recruit candidates into the defence services such as the army, the navy and the air force. Candidates who clear the examination will undergo training at Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala and Air Force Academy in Hyderabad. As the CDS-II exam notification is all set to release in the month of August, let's explore everything about the examination.


Know The Eligibility Criteria

Candidate must have the engineering degree for an admission to Indian Naval Academy. A candidate must possess degree besides physics and mathematics at 10+2 or bachelor's in engineering for Air Force Academy (AFA). While coming to IMA and Officers' Training Academy (OTA), a degree is required. Minimum age to apply for CDS is 20 years and maximum age is 24 years.

All About Combined Defence Services (CDS)

What Physical Standards You Require

Candidates should also possess physical fitness as per the prescribed physical standard. All the male candidates must have minimum 157.5 cm of height for the army, 157 cm for the navy and 162.5 cm for the air force. However, 152 cm for women candidates.

How UPSC Selects The Candidates

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam pattern is different for an admission to Officers' Training Academy (OTA) and others. For an admission to Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA) and Air Force Academy (AFA), the exam consists of three subjects, namely, English, general knowledge and elementary mathematics. The duration of the exam is two hours for each subject. The total number of marks is 300 and the number of questions is 340.

For admission to Officers' Training Academy (OTA), a candidate will be tested only on two subjects, namely, English and general knowledge. Each subject consists of 120 questions and carries 100 marks. One-third of the marks will be deducted for every wrong answer and there will be no marks awarded if a question is left blank.

SSB Interview

Candidates who qualify in the written examination are eligible for the SSB interview, which will be conducted in two stages. The SSB interview tests the candidates on both physical and mental ability.

The stage-I of SSB interview comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and picture perception. The stage-II consists of an interview, group testing officer tasks and psychology tests. This entire activity will be conducted for four days.

Understand CDS Syllabus

The official notification has clearly mentioned the syllabus for the written examination. It has clearly stated that elementary mathematics will be of matriculation level. However, the standard of other subjects will be of a graduate level.

The English subject in the exam is meant to test the candidates' understanding of English and workmanlike use of words. While coming to the syllabus of general knowledge, it consists of topics related to current affairs, polity, sports, Indian economy, history, geography, books and their authors, etc.

The elementary mathematics consists of topics such as arithmetic, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, mensuration and statistics. For detailed syllabus, visit the official notification.

How The Training Will Be Carried

Indian Military Academy (IMA): The selected candidates will undergo training for around 18 months. After completion of training, they will be awarded the rank of Lieutenant.

Indian Naval Academy (INA): The selected candidates have to undergo training at the academy located in Ezhimala. After training, they will be awarded permanent ranks.

Air Force Academy (AFA): The duration of the training will be 74 weeks.

Officers' Training Academy (OTA): Candidates have to undergo training for approximately 11 months.

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