CDS (I) and (II) Exam

Combined Defence Services (I) and (II) Exam

What is CDS (I) and (II) Exam?

The "Combined Defence Services" (CDS) Examination is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment of candidates into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy. The UPSC will conduct the CDS exam twice a year in the month of February and September. 

Candidates who aim to serve the nation by joining the defence forces can start applying for the CDS examination. In order to apply online for the CDS examination, candidates should meet all the eligibility requirements set by the Commission. The selection of the candidates will be based on the written examination followed by an interview for intelligence and personality test. The shortlisted candidates will be placed at the respective academies based on the preference and merit. Explore more details regarding the CDS (I) & (II) examination below. 

S No Name of the Academy City
1 Indian Military Academy Dehradun
2 Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala
3 Air Force Academy Hyderabad
4 Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Men) Chennai
5 Officers Training Academy (SSC Women) Chennai

CDS 2023 Exam Details  

Exam  Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination 
Organising body  Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Application mode  Offline
Number of vacancies  401 (approximately)
Application fee INR 200
Frequency  Twice a year
Exam mode  Offline 
Selection process  Written test and SSB interview 
Admit card mode  Online 
Official website 
Phone number (facilitation counter)  011-23098543/ 23385271/ 23381125/ 23098591

UPSC Combined Defence Services (CDS) (I) & (II) Notification 2023

The UPSC has released the CDS notification twice a year in the months of April and September. The recruitment notification of CDS will be released for around 341 vacancies each time. Aspirants should note that the number of vacancies in the notification is tentative and may be changed at any stage by Services.

UPSC CDS (I) & (II) 2023 Exam Dates

CDS (I) 2023 Dates
CDS (I) notification 2023 21 December, 2022
CDS (I) 2023 last date to apply  10 January, 2023
CDS (I) 2023 exam date  16 April, 2023
CDS (I) 2023 result date  May 2023
CDS (II) 2023 Dates 
CDS (II) notification 2023 17 May, 2023
CDS (II) 2023 last date to apply  06 June, 2023
CDS (II) 2023 exam date  03 September, 2023
CDS (II) 2023 result date  October 2023

UPSC CDS (I) 2023

The UPSC has released the official notification of CDS (I) 2023 examination on 21 December, 2023 and CDS (II) 2023 the online applications can be filled up from 17 May to 06 June, 2023, till 6:00 PM. Aspirants are required to apply online using the official link

The candidates applying for the examination must fulfil all the eligibility criteria for admission to the examination. The CDS (I) 2023 examination will be held on 16 April, 2023 for admissions to the below-mentioned courses in the notification.

CDS (I) 2023 Vacancies
Academy Course Total Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun 156th (DE) Course commencing in January 2024 100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala Course commencing in January 2024 Executive (General Service)/ Hydro 22
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad (Pre-Flying) Training Course commencing in January 2024 32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai  119th SSC (Men) Course (NT) commencing in April 2024 170
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai  33rd SSC Women (Non-Technical) Course commencing in April 2024 17
Total   401

CDS (II) 2023

The UPSC will release the CDS (II) 2023 exam recruitment notification on 17 May, 2023. The name of the notification is ''Combined Defence Service Examination (II), 2023 (Including SSC Women (Non-Technical Course).'' The online applications will be accepted until 06 June, 2023. A Combined Defence Services Exam will be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission on 03 September, 2023.

CDS (II) 2023 Vacancies 
Academy  Course Reserved for NCC - Vacancies Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun 155th (DE) course commencing in July 2024 13 100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala Course commencing in July 2024 Executive (General Service)/ Hydro 03 22
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad (Pre-Flying) Training Course commencing in July 2024 03 32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai  118th SSC (Men) Course (NT) (UPSC) Course commencing in October 2024 Nil 169
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai  32nd SSC Women (Non-Technical) (UPSC) Course commencing in October 2024 Nil 16
Total   19 339

CDS 2023 Registration

Interested candidates are advised to check whether they meet all the eligibility requirements set by the Commission prior to CDS registration. For CDS exam registration, candidates need to visit the official website of UPSC ( 

Candidates should have details of one photo identity card such as the Aadhaar Card/ Voter Card/ PAN Card/ Passport/ Driving Licence/ any other ID card issued by the State/Central Government. The details in the ID card are required to filling up the CDS online application form. 

Aspirants are also advised to keep the scanned copy of the photo ID ready for uploading. The same photo ID card is required until the final selection. Explore the step by step CDS registration form 2023 here. 

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Physical criteria:

    • Candidates must be physically and mentally fit according to prescribed physical standards for admission to CDS (I) & CDS (II) 2023.
    • A candidate who has resigned or withdrawn on disciplinary grounds from any of the training academies of Armed Forces is not eligible to apply
    • Permanent body tattoos are only permitted on inner face of the forearm, i.e. from inside of elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of palm/back (dorsal) side of the hand
    • Permanent body tattoos on any other part of the body are not acceptable and candidates will be barred from further selection. Tribes with tattoo marks on the face or body as per their existing custom and traditions will be permitted on a case to case basis
    • The concessions are not applicable for Air Force Height and Weight standards are mentioned i the official notification for Army and Navy only. Interpolation for weights against height not mentioned may be done
  2. Nationality:

    Nationality : A candidate must be unmarried and must either be :-

    (i) A Citizen of India, or

    (ii) A subject of Nepal, or

    (iii) 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 intenion of permanently settling in India.

    Provie that a candidate belonging to categories (ii) and (iii) above shall be a person who is favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

    Certificate of eligibility will however, not be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal.

    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 Government.

  3. Education qualification:

    1. For IMA & Officers' Training Academy, Chennai - Degree of a recognised University or Equivalent.

    2. For Indian Naval Academy - Degree in Engineering from a recognised University / Institution.

    3. For Air Force Academy - Degree of a recognised University (with Physics & Mathematics at 10+2 Level) or Bachelor or Enigneering.

    NOTE :

    • Candidates with first choice as Army / Navy / Air Force are to submit proof of Graduation / Provisional Certificates on the date of commencement of the SSB Interview at the SSB.
    • Candidates who are studying in the final year / Semester Degree Course and have yet to pass the final year degree examination can also apply provided candidate should not have any backlog upto the last semester / year for which results have been declared upto the time of submission of application and they will be required to submit proof of passing the degree examination at the time of commencement of course.
    • Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Examination (I) & (II), 2023 as per guidelines are given in the official notification.
  4. Age limit:

    Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status for CDS I & II 2023.

    1. IMA - Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January, 2000 & not later than 1st January, 2005 only are eligible.

    2. For Indian Naval Academy - Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January, 2000 and not later than 1st January, 2005 only are eligible.

    3. For Air Force Academy - 20 to 24 years as on 1st January, 2024 born not earlier than 2nd January, 2000 and not later than 1st January, 2004 (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable upto 26 yrs. i.e. born not earlier than 02nd July, 1998 and not later than 1st July, 2004 only are eligible.

    4. For Officers Training Academy - (SSC Course of men) unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January, 1999 and not later 1st January 2005 only are eligible.

    5. For Officers Training Academy - (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) Unmarried women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issuesless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible. They should have been born not earlier than 02 January, 1999 and not later than 1st January, 2005.

    Note: Candidate below 25 years of age must be unmarried. Marriage is not permitted during training. Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply but during training period they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live with family out of the premises.

    Note: Male divorcee/widower candidates cannot be treated as unmarried male for the purspose of their admission in IMA/INA/AFA/OTA, Chennai courses and accordingly they are not eligible for these courses.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • If you are selected in one of the branches of armed forces then you are set for your rest of the life
  • Apart from getting pay, perks and pension you also get many benefits that are missing from a private job
  • Your job can be challenging depending upon which type of armed force you join
  • Your job can be very tough and disciplined so you have to prepare yourself for it
  • After successful completion of Combined Defence Services training, the candidates pass out in the rank of a designated officer will be entitled to the pay and allowance of the rank

CDS Exam Analysis 2023

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam twice a year for recruitment into the defence forces. The CDS (I) exam will be conducted on 16 April, 2023.

The CDS examination consists of three sections, namely English Language, General Knowledge and Mathematics. The duration of each subject is two hours. The overall CDS (I) 2023 exam was rated between moderate and tough. Let's look at each section. 

English Language 

A total of 120 questions were asked for a total of 100 marks. Around 20 synonym and antonym questions were asked which are believed to be a bit tough. 10 questions each from the phrase rearrangement, fill in the blanks and sentence rearrangement. Around 20 questions from the reading comprehension, which were rated as moderate. Aspirants also found 20 questions on error detection which were difficult. After analysing the paper, more than 60 attempts in English will make chances bright. 

General Knowledge

This is a scoring section and many test takers find it easy to answer. The questions were from history, geography, economy and polity. Aspirants also found that questions from current affairs are easy. However, 27 questions from general science are moderate. One who has attempted more than 84 questions can be considered as a good attempt. 


It consists of 100 questions with one mark each. Around 20 questions came from the number system. The geometry and area & perimeter questions were easy. Test takers also got questions from trigonometry, statistics, time and work, simple and compound interest, average, ratio and proportion, profit and loss, percentage and data interpretation. Candidates who have attempted more than 55 questions can be said to have made a good attempt. 

CDS Exam Centres

The examination will be held at the following centres


Latest Updates

UPSC CDS II Result 2021 Declared Yesterday.

Union Public Service Commission Combined Defence Service (CDS) II result has been declared at the official website -

UPSC CDS II Result 2021 was declared as the final result for the OTA Held earlier. The Commission had earlier mentioned that the CDS II Marks of recommended candidates are expected about 15 days after the result is released.

16 August 2022
UPSC CDS II Admit Card 2022 Released

Union Public Service Commission, UPSC has released the admit card for UPSC CDS II Today at the official website - Candidates will be able to download to UPSC CDS II e-admit card till 04 September, 2022.

The UPSC CDS II Exam 2022 has been scheduled for 4 September. The admitted candidates will have to produce the printout of their e-Admit Card at the allotted Venue for appearing in the Examination along with the proof of Identity.

11 August 2022
UPSC CDS II 2022 : Application withdrawal facility today

Union Public Service Commission will begin the CDS II Registration Form 2022 withdrawal facility today - 14 June, 2022.

Candidates who have submitted the CDS II 2022 Application Form will be able to withdraw their application form. They can withdraw their CDS II Aplication Form 2022 on the official website -

The last date to withdraw the application form of CDS 2022 is 20 June, 2022 till 6:00 PM.

14 June 2022
UPSC CDS II Notification Released today

UPSC CDS II Exam 2022 - Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Wednesday released the notification for the Combined Defence Services Examination (II) on its website.

UPSC CDS II Exam Registration starts from 18 May, 2022 & the last date to apply online is on 14 June, 2022 Up to 6.00 PM.

UPSC CDS II Exam will be conducted on 04 September, 2022. Candidates who are interested and eligible can apply online by using the official website -

18 May 2022
CDS (II) 2021: List of Application Rejected Due To Non-Payment of Fee

The UPSC has released the list of applications rejected due to non-payment of the CDS (II) exam 2021 fee, i.e., Rs 200. As per the reports, a total of 27 applicants were rejected. 

The notice reads, " Appeal against such rejection should be received in the Commission’s Office within 10 days of receiving e-mail in this regard"

10 September 2021
CDS (2) 2021 Application Form Withdrawal Link Activated
UPSC CDS 2021: Last Day To Apply Online
UPSC CDS 2 Notification 2021 Released
UPSC CDS (II) 2020 Final Result Declared
CDS (1) 2020 Marks Of Recommended Candidates Released
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