CDS – Combined Defence Service Exam UPSC

CDS - Combined Defence Service Exam UPSCCDS – Combined Defence Service 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 Notification for the examination is usually released in the months of October and June, and the examinations are conducted in February and November respectively. Only unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam. Successful candidates are admitted into the respective Academies after an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) and if finally selected, depending upon the choice given by the candidates and their merit list ranking, are sent to one of the following CDS institutes for orientation training: –

(a) Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun
(b) Naval Academy, Goa
(c) Air Force Academy, Begumpet, Hyderabad
(d) Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai

Those joining the first three institutes get permanent commission, however cadets passing out of OTA get short service commission. Applicants are required to mention their preferences while filling up the application forms.

Educational Qualifications for CDS :

  • For IMA /OTA: A degree from a recognized University or equivalent.
  • For Naval Academy: B.Sc. with Physics and/or Mathematics or Bachelor of Engineering.
  • For Air Force Academy: B.Sc. of a recognized University or equivalent with Physics and/or Mathematics as subjects or Bachelor of Engineering.

Age for CDS:

  • IMA: Unmarried male candidates between 19-24 years on 1st January or 1st July of the year succeeding the year of examination.
  • Naval Academy: Unmarried male candidates between 19-22 years on 1st January or 1st July of the year succeeding; the year of examination.
  • Air Force Academy: Unmarried male candidates between 19-23 years on 1st January or 1st July of the year succeeding the year of examination.
  • Officers Training Academy: Male candidates (married or unmarried) between 19-25 years on 1st January or 1st July of the year succeeding the year of examination.

Application for CDS:

Blank application forms and other particulars are published by UPSC in leading newspapers and Employment News in the month of May/June and November/December. A candidate seeking admission must apply to The Secretary, UPSC, New Delhi on prescribed application form. The application forms are available on paymentof the requisite amount from any of the designated post office throughout the country. The examination is held in over 40 centres spread all of the country.

CDS Examination :

Plan of the Examination: The examination comprises:
(a) Written Examination
(b) Interview for intelligence and personality test of such candidates as may be called for interview at one of the Services Selection Centres.

CDS Examination Subjects:
The following will be subjects for the written examination (each of 2 hours duration):

(a) For admission to Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy and Air Force Academy:

  • English – This paper tests the understanding of the English language.
  • General Knowledge – This tests the general knowledge, current events, history of India, geography of nature and other matters of everyday observation.
  • Elementary Mathematics – This paper covers arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics.

(b) For Admission to Officers Training Academy (OTA): 

  • English – This paper tests the understanding of the English language.
  • General Knowledge – This tests the general knowledge, current events, history of India, geography of nature and other matters of everyday observation.

Note:
(i) The papers in all subjects will consist of OBJECTIVE-TYPE (Multiple-Choice questions only). The question papers will be set in English only.
(ii) Each paper will be of 2 hours duration and will carry 100 marks.

Standard of CDS Examination:
The standard of the paper in Elementary Mathematics will be of the Matriculation Examination. The standard of papers in other subjects will approximately be such as may be expected of a graduate of an Indian University.

CDS Centres of examination:

Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhopal, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar, Dispur (Guwahati), Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kohima, Lucknow, Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji (Goa), Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam. The centres and the date of holding the examination are liable to be changed at the discretion of the Commission.

Various concessions, like reservation in posts, are available for NCC cadets appearing in the exam.

CDS Interview and Special Tests:
Those who qualify the written test, undergo interview and a series of intelligence and personality tests. The tests, both verbal and non-verbal, are designed not only to judge the mental caliber of the candidate but also to assess his social traits and interest in current affairs.

Personality tests – These tests are as follows

  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT) – Sixty situations are given and the candidate is required to answer the reactions within 30 minutes.
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) – A set of 12 pictures are shown and the candidate is required to write a story in 3 minute for each picture.
  • Word Association Test (WAT) – Sixty words are projected and the candidate is required to make a sentence, in 15 seconds for each word.
  • Group test – Group Test is conducted in batches of 8-10 candidates. The test consists of group planning, group discussion, outdoor group tasks. The candidates are asked to take lectures on certain topics.

Physical Standards:
Candidates recommended by the Services Selection Board must undergo a medical examination by the Board of Service Medical Officers, and are allowed to go for the training programs only after being declared fit by the medical board.

Click here for CDS Exam Syllabus

Click here for CDS Exam Pattern

Click here for CDS Selection Procedure

Click here for CDS Eligibility Criteria