Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment of commissioned officers in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. The exam is conducted twice a year in February and September. Across India, lakhs of students apply for this exam to get recruited in our prestigious forces.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, SSB interviews have been cancelled and notification of the same will be announced at a later date. Students who have qualified the written test have to wait for the SSB interview dates to be released.
The eligibility criteria depends on the posts applied for. Follow the key criteria mentioned below:
Below, we have tabulated the key features of the CDS exam.
|Exam||Combined Defence Services|
|Conducting body||Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)|
|Level of examination||National|
|No. of times exam held||Twice a year|
|Mode of exam||Offline|
|Duration of exam||2 hours|
|Language of question paper||English and Hindi|
|Examination fees||Rs. 200|
|August 2020||Notification & Registration of CDS 2 exam|
|2 Feb 2020||CDS 1 exam 2020|
|30 Oct 2019||CDS 1 notification 2020|
|30 Oct ’19 – 19 Nov ’19||CDS 1 registration|
Generally the application process consists of two stages – registration and payment of fees. Candidates are required to fill the basic information in the registration stage. In the second stage, candidates need to pay the application fees, select an exam centre, upload photographs, sign, upload photo identity card document and declare the application.
Stage 1 steps:
Stage 2 steps:
The withdrawal facility is available for applicants who do not want to sit for the exam. They are advised to provide the registration ID generated after submitting an complete application and there are no provisions for withdrawing incomplete applications.
To make a request for a withdrawal, candidates must ensure that they have access to the mobile number and email ID which were provided by them at the time of filling the application form. OTPs will be sent to the candidate’s registered mobile number and email ID. The requests for withdrawal will only be processed after you have validated the OTPs. After that the online withdrawal of application is accepted and candidates must print the authenticated receipt.
If you want to pay the fee in cash, you should take a printout of challan generated online after completion of registration. Then visit the nearest SBI branch for depositing the fee after 24 hours of generation of challan.
UPSC has prescribed a certain exam format for CDS. Applicants should become familiar with the syllabus and pattern before starting their exam preparation. The exam is divided into a written test and SSB interview.
|Sections||3 sections in Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA) and Air Force Academy (AFA). 2 in Officers Training Academy (OTA).|
|Total marks||IMA, INA and AFA – 300 |
OTA – 200
|Type of questions||Objective type|
|Language||Hindi and English|
|Duration||2 hours for each section|
English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics are the sections in the written exam of IMA, INA and AFA. OTA paper comprises the two sections – English and General Knowledge. The exam duration is for 6 hours (each section is for 2 hours) while it is 4 hours (with every section within 2 hours) for OTA. The total marks of the test are 300 while it is 200 for OTA. The test paper contains objective type questions only.
Every question in the exam has 4 options, out of which only 1 option will be correct and for every incorrect answer, 1/3 marks are deducted. If you mark for than one option then it will be treated as incorrect. If a question is left unanswered there will be no negative marking.
Once you qualify the written test, you will be called for an SBB interview. The SSB Interview for IMA, INA, AFA carries 300 marks each while for OTA it is 200.
The total marks of the written test are 200 and you need to pass the exam with a good cut off. Candidates who qualify the written exam with the required cut off are called for SSB Interview for an intelligence and personality test. The ones who qualify both the stages of the admission test get selected based on performance in the written exam and SSB Interview.
The written exam is conducted in several cities across India. The details about the exam centres are mentioned on the admit card. Applicants are required to select the exam centres while filling the application form.
UPSC released the admit card for CDS 1 exam on 9 Jan 2020 and candidates who registered for the exam could download the admit card by logging into the website. The admit card contains the candidate’s personal details and they should carry this with one passport size photograph to the examination centre.
Steps to download the admit card:
In the final results of the CDS 1 exam (declared on 23rd March 2020), a total of 7,018 candidates qualified the exam. The final merit list is prepared based on the total marks secured in the written exam and SSB Interview.
Generally, to print out the results pdf, candidates are required to visit the UPSC website and go to the CDS results page. If you qualify the exam, you will find your exam roll number in the result page.
Yes, girl candidates can apply for the CDS exam and they are eligible for OTA. They are allotted SSC in non-technical courses.
You need to complete graduation studies to become eligible for the CDS exam.
The students should first check out the exam pattern and syllabus and then thoroughly prepare for the exam. Get previous sample papers or take coaching to prepare for the exam.
There is no time limit to the number of attempts for the CDS exam.
CDS is thought to be much easier than NDA and you need to obtain just 20% of the total marks for passing the written exam.
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