CDS Exams |

The UPSC conducts the CDS Exam (Combined Defence Service) twice a year to recruit for Commissioned Officer positions in the Navy, Air Force, and Indian Army. In February and November, the CDS Exam 2023 was held for the recruitment of 345 jobs. The CDS Exam Admit Card was made available on the official website. For better preparation, future candidates can download past years’ CDS exam papers.

What is CDS Exam?

The Union Public Service Commission organizes the Combined Defence Services to select commissioned officers for the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Officers Training Academy (OTA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Indian Air Force Academy (AFA).

The CDS test is given twice a year. The CDS written test and the SSB interview are the two stages of the exam.

CDS Exam: Highlights

Here are the key points of the CDS Exam:

  • Duration‌ of Exam – Two hours (for one paper
  • Application Fee – INR 200/-
  • Exam Purpose – Recruitment of Commissioned Officers in IMA, INA, OTA, and AFA
  • Vacancies – 341
  • Official Website –

CDS Notification

The UPSC official website has published the CDS notification for the CDS test. The number of positions, exam format, syllabus, and selection have all been disclosed in the official CDS notification. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the exam process by reading the official notification.

UPSC CDS Exam Important Dates

  • Application Begin: 21/12/2022
  • Last Date of Apply Online: 12/01/2023 Till 06:00 PM
  • Fee Payment Last Date: 12/01/2023
  • Exam Date: 16/04/2023
  • Admit Card Available: March 2023

CDS Exam Eligibility Criteria

Before applying for the CDS Exam, all applicants must examine the CDS eligibility requirements. Check out the following content to learn more:

CDS Eligibility Criteria: Nationality

All the important details, including the eligibility criteria, are mentioned by the authorities in the CDS notification.
The nationality requirements of CDS are listed below.

  1. A Citizen of India,
  2. A subject of Bhutan or Nepal
  3. A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1962 intending to permanently settle in India,
  4. 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 intending to permanently settle in India.

CDS Exam Eligibility Criteria: Age Limit and Marital Status

Female candidates can only apply for OTA, according to CDS norms, however, male candidates can apply for any CDS Examination post as long as they meet the other eligibility requirements.
The age restriction and requisite marital status are listed below.

  • CDS Age Limit – 19 – 24 Years
  • Marital Status – Unmarried

CDS Exam Educational Qualification

As previously stated, candidates taking the CDS exam must have completed their graduation or, at the very least, be taking the degree’s final exam. It’s vital to remember that CDS admit cards are only given out to candidates who meet all of the requirements.

  • Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) – Graduation from a recognized university
  • Indian Naval Academy (INA) – An engineering degree from a recognized university/institute
  • Air Force Academy (AFA) – Bachelor of Engineering or Graduation (with Physics and Mathematics at Class 12)

CDS Eligibility Criteria: Other Physical Standards

  • CDS Heights Standards
    The minimum acceptable height for male candidates is 157.5 cm. (157 cm for the Navy and 162.5 cm for Air Force) and that for female candidates is 152 cm.
  • Visual Standards
    A. Male
    Vision (corrected) better eye 6/6 and worse eye 6/12
    Myopia of not more than minus 3.5 D
    Manifest hypermetropia should be less than plus 3.5 D including Astigmatism
    B. Female
    Vision(corrected) better eye 6/6, worse eye 6/12
    Myopia of not more than minus 5.5 D
    Manifest hypermetropia should be less than plus 3.5 D including Astigmatism.

CDS Exam 2023 Exam Pattern and Syllabus

CDS Exam Pattern For IMA, IAF, INA & NA

English1002 hours
General Knowledge1002 hours
Elementary Mathematics1002 hours

Exam Pattern for Officers Training Academy (OTA)

English1002 hours
General Knowledge1002 hours

UPSC CDS Vacancies Details Total 341 Post

Post Name Total Post CDS I Age Limit UPSC CDS Eligibility
Indian Military Academy( IMA) 100 02/01/1999 to 01/01/2004 Passed / Appearing Bachelor Degree in Any Stream at Any Recognized University.
Indian Naval Academy (INA) 22 02/01/1999 to 01/01/2004 Passed / Appearing Bachelor Degree in Engineering at Any Recognized University.
Air Force 32 02/01/1999 to 01/01/2004 Bachelor’s Degree in Any Stream with Physics, Mathematics in 10+2 Level OR Bachelor Degree in Engineering
Officers Training Academy (OTA) +
OTA Women
170 + 17

02/01/1998 to 01/01/2004 Passed / Appearing Bachelor Degree in Any Stream at Any Recognized University.

UPSC CDS Important Links

Apply Online Click Here (Part- 1)

Fees Payment Click Here

Download The Notification

Official Website of UPSC

General Knowledge Preparation Highlights

  • The total marks of this paper are 100 marks consisting of 120 questions.
  • Candidates will get 2 hours to complete this paper.
  • Each question carries 0.83 marks.
  • For each wrong answer, there will a deduction of -0.27 marks.
  • Questions will be asked in both English and Hindi.

General Knowledge Syllabus

EconomicsPhysicsCurrent Affairs
ChemistryScience & TechnologyHistory and Culture
GeographyEnvironment and BiodiversityPolity and Governance

Expected Number of Questions

TopicsNumber of QuestionsDifficulty Level
History23 – 18Moderate
Geography15 – 17Moderate to Difficult
Polity13 – 17Moderate
Economy12 – 14Moderate
Current Affairs20 – 23Easy to Moderate
Physics8 – 10Moderate to Difficult
Chemistry8 – 10Moderate
Biology9 – 10Moderate
Defence News9 – 11Moderate
Miscellaneous GK15 – 17Easy to Moderate

Elementary Mathematics Preparation Highlights

  • CDS is a one-day Exam. The mathematics paper will be scheduled on the same day as the CDS Exam along with the English and General Knowledge paper.
  • This paper consists of 100 questions.
  • The duration of this paper is 2 hours.
  • The marking scheme of each question is 1 mark for each correct attempt and -0.33 for each wrong attempt.
  • There will be no deduction of marks for unattempted questions.

Elementary Mathematics Syllabus

Natural numbersIntegersRational and Real Number
H.C.F. and L.C.M.Factorization TheoremAlgebra
Elementary Number TheoryDecimal fractionsUnitary method
Time and WorkPercentagesSimple and Compound Interest
Ratio and ProportionVariationsProfit and Loss
Time and distanceTrigonometryFundamental Operations (BODMAS)

Expected Number of Questions

TopicsLevel of difficultyNumber of Questions
Number SystemEasy20
MensurationModerate13 – 15
GeometryModerate to Difficult11 – 15
Time, Speed and DistanceModerate6
Simple Interest/ Compound interestEasy2 – 5
AlgebraModerate to Difficult7 – 10
PercentageEasy-Moderate2 – 4
Time and WorkModerate5
Ratio and ProportionModerate2
Profit and LossModerate1
DI and DSModerate3

English Preparation Highlights

  • The total marks of this paper are 100 marks.
  • This paper consists of 120 objective types of questions.
  • Each question will have four options and one of them will be the correct answer.
  • Each question bears +0.83 marks and there will be a deduction of -0.27 for every wrong answer.
  • The conducting board has been given 2 hours to complete this paper.

English Syllabus

Antonyms and SynonymsSentence improvementError Correction
Fill in the BlanksWord substitutionOrdering of sentences
Spotting ErrorsCloze testsOrdering of words in a sentence
Idioms and PhraseReported SpeechActive and Passive Voice

Expected Number of Questions in English

TopicsExpected Number of QuestionsDifficulty Level
Sentence Improvement20 – 25Moderate
Ordering of words in a sentence12 – 18Easy
Ordering of sentences in b/w first and last sentence10 – 15Easy
Fill in the blanks5 – 10Easy
Selecting Words/ Cloze Test18 – 23Easy-Moderate
Spotting Errors20 – 25Easy
Reading Comprehension15 – 20 (4-6 passages)Moderate
Synonyms8 – 10Moderate
Antonyms7 – 10Moderate
One Word Substitution1 – 4Moderate

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