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Best Result for CDS Exam 2021
CDS Exam 2021 Application Form

CDS Exam(Combined Defence Services Examination) is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the conducting body recruits Commissioned Officers in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air For The exam is held twice a year usually in February and September. Millions of candidates appear for the national level defense entrance examination. 

  1. Indian Military Academy, Dehradun – only males
  2. Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala – only males
  3. Indian Air Force Academy, Hyderabad – only males
  4. Officers Training Academy (Males), Chennai
  5. Officers Training Academy (Females), Chennai

Eligibility Criteria

Here are the eligibility criteria for CDS examination:

Nationality for CDS Exam: A candidate must be unmarried and either belongs to

  • citizen of India
  • citizen of Bhutan
  • citizen of Nepal
  • Individual of Indian origin who had moved from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and East African Countries like Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia or Vietnam with the goal of for all time settling in India can apply for CDS Exam and serve the country

Educational Qualification

For IMA and Officers’ Training Academy, candidates must be a graduate.  

For Indian Naval Academy, candidates must have a degree in Engineering from a recognized university.

For Air Force Academy, a degree with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering is necessary

After clearing CDS theoretical written test the qualifying candidates need to prepare for a two-staged SSB Interview. 

The selection process of CDS recruitment includes two stages

Written Exam – This is the first stage of the CDS selection process. Candidates who register successfully for the exam are required to appear in the written exam. According to the CDS exam pattern, the written exam for IMA, INA, and Air Force comprises three sections, English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics. The total mark of the test is 300. The written exam for Officers’ Training Academy consists of two sections – English and General Knowledge. The total mark of the test is 200. Candidates qualifying the written exam will be called for SSB Interview for intelligence and personality test.

SSB Interview – There are two stages in SSB Interview – Psychological Aptitude Test and Intelligence Test. Candidates qualifying the stage one will be called for the second stage.

Final selection of candidates is done based on their performance in written exam and SSB Interview. Selected candidates will have to undergo training at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala, Air Force Academy, Hyderabad, Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai.


Q. What is the salary offered to candidates?

A. The cadets are paid Rs 56,100 monthly. During training, the stipend to the cadets is Rs 6000 per month in OTA while Rs 12,000 per month in IMA, INA, and Air Force academies.

Q. Can girls apply for CDS exam?

A. Yes, girls can apply for the CDS exam. They are considered for OTA and are allotted SSC (Short Service Commission) in the non-Technical cadre.

Q. Can I give CDS exam after class 12?

A. No, to be eligible for the exam candidates must have passed graduation.

Q. How to prepare for CDS exam?

A. Candidates should first understand the CDS syllabus and pattern. Then they should prepare a proper study routine. Clear basics and understand the concepts.

Q. How many attempts are permitted for CDS exam?

A. There is no limit on the number of attempts.

Q. Is NDA tough or CDS?

A. CDS is a bit easier to crack than NDA

Q. Are CDS conducted twice a year?

A. Yes, the CDS exam is conducted twice a year. 

Q. What is the level of CDS Syllabus?

A: The level of CDS syllabus is of Class 10 and graduation level. 

Q. Does CDS Syllabus changes every year?

A: No. It remains the same every year.

Q. Is there negative marking in CDS exam?

A: Yes, 1/3 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer, and 1mark is allotted for every right answer.

CDS Exam Pattern for IMA, INA, AFA

SubjectDurationMaximum marks
English2 hours100
General Knowledge2 hours100
Elementary Mathematics2 hours100

CDS Exam Pattern for OTA

SubjectDurationMaximum marks
English2 hours100
General Knowledge2 hours100

CDS Officers Salary (Approx).

Here is the salary for different posts after becoming an officer through the CDS exam:

Lieutenant Level 10Rs 56,100 – 1,77,500
Captain Level 10-BRs 6,13,00 – 1,93,900
Major Level 11Rs 6,94,00 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant Colonel Level 12ARs 1,21,200 – 2,12,400
Colonel Level 13Rs 1,30,600 – 2,15,900
Brigadier Level 13ARs 1,39,600 – 2,17,600
Major General Level- 14Rs 1,44,200 – 2,18,200
Lt General HAG  with Scale Level-15Rs 1,82,200 – 2,24,100
HAG with Scale Level – 16Rs 2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/ Army Cdr / Lt General (NFSG) Level-17Rs 2,25,000 (fixed)
COAS Level-18Rs 2,50,000 (fixed)

CDS Exam Syllabus

CDS Exam Syllabus

CDS syllabus consists of three sections: English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.

English Usage of words,       Grammar,  Vocabulary, Antonyms & Synonyms,  Parts of Speech, Direct & Indirect Speech, Idioms & Phrases,  Active & Passive Voice,  Ordering of words in a sentence, Spotting Errors, etc. 
General KnowledgeIndian History,  Indian Geography,  Current Events (National & International), Indian Culture & Heritage, Indian Economy,  General Politics, Indian Constitution,  Biology Statement true/false Physics Chemistry Defence-related Environment Current Awareness  Sociology Award Sport Book

CDS Exam Day Guidelines

There are some items that are banned inside the exam premises. Electronic devices like Calculator, Mobile phones, Digital Watch, Digital Pens, Pen drives, Bluetooth, Hands-free, Headphones, etc. are not allowed. If carried, the candidate must leave them outside the exam hall. Such items have to be kept outside and no one would be responsible for their safety in case of lost or destroyed.

No candidate is allowed to leave the exam hall before the completion of Exam time except in case of any Medical or any other Emergency

Candidates must also bring a photo ID card like Aadhaar Card/ Voter Card/ PAN Card/ Passport/ Driving License. It has to be issued by the State/ Central Government.

Want to join Merchant Navy?

Then Read this Article before joining it

If you face any difficulty in understanding the CDS Exam, then drop down your queries below and we will get back to you at the earliest.

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