Combined Defence Services(CDS)

The CDS Written Examination is conducted by UPSC twice every year for graduates to fill the vacancies of the following institutions of the Indian Armed Forces.

  • Indian Military Academy (IMA) ; Dehradun
  • Indian Naval Academy; Ezhimala
  • Air Force Academy; Hyderabad
  • Officers Training Academy (OTA); Chennai. For both Men and Women.
  • The dates on notification of the examinations usually released in the month of October, and the tests are conducted in February and November respectively. According to the policy of UPSC unmarried graduates males and females are eligible for CDS exams.
  • Although divorced female candidates age, less than 25 considered as unmarried.All the people who will be successful in the examinations will be sent to respective academies after an interview conducted by Service Selection Board which is called SSB.The recruitment of CDS is for the defense bodies of India.

Eligibility of CDS


A candidate must be a citizen of India.

Age Limits:

The candidate must be in the age group 20 to 25

Educational Qualifications:

The candidate must have complete graduation


The Notification for the CDS written exam is issued in the months of November and July. UPSC holds the exam in the months of Feb and October. Students can apply for the CDS and OTA written examination online only on UPSC website.

Syllabus and Exam of CDS examinations

  • English
  • General knowledge elementary mathematics arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Trigonometry
  • Geometry
  • Menstruation

Exam Pattern:

Objective Questions (MCQs) with subjects like English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics and criteria will be as:

For IMA, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy

  • English -> duration 2 hrs, max.marks 100
  • GK -> duration 2 hrs, max.marks 100
  • Maths -> duration 2 hrs, max.marks 100

Officer’s Training Academy(OTA)

  • English -> duration 2 hrs, max.marks 100
  • GK -> duration 2 hrs, max.marks 100
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