Combined Defence Services (CDS) 2021: Exam Dates, Syllabus, Salary, Qualification


There is an India level examination, conducted twice a year by the Joint Defense Services, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

This exam is designed by the central government, clearing this examination will lead you in the jobs related to the armed forces in India.

This particular defence Service Examination is conducted for recruitment in Indian Naval Academy (INA), National Defence Academy (NDA), Officers Training Academy (OTA) and Indian Air Force Academy (IAF). Candidates who wish to serve the country by joining the defence forces can start applying for the CDS examination.

Also, The Candidates who are willing to crack bank examination in 2021 can read this helpful guide.

To apply online for the CDS exam, candidates must fulfil all the eligibility requirements set by the Commission. The selection of the candidates will be based on written tests, then the next step is of interview for intelligence and personality test. The shortlisted applicants will be placed in the respective academies based on preference and merit list.

S No.Name of AcademyCity
1Indian Military AcademyDehradun
2Indian Naval AcademyEzhimala
3Air Force AcademyHyderabad
4Officers Training Academy (SSC Men)Chennai
5Officers Training Academy (SSC Women)Chennai

The below-mentioned table provides all the necessary information regarding UPSC Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination.

Indoor SubjectsMarks Allotted
ExamCombines Defence Services (CDS) Examination
Organising BodyUnion Public Services Commission (UPSC)
Application modeOffline
Number of Vacancies400 (Approx)
Application fee200 Rs
FrequencyTwice a year
Exam modeOffline
Selection ProcessWritten test and SSB interview
Admit card modeOnline
Phone number (facilitation counter)011-23098543/ 23385271/ 23381125/ 23098591
e-mail[email protected]
LieutenantLevel 1056,100 – 1,77,500 Rs
CaptionLevel 10 BRs. 6,13,00-1,93,900
MajorLevel 11Rs. 6,94,00 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant colonelLevel 12 ARs. 1,21,200 – 2,12400
colonelLevel 13Rs. 1,30,600-2, 15,900
BrigadierLevel 13 ARs. 1,39,600-2,17,600
Major GeneralLevel 14Rs. 1,44,200-2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG ScaleLevel 15Rs. 1, 82, 200-2,24,100
HAG+ScaleLevel 16Rs. 2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG)Level 17Rs. 2,25,000/-(fixed)
COASLevel 18Rs. 2,50,000/-(fixed)

CDS 2021 Exam Pattern

The CDS exam consists of two stages:

  • (A) Written Examination.
  • (B) Intelligence and personality tests (interview for a part for B ‘of this appendix) of such candidates who may be called for interview at one of the service selection centres.

The subject of written examination, time period, maximum marks along with the post i.e. IMA, OFA, etc. are given below in the table:

Combined Defence Services 2021 Paper - I

Examination I

The subjects which aim towards the post for Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Indian Air Force Academy (IAF) are three subjects

  • English
  • General Knowledge
  • Elementary mathematics.

Each having a weightage of 300 marks. For the post of Officers Training Academy (OTA) the subjects are the same as above mentioned, but Elementary mathematics is not a part of the examination.

CDS Examination (I) 2020
For Admissions To Indian
Military Academy,
Indian Naval Academy and Air
Force Academy
2 Hrs100
2 Hrs100
2 Hrs100
For Admissions To Officers’
Training Academy
2 Hrs100
2 Hrs100

Combined Defence Services 2021 Paper- II

Examination II

The subjects which aim towards the post for Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Indian Air Force Academy (IAF) are three subjects

  • English
  • General Knowledge
  • Elementary Mathematics

Each subject has a weightage of 300 Marks. For the post of Officers Training Academy (OTA) the subjects are the same as above mentioned, but Elementary mathematics is not a part of the examination.

CDS Examination (II) 2020SubjectDateDurationMaximum
CDS Examination (I) 2020
For Admissions To Indian
Military Academy,
Indian Naval Academy and Air
Force Academy
2 Hrs100
2 Hrs100
2 Hrs100
For Admissions To Officers’
Training Academy
2 Hrs100
2 Hrs100


  • The maximum marks allotted for written examination and interview will be same for each course i.e. maximum numbers will be allotted for the interview and written examination will be 300, 300, 300 and 200 for admission to Indian Military, Indian Navy, Air Force and Officers Training respectively.
  • There will be only multiple-choice Questions in the paper of all subjects. General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics Question Papers (Test Booklets) will be set bilingually in Hindi and English.
  • In question papers, wherever necessary, questions related to the metric system of weight and measurement will be set.
  • Candidates are not allowed to use a calculator for answering objective type paper (test booklet). Therefore, they should not be brought inside the examination hall.

CDS Intelligence and Personality Test

The SSB process consists of a two-stage selection process – Phase I and Phase II. Only those candidates who clear Phase I are allowed to appear for Phase II. Details are:

(A) Stage I consists of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests, Picture perception * Description tests (PP and DT). Merit list will be created on the basis of a combination of performance in the OIR Test and PP&DT. (b) Compilation of stage II interviews, group test officer work, psychology tests and conferences. These tests are conducted over 4 days. We have provided you with the best details of these tests, which are also given on the website

A candidate’s personality is assessed by three different evaluators. Group Testing Officer (GTO) Interview Officer (IO) and Psychologist. There is no separate weightage for each test.

The marks are allotted by the evaluators keeping in view the performance of the candidate in all the examinations. In addition, points are also allocated for the conference based on the candidate’s initial performance in the board’s three techniques and decisions. All these have equal weight.

The various tests of GTO, Psych and IO, are designed to eliminate the presence/absence of officer-like abilities and their training ability in a candidate. Accordingly, candidates are not recommended or recommended in SSB.

CDS Examination (I) and (II) Syllabus 2021

  1. English
  2. General Knowledge
  3. Elementary Mathematics

are subjects common in both CDS(I) & CDS (II) examination, Syllabus is mentioned below.

  • General English Grammer
  • Adequate knowledge of sentence formation

General knowledge including

  • knowledge of current events
  • such matters of everyday observation
  • experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject.

The paper will also include questions

  • History of India
  • Geography of nature

which candidate should be able to answer without special study

ARITHMETIC:-Number System – Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions. Unitary method, time and distance, time and work, percentages, applications to simple and compound interest, profit and loss, ratio and proportion, variation.

Elementary Number Theory – Division algorithm. Prime and composite numbers. Tests of divisibility by 2,3,4,5,9 and 11. Multiples and factors. Factorisation Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M Euclidean algorithm. Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables.

ALGEBRA:-Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M., Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns – analytical and graphical solutions. Simultaneous linear inequations in two variables and their solutions. Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions. Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices.


Sine ×, cosine ×, Tangent × when 0° < × < 90° Values of sin ×, cos × and tan ×, for ×

= 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°

Simple trigonometric identities. Use of trigonometric tables.

Simple cases of heights and distances.

GEOMETRY:- Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Theorems on (i) Properties of angles at a point, (ii) Parallel lines, (iii) Sides and angles of a triangle, (iv) Congruency of triangles, (v) Similar triangles,

(vi) Concurrence of medians and altitudes, (vii) Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle and square, (viii) Circles and its properties including tangents and normals,

(ix) Loci.

MENSURATION:- Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle, Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), Surface area and volume of cuboids, lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, surface area and volume of spheres.

STATISTICS:- Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts etc. Measures of central tendency.

CDS 2021 Eligibility Criteria

Physical Criteria

  • Candidates must be physically and mentally fit according to prescribed physical standards for admission to CDS (I) & CDS (II) 2020
  • A candidate who has resigned or withdrawn on disciplinary grounds from any of the training academies of Armed Forces is not eligible to apply
  • Permanent body tattoos are only permitted on the inner face of the forearm, i.e. from inside of elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of palm/back (dorsal) side of the hand
  • Permanent body tattoos on any other part of the body are not acceptable and candidates will be barred from further selection. Tribes with tattoo marks on the face or body as per their existing custom and traditions will be permitted on a case to case basis
  • The concessions are not applicable for Air Force Height and Weight standards are mentioned I the official notification for Army and Navy only. Interpolation for weights against height not mentioned may be done.


Nationality of a candidate must be either of the following:

  • Citizen of India
  • Subject of Nepal
  • Subject of Bhutan
  • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, for permanent settlement in India.
  • Migrant from any of the following countries for permanently settling in India:
  • Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam


  • Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) is a person in whose favour the Government of India has issued a certificate of eligibility.
  • A certificate of eligibility, however, will not be required in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal

Educational Qualification

  • For I.M.A. and the title of Official Training Academy of a recognized or equivalent university.
  • For the Naval Academy of India: Bachelor of Engineering from a recognized university/institution.
  • For the title of Air Force Academy from a recognized university (with Physics and Mathematics at the 10 + 2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.


  • Graduates with the first choice as Army / Navy / Air Force must present proof of provisional graduation certificates on the start date of the SSB Interview at the SSB.
  • Candidates who are studying in the year-end/semester course and have not yet passed the end-of-year exam can also apply as long as the candidate
  • You must not have any accumulated delay until the last semester/year for which the results have been declared until the moment of the presentation of the application.
  • They will be asked to present proof of passing the grade exam at the beginning of the course.
  • Candidates must be physically fit according to the physical standards for admission to the Combined Defense Services Exam (I) and (II), 2020, according to the guidelines listed in the official notification.

Age Limit

  • For IMA: Only unmarried male candidates born not before January 2, 1996, and before January 1, 2002, are eligible.
  • For the Naval Academy of India: Only single male candidates born not earlier than January 2, 1996, or before January 1, 2001, are eligible.
  • For the Air Force Academy: 20 to 24 years old as of January 1, 2020, that is, born not earlier than January 2, 1996, and no later than January 1, 2000 (upper age limit for Candidates holding a valid and current commercial pilot license issued by DGCA (India) can relax up to 26 years, that is, born not before January 2, 1994, and no later than January 1, 2000) are only eligible.
  • For the Officer Training Academy – (Men’s SSC Course), single male candidates born no earlier than January 2, 1995, and no later than January 1, 2021, are only eligible.
  • For the Officer Training Academy – (SSC Women’s Non-Technical Course). They should have been born before January 2, 1995, and before January 1, 2001.

Note: Candidates under the age of 25 must be single. Marriage is not allowed during training. Married candidates over the age of 25 are eligible to apply, but during the training period they will not be provided with married accommodation nor will they be able to live with the family off-site.

CDS Interview Process 2021

The interview is one of the most important parts of the CDS exam. It’s very necessary for you to clearly state your thoughts to the interviewers.

As a result, you need to focus on brightening your communication skills and body language. Some candidates are blessed with such skills.

Some require practice to become excellent communicators of their ideas. Candidates with no communication skills can contact those who have already appeared in the Civil Services Examinations, to get useful suggestions from them.

Because this portion of the Civil Services Examination is not designed to judge someone’s expertise on a subject.

However, a candidate must speak from the heart or answer all questions honestly.

There is a common misconception among the candidates that if they lie about their hobby just to get through the interview, it will never help them.

Interviewers are not just to ask questions, but to evaluate a candidate’s personality and ability to evaluate whether a ‘no’ is a ‘no’, it cannot be changed to a ‘yes’ and vice versa.

You can checkout our Upcoming Bank Exams page for bank exams information

CDS Exam Dates 2021

These below mentioned are some important dates for a UPSC Combined defence service (CDS) examination applicant.

For further details must check out the official website of UPSC (

CDS (I) – Date of notification2020
CDS (I) – Last Date for receipt of applicationsoct-2020
CDS (I) – Date of ExaminationFeb-2021
CDS (II) – Last date for Receipt for ApplicationAug-2021
CDS (II) – Date of Admit cardJuly-2021
CDS (II) – Date of ExaminationNov-2021
Important Dates
CDS (I) 2020 Dates
CDS (I) notification 2020October 30, 2019
CDS (I) 2020 last date to applyNovember 19, 2019
CDS (I) 2020 exam dateFebruary 2, 2020
CDS (I) 2020 result dateMarch 2020
CDS (II) 2020 Dates
CDS (II) notification 2020August 5, 2020
CDS (II) 2020 last date to applyAugust 25, 2019
CDS (II) 2020 exam dateNovember 8, 2020
CDS (II) 2020 result dateDecember 2020

Apply online CDS 2021

  1. Candidate needs to go to the official website of UPSC(
  2. There will be two phases available i.e phase-I and phase-II, fill the form as per the instruction given right there.
  3. Pay the required fees as per the paying amount.


  • Candidates will be admitted to INA, IMA, the Air Force Academy, and Officer Training Academy through a written exam, personality test, and interview.
  • Candidates will be ranked in the order of merit based on their overall scores on the written exam and SSB tests.
  • The final merit list will be made in order of subject to physical fitness and suitability in all other aspects and the number of available vacancies.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap