CDS Exam 2022

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CDS Exam

Counted amongst one of the toughest UPSC exams, CDS Exam is a gateway for those who want to join the coveted IMA, INA, and Airforce Academy. Conducted across the nation twice a year, it is an ideal route for entering the defence forces after completing graduation. In this blog, we will shed light on the key details pertaining to this exam which you should be aware of for the year 2022!

Latest Updates

  • CDS application withdrawal link will be activated from January 18 to January 24, 2022. The appplication fee for this process can be paid offline till January 10.
  • The CDS Application Form for 2022 exams will be realeased on April 18, 2022. The application process will close on June 14, 2022.

CDS Exam 2022 Highlights

Examination Name Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS)
Examination conducting body (UPSC) Union Public Service Commission 
Mode of filling the application  Offline and Online
Total number of Vacancies  345 (CDS 1)
344 (CDS 2)
Application Fees  200 INR
Frequency  Two times in a year
Process of Selection  Written as well as Interview
Mode of Admit Card Online

What is CDS Exam?

CDS, also known as Combined Defence Services, is an examination conducted by India’s apex body, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The sole purpose of the CDS exam is to recruit candidates for the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy as well as Indian Force Academy. The examination is conducted biannually by UPSC in the month of February as well as November. Candidates will be selected on the basis of a brilliant performance in written tests, personal interviews along a personality test. 

Also read:  How to Join Indian Navy?

Eligibility Criteria for CDS Exams

Be it SSC exams or any other government exams after 12th Science, understanding prerequisites should be taken into utmost consideration. For the CDS exam, in particular, the eligibility criteria has been divided into four sections namely, physical, nationality, age criteria and educational qualification. These parameters have been given a rundown below:  

Age, Gender and Marital Status

Academies Age Gender Marital Status
Indian Military Academy (IMA) 19-24 Only Men Unmarried
Air Force Academy 19-23 Only Men Either less than 25 years of age[Unmarried] 
Greater than 25 years of age [Both married and unmarried]
OTA – SSC Course for Men 19-25 Male Unmarried
OTA – SSC Women Non-Technical Course 19-25 Female Unmarried/widows who have not remarried/ Divorcees* who have not remarried
*in possession of divorce documents
Indian Naval Academy (INA) 19-22 Only Men Unmarried

Physical Standards

As far as physical criteria for the CDS exam is concerned,  a candidate has to be physically fit and mentally sound. To know the most commonly found reason for disqualification read the following criteria.

  • Wax (ears)
  • Devated Nasal Serum
  • Piles
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Overweight/Underweight
  • Hydrocele/Varicocele/Phimosis

Height and Weight Standards

Here are some of the standard ways, a candidates height and weight get judged during the CDS interviews.

  • In the navy the minimum height requirement for males is 157 cm and in air force the minimum height requirement for males is 162.5 cm. For females it’s 152 cm for both sectors.
  • In the Gorkha, the minimum height requirement for individuals hailing from the North-Eastern region of India, Garhwali, and Kumaon is 5 cm less than above standard heights.
  • For all candidate the body mass ratio should be at least below 25.
  • The candidate shoudl have a waist hip ratio below 0.9 if male, and below 0.8 if a female.
  • For males, the waist circumference should be below 90 cm and for females it should be below 80 cms.
  • The limit of all biochemical metabolic parameters in the body should be normal.


As far as the Nationality of a candidate for the CDS exam is concerned, the candidate should fulfil the following criteria.

  • The candidate should be an Indian citizen.
  • If not Indian, the candidate should be a subject of Bhutan or Nepal.
  • The canddiate can be a tibetian refugee or an offspring of a tibetian refugee who moved to India before January 1962
  • Can be a national of Indian origin who migrated from Burma, Pakisatn, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia or any east African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, and Zaire.

Academic Qualifications

  • Qualification wise, for IMA and Officers’ Training Academy, CDS exam candidates should hold a graduation degree from a recognised University. 
  • For Naval Academy, the candidate must hold a BTech/BE degree from a recognised university. 
  • For Air force Academy, applicants must have studied MPC subjects in 10+2 or must hold a Bachelor of Engineering degree. 

Also Read: UPSC Essay Topics

CDS Exam 2022 Important Dates

As this examination is conducted twice a year, it is important to be aware of the dates if you are really keen on applying for the coveted exam. Tabulated below are the CDS exam 2021 dates which you should know about:  

CDS Exam: 1

Events Important Dates
CDS 1 2022 Notification Release Date 28th October 2022
CDS 1 2022 Apply Online Begins 28th October 2022
Last date to Apply online 17th November 2022
CDS 1 2022 Exam Date 07th February 2023
CDS Admit Card 2022 07th January 2023

CDS Exam: 2

Events  Dates
Release of notification 4 August 2022
Starting of the application process 4 August 2022 to 17 November 2022
Exam date 14 November 2022

Also Read: How to Prepare for UPSC?

How to Apply for CDS Exam?

Here are some simple steps following which you can successfully apply for the CDS exam- 

  • Visit the official website and click on application for various examinations of UPSC
  • On the next page click on the column mention for CDS examination 
  • Under the part 1 section, carefully read all the instruction and click on the yes button
  • Now you will see the application form 
  • Fill in all your personal and contact details carefully in it 
  • Select your parameters for academic as per age and qualification 
  • A new registration ID would be generated in the next step and then you will have to move to Part 2 of the application form
  • You have to deposit Rs. 200 as the application fee
  • Once the payment is done, you can select your examination centre
  • Upload all the necessary documents along with the form 
  • Finally, click on submit 

Also Read: Geography for UPSC Preparation

CDS Exam Pattern

The exam pattern for IMA, INA, IAF is similar whereas for the OTA it differs. Here are both the exam patterns for the CDS exam for the year 2021-

For Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy

Subjects Marks Duration
English 120 2 hours
General Knowledge 120 2 hours
Elementary Mathematics 100 2 hours

For Officer’s Training Academy

Subjects Marks Duration
English 100 2 hours
General Knowledge 100 2 hours

CDS Exam Syllabus 

Before you start gearing up for the CDS EXam, it is important to be familiar with the syllabus of it. Being aware of what will be a part of the question paper will help you score well in the exam. Here are some quick insights related to the syllabus-

General Knowledge History, Physics, Biology, Geography, Political Science, Current affairs of the last 4-5 months from the examination date.
English Basic Grammar, Synonyms, Antonyms, Comprehension Solving, Error Spotting, Para Jumbles
Elementary Math Natural numbers, Integers, Percentages, Rational and Real numbers, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Profit & Loss, Ratio & proportion, Prime and composite numbers

Note: The above-mentioned syllabus is for indicative purposes. Candidates are advised to check the entire syllabus on the official website.

CDS Preparation Tips 2022

Being one of ht most competitive examinations in the government sector, it is highly recommended to prepare for the CDC with complete dedication. Here are a few preparation tips that might help you!

  • It is highly required for the candidates to be clear with the exam patterns and syllabus
  • Practicing and solving test papers and previous year’s qiestion papers are always a good technique to ace the test
  • Study the important topics with more focus
  • Disciplined time table and stidu routine will help the candidate
  • Solving basic math problems from high school books is a great way to test your arithmetic skills

Also Read: Economics for UPSC: Syllabus, Books & Tips

Exam Centres for CDS 2022

As per their feasibility, candidates are free to opt for their desirable exam centre. Below we have tabulated the main cities with exam centres-

Sr. No. State Examination Centre
1 Tripura Agartala
2 Gujarat Ahmedabad
3 Mizoram Aizawl
4 Uttar Pradesh Allahabad
5 Karnataka Bengaluru
6 Uttar Pradesh Bareilly
7 Madhya Pradesh Bhopal
8 Punjab Chandigarh
9 Tamil Nadu Chennai
10 Tamil Nadu Cuttack
11 Uttarakhand Dehradun
12 Delhi Delhi
13 Karnataka Dharwad
14 Assam Dispur
15 Sikkim Gangtok
16 Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad
17 Manipur Imphal
18 Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar
19 Rajasthan Jaipur
20 Jammu and Kashmir Jammu
21 Assam Jorhat
22 Kerala Kochi
23 Nagaland Kohima
24 West Bengal Kolkata
25 Uttar Pradesh Lucknow
26 Tamil Nadu Madurai
27 Maharashtra Mumbai
28 Maharashtra Nagpur
29 Goa Panaji
30 Bihar Patna
31 Andaman and Nicobar Port Blair
32 Chhattisgarh Raipur
33 Jharkhand Ranchi
34 Odisha Sambalpur
35 Meghalaya Shillong
36 Himachal Pradesh Shimla
37 Jammu and Kashmir Srinagar
38 Kerala Thiruvananthapuram
39 Arunachal Pradesh Tirupati
40 Rajasthan Udaipur
41 Arunachal Pradesh Visakhapatnam

CDS Exam 2022 Admit Card

On the 14th of March 2022, UPSC CDS 1 Admit Card 2022 was officially posted on the UPSC official website. The CDS 1 2022 admit card may be downloaded directly from the website provided below. By logging in with their Registration ID and Roll No., candidates may download their CDS admission cards.

Verify that all of the information on the admission card is accurate. If there is a difference, you may be denied permission to take the exam. At the examination centre, all applicants must carry their admit cards. Without their CDS admission card, no applicant will be able to enter the test venue.

CDS Exam 2022 Books

In order to acquire proper education, it is vital to have access to the best study tools for the CDS exam. As a result, have a look at the subject-by-subject top books for the CDS test, as recommended by professionals.

Subjects Books
English Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & CompositionWord Power Made Easy
General Knowledge General Knowledge (Latest Edition)Manorama Yearbook
Mathematics Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive ExaminationsMathematics for CDS Examination

CDS 2022 Result

UPSC usually announces the results for the shortlisted candidates in the next month from the date of the exam. In order to check the CDS exam results for 2022, follow the given procedures:

  • Firstly visit the official UPSC homepage
  • You will find an option in the homepage called “Written Result” when the results are released
  • The results page will open where you have to fill up your roll number
  • A pdf page will open upon the submission of your correct roll number
  • If your name comes in the pdf list then you have successfully entered the next interview round.

CDS Exam 2022 Cut-Off

  • Along with the announcement of the final result, the CDS Cut off will be made public.
  • Candidates who are planning to take the CDS 1 2022 test can obtain an idea of the expected marks they will need to pass the exam.

CDS 1 2021 Cut Off

Name Expected Cutoff (Written Exam)
IMA 115 – 125 
INA 105 – 115 
AFA 125 – 135
OTA (Men & Women) 85 – 95

Selection Process 

The selection process for IAF, IMA, INA and OTA is similar in nature. Majorly recruitment is done by following the process of-

  • Written Exam
  • SSB Interview/ Personality Test
  • Document Verification 
  • Medical Examination 

Once the candidates have gone to the above-mentioned steps and stages, a merit list is prepared for the selected candidates who managed to secure good marks overall. Candidates must note that the final parameter of selection is a medical examination. 

CDS Vacancies for 2022

Once you crack the CDS exam, you can join some of the most lucrative posts. All it needs is your passion and hardworking skills which can help you crack the examination with flying colours. Go through various posts for the upcoming UPSC exam: 

Academies Vacancies for CDS(1) Vacancies for CDS(2)
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun 100  100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala 26 26
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad 32  32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai  170 169
Officers Training Academy, Chennai 17 17
Total 345 344

CDS Carrer Growth & Promotion

CDS officers have obtained the following promotions during the course of their careers: –

  • Two years of commissioned duty as a captain
  • Six years of commissioned duty as a major
  • Thirteen years of commissioned duty as a Lieutenant Colonel
  • Colonel—Fifteen years of service as a commissioned officer
  • Colonel (TS) – 26 years of commissioned service
  • Twenty-five years of commissioned duty as a Major General
  • Brigadier-forty-three years of service as a commissioned officer
  • Lieutenant General—served in the military for twenty-eight years.
  • There are no limits in general.
  • Lieutenant-Only after completion of training will you be promoted to Lieutenant.

What is CDS Salary?

Officers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force receive a monthly CDS salary of INR 56,100 throughout their training term. The following is the wage breakdown by rank:

Rank Salary (In INR)
Lieutenant 56,100 -1,77,500
Captain 61,300- 1,93,900
Major 69,400 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant Colonel 1,21,200 – 2,12,400
Colonel 1,30,600-2, 15,900
Brigadier 1,39,600-2,17,600
Major General 1,44,200-2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG Scale 1, 82, 200-2,24,100
HAG+Scale 2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG) 2,25,000 (fixed)
COAS 2,50,000 (fixed)


Who are eligible for the CDS exam?

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree. although the specific requirements related to a bachelors degree differ for all three defence forces. 
IMA: Any Graduation Degree 
INA: BTech or BE Degree 
IAF: BE Degree with MPC Subjects in 10+2

What is CDS qualification?

The UPSC has set that candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from a government recognised University as a basic qualification for the CDS exam. 

Is CDS a tough exam?

The CDS exam is considered to be a moderately difficult exam. Once you have prepared well for the exam and are familiar with the entire syllabus you can score well in it. 

We cannot ignore the fact that India’s defence sector has not only witnessed tremendous growth but also offers a plethora of career prospects. So, clearing the CDS exam is a step towards building a vibrant career in this field! If you are unsure of what path to take after the 12th then take the assistance from experts at Leverage Edu who will identify your skills and strengths and will recommend a suitable course accordingly! 

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