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!
This Blog Includes:
- Latest Updates
- CDS Exam 2022 Highlights
- What is CDS Exam?
- Eligibility Criteria for CDS Exams
- CDS Exam 2022 Important Dates
- How to Apply for CDS Exam?
- CDS Exam Pattern
- CDS Exam Syllabus
- CDS Preparation Tips 2022
- Exam Centres for CDS 2022
- CDS Exam 2022 Admit Card
- CDS Exam 2022 Books
- CDS 2022 Result
- CDS Exam 2022 Cut-Off
- Selection Process
- CDS Vacancies for 2022
- CDS Carrer Growth & Promotion
- What is CDS Salary?
- 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
|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|
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
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.
- 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
|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
|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-
|General Knowledge||120||2 hours|
|Elementary Mathematics||100||2 hours|
For Officer’s Training Academy
|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|
|20||Jammu and Kashmir||Jammu|
|31||Andaman and Nicobar||Port Blair|
|37||Jammu and Kashmir||Srinagar|
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.
|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|
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|
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)|
|Major||69,400 – 2,07,200|
|Lieutenant Colonel||1,21,200 – 2,12,400|
|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)|
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
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.
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!