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 2021!
This Blog Includes:
|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 interview along with a personality test.
Also read: How to Join Indian Navy?
CDS Exam Dates 2021
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 2021 Notification Release Date||28th October 2020|
|CDS 1 2021 Apply Online Begins||28th October 2020|
|Last date to Apply online||17th November 2020|
|CDS 1 2021 Exam Date||07th February 2021|
|CDS Admit Card 2021||07th January 2021|
CDS Exam: 2
|Release of notification||04-Aug-2021|
|Starting of the application process||04-Aug-2021 to 17-Nov-2020|
CDS Exam: Eligibility Criteria
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:
|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.
- Candidates who have previously resigned or eliminated on any disciplinary actions are not eligible for applying this examination.
- Candidates with Tattoos made on any body parts are not allowed to appear in the examination.
- Height and weight should meet all the criteria requirements with the commission.
As far as the Nationality of a candidate for CDS exam is concerned, either he should be a Citizen of India or a subject of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan, or a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, with the sole purpose and intention of permanently settling in India, or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka or East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or from Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
- 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.
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
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-
IMA/ INA/ IAF-
|General Knowledge||100||2 hours|
|Elementary Mathematics||100||2 hours|
|General Knowledge||100||2 hours|
CDS Exam Syllabus
Befre 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 scoring 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.
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 2021
Once you crack the CDS exam, you can join some of the most lucrative posts. All it needs 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|
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|
Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree. although the specific requirements related to 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.
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 12th then take the assistance from experts at Leverage Edu who will identify your skills and strengths and will recommend a suitable course accordingly!