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Combined Defence Services Examination
Combined Defence Services Examination (Overview)
For those young and courageous individuals who nurture a patriotic sentiment, who are willing to take on any kind of challenges and dedicate their lives to defending the country and its people, the Common Defence Service Test is the path to join the nation's Defence forces. 

Combined Defence Service exam is conducted by UPSC twice every year for recruitment to office cadre of the Army, Navy and Air force. CDS exam is conducted generally in the months of february and august. 

Candidates qualifying the written test are interviewed by the Service Selection Board and if finally selected, depending upon the choice given by the candidates and their merit list ranking, are sent to one of the following institutes for orientation training: -
(a) Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun
(b) Naval Academy, Goa
(c) Air Force Academy, Begumpet, Hyderabad
(d) Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai

Those joining the first three institutes get permanent commission, however cadets passing out of OTA get short service commission. Applicants are required to mention their preferences while filling up the application forms.

Tentative Schedule (Examination held twice a year)

(i) Notification of Examination  August and March

(ii) Conduct of Examination  February and August

Age - limits

  • 19-24 Years Indian Military Academy
  • 19-22 Years Naval Academy
  • 19-23 Years Air Force Academy
  • 19-25 Years Officers Training Academy

Educational Qualification

IMA & OTA Degree of a recognized University or equivalent

Naval Academy B.Sc. with Physics & Mathematics or Bachelor of Engg

Air Force Academy B.Sc. with Physics and/or Mathematics or Bachelor of Engg

Candidates appearing at the degree or equivalent examination also eligible to compete. Such candidates will be required to submit the proof of passing the requisite qualifying examination by a date to be specified in the Commissionís Notice for the Examination.

Scheme of Examination

Written Examination
For Indian Military Academy Naval Academy and Air Force Academy English (Objective type) 100 Marks
  General Knowledge (Objective type) 100 Marks
  Elementary Mathematics (Objective type) 100 Marks
  Total 300 Marks
For Officers  Training Academy English (Objective type) 100 Marks
  General Knowledge (Objective type) 100 Marks
  Total 200 Marks
Marks for SSB Interviews
IMA, NA and AFA 300 Marks
OTA 200 Marks

NOTE: For further details, please refer to the Commission's Notice for the Examination when it is published in the Employment News and some of the daily newspapers.