The “Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment of candidates into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy. The UPSC will conduct the CDS exam twice a year in the month of February and September.  Candidates who aim to serve the nation by joining the Defence forces can start applying for the CDS Examination. In order to apply online for the CDS Examination, candidates should meet all the eligibility requirements set by the Commission. The selection of the candidates will be based on the written examination followed by an interview for intelligence and personality test. The shortlisted candidates will be placed at the respective academies based on the preference and merit. Explore more details regarding the CDS (I) & (II) Examination below. 

S.No.Name of The AcademyCity
1Indian Military AcademyDehradun
2Indian Naval AcademyEzhimala
3Air force AcademyHyaderabad
4Officers Training Academy (SSC MEN)Chennai
5Officers Training Academy (SSC Women)Chennai

CDS Exams Details

ExamCombined Defence Services (CDS) Examination 
Organizing Body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Application Mode offline
Number of Vacancies 400 (approximately)
Application feeINR 200
Frequency Twice a year
Exam Mode Offline 
Selection Process Written test and SSB interview 
Admit Card Mode Online
Official Website 
Phone Number (Facilitation Counter) 011-23098543/ 23385271/ 23381125/ 23098591
E-mail[email protected] 

CDS Notification 2020

The UPSC will release the CDS notification twice a year in the months of October and August. The recruitment notification will be released for around 400 vacancies. Aspirants should note that the number of vacancies in the notification is tentative and may be changed at any stage by Services. 


CDS Exam Dates 2020 

 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 date March 2020
 CDS (II) 2020 Dates 
CDS (II) notification 2020 August 5, 2020
CDS (II) 2020 last date to apply August 25, 2019 
CDS (II) 2020 exam dateNovember 8, 2020
CDS (II) 2020 result dateDecember 2020

CDS (I) 2020

The UPSC will release the official notification of CDS (I) 2020 examination on October 30. The online applications can be filled up to November 19, 2019, till 6:00 pm.

An applicant can withdraw the application form December 3 to 10, 2019, till 6:00 pm. Aspirants are required to apply online using the official link

The candidates applying for the examination must fulfil all the eligibility criteria for admission to the examination. The CDS (I) 2020 examination will be held on February 2, 2020, for admissions to the below-mentioned courses in the notification.

 CDS (I) 2020 Vacancies
 Academy CourseReserved for NCC – VacanciesTotal Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun150th (DE) course commencing in January 202113100
Indian Naval Academy, EzhimalaCourse commencing in January 2021 Executive (General Service)/Hydro0645
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad(Pre-Flying) Training Course commencing in January 20210332
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai 113th SSC (Men) Course (NT) commencing in April 202150225
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai 27th SSC Women (Non-Technical) Course commencing in April 2021Nill16
 Total72 418

CDS (II) 2020

The UPSC will release the CDS (II) 2020 exam recruitment notification on August 05. The name of the notification is ”Combined Defence Service Examination (II), 2020 (Including SSC Women (Non-Technical Course).” The online applications will be accepted until August 25, 2020. A Combined Defence Services Exam will be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission on November 8, 2020.

CDS (II) 2020 Vacancies (Tentative)
Academy Course Reserved for NCC – VacanciesVacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun151th (DE) course commencing in January 202113100
Indian Naval Academy, EzhimalaCourse commencing in July 2021 Executive (General Service)/Hydro0645
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad(Pre-Flying) Training Course commencing in July 20210332
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai 114th SSC (Men) Course (NT) commencing in October 202150225
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai 28th SSC Women (Non-Technical) Course commencing in October 2021Nill15
Total 72 417

CDS Registration 2020

Interested candidates are advised to check whether they meet all the eligibility requirements set by the Commission prior to CDS registration. For CDS exam registration, candidates need to visit the official website of UPSC (  Candidates should have details of one photo identity card such as Aadhaar Card/ Voter Card/ PAN Card/ Passport/ Driving Licence/ any other ID card issued by the State/Central Government. The details in the ID card are required to filling up the CDS online application form.  Aspirants are also advised to keep the scanned copy of the photo ID ready for uploading. The same photo ID card is required until the final selection. Explore the step by step CDS registration form 2020 here. 

Eligibility Criteria

  1. 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 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.


A candidate must be either:

(i) a Citizen of India, or

(ii) a subject of Nepal, or

(iii) a subject of Bhutan, or

(iv) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India, or

(v) 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.


·        Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) above shall be a person in whose favour a
certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India

·        Certificate of eligibility will not, however, be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal

3.Educational Qualification

  • For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy-Degree of a recognized University or equivalent.
  • For Indian Naval Academy-Degree in Engineering from a recognized University/Institution.
  • For Air Force Academy-Degree of a recognised University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering


  • Graduates with the first choice as Army/Navy/Air Force are to submit proof of graduation provisional certificates on the date of commencement of the SSB Interview at the SSB.
  • Candidates who are studying in the final year/semester Degree course and have yet to pass the final year degree examination can also apply provide candidate.
  • should not have any present backlog up to the last semester/year for which results have been declared up to the time of submission of application and they will be required to submit proof of passing the degree examination at the time of commencement of course
  • Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Examination (I) & (II), 2020 as per guidelines are given in the official notification.

4.Age Limit

Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status for CDS I & II 2020:

  • For IMA – Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than January 02, 1996, and not later than January 01, 2002, only are eligible.
  • For Indian Naval Academy – Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than January 02, 1996, and not later than January 01, 2001, only are eligible.
  • For Air Force Academy – 20 to 24 years as on January 01, 2020, i.e. born not earlier than January 02, 1996, and not later than January 01, 2000, (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable up to 26 yrs, i.e. born not earlier than January 02, 1994, and not later than January 01, 2000) only are eligible.
  • For Officers’ Training Academy — (SSC Course for men) unmarried male candidates born not earlier than January 02, 1995, and not later than January 01, 2021, only are eligible.
  • For Officers’ Training Academy – (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) Unmarried women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible. They should have been born not earlier than January 02, 1995, and not later than January 01, 2001.


Candidate below 25 years of age must be unmarried. Marriage is not permitted during training. Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply but during training period they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live with family out of the premises.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • If you are selected in one of the branches of armed forces then you are set for your rest of the life
  • Apart from getting pay, perks and pension you also get many benefits that are missing from a private job
  • Your job can be challenging depending upon which type of armed force you join
  • Your job can be very tough and disciplined so you have to prepare yourself for it
  • After successful completion of Combined Defence Services training, the candidates pass out in the rank of a designated officer will be entitled to the pay and allowance of the rank

CDS (I) and (II) Exam Pattern

CDS (I) & (II) Scheme of Examination:

1, The competitive examination comprises:

  1. Written examination
  2. Interview for intelligence and personality test (vide Part ‘B’ of this Appendix) of such candidates as may be called for an interview at one of the Services Selection Centres.

2, The subjects of the written examination, the time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject will be as follows:

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

1, English2 Hours100
2, General Knowledge2 Hours100
3, Elementary Mathematics2 Hours100
CDS I & II Exam Pattern

For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy

1, English2 Hours100
2, General Knowledge2 Hours100
  TOTAL 200

The maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be equal for each course i.e. the maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be 300, 300, 300 and 200 each for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers’ Training Academy respectively.

  1. The papers in all the subjects will consist of objective type questions only. The question papers (Test Booklets) of General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics will be set bilingually in Hindi as well as English.
  2. In the question papers, wherever necessary, questions involving the metric system of Weights and Measures only will be set.
  3. Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write answers for them.
  4. The Commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects of the examination.
  5. The candidates are not permitted to use calculator for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets). They should not therefore, bring the same inside the Examination Hall.



The standard of the papers in Elementary Mathematics will be of Matriculation level. The standard of papers in other subjects will approximately be such as may be expected of a graduate of an Indian University.


ENGLISH (Code No. 01)

The question paper will be designed to test the candidates’ understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.


General Knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of everyday observation and 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 on History of India and Geography of a nature which candidate should be able to answer without special study.


Number System—Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, substraction, 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.


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 conditiona 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.


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.


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.


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


The SSB procedure consists of two stage Selection process – stage I and stage II. Only those candidates who clear the stage I are permitted to appear for stage II. The details are:-
(a) Stage I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests are Picture Perception* Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on combination of performance in OIR Test and PP&DT.
(b) Stage II Comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days. The details of these tests are given on the website

The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors viz. The Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist. There are no separate weightage for each test. The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in all the test. In addition, marks for Conference are also allotted based on the initial performance of the Candidate in the three techniques and decision of the Board. All these have equal weightage.
The various tests of IO, GTO and Psych are designed to bring out the presence/absence of Officer Like Qualities and their train ability in a candidate. Accordingly candidates are Recommended or Not Recommended at the SSB.