CDS Selection Process 2020 - Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has prescribed the CDS 2020 Selection Process examination in its notification. Selection Process of CDS 2020 has two stages - written exam and SSB interview. In the first stage - CDS written exam, candidates have to take three papers for admission in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and two papers for admission in Officers’ Training Academy. In the second stage of the CDS Selection Process 2020, candidates will have to appear in SSB interview which will test their intelligence, personality and psychological aptitude. Candidates have to qualify both stages of CDS 2020 selection process in order to pass CDS 2020. Read the article below to know more about CDS selection process 2020.
Latest: CDS 2020 Result Has Been Announced By UPSC.
CDS exam is conducted by UPSC for admission, training and recruitment as commissioned officers in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. On qualifying exam, candidates will have to go through training in Indian Military Academy (IMA Dehradun), Indian Naval Academy (INA Ezhimala), Air Force Academy (Hyderabad), and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA Chennai). CDS 2020 is scheduled to be conducted on February 2.

CDS Selection Process 2020

CDS Selection Process 2020 - Overview

Name of exam

Combined Defence Services

Short name


Conducting body

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Official Website

Mode of exam


Stages of exam

  1. Written exam

  2. SSB Interview



CDS 2020 - Important Dates



CDS-I application dates

October 30 to November 19, 2019

Admit card of CDS 2020

January 9, 2020

CDS exam date

February 2, 2020

CDS result 2020

March 23, 2020 (Released)

Stages of CDS 2020 Selection Process

Two stages of the selection process of CDS 2020 are explained below in detail.

CDS Selection Process 2020 - Written Examination

The first stage of CDS selection process is written exam which comprises three papers - English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics for admission in Military, Naval and Air Force Academy. For admission in Officers’ Training Academy, candidates have to appear for just two papers English and General Knowledge. All the questions asked in CDS written exam are objective in nature. Candidates will be given 2 hours time to take each paper. As per CDS selection process 2020, candidates will be called for SSB Interview on qualifying the written examination. The result of CDS has been declared containing roll numbers and names of qualified candidates who have secured the minimum qualifying marks as per the Commission.

SSB Interview in CDS 2020 Selection Process

The second stage of CDS selection process is the SSB interview. SSB Interview for CDS selection process 2020 will be conducted for 5 days to test the candidates intelligence, personality and more. These tests will be conducted in two stages. Candidates can only appear for Stage II tests if they qualify in Stage I tests. The qualifying candidates of SSB interview will be eligible for admission to the forces and OTA. Day-wise test schedule is given in the table below.

Stages of SSB Interview

  1. Psychological Aptitude Test - Includes Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests such as Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT).

  2. Intelligence Test - Includes Psych Test, Group Testing Officer tasks & Conference.

SSB Interview - Test Schedule



Day 1

Reporting, Filling of forms, Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT)

Day 2

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Self Description Test (SD), Situation Reaction Test (SRT), Word Association Test (WAT)

Day 3

Group Testing Officers’ Tasks (GTO) that include Group Discussion (GD), Group Planning Exercise (GPE), Half Group Task (HGT), Progressive Group Task (PGT) & Individual Obstacle Task (IOT).

Day 4

Individual Obstacle Task (IOT), Command Task, Final Group Task (FGT), Personal Interview and Individual Lecturette

Day 5

Conference and Document Verification

CDS Medical Examination

After clearing SSB interview, candidates will have to go through a medical examination conducted by a Special Medical Board (SMB). Medical examination may last up to 4 to 6 days.

Final Merit List of CDS 2020

A final merit list will be prepared for candidates who have cleared both written examination and SSB Interview.

CDS Salary 2020

Fixed Stipend for Cadet Training

Stipend during the entire duration of training in Service academies

Rs. 56,100

Pay Scale of Army Officers and equivalent ranks in Air Force and Navy



Pay Scale


Level 10

56,100 – 1,77,500


Level 10 B



Level 11

6,94,00 – 2,07,200

Lieutenant Colonel

Level 12A

1,21,200 – 2,12400


Level 13

1,30,600-2, 15,900


Level 13A


Major General

Level 14


Lieutenant General HAG Scale

Level 15

1, 82, 200-2,24,100


Level 16

2,05,400 – 2,24,400

VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG)

Level 17



Level 18


CDS Selection Process 2020 - Important Points

  • Candidates will have to secure the minimum qualifying marks separately in Written Examination and SSB Interview as fixed by the Commission and Service Selection Board respectively.

  • Final merit list will be prepared on the basis of marks obtained in the written examination and SSB interview.

  • Candidates who qualify the SSB Interview have to submit photocopies of Matriculation certificate or equivalent in support of date of birth and Bachelor's Degree/ Provisional Degree along with mark sheets of all the years/ semesters in support of educational qualification.

CDS Updates and Articles

Questions related to CDS

Showing 413 out of 413 Questions

Will I be able to clear medical of CDS if i got my hand burnt by cracker and is ok now.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 31st Mar, 2020

In medical test, they usually check the Height, weight. They also check for amy visual, auditory deformities. They will take a Chest X ray to rule out any Chest infections. Hand burn is a scar and it us not a deformity or an illness. So if the rest of the parameters are good, then there should be no reason why you would not clear the Medical fitness test. All that matters is that you should be in good Physical and Mental health and be free from any deformity or disease that might interfere with performing your duties efficiently.


My date of birth is 10th july,1999.Can I apply for cds in 2023?

Soham sengupta 31st Mar, 2020

Hello aspirant,

Yes you can apply for CDS in 2023. According to CDS eligibility criteria candidate's minimum age should be 20 & maximum age should be 24 years. Candidate also have to pass their graduation or appearing for the final year to give the examination. To know more about CDS eligibility criteria click here


Is spectacles allow a candidates can select with spectacles

Rehan Alam Student Expert 26th Mar, 2020

Dear aspirant,

yes you can apply for CDS exam even if you have spectacles however you will not be able to get into the air force and flying department because of your spectacles.

you could however go for logistics and administration even if you have your spectacles.

Hope this helps. Thank you.


if I have 50% in mathematics and physics in 10+2 class, can I appear for OTA and AFA?

Shiksha 25th Mar, 2020


Yes, you are eligible for appearing for cds ota & afa.

  • The eligibility criteria for CDS OTA says: the person should be between 19-25 years age & should have a bachelor's degree from a recognised University/institue (men & women both). The men can be married or unmarried & women can be married or unmarried or widow.
  • The eligibility criteria for AFA says that: the person should be between 20-24 years unmarried. Should have a degree  (with physics and mathematics at 10+2 level) from a recognised University/institue or bachelor's in engineering.

I hope this clears you doubt.


i have completed my ba.llb degree and my dob is 04/03/1995 .can i apply for CDS .if not then is there any other option for me in defence.

Hrisheekesh Singh 24th Mar, 2020

Hi Dawood,

As per the latest eligibility criteria of CDS 2020, the candidates between 20 to 24 years are eligible to give this exam.

You are 26 now which means you are above 24 years of age now, so you are not eligible for the respective exam in each and every course ranging from IMA to OTA.

You can go for Indian Army recruitments now.

Feel free to ask doubts in the Comment Section.

You may refer to this article for more information about CDS 2020 Eligibility criteria.

I hope this information helps you.

Good Luck!

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