CDS Selection Process 2020
Updated on Jan 30, 2020 - 2:34 p.m. IST by Aayushi madavi

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.
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.

Latest: Candidates can check unofficial CDS Answer Key 2020 on Feb 2
Applicants can also check expected CDS Cut off 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

April 2020

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 or merit list will have the names of 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.

More like CDS

Questions related to CDS

Showing 386 out of 386 Questions

when i can apply for cds exam? upcoming registration month??

Smrity 25th Feb, 2020


The dates to register for CDS 1 are closed but as CDS exams are taken twice a year you can take the second paper. The registration for the second CDS paper will be in the Month of August and will probably begin from 5th August,2020. Please stay updated on any notifications released on the official sites for test dates and other related information. The notification related to CDS 2 is released in the month of June probably, so, keep yourself updated on any information.

Here is the link to the official site :

Hope this helps.

All the best!


i am done 12 with pcmb with 40% individual and now in bsc computer science am i eligible for cds exam to join Indian air force and i am 20 years girl

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 22nd Feb, 2020


after completing your graduation course or if you are in final year you are eligible to apply. age limit for woman candidate is ,  should have been born not earlier than January 2, 1996 and not later than January 2, 2002. woman's are only eligible to apply in Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course), the eligibility criteria is bachelors degree in any discipline.

hope it would help.


after clearing the cds exam what will happen

Shivangini Bhatt 19th Feb, 2020
CDA exam is a gateway to the SSB interview. If a candidate manages to clear the CDS Written Exam then he/she will get a chance to show his prowes in the SSB Interview. It is essential to clear the CDS cutoff in order to appear for SSB Interview. If the candidate manages to clear the SSB interview then he/she will be appearing for the document verification and medical examination. After that, the candidate will be sent to the academy for training to become an officer.

sir, i am pursuing integrated ( MBA - B. tech) in Computer Science and Engineering. so, whether I am eligible for the CDS entrance exam Or not ?

Kalpana Sharma 19th Feb, 2020
Hi Chinmaya,
Hope you are doing great.
Yes, you are eligible for the CDS( Combined Defence Services ) exam as the basic eligibility to appear for this exam is to have graduation in any discipline with 50% marks in it.
However, under this exam , there are academies and it has different qualifications required as Air Force or Navy demands of having mainly engineering branch while in OTA and IMA ,you can go with any desirable course.
Hope it helps.

Best Wishes

i am intrested in CDS OTA 2020 i want to know is OTA sylabus of GK And english same as iMA and navy

Sharon Rose Student Expert 18th Feb, 2020
The syllabus for CDS will be same for IMA, INA, AFA and OTA.For IMA, INA, AFA candidates need to appear in Elementary Mathematics paper too.Here is the syllabus for ENGLISH and GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Idioms and Phrases
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Sentence correction
  • Jumbled sentence
  • Reading comprehension
  • Finding errors and omissions
  • Tenses & verb
  • Vocabulary

General Knowledge
  • History
  • Geography
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Indian polity
  • Current affairs
  • Economics
  • Books and authors

You can click the link below for other detailed information
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