About CDS 2020

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) released the admit card of CDS 2020 on January 09, 2020 at its official website. Earlier UPSC has released CDS application form and notification on October 30. The last date to fill the application form was November 19, 2019. CDS is conducted for candidates who wish to pursue their career as commissioned officers in Navy, Air Force and Army after graduation or candidates appearing in their final year. CDS exam is conducted twice a year in February and November. CDS 1 2020 written exam will be conducted on February 2, 2020. The application form of CDS 2 will be released on August 5, 2020, along with the notification. Candidates will be able to fill the application form till August 25. CDS 2 will be conducted on November 8, 2020. Candidates who are between 20 to 24 years to be eligible for CDS. There are two stages in CDS exam written exam followed by SSB interview. Candidates who qualify written exam are eligible for Services Selection Board (SSB) Interview which includes Personality cum Psychometric tests and Intelligence interview. The selected candidates will undergo training programmes as per their merit and preference for Army, Navy and Air Force jobs. The training of selected candidates will be done at Indian Military Academy (IMA Dehradun), Indian Naval Academy (INA Ezhimala), Air Force Academy (Hyderabad), and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA Chennai). This training course will begin in January 2021. 

Frequency: 2 times a year
Languages English, Hindi
Conducting Body: Union Public Service Commission
Duration 6 Hours

Download all details about CDS 2020

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Latest Announcements

CDS 2020 Important Dates

CDS (Session Feb 2020)

Upcoming Dates and Events

09 Jan, 2020 - 02 Feb, 2020

Admit Card | Mode: Online Ongoing

02 Feb, 2020

Exam | Mode: Offline

01 May, 2020 (Tentative)

Answer Key | Mode: Online

Past Dates and Events

30 Oct, 2019 - 19 Nov, 2019

Application | Mode: Online

30 Oct, 2019

Advertisement | Mode: Online

CDS (Session Nov 2020)

Upcoming Dates and Events

05 Aug, 2020

Advertisement | Mode: Online

05 Aug, 2020 - 25 Aug, 2020

Application | Mode: Online

08 Nov, 2020

Exam | Mode: Offline

Candidates must check the eligibility criteria like age limit,  educational qualification, marital status to be eligible for CDS exam. 


Candidates applying for CDS must be 

  • an Indian citizen, or
  • a Tibetan refugee (before January 1962), or
  • a subject to Nepal or Bhutan, or
  • Migrants from Pakistan, Burma, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam Sri Lanka and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, with the intention of permanently settling in India


Candidates must be 20 to 24 years.

Educational Qualification martial status as per courses 




Marital Status




Officers Training Academy (OTA - women, Non-Technical)


Unmarried and widow


Degree of a recognised university or equivalent


Officers Training Academy (OTA - men)


Unmarried and married


Degree of a recognised university or equivalent


Indian Naval Academy (NA)




Degree in Engineering from a recognised             university/institution


Indian Military Academy (IMA)




Degree of a recognised university or equivalent


Air Force Academy (AFA)




Degree of a recognised university (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering


Mode of Application : Online

Mode of Payment : Net Banking | Credit Card | Debit Card | Other

UPSC will release the application form of CDS 2, 2020 on August 5. Candidates will be able to fill CDS 2 application form till August 25, 2020. The application form of UPSC CDS 1 2020 exam was released on October 30, 2019. Candidates were able to fill the form till November 19. 

CDS Application Fee

Category CDS Application Fee
General & OBCRs. 200
SC, ST & Female Candidates No Fee

The online application form of CDS is filled in two parts.

Part 1 Registration

  • Candidates can fill the application form from the link available on the official page.
  • Before filling up the CDS application form candidates must read the important instructions.
  • Enter details like name, father’s name, mother’s name, community, address, etc. and click on the submit button to register.

Part 2 Registration

  • Enter the registration ID, password and captcha code to log in to part 2 registration.
  • Select the payment method online or offline.
  • Upload the scanned signature and photograph.
  • Selection of exam centers.
  • Read and agree to the 'Declaration' to submit the application form.

Documents required while filling CDS Application Form 

  • Active email – ID
  • Matriculation certificate
  • Scanned signature
  • Scanned photograph
  • One photo identity proof like Aadhar card/ Voter card/ PAN card/ Passport/ Driving license

Application Fees

Category Quota Mode Gender Amount
General, OBC Offline, Online Male ₹ 200

CDS 2020 Syllabus

General knowledge
History of India
Geography of nature
Elementary mathematics

To score well in the written exam of CDS, candidates must know the preparation tips and strategies. Candidates must know the importance of solving the previous years’ question papers, timely revision, time management, etc. which are the key elements of preparation.

UPSC has prescribes the exam pattern of CDS. There are two stages in CDS exam- written and SSB interviews. The written exam of CDS 2020 will be conducted in pen and paper mode. As per the exam pattern of CDS, candidates who apply for Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Indian Military Academy courses have to appear for three subjects - English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics while candidates who have opted for Officers' Training Academy have to appear for two subjects – English and General Knowledge. 

CDS Exam Pattern – Written Exam

Structure of exam pattern for admission to Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Indian Military Academy.                                                                                                                        




Maximum Marks




Elementary Mathematics




2 hours






2 hours


General Knowledge




2 hours


Structure of exam pattern for admission to Officers’ Training Academy




Maximum Marks




General Knowledge




2 hours






2 hours


CDS Exam Pattern – SSB Interview




Screening Test

Verbal and non-verbal tests.



Psychological Test

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Word Association Test (WAT)

Situation Reaction Test (SRT)

Self Description Test (SD)

Group Testing Officers Test






Command Task

Snake race/ Group Obstacle Race

Individual lecture


Personal Interview


Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released the admit card for written exam of Combined Defence Services (CDS 1) on January 09, 2020, while for CDS 2 it is expected to be released in the last week of October. Candidates could download the admit card till the date of examination. In order to download the admit card, candidates can either log in through roll number or registration number. The admit card of CDS exam is available for candidates who have successfully filled the application form. 

Details on CDS Admit Card

  • Candidate’s name
  • Scanned signature and colour photograph
  • Registration number
  • Candidate’s category
  • Examination date
  • Reporting time
  • Address of examination centre
  • Examination timing

CDS 2020 Exam Centers

State City
Tripura Agartala
Gujarat Ahmedabad
Mizoram Aizawl
Uttar Pradesh Allahabad
Karnataka Bengaluru
Madhya Pradesh Bhopal
Punjab Chandigarh
Tamil Nadu Chennai
Odisha Cuttack
Uttarakhand Dehradun
Delhi Delhi
Sikkim Gangtok
Telangana Hyderabad
Manipur Imphal
Rajasthan Jaipur
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu
Assam Jorhat
Kerala Kochi
Nagaland Kohima
West Bengal Kolkata
Maharashtra Mumbai
Goa Panaji
Bihar Patna
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair
Chhattisgarh Raipur
Jharkhand Ranchi
Meghalaya Shillong
Himachal Pradesh Shimla
Andhra Pradesh Tirupati
Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar

Documents Required at Exam

  • Admit card
  • Aadhar card
  • Voter card
  • PAN card
  • Passport
  • Driving license
  • Any other photo ID card issued by the state/central government

UPSC will release the official answer key of CDS written exam after all the stages of the exam have been conducted. CDS answer key will be available subject wise for all test booklets. Candidates can check the number of correct and incorrect answers marked by them with the help of answer key. There are some coaching institutes who release the answer key after the completion of the exam on the same day. 

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) releases the result of Combined Defence Services (CDS) for written and final separately. The result of the written exam of CDS 1 will be declared in March 2020. CDS 2 result for written exam will be announced by the end of December 2020. Candidates have to secure qualifying marks as prescribed by UPSC to qualify the written exam. Candidates who qualify written exam will be eligible to appear for SSB interview. The final result of CDS is calculated adding the marks secured by candidates in written as well as SSB Interview. The final result of CDS I 2020 is likely to be declared in December 2020 (tentatively).

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) releases the cut off of CDS exam separately for the written exam and final. Candidates who score equal or more than cutoff released by UPSC for written exam are eligible SSB Interview. The CDS cut off marks of written test for is calculated out of the total score of 300 for INA, IFA  and IMA, and 200 for OTA (Men & Women). The final cut off will be released in December 2020 by UPSC. 

The selection process of CDS exam is of two stages - written exam and SSB interview. In the first stage - CDS exam written exam, candidates are required to appear in three papers for admission in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and two papers for admission in Officers’ Training Academy.

Documents Required at Counselling

  • Call letter
  • Matriculation/secondary school examination certificate or equivalent
  • Degree/provisional degree certificate/marks sheet

General Information

Questions related to CDS

Showing 357 out of 357 Questions

I m a +1 student, Girl. My dream is to join in air force. How can I Acheive my goal?

Shareef 22nd Jan, 2020


Girl candidates who want to join IAF have 2 possible ways. AFCAT and non AFCAT entry. AFCAT is an entrance exam conducted twice a year. If you clear this exam, then you will be called for SSB Interview and then you can choose your own branches.

There are various kinds branch in IAF(Indian air force) like technical, flying and ground. each  branch has its own Eligibility and qualification criteria... As you haven't mentioned any kind of branch, let me tell you about these core branches

Flying branch: age should be in between 19 to 23.You should be a graduate in any stream with aggregate of 60% marks and you should have studied Maths and Physics in your 12th and have passed with 60% marks. Or BE or B.Tech with 60% marks is also accepted.

Technical branch: There are 2 types of technical services under technical branch. Both of them need the same criteria of 18-28yeats.First one is Aeronautical Engineer which is mechanical service. Second one is Aeronautical Engineer which is electrical service.

Ground duty branch: There are 3 types of services in Ground duty branches.

Administration and Logistics: Age should be between 20-23 years for Graduates. You should be a Graduate or a Post Graduate in any discipline with atleast 60% marks.

Education: Age should be  20-25 years for Post Graduates and you should be a Post Graduate in any stream with 50% marks.

Accounts:  20-27 for M.Ed, Ph. D, CA, ICWA. Bachelors degree or Masters degree in Commerce. If you have Bachelor's degree then you should have 60% marks and if you have PG degree, then you should have 60% marks.

Through Non AFCAT entry, there are CDSE and FTS. For meteorology branch, age should be between 20-25 years and for Phd students, age should be 27 years. Students should have post graduate degree in any science stream.

There is also NCC Special Entry Indian Air Force. Age should be 20-24 years. You should be a graduate in any stream with aggregate of 60% marks and you should have studied Maths and Physics in your 12th and have passed with 60% marks. Or BE or B.Tech with 60% marks is also accepted


Hello Sir , i had been completed my graduation with open degree which is comes to under kakatiya university .Can i eligible to apply for CDS Exam ... Please inform me sir..

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 19th Jan, 2020


see open university student who have completed their graduation in any discipline may appear in cds exam.

you have not mention your graduation course or stream. if you dont belongs to bachelor in electrical engineering or bachelor courses in physics or mathematics you may apply for below mention post,

Indian Military Academy

Officers’ Training Academy (OTA)

Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course)


I am currently doing my graduation in Economics and also I am a girl. Will there be constraints for me to pass the CDS exam?

thomas joy 19th Jan, 2020

Hi there,

Here are the eligibility criteria for CDS exam

  • Women candidates can only apply for Officers Training Staff or OTA
  • Final year graduate or gradutes can apply for the exam
  • Minimum age is 19 years and for OTA maximu age is 25
  • Candidate should have good mental and physical health
  • 200 mcq questions in OTA section
  • English and General Knowledge is asked.

Hope this will help you.

All the best, Thank you


Sir, can I give CDS exam?. I am a student of BE(fire engineering) .

Akram Khan 1st Jan, 2020


The educational qualification for eligibility to Central defense service exam that is CDS exam is

The candidate should be graduate or appearing in the final year of the  same is eligible to apply for CDS exam.

So if you are in final year of your graduation you can apply to this exam.


cds ke peper main math kis class ki rahti hai

Sourandhi Saha Student Expert 31st Dec, 2019
Mathematics paper consists of questions from arithmetic, algebra, mensuration, geometry, trigonometry and statistics. Some best books for CDS Mathematics are Arihant Pathfinder, Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma, Mathematics for CDS by RS Aggarwal. You can check the syllabus here-

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