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. 

CDS 2020 Highlights

Full Exam Name Combined Defence Services Examination
Short Exam Name CDS
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission
Frequency of Conduct 2 times a year
Languages English, Hindi
Mode of Application Online
Application Fee (General) 200 Rs [Offline] +1 More
Mode of Exam Offline
Mode of Counselling Offline
Exam Duration 6 Hours
Number of Seats 417 Seats

Download all details about CDS 2020

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CDS 2020 Important Dates

Stay up-to date with Exam Notification and News

CDS (Session Feb 2020)

Upcoming Dates and Events

09 May, 2020 (Tentative)

Result | Mode: Online

Past Dates and Events

09 Jan, 2020 - 02 Feb, 2020

Admit Card | Mode: Online

02 Feb, 2020

Exam | Mode: Offline

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

03 Jan, 2021 (Tentative)

Result | Mode: Online

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 Online, Offline Male ₹ 200

CDS 2020 Syllabus


General knowledge+

General knowledge: Unit 01
History of India
General knowledge: Unit 02
Geography of nature

Elementary mathematics+

Elementary mathematics: Unit 01
Elementary mathematics: Unit 02
Elementary mathematics: Unit 03
Elementary mathematics: Unit 04
Elementary mathematics: Unit 05
Elementary mathematics: Unit 06

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 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 ii.......now 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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