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

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CDS 2020 Important Dates

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CDS (Session Nov 2020)

Upcoming Dates and Events

05 Aug, 2020

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05 Aug, 2020 - 25 Aug, 2020

Application | Mode: Online

08 Nov, 2020

Exam | Mode: Offline

03 Jan, 2021 (Tentative)

Result | Mode: Online

CDS (Session Feb 2020)

Past Dates and Events

23 Mar, 2020

Result | Mode: Online

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

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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
OBC, General 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 411 out of 411 Questions

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!


I heard about temporary and permanent rejections in medical test examination. Can you explain about different checkups in brief and how to overcome them within alloted time if we are temporarily rejected?

Saisrinandan Ch 27th Mar, 2020


You are talking about types of rejections in Services Selection Board (SSB).

Temporary rejections are those which can be cured/treated. Example: Extra Weight.

Permanent rejections are faced due to problems that cannot be cured. Example: Extra Leg Length for Fighter Pilots.

There are several tests inside the medicals. Some basic temporary rejections include: Knocked Knee, Over Weight, Wax in Ears, Kidney Stones, Appendix.

Some of these require surgery or doctor consultation. While problems like over weight can be set right with healthy diet and exercise. Knocked Knee can be cured by putting a pillow between your knees and standing for 20-30 secs daily.

Hope this helps.



A person with disability can apply for CDS exams?

Mohit Sinha 24th Mar, 2020

Aspirants submit their CDS online application form before the last date. but before fill form you should need to check your eligibility for CDS Entrance exam. here we are talking about CDS physical standards and CDS medical fitness both. Check all information regarding “CDS Physical eligibility” below.


General physical and mental standards are very important points to consider before apply for UPSC CDS Exam. here you find physical requirements for CDS and what type of physical fitness required for CDS check below.

  • First of all participant must aware about this that you are physically & mentally fit and fine and free from any type of disease / disability.
  • Participant not have any type of mental breakdown record in past.
  • Aspirant must undergo a preliminary medical check-up for wax in ears, refractory error of eyes, fungal infection of skin before reporting for the SSB interview.
  • Candidate must be under a standard weight
  • Chest should be in fine condition . X Ray will taken for figure out any disease in chest.
  • The minimum range of expansion after full inspiration should be 5 cms.
  • You should be no disease of bones and joints of the body. these are some of the CDS Physical criteria for interested candidates. here is more things which are also consider as CDS Physical eligibility.


CDS Medical examination is also a important part of CDS exam eligibility. Here are many CDS physical conditions in medical examination. check it

  • A Participant selected by the Services Selection Board (SSB) will undergo a medical examination process by a Board of Service Medical Officers.
  • Female participants will undergo Medical Examination by a Medical Board comprising male / female doctors / specialists / Gynecologist. There will be a lady Medical Officer as member of Board.
  • Whole Generate reports by Medical board are confidential and not disclose to anyone.
  • The final decision of Candidate fitness will be intimated by the President of the Medical Board.
  • The candidate will also be intimated about the procedure for Appeal Medical Board.
  • Candidates declared unfit during Appeal Medical Board will be intimated about the provision of Review Medical Board.
  • Candidates must be Physically and Mentally fit according to the given standards. for more details such as vision standards , Height & weight criteria , eye sight criteria , Ear , Nose , throat , teeth condition etc.


Most of the students ask this question that What is eyesight criteria for CDS ? CDSphysical test also covers your eyesight conditions. and vision standard for naval and Air force different from this which also mention below. Eyesight for CDS Exam –
Vision standard for Male Candidates

  • Candidate must able to read 6/6 in a distant vision chart with each eye with or without glasses (For navy and Air Force without glasses only).
  • Myopia should not be more than 3.5D
  • Hypermetropia should not be more than 3.5D including Astigmatism.

Vision standard for Female Candidates

  • Aspirant must able to read 6/6 (better eye) and 6/8 (worse eye) in a distant vision chart with or without glasses
  • Myopia should not be more than minus 5.5 including Astogination.
  • Internal examination of the eye will be done by means of ophthalmoscope to rule out any disease of the eye.
  • A candidate must have good binocular vision.
  • The colour vision standard will be CP-III.
  • A candidate should be able to recognize red and green colours.

Vision standard for Naval

Uncorrected without glass 6/12

corrected with glass 6/6

Limits of Myopia -1.5

Limits of Hypermetropia +1.5

Binocular vision III

Limits of colour perception I

Vision standard for Air Force

Uncorrected without glass 6/12

corrected with glass 6/6

Limits of Myopia -0.75D

Limits of Hypermetropia +1.5D

Binocular vision III

Limits of colour perception I

Teeth , Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions – CDS Physical Qualification also covers your conditions of teeth , ear Nose , Throat etc. Check the standards given below.

  • The applicants ought to have adequate number of normal and sound teeth.
  • At least 14 dental focuses will be satisfactory.
  • A hopeful ought not be experiencing serious pyorrhea.
  • The listening must be ordinary.
  • A hopeful ought to have the capacity to hear a constrained whisper with every ear at a separation of 610 cms in a very room.
  • There ought to be no confirmation of present or past disease of the ear, nose and throat.
  • Sound metric test will be ruined AF. Sound metric misfortune ought not exceed+20 db in frequencies somewhere around 250Hz and 4000 Hz.

Height and weight standards
CDS Exam physical eligibility test also includes one major point is aspirant height. Here is a table for height required for CDS Exam for male and female candidates with weight parameters check it.

*45 for Navy @ 47 for Navy A ± 10% ( for Navy ) departure from the average weight given in the table above is to be considered within normal limit. However, in individuals with heavy bones and broad built as well as individuals with thin built but otherwise healthy this may be relaxed to some extent on merit.

The acceptable weight for Air Force candidates will be ± 10% of the average weight given above.

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