Combined Defence Services
Examination (CDS Exam)
Defence services are for those young and courageous
individuals who nurture a patriotic sentiment and who have dedicated their lives
to defending their country and its people. A candidate with the above sentiments
can join the nation’s defence services after taking the Combined Defence
Combined Defence Services Examination is conducted by UPSC twice every year in
the months of February and September for recruitment to officer cadre of the
Army, Navy and Air force.
The finally selected candidates are sent to one of the following institutes for
(a) Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun
(b) Naval Academy, Goa
(c) Air Force Academy, Begumpet, Hyderabad
(d) Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai
Candidates selected in the Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy and the Air
Force Academy get permanent commission, however cadets passing out of Officers
Training Academy get short service commission.
The eligibility criteria for this examination are as follows:
||Indian Military Academy
||Air Force Academy
||Officers Training Academy
||Married / Unmarried
||Degree from a recognized
||B.Sc. with Physics & Mathematics
Bachelor of Engineering
|Degree from a recognized
university (with physics & mathematics at10+2 level)
Bachelor of Engineering
|Degree from a recognized
Pattern of Examination:
The Combined Defence Services examination comprises of the following stages:
Question Paper Pattern
Language of Question Paper
Stage I : Written Examination
Objective Type Only
English / Hindi
2 hours each paper
Stage II: Interview
Indian Military Academy
Air Force Academy
Officers Training Academy
Following is the syllabus for UPSC Combined Defence Service (CDS) Examination:
ENGLISH (CODE No. 01)
The question paper is designed to test the candidates’ understanding of English
and uses of words.
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE (Code No. 02)
General Knowledge includes knowledge of Current Events,
History of India
and Geography of nature.
ELEMENTARY MATHEMATICS (Code No. 03)
Number System-Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real
numbers. Fundamental operations-addition, subtraction, multiplication, division,
square roots, decimal fractions etc.
Unitary method-time and distance, time and work, percentages, applications to
simple and compound interest, profit and loss
ratio and proportion, variation etc.
Elementary Number Theory - Division algorithm. Prime and composite
Intelligence and Personality Test:
All the candidates Qualified in written examination are
called for the Interview and put to Intelligence Tests (both verbal and
non-verbal) which have been designed to assess the basic intelligence. They are
also put to Group Tests such as group discussions, group planning, outdoor group
tasks, and asked to give brief lectures on Specified Topics. All these tests are
intended to Judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms, this is an
Assessment of his Social Traits, Intellectual Qualities and Interests in Current
Examinations are held twice a year:
(i) Notification of Examination: September-October & April - May
(ii) Conduct of Examination: February & September
The candidates have to apply in the Common Application Form of the UPSC which
can be purchased from the designated Head Post Office/Post Offices: throughout
the country. Each such form can be used only once and only for one examination.
In case of difficulty in obtaining Application Forms, the candidates should
immediately contact the concerned Post Master or UPSC's "Forms Supply Monitoring
Cell" Over Telephone No.011-23389366 / Fax No.011-23387310.
Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bareilly,
Bhopal, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar, Dispur (Guwahati),
Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kohima, Lucknow,
Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji (Goa), Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Sambalpur,
Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam.
The centres and the date of holding the examination are liable to be changed at
the discretion of the Commission.
Various concessions, like reservation in posts, are available for NCC cadets
appearing in the examinations.
How to Prepare:
There are many coaching institutes across India for the preparation of this
examination. Before joining any such institute, you must check for the
Competency of the faculty-You can do so by attending one or two
trial based classes. (Generally these are offered for free).
Check whether the institute has full-time faculty. Most coaching
institutes generally have part time faculty who may not be available
when you are need them.
- Previous years’ result of the Institute.
Interact with the senior batches of the students; it will help you
in knowing more about the institute.
Reference Books: General Knowledge, General English and Elementary
Mathematics. For practice of examination oriented questions buy the books
which cover the entire syllabus. You must ask your book seller for the
latest edition / print. Flip through magazines, newspapers, books, and
websites to enhance your General Knowledge and communication skills.
Under Secretary (CSP),
Union Public Service Commission,
Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road,
New Delhi-110 011.
For more details, please visit the official website of UPSC: