Combined Defence Services (CDS)

Plan & Scheme of ExamSyllabusQuestion Papers

UPSC conducts Combined Defence Services Examination for the recruitment of elegible candidates for Indian Army, Navy and Airforce twice a year. The notifications are usually issued for CDS-I and CDS-II in the months of November and August respectively and the written examination will be usually conducted for CDS-I and CDS-II in the months of February and November.

The aspirants sucessfully completing the selection progress will be admitted to the follwing courses.
1. Indian Military Academy, Dehradun
2. Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala
3. Air Force Academy, Hyderabad
4. Officers’ Training Academy (OTA), Chennai.

Scheme of Examination

The Competitive examination comprises:
1. Written examination.
2. Interview for intelligence and personality test.
3. The subjects of the written examination, the time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject will be as below:
4. The maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be equal for each course i.e. the maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be 300, 300, 300 and 200 each for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers’ Training Academy respectively.
5. The candidates are not permitted to use calculator for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets).

(a) For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy:
2 hrs.
General Knowledge
2 hrs.
Elementary Mathematics
2 hrs.
(b) For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy :
2 hrs.
General Knowledge
2 hrs.

Important Points:

1. A candidate is required to specify clearly in respective column of the Online Application the Services for which he/she wishes to be considered in the order of his/her preference.
2. A male candidate can apply to all four courses.

3. Women candidates are being considered only for Short Service Commission at OTA. They should indicate OTA as the only choice.
4. Candidate below 25 years of age must be unmarried. Marriage is not permitted during training.
5. Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply but during training period they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live with family out of the premises.
6. Candidates who desire to join Air Force Academy must indicate AFA as first choice.

Age Limits, Gender and Marital Status:

Age Limit is generally 24 years for Permanent Commission and 25 years for OTA. Refer the Notification detailed age limit Criterion.


Male divorcee/widower candidates cannot be treated as unmarried male for the purpose of their admission in IMA/INA/AFA courses and accordingly they are not eligible for these courses.

Educational Qualifications:

(i) For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy— Degree of a recognised University or equivalent.
(ii) For Indian Naval Academy—Degree in Engineering from a recognised University/Institution.
(iii) For Air Force Academy—Degree of a recognised University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Graduates with first choice as Army/Navy/Air Force are to submit proof of graduation provisional certificates on the date of commencement of the SSB Interview at the SSB.

Candidates who are studying in the final year/semester Degree course and have yet to pass the final year degree examination can also apply provided candidate should not have any present backlog upto the last semester / year for which results have been declared upto the time of submission of application and they will be required to submit proof of passing the degree examination at the time of commencement of course.

Physical Standards:

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Examination (II), 2017 as per guidelines given in Appendix-IV of the notification.


Candidates are required to pay a fee of Rs. 200/- either by depositing the money in any Branch of SBI by cash, or by using net banking facility of SBI.

Female/SC/ST candidates are exempted from payment of fee.

How to Apply:

Candidates are required to apply Online using the link Detailed instructions for filling up Online Applications are available on the above mentioned website.

DOWNLOAD Notification here:

CDS Notification

CDS I : English

CDS I : General Knowledge

CDS I : Elementary Mathematics

CDS II : English

CDS II : General Knowledge

CDS II : Elementary Mathematics