Exam Date : February 2, 2020
Result Date : March 4, 2020

UPSC - Union Public Service conducts the CDS Exam every year to select potential candidates for serving the country. The UPSC CDS Exam is conducted twice a year across the country. The CDS exam 2020 is for those candidates who want to join the defence forces i.e Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force as commissioned officers.

***UPSC CDS 2020 Admit Card Out!!!***

What is the UPSC CDS Exam?

The full form of CDS is Combined Defence Service. The UPSC CDS 2020 is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. UPSC is responsible for conducting recruitment exam for Class A & Class B employees in Govt. Organisations.

Written Exam - The CDS exam 2020 is conducted for 300 marks and two hours duration per subject. The subjects include English, General Knowledge, Elementary Mathematics. The questions are of objective type.

Interview - For those who will clear the written exam, there will be an interview which will include intelligence and personality test.

UPSC CDS Vacancy

The details of the vacancy given below are updated as per the data for 2018. No official data has been released for the 2020 examination. So candidates can follow this table and get a fair idea regarding the vacancy.

UPSC CDSE (II) 2020 Vacancy
UPSC CDSE(II) 2020 Vacancy
Name of the Course Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun 100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala 45
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad—(Pre-Flying) Training 32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai (SSC-Men) 225
Officers Training Academy, Chennai(SSC-Women) 15

UPSC CDS Exam Dates

The exam notification for UPSC CDS(I) is released on the official website. Below given tables shows the dates of UPSC CDS exams I and II. Candidates can follow these authentic dates to keep track of all the events.

UPSC CDS (I) Dates

The application dates are officially released and the other dates are tentative. Hence might be subjected to change. It will be updated later.

Events Date
Availability of Application Forms October 30, 2019
Last date for Submission November 19, 2019
e-Admit Card January 9, 2020
UPSC CDS(I) 2020 Exam February 2, 2020
Result declaration March, 2020

UPSC CDS Eligibility

There are various parameters of eligibility associated with citizenship, age, qualification and physical standards. The various eligibility conditions are as follows:

Nationality (a) Citizen of India(b) subject of Bhutan(c) subject of Nepal(d) Tibetan refugee (migrating before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India)(e) Person of Indian Origin - migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and East African Countries like Kenya, Uganda, the United
Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam (with the intention of permanently settling in India)
Physical Standards Candidates must be physically fit as per guidelines are given in Appendix IV

Age Limit:

IMA Only Unmarried candidates, born between 2nd January 1996 and 1st January 2001, are eligible
Indian Naval Academy Only Unmarried candidates, born between 2nd January 1996 and 1st January 2001, are eligible
Air Force Academy Candidates between 20 and 24 years of age as on January 1, 2020 (Relaxation up to 26 years of age, if the candidate holds a valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA, India)

Educational Qualification

IMA Any degree provided by a recognised University/ Institution or an equivalent
Indian Naval Academy A degree in Engineering provided by a recognised Institution
Air Force Academy Any degree provided by a recognised Institution (with Physics and Maths at 10+2 level) or B.E/B Tech.

Note: Candidates in the final year of their graduation are also eligible to apply for the exam.

UPSC CDS Syllabus

The UPSC CDS Syllabus consists of mainly three subjects that are Mathematics, English Language and General Knowledge. All the candidates except who are opting for OTA Chennai, have to give all the three papers. The syllabus for all the three papers is as follows:

UPSC CDS English Syllabus

  • The questions will test the candidate's comprehension skills of the language.

  • The question paper will be set in such a way to evaluate a candidate's use of words.

UPSC CDS Elementary Mathematics Syllabus


UPSC CDS Arithmetic Syllabus
Number System
  • Integers
  • Rational and Real numbers
  • Natural numbers
  • Fundamental operations
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Decimal fractions
  • Division
  • Square roots
  • Time and Distance
  • Time and Work
  • Unitary method
  • Percentages
  • Profit and Loss
  • Ration and Proportion
  • Variation
  • Application to Simple and Compound Interest.
Elementary Number Theory
  • Prime and Composite numbers
  • Division Algorithm
  • Multiples and factors
  • Factorisation Theorem
  • H.C.F. and L.C.M.
  • Euclidean algorithm
  • Tests of Divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 11
  • Logarithms to base 10, Laws of Logarithms
  • Use of Logarithm tables.
  • Theory of Polynomials
  • Solutions of Quadratic Equations
  • H.C.F. and L.C.M.
  • Remainder Theorem
  • Simple Factors
  • The relation between its roots and coefficients
  • Set language and Set Notion
  • Practical Problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable and their solutions.
  • Rational expressions and conditional identities
  • Laws of indices.
Trigonometry Simple Trigonometric identities
  • Use of trigonometric tables
  • Simple cases of heights and distances
    • Sine ×, cosine ×, Tangent × when 0° < × < 90° Values of sin ×, cos × and tan ×, for ×= 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°
  • Planes and Plane Figures
  • Lines and Angles
  • Theorems on:
    • Loci
    • Similar Triangles
    • Parallel Lines
    • Sides and angles of a triangle
    • The concurrence of medians and altitudes
    • Congruency of triangles
    • Circles and its properties including tangents and norma
    • Properties of angles, side, and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle, and square
    • Properties of angles at a point
  • Surface area and Volume of Cuboids
  • Lateral Surface and Volume of Right Circular Cones and Cylinders
  • Surface area and Volume of spheres
  • Area of squares
  • Area of rectangles
  • Area of parallelograms
  • Area of triangles
  • Area of circles
  • Area of figures which can be split into these figures (Field Book)
  • Graphical Representation
  • Frequency Polygons
  • Bar charts
  • Pie charts
  • Histograms
  • Collection and tabulation of statistical data
  • Measures of central tendency

UPSC CDS General Knowledge Syllabus

The general knowledge syllabus includes the following:

  • Current events (Knowledge of both national and international events)
  • Indian and world history
  • Indian constitution
  • Geography
  • Defence current events

UPSC CDS Registration

All interested candidates can register for the exam by following the steps given below. The entire process of filling the application of UPSC CDS is discussed in detail. Also, candidates must upload certain files with a particular specification which are given below. After registration candidates have to follow the effective preparation tips for CDS to crack the exam.

How to Apply for UPSC CDS Exam?

  • Visit the official website of UPSC CDS i.e.
  • Click on the link pointing at Part I in the notification given for CDS Exam.
  • Fill your personal and academic details.
  • After completing Part I, the candidate will be given a registration ID.
  • Go to Part II, enter the registration ID and date of birth.
  • Complete the payment procedure. After completing Part II, the application process is over.

UPSC CDS Application Form

The UPSC CDS application form is only available online. The application form has two parts. Part I includes the candidate's personal and academic details and Part II includes the payment procedure, selection of exam centres and uploading documents.

Documents required to apply for UPSC CDS Exam

The candidates are required to upload the scanned images of the following Documents:

  • Candidate's recent Photograph
  • Signature

The candidates should upload images in a fixed format as decided by the UPSC. The format is as follows:

  • The scanned photo should be clear from any discrepancies and preferably it should have a white background.

  • Black ball-pen should be used on white paper for signature and the signature should be clearly visible in the image. The file should be in JPG format.

  • Dimensions for both photo and signature should have a minimum value of 350 pixels (Height) x 350 pixels (width) and a maximum size of 1000 pixels (Height) x 1000 (width). The size of the scanned files should be between 20KB and 300 KB.

  • The prescribed bit dept of the image is 24 bit.

Note: Important fields will be marked with an asterisk (*) symbol. The application form will be available in English as well as in Hindi languages.

Also, candidates cannot change the data that is already given but having said that they can fill a new application form with the updated details. Only the final submitted application form will be considered.

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern

The UPSC CDS Written exam consists of three papers except for the candidates opting for Officers Training Academy. Each paper consists of 100 Multiple choice questions(MCQs).

Each question carries one mark and for every wrong answer will lead to deduction of 1/3 marks from the total. No marks will be deducted for leaving a question blank.

The paper of General Knowledge and Mathematics is bilingual. The papers will be Hindi and English. Moreover, calculators are not allowed in the exam centre.

Exam Pattern for admissions to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy is tabulated below:

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern for IMA, INA and AFA
Paper / Subject No. of Questions Duration Marks
English 120 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 120 2 Hours 100
Elementary Mathematics 100 2 Hours 100

Exam Pattern for admissions into Officers Training Academy is tabulated below:

UPSC CDS Exam pattern for OTA
Paper / Subject No. of Questions Duration Marks
English 120 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 120 2 Hours 100
Elementary Mathematics 100 2 Hours 100

UPSC CDS Admit Card

The UPSC CDS Admit Card was issued by the UPSC on its official website on January 9, 2020. The admit card will be available online only and no hard copy will be sent to the candidate through the post.

The admit card has the candidate's personal details, roll number, and location of the exam center. Other instructions will also be present on the admit card which a candidate must go through.

How to download UPSC CDS Admit Card?

The UPSC CDS Admit card 2020 can be downloaded by the following way:

  • Go to the official UPSC website at and click on the admit card link.
  • A new page will open where you should click the 'E-Admit card for various UPSC exams' link.
  • A page will open where you can see the list of exams for which the admit card is available. Click on the 'Click here' link under the 'view online' column for the relevant exam.
  • A new window will open where you can click on the download link.
  • E-Admit Cards can be downloaded by the candidate from the site by putting his/her details like Registration ID & Date of Birth.

UPSC CDS Exam Centres

There are around 41 exam centres across the country. The exam centres except for Delhi, Chennai, Dispur, Nagpur and Kolkata have a limit on the number of candidates. Thus applicants are advised to fill the form as soon as possible and will be allotted on a first come, first serve basis. The candidate can only opt for a single exam centre.

The various exam centres are as follows:

UPSC CDS Exam Centre
Sl. No Exam Centres
1 Agartala
2 Ahmedabad
3 Aizawal
4 Allahabad
5 Bengaluru
6 Bareilly
7 Bhopal
8 Chandigarh
9 Chennai
10 Cuttack
11 Dehradun
12 Delhi
13 Dharwad
14 Dispur
15 Hyderabad
16 Gangtok
17 Imphal
18 Itanagar
19 Jaipur
20 Jammu
21 Jorhat
22 Kochi
23 Kohima
24 Kolkata
25 Lucknow
26 Madurai
27 Mumbai
28 Nagpur
29 Panaji (Goa)
30 Patna
31 Port Blair
32 Raipur
33 Ranchi
34 Sambalpur
35 Shillong
36 Shimla
37 Srinagar
38 Thiruvananthapuram
39 Tirupati
40 Udaipur
41 Vishakapatnam

Documents required at the Exam Centre

The applicant must take the following documents to the exam centre:

  • UPSC CDS Admit card
  • A valid Photo ID card

UPSC CDS Results

The UPSC CDS Results is declared in two stages, the results are first declared for the written exam, and final results are declared when SSB interview procedure finishes. The candidate needs to visit the official website at and click on the 'Active Examinations' link to check the results.

The written result will contain the names of candidates who have qualified the written exam. Also, it will be mentioned that for which academy the candidate is eligible. The candidate whose name is there in the list will receive a call letter for SSB interview after some days of the result.

The final result will come after the whole procedure of SSB interview and medical tests are over. A merit list will be there on the UPSC's site. Candidates in the merit list have to report to the mentioned academy.

How to download the UPSC CDS Result?

The following procedure is there in order to know the result of UPSC CDS Exam:

  • To check the results, the candidate has to go to the official website at and click on the 'Active Examinations' link.
  • Once you click on the Active Exams link, a page will open where you can click on the link to the CDS Exam.
  • There will be a link for UPSC CDS written result. Click on the link.
  • A pdf will open where you can see those who've cleared the exam as per roll number.

UPSC CDS Exam Cutoff

The candidates must score at least 20% marks in each of three papers. Failing to do that even in one subject can lead to failure in the written exam, even if your total score is above the aggregate cutoff. The minimum cutoff varies for each academy. The Air force Academy (AFA) generally has the highest cutoff, followed by Indian Military Academy & Indian Naval Academy. The officers training academy has the lowest cutoff as there are only two subjects in the exam.

The cutoff for UPSC CDS (I) 2020 was:

Academy Written Cutoff
IMA 118
INA 98
AFA 138
OTA (Men) 69
OTA(Women) 69

UPSC CDS Exam Selection Procedure

The candidates firstly have to give the written examination. After qualifying it, they'll be called for SSB interview which is a 5-day process in which there will be different tests which will test the Officer Like Qualities (OLQs) in the candidate. If the candidate clears the SSB Interview, he/she'll be sent for medical assessment tests. After those tests are done, a merit list will be prepared.

If the candidate's name is there in the merit list, he/she will receive a call letter to join the respective academy for which the candidate has given highest priority.

How to prepare for UPSC CDS Exam?

Considering that UPSC is conducting the exam, it is ought to be tough. The difficulty level is from moderate to high, especially the General knowledge part is very tough and some times on par with the UPSC Civil services exam. Still, in comparison to other UPSC Exam, the written part is relatively easy. The tricky part is the SSB Interview which is completely based on the candidate's overall personality.

To prepare for it the candidate, a lot of practice is required in terms of Mathematics part. 100 questions are to be done in 120 minutes, and the questions are time-consuming, so without proper practice, the maths paper cannot be completed.

Moving to the GK part, the candidate requires a thorough study of history, geography, civics and other subjects mentioned above. For current events, the candidate should read newspapers daily. Last 1-year event knowledge is sufficient for the exam. Moreover, reading newspapers will also help him/her in English Section.

UPSC CDS Exam Reference Books

Following books can be taken for reference:

  • Pathfinder CDS Examination Conducted by UPSC
  • CDS (Combined Defence Services) Examination Guide By R. Gupta
  • Quick GK 2017 with Current affairs update
  • Oxford English Grammar Course: Basic with Answers CD-ROM Pack
  • Chapter wise Solved papers CDS Combined Defence Services Examination By Arihant Publications

UPSC CDS Exam Previous Papers

The candidates can get a fair amount of idea about the syllabus after solving the previous year papers. Moreover, the candidate can analyse his/her weak spots in the syllabus and time required to solve the entire paper. Thus UPSC CDS Exam previous year papers will help him/her in planning his/her preparation.

UPSC CDS Exam Mock and Sample papers

Regularly practising the mock and sample tests will help the candidate to gain speed and finally help him/her finishing the actual exam on time. These are very helpful for the Mathematics part of the exam.

UPSC CDS Exam Coaching Centres

A large number of UPSC CDS Exam coaching centres are there in the country. Some of them are:

  • The lakshya Academy
  • Cavalier India
  • Baalnoi Academy
  • Olive green Academy
  • Minerva Academy


Q. Can I change my preference related to academies afterwards?

Ans. No, the preference once filled and submitted, cannot be changed afterwards.

Q. Can female candidates apply for the Air Force Academy?

Ans. No, female candidates can only apply for Officers Training Academy through UPSC CDS Exam. However, there is another exam for women to get into Air Force Academy i.e AFCAT (Air Force Common Aptitude Test).

Q. Is there any bank other than SBI, where I can deposit the challan?

Ans. No, the challan can only be deposited in State Bank of India (SBI).

Q. Am I required to send the application by post to commission?

Ans. No, the candidate is not required to send any document to the UPSC.

UPSC CDSE Contact Information

Facilitation Counter,

Commissioner's Office

011-23381125/ 011-23385271/ 011-23098543

Colleges which accept [UPSC CDS]

Want to get in ?
Bachelor of Science [B.Sc] (Mathematics), batch of 2018
21 Jan 2017
Eligibility Criteria and Admission Process
  • The eligibility criteria for joining Gangadhar Meher University is passing the 12th with 80% of marks and clearing the UPSC CDS exam.

Discussion Forum

What are the content in UPSC CDS 2018 application form

What are the content in UPSC CDS 2018 application form?

Asked By: Khushi khandelwal,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Khushi,

In UPSC CDS application form you will be asked to fill basic information such as Name, Parents name, nationality, category, email id, Contact Details, Corresponding Address etc and fields marked with Star are mandatory and the applicant cannot leave it empty.

Follow the link to read other content of UPSC CDS Application Form.

Good Luck.

How many attempts candidates can make to clear UPSC CDS exam

How many attempts candidates can make to clear UPSC CDS exam?

Asked By: Akansha,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Akansha,

There is no restriction on the number of attempts in UPSC CDS exam, you can apply twice a year as per the eligibility criteria.

Follow the link to read UPSC CDS Eligibility Criteria.

Good Luck.

What kind of job is offered after clearing the UPSC CDS exam

What kind of job is offered after clearing the UPSC CDS exam?

Asked By: Meenkshi,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Meenakshi,

UPSC CDS conducts two exams annually: Combined Defence Service (I) & Combined Defence Service (II). Entrance exams are conducted for the following academies and posts: 

Indian Military Academy - Army officers (Lieutenant)

Indian Naval Academy - Sub-Lieutenant

Air Force Academy - Flying Officer

Officer's Training Academy - Short Service Commission Officer

Good Luck.

Can I appear for UPSC CDS exam after completing my B.Tech

Can I appear for UPSC CDS exam after completing my B.Tech ?

Asked By: Palak,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Palak,

Yes, you can apply for UPSC CDS exam.

  • For IMA /OTA: A degree from a recognized University or equivalent.

  • For Indian Naval Academy:  Bachelor of Engineering or B.E.

  • For Air Force Academy: Degree of a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10 +2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Follow the link to read other UPSC CDS Eligibility Criteria.

Good Luck.

UPSC CDS 2017 conducting authority for interview

Who conducts the UPSC CDS interview?

Asked By: Sunil Ramesh,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

The UPSC CDS interview is conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).

UPSC CDS 2017 conducting authority

Who conducts the UPSC CDS exam?

Asked By: Pragyan Ponamma,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

The Union Public Service Commission conducts the UPSC CDS exam.

Union Public Service Commission Combined Defence Services Exam [UPSC CDS] 2017 Details

where are the Female trained after qualifying [UPSC CDS]

Asked By: Nidhi Mehta ,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Women candidates are eligible for OTA (Officers Training Academy, Chennai) only

Union Public Service Commission Combined Defence Services Exam [UPSC CDS] 2017 Details

where are the candidates interviewed after qualifying written test

Asked By: Sharadh Mehta ,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Candidates qualifying the written test are interviewed by the Service Selection Board and if finally selected, depending upon the choice given by the candidates and their merit list ranking, are sent to one of the following institutes for orientation training:

  • Indian Military Academy, Dehradun
  • Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala
  • Air Force Academy,  Hyderabad
  • Officers Training Academy, Chennai
  • Officers  Training  Academy, Chennai 21st SSC Women (Non- Technical)


Apply for the exam

How do i apply for the UPSC CDS 2017 EXAM?

Asked By: Punith Gowda,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Candidates are required to apply online only using the link click here to apply
The applicants are advised to submit only single application, however if due to any unavoidable situation, if he/she submits another/multiple applications, then he/she must ensure that application with the higher RID (Registration ID) is complete in all respects like applicants’ details, examination centre, photograph, signature, fee etc
The applicants who are submitting multiple applications should note that only the applications with higher RID (Registration ID) shall be entertained by the commission and fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID.
Candidates are not required to submit alongwith their applications any certificate in support of their claims regarding age, educational qualifications, SC/ST/OBC and fee remission etc.
The eligible candidates shall be issued an e-Admission Certificate three weeks before the commencement of the examination
The e-Admission Certificate will be made available in the UPSC website for downloading by candidates. No admission certificate will be sent by post
Information in this regard can also be obtained from the Facilitation Counter located in the Commission’s Office either in person or over telephone 011-2338527/011-23381125/011-23098543

UPSC CDS 2017 Number of times the exam is conducted

How many times is the UPSC CDS exam conducted in a year?

Asked By: Sailendra Dewan,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

The UPSC CDS exam is conducted twice a year.