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.
- What is the UPSC CDS Exam?
- UPSC CDS Vacancies
- UPSC CDS Exam Dates
- UPSC CDS Exam Eligibility
- UPSC CDS Exam Syllabus
- UPSC CDS Exam Registration
- UPSC CDS Exam Pattern
- UPSC CDS Exam Admit Card
- UPSC CDS Exam Centres
- UPSC CDS Exam Results
- UPSC CDS Exam Cutoff
- UPSC CDS Exam Selection Process
- How to prepare for UPSC CDS Exam?
- UPSC CDS Exam Coaching Centres
- UPSC CDS Exam FAQs
- Related Exams
- UPSC CDS Exam Contact Details
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|
|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.
|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|
|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)|
|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
|Elementary Number Theory||
|Trigonometry||Simple Trigonometric identities
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
- 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. upsconline.nic.in.
- 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
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:
|Paper / Subject||No. of Questions||Duration||Marks|
|General Knowledge||120||2 Hours||100|
|Elementary Mathematics||100||2 Hours||100|
Exam Pattern for admissions into Officers Training Academy is tabulated below:
|Paper / Subject||No. of Questions||Duration||Marks|
|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 www.upsc.gov.in 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:
|Sl. No||Exam Centres|
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 www.upsc.gov.in 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 www.upsc.gov.in 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:
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
UPSC CDS Exam FAQs
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
011-23381125/ 011-23385271/ 011-23098543