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CDS Exam – How to Become Officer from CDS Entry | Full Details

Start Your Preperations

Firstly, CDS exam is an entry which select graduates for the three services ( the Army, the Navy and the Air-Force ). Candidates selected through this entry join the training at the respective academies opted. In other words, selected cadets trains for almost a year in

CDS entry service academies
  • Indian Military Academy, for Army
  • Air Force Academy, if opted for Air Force
  • Indian Naval Academy, for Indian Navy
  • Officers Training Academy, if opted for Army (short service commission)
indian military academy cds
IMA Dehradun passing out parade

Indian Military Academy

cds entry Indian naval academy ezhimala
INA aerial view

Indian Naval Academy

ota chennai cds entry
ota chennai gate

Officers Training Academy

air force academy 2021
Air Force academy Dundigal

Air Force Academy

Duration of training at IMA, INA, OTA & AFA

ACADEMYDURATION OF TRAINING
IMA18 MONTHS
OTA49 WEEKS
INA44 WEEKS
AFA74 WEEKS (FLYING BRANCH)

How to join respective academy

So, there are two steps where first one is Passing CDS Written exams & the second one is clearing a subsequent interview also known famously as SSB Interview (Service selection Board interview)

CDSE exam pattern

Combined defence service exam is an objective type paper (Multiple choice questions) . Written exam consists of 3 Papers. Further, all the papers are on the same day with 1 hour break in between.

TIMEPAPERMARKSSECTIONAL CUT OFF
9:00-11:00ENGLISH100 (120 questions carrying 0.83 marks each)Varies from 20%-25%
12:00-2:00GENERAL KNOWLEDGE100 (120 questions carrying 0.83 marks each)Varies from 20%-25%
3:00-5:00MATHEMATICS100 (100 questions carrying 1 marks each )Varies from 20%-25%

Usually scoring 20%-25% is not a big deal. However, you must understand now that it is one of the most difficult exam to clear.

The difficulty arises with the negative marking. That is to say, with every wrong answer, 1/3rd of the marks allotted to that question will be deducted as penalty. Therefore, this significantly affects your total score. Moreover, general knowledge is extremely tough to crack.

CDS Exam syllabus

Candidates who appear for CDSE will give 3 papers.

  1. ENGLISH
  2. G.K (GENERAL KNOWLEDGE)

These two papers are compulsory. Candidates should qualify in both the papers with minimum 20 marks each. Also, candidate has to score minimum aggregate cut off as decided by UPSC. He is then shortlisted for Officers Training Academy and called for interview

  • MATH

This paper is optional. It is mandatory only for those who are appearing for IMA, INA, AFA. One has to qualify in mathematics by obtaining 20 marks. In addition, he needs score minimum cut off for IMA, INA, AFA respectively as decided by UPSC. Only then does he qualifies and gets a call for SSB interview

To understand more clearly have a look at these scenario

e.g. Lets assume cut off fixed by UPSC for OTA is 80 & IMA is 95, below are the different conditions of candidate’s score.

PAPER 1PAPER 2PAPER 3FINAL RESULT
3636N.ADOES NOT QUALIFY
709N.ADOES NOT QUALIFY
5040N.AQUALIFIES FOR OTA
504015QUALIFIES FOR OTA
503220QUALIFIES BOTH OTA & IMA
701925DOES NOT QUALIFY

When is CDS exam conducted?

CDS exam happens twice in a year in the month of February and November. To appear in the exam one has to apply online 3-4 months prior to the exam date when the Notifications are out.

NOTIFICATIONLIKELY MONTH OF EXAMRESULT
NOVEMBER- DECEMBERFEBRUARYAPRIL-MAY
AUGUST-SEPTEMBERNOVEMBERDEC-JAN

Applications are out on www.upsc.gov.in

Union public service commission conducts exam & manages the result on behalf of Defence.

How to Fill CDS form step by step?

  • Go to www.upsc.gov.in
  • Click on apply online and select the exam
  • Navigate to Part 1 and submit your personal and contact details.
  • Further, set your preference for the academies as per your qualification and age.
  • keep your registration ID safe and head to Part 2 of the application for payment.
  • Select the mode of depositing the exam fees.
  • After depositing the fees, select your centre of examination.
  • Then upload your photo and signature in mentioned file size and dimensions.
  • Lastly, submit the form.
  • You may keep a copy of the application form for future reference

What is the eligibility for CDS Exam?

CriteriaCondition
AgeAt the time of joining academy your age should be between:
  • 19-25 for OTA19-24 for IMA19-23 for AFA19-23 for INA
StreamAny graduate (B.E Btech, BA, Bsc, BBA, Bcom etc ) from a UGC recognised university is eligible to apply for OTA & IMA. For INA, you need to be B.E/B.tech Graduate. For AFA, you need to have physics and mathematics in your 10+2. Generally, There is no minimum percentage criteria for 10+2 as in AFCAT.
GenderOnly male unmarried candidates are allowed to appear for IMA, AFA, INA. Female candidates can only appear for OTA (Indian Army)
NationalityA citizen of India, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibetan refugee or a person of Indian origin who has migrated with the intention of permanently settling in India

What happens after clearing CDS Exam

After clearing your exam, you will receive a call letter for SSB interview. After recommendation, candidates undergo a total medical examination. If a candidate is found medically unfit then he will be sent back. Subsequently, Merit list is prepared for medically fit candidates.

Merit list includes total marks secured by the candidate in written exam and interview.

Finally let’s assume there are 100 candidates who made into the merit list and your rank in merit list is 68 further the vacancies required are just 70. In that case everyone ranking from 1 to 70 will get a Call letter to join the academy (course) for training.

Rest of the candidates will be considered merit out and have to undergo the same procedure again from scratch including written examination.

How is CDS training?

At OTA, IMA, INA, AFA you will undergo the required training. All your expenses will be borne by government.

You will be provided with all basic necessities and leisure wherever required. On the other hand special care is taken at the MESS (dining hall) where the best class of delicacy are served every day.

Meanwhile during the training you are also liable to receive stipend per month at your respective service academies. The stipend keeps accumulating till your Passing out parade (POP) and total sum can be encashed at the end.

Once you are commissioned as an officer, your starting salary will range anywhere around 100k keeping aside all other benefits and perks.

Best books to prepare & crack CDS exam

MUST READ BOOKS

DDE editor
DDE Editorial Team comprises of researchers & content writers. The source of write ups are individual researches, references, informants and documentations. If you wish to submit a write up or information please write to contactus@defencedirecteducation.com

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