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Combined Defence Services -CDS

Combined Defence Services Examination - Introduction


For those young and courageous individuals who nurture a patriotic sentiment, who are willing to take on any kind of challenges and dedicate their lives to defending the country and its people, the Common Defence Service Test is the path to join the nation's Defence forces.

Combined Defence Service exam is conducted by UPSC twice every year for recruitment to office cadre of the Army, Navy and Air force. CDS exam is conducted generally in the months of May and October.

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 (IMA), Dehradun
  • Naval Academy, Goa
  • Air Force Academy, Begumpet, Hyderabad
  • Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai

Those joining the first three institutes get permanent commission, however cadets passing out of OTA get short service commission. Applicants are required to mention their preferences while filling up the application forms.

Eligibility Criteria

Educational Qualifications:
  • For IMA /OTA : A degree from a recognized University or equivalent.
  • For Naval Academy: B.Sc. with Physics and/or Mathematics or Bachelor of Engineering.
  • For Air Force Academy: B.Sc. of a recognized University or equivalent with Physics and/or Mathematics as subjects or Bachelor of Engineering
Age:
  • For IMA: Unmarried male candidates between 19-24 years on 1st January or 1st July of the year succeeding the year of examination.
  • For Naval Academy: Unmarried male candidates between 19-22 years on 1st January or 1st July of the year succeeding; the year of examination.
  • For Air Force Academy: Unmarried male candidates between 19-23 years on 1st January or 1st July of the year succeeding the year of examination.
  • For Officers Training Academy: Male candidates (married or unmarried) between 19-25 years on 1st January or 1st July of the year succeeding the year of examination.
Application

Examination :
  • Written Examination
  • Interview for intelligence and personality test of such candidates as may be called for interview at one of the Services Selection Centers
Examination Subjects:
The following will be subjects for the written examination (each of 2 hours duration):
  1. For admission to Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy and Air Force Academy:
    • English - This paper tests the understanding of the English language.
    • General Knowledge - This tests the general knowledge, current events, history of India, geography of nature and other matters of everyday observation.
    • Elementary Mathematics - This paper covers arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics.
  2. For Admission to Officers Training Academy (OTA):
    • English - This paper tests the understanding of the English language.
    • General Knowledge - This tests the general knowledge, current events, history of India, geography of nature and other matters of everyday observation.
Centres of examination


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.

Interview and Special Tests


Those who qualify the written test, undergo interview and a series of intelligence and personality tests. The tests, both verbal and non-verbal, are designed not only to judge the mental caliber of the candidate but also to assess his social traits and interest in current affairs.

  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT) - Sixty situations are given and the candidate is required to answer the reactions within 30 minutes.
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) - A set of 12 pictures are shown and the candidate is required to write a story in 3 minute for each picture.
  • Word Association Test (WAT) - Sixty words are projected and the candidate is required to make a sentence, in 15 seconds for each word.
  • Group test - Group Test is conducted in batches of 8-10 candidates. The test consists of group planning, group discussion, outdoor group tasks. The candidates are asked to take lectures on certain topics.


Physical Standards


Candidates recommended by the Services Selection Board must undergo a medical examination by the Board of Service Medical Officers, and are allowed to go for the training programs only after being declared fit by the medical board.

CDS Tests


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