CDS is Combined Defence Services Exam to get into Indian Army, Indian Navy & Indian Air Force.
It is conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) twice a year.
First one is conducted in the month of February and generally called as CDS – 1 Exam, while second one is conducted in September and known as CDS – 2Exam.
CDS Exam is an All India Exam and candidates from all over the country appears for it.
While filling up application form, candidates have choice to opt for any of the Indian Army, Indian Navy & Indian Air Force as their preferable service. Selected candidates are sent to
IMA (Indian Military Academy, Dehradun),
INA (Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala),
AFA (Air Force Academy, Hyderabad) and
OTA (Officers Training Academy, Chennai).
However, women candidates are only eligible for OTA (Officers Training Academy, Chennai).
About CDS – 1 2019 & CDS – 2 2019 Exam:
CDS – 1 2019 Exam
CDS – 2 2019 Exam
Indian Military Academy
Indian Naval Academy
(General Service)/ Hydro
(General Service)/ Hydro
Air Force Academy
Pre-Flying Training Course No.
Pre-Flying Training Course No.
Officers Training Academy (Men)
(Non - Technical)
(Non - Technical)
Officers Training Academy (Women)
* indicates types of commission: PC– Permanent Commission & SSC – Short Service Commission
Click here to know more about Types of Commission in Indian Armed Forces.
2. Selection Process:
CDS Exam is divided into following stages.
1) Written Examination
2) SSB Interview
Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) Test and Picture Perception & Description Test (PP&DT)
Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference
3) Medical Examination
1) Written Examination:
Stage – 1 of CDS Exam is Written Examination, which is objective type of exam. Candidates who applied for CDS Exam will receive Admit Card approximately three weeks before the commencement of Written Examination. Exam Pattern & Syllabus of Written Exam is mentioned below in this article.
Approximately 4 weeks after the commencement of Written Examination, UPSC declares a list of candidates who obtain the minimum qualifying marks in the Written Examination as fixed by the Commission in their discretion.
Candidates who have qualified in the Written Examination are required to register themselves on the recruiting directorate website www.joinindianarmy.nic.in in order to enable them to receive call up for second stage of selection process i.e. SSB Interview.
2) SSB Interview:
Candidates who are declared successful in the Written Examination will be detailed for intelligence and personality test at the Service Selection Board based on their preference by the respective service HQ.
This intelligence and personality test is also divided into 2 stages:
a. Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) Test and Picture Perception & Description Test (PP&DT):
Officer Intelligence Rating Test along with Picture Perception and Discussion Test will be conducted on the first day. Stage-I test is a screening test and only those who qualify, would undergo subsequent testing.
All Stage-I qualified candidates would be subjected to document check to ascertain their eligibility for the branches applied for. List of documents required to submit at SSB is mentioned below in the article.
Candidates who either do not qualify in Stage-I or do not meet the required eligibility criteria would be sent back on the first day itself.
b. Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference:
Psychological test will be conducted on Day 1 (Afternoon) and the Group Tests and Interview would commence after document check for the next five days.
The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors viz. The Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist. There are no separate weightage for each test. The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in all the test.
In addition, marks for Conference are also allotted based on the initial performance of the Candidate in the three techniques and decision of the Board. All these have equal weightage.
The various tests of IO, GTO and Psych are designed to bring out the presence/absence of Officer Like Qualities and their trainability in a candidate. Accordingly candidates are Recommended or Not-Recommended at the SSB.
Check complete procedure & other details of SSB Interview.
c. CPSS (ONLY FOR CADIDATES APPLYING FOR AIR FORCE):
Candidates recommended by the AFSBs required to appear for CPSS (Computer Pilot Selection System). This is once in a lifetime test.
Candidates who have failed the CPSS/PABT in an earlier attempt or a Flight Cadet suspended from flying training at Air Force Academy will not be eligible.
Check what is CPSS/PABT in Indian Air Force?
3) Medical Examination:
A candidate recommended by the Services Selection Board will undergo a medical examination by a Board of Service Medical Officers. Women candidates will undergo Medical Examination by a Medical Board comprising male/female doctors/specialists/Gynecologist. There will be a Lady Medical Officer as Member of Board.
The candidates declared unfit will be intimated by the President of the Medical Board and procedure for request for an Appeal Medical Board (AMB) will also be intimated to the candidate.
Check the Procedure for an Appeal for re-examination.
Final Result of CDS Exam is prepared based on the minimum qualifying marks secured by a candidate separately in (i) Written Examination and (ii) SSB Interview Tests as fixed by the Commission and Service Selection Board respectively in their discretion. The candidates will be placed in the order of merit on the basis of the total marks secured by them in the Written Examination and in the SSB Interview Tests.
However, only those candidates will be admitted to the Academy who are declared fit by the Medical Board. Success at the examination confers no right of admission to the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy or the Officers' Training Academy as the case may be.
The final selection will be made in order of merit subject to medical fitness and suitability in all other respects and number of vacancies available.
3. Selection Process Schedule:
Important Dates of CDS – 1 2019 & CDS – 2019 Exams are mentioned below:
The candidates applying for the examination should ensure that they fulfil all the eligibility conditions for admission to the Examination. Their admission at all the stages of the examination will be purely provisional subject to satisfying the prescribed eligibility conditions.
Mere issue of Admission Certificate to the candidate will not imply that his candidature has been finally cleared by the Commission.
Verification of eligibility conditions with reference to original documents will be taken up only after the candidate has qualified for interview/Personality Test.
However, if on verification at any time before or after the written examination or Interview Test, it is found that they do not fulfil any of the eligibility conditions, their candidature for the examination will be cancelled by the Commission.