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FAQ - CDS

CDS Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between CDS and NDA Exam?


Where the NDA examinations recruit for the Army, Naval and Air Force whereas the CDS examinations are conducted for recruitment for IMA, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and OTA.

How eligibility of age is calculated?


Candidates are advised to visit official notification for CDS exam.
  1. 19-24 Years - Indian Military Academy
  2. 19-22 Years - Naval Academy
  3. 19-23 Years - Air Force Academy
  4. 19-25 Years - Officers' Training Academy.

Who can apply for CDS exam?


The candidate must either be:
  1. A citizen of India,
  2. A subject of Bhutan,
  3. A subject of Nepal,
  4. A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before the first July, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India.
  5. A person of Indian origin migrated from outside country with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Is there any specific % require to apply for CDS?


No. As per the CDS notification & UPSC website, there is no such criteria is mentioned. Candidates only have to secure passing marks to apply CDS exam.

How many times CDS exam are conducted?


CDS exams are conducted twice a year i.e. CDS I in February and CDS II in November or September.

How many attempts are allowed for appearing in CDS exams?


There is no such no. of attempts is mentioned in CDS notification or on UPSC website. Students can attempt till they fulfil the age criteria of CDS application.

What is the CDS Exam Pattern


CDS is a written exam which consists of only Multiple Choice Questions. For getting into Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy, candidates are required to appear for all the 3 papers- English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics. However, For Officers Training Academy, candidates must take two papers only- English and GK. Each paper carries 100 marks. The question paper will also consist of questions involving the metric system of Weights and Measures only will be set. Those who qualify in the written test are called for the second stage i.e., Intelligence and Personality Test.

Can female/girl candidates apply for CDS exam?


Yes, Female (unmarried) candidates can apply for CDS only for the post of Officers Training Academy (OTA).

What is the educational qualification required for CDS exam?


Education Qualification varies according to the post-
  1. For Indian Military Academy: Degree of a recognized university or equivalent is required.
  2. For Air Force Academy: B.Sc with Physics and/ Or Mathematics Or Bachelor of Engineering is required.
  3. For Naval Academy: B.Sc with Physics and Mathematics or Bachelor of Engineering is required.
  4. For Officer Training Academy: Degree of a recognized university or equivalent is required.

What is CDS SSB Interview Process?


After clearing the written test in CDSE, the candidates have to go through a series of personality tests, which is called the Service Selection Board. This interview commonly known as SSB has different types of tests to judge a person's personality. . SSB consists of three types of tests.
  1. The Screening Test
  2. The Psychological Tests
  3. The Interview

What is the marital status for CDS exam?


There is variation of marital status for CDS exam -
  1. For IMA & INA: Unmarried male candidates only are eligible.
  2. For Air Force Academy: Candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable upto 26 only are eligible.
  3. For Officers' Training Academy (SSC Course for men) : Male candidates (married or unmarried) only are eligible.
  4. For Officers' Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) : Unmarried women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible
Note: Candidate below 25 years of age must be unmarried. Marriage is not permitted during training. Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply but during training period they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live with family out of the premises.

What is the medical eligibility for CDS exam?


Candidates must be physically and mentally fit according to the given standards.
  1. vision standard for Naval and Airforce
  2. For Male:
  3. Candidate must able to read 6/6 in a distant vision chart with each eye with or without glasses (For Navy and Air Force without glasses only).
  4. Myopia should not be more than 3.5D
  5. Hypermetropia should not be more than 3.5D including Astigmatism.
  6. For Female:
  7. Aspirant must able to read 6/6 (better eye) and 6/8 (worse eye) in a distant vision chart with or without glasses
  8. Myopia should not be more than minus 5.5 including Astogination.
  9. Internal examination of the eye will be done by means of ophthalmoscope to rule out any disease of the eye.
  10. A candidate must have a good binocular vision.
  11. The color vision standard will be CP-III.
  12. A candidate should be able to recognize red and green colors.
  13. Teeth, Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions :
  14. CDS Physical Qualification also covers your conditions of teeth, ear Nose, Throat etc. Check the standards given below.
  15. The applicants ought to have an adequate number of normal and sound teeth.
  16. At least 14 dental focuses will be satisfactory.
  17. A hopeful ought not to be experiencing serious pyorrhea.
  18. The listening must be ordinary.
  19. A hopeful ought to have the capacity to hear a constrained whisper with every ear at a separation of 610 cms in a very room.
  20. There ought to be no confirmation of present or past disease of the ear, nose, and throat.
  21. A sound metric test will be ruined AF. Sound metric misfortune ought not to exceed+20 db in frequencies somewhere around 250Hz and 4000 Hz.

What are physical criteria?


Candidates are advised to go to official notification of CDS exam which is released by UPSC.
  1. First of all, the participants should take care that they are physically & mentally fit and fine and free from any type of disease/disability.
  2. Participant does not have any type of mental breakdown record in past.
  3. The aspirant must undergo a preliminary medical check-up for wax in ears, refractory error of eyes, a fungal infection of skin before reporting for the SSB interview.
  4. Candidate must be under a standard weight
  5. The chest should be in fine condition. An x-ray of the candidate will be carried out for figuring out any disease in his chest.
  6. The minimum range of expansion after full inspiration should be 5 cms.
  7. There should be no disease of bones and joints of the body.
  8. There are height/weight standards for male & female candidates. Please refer CDS official notification.

I am appearing in the final year of my graduation. Can I apply for CDS exam?


Yes, Candidates who are appearing last year of their graduation can apply for CDS exam.

Can candidates with arts/humanity stream degree apply?


Candidates with graduation degree from any stream can apply for CDS exam. But candidates holding degree from Arts/Humanity can only apply for Army.

Is there any negative marking for wrong answer in CDS exam?


Candidates should note that there will be penalty (Negative Marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the Objective Type Question Papers.

If i don't have final year mark sheet for SSB/Interview of CDS exam. What can I do?


In case a candidate is in final year & awaiting for his/her mark-sheet or he/she is submitted his/her certificate in college/universities for higher studies, he/she will be required to submit an application which will be signed by the principal/university registrar (Application formation can be downloaded along with call letter for ssb).

How do I access the site to fill up the online application?


An applicant should log on to https://upsconline.nic.in/ to access the home page of the online application.

What should I do in case some mistake found in my application after its submission?


You can submit multiple applications & required to pay the fee with new RID in case you are not a fee exempted candidate and your RID for latest submitted completed application will be considered for processing and all earlier submitted applications will be cancelled by online system.

What is the CDS exam fee & who are exempted from paying fees in CDS exam?


Candidates (excepting Female/SC/ST candidates who are exempted from payment of fee) are required to pay a fee of Rs. 200/- (Rupees Two Hundred Only).