About CDS

The candidates who are aiming to appear for the CDS exam should refer to this page to get more detailed information such as eligibility criteria, exam pattern, etc.


Combined Defense Services (CDS) exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment of commissioned officers in Air Force Academy (AFA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Indian Military Academy (IMA), and Officers Training Academy (OTA). The examination takes place twice a year.

The CDS exam is held in two stages – written and interview. The written examination for admission to IMA, INA and AFA is of 300 marks and for a duration of 6 hours. The written examination for OTA is of 200 marks and for a duration of 4 hours. The interview includes intelligence and a personality test.

CDS aspirants can apply for the exam online by visiting the UPSC website. They have to fill out the application form available on the website and pay an examination fee of Rs. 200 to any branch of SBI through debit or credit/MasterCard/Rupay card or cash. Female/SC/ST candidates are exempted from payment of the application fee.

Eligible candidates for the CDS exam will get their e-admit cards on the UPSC website three weeks before the commencement of the examination.

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