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CDS Exam

CDS Exam 2021: Notification, Check Eligibility, Exam Pattern, Syllabus and Selection Process etc.

CDS Exam 2021: 

The Combined Defence Services Examination (abbreviated as CDS Exam) is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy. The Notification for the examination is usually released in the months of October and June, and the examinations are conducted in February and November respectively. Only unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam. Successful candidates are admitted into the respective Academies after an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB). The exam allows female candidates to be selected only as OTA candidates.

CDS Exam 2021 Notification

CDS 1 notification 2021 has been released on October 28, 2020, by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The application form is made available along with the notification. The last date to fill the CDS application form is November 17, 2020. CDS 1 exam 2021 will be conducted on February 7, 2021.

CDS 2 2021 Notification Release Date

4th August 2021

CDS 2 2021 Apply Online Begins

4th August 2021

Last date to Apply online

24th August 2021

CDS 2 2021 Exam Date

14th November 2021

CDS Admit Card 2021

14th October 2021

CDS 2 Result

December 2021

Official Notification Click Here

Pay scale of Army Officers and equivalent ranks in Air Force and Navy

Rank Level (Pay in Rs.)

Lieutenant Level 10 56,100 -1,77,500

Captain Level 10 B 61,300- 1,93,900

Major Level 11 69,400 – 2,07,200

Lieutenant Colonel Level 12A 1,21,200 – 2,12,400

Colonel Level 13 1,30,600-2, 15,900

Brigadier Level 13A 1,39,600-2,17,600

Major General Level 14 1,44,200-2,18,200

Lieutenant General HAG Scale Level 15 1, 82, 200-2,24,100

HAG+Scale Level 16 2,05,400 – 2,24,400

VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG) Level 17 2,25,000/-(fixed)

COAS Level 18 2,50,000/-(fixed)

MSP to the officer is as follows:-

Military Service Pay(MSP) to the officers from the rank of Lieutenant to Brigadier – Rs 15.500 p.m. fixed

Fixed Stipend for cadet Training:-

Stipend to Gentlemen or Lady Cadets during the entire duration of training in Service academies i.e. during training period at IMA and OTA.– Rs 56,100/-p.m.* (Starting pay in Level 10)

Educational Qualifications

For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy

Degree from a recognized University or equivalent

For Indian Naval Academy

Degree in Engineering from a recognized University or equivalent

For Air Force Academy

Degree of a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering

Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status :

(i) For IMA—Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January, 1998 and not later than 1st January, 2003 only are eligible.

(ii) For Indian Naval Academy—Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January, 1998 and not later than 1st January, 2003 only are eligible.

(iii) For Air Force Academy—20 to 24 years as on 1st January, 2022 i.e. born not earlier than 2nd January, 1998 and not later than 1st January, 2002 (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable up to 26 yrs. i.e. born not earlier than 2nd January, 1996 and not later than 1st January, 2002 only 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.

(iv) For Officers’ Training Academy—(SSC Course for men) unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January, 1997 and not later than 1st January, 2003 only are eligible.

(v) 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.

They should have been born not earlier than 2nd January, 1997 and not later than 1st January, 2003.

NOTE : Male divorcee/widower candidates cannot be treated as unmarried male for the purpose of their admission in IMA/INA/AFA/OTA, Chennai courses and accordingly they are not eligible for these courses.

CDS Exam 2021 Pattern & Selection Process

The Competitive examination comprises:

(a) Written examination as shown in para 2 below.

(b) Interview for intelligence and personality test of such candidates as may be called for interview at one of the Services Selection Centres.

(a) For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy:—




Maximum Marks



2 Hours



General Knowledge

2 Hours



Elementary Mathematics

2 Hours


(b) For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy :—




Maximum Marks



2 Hours



General Knowledge

2 Hours


Selection process of CDS:

The candidates who clear CDS written exam are called for interview by Service Selection Board (SSB) and the successful candidates are appointed by respective training academies. Candidates’ selection will be based on these steps: Written Test. Interview (Intelligence and Personality Test)

CDS  Exam Syllabus

STANDARD AND SYLLABUS OF THE EXAMINATION: The standard of the papers in Elementary Mathematics will be of Matriculation level. The standard of papers in other subjects will approximately be such as may be expected of a graduate of an Indian University.


The question paper will be designed to test the candidates’ understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.


General Knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of everyday observation and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject. The paper will also include questions on History of India and Geography of a nature which candidate should be able to answer without special study.



Number System—Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, substraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions. Unitary method, time and distance, time and work, percentages, applications to simple and compound interest, profit  and loss, ratio and proportion, variation. Elementary Number Theory—Division algorithm. Prime and composite numbers. Tests of divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 11. Multiples and factors. Factorisation Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M. Euclidean algorithm. Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables.


Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M., Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns—analytical and graphical solutions. Simultaneous linear inequations in two variables and their solutions. Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions. Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices.


Simple trigonometric identities. Use of trigonometric tables. Simple cases of heights and distances.


Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Theorems on (i) Properties of angles at a point, (ii) Parallel lines, (iii) Sides and angles of a triangle, (iv) Congruency of triangles, (v) Similar triangles, (vi) Concurrence of medians and altitudes, (vii) Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle and square, (viii) Circles and its properties including tangents and normals, (ix) Loci.


Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle. Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), Surface area and volume of cuboids, lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, surface area and volume of spheres.


Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts etc. Measures of central tendency.


The SSB procedure consists of two stage Selection process – stage I and stage II. Only those candidates who clear the stage I are permitted to appear for stage II. The details are:-

(a) Stage I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests are Picture Perception*Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on combination of performance in OIR Test and PP&DT.

(b) Stage II Comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference.