CDS Exam

CDS Exam 2023 - Application Form(Out), Admit Card, Exam Dates, Syllabus, Dates, & Results

Last Modified on : 24 Jan 2023

CDS (Combined Defense Services) is the common entrance exam to recruit unmarried male and female candidates (including widows and divorcees who haven’t remarried) in all three spheres of the Indian Defence services, i.e., Indian Military, Navy, and Air Force. As per the official notification for Air Force Academy, “Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply, but during the training period, they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live with family out of the premises.” The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the CDS exam at all India-level.

The CDS Exam will be held twice a year in April (CDS 1) and September (CDS 2).

CDS 2023 Latest Update:

- UPSC CDS (I) 2023 Application Form was released on 21st December 2022, and the last date to apply for the exam is 10th January 2023.

- The official notification for the CDS (I) 2023 exam will be released on 21st December 2022. The exam will be conducted on 16th April 2023.

CDS Exam Previous Years Solved Papers - Download Now

CDS Training Academies

Meritorious candidates who aim to serve the country by joining the defense} can go for the CDS examination. To apply online for the CDS 2023 examination, one should meet up the eligibility requirements set by the Commission. The candidates will be selected based on their performance in the written examination followed by an interview for intelligence and personality test. The selected candidates undergo rigorous training at the respected Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Officer Training Academy (OTA) based on preference and merit. Find the details of the respective academies:

Name of the Academy

City

Indian Naval Academy

Ezhimala

Indian Military Academy

Dehradun

Air Force Academy

Hyderabad

Officers Training Academy (SSC Women)

Chennai

Officers Training Academy (SSC Men)

Chennai

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CDS Exam Quick Overview

Name of the Exam

CDS (Combined Defense Services)

Conducting Authority

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Official Website

https://upsc.gov.in

Exam Occurrence

Twice a year (April and September)

Number of Vacancies

To be announced

Application Fee

₹ 200

Admit Card availability

Online

Paper Language

Hindi and English

Mode of Exam

Offline (Pen and paper mode)

Selection Process

Written test and SSB interview

Exam Type

National Level

Age Limit

Minimum Age- 19 Years

Maximum Age- 25 Years

Date of Exam for UPSC CDS I 2023

16th April 2023 

Date of Exam for UPSC CDS II 2023

3rd September 2023 

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CDS Notification 2023 – Check the Official CDS Notification

The Union Public Service Commission, UPSC, will release the CDS notification twice for 2023, in December 2022 and May 2023. The number of vacancies will be notified through the official notification. The application forms will also be released along with the notification.

The commission will release the CDS II notification 2023 on 17th May 2023. Candidates, who want to apply for the exam, need to wait for the official notice of application. The exam for CDS II is going to be held on 3rd September 2023, as per the official calendar for UPSC 2023 exams.

CDS 2023 Notification - Quick Question and Answers

Q. What details can I check in the CDS recruitment notification?

CDS notification will have all the information related to the exam, such as important dates, eligibility, the application process, exam pattern, syllabus, etc.

Q. Who will release the CDS notification and when?

UPSC will release the official CDS notification to select candidates for the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Officers Training Academy. The CDS I 2023 notification was released on 21st December 2022, and the CDS II 2023 notification will be released on 17th May 2023.

Q. How to check the CDS notification?

Visit the official website of UPSC and go to the latest notice section. Or you can visit ExamsPlanner to stay updated related to the exam releases.

Q. How many times has the CDS notification been released?

CDS notification is released two times a year.

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Read this Exam in Hindi - Click Here

CDS Exam Previous Years Solved Papers

  • UPSC Civil Services & IFS Preliminary Solved Papers (E-Book) Download
  • IES 2009 - 2018 Previous Year Papers E-Book Download
  • CDS 7 Years Solved Paper (2012 - 18) Download
  • CDS 5 Years Solved Paper (2014 - 18) Download
  • CDS 11 Years Solved Paper (2008 - 2018) Download

CDS Exam 2023 Important Dates

The Combined Defence Services Exam 2023 will be conducted twice a year in the months of April and September for the selection of eligible candidates for courses offered at the Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Officer Training Academy. Here are the important dates for various exam events:

About the Exam

CDS I 2023 Exam

CDS II 2023 Exam

Date of CDS Exam 2023

16th April 2023

3rd September 2023

CDS Exam Application Form release date

21st December 2022

17th May 2023

Closing date for submission of Applications form

10th January 2023

6th June 2023

Admit Card Issuance date

TBA

TBA

Exam Date

16th April 2023

3rd September 2023

CDS Exam Result Declaration

TBA

TBA

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Timings of CDS (II) Exam

Paper

Exam Timings

English

09.00 am to 11.00 am

General Knowledge

12.00 pm to 02.00 pm

Elementary Mathematics

03.00 pm to 05.00 pm

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CDS 2023 Exam Vacancy Details

Vacancies for CDS 2023 recruitment will be notified through the official notification. The same will be updated here once the official notification is released.

UPSC CDS (I) 2023 Vacancies

Academy

Course

Reserved for NCC Vacancies

Total Available Vacancies

Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala

Course commencing in Jan 2023 Executive (General Service)/ Hydro

To be announced

22

Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

150th (DE) course commencing in January 2023

To be announced

100

Officers Training Academy, Chennai

119th SSC (Men) Course (NT) commencing in April 2024

To be announced

170

Air Force Academy, Hyderabad

(Pre-Flying) Training Course commencing in January 2024

To be announced

32

Officers Training Academy, Chennai

33th SSC Women (Non-Technical) Course commencing in April 2024

To be announced

17

Total

 

-

341

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UPSC CDS (II) 2023 Vacancies

Academy

Total Available Vacancies

Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala

To be announced

Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

To be announced

Officers Training Academy, Chennai

To be announced

Air Force Academy, Hyderabad

To be announced

Officers Training Academy, Chennai

To be announced

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CDS 2023 Vacancies - Quick Question and Answers

Q. How can I check the available vacancy criteria for the CDS exam?

To check the available vacancies, you can visit the official website of UPSC and click on the relevant tab to get all the details.

Q. I live in Hyderabad and want to apply for IMA Dehradun, so is it possible?

Yes, you can apply without any issues.

Q. How many vacancies are released for CDS 1 and CDS 2, 2023?

The vacancies are yet to be announced.

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CDS Exam 2023 Pattern & Syllabus

The complete CDS Exam pattern 2023 is divided into two sections –Written Test and SSB Interview. Check the details below:

CDS 2023 Exam Pattern for Written Exam

The offline written exam for IMA, INA, and AFA 2023 comprises three sections: English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.

While, on the other hand, the test paper for admission to OTA comprises two sections: English and General Knowledge.

The total exam duration for IMA, INA, and AFA is 6 hours (each section is for 2 hours); while for OTA, it is 4 hours (with a section for 2 hours).

The total marks for the IMA, INA, and AFA tests are 300, while it is 200 for OTA.

The test paper will consist of objective type (Multiple Choice Questions) only. The standard of the topics in the CDS syllabus 2023 for Elementary Mathematics will be based on the Class 10 level, while the standard of papers for other subjects will be of graduation level.

Here is the detailed information on the CDS written exam pattern. The exam patterns for the Officers Training Academy and other military academies are different. Check out the exam pattern here:

CDS 2023 Exam Pattern for Indian Navy, Military, and Air Force –

Subject

Marks

Duration

Nature of question

General Awareness

100

2 hours

Objective type questions

English

100

2 hours

Objective type questions

Mathematics

100

2 hours

Objective type questions

Total

300

 

 

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CDS 2023 Exam Pattern for Officer Training Academy (OTA) -

Subject

Marks

Duration

Nature of question

General Awareness

100

2 hours

Objective type questions

English

100

2 hours

Objective type questions

Total

200

 

 

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Things to Consider while solving CDS Exam Previous Years Question Papers - Click Here 

CDS Exam 2023 Marking Scheme

There is a scheme of negative marking in the exam. Find the comprehensive marking scheme details here:

  1. Each question in the CDS (I) & (II) exam carries 4 options, out of which only one option will be correct.
  2. For every incorrect answer, 1/3rd of the marks assigned to the question are deducted for the wrong answer.
  3. Candidates marking more than one option will be treated as incorrect, and thus 1/3rd mark will be deducted.
  4. If a question is left unanswered, then no penalty will be charged for the unanswered questions.

Section-wise Marking Scheme for CDS 2023 examination:

Specifications

GK

English

Mathematics

Maximum Marks

100

100

100

Marks for every correct answer

+1 mark will be given for each correct option

+1 mark will be given for each correct option

+1 mark will be given for each correct option

Negative marking

-0.33 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer

-0.33 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer

-0.33 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer

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CDS 2023 Exam Pattern for SSB Interview

The SSB Interview for INA, IMA, and AFA is for 300 marks each, while for OTA, it is 200. The SSB Interview process consists of two stages: I and II. Those candidates who qualify the stage I will be allowed to appear in stage II. The details of both the interview stages are as follows:

  • Stage I comprises questions based on the Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and the Picture Perception Description Test (PP&DT). 
  • Stage II comprises of Interview round, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and conferences. These tests are conducted for over 4 days.

CDS 2023 Exam Pattern - Quick Question and Answers

Q. How many marks will be deducted if I give more than 1 incorrect answer?

For every incorrect answer, you will lose 1/3rd of the given marks.

Q. What will be the language of the CDS question paper?

The exam paper will be asked in English and Hindi medium.

Q. CDS exam is conducted in which mode?

The exam is conducted via offline mode only.

Q. How many questions are asked in the exam?

The total number of questions is as follows – English (100 questions), Maths (100 questions), and GK (100 questions).

Q. What is the overall duration of the CDS 2023 exam?

Each section of the exam is conducted for 2 hours of duration.

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CDS Exam Syllabus 2023

UPSC prescribes the syllabus for the CDS exam in the official notification. The written exam comprises questions from English, General Knowledge, and Mathematics topics. The SSB stage comprises Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and Picture Perception Description Tests (PP&DT). Psychology tests, group tasks, conferences, and interviews are also included in the SSB round.

The major topics of the CDS syllabus are described in the form of the table:

 Major Subjects

Important Topics

General Knowledge

Economics, General Awareness, Physics, History, Politics, Geography, Sociology, etc.

Elementary Mathematics

Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, Mensuration, etc.

English

The question paper is designed to test the candidates’ understanding of English and Grammar.

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Get Complete Syllabus for CDS 2023 Exam in EnglishClick Here

Get the Complete Syllabus for CDS 2023 Exam in Hindi – Click Here

CDS Syllabus 2023 - Quick Question and Answers

Q. What is the level of the CDS exam syllabus?

The level of the exam syllabus is of class 10th and graduation level.

Q. What is the CDS syllabus for 2023?

The complete syllabus of the exam is divided into topics and sub-topics from English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.

Q. Does the CDS syllabus change every year?

No, it remains the same every year, as the UPSC prescribes it.

Q. Can I get the complete CDS 2 syllabus?

Yes, you can. Click on the given link mentioned above on this page.

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CDS Exam Analysis 2023

UPSC CDS (I) written exam was held on 16th April 2023. The overall difficulty level of the recruitment exam was moderate to difficult. However, the English and General Knowledge sections were easy to moderate, and the Elementary Mathematics section was difficult. Here we are going to provide Through CDS exam analysis that can help candidates can know the section-wise difficulty level, topic-wise distribution of questions, questions asked in the exam, and expected cut-off.

UPSC conducts the Combined Defence Services exam for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Officers Training Academy through this recruitment exam. Candidates who seek recruitment in IMA, INA, and AFA courses, attempted questions from all three sections, which is GK, English, and Elementary Maths, while candidates seeking recruitment in OTA courses attempted questions from only two sections, English and General Knowledge.

Look at the table to understand the overall CDS exam analysis:

Available Sections

Total Number of Questions

Level of Difficulty

English Language

120

Easy to Moderate

General Knowledge

120

Easy to Moderate

Elementary Mathematics

100

Difficult to Solve

Total

340

Moderate to Difficult

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Subject-wise CDS 2023 Exam Analysis

Scroll down the page, to learn the subject-wise CDS exam analysis.

CDS (I) 2023 Exam Analysis for General Knowledge

In this section, the questions are majorly asked about history, current affairs, economics, geography, science, polity, etc.

Topics

Total Number of Questions

Difficulty Level

History

18

Moderate

Biology

09

Moderate to Difficult

Polity   

13

Moderate

Physics 

08

Moderate 

Current Affairs

20

Easy to Moderate

Geography    

17

Moderate to Difficult

Chemistry  

10

Moderate

Economy

14

Moderate

Static GK

11

Easy to Moderate

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CDS (I) 2023 Exam Analysis for Elementary Maths

The maths subject was conducted for 100 marks. All the questions asked from the exam were Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Mensuration, Simplification, Ratio & Proportion, Profit & Loss, Average, etc.

Topics

Total Number of Questions

Difficulty Level

Number System

20

Easy 

Time, Speed, and Distance

06

Moderate

Mensuration    

15

Moderate

Geometry

11

Moderate to Difficult

Algebra    

10

Moderate to Difficult

Simple Interest/Compound interest    

02

Easy

Time and Work    

05

Moderate

Percentage    

04

Moderate

Mixture

01

Moderate

DI & DS

03

Moderate

Ratio & Proportion    

02

Easy

Profit/Loss

01

Moderate

Trigonometry    

12

Moderate

Statistics

08

Easy

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CDS (I) 2023 Exam Analysis for English

The questions asked in this section judged a candidate's understanding of the language. The questions in the English subject were usually asked from spotting errors, idioms & phrases, antonyms, fillers, synonyms, and cloze test, etc.

Topics

Total Number of Questions

Difficulty Level

Parts of Speech

10

Easy

Spelling Mistakes

10

Easy

Ordering of Sentence

10

Moderate

Synonyms

10

Difficult

Antonyms

10

Difficult

Fill in the Blanks

10

Moderate

Ordering of Words in a Sentence

10

Easy to Moderate

Idioms and Phrases

10

Difficult

Comprehension 

2 Passages 

Moderate to Difficult

Spotting Errors

10

Easy

Synonyms

10

Moderate

Spelling mistakes

10

Easy

Transformation of sentences

10

Moderate to Difficult

Reported speech

10

Difficult

Antonyms

10

Moderate

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CDS Exam Analysis 2023 - Quick Question and Answers

Q. How does exam analysis help candidates?

By accessing the exam analysis generated by the experts, users will get to know the level of exams set by the UPSC for the particular year.

Q. Is it important to check the exam analysis before the exam?

Yes, candidates who are appearing for CDS 2 2023 must go through the CDS 2023 exam analysis, as it will help them to see the difficulty level of the exam.

Q. Is the CDS exam the toughest nut to crack?

In terms of difficulty level, the exam paper remains moderate to difficult. Go through the above-mentioned section to know more.

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CDS Exam 2023 Eligibility

As discussed above, the CDS exam is conducted twice a year. The eligibility conditions related to nationality and education are similar for both exams. However, there is a difference in the dates of age limits. Here are the eligibility conditions for both exams:

Nationality Criteria for CDS Exam

  • A candidate should be an Indian citizen.
  • Candidates from Nepal, and Bhutan, Refugees of Tibet who migrated to India before 1962; and People of Indian origin who have migrated from Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and East African countries are also eligible to apply for the exam, provided, they have a certificate issued in their favor from the government of India. This certificate is not required in the case of Gorkha subjects.

Note: Candidates belonging to countries like Nepal, and Bhutan, refugees from Tibet, or a migrated person from Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and East African countries must have an authoritative certificate of eligibility that the Government of India has issued. However, in certain cases Certificate of Eligibility will not be considered necessary for those who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal. 

Educational Qualification for CDS Exam

Educational qualifications for different academies of Indian defense services are as follows:

  • For Air Force Academy (AFA) – A graduation degree with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level or Bachelor of Engineering (B. Tech) from a recognized University or Institution.
  • For the Indian Naval Academy (INA) A candidate should have done Engineering from a recognized University or Institution.
  • For the Indian Military Academy (IMA) – A candidate should have obtained a graduate degree from any recognized University or Institution.
  • For Officer Training Academy (OTA) – The candidate should have done graduation in any discipline from a recognized University/Institution.

Those candidates who are appearing in the final year of the qualifying degree are also eligible to apply for the exam. However, such candidates are required to submit proof of passing the qualifying exam at the time of commencement of the course.

Important Note:

  1. Students who graduated with the first choice of Army/Navy/Air Force are required to submit proof of graduation provisional certificates on the date of commencement of the SSB Interview at the SSB.
  2. Applicants must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to UPSC Combined Defence Services Examination (I) & (II), 2023, as per guidelines given in the official notification.

Age Limit -

Academies

CDS I

CDS II

Not born earlier than

Not born later than

Not born earlier than

Not born later than

Indian Military Academy (IMA)

2nd January 2000

1st January 2005

2nd July 2000

1st July 2005

Indian Naval Academy (INA)

2nd January 2000

1st January 2005

2nd July 2000

1st July 2005

Air Force Academy (AFA)

2nd January 2000

   1st January  2005

2nd July 2000

1st July 2005

Officers Training Academy (OTA)

2nd January 2000

1st January 2005

2nd July 2000

 

1st July 2005

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For AFA, the upper age limit is relaxed for candidates possessing valid and current Commercial Pilot License from DGCA up to 26 years i.e. candidates should not be born earlier than 2nd January 1998 and later than 1st January 2004 for CDS I and earlier than 2nd July 1998 and later than 1st July 2004 for CDS II.

Marital Status and Gender Criteria for the CDS 2023 Exam

Eligibility for Indian Military Academy -

  • Only Unmarried male candidates are eligible to apply.

Eligibility for Naval Force Academy -

  • Only Unmarried male candidates are eligible to apply.

Eligibility for Air Force Academy -

  • Unmarried male candidates below 25 years of age.
  • Married candidates above 25 years of age are also eligible, but such candidates are not allowed to live with their families outside of the premises.
  • Candidates are not allowed to marry during their training period.  

Eligibility for Officers Training Academy (SSC for Men) -

  • Unmarried male candidates are eligible to apply.

Eligibility for Officers Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) -

  • Unmarried women
  • Issueless widows, not being remarried
  • Issueless divorcees (possessing divorce documents), not remarried.

Note: Male divorcees and widowers are not treated under the unmarried male category and are not eligible for the Combined Defence Services exam.

Physical Standards

Applicants should note that apart from meeting the eligibility criteria mentioned above, they should be both physically and mentally fit in accordance with the guidelines laid by the academy.

Candidates must meet the Physical Standards as stated in Appendix IV of the official CDS 2023 notification.

CDS 2023 - Roles and Responsibilities for Candidates

  • If you are shortlisted in one of the branches of the armed forces, then you need to serve in the post for the rest of your life.
  • Apart from the salary, you also get perks and pensions and several other benefits that are missing from a private job.
  • Your job profile can be challenging depending upon the type of armed force you join.
  • Hiring in CDS can be very tough and disciplined, so you have to prepare yourself for it.
  • After successful completion of Combined Defence Services (CDS) training, candidates will pass out in the rank of a designated officer and get all the benefits and pay depending on their rank.

CDS Eligibility 2023 - Quick Question and Answers

Q. What is the eligibility criterion for the exam?

The candidate should have done graduation or an equivalent degree from any recognized University or Institution.

Q. Does candidates from outside India eligible to apply?

Yes, candidates from Nepal, and Bhutan, refugees from Tibet who migrated to India before 1962, and People of Indian origin who have migrated from Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and East African countries are also eligible to apply for the exam.

Q. Who can apply for the AFA post?

A candidate should have completed class 12th with Physics and Mathematics or have done a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Tech) from a recognized university.

Q. Who can apply for INA and IMA posts?

For INA, one should complete Engineering from a recognized university, while for IMA, any graduate candidate can apply.

Q. What is the minimum age limit required to appear for CDS Exam?

The commission decides the complete age limit; go through the age limit section to get complete details.

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CDS Exam Selection Procedure

The CDS Exam is conducted in two stages. In the first stage, a written exam is conducted for IMA, INA, and Air Force, where candidates need to solve three sections- English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics. The total mark on the test is 300. The offline written exam for the Officers’ Training Academy consists of two sections i.e. English and General Knowledge. The total mark on the test is 200. After the written test, a candidate is required to take the SSB interview. The SSB interview is conducted for 3-4 days. During the interview, Psychological tests, Group discussions, Intelligence tests, and Group activities are conducted to test the candidate’s skills. After that, the candidates recommended by the SSB have to undergo a Medical Test conducted by a Board of Service Medical Officer.

The final selection of candidates is done based on their performance in offline written exams and SSB interviews. Shortlisted candidates will have to undergo training at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala, Air Force Academy, Hyderabad, and Officers’ Training Academy, and Chennai.

UPSC CDS Exam 2023 – Best Books to Buy

UPSC CDS is conducted twice a year for the recruitment of Combined Defense Services. The exam consists of two papers, which are the Paper-1 written exam and the Paper-2 SSB interview. In both exams, candidates are tested for their ability to solve mathematics and solve questions based on their knowledge and skills. Thus, the preparation for the CDS exam requires the best study material and guidebook. The CDS (I) exam will be held on 16th April 2023, while the UPSC CDS (II) exam will be held on 3rd September 2023.

Recommended Books For CDS Exam 2023 - click here

CDS Preparation Tips & Guide 2023 Exam

UPSC announces the UPSC CDS 2023 exam dates. Good preparation for the exam is a must for every candidate to pass the written examination. Students who are willing to apply for CDS 2023 may take note that the level of competition to crack the exam is very high and is gradually increasing every year. Every year lakhs of candidates are writing the exam from all over the country, and you are competing with them. So, it is important for you to prepare well for the exam and make it to the merit list. Below are some useful preparation tips for the UPSC CDS 2023 exam. Follow the tips sincerely.

  • Know the Exam and Its Syllabus - Candidates aspiring to crack the CDS exam must go through the entire exam syllabus and the pattern of questions asked in the question paper. This will give them an idea about the important topics covered in the examination syllabus. Take a printout of the CDS syllabus and stick it in front of your study table or desk, so you don’t skip any topic or lesson. While studying according to the syllabus and examination pattern, you should also note down all the topics that you are confident about and those where you lack. Try to focus on weaker areas first and cope with them as soon as possible to complete your preparation on time.
  • Allocate Study Time - Make an organized timetable for studying that you can follow up on every day without any fault. Yes, you heard it right; you need to make a routine of studying daily for at least 10 hours. If you keep gaps between your study modules, you won’t be able to crack the UPSC CDS exam. So, make sure to maintain a timetable that fits with your schedule and try to allocate time as per the difficulty level of subjects/topics.
  • Set Motivation Goals to Follow Success - It is vital to set motivation goals before the preparation schedule, as it will help you to be determined throughout the preparations. Start your preparation with motivational goals, which make you release ‘Why’ you need to clear this exam. Once you get your dream job, all of your answers will be justified.

Tip to Follow: Write down your motivations or goals on paper and paste them in the direction where it is visible daily. Looking at these goals daily will be beneficial whenever you feel low during the preparation time or think of giving up.

  • Solve Previous Year Papers and Mocks - Many toppers mention this as one of the reasons why they had easily cracked the exam. Solving previous years' papers and mocks helps in enhancing the preparation level. Always try to solve the question paper topic-wise, so that you have a clear idea about the question paper and marking scheme. Also, make sure to solve topic-related questions at the end of every day. You can also refer to the previous year's exam questions or some sample questions for better understanding. Apart from solving papers, taking mocks can help you to complete the paper in time.
  • Follow Recommended Books and E-Books- You can also refer to the reference book or study material while preparing for UPSC CDS 2023 exam. This will surely help you understand what to prepare and how. Make sure to continue with the book, which is easy to understand, and you don’t find any complications in learning the language.
  • Do Follow Your Short Notes Strategy - Make proper short notes while studying the topics, as it will help you to revise your topics vigorously. Also, consult previous years' toppers or coaching centers to get the most relevant study material for your CDS preparation.
  • Understand the Weightage Mechanism and Negative Marking Scheme - Negative marking makes the exam difficult and tricky to crack. There is a 1/3rd of a negative marking for every question in the CDS exam. So, keep in mind the negative marking scheme. Do not make any guesses while answering the paper, and try to answer only those questions about which you are sure.
  • Attempt Easier Questions First Them Move to Another – It is important that the candidates should start with easy questions which require less time to complete. This will help them to score qualifying marks. Don’t try to attempt questions in the initial examination hours that you are not confident of, as there is negative marking too.

Section-wise UPSC CDS Preparation Tips 2023

The written exam will be held in the main three subjects – English, General Knowledge, and Mathematics. Have a look at the section-wise CDS preparation tips to score qualifying marks.

English

To boost the score on an English paper, one must go through these rules of the subject.

  • Prepare idioms and phrases thoroughly.
  • Brush up your English Grammar skills.
  • Try to attempt and solve the previous year’s question papers to know the exam pattern.
  • Analyze your performance daily by attempting CDS online mock tests.

General Knowledge

  • Try to identify high-weightage topics and make sure to analyze the previous years' question papers.
  • Revise important points from those topics.
  • Revise the current affairs of the last 5-6 months.
  • Make a habit of reading a newspaper and watching the news for at least an hour or so, to improve your knowledge. 

Elementary Mathematics

  • Revise important formulas and their application methods for Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Mensuration, and Statistics.
  • Don’t start with new topics rather, revise the previous ones you have studied.

Recommended Study Material for CDS Exam

  • Mathematics for CDS Entrance Examination Download
  • 10 Practice Sets CDS Combined Defence Services Entrance Examination Download
  • Crack CDS Exam Free eBooks Inside Download
  • Pathfinder CDS Examination Conducted by UPSC Download

CDS Exam 2023 Application Process

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will release the CDS I application form 2023 on 21st December 2022. Interested candidates can fill out the application form by 10th January 2023. The facility to withdraw the CDS application form will be made available after the closure of the application process. The application fees can be paid both online and offline. The application fees are ₹ 200 for General and OBC male candidates, while Female, SC, and ST candidates are exempted from fee payment. Read below for more details on the CDS application form 2023.

Documents Required for CDS Registration Window

Before filling out the CDS application form 2023, candidates must keep the following documents ready with them.

  • Class 10th and 12th Marksheet
  • Admit cards of Class 10th and 12th
  • One photo-identity proof (Voter Card/ Aadhaar Card/ Driving Licence/ PAN Card/ Passport/ Any other Photo ID Card issued by the State/Central Government)
  • Bank details of the candidate to pay the fees online for CDS 2023.

How to Fill UPSC CDS Application Form 2023?

  • Visit the official website of UPSC - upsconline.nic.in to get the application form. Candidates can only apply for the CDS exam through online mode.
  • By clicking on the link mentioned above, candidates will be directed to the application form. Candidates should fill out the application form with personal details, addresses, and educational qualifications.
  • Candidates should upload scanned copies of their recent photographs and signature.
  • They are not required to upload any supporting documents along with the application form, age certificate, reserved category status, educational qualification certificate, etc.
  • Candidates should submit only one application form for the exam. However, if due, for any reason, a candidate submits another application form, then he/ she must know that the application with a higher Registration ID will be accepted. The application fee paid for one application form will not be adjusted for another application form. It should be paid additionally by the candidate.

The working candidates in the government sector or Public sector enterprise should inform the head of the department of the exam. Similarly, if a candidate is working in the armed forces, then he should inform his commanding officer about the exam and also obtain permission about it in writing. During the SSB interview, the candidate will be asked to give proof.

CDS Exam Application Fee

Category of Candidate

Application fee

General category

₹ 200

SC/ST/ and Female

No application fee

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Mode of Payment 

  • Candidates can pay their application fee both online as well as offline.
  • Candidates can pay it online by using Net Banking.
  • They can also pay offline by depositing the application fee in cash at any SBI bank branch.

Information related to fee payment

  • Candidates are required to pay the application fee online through SBI Net banking or by cash through SBI bank challan or through credit card/debit card.
  • To pay a fee in cash, candidates should take the printout of the challan generated online after completion of registration.
  • Candidates need to go to the nearest SBI branch to deposit the fee after 24 hours of generation of challan.
  • The pay by cash mode option is deactivated a day before the exam. However, applicants who have generated their Pay-in-slip before it is de-activated may pay at the counter of the SBI Branch during working hours on the closing date of the application.

Specifications Required for Signature and Photograph

Categories

Details

Scanned Image Format

The scanned photograph should be uploaded first in JPG format.

Size of Image

The digital size of the image should not exceed 300 kb and must not be less than 20 kb.

Resolution of the Image

The resolution of the image should be 350 pixels (Width) X 350 pixels (Height) minimum, 1000 pixels (Width) X 1000 pixels (Height) maximum. The bit depth of the image should be 24 bits.

Photo Identity Card

The photo identity card document should be in PDF format. The digital size of the PDF file should not exceed 300 kb and must not be less than 20 kb.

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Withdrawal Facility of CDS Application Form

The withdrawal facility is available for candidates who don’t want to appear in the exam. Candidates should go through the instructions before filling up the request for withdrawal.

  • Candidates are informed to provide the CDS registration ID of the registered application. There is no provision applied for the withdrawal of incomplete application forms.
  • Before making requests for a withdrawal facility, one must ensure that they have access to their registered mobile number and email ID, which was provided at the time of filling out the application form.
  • Separate OTPs will be sent to the applicant’s registered mobile number and associated email ID. Requests for application withdrawal will only be processed after validating the receiving OTPs.
  • Once the request for online application withdrawal is accepted, candidates must print the authenticated receipt as proof of the withdrawal process.
  • Another major point that needs to consider is once candidates have withdrawn the application, it cannot be revived.
  • The application fees will not be refunded to candidates during the withdrawal process.
  • On successful completion of the application withdrawal procedure, an auto-generated email and SMS will be sent to the candidate’s registered email id and mobile number.

CDS 2023 Application Form - Quick Question and Answers

Q. Can I edit my application form after the final submission?

No, you won’t make any changes after the final submission of the CDS application form. In this case, you are advised to submit a fresh application.

Q. Can I fill out the application form in the Hindi language?

Yes, the application form is available in both English and Hindi Language.

Q. How to get a refund of the application fee if I have submitted more than one application?

UPSC has no provision to refund the application fees paid by the candidates.

Q. I am unable to upload the signature and photo-specific what to do now?

Please check the properties of the images and make sure it is prescribed in the given format (mentioned above).

Q. Do I need to submit the hard copy of the CDS application form to officials?

 No, you are not required to send the hard copy of the filled CDS application form to the official.

Q. What is the procedure to complete the application fee payment?

There are three options available to pay the examination fee. Candidates can select one of them:

  • Pay by cash in any of the State Bank of India Branches.
  • Through credit/debit cards and
  • Pay by Net Banking Facility of SBI.

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CDS Exam 2023 Other Details

CDS 2023 Exam Admit Card

  • Candidates can download the CDS admit card or e-admit card online from the official website of www.upsc.gov.in three weeks before the exam.
  • One can obtain their CDS admit card 2023 online by using their login details at the official website.
  • The hall ticket comprises information about the exam date, time, center, and other important instructions.
  • Carrying the hall ticket to the examination center is necessary.

Download CDS Admit Card 2023 – View These Steps

The downloading steps for the online CDS admit card is given below:

  1. To start with, visit the official website of UPSC.
  2. Click on the CDS admit card link available on the home page.
  3. Download it either by using the registration number or roll number and then enter the password.
  4. Your CDS 2023 admit card appears on the screen.
  5. Cross-check the details of the admit card and download the admit card. Take a printout of the admit card.

Details Mentioned in CDS Admit Card

The released hall ticket/ admit card of the CDS exam 2023 will comprise the following details:

Candidate’s Roll Number

Application Number

Name of the Candidate

Father’s Name

Signature of the Candidate

Scanned Image of Passport size Photograph

Category of the Candidate

Test Center Details

Reporting Time at Exam Venue

Date and Exam Timings

Exam Day Instructions and Guidelines  

 

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Technical Instructions for Downloading CDS Admit Card Online

  1. Make sure to use the latest versions of the web browser that you are using to download the CDS 2023 admit card.
  2. Candidates who don’t have any pc or laptop must go to the nearby cyber café to obtain their admit card, as mobile phones won’t be able to download the CDS admit card.
  3. Be ensuring that the Javascript must be enabled on the browser.
  4. Exam applicants should clear the cache and cookies of their browser if they find any issues in downloading the CDS admit card 2023.
  5. In case you are blocked by the server due to repetitive downloading, they are advised to contact UPSC.

Printed Error in CDS Admit Card: What to do Next?

After downloading the CDS admit card, candidates are advised to check their name, father’s name, date of birth, category, photograph, signature, etc. printed on the hall ticket carefully. In case, you found any discrepancies in the details, make sure to immediately contact the examination authority. Once you contact UPSC, provide the following details while reporting the issue.

  • Name of the exam and year
  • Exam registration number
  • Examination Roll number
  • Postal address of the candidate (mention the application number as well)

CDS Admit Card - Documents to Carry At Examination Center

Candidates are advised to carry the following set of documents while appearing for the CDS exam.

S. No.

Important Documents Required

1.

Photo-identity proof such as a Passport, Driving License, Voter ID, Aadhar card, College/School ID card

2.

A hard copy of the CDS 2023 admit card

3.

Three passport-sized photographs similar to your admit card one

 

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UPSC CDS Admit Card - Quick Question and Answers

 Q. How to recover the registration number?

Candidates can recover their registration number by entering their name, father’s name, mother’s name, date of birth, and a captcha code.

Q. I am unable to download the CDS admit card. What should I do next?

Admit card download is best accessible on the latest versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox web browsers. Candidates should not download the CDS 2023 admit card on their mobile or other gadgets.

Q. Will, I receive any hard copy of the admit card?

No, you have to download and take a printout of your admit card on your own.

Q. Is there any dress code applicable for appearing in the CDS exam?

No, there is no such dress code applicable.

Q. I have submitted my application form for the exam, but my admit card is not issued. What to do now?

Well, in such a case, you should contact the examination authority and tell them your query regarding the same.

Q. When will I receive my CDS admit card?

You will receive your admit card three weeks before the commencement of the exam.

Q. Is it essential to carry the admit card to the examination center?

Yes, it is mandatory to carry the CDS 2023 admit card on exam day, or else you won’t be allowed to appear in the examination hall.

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CDS Exam Day Instructions To Follow

  • Without a call letter, candidates will not be permitted to enter the examination hall.
  • Candidates need to preserve the CDS admit card 2023 till the completion of the recruitment process.
  • Reach the examination venue 30 minutes before the commencement of the exam.
  • Any electronic devices, such as mobile phones, calculators, pages, etc, are not allowed inside the examination hall.
  • Candidates will not be permitted to leave the examination center until the completion of the exam.

CDS 2023 Expected Cut-Off

The Union Public Service Commission will release the CDS cut-off 2023 after the completion of the exam. CDS Cut-off 2023 is the minimum qualifying marks that a candidate needs to secure separately in both the exams i.e. written exam and SSB Interview, for final selection to Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), Indian Military Academy (IMA), and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA). Every year the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) issues a CDS cut-off after the announcement of the final CDS result. The expected cut-off is predicted on the basis of the previous year's cut-off trend and the level of difficulty of the exam. Candidates can find below related information with the CDS expected cut-off.

How to Check CDS Cut-off?

CDS cut-off marks will release online on the official website of UPSC. The steps to check and analyze the cutoff of CDS are given below –

  • Explore the official website
  • Once you reach the officials, go to the cutoff section from the 'Examination' tab.
  • Click on the relevant link, and the course-wise CDS cut-off marks are displayed on the screen in PDF format.
  • Download the same and save the file for further usage.

CDS (I) Cut-Off 2021

Academy

Written Examination

OTA (Men)

84

OTA (Women)

84

IMA

121

AFA

135

INA

112

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CDS (I) 2020 Cut-Off -

Academy

Written Examination

Final Selection

OTA (Men)

85

170

OTA (Women)

85

170

IMA

130

255

AFA

150

270

INA

120

245

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CDS (I) 2019 Official Cut-Off

Academy

Written Examination

Final Selection

OTA (Men)

78

160

OTA (Women)

78

160

IMA

116

242

AFA

129

264

INA

105

233

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What Are the Eligible Factors to Determine CDS Cut-Off Marks?

The cut-off marks of the Combined Defense Service exam are determined based on the following factors-

  1. Number of available vacancies
  2. Total number of appeared participants
  3. The level of difficulty of the exam

CDS Cut-Off - Quick Question and Answers

Q. What is the criterion of sectional cut-off in the CDS exam?

A. Candidates need to secure minimum qualifying marks as described by the exam conducting authority in each subject. The minimum qualifying marks of CDS vary between 20% to 25%.

Q. When will the CDS cut off released?

A. The cut-off will release right away after the declaration of the final result.

Q. What are the expected CDS cut-off marks?

A. The CDS expected the experts to decide cut-off in the field based on the level of difficulty of the exam. Once the expected cut off released by the experts, the candidates get an idea regarding how much they need to secure in the exam.

Q. What is the difference between the actual and expected cut-off?

A. Actual cutoff is the one, which is released by the officials, while the experts in the field release the expected cutoff.

Q. Are the cut-off for written and SSB interviews different?

A. Yes, both cut off’s are different, and candidates need to secure the minimum qualifying marks separately in the written exam and SSB Interview.

Q. How CDS cut-off marks are calculated?

A. The cut-off is calculated based on several factors, such as the difficulty level of the exam, the number of candidates appearing in the exam, and the total vacancies available in a year.

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CDS Answer Key 2023

CDS answer key 2023 will be available separately for the English, Elementary Mathematics, and General Knowledge sections. The answer keys will be available for all sets of test booklets - A, B, C, D. Using CDS answer key 2023, candidates can compare their responses marked in the exam. They can calculate the probable score based on the number of correct and incorrect responses. UPSC will release the official answer key of CDS 2023 after the completion of the recruitment process.

CDS Exam 2023 Answer Key Dates

After the completion of the exam, many experts release their unofficial answer keys to help students to evaluate their scores. Meanwhile, the official answer key for CDS will be released after the recruitment process is complete. Candidates are advised to stay updated with ExamsPlanner and access all the latest news and information on the CDS exam.

How to Download Official CDS Answer Key?

To download the official answers, candidates need to follow the steps below-

  • Open the official website URL i.e. upsc.gov.in.
  • Go to the latest announcement section and click on the CDS answer key link.
  • Enter valid key-in credentials to complete the login procedure.
  • A list of official CDS answers keys, along with question papers, appears in front of you.
  • Download the CDS answer key and save it.

UPSC also facilitates its applicants to challenge the official answer key, if they found their answer is correct. They will require submitting their answer key with proof of documents supporting their answer along with a challenging fee. View the steps to challenge the question papers, and CDS answer keys.

How to challenge the question papers?

  • Candidates can challenge the official CDS question papers through Online Question Paper Representation Portal (QPRep).
  • For each exam, UPSC has fixed a time frame of 7 days.
  • To raise objections, candidates need to log in to their account by using details like roll number, date of birth, and random image.
  • After entering these details, candidates must submit their challenges by tick-mark the questions and submitting the answer and the application fee for the same.

CDS Answer Key - Quick Question and Answers 

Q. When will UPSC release the CDS 2023 Answer Key?

The commission will release the CDS Answer key 2023 after the recruitment process completes.

Q. Can I access the CDS answer key via offline mode?

No, the answer key for the exam is only available online mode.

Q. Will the final result be calculated based on the CDS answer key?

Yes, the result will be calculated based on the officially released answer key. UPSC will calculate the scores based on the number of correct answers after applying the penalty for wrong answers.

Q. How do I calculate my scores?

Comparing the available responses, candidates can check and calculate their scores based on the number of correct and incorrect answers they have given in the exam.

Q. Why CDS answer key is important for us?

The CDS answer key is important for us because it helps to compare the responses marked in the exam and calculate the probable score.

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CDS Result 2023 – Download UPSC CDS Exam Result

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will declare the results of the Combined Defence Services Examination, 2023 on its official website. Candidates who will appear in the UPSC CDS Examination can check their results online at upsc.gov.in.

Check CDS Result Online – View the Downloading Steps

Candidates need to follow the below-mentioned guidelines to check the scores.

  • Open the official website URL of UPSC.
  • Find the link, which says “CDS Result” on the home page.
  • You will be directed to a new page, where you the result PDF of the CDS result.
  • Now, check your roll number through the “Control+F” command.
  • At last, download the CDS result PDF and save it for future reference.

CDS Result 2020 – List of Toppers

The list of CDS 2021 toppers will be released after the CDS II final result. Here is the list of previous year’s toppers

IMA

Ranks

Names

AIR 1

Kothawade Pratik Pradeep

AIR 2

Kunal Sharma

AIR 3

Gangandeep Joshi

AFA

Ranks

Names

AIR 1

Anmoldeep Singh

AIR 2

Y B Pawan Kumar

AIR 3

Siddhant Kotnala

INA

Ranks

Names

AIR 1

Kothawade Pratik Pradeep

AIR 2

Kunal Sharma

AIR 3

Anmoldeep Singh

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How to check the CDS (II) 2023 Final Result?

The steps to check the CDS 2023 final results are given below.

  • Visit the official website – upsc.gov.in.
  • Click the result link available on the ‘What’s New’ section on the home page
  • On a new page, the PDF file of the result opens
  • Search your name and roll number in the list
  • Download and save the PDF file for future reference

CDS 2023 Exam Marksheet

The marks obtained by the shortlisted candidates will display after the declaration of the final CDS results in that, including the candidate’s name, roll number, date of birth, and total marks obtained in the written exam & SSB Interview.

Candidates can download their final mark sheet by following the steps given below:

  • Explore the official website of UPSC.
  • Go to the 'What's New' section and enter your roll number and date of birth.
  • The CDS mark sheet will appear on the screen with all the necessary details.
  • Download the CDS 2023 mark sheet and take its printout.

CDS 2023 Exam Result: Score Calculation Process

The scores of the candidates are calculated based on the following process:

  1. A candidate gets a +1 mark for every correct answer in each section of the test.
  2. 1/3rd of marks are deducted if he/she selected an incorrect response.
  3. The total score is calculated based on the number of correct and incorrect answers.

CDS Result 2023: Preparation of Merit List

UPSC prepares a list of selected candidates who get the minimum qualifying marks in the written exam decided by the commission norms. Candidates who are declared successful in the written exam are called for intelligence and personality test. After that, they will go for the SSB interview round. One should note that they need to secure separate qualifying marks in both written and SSB interviews.

The final CDS merit list is prepared based on the performance and total marks secured in the written exam and SSB Interview. The selection of the candidate is done based on their merit subjected to medical fitness and the number of posted vacancies.

CDS Result in 2023 - Quick Question and Answers

Q. When will I be able to download CDS 2023 results?

CDS 2023 written exam results will be announced after the exam separately for the first and second phases. The exam dates are mentioned above.

Q. How can I obtain my CDS result?

The results will be announced online mode at the official website of UPSC.

Q. What is the time difference between the CDS written results and the SSB interview?

After the announcement of the written exam result, the SSB interview will perform within a gap of one or two months.

Q. How can I check my CDS 2023 result, if I lost my examination roll number?

You don’t need to be panicking, the roll number is sent to the candidates after successfully completing the application process. You need to check your mail.

Q. Can I apply for CDS 2 even if I don’t know my CDS 1 result?

Yes, you can apply and fill out the CDS 2 application form.

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CDS 2023 Exam Centres

CDS 2023 exam centers are prescribed by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The exam centers are located in the cities where the written exam of CDS is conducted. As per the official list of CDS exam centers, it is held across 41 cities spread throughout the country. Candidates need to enter their preferences at the time of filling out the CDS application form.

As per the UPSC exam calendar 2023, CDS 1 exam is scheduled for 16th April 2023, while CDS 2 will be held on 3rd September 2023. Find below the name of the cities where examination centers are located.

CDS Exam Centres 2023

Agartala

Ahmedabad

Panaji (Goa)

Aizawl

Allahabad

Patna

Bengaluru

Bareilly

Port Blair

Bhopal

Chandigarh

Raipur

Chennai

Cuttack

Sambalpur

Dehradun

Delhi

Ranchi

Dharwad

Dispur

Shimla

Gangtok

Hyderabad

Shillong

Imphal

Itanagar

Srinagar

Jaipur

Jammu

Tirupati

Jorhat

Kochi

Thiruvananthapuram

Kohima

Kolkata

Udaipur

Lucknow

Madurai

Visakhapatnam

Mumbai

Nagpur

  •  

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CDS 2023 Exam Centres – Important Points to Consider

  1. Allotment of CDS exam centers is completed on a first-apply-first-allot basis, so make sure to fill out the applications on time.
  2. Once the capacity of a particular CDS exam center is reached its limit, the allotment process will be frozen, and you will be allotted to the next available center.
  3. Candidates are advised to fill out the CDS application form early to get to their preferred exam center.
  4. Once you select the examination center and filled the application form, you will not be able to generate any request for changes.
  5. You are advised to choose the examination center carefully without making any mistakes.

CDS Exam Frequently Asked Questions

The exam will be conducted on 16th April 2023 (CDS-I) and 3rd September 2023 (CDS-II).

The candidate should have done graduation or equivalent degree from any recognized University or Institution.

The application fee for general and OBC category candidates is Rs 200. However, the reserved category and female candidates are exempted from the application fee.

The shortlisted candidates are paid Rs 56,100 monthly. During training, the stipend to the trainees is Rs 6000 per month in OTA while Rs 12,000 per month in IMA, INA and Air Force academies.

The CDS Exam is conducted twice a year. It will be conducted in April and September in the year 2023.

There are three papers in the exam – General awareness, English and Mathematics.

There is no such limit; you can apply as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

2 Comments

Ankush kumar, June 26, 2019

I am appearing final year in B.Sc course with PCM ,can I eligible for CDS and what type of documents is required

Exams Planner, July 12, 2019

Yes, you can apply for the exam.

Sandhiya.R, February 2, 2019

When will the registration starts for CDS exam on 2019?

Exams Planner, February 13, 2019

For CDS II, the registration process will begin on 12th June 2019.