Syllabus and Eligibility Criteria for CDS Exam


Combined Defence Service (CDS) Examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission and the exam is meant only for Indian Nationals who cares for the nation.

Candidates succeeding in this examination will be sent for training to any of the defence training academies as given below:

Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai

Air Force Academy, Begumpet, Hyderabad

Naval Academy, Goa

Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun

From these academies, candidates completing their training from the first academy (OTA) are offered short service commission position, while candidates completing their training from the other three academies get permanent commission positions. The examination is conducted two times a year in the months of February and September. Notification for the examination is issued during the months of September/October for February examination and during the month of April/May for September examination.

Eligibility Criteria for CDS exam:

Age requirement: Age requirement to apply for CDS Exam is as follows:

For IMA: Candidates must be unmarried male in the age group of 19 and 24 as on  1st January or 1st July of the year following the year of examination

For Naval Academy: Candidates must be unmarried male in the age group or 19 and 22 as on 1st January or 1st July of the year following the year of examination

For Air Force Academy: Candidates must be unmarried male in the age group or 19 and 23 as on 1st January or 1st July of the year following the year of examination

For OTA: Candidates must be married/unmarried male in the age group or 19 and 25 as on 1st January or 1st July of the year following the year of examination

Educational Qualification: Educational qualification for the above four academies are given below:

For IMA/OTA: Candidates must be degree holders in any discipline from a recognized university

For Naval Academy: Candidates must have completed their B. Sc Physics/Mathematics or B.E. in any branch

For Air Force Academy: Bachelor of Science with physics or mathematics as a subject or Bachelor of Engineering in any discipline

In addition, candidates should also medically fit and their medical fitness will be ensured through medical examination by a Board of Service Medical Officers.

Papers in CDS Exam:

Subject for written examination for admission to IMA, Naval Academy and Air Force Academy:


General Knowledge

Elementary Mathematics

Subject for written examination for Admission to OTA:


General Knowledge

Syllabus for CDS Exam:

English: The question paper for this subject will have questions for testing the understanding of English language and usage of words.

General Knowledge: This paper is meant for testing the General knowledge inclusive of knowledge of current events. The paper will have questions of geography of nature and History of India and answering these questions under this section need not require any special study, only following up of daily happenings though newspapers/dailies, TV or internet is enough.

Elementary Mathematics: Elementary mathematics will have questions from the following chapters:





Elementary number theory

Unitary method


How to apply for CDS Examination?

Candidates can apply to this examination through the website of UPSC at and detailed instruction for filling up application can be obtained from the same website. The cost of application of Rs.100 should be paid by candidates in the form of cash in any branches of SBI or net banking facility of SBI can also be used for remittance of fees. Payment can also be made with the help debit card/master credit card/visa card. However, SC/ST and female candidates are exempted from payment of application fee.

So, candidates with the dream of entering into Defence, Indian Navy or Air force can apply for the CDS examination, however before applying they should ensure that they are meeting the eligibility requirement specified by the UPSC as specified above.



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20 Responses to “Syllabus and Eligibility Criteria for CDS Exam”

  1. 20
    neha bisht:

    Are girls not eligible to apply for cds? And if they are then please let me know the procedure.

  2. 19
    vishesh kumar:

    i am the student of mechanical final year born in march21 ,1993. i want to know the physical eligibilti in cds

  3. 18
    soura shankar sinha:

    i am in 4th year mechanical.born on 21 nov 1990.will i be able to give the exam for c.d.s.e. next year.

  4. 17

    i am doing bped from lnupe gwalior can i aapear for this xam?

  5. 16
    Dinesh pali:

    Candidates who are in the final year of graduation can also appear for the cds exam?

  6. 15
    Pradeep kumar:

    Sir i do bsc in medical or biology can i apply for air force in cds

  7. 14
    Dinesh gaur:

    Sir what is eye site criteria in ota examination
    my eye site is week and itscorrect with specital
    so sir am i elligeble for ota

  8. 13
    Deepak kaintura:

    Sir,i am uses spectacles .to come in defence what should i do? Is there to come in cds

  9. 12

    can a pre-final year student apply for cds exam 2013 which is conducted in the month of september???please reply soon..

  10. 11

    is this job is only for the unmarried women????????

  11. 10
    smt mini:

    1.what hight required for femail candidate for cds entrance?
    4.physical standerd
    5.books for prepration

  12. 9
    Balram Vanshkar:

    is a pharmacy student can apply for cds exam?
    who has completed his 12th(CBSE) with Maths,Physics,Chemistry and Computer Science (C++).
    Plz… Rply me On my Mob. 09165318475

  13. 8

    How high school pass student to join OTA CHENNAI?

  14. 7
    Ankit prajapati:

    I am in main chemistry. And physics maths at 10+2. May I apply for airforce flying branch

  15. 6
    Raunak singh:

    my dob-30-6-1992,BA (eco) honors, x-36% cbse,xiith2007-72.4%2010, can i look for cds,,,mob-09709091999

  16. 5

    How persent in 12th& 10th do join cds interview?

  17. 4

    i am a B.Sc.qualified graduate ,do girls can apply for the cds exam.what are the eligibility criteria(mostly the age and the percentage in degree)

  18. 3

    i am btech final year studet in civil stream . iwant to join indian army please tell me procedure to join indian army ?
    what is the respective eligibility levels of army, navy and indian air force?
    please provide relevant info>

  19. 2
    Kalpabiswa Chakrabarty:

    I am a student of netaji subhas open university,BSC(geography hons.),last semister(age-22),want to know that is the masksheet/cirtificate from the university granted at IMA,OTA?
    Will there be any problem for SSB interview?

  20. 1

    iam completed my intermediate what is the qualification required to become an airhostess