Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducted Combined Defence Services (CDS). CDS exam is held twice a year. CDS (I) held in starting of the year, and CDS (II) is conducting at year-end. Combined Defence Services is a national level examination. Lakhs of candidates appear for this examination from all over the country. Candidates who get selected for the examination are further called for Interview for Intelligence and Personality Test (SSB). Those who qualify all the stages are recruited to Army, Naval and Air Headquarters.

UPSC CDS(1)2018   UPSC CDS(2) 2018   UPSC CDS 2019


The CDS entrance examination comprises a written examination. Candidates who qualify the written examination will be selected for the interview and personality test conducted by Services Selection Board (SSB) commonly known as SSB. To be selected for Defence services candidate must obtain minimum qualifying marks that are fixed by the Union Public Service Commission both in written as well as in the SSB Interview/ Personality Test.

UPSC CDS Exam Dates are given below.

Events CDS 1 2018 CDS 2 2018 CDS 1 2019
The Application Form is available by 08 Nov 2017  08 Aug 2018  26 Sep 2018
Last date to submit the application form  04 Dec 2017  03 Sep 2018  26 Nov 2018
CDS exam date  04 Feb 2018  18 Nov 2018  03 Feb 2019

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern

The scheme for the examination is given below in the table.

For Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy

Subject Maximum Marks Duration
English 100 2 Hours
Elementary Mathematics 100 2 Hours
General Knowledge 100 2 Hours

For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy

Subject Maximum Marks Duration
English 100 2 Hours
General Knowledge 100 2 Hours

The papers in all the subject will be of MCQ type (objective questions). Candidates are not allowed to use the calculators during the examination.

Test Centers

The CDS examination will be conducted in various cities:

Sr. No. Cities Sr. No. Cities
1 Agartala 22 Kochi
2 Ahmedabad 23 Kohima
3 Aizwal 24 Kolkata
4 Allahabad 25 Lucknow
5 Bengaluru 26 Madurai
6 Bareilly 27 Mumbai
7 Bhopal 28 Nagpur
8 Chandigarh 29 Panaji
9 Chennai 30 Patna
10 Cuttack 31 Port Blair
11 Dehradun 32 Raipur
12 Delhi 33 Ranchi
13 Dharwad 34 Sambalpur
14 Dispur 35 Shillong
15 Gangtok 36 Shimla
16 Hyderabad 37 Srinagar
17 Imphal 38 Thiruvananthapuram
18 Itanagar 39 Tirupati
19 Jaipur 40 Udaipur
20 Jammu 41 Visakapatnam
21 Jorhat

Applicants should note that there will be a ceiling on the number of candidates allotted to each of the centers except Chennai, Delhi, Dispur, Kolkata, and Nagpur.

The allotment of centers will be done on the basis of first-apply-first-allot. Once the center is filled, they will have to choose other remaining centers. Candidates will have to choose their test centers in the application form. Please choose the test center carefully as no changes will be made once the test centers have been allotted.


Following is the syllabus of the examination. The questions will be given based on the syllabus. Candidates have to prepare for this examination from this syllabus only.


The questions will be made to test the candidate’s understanding of English.

General Knowledge:

The questions will be based on current events to test how much the candidate knows about whats happening around in the world. The paper will also include questions like Indian History and Geography.

Elementary Mathematics:

Questions will be based on Number System—Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, subtraction, 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, Factorisation Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M. Euclidean algorithm.


Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M., Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, the 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.


Sine ×, cosine ×, Tangent × when 0° < × < 90° Values of sin ×, cos × and tan ×, for × = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90° 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.

Intelligence and Personality Test:

There are two stages in the selection process. The candidates who clear stage 1 will be qualified for stage 2.

  1. Stage 1 – Officer Intelligence Rating tests are Picture perception and description test.
  2. Stage 2 – Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. The duration of these test is 4 days.

The assessment of the candidate will be done by the Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist.

Official Website of UPSC: www.upsc.gov.in

UPSC Recruitment Defense Services

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  1. CDS 2 2019 Age Limit
    (i) For IMA: Your DOB should be between 2 July 1996 and 1 July 2001.
    (ii) For Indian Naval Academy: Your DOB should be between 2 July 1996 and 1 July 2001.
    (iii) For Air Force Academy: You should be between 20 to 24 years as on 1 July 2020 i.e. born between 2 July 1996 and 1 July 2000 (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable upto 26 yrs. i.e. born between 2 July 1994 and 1 July 2000).
    (iv) For Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for men): Your DOB should be between 2 July 1995 and 1 July 2001.
    (v) For Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course): Your DOB should be between 2 July 1995 and 1 July 2001.

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