CDS Exam details

CDS Test series ( IMA-INA-AFA )

CDS Test series ( OTA )

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CDS Exam Details

What is CDS Exam?

CDS or Combined Defence Services Exam is held every year to recruit eligible young individuals for various armed forces throughout India. This exam provides individuals who dream of serving the nation by part of being in the armed forces with a great opportunity to do so.

CDS exam is conducted to select candidates in the following armed forces:

  • Indian Army
  • Indian Navy
  •  Indian Airforce
  •  Naval Academy
  • Officers Training Academy 

Both men and women can find many opportunities through this exam. Women/girls can also apply for the CDS exam under the posts of Officer Training Academy (OTA) only. It is a great career path field with glory and respect. Candidates who are interested in defence should definitely attempt this exam and start their journey with any one of the prestigious institutions of the Indian Defence Forces.

CDS 2022 Exam Latest News

CDS 1 admit card 2022 link is activated on 14th March 2022. Candidates who have filled up the CDS form are eligible to download the CDS admit card 2022 through the direct link available on the official website of UPSC. However, we have also shared the direct link to download the CDS admit card as available officially.

Previously, Union Public Service Commission has issued the CDS notification 2022. It controls the entire examination process. Candidates should stay up to date with the latest happenings of the CDS exam to not miss any important deadlines. Stay tuned for more updates.

Latest Updates: 

  • 23rd March 2022: UPSC has officially declared the CDS 1 2021 final result along with the cut off marks.
  • 10th April 2022: CDS 1 exam date 2022.
  • 14th March 2022: UPSC released the CDS 1 admit card.
  • 11th January 2022: CDS 1 application form was closed.
  • 22nd December 2021: CDS 1 2022 notification was released. Along with this, CDS 1 application form link was also activated.

CDS 2022 Exam Highlights

Particulars Details
Name of examCombined Defence Services Examination
Conducted byUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC) 
Exam levelNational
Exam frequencyTwice a year
Exam modeOnline
Exam durationTwo hours
Language of question paperEnglish and Hindi
Application FeeINR 200/-
Exam PurposeTo select candidates as Commissioned Officers in Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force
Vacancies CDS I: 341CDS II: to be announced
No of the test cities41

CDS Exam Date 2022: Important Exam Schedule for CDS 1

Knowing the CDS 2022 exam dates will help candidates plan their preparation for the different stages in advance. To prepare in the most manner for the CDS 1 exam 2022, candidates must go through the relevant dates. Being acquainted with the exam schedule is always an advantage that can significantly improve the chances of cracking the exam.

EventsImportant Dates
CDS 1 2022 notification release date22nd December 2021
CDS 1 2022 apply online begins22nd December 2021
Last date to apply online11th January 2022
CDS admit card 202214th March 2022
CDS 1 2022 exam date10th April 2022
CDS 1 result 2022

CDS Vacancy 2022 Department-wise

UPSC has released the CDS 1 vacancy details along with the official notification. We have updated the department-wise vacancy details below for your reference.

CDS 1 Vacancy 2022

DepartmentNumber of Vacancies
Indian Military Academy (IMA)100
Indian Naval Academy (INA)22
Air Force Academy (AFA)32
Officer Training Academy – Men (OTA)170
Officer Training Academy – Women (OTA)17

CDS 2 Vacancy 2021

UPSC CDS 1 2021 vacancy details are given below for every post released under the official notification for the reference of the candidates. A total of 345 vacancies are rolled out including women vacancies as stated below:

DepartmentNumber of Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun- 153rd (DE) Course commencing in July 2022[including 13 vacancies reserved for NCC `C’ Certificate (Army Wing) holders]100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala- Course 22 commencing in July 2022 Executive Branch (General Service)/Hydro [including 03 vacancies for NCC ‘C’ Certificate (Naval Wing through NCC Special Entry) holders]22
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad- (Pre-Flying) 32 Training Course commencing in July 2022 i.e. No. 212 F(P) Course.[including 03 vacancies are reserved for NCC `C’ Certificate (Air Wing) holders through NCC Spl. Entry]32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai (Madras)- 116th SSC (Men) (NT) (UPSC) Course commencing in October 2022169 
Officers Training Academy, Chennai (Madras)- 30th SSC Women (NT) (UPSC) Course commencing in October 2022.16

CDS 1 Vacancy 2021

UPSC CDS 1 2021 vacancy details are given below for every post released under the official notification. A total of 345 vacancies are rolled out including women vacancies as stated below:

DepartmentNumber of Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala26
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai (Madras)170
Officers Training Academy, Chennai (Madras)17

CDS Application Fee

  • The fee for the CDS application form is ₹ 200/-
  • SC/ST/Females are exempted from fee payment.
  • The payment submission is available in both offline and online modes.
  • The payment can be done via Net Banking, Mastercard/Debit Card or cash deposit in any branch of SBI Bank.

CDS Eligibility Criteria 2022

The candidates are advised to check the eligibility criteria before applying for CDS 2022 examination.

1. Nationality

TO be eligible for CDS exam 2022, a candidate should be:

  • The Citizenship of India, or
  • The subject of Nepal/Bhutan, or
  • Tibetan refugee who had been migrated to India before January 01, 1962 with the intention of Permanent Settle, or
  • An individual of Indian Origin migrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Zaire & Vietnam for permanent settlement purposes in India.

2. Age Limit

The aspirants can check the age limit of CDS 2022 exam for various posts in Combined Defence Services from the table below:

DepartmentAge limitAge
Indian Military Academy19-24not earlier than 2nd Jan 1999 and not later than 1st Jan 2004
Indian Naval Academy19-24not earlier than 2nd Jan 1999 and not later than 1st Jan 2004
Indian Air Force Academy19-24not earlier than 2nd Jan 1999 and not later than 1st Jan 2004
Officers’ Training Academy19-24not earlier than 2nd Jan 1998 and not later than 1st Jan 2004

Gender Requirement for Different Posts

Indian Military AcademyMaleUnmarried
Indian Naval AcademyMaleUnmarried
Indian Air Force AcademyMaleUnmarried/Married
Officer Training AcademyMaleUnmarried
Officer Training AcademyFemaleUnmarried

What are the Physical Standards required for CDS Exam?

The aspirants who have applied for different posts of the CDS exam should be mentally and physically fit in order to meet the physical standard guidelines, as mentioned in the official CDS notification.

3. Educational Qualification

Check the educational qualification requirement of the UPSC CDS 1 2022 exam for different job posts from the table below.

PostEducational Eligibility Criteria
IMAGraduate from Recognized University
INAEngineering Degree from Recognized University
AFAEngineering Degree (Physics & Maths at 10+2) or B. Tech from Recognized University
OTAGraduate from Recognized University

CDS Salary 2022: Grade Pay and Growth

The salary of CDS officers during the training period will receive a fixed stipend amount for all the officers at the equivalent levels of Army, Navy, and Air Force. At present, the expected stipend for the training period is ₹ 56,100 per month.

CDS Rank-wise Salaries 2022

RankLevelGrade Pay
LieutenantLevel 10₹ 56,100 – 1,77,500
CaptainLevel 10 B₹ 6,13,00-1,93,900
MajorLevel 11₹ 6,94,00 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant ColonelLevel 12A₹ 1,21,200 – 2,12400
ColonelLevel 13₹ 1,30,600-2, 15,900
BrigadierLevel 13A₹ 1,39,600-2,17,600
Major GeneralLevel 14₹ 1,44,200-2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG ScaleLevel 15₹ 1, 82, 200-2,24,100
HAG+ScaleLevel 16₹ 2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG)Level 17₹ 2,25,000/-(fixed)
COASLevel 18₹ 2,50,000/-(fixed)

CDS Carrer Growth & Promotion

The promotions of CDS officer under their tenure are enlisted below: –

  • Captain- Two years of commissioned service
  • Major- Six years of commissioned service
  • Lieutenant Colonel- Thirteen years of commissioned service
  • Colonel- Fifteen years of commissioned service
  • Colonel (TS)- Twenty-six years of commissioned service
  • Major General- Twenty-five years of commissioned service
  • Brigadier- Twenty-three years of commissioned service
  • Lieutenant General- Twenty-eight years of commissioned service
  • General- No restrictions
  • Lieutenant- Promotion only after completion of training

CDS Exam Pattern 2022

The aspirants who are preparing for UPSC CDS 1 2022 exam should be aware of the latest CDS syllabus and exam pattern. Analysis of the pattern and proper understanding of the important topics of the syllabus will help students score better in this exam.

The CDS exam pattern 2022 is divided into two sections:

  • Written Examination
  • Intelligence & Personality Interview

The exam pattern of the CDS 1 examination is different for Officer Training Academy and Indian Naval Academy/Indian Military Academy/Indian Air Force.

CDS Exam Pattern for IMA, INA & OTA

The exam of Indian Naval Academy/Indian Military Academy/Indian Air Force comprises 3 papers, which carry a total of 300 marks. The total duration of each exam is 2 hours.

English1002 hours
General Knowledge1002 hours
Elementary Mathematics1002 hours

CDS Exam Pattern for Officer Training Academy (OTA)

The exam of Officer Training Academy (OTA) consists of 2 subjects with a total of 200 Marks. The duration of the two exams is 4 hours (2 hours for each exam).

English1002 hours
General Knowledge1002 hours

CDS Syllabus 2022

Candidates should be aware of the subjects of the CDS syllabus along with important topics. Candidates are required to check the entire syllabus of the CDS 2022 Exam for its thorough preparation.

General KnowledgeCurrent affairs of the last 4-5 months from the examination date.




Political Science
EnglishBasic Grammar





Error Spotting

Para Jumbles
Elementary MathNatural numbers



Rational and Real numbers

Time & work

Time & distance

Profit & loss

Ratio & proportion

Prime and composite numbers

Simple and compound interest









CDS Selection Procedure

Below is the important detail for the UPSC CDS Selection procedure. Check it out.

The recruitment of AFA, IMA, INA & Officers Training Academy posts is done on the basis of:

  • Written Exam
  • SSB Interview/Personality Test
  • Document Verification
  • Medical Examination

A Merit list is prepared for those students who obtain good marks in the written examination and SSB Interview. Again note the final round of selection is based on the medical fitness for all available posts.

Note: The written exam of OTA consists of only 2 tests: GK and English.

CDS Books 2022

To prepare for the CDS exam, it is important to have a hold on the best study material for proper guidance.

EnglishWren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & CompositionWord Power Made Easy
General KnowledgeGeneral Knowledge (Latest Edition)Manorama Year book
MathematicsQuantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations Mathematics for CDS Examination

CDS Cut Off 2022

  • CDS Cut off will be officially released along with the declaration of the final result.
  • Candidates who are going to appear in CDS 1 2022 exam can get an idea of the expected marks that they should score to clear the upcoming exam.

CDS 1 2021 – Cutoff Marks for IMA/INA/AFA/OTA

PaperWritten Test
(*Aggregate marks of the last selected candidate)
Final Exam
(Marks of last recommended candidate)
IMA (Indian Military Academy)145268
INA (Indian Naval Academy)136260
IAFA (Indian Airforce Academy)158281
OTA (Officers Training Academy: Men)107189
OTA (Officers Training Academy: Women)107191

CDS 2 2020 Cut Off

Name of AcademyCDS Cutoff (Written Exam)
OTA (Men)179
OTA (Women)178

How to Check UPSC CDS Cut Off 1 & 2 exam?

In order to check the cut off of the UPSC CDS Exam, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Go to the official website –
  • Now click on the “Examination” link in the header navigation.
  • Go to the drop-down menu and click on “Cut Off Marks”.
  • You will get a list of all the year-wise cut off marks.
  • Under section Year: 2022 you will find the PDF link for CDS 2022 (I/II). Click on this link.
  • A new window will be displayed, containing the Cut off marks of Phase I or II in a PDF format.
  • You can download this PDF for future use.

What is CDS exam?

CDS exam is a national-level exam that is conducted by UPSC to recruit young graduates in the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Airforce, Naval Academy, Officers Training Academy (Men & Women).

Can I apply for the CDS recruitment exam after 12th class?

No, the examination has graduation as the minimum educational eligibility criterion. Candidates who have not completed their graduation cannot apply for the CDS recruitment.

What is the full form of CDS?

The full form of CDS is Combined Defence Services. The exam is held every year to recruit eligible candidates into the armed forces across India. 

What is the age limit for CDS?

CDS age limit for Airforce Academy is 23 years, while that of others is 24 years. Anyone outside this age bracket is not considered for CDS recruitment. Also note that only unmarried candidates can apply for CDS Exam.

What are the best CDS exam books?

NCERT books of classes 6-12 form the basic material for the course. The content of these classes is very crucial in fact and concept building. In addition to this, one can refer to ‘CDS Pathfinder’ for a holistic syllabus structure. Also, practising the previous year papers is important, so aspirants can take any relevant book containing the previous year papers.

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