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CDS 2018

Last Updated - July 20, 2017

CDS is conducted twice every year by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for graduate candidates who wish to pursue their career as commissioned officers in Army, Navy and Air Force. The qualified applicants of written examination will be called for personal interview round scheduled by SSB (Services Selection Board) and the finally selected applicants will be offered admission in their respective academics. Only the unmarried graduate applicants are allowed to apply for CDS 2018 examination.

The official notifications for the examination general releases in the month of October & June every year and the examination are conducted usually in the months of February & November every year. CDS (Combined Defence Services) 2018 is to be held in offline mode with MCQs format. It comprises of three sections – Elementary Mathematics, General English and General Knowledge sections. Check out the eligibility to appear in the exam, key dates, eligibility, exam pattern, selection process, cutoff etc in this article.

CDS 2018 Exam Highlights 

Exam Highlights
Exam NameCombined Defence Services Exam
Conducting BodyUnion Public Service Commission
Exam TypeNational Level Recruitment Test
Exam DateFebruary 2018
Eligibility CriteriaBachelor’s degree in Engineering required for IMA, INA and AFA
Mode of ApplicationOnline
Exam ModeOffline
Duration2 hours

CDS 2018 Exam Dates

UPSC announces exam dates for CDS exam. Candidates can check the following table for CDS 2018 Exam dates as mentioned below:

Official Notification will be announced on1st week of November 2017
Online Application process starts3rd week of November 2017
Closing date for receipt of application formDecember 2017
CDS 2018 Admit cardJanuary 2018
Written ExamFebruary 2018
Declaration of resultMay 2018

CDS 2018 Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must fulfill the minimum eligibility requirements at the time of applying for CDS 2018. Check below educational qualifications, age criteria and marital status required for appearing in CDS Exam.

Educational Qualification

The eligibility criteria are different for all the posts. Candidates must check the required eligibility before applying for the exam.  If a candidate is pursuing final year/ semester of their Degree course at present are also eligible to apply for CDS Exam 2018 on provisional basis.

  • For Indian Military Academy (INA), the applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
  • For Indian Naval Academy (INA), the applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering/Technology from a recognized university or equivalent.
  • For Air Force Academy (AFA), the applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree of Engineering/Technology from a recognized university OR degree from a recognized university with Physics & Mathematics as subjects.
  • For Officers Training Academy (OTA), the applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or equivalent.
  • For Officers Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical course), the applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.

Age Limit

Candidate should be not less than 19 years to apply for any academy. The age limit will be calculated as on January 01, 2018.

For IMA – 19 years to 24 years

For AFA – 19 years to 23 years

For INA – 19 years to 22 years

For OTA – 19 years to 25 years

Nationality: Candidates must be citizens of India. Subjects of Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, Burma, Sri Lanka & various East African Countries are also eligible. Candidates will have to produce a certificate issued by authorities of Government of India certifying the claim.

Marital Status: Candidate should be unmarried to apply for IMA, INA & AFA. Male Applicants at OTA are exempted from this restriction while Unmarried women, issueless widows and divorcees can apply for OTA.

Physical Standards: Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Examination (I), 2018 as per guidelines of UPSC.

CDS 2018 Application Form

CDS Exam I application form will be released in November 2017, and for CDS Exam II, Application form will be available from August 2018. The application form will be available in two parts. i.e. registration part I and registration part II. Candidates can apply online for the exam by visiting the official website of UPSC. The application form in any other mode will not be accepted. Candidates will have to pay an amount of INR- 200 as an application fee for GEN/ OBC category. Candidates belong to SC/ ST category or female applicants are exempted from application fee.

CDS Exam Pattern

The CDS 2018 will be conducted in pen and paper based mode. The exam will be conducted in both in morning and forenoon session. The CDS 2018 question booklet will have multiple choice questions as per the prescribed syllabus. The total mark allotted to written test is 300 marks. The written test for admission to OTA will be of 200 marks. The duration of each paper will be of 2 hours. There will be negative marking for wrong answers. The exam will comprise questions from Elementary Mathematics, English and general knowledge. The standard of the papers in Elementary Mathematics will be of Matriculation level while the standard of papers in other subjects will be of a graduate of an Indian University. The table given below shows the detail of CDS 2018.

CDS exam pattern for admission to IMA, INA & AFA

SubjectsNo. of questionsMax. MarksDuration
General Knowledge120100120 minutes
English Language120100120 minutes
Elementary Mathematics100100120 minutes

CDS exam pattern for admission to OTA

SubjectsNo. of questionsMax. MarksDuration
English Language120100120 minutes
General Knowledge120100120 minutes

CDS 2018 Syllabus

The syllabus of CDS 2018 will be prepared by UPSC. The syllabus helps the candidates while their preparation for exam. Candidates wish to appear for in the exam should go through the complete syllabus carefully. Here, we are discussing the topics from which questions are asked in the examination.

English Syllabus – Synonyms, Antonyms, Reading Comprehension, Para Jumbles, Error Spotting, Jumbled Sentences, Sentence Correction & Fill in the Blanks.

General Knowledge Syllabus – General Knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of everyday observation and experience in scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject. The paper also includes questions on History of India and Geography of a nature.

Mathematics Syllabus – Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Mensuration & Statistics.

CDS 2018 Exam Centers

CDS 2018 exam will be held across the country. The distribution of exam centers will be done on the basis of total number of appearing candidates. They are recommended to apply on early basis so that they could get an examination center of their choice.

CDS 2018 Admit Card

The admit card of CDS 2018 will be available three weeks before the scheduled exam date. UPSC will release CDS admit card through online mode only. It will not send to the applicants via post. To download CDS 2018 admit card candidates have to enter their exam registration number and password. The admit card of CDS 2018 will have candidate’s detail like name and address of the allotted exam centre, roll number, category, photograph, signature, name, etc. Candidates are advised check all the entries in the admit card. In case of any discrepancy, candidate should immediately inform the exam conducting authority. For personality test, the commission will issue separate admit card.

CDS 2018 Result

The result of CDS 2018 will be declared only for those candidates who will score minimum qualifying marks in the written examination as fixed by the Commission in their discretion. The written exam result of CDS I 2018 will be declared in MAY 2018. Candidates who will qualify the CDS 2018 written exam will be called by Service Selection Board for psychological aptitude test, intelligence test and interview. Candidates will be called for SSB based on their preference by the respective service Headquarters.

Candidates have to secure the minimum qualifying marks separately in CDS 2018 written examination and CDS 2018 SSB test as fixed by the Commission and Service Selection Board respectively to pass the CDS exam. The examination authority will prepare merit list of all the qualified candidates based on the total marks secured by them and accordingly they will be selected for the CDS 2018 courses.

CDS 2018 Answer Key

The applicants for CDS 2018 exam can check the answer key released by UPSC after the completion of exam. Candidates can download the answer key from the official site i.e. to know the correct answers and calculate their marks.

CDS Cutoff

Candidates have to secure the cut off score as per their category to qualify the entrance exam. The exam conducting body UPSC will release CDS 2018 cut off score after the completion of CDS 2018 recruitment process. The result will be declared for only those candidates who will score the subject wise as well as overall cut off score. Here, we are providing the previous year cutoff for applicants that will give an idea of expected cutoff for this year. Candidates can check last year CDS cut off score from the table given below.

AcademyWritten ExamFinal Marks
OTA (Male)86168
OTA (Female)86172

CDS 2018 Selection Procedure

The selection of candidates will be based on the written test, personal interview and personality test. Candidates will have to qualified all stages of the selection process. The document verification will be done after deciding the selection status of a candidate. The final merit list will be prepared on the basis of total marks secured in the written examination and in the SSB tests. Candidate who will qualify the written test will be called for Service Selection Board which includes psychological aptitude test, intelligence test and interview. SSB board evaluates intelligence, personality, compatibility and potential of prospective candidates for recruitment in the Army, Navy and Air Force. SSB interview is a five days process which includes two stage of testing. Candidate needs to clear Stage I testing go for Stage-II testing. After that the qualified candidates who pass the stage II will have to go through medical examination and suitability in all other respects and number of vacancies available.



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