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UPSC CDS 2020: Apply Online for 418 Posts in Defence Services

UPSC CDS Answer Key Info for Eligibility, Syllabus, Pattern

What is CDS Exam?

CDS stands for Combined Defence Services Examination is conducted for recruitment of Commissioned Officers in Indian Army, Indian Navy and Air Force. This examination is been conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) and is held twice a year usually in the month of February and September. Large number of candidates apply for this national level entrance examination but only few hundreds are selected for final posts.

A brief introduction to CDS examination
Exam NameCombined Defence Services Examination
Conducting BodyUPSC (Union Public Service Commission)
Level of the examNational Level
Frequency of the examTwice a year
Examination modeOnline
Duration of the exam2 Hours
Languages English and Hindi
Examination FeesRs 200
Purpose of the examSelect candidates in Indian Army, Navy and Air Force as Commissioned Officers
Number of Test Cities 41
Official Website of the examination

Eligibility Criteria for CDS 2020 Exam

UPSC has some serious criteria when it comes in selecting candidates for prestigious posts in Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. The criteria is been mentioned below:

Age, Sex and Martial Status
  • Indian Military Academy (IMA): Unmarried Candidates who are born in between 2 January 1997 and 1 January 2002 can apply.
  • Indian Naval Academy (INA): Unmarried Male Candidates who are born in between 2 January 1997 and 1 January 2002 are eligible.
  • Air Force Academy: Candidates applying should born in between 2 January 1997 and 1 January 2001.
  • Officers Training Academy (Men SSC Course): Unmarried Male candidates born in between 2 January 1996 and 1 January 2002.
  • Officer Training Academy (Women SSC Non-Technical Course): Unmarried women candidates born in between 2 January 1996 and 1 January 2002.
Educational Qualification
  • IMA & Officers Training Academy: Candidate must be graduate
  • Indian Naval Academy: A graduate with Engineering Degree from recognized university
  • Air Force Academy: A degree with Physics as well as Mathematics at Class 12 or Bachelor of Engineering is necessary
Physical Fitness

Candidates must by physically fit in order to be eligible for the CDS examination.

Important Dates for CDS 1 & 2
EventsDates for CDS 1Dates for CDS 2
CDS Notification30 October 20195 August 2020
Application Form30 October 20195 August 2020
Last Date to apply 19 November 201925 August 2020
Application Withdrawal 3 December 2019Last Week of September 2020
Examination Date2 February 20198 November 2020

CDS 2020 Selection Process

The Selection process of CDS recruitment includes two stages which are as follows:

Written Examination: This is the first and foremost stage of the examination for the selection process. Candidates who are successfully registered for the exam are then required to sit for the written exams. The Exam for IMA, INA and Air Force comprises of three sections and has total 300 Marks. The three sections are mentioned below:

  • English
  • General Knowledge
  • Elementary Mathematics

The written examination for Officers training Academy has two sections and is total of 200 Marks. The two sections are mentioned below

  • English
  • General Knowledge

The candidates who are qualified in the written examinations are then called for the final SSB interview for personality test.

SSB Interview: There are two stages in the personality test or SSB interview process

  • Psychological Aptitude Test
  • Intelligent Test

The final selection is done on the base of the performance in the exam as well as personality test. The selected candidates are then trained at Indian Military Academy (Dehradun), Indian Naval Academy (Ezhimala), Officers Training Academy (Chennai) and Air Force Academy (Hyderabad).

Guidelines for the Examination Day of CDS 2020

  • Admit card is must to be carried to the examination centre. Hence, students must carry them along with any photo identity proof while appearing for the exam.
  • All the candidates are allowed to carry clip board as well as black ball point pen.
  • Rough Work Sheet would be provided by the invigilator at the time of examination.
  • Any study material like books, notes, calculators or electronic gadgets are not allowed inside the examination hall. Hence, students should not bring such materials while appearing for the exam.

Syllabus for CDS 2020: English, General Knowledge & Mathematics

As mentioned above the CDS syllabus is been divided into three subjects which are English, General Knowledge and finally Elementary Mathematics. The level of questions varies according to the subject. The standard level of the questions for Mathematics will be of matriculation level. On the other hand, the level of questions for other subjects like GK or English is of graduation level.

Subject: English Language

The questions which are asked in the exams are designed to test the candidates understanding of English language. The topics from which the questions are asked been mentioned below:

Important Topics for English Language
SynonymsImprovement of SentenceAntonyms
Comprehension One word Substitution Sentence Ordering
Words SelectionSpotting the errorsVocabulary
Subject: General Knowledge

This section tests the candidate knowledge about the current events. This also includes some questions on History as well as Geography. Hence, the student must be prepared with the topics which are mentioned below:

Important Topics for General Knowledge
PhysicsChemistryCurrent Awareness
History GeographyPolitics
BiologyCultural Books
SociologyDefence related newsEconomics

Subject: Elementary Mathematics

The questions are asked from the field of Algebra, Trigonometry, Mensuration, Geometry and statistics.

  • Number System: Natural Numbers, Fundamental Operations, Unitary method, time and work, percentage, simple and compound interest, ratio and proportion and time and distance.
  • Elementary Number theory: Prime and composite numbers, divisibility test for various numbers, factorization, HCF & LCM and Logarithms
  • Trigonometry: sin x, cosine x, tangent x, use of trigonometry tables, height and distance
  • Geometry: Lines and angles, plane figures, parallel lines, triangles and congruency of triangles, similar triangles, properties of angles, rectangle and square, circle and its properties.
  • Mensuration: Area of squares, triangle, rectangles, parallelograms, circles, surface and lateral surface area, volume of spheres, cones, cylinders, cuboids and cubes
  • Statistics: Collection of data, graphical representation, histograms, bar charts

CDS 2020: Results & Merit List

In order to view the results for CDS 2020, candidates need to follow the instructions below:

  • Visit the official website of the UPSC
  • On the date of the result, find the link where CDS Result 2020 is been mentioned on the homepage of the website
  • A PDF opens in a new tab where the candidate can search his or her roll number by pressing Ctrl+F
  • UPSC prepares the list of candidates who have obtained minimum marks in the first exam i.e. written examination.
  • The final merit list is prepared on basis of total marks in the written exam as well as the SSB interview. The final selection is done on basis of medical fitness and number of vacancies.