Exam Detail

CDS-II ExamCombined Defence Services Exam - II

  • Test Level-: National Level
  •     Eligibility-: Graduation
  • Duration-:5 Hours 60 Minutes
  • Stream-: Arts
  • Medium-: Multiple
  • Examination Mode-: Offline
  • Total Questions-: 340

Combined Defence Services Exam is conducted by the UPSC two times in a year for admissions to Indian Military Academy (IMA)Indian Naval Academy (INA)Air Force Academy (AFA) and Officers Training Academy (OTA).

CDS Eligibility Criteria


  • A candidate must either be:

  • A citizen of India, or

  • A subject of Bhutan, or 

  • A subject of Nepal, or 

  • A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or 

  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status

  • For IMA-Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd July, 1993 and not later than 1st July, 1998 only are eligible.
  • For Indian Naval Academy-Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2 nd July, 1993 and not later than 1st July, 1998 only are eligible.
  • For Air Force Academy - Age : 20 to 24 years as on 1st July 2017 
  • For Officers' Training Academy-(SSC Course for men) Male candidates (married or unmarried) born not earlier than 2 nd July, 1992 and not later than 1 st July, 1998 only are eligible. 
  • For Officers' Training Academy-(SSC Women Non-Technical Course) Unmarried women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible. They should have been born not earlier than 2 nd July, 1992 and not later than 1 st July, 1998.

Educational Qualifications

  • For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy- Degree of a recognised University or equivalent. 
  • For Indian Naval Academy-Degree in Engineering from a recognised University/Institution. 
  • For Air Force Academy-Degree of a recognised University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Graduates with first choice as Army/Navy/Air Force are to submit proof of graduation provisional certificates on the date of commencement of the SSB Interview at the SSB. Candidates who are studying in the final year/semester Degree course and have yet to pass the final year degree examination can also apply provided candidate should not have any present backlog upto the last semester / year for which results have been declared upto the time of submission of application and they will be required to submit proof of passing the degree examination at the time of SSB  to reach the Army HQ/Rtg. CDSE Entry, West Block III, R. K. Puram, New Delhi110066 in case of IMA/SSC first choice candidates and Naval HQ “DMPR” (OI & R Section), Room No. 204, ‘C’ Wing, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi-110011 in case of Navy first choice candidates and PO3(A)/Air Headquarters, ‘J’ Block, Room No. 17, Opp. Vayu Bhawan, Motilal Nehru Marg, New Delhi-110011 in case of Air Force first choice candidates by the following dates failing which their candidature will stand cancelled : 
Candidates possessing professional and technical qualifications which are recognised by government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees would also be eligible for admission to the examination.

Post Name

Educational Qualification

Indian Military Academy (I.M.A) Degree from a Recognized University or Equivalent
Indian Naval Academy Degree in Engineering from Recognized University
Air Force Academy Degree of a Recognized University with Physics and Mathematics or Bachelor’s in Engineering

Physical Standards

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Examination (II), 2016 as per guidelines given in Appendix-IV.

Exam Pattern

Indian Military Academy (IMA)

S.No. Paper / Subject Questions Duration Marks
1. English 120 2 Hours 100
2. General Knowledge 120 2 Hours 100
3. Elementary Mathematics 100 2 Hours 100

Indian Naval Academy (INA)

  • English - 2 Hrs. (100 marks)
  • General Knowledge - 2 Hrs. (100 marks)
  • Elementary Mathematics - 2 Hrs. (100 marks)

Air Force Academy (AFA)

  • English - 2 Hrs. (100 marks)
  • General Knowledge - 2 Hrs. (100 marks)
  • Elementary Mathematics - 2 Hrs. (100 marks)

 Officers Training Academy (OTA)

  • English - 2 Hrs. (100 marks)
  • General Knowledge - 2 Hrs. (100 marks)

Elementary Mathematics is not required for admission to Officers Training Academy (OTA). There is penalty (Negative Marking) for wrong answers.


Application Process

  • Go to the above link http://www.upsc.gov.in and https://upsconline.nic.in/mainmenu2.php
  • Click on Online Application and then on CDS  Exam
  • Now fill the form after reading all the instructions
  • The information should be correct or in details
  • Upload your scanned passport sized photograph on the given space for Photograph
  • Take a printout of the filled form

Fees for CDS examinations

  • 200/- via Net Banking or Credit/Debit Card or at SBI via Chalan
  • Candidates (excepting Female/SC/ST candidates who are exempted from Payment of fee)


English Syllabus

The question paper is designed to test your understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.

Questions in English are from

  • 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.

Elementary Mathematics Syllabus


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. Multiples and factors. Factorisation Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M. Euclidean algorithm, Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables.


Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M. Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns-analytical and graphical solutions. Simultaneous linear equations 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 x, cosine x, Tangent x when 0 < x < 90 degrees, Values of sin x, cos x and tan x, for x = 0, 30, 45, 60 and 90 degrees, 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

In addition to the interview the candidates will be put to Intelligence Tests both verbal and non-verbal, designed to assess their basic intelligence. They will also be put to Group Tests such as group discussions, group planning, outdoor group tasks, and asked to give brief lectures on specified subjects. All these tests are intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also his social traits and interests in current affairs.

Book Reference are:-

  1. For Maths Raesh Verma and Aggarwal
  2. For English S.P. Bakshi
  3. For G.K. The Lucent and The Arihant 
  4. For Current Affairs The Hindu

Give yourself the best chance with these top ten study tips.

1.    Give yourself enough time to study. Don't leave it until the last minute.

2.    Organize your study space.

3.    Use flow charts and diagrams.

4.    Practice on old exams. 

5.    Explain your answers to others.

6.    Organize study groups with friends.

7.    Take regular breaks. 

8.    Snack on 'brain food'

CDS (I) 2014 Cutoff

  Written Exam Final Result
  Aggregate marks of last qualified candidate* Marks of last recommended candidate
IMA 99 222
INA 99 222
AFA 129 250
OTA (Men) 78 159
OTA (Women) 78 160

* Subject to a minimum of 20% in each paper.

CDS (II) 2012 Cut-off

  Written Result Final Result
  Qualifying Marks in Each Subject Aggregate Marks of Last Qualified Candidate Marks of Last Recommended Candidate
IMA 12 114 237
INA 12 108 231
AFA 12 144 266
OTA (Men) 12 76 158
OTA (Women) 12 76 159

Seat Allocation

  1. Indian Military Academy(IMA), Dehradun 138th course which will commence in 2014-15 has 250 vacancies. The 250 vacancies include 32 vacancies which are reserved for NCC ‘C’ certificate (Army Wing) holders.
  2. Indian Naval Academy(INA), Ezhimala Course has 40 vacancies. The course is slated to begin in 2014-15 Executive (Hydro/ General Service). 6 vacancies are reserved for NCC ‘C certificate holders (Naval Wing).
  3. Air Force Academy (AFA), Hyderabad (Pre-Flying) Training Course has 32 vacancies. The course will commence in April 2015.
  4.  Officers Training Academy, Chennai, 101st SSC Course for Men will commence in January 2015. The course has 175 vacancies while the Officers Training Academy for Chennai 15th SSC Women (Non-Technical) Course will commence in 2015 and has 12 vacancies.


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