CDS 2024


UPSC CDS 2024 – Notification, Eligibility Criteria, Application Form, Dates, Exam Pattern

CDS Exam II 2024 – Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released the notification for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination II 2024. UPSC CDS Exam is held for recruiting candidates for the course conducted by Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers Training Academy


CDS Exam 2024

CDS Exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The UPSC conducts a competitive test twice a year to select candidates for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. It is a chance for graduates who desire to join the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, Naval Academy, or Officers Training Academy to serve the nation. 


What is the CDS Exam?

CDS stands for Combined Defence Service. UPSC CDS exam aims to recruit candidates for the following:


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


Candidates who are interested in joining the armed forces should sit for the exam and start their career with the Indian Defence Forces.


CDS Exam Date 2024

CDS II Iexam dates are out for the year 2024. The exam for Combined Defence Services is scheduled to be conducted as per the schedule listed below:

  • Online Registration Start Date: 15th May 2024
  • Last Date for Submission of Applications: 04th June 2024 till 6:00 pm
  • Online Application Withdrawn: 05th June 2024 to 11th June 2024 
  • CDS II Admit Card Release Date: Before Exam
  • CDS II Exam Date 2024: 01st September 2024
  • Result: To be notified


CDS Exam 2024 Eligibility Criteria


CDS Eligibility
CDS Nationality
  • Indian Citizen
  • Nepalese/Bhutanese/Tibetan refugee who migrated to India before January 1, 1962
CDS Age Limit
19 years to 25 years
CDS Educational Qualification
Graduate (Refer to detailed educational qualifications)


Candidates must meet all the CDS eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria comprise four factors: physical standards, nationality, education, and age restriction.


CDS Nationality

To be eligible for the CDS exam, a candidate must be an Indian citizen, a Nepalese or Bhutanese subject, or a Tibetan refugee who migrated to India before January 1, 1962, with the aim of permanently settling.


CDS Age Limit

The commission has established a predetermined age limit criterion for all positions, and candidates must fall within this range or their candidature may be withdrawn at any point of the selection process. The CDS age limit for all positions is 19 years to 25 years, which implies candidates must have been born between January 2, 2000, and January 1, 2005.


CDS Educational Qualification

Check the table below for the educational requirements for various job positions.


CDS Educational Criteria
Indian Military Academy
Graduate from Recognized University
Indian Naval Academy
Engineering Degree from Recognized University
Indian Air Force Academy
Engineering Degree (Physics & Maths:10+2) or B. Tech from Recognized University
Officers Training Academy
Graduate from Recognized University


CDS Physical Standards

Aspirants who have applied for various positions in the CDS must be intellectually and physically healthy in order to meet the physical standard requirements outlined in the official CDS notification.


  • Should be physically and mentally robust
  • Should not have permanent tattoos on the body
  • Should not have a hernia
  • Should not be impaired in terms of ability to hear
  • Should not have excessive wax in ears
  • Nasal septum should not deviate
  • Should maintain a proper Body Mass Index (BMI) as prescribed
  • Should not have piles
  • Should not have gynecomastia
  • Should not have hydrocele/phimosis/varicocele


CDS Vacancy

The CDS Vacancy 2024 has not been released yet. It will be released along with the notification. A total of about 300-350 vacancies are expected to be announced in the CDS 2024 Notification.


CDS 2024 Apply Online

Candidates are advised to follow the given steps to apply for CDS 2024.


Steps to apply for CDS online-

Step 1 – Go to the official website.

Step 2 – On the page, click the “Combined Defence Services Examination 2024” link.

Step 3 – Under the section of Part I, carefully read the instructions and, at the bottom, click Yes. The CDS 2024 application form will appear, in which you must complete in your personal and contact information.

Step 4 – Choose your preferred academies based on your age and qualifications.

Step 5 – Now go to the next step. The registration ID is generated.

Step 6 – Following that, candidates should proceed to “Part II” of the application form.

Step 7 – The following step is to pay the fee of Rs. 200/-.

Step 8 – Once the cost has been paid, choose the chosen examination center.

Step 9 – Upload a scanned copy of your photo and signature in accordance with the file size and dimensions provided in the official notification.

Step 10 – Click “Submit” and then print/download the CDS exam application form for future use.


CDS Application Fee 2024

Candidates applying for the CDS Exam can readily look for the table below to get an idea of the application fee.


General and Other Backward Class (OBC)
INR 200/-
Female/Scheduled Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST)


CDS 2024 Exam Pattern

  • Each question carries 1 mark.
  • There is a negative marking of 1/3rd of the total mark for each wrong answer.


CDS Exam Pattern for IMA/INA and IAF
CDS Subjects Marks CDS Exam Duration
English 100 2 Hours
General Knowledge 100 2 Hours
Mathematics 100 2 Hours


CDS OTA Exam Pattern
CDS Subjects Marks CDS Duration
English 100 2 Hours
General Knowledge 100 2 Hours


CDS Syllabus

Candidates should be familiar with the CDS Syllabus and relevant topics. Candidates must thoroughly prepare for CDS 2024 by reviewing the whole syllabus.


General Knowledge
Elementary Mathematics
  • Spotting Errors
  • Arrangement of Sentences
  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Word Selection
  • Ordering of Sentences
  • Comprehension
  • Current Affairs
  • Defence Related Awards
  • Sports
  • History
  • Geography
  • Politics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Cultural Knowledge
  • Trigonometry
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Statistics
  • Mensuration
  • Arithmetic


CDS 2024 Selection Process

The selection process of the CDS Exam has the following stages-


Stage 1: Written Test

CDS Aspirants have to clear all the papers to crack the written round. After that, candidates who will qualify the written exam round will be invited for the SSB Interview.


Stage 2: SSB Interview

After clearing the first stage of the CDS Selection Process, you have to participate in the SSB Interview. It will be undertaken for 5 days, in which the intelligence, personality, and many other attributes of the candidates shall be tested.


CDS Events
Day 1
Reporting, form filling, conducting of the Picture Perception and Description Test
Day 2
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Word Association Test (WAT), Situation Reaction Test (SRT), and Self Description Test (SD).
Day 3
Group Testing Officers’ Tasks (GTO). This includes Group Planning Exercise (GPE), Group Discussion (GD), Progressive Group Task (PGT), Half Group Task (HGT), & Individual Obstacle Task (IOT).
Day 4
Command Task, Final Group Task (FGT), Individual Obstacle Task (IOT), Personal Interview and Individual Lecturette
Day 5
Conference Session and Document Verification Process


Stage 3: Medical Exam

Organised by the Special Medical Board (SMB), it is the last stage of CDS Selection Process where all the candidates who have successfully sailed through the SSB Interview will be asked to undergo a medical exam.


CDS Salary

During the training term, all officers at the equivalent levels of the Army, Navy, and Air Force will earn a fixed stipend sum. The salary for the training duration is currently Rs 56,100 per month. CDS Salary of the officers at various grades are given below:


CDS In Hand Salary
Level 10
INR 56,100 – 1,77,500
Level 10 B
INR 6,13,00 – 1,93,900
Level 11
INR 6,94,00 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant Colonel
Level 12A
INR 1,21,200 – 2,12,400
Level 13
INR 1,30,600 – 2,15,900
Level 13A
INR 1,39,600 – 2,17,600
Major General
Level 14
INR 1,44,200 – 2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG Scale
Level 15
INR 1,82,200 – 2,24,100
Level 16
INR 2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG)
Level 17
INR 2,25,000/- (fixed)
Level 18
INR 2,50,000/- (fixed)


CDS 2024 Admit Card

Candidates have to download the CDS Admit card from the official website. They must take a print out of the same.


Steps to Download CDS 2024 Admit Card

To download the admit card for the CDS (Combined Defense Services) exam, follow these steps:


Step 1: Visit the official website of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) at

Step 2: On the UPSC homepage, navigate to the “Examinations” tab and click on it.

Step 3: In the drop-down menu, select “Active Examinations” to view the list of ongoing exams.

Step 4: Look for the CDS exam in the list and click on the relevant link.

Step 5: You will be redirected to the CDS examination page. Locate and click on the “Admit Card” or “e-Admit Card” link for the CDS exam.

Step 6: A new page will open, where you need to enter your credentials such as registration number/roll number, date of birth, and any other required details.

Step 7: After entering the necessary information, click on the “Submit” or “Download Admit Card” button.


Preparation for CDS Exam 2024


A good study strategy will help aspirants obtain higher UPSC CDS exam 2024 scores. Here are a few general study tips for aspirants to follow:


  • Candidates should review the latest exam pattern to learn about the topics covered, the number of questions, total marks, and test duration.
  • They must check the syllabus to understand the exam topics. It ensures that the candidates do not waste time on irrelevant topics.
  • They must prepare a timetable and stick to it.
  • Aspirants must refer to the most recommended books to understand the concepts easily.
  • They must solve the previous year’s paper & attempt a mock test daily to check their preparation level.


How to prepare English for CDS?

This section tests the ability to use grammatical rules as well as vocabulary. Below are some preparatory tips for CDS-


  • Candidates must work on English grammar and refer to standard books like Wren & Martin.
  • They should not only glance at the grammar exercises but also practise them. The practice would help understand the application and usage of rules better.
  • They should develop reading habits, jot down the words that cannot be understood, and find their meaning. Learn their usage as well.
  • Candidates must use the new words learned in day-to-day activities like writing or talking. It will help in memorising the words.
  • While attempting comprehension, they should read the passage thoroughly and attentively.
  • When solving the Cloze Test, they must read the entire passage properly and work on it backwards with the help of the options present.
  • Candidates must read books and newspapers regularly to increase word building and revise regularly.


How to prepare Mathematics for CDS?

The Mathematics section of the CDS exam is a bit difficult. Since the syllabus for Maths is vast, candidates need to have a high level of problem-solving ability to clear this section. Below are the preparatory tips for the Mathematics section:


  • Candidates must start the CDS preparation by listing the easy and difficult chapters per the weightage.
  • They should note down formulas and read them daily to memorise them.
  • They should understand the theory behind every concept and then go through example problems to understand how to approach them.
  • Candidates must avoid memorising steps for any particular type of problem. Instead, practise the sum and understand the theory and steps to solve it.
  • They must practise NCERT Maths to understand the question pattern.
  • Aspirants should not leave important and complex chapters like Trigonometry, Quadratic Equations or Geometry for the last minute.
  • They should revise regularly.
  • They must focus more on the important chapters, weak chapters, and any particular type of questions that candidates find difficult. Solve them regularly.


How to prepare GK for CDS?

This has been the most avoided and taken-for-granted section. The fact is, this section plays an important role when it comes to performance. This section basically tests a candidate’s knowledge of current events happening around them. 


  • Firstly, prepare a timetable with a fixed set of hours a candidate must devote to the GK section.
  • Candidates must go through NCERT textbooks covering History, Civics, and Geography for sound preparation.
  • They should read newspapers and journals regularly to stay up-to-date with the recent happenings at the national and international levels.
  • Candidates must make notes of important points during the study.
  • They should create a strong foundation for the GK section, review previous years’ papers and make notes.
  • They must stay updated with topics like current military exercises, important dates, the formation of forces, awards, books, etc.
  • Candidates must keep revising the notes prepared regularly.
  • They should also take GK mock tests daily. It will help in mastering this section.


How to Prepare for SSB Interview?

After clearing the CDS exam, candidates must appear for a personal interview with the SSB. The SSB interview assesses a candidate’s intelligence, personality, and ability to hold ranks among the Defense Forces’ officers. Here are some pointers on how to ace the interview:


  • Candidates must maintain their confidence and avoid being nervous throughout the personal interview.
  • Candidates must be able to communicate their thoughts to the interview panel.
  • They must enhance their ability to communicate.
  • They must stay updated with the latest and most interesting events worldwide.
  • Candidates must speak and act in the manner of an officer.


CDS Previous Year Question Papers

Applicants who are familiar with the syllabus and exam format will have an understanding of the type of questions offered in the CDS exam. The difficulty level of the questions and the topics covered in past CDS 1 & 2 tests also aid in understanding the technique to answer the question paper in real-time.

Find below the links to last years’ question paper.


CDS 2023 Question Paper Elementary Mathematics
General Knowledge


Books to Prepare for CDS 2024


Subjects Books
English Grammar – Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & Composition
Vocabulary – Word Power Made Easy
General Knowledge Arihant General Knowledge (Latest Edition)
Mathematics Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations, R.S. Aggrawal
Mathematics for CDS Examination, Disha Experts


CDS 2024 Answer Key

Following the exam, CDS Answer Key will be released. The candidates can calculate their marks by comparing the answer key with their responses against the CDS questions.

If candidates find any objections against any answer or question, they can challenge the same by paying the answer key challenge fee.


Steps to Download CDS Answer Key 2024

To download the answer key for the CDS (Combined Defense Services) exam, follow these steps:


Step 1: Visit the official website of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) at

Step 2: On the UPSC homepage, navigate to the “Examinations” tab and click on it.

Step 3: In the drop-down menu, select “Answer Keys” to access the answer key section.

Step 4: Look for the CDS exam in the list and click on the relevant link.

Step 5: You will be redirected to the CDS examination page, which provides information related to the exam.

Step 6: Scroll down to find the “Answer Keys” section on the CDS examination page.

Step 7: The answer keys for each paper (English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics) will be available for download. Click on the respective paper’s answer key link.

Step 8: A PDF file containing the answer key for the selected paper will open in a new tab or window.

Step 9: Carefully review the answer key, which will provide the correct answers for the questions asked in the CDS exam.

Step 10: To download the answer key, click on the download/save icon or use the “Save As” option from the file menu to save the PDF file on your device.


CDS Result

UPSC will publish the CDS Result on its official website after all the stages of the exam are successfully completed. 


Steps to Download CDS Result

Follow the steps given below to download the result of the CDS-


  1. Access the Union Public Service Commission’s official webpage.
  2. Click the “Results” link in the navigation area.
  3. Now look for and click on the “UPSC CDS Result” link.
  4. Fill in the essential information, such as your registration number and date of birth.
  5. Press the “Submit” button.
  6. Check the status of your CDS exam result by entering your roll number and name.


CDS Cut Off

CDS 2024 Cut off will be released after the exam is successfully conducted. 


UPSC CDS Mock Test

UPSC CDS Aspirants may refer to the following websites which offer CDS Mock Tests. 


Byju’s Exam Prep
Adda 247


CDS 2024 Exam Centre

Check out the list of CDS exam centres per state below.


CDS 2024 Examination City
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Andhra Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
Jammu and Kashmir
West Bengal
Uttar Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Andaman and Nicobar
Port Blair
Himachal Pradesh
Jammu and Kashmir
Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh


CDS Online Coaching

UPSC CDS Aspirants may opt for online or offline coaching or may opt to self study as per their personal preference. 

There are a lot of Youtube Channels which may prove to be useful for CDS Aspirants. 

Following are some platforms which offer UPSC CDS Online Coaching and have dedicated batches for CDS 2024 exam. 


Byju’s Exam Prep
PW Live
Vidya Guru
SSB Crack Exams
Study IQ 
Adda 247
Centurion Defence Academy


CDS Exam 2024 FAQs

Q.What is the CDS examination?
A. The CDS (Combined Defense Services) examination is a competitive exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in India. It is held twice a year to select candidates for officer-level positions in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Q.How many stages are there in the CDS Selection Process 2024?
A. There are three stages in the UPSC CDS selection process which are as follows:

Stage 1: Written Test
Stage 2: SSB Interview
Stage 3: Medical Exam

While appearing for the last stage of CDS Selection Process i.e Medical exam, candidates will also have to verify their documents. After the conduction of all these stages, a final list of the shortlisted candidates will be shared on the official website.

Q. Who is eligible to apply for the CDS 2024 exam?
A. Eligibility criteria for the CDS exam include being a citizen of India or a subject of Nepal/Bhutan, age between 19 and 25 years, and possessing a bachelor’s degree for most posts.

Q. Can female candidates apply for the CDS 2024 exam?
A. Yes, female candidates can apply for the CDS exam. However, the entry is limited to certain branches of the armed forces, such as the Indian Army (Short Service Commission – Non-Technical).

Q. How many times can I attempt the CDS exam?
A. There is no limit on the number of attempts for the CDS exam, provided the candidate fulfils the eligibility criteria.

Q. Is there an interview stage in the CDS exam?
A. Yes, candidates who qualify the written examination will be called for an interview by the Service Selection Board (SSB). The interview assesses the candidate’s personality, leadership qualities, and suitability for an officer-level position.



UPSC CDS Notification will be released on December 20, 2023. Candidates who want to apply for Combined Defence Services Examination can apply online through the official site of UPSC at and also on Candidates must ensure their educational and physical eligibility for the exam and prepare for the CDS Written Exam in a planned manner to ace the UPSC CDS 2024 exam with flying colours.


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