UPSC CDS 2021: Ultimate Guide to the Recruitment Process

Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission to hire eligible candidates in the Navy, Indian Army, and Air Force. More than a lakh of the candidates appear for the CDS exam, but only thousands of the candidates appear for the SSB Interview. Combined Defence Services Examination opens doors for several job opportunities along with the lucrative UPSC CDS Salary Package. The selection of the candidate is done based on their performance in Written Exam & SSB Interview. Cracking the UPSC CDS exam is no cakewalk, and therefore it is essential for the candidates to apply for this upcoming exam after knowing each and every step of the recruitment process. . Hence, with an idea to help all the CDS aspirants before the examination we have curated this article with the complete guide of the UPSC CDS Recruitment Process.

Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility Criteria are one of the most important aspects to be considered by the candidates while applying for any exam. The UPSC CDS Eligibility Criteria consists of important factors and the candidates need to fulfill each factor before applying for the exam. There are three factors considered responsible for determining the CDA eligibility criteria that are Age limit, Educational Qualification, and Physical Fitness. The age of the candidates should be between 18- 23 years and they need to hold the graduation degree in the required field from a recognized University. Last but not least, every candidate should meet the physical standard criteria to be eligible to apply for the exam.

Application Process

All eligible and interested candidates are required to submit the UPSC CDS Application Form as and when it is available on the official website. There are two parts in the application form and it is mandatory to fill up both the parts of the online application form to move further with the process. Then, pay the application fee either online or offline mode. The application fee is exempted for SC, ST, and Female candidates whereas the candidates belonging to the general and OBC category are required to pay Rs 200.

Admit Card

The CDS Admit Card will be released in a few weeks for all the registered candidates who successfully submitted the application form. They can access the admit card from the official website with the help of their Roll Number or Registration Number. A hard copy of the admit card will not be sent to the candidates via post or courier. In addition to this, it is compulsory to bring a CDS Admit Card to the exam hall.

Written Exam

After downloading the admit card, the candidates should appear for the written exam on the mentioned date. As per the CDS Exam Pattern, there will be three sections in the written exam for INA, Air Force, and IMA which are English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics. The overall mark of this section is 300 marks. There will be two sections in the written exam of Officers Training Academy that are English and General Knowledge. The overall mark for this section will be 200 marks. After qualifying in the written exam, the candidates will be eligible to appear for SSB Interview.

SSB Interview

Only the candidates who have qualified in the written exam will be called to appear for the SSB Interview round. The interview round is conducted to test the psychological aptitude, confidence, and intelligence skills of the candidates. SSB Interview Round comprises two stages and the candidates have to qualify in the first stage to appear for the second stage of the interview round.

Final Result

The selection of the candidates depends on the basis of their performance in the Written Exam and SSB Interview Round. Therefore, it is important for the candidates to work hard and secure minimum qualifying marks in both rounds to get selected for the training. After the declaration of the result, the selected candidates need to undergo training at Air Force Academy, Indian Military Academy, Officer Training Academy, and Indian Naval Academy.


Chetan Sharma is a professional digital marketer and blogger at heart. He owns multiple educational blogs like Selina Concise and many others.


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