Combined Defence Services Examination

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam is a national level entrance exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in India. The exam is conducted twice a year and is open to candidates who wish to join the Indian Military Academy (IMA), the Indian Naval Academy (INA), the Air Force Academy (AFA), and the Officer Training Academy (OTA). The CDS Exam is a gateway for candidates to secure admission into these institutions for officer training, after which they become commissioned officers in the Indian armed forces. The exam covers subjects such as English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics, and is considered a highly competitive exam due to its prestige and opportunities it offers.

CDS 1 Exam Date 2023

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will release the official notification on 21st December 2022, with online registration starting on the same day and closing on 10th January 2023. Candidates can make corrections to their applications from 18th to 24th January 2023. The release date of the admit card is yet to be notified, but the CDS 1 Exam 2023, will be held on 16th April 2023.

CDS 2 Exam Date 2023

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) 2 2023 Exam is just around the corner, set to take place on 3rd September 2023. This offline exam provides aspiring candidates with an opportunity to join the prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officer Training Academy (OTA) and serve their country. With the application form available from 17th May 2023 to 6th June 2023, candidates can start preparing for this important exam.

What is the Selection Process of CDS Exam?

The selection process of CDS 2023 includes two stages:

  1. Written Examination: The written exam consists of three subjects – English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics. The question paper is of objective type with a total of 300 marks. Candidates must secure a minimum of 40% marks in each subject and a minimum of 50% marks in aggregate.
  2. Service Selection Board (SSB) Interview: Candidates who qualify the written exam are called for the SSB interview, which is conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSB) of the Indian Army. The interview is a five-day process that includes various tests like Psychological Tests, Group Tests, and Personal Interview. The purpose of the SSB interview is to assess the officer-like qualities, leadership potential, and communication skills of the candidate.

Based on the marks obtained in the written exam and SSB interview, the final merit list is prepared. The final selection of the candidate is done on the basis of the merit list and subject to the availability of vacancies in the respective training academies.

CDS Exam Syllabus 2023

The syllabus for the written examination of the CDS Exam 2023 can be divided into three main sections:

  1. English
  2. General Knowledge
  3. Elementary Mathematics

CDS Exam English Syllabus

The following topics are usually covered in the English section of the CDS Exam:

  • Basic Grammar: This includes the study of tenses, subject-verb agreement, active and passive voice, direct and indirect speech, and the use of articles, prepositions, conjunctions, and other parts of speech.
  • Idioms & Phrases: This includes the study of common idiomatic expressions and phrases and their meanings.
  • Synonyms and Antonyms: This includes the ability to identify and understand the meaning of words that are similar or opposite in meaning.
  • Reading Comprehension Solving: This includes the ability to comprehend and interpret written passages and questions based on the passages.
  • Substitution of Words: This includes the ability to substitute words and phrases in context, keeping the meaning of the passage unchanged.
  • Error Spotting: This includes the ability to identify and correct errors in grammar, vocabulary, and usage in given sentences.
  • Para Jumbles: This includes the ability to rearrange jumbled paragraphs in logical and coherent order.

It’s recommended that candidates practice reading, writing, and speaking English regularly and use study materials that focus on these specific areas of the English syllabus to increase their chances of success in the CDS Exam 2023.

CDS Exam General Knowledge Syllabus

The General Knowledge section of the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam 2023 covers various subjects including:

  • Current Affairs: The candidate’s knowledge of current events, including national and international events, is tested in this section.
  • History: The candidate’s knowledge of Indian and World History, including historical events, personalities, and monuments, is tested in this section.
  • Geography: The candidate’s knowledge of physical and human geography, including the study of the earth and its features, and distribution of human populations and their economic activities, is tested in this section.
  • Politics: The candidate’s knowledge of Indian and world politics, including political systems, international relations, and political parties, is tested in this section.
  • Economics: The candidate’s knowledge of basic economics concepts, including demand and supply, microeconomics, and macroeconomics, is tested in this section.
  • Science: The candidate’s knowledge of basic scientific concepts, including physics, chemistry, and biology, is tested in this section.

It is recommended that candidates stay updated with current affairs, read books and articles on various subjects, and practice regularly to improve their general knowledge and perform well in this section of the CDS Exam 2023.

CDS Exam Elementary Mathematics Syllabus

The Elementary Mathematics section of the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam 2023 covers mathematical concepts including:

  • Arithmetic: The candidate’s knowledge of basic arithmetic concepts, including fractions, decimals, ratios, proportions, and percentages, is tested in this section.
  • Algebra: The candidate’s knowledge of algebraic concepts, including linear and quadratic equations, is tested in this section.
  • Geometry: The candidate’s knowledge of geometrical concepts, including lines, angles, triangles, and circles, is tested in this section.
  • Trigonometry: The candidate’s knowledge of trigonometry, including the study of triangles and their properties, is tested in this section.
  • Mensuration: The candidate’s knowledge of mensuration, including the study of areas, volumes, and surface areas of different geometrical figures, is tested in this section.

It is recommended that candidates practice regularly and revise their mathematical concepts regularly to perform well in this section of the CDS Exam 2023.

CDS Exam Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam 2023, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Nationality: Candidates must be Indian citizens or citizens of Bhutan or Nepal.
  2. Age Limit: The minimum age limit for CDS Exam 2023 is 20 years and the maximum age limit is 24 years for IMA and Indian Naval Academy (INA), and 26 years for Air Force Academy (AFA).
  3. Educational Qualification: Candidates must have completed a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
  4. Marital Status: Only unmarried candidates are eligible to appear for the CDS Exam 2023.
  5. Medical Conditions: Candidates must be medically fit as per the medical standards prescribed by the Indian Armed Forces.
  6. Physical Standards: Candidates must meet the physical standards prescribed by the Indian Armed Forces.

It is important to check the official notification and eligibility criteria before applying for the CDS Exam 2023.

How to Prepare for CDS Exam?

Preparation for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam 2023 involves several steps, including:

  • Knowing the Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the complete syllabus for the CDS Exam 2023 and focus on the topics you are weak in.
  • Making a Study Plan: Plan your study schedule keeping in mind the importance of each subject and allocate sufficient time for each.
  • Referring to the Right Books: Use standard textbooks and reference books to prepare for the exam.
  • Solving Previous Year Question Papers: Practice solving previous year question papers to get an idea of the pattern and level of the CDS Exam.
  • Taking Mock Tests: Take online mock tests regularly to evaluate your preparation level and identify areas of improvement.
  • Improving English: Work on improving your English language skills, as it is a critical component of the CDS Exam.
  • Physical Fitness: Maintain physical fitness by regular exercise and following a healthy diet.
  • Time Management: Time management is crucial during the CDS Exam, so practice to manage time effectively during mock tests.

By following these tips, you can improve your chances of success in the CDS Exam 2023.

How to Fill CDS Application Form?

The process of filling the CDS application form can be done online through the official website of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The steps are as follows:

  1. Visit the official website of UPSC (
  2. Click on the “Apply Online” link under the “Examination” section
  3. Click on the “Online Application for Various Examinations of UPSC” link
  4. Create an account by registering with your email ID and mobile number
  5. Fill in all the personal, educational, and other details asked in the form
  6. Upload scanned copies of all the necessary documents such as passport size photo, signature, and certificates
  7. Pay the application fee online through credit/debit card, net banking, or cash deposit at the bank
  8. Submit the application form and take a printout for future reference.

Note: Before filling the form, it’s important to read and understand the eligibility criteria and instructions given on the official website.

What is the Salary of CDS?

The salary of an officer in the Combined Defence Services (CDS) depends on the rank they hold in the military. The salary structure of CDS officers is in line with the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) pay matrix. The entry-level salary of a Lieutenant in the Indian Army is Rs 56,100, which can go up to Rs 1,77,500 based on the level of seniority and experience. The highest-ranking officer in the CDS is the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who earns a fixed salary of Rs 2,50,000 per month.


Q1. How many vacancies in CDS Notification 2023?

Ans. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam for recruitment purposes. The department will announce around 341 vacancies, as expected. And the exam will be conducted in more than 70 cities.

Q2. Can girls apply for CDS?

Ans. Yes, girls are eligible to apply for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Q3. What are the jobs in CDS exam?

Ans. The Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment into various branches of the Indian Armed Forces, including:
Indian Military Academy (IMA)
Officers Training Academy (OTA)
Indian Naval Academy (INA)
Indian Air Force Academy (IAF)

Q4. Is CDS a permanent job?

Ans. Yes, CDS is a permanent job. The selected candidates serve the Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy, and Air Force) as Commissioned Officers with a permanent commission.

Q5. Can I give both CDS 1 and 2?

Ans. Yes, you can give both CDS 1 and 2 exams in a year if you meet the eligibility criteria for both exams and if the examination is being held in the same year.

Q6. Do CDS repeat questions?

Ans. No, the CDS exam questions are not repeated annually. The UPSC creates a new set of questions every year to test the aptitude and skills of the candidates. However, the syllabus and pattern of the CDS exam remain largely unchanged, and the topics covered are similar to those of previous years. To improve your chances of success, it is important to study the syllabus thoroughly and practice previous years’ question papers.


Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS) is an extremely competitive exam and one of the most sought after opportunities for young aspirants who wish to join the Indian Defence Services. With its eligibility criteria, syllabus, exam pattern and the selection procedure, the CDS exam provides a comprehensive and challenging platform for individuals who want to serve the nation and make a difference. With the right preparation strategy and an unwavering determination to succeed, candidates can crack the CDS examination and join the esteemed Indian Defence Services. The journey may be challenging, but the rewards of serving the nation are truly priceless.

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