CDS 2024 – Dates (out), Eligibility Criteria, Application Form, Fees, Notification, Syllabus, and More

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will release the official CDS Notification 2024 on 20th December 2023. It is a national-level exam conducted by UPSC twice a year. This exam aims to select eligible candidates for admission into Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy, and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA).

It is one of the most popular defence entrance examinations in India. Every year, lakhs of candidates apply for this exam and a few get selected to become officers in Indian Armed Forces. The application process for CDS 2024 will take place online. Candidates must ensure that they are eligible before applying. Both male and female candidates are eligible for CDS.

Update: CDS 1 application form will release on 20th December 2023.

CDS 2024 Overview

Name of the examCombined Defence Services (CDS) Examination
Authority conducting the examUnion Public Service Commission
Total Vacancies341 (subjected to change)
Level of the examNational level
Exam frequencyTwice a year
Mode of applicationOnline
Examination modeOffline
Selection processWritten test followed by an Interview
Examination purposeTo select eligible candidates for IMA, INA, Air force academy, and Officers’ training academy.

Combined Defence Service (CDS) Dates 2024

The official UPSC CDS Calendar 2024 is given in the following table.

Main EventsConfirmed Dates for CDS IConfirmed CDS II Dates
Release of Official Notification20th December 202315th May 2024
Starting of online application form submission20th December 202315th May 2024
Last date to submit the application form9th January 20244th June 2024
Correction window availabilityTo be notified by UPSCTo be notified by UPSC
Releasing of Admit cardTo be notified by UPSCTo be notified by UPSC
Date of Examination21st April 20241st September 2024
Result DeclarationTo be notified by UPSCTo be notified by UPSC

CDS Eligibility Criteria 2024

All candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria to apply for the UPSC CDS exam.


Aspirants with any of the following nationalities are eligible.

  • A citizen of India
  • A subject of Nepal
  • An Indian-origin person migrated to India to permanently settle in India from Burma, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zaire, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, United Republic of Tanzania, or Vietnam.

CDS Age Limits and Gender

AcademiesGenderAge Limit (Date of Birth)
Indian Military Academy (IMA)Unmarried male candidatesCandidates born not earlier than 2nd January 2001 and not later than 1st January 2006 are eligible.
Indian Naval Academy (INA)Unmarried male candidatesCandidates born on or after 2nd January 2001 and not later than 1st January 2006 can apply.
Air Force AcademyBoth Male and Female Candidates can applyThe age of a candidate should be between 20 years to 24 years as on 1st January 2024.   The upper age limit is 26 years for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA.
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for men)Unmarried maleCandidates born not earlier than 2nd January 2000 and not later than 1st January 2006 are eligible.
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course)Unmarried women/ Widows who have not remarried/ Divorcees (in possession of divorce documents)The date of birth of a candidate should be between 2nd January 2000 and 1st January 2006.

Marital Status for Air Force Academy

  • Candidates below 25 years of age should be unmarried. He/ She can’t marry during training.
  • Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply but during the training period, they will not get any married accommodation. Additionally, they will not be able to live with family outside of the academy premises.
  • Male divorcee/widower candidates will not be treated as unmarried candidates for their admission in IMA/ INA/ AFA/ OTA.

Educational Qualification

  • IMA/ Officers’ Training Academy – A bachelor’s degree in any subject from a recognized university or equivalent.
  • Indian Naval Academy – An Engineering degree from a recognized university or equivalent.
  • Air Force Academy – Candidate must be a graduate in any discipline. Plus, he/ she must have studied Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level.

Note: Those aspirants who are in the final year of their graduation are also eligible.

Physical Standards/ Medical Standards (Height and Weight)

The weight and height of a candidate should be appropriate as per his/her age. Details are given in the following image.

  • The Body Mass Index (BMI) of all candidates should be below 25.
  • Waist circumference should be less than 90 cm for males and 80 cm for female candidates.
  • The minimum height for male candidates is 157 cm (152 for candidates from hills of the north-eastern region of India, Garhwal and Kumaon).
  • The minimum height requirement for female candidates is 152 cm (148 cm for aspirants from Kumaon, Garhwal, and Hills of North Eastern region of India).

Note: The above parameters apply only to those candidates who are looking to join the Indian Army through IMA. A few parameters can change for other academies.

CDS Application Form 2024

  • All candidates need to apply online by using the official website
  • To start the CDS application process, you need to complete One Time Registration (OTR).
  • The OTR profile will always remain the same. You can use this profile for future CDS applications as well.
  • You should provide all the necessary personal and educational details in your OTR Profile.
  • During registration, you must upload scanned images of your photograph and signature. The size of the image should be between 20 KB and 300 KB.
  • In the next step, you need to pay the application fee online or by challan.
  • Finally, take printouts of both part I and part II registration receipts for future reference.

Application Fee

  • For female/ SC/ ST candidates – Nil
  • For all other candidates – Rs. 200/-

Modes of Payment

  • Online – UPI/ Internet Banking/ Visa/ Master/ Rupay Credit/ Debit Card
  • Offline – Depositing CDS challan in any Branch of SBI by cash.

Admit Card

  • UPSC will release admit cards three weeks before the exam date.
  • The admit card will be available on the UPSC website for download.
  • Authorities will not send e-Admit cards by post.
  • In case of any clarification regarding admit cards, candidates can visit UPSC’s Facilitation Counter in-person or over phone lines (011-23385271/ 011- 23381125/011-23098543) on working days between 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

CDS Exam Pattern 2024

The CDS selection process involves a written test followed by an interview. The pattern for the written test is as follows.

  • Examination Mode – Offline (OMR sheet-based test)
  • Type of Questions – Objective Type MCQs
  • Maximum Marks – 300 for IMA, INA, and Air Force Academy (200 for OTA)
  • Number of sections – 3 (2 for OTA)
  • Duration of examination – 2 hours for each section
  • Language of Questions – English and Hindi
  • Negative Marking – ⅓ marks will be deducted for every wrong answer
For Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy
SectionsMaximum MarksDuration
English1002 Hours
General Knowledge (GK)1002 Hours
Mathematics1002 Hours
Total300 Marks6 Hours
For Officers’ Training Academy
SectionsMaximum MarksDuration
English1002 Hours
General Knowledge (GK)1002 Hours
Total200 Marks4 Hours


Here is the list of subject-wise topics included in the CDS Syllabus 2024.

MathematicsEnglishGeneral Knowledge
Number SystemFill in the blanksIndian History
Elementary Number TheorySpotting the errorsEconomics
AlgebraReading comprehensionPolitical Science
TrigonometrySynonyms and AntonymsGeography
GeometrySentence arrangement or jumbled wordsGeneral Science – Physics, Chemistry, and Biology
MensurationIdioms and phrasesEnvironment
StatisticsSentence improvement or correctionDefence-related questions – Army, Air Force, and Navy
 Ordering of words in a sentenceCurrent Affairs – Sports, Conferences, Books & Authors, National & International Awards.

Examination Centers

It is expected that the CDS examination will take place in the following cities – Agartala, Ghaziabad, Panaji (Goa), Agra, Gorakhpur, Patna, Ajmer, Gurgaon, Port Blair, Ahmedabad, Gwalior, Prayagraj (Allahabad), Aizawl, Hyderabad, Puducherry, Aligarh, Imphal, Pune, Almora (Uttarakhand), Indore, Raipur, Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh), Itanagar, Rajkot, Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Jabalpur, Ranchi, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Sambalpur, Bareilly, Jammu, Shillong, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Shimla, Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), Jorhat, Siligudi, Chandigarh, Kochi, Srinagar, Chennai, Kohima, Srinagar (Uttarakhand), Coimbatore, Kolkata, Thane, Cuttack, Kozhikode (Calicut), Thiruvananthapuram, Dehradun, Leh, Tiruchirapalli, Delhi, Lucknow, Tirupati, Dharamshala, Ludhiana, Udaipur, Dharwad, Madurai, Varanasi, Dispur, Mandi, Vellore, Faridabad, Mumbai, Vijayawada, Gangtok, Mysore, Visakhapatnam, Gaya, Nagpur, Warangal, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Navi Mumbai.


  • UPSC will release the CDS result online through its official website.
  • Candidates will be able to check their results by logging in with their credentials.
  • The result includes the candidate’s name, roll number, marks obtained in each subject, and overall marks.
  • Aspirants who will clear the exam will be called for the SSB Interview.

Number of Vacancies

The official number of vacancies in CDS recruitment 2024 is not available as of now. You may check the number of vacancies as per the last year’s notification given in the following table.

Indian Military Academy, Dehradun100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala22
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai (Men)170
Officers Training Academy, Chennai (Women)17

SSB Interview

  • Candidates shortlisted after the CDS exam will be allowed to participate in the SSB Interview.
  • It is a 5-day long process to evaluate the candidate’s personality, intelligence, and aptitude.
  • The interview consists of various activities such as group discussions, intelligence tests, and personal interviews.
  • To do well in the SSB interview, candidates must focus on improving their communication skills, general knowledge, and physical fitness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many times is the CDS exam conducted in a year?

This exam is conducted twice a year

Is CDS an online exam?

No, it is an offline exam.

How can I prepare for the CDS exam?

Applicants can prepare for this test by studying the syllabus thoroughly, practising previous years’ question papers, and attempting mock tests.

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