CDS (Combined Defense Services) for Indian Army, Indian Navy and Air Force.

CDS stands for (Combined Defense Services) examination it’s a format designed by Union Public Service Commission for entry onto Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air force. The UPSC organizes examination twice year for the entrance into Indian forces. The CDS is for both male and female. Especially females those who are keen to join the Indian defense force than here is your chance. If you have a passion for serving your nation then this post is for you. The job is most challenging yet really exciting as you have a chance to achieve pride and honor at the same time by taking up a job of service. Here I am giving all the info regarding examination, eligibility and few preparation tips.


Eligibility Criteria for CDS:


  • The candidate must be either Indian, A subject of Nepal, A subject of Bhutan, A Tibetan refugee who came to India with the intention to permanently staying in India before January 1st If you are of Indian origin who have migrated from Pakistan, Srilanka, Burma or East African countries of Kenya, The United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zaire and Ethiopia or from Vietnam with the intention of permanently staying  in India.

Age Limit

  1. Indian Military Academy: 21 – 23 Years
  2. Indian Naval Academy: 21 – 22 Years
  3. Indian Air Force Academy: 21 – 22 Years
  4. For Officers Training Academy (SSC Course for Men): 21 – 24 Years

CDS Exam Eligibility for Girls

As for Officers Training Academy (OTA) only (SSC women non technical Course). Only the unmarried female candidates are eligible for the officers Training Academy and should have been born not earlier than dates provided in the latest announcement.

CDS Exam Eligibility for women

As for Officers Training Academy (OTA) only (SSC Women Non Technical Course): The issue less widows and the issue less divorcees who have not remarried and should have been born not earlier or later than dates provided in the latest announcement.

CDS exam Eligibility Education Qualification

ARMY: For IMA and OTA the candidate should possess graduation degree in any discipline from a recognized university or institute.

NAVY: For INA the candidate should have a degree in Engineering

AIR FORCE: For AFA the candidate should have cleared 12th standard (with physics and mathematics) and having a degree from recognized university or bachelor’s degree in engineering/technology.

CDS eligibility for Personal Interview (SSB)

Personal interview is taken after the candidates have successfully cleared the written examination. In personal interview the candidates are tested for Intelligence and Personality test which is conducted by Service Selection Board (SSB). The test is spread across 3 to 4 days where the aspirants are judged upon their capabilities, intelligence and personality. The candidates should be prepared for Psychological Tests, Group Discussion, Intelligence tests, Outdoor Activities and their opinion on issues.

CDS eligibility for Medical Interview

Both the aspirants (Male and Female) have to go under medical examination which is also spread over the period of 3-4 days. During the medical examination they are tested for physically fitness to join the forces. The candidates should be physically fit as per the CDS format. You should check your weight and would also advice to get yourself a medical checkup before you go for the medical interview. The medical interview is after you have cleared the SSB interview. The test is different for all the three forces – Army, Navy and Air Force.

Some generic tips to success:

Syllabus- The best way to prepare is to smartly go through the previous question papers this will give you an insight on how to prepare for the examination and what subjects should you focus more. Yet prepare all subjects.

Maintain Routine: As army life is highly disciplined and routine based, it will be best to start following a routine life. This will also help you with preparation on subjects for the written exam and will help you improve on physical fitness. With routine and time management you will have an extra edge.

Coaching: Feel free to join a coaching center for the preparation for the CDS examination. Coaching helps with preparation as there are experienced guides to help you. You will also meet other aspirants which will give you company to prepare and learn from each other.

Build upon Confidence: Army life is all about Courage and confidence. Have a positive attitude towards life and preparation for CDS. Confidence is resistance to fear just by overcoming your fears you could feel enough confidence to face the CDS.

Helpful Links:


Helpful Books:

  • CDS Chapterwise – Sectionwise Solved Papers 1st Edition
  • Pathfinder CDS: Combined Defence Services Entrance Examination 1st Edition
  • Combined Defence Services Exam Guide written by R.P. Datason
  • Arihant CDS Entrance Examination (Self Study Guide) written by Dr. Satyajeet Rawat, Brijesh Tripathi & Neetika Goyal

The team at jobs without degrees wishes you all the best for the CDS preparation and examination. Do well!!!