Combined Defence Services Examination

Eligibility Criteria
UPSC CDS Exam Eligibility, CDS Exam Eligibility
  • For Indian Military Academy/Officers' Training Academy: Degree from a recognized university or equivalent
  • For Naval Academy: Bachelor of Engineering
  • For Air Force Academy: Degree of a recognized University with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level or Bachelor of Engineering
Bachelor of Technology
Age Limit
Indian Military Academy19-24 years
Air Force Academy19-24
Naval Academy19-22 years 
Officers’ Training Academy19-25 years 

Scheme of Examination

Indian Military Academy / Air Force Academy / Naval Academy

All the papers are of objective type.
General Knowledge100
Elementary Mathematics100
Officers' Training Academy

All the papers are of objective type. UPSC CDS Entrance Exam Syllabus
General Knowledge100
Candidates successful in the written exam are then called for an interview by a Services Selection Board which evaluates a candidate's suitability for a career in the Indian Armed Forces. The SSB interview lasts for approximately a week, during which a candidate undergoes various physical and psychological tests to ascertain whether or not he is officer material. Apart from SSB interview, Air Force academy candidates are tested for Pilot Aptitude Battery test [PABT]. After these tests, candidates undergone medical examination before finally admitted into the above mentioned academies, and after successful completion of training, they are inducted into the armed forces.
Armed forces offer very exciting career to young men and women in several fields. Career in the forces, in addition as a career, is also an adventure in itself. To ensure that appropriate candidates are chosen, a comprehensive selection process is adopted by the armed forces through Service Selection Board (SSB) interview. This system of selection is based on the “trait theory” of leadership which assumes that every leader must have some specific and pre-determined leadership traits. It also presumes that such traits can be acquired by a candidate with the passage of time meaning thereby that a person once rejected in an SSB interview is likely to succeed if he acquires some of the traits with the passage of time. The present system of selection, although is long and takes four to five days, is thus based on an objective assessment of each candidate in which the qualities like initiative, alertness, judgement, courage, physical fitness endurance, cooperation, group planning, decisiveness,knowledge, etc. are judged. In addition, psychological and mental robustness of the candidate vis-a-vis requirements of the Armed Forces is judged and finally an overall assessment of the personality of a candidate is made by way of an exhaustive personal interviews.
Officers qualities
• Effective Intelligence. • Reasoning Ability. • Power of Expression. • Self Confidence. • Determination. • Organizing Ability. • Initiative. • Courage. • Cooperation. • Sense of Responsibility. • Stamina. • Group Influencing Ability. • Liveliness. • Social Adaptability. • Speed of Decision.
   These qualities are tested through SSB interview.