Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam, Eligibility, Pattern, Cut-off

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Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam, Eligibility, Pattern, Cut-off

What is CDS Examination?

Combined Defence Services commonly known as CDS is conducted twice a year by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for graduate candidates who wish to pursue their career as commissioned officers in Army, Navy and Air Force.

Eligibility Criteria For CDS Exam

  • It is important for the candidate to be unmarried and should not be a widower or should not be a divorcee.
  • The highlights of eligibility standards as per Category, Age Limit, Gender and Marital Status are tabulated below:

CDS Educational Qualification

All the candidates should have completed their Graduation or should be appearing for the final year degree examination. The individual educational qualification required for each institution is discussed below.

  • I.M.A. and OTA: Degree of a recognized University or equivalent.
  • Indian Naval Academy (INA): Degree in Engineering from a recognized university/institution.
  • Air Force Academy: Degree of a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Note: The candidates who are in the final years of their Degree Course and have yet to pass the final year Degree examination are also eligible to apply. Such candidates are required to submit the proof of passing the requisite qualifying examination by a date to be specified in the Commission’s Notice for the Examination.

CDS 2019 Age and Marital Status Criteria

The candidate should go through the cut off dates for age limit and marital status criteria before filling the online Application form for CDS examination:

For Indian Military Academy (IMA): 19 years to 24 years

For Indian Naval Academy (INA): 19 years to 22 years

For Air Force Academy: 19 years to 23 years

For Officers’ Training Academy : 19 years to 25 years

Nationality

  • Candidates must be citizens of India.
  • Subjects of Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, Burma, Sri Lanka & various East African Countries are also eligible.
  • Candidates will have to produce a certificate issued by authorities of Government of India certifying the claim.

Marital Status

  • Candidate should be unmarried to apply for IMA, INA & AFA.
  • Male Applicants at OTA are exempted from this restriction.
  • Unmarried women, issueless widows and divorcees can apply for OTA.

Physical Standards

  • Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Examination (I), 2019 as per guidelines of UPSC.

CDS Exam Pattern:-

CDS Exam Pattern: The competitive exam comprises of two stages viz:

  • Written Exam
  • Interview for intelligence and personality test

The subjects of CDS written exam, the time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject is tabulated below:

For Indian Military, Indian Naval and Air Force Academy
Subject Duration Max. Marks
English 2 hours 100
General Knowledge 2 hours 100
Elementary Mathematics 2 hours 100

For Officers’ Training Academy

Subject Duration Max. Marks
English 2 hours 100
General Knowledge 2 hours 100

Important Points of CDS Exam Pattern

Mode of Exam Offline only (Pen and paper mode)
Number of Questions asked 300 MCQ Type
Number of questions in OTA 200 MCQ Type
Maximum Marks 300 and 200 (OTA)
Duration of Exam 2 hours (120 minutes) for each paper
Medium Hindi or English
Negative marking One third mark deducted for every incorrect response

CDS Marking Scheme

Negative marking is applicable for every wrong marked answer. In CDS paper, each question carries 4 options and out of which only 1 option is correct. For each incorrect answer, 1/3 of the marks will be deducted. More than one option marked is treated as incorrect. However, if a question is left unanswered there will be no negative marking.

The following table explains the detailed marking scheme of the exam.

CDS Paper English GK Mathematics
Maximum Marks 100 100 100
Marks for Correct answer +1 marks for each correct option +1 marks for each correct option +1 marks for each correct option
Negative marking -0.33 marks for each wrong answer -0.33 marks for each wrong answer -0.33 marks for each wrong answer

The following table shows Marking scheme for 2019 OTA (Officers Training Academy):

CDS Paper English GK
Maximum Marks 100 100
Marks for Correct answer +1 marks for each correct option +1 marks for each correct option
Negative marking -0.33 marks for each wrong answer -0.33 marks for each wrong answer

Distribution of Questions

Equal weight-age is given to all the sections- GK, Mathematics and English.

Paper Number of questions
English 100
Mathematics 100
GK 100

The selection of the candidates is on the basis of marks scored in the interviews. Total marks for interview for Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy is 300 marks, whereas 200 marks are allotted for interview for OTA.

CDS Intelligence and Personality Test Pattern

SSB interview will be the 2nd part of the selection procedure. SSB Interview will contain two stages i.e. Stage 1 and Stage 2. Candidates qualify the stage 1 exam will be called for stage 2.

Stage 1: It is an OIR (Officer Intelligence Rating) Test which contains Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT). Candidates will be shortlisted as per their performance in OIR test and PP and DT.

Stage 2: Candidates passing stage 1 will be called for this stageThis part consists of Group Testing Officer Tasks, Interview, Conference and Psychology Test. These tests are organized in four days.

CDS Cut off 2019 for Written exam

The cut off score of CDS written exam is the qualifying marks secured by candidates to become eligible for Services Selection Board (SSB). CDS cut off 2019 for written test will be the aggregate marks scored by last qualified candidates as per their category. As per the analysis of CDS last years cut off candidates have to score minimum of 20 percent in each subject in written exam to be eligible for CDS 2019. CDS cut off 2019 for written test for IMA, INA and IFA is calculated out of the total score of 300. The cut off score for OTA (Men & Women) is calculated out of 200. The Final cut off of CDS 1 exam will be released in December 2019.

Previous Years CDS cut off
Candidates can check previous years CDS 1 cut off analysis and cut off, score of written test and from the table given below.

CDS 2017 Cutoff:-

CDS Levels CDS 1 2017 CDS 2 2017
IMA 125 120
OTA(Men) 82 86
OTA(Women) 82 86
AFA 144 135
INA 118 111

CDS 2016 Cutoff:-

CDS Levels CDS 1 2016 CDS 2 2016
IMA 72 105
OTA(Men) 68 72
OTA(Women) 68 72
AFA 123 135
INA 63 90

CDS 2015 Cutoff:-

CDS Levels CDS 1 2015 CDS 2 2015
IMA 70 105
OTA(Men) 65 84
OTA(Women) 65 84
AFA 120 138
INA 62 99

CDS 2014 Cutoff:-

CDS Levels CDS 2014 Cutoff
IMA 99
OTA(Men) 59
OTA(Women) 59
AFA 117
INA 60

CDS 2013 Cutoff:-

CDS Levels CDS 2013 Cutoff
IMA 63
OTA(Men) 57
OTA(Women) 57
AFA 113
INA 55

What is SSB Interview?

The cut-off score of final selection is the marks secured by candidates in written as well as the Services Selection Board (SSB). The final selection process includes 2 stages. Stage 1 comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and picture perception. Only those candidates who qualify at stage 1 will be admitted to the stage 2 whereas the remaining will have to return. Stage 2 comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference which is conducted for four days.

CDS Cut-off for Final Selection

The final selection marks are the marks of last recommended candidate according to the post. After adding the marks of written as well as final selection marks the all India merit list is prepared for the admission to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (IFA) and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA). The final CDS cut off 2019 will be released in December.

CDS cut off 2017 (Final)

Academy

CDS 1

CDS 2

Marks of Last recommended candidate

IMA

249

244

INA

241

237

IFA

268

260

OTA (Men)

163

167

OTA (Women)

164

171

CDS cut off 2016 (Final)

Academy

CDS 1

CDS 2

Marks of Last recommended candidate

IMA

214

227

INA

217

225

IFA

249

258

OTA (Men)

150

157

OTA (Women)

157

159

CDS cut off 2015 (Final)

Academy

CDS 1

CDS 2

Marks of Last recommended candidate

IMA

225

227

INA

225

227

IFA

264

269

OTA (Men)

168

16

OTA (Women)

172

170

CDS Cut off 2014 (Final)

Academy

CDS 1

CDS 2

Marks of Last recommended candidate

IMA

224

225

INA

224

206

IFA

257

256

OTA (Men)

268

154

OTA (Women)

170

152

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