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CDS Exam 2017 - Eligibility, Dates, Patterns & Tips

The CDS Exam (Combined Defence Services) is conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) twice in a year, for selecting suitable candidates for Indian Military Academy (IMA), Officers Training Academy (OTA), Indian Naval Academy (INA) and Indian Air Force Academy (AFA). Mostly, the exam is held twice a year, in February and November. Notifications for CDS exam are mostly released in the months of October and June. The exam is open for unmarried graduates only. Successful candidates are interviewed by the SSB (Services Selection Board) taken into respective Academies.

CDS Exam 2017 - Eligbility, Dates, Patterns & Tips

CDS 2017 Eligibility Criteria

Age Criteria



Indian Military Academy

19 – 24 yrs

Naval Academy

19-25 yrs

Officers’ Training Academy

19-25 yrs

Air Force Academy

19-24 yrs

CDS Educational Qualifications

Indian Military Academy  Bachelor’s Degree from a Recognized University
Naval Academy  Bachelor’s Degree with Physics & Mathematics or BE/BTech
Officers’ Training Academy  Bachelor’s Degree from a Recognized University
Air Force Academy  Bachelor’s Degree with Physics & Mathematics or BE or BTech

CDS Exam Patterns

The Combined Defence Services examination tests how good is a candidate’s proficiency in English Language, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics. Each of these papers carry 100 marks each and are objective in nature. There are negative marking for wrong answers. So candidates have to be very careful.





General Knowledge


Elementary Mathematics




However, for Officers’ Training Academy exam there is no Elementary Mathematics paper.

CDS Previous Question Papers


Question Papers 2016


English Question Paper

Elementary Mathematics

Mathematics Question Paper

General Knowledge

GK Question Paper

CDS Exam Dates

  • Application should be completed by December, 2016
  • Exam will be conducted in February, 2017

How to prepare for CDS Exam?

Check out these preparation tips to clear the CDS exam:

Know the syllabus – There are three subjects – English, G.K. and Elementary Mathematics. Go through the syllabus first so that you can clear all math concepts, grammar rules and build up your General Knowledge and work on your doubts.

Maintain a study timetable – Nothing great can be achieved if you don’t put in efforts and stick to a timetable. It will ensure that you form a habit of studying  on a regular basis and cover more topics and solve different mathematical problems.

Build your G.K. –  General Knowledge is quite a vast subject. Ensure that you read daily newspapers, magazines, keep an eye on what’s happening around the world, government, political, economic or climatic changes.

Solve previous question papers – Solving question papers of previous years is of utmost importance.  You can understand what type of questions are asked by studying the patterns of old question papers.

Accuracy is key – When you attempt objective questions, it is essential that you select 100% correct answer. Selecting a wrong answer will reduce your marks  as negative marking would be there. So be cent percent sure of the accuracy of your answers.

If you are looking for UPSC CDS Coaching, post your requirement here.

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Share your thoughts with the community or ask a question

Prashanth 01/03/2017

I am at present in 3 year and after the sem exam I will be in 4 year so can I apply for CDS with dob 27/11/1996.

Geeta 08/11/2016

What is the difficulty level of CDS Exam?

Meena 08/11/2016

CDS English paper - What type of questions are asked?

Sunita | 09/11/2016

Mostly objective in nature.
0 0

Prakash 08/11/2016

How long it takes to prepare for CDS exam?

Sunita | 09/11/2016

It should takes at least 3 - 4 months, but it depends how clear is your basic concepts.
0 0

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