Back

UPSC CDS Previous Year Question Papers with Answers Keys and Solutions

About Exam

The "Combined Defence Services" (CDS) Examination is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

The UPSC has released the notification for the Combined Defence Services Examination . The notification for these two examinations is usually released in the month of August and November and the examinations are conducted in the month of February and November.

Those Candidates qualified in the written exam. Then they are shortlisted for an interview by a Services Selection Board which evaluates a candidate's suitability for a career in the Indian Armed Forces. 

Exam Pattern

CDS (I) & (II) Scheme of Examination:

The competitive examination comprises:

  1. Written examination
  2. Interview for intelligence and personality test (vide Part ‘B’ of this Appendix) of such candidates as may be called for an interview at one of the Services Selection Centres.

The subjects of the written examination, the time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject will be as follows

Category/Post

Subject

Duration

Maximum Marks

CDS Examination (II) 

For Admissions To Indian Military Academy,
Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy

English 2 Hrs 100
General Knowledge 2 Hrs 100
Elementary Mathematics 2 Hrs 100
Total 300
For Admissions To Officers' Training Academy English 2 Hrs 100
General Knowledge 2 Hrs 100
Total 200

CDS Examination (I) 

For Admissions To Indian Military Academy,
Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy
English 2 Hrs 100
General Knowledge 2 Hrs 100
Elementary Mathematics 2 Hrs 100
Total 300
For Admissions To Officers' Training Academy English 2 Hrs 100
General Knowledge 2 Hrs 100
Total 200

Note:

Maximum marks allotted to the written exam and to the interviews will be equal for each course i.e. the maximum marks allotted to the written exam and to the interviews will be 300, 300, 300 and 200 each for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers’ Training Academy respectively

The papers in all the subjects will consist of objective type questions only. The question papers (Test Booklets) of General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics will be set bilingually in Hindi as well as English In the question papers, wherever necessary, questions involving the metric system of Weights and Measures only will be set

The candidates are not permitted to use a calculator for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets). They should not, therefore, bring the same inside the Examination Hall.

2. Intelligence & Personality Test:

The SSB procedure consists of the two-stage Selection process - stage I and stage II. Only those candidates who clear the stage I are permitted to appear for stage II. The details are:

  1. Stage I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests are Picture Perception* Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on a combination of performance in OIR Test and PP&DT.
  2. Stage II Comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days. The details of these tests are given on the website joinindianarmy
  3. The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors viz. The Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist. There are no separate weightage for each test.

The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in all the test. In addition, marks for Conference are also allotted based on the initial performance of the Candidate in the three techniques and decision of the Board. All these have equal weightage.

The various tests of IO, GTO and Psych are designed to bring out the presence/absence of Officer Like Qualities and their trainability in a candidate. Accordingly, candidates are Recommended or Not Recommended at the SSB.  

Eligibility

UPSC CDS Exam Eligibility Criteria

Physical Criteria

  • Candidates must be physically and mentally fit according to prescribed physical standards for admission to CDS (I) & CDS (II)  
  • A candidate who has resigned or withdrawn on disciplinary grounds from any of the training academies of Armed Forces is not eligible to apply
  • Permanent body tattoos are only permitted on inner face of the forearm, i.e. from inside of elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of palm/back (dorsal) side of the hand
  • Permanent body tattoos on any other part of the body are not acceptable and candidates will be barred from further selection. Tribes with tattoo marks on the face or body as per their existing custom and traditions will be permitted on a case to case basis
  • The concessions are not applicable for Air Force Height and Weight standards are mentioned i the official notification for Army and Navy only. Interpolation for weights against height not mentioned may be done  

Nationality:

A candidate must be either:

  1. a Citizen of India, or
  2. a subject of Nepal, or
  3. a subject of Bhutan, or
  4. a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  5. a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka or East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or from Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Note:

  • Provided that a candidate belonging to categories 1, 2, 3 and 5 above shall be a person in whose favor a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India
  • Certificate of eligibility will not, however, be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal

Educational Qualification:

  • For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy-Degree of a recognized University or equivalent.
  • For Indian Naval Academy-Degree in Engineering from a recognized University/Institution.
  • For Air Force Academy-Degree of a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Note:

  1. Graduates with the first choice as Army/Navy/Air Force are to submit proof of graduation provisional certificates on the date of commencement of the SSB Interview at the SSB.
  2. Candidates who are studying in the final year/semester Degree course and have yet to pass the final year degree examination can also apply provided candidate should not have any present backlog up to the last semester/year for which results have been declared up to the time of submission of application and they will be required to submit proof of passing the degree examination at the time of commencement of course.
  3. Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defense Services Examination (I) & (II), as per guidelines are given in the official notification.

Age Limit :

Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status for CDS I & II 2019:

For IMA - Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than January 02, 1996, and not later than January 01, 2001, only are eligible.

For Indian Naval Academy - Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than January 02, 1996, and not later than January 01, 2001, only are eligible.

For Air Force Academy - 20 to 24 years as on January 01, 2020, i.e. born not earlier than January 02, 1996, and not later than January 01, 2000, (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable up to 26 yrs, i.e. born not earlier than January 02, 1994, and not later than January 01, 2000) only are eligible.

For Officers' Training Academy — (SSC Course for men) unmarried male candidates born not earlier than January 02, 1995, and not later than January 01, 2021, only are eligible.

For Officers' Training Academy - (SSC Women Non-Technical Course) Unmarried women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible. They should have been born not earlier than January 02, 1995, and not later than January 01, 2001.

Note:

Candidate below 25 years of age must be unmarried. Marriage is not permitted during training. Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply but during training period they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live with family out of the premises.



UPSC CDS Exam Writtent test Syllabus

The standard of the papers in Elementary Mathematics will be of Matriculation level. The standard of Papers in other subjects will approximately be such as amay be expected of a graduate of an Indian University.


SYLLABUS ENGLISH (Code No.01)

The question paper will be designed to test the candidates' understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE (Code No. 02) 

General knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of everyday observation and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject. The paper will also include questions on History of India and Geography of a nature which candidate should be able to answer without special study.

ELEMENTARY MATHEMATICS (Code No. 03)

ARITHMETIC
Number System - Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions. Unitary method, time and distance, time and work, percentages, applications to simple and compound interest, profit and loss, ration and proportion, variation. 

Elementary Number Theory - Division algorithm. Prime and composite numbers. Tests of divisibility by 2,3,4,5,9 and 11. Multiples and factors. Factorization Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M Euclidean algorithm. Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables.


ALGEBRA

Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M., Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns - analytical and graphical solutions. Simultaneous linear inequations in two variables and their solutions. Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or in equations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions. Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices.


TRIGONOMETRY

Sine ×, cosine ×, Tangent × when 0° < × < 90° Values of sin ×, cos × and tan ×, for ×= 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°Simple trigonometric identities.Use of trigonometric tables.Simple cases of heights and distances.

GEOMETRY

Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Theorems on (i) Properties of angles at a point, (ii)  Parallel lines, (iii) Sides and angles of a triangle, (iv) Congruency of triangles, (v) Similar triangles, (vi) Concurrence of medians and altitudes, (vii) Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle and square, (viii) Circles and its properties including tangents and normals, (ix) Loci.


MENSURATION

Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle, Areas of figures which can be split
up into these figures (Field Book), Surface area and volume of cuboids, lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, surface area and volume of spheres.


STATISTICS

Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation frequency polygons,
histograms, bar charts, pie charts etc. Measures of central tendency.