UPSC Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination

UPSC CDS I 2019 Exam

● Date of Admit card Released – Three weeks before the examination.

● Date of Examination – 02 February 2020 (SUNDAY)



UPSC-CDS Articles · UPSC-CDS Groups

UPSC CDS-I 2019 Exam Information

The CDS exam is conducted twice in a year by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment of young officers to the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Airforce. The candidates who qualify the written examination will be further called for the SSB process which occurs in two-step process i.e. Psychological Test and Intelligence Test.

The application process for CDS I took place form 8th August to 4th September 2018 and the exam will be conducted on the 18th of November, 2018.

Vacancies for UPSC CDS I 2019

Combined Defence Services  (CDS I) Examination will be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on 18th November, 2019 for admission to the under mentioned courses. Vacancies for posts are mentioned alongside the course name.

Name of the Course Approximate No. of Vacancies
1. Indian Military Academy, Dehradun— 150th (DE) Course commencing in January, 2021 [including 13 vacancies reserved for NCC `C’ Certificate (Army Wing) holders] 100
2. Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala—Course commencing in January, 2021 Executive (General Service)/Hydro [including 06 vacancies reserved for NCC ‘C’ Certificate holders (Naval Wing)]. 45
3. Air Force Academy, Hyderabad—(Pre-Flying) Training Course commencing in January, 2021 i.e. No. 206 F(P) Course. [03 vacancies are reserved for NCC `C’ Certificate (Air Wing) holders through NCC Spl. Entry] 32
4. Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai (Madras)— 113th SSC (Men) Course (NT) commencing in April, 2021 [(i) 170 vacs for SSC (Men) (NT) UPSC, (ii) 05 vacs for JAG (Men) (NT) April, 2021 Non UPSC and (iii) 50 vacs for NCC Special entry Non UPSC]. 225
5. Officers Training Academy, Chennai—27th  SSC Women (Non-Technical) Course commencing in April, 2021. 16

UPSC CDS I 2019 Exam Important Dates

Date of Notification Last Date for receipt of Applications Date of commencement of Exam Duration of Exam
Examination (I)


26.11.2018 03.02.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
Examination (II)


08.07.2019 08.09.2019 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
Examination (I)


19.11.2019 02.02.2020 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY
Examination (II)


25.08.2020 08.11.2020 (SUNDAY) 1 DAY

UPSC CDS I Eligibility 2019

(A) Nationality

A candidate must be unmarried and must either be:
(i) Indian citizen

(ii) a Nepalese/Bhutanese subject

(iv) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India to permanently settle here before 1st January 1962

(v) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or Vietnam to permanently settle in India.

(B) Age Limits, Sex and Marital Status 

(i) For Indian Military Academy (IMA) —Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January, 1997 and not later than 1st January, 2002 only are eligible.

(ii) For Indian Naval Academy (INA) —Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than
2nd January, 1997 and not later than 1st January, 2002 only are eligible.

(iii) For Air Force Academy (AFA) —

20 to 24 years as on 1st January, 2021 i.e. born not earlier than 2nd January, 1997 and not later than 1st January, 2001 (Upper age limit for  andidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable upto 26 yrs.
i.e. born not earlier than 2nd January, 1995 and not later than 1st January, 2001) only are eligible.

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.

(iv) For Officers’ Training Academy—(SSC Course for men)
unmarried male
candidates born not earlier than 2nd January, 1996 and not later than 1st January, 2002
only are eligible.

(v) For Officers’ Training Academy—(SSC Women Non-Technical Course)
Unmarried women, issue less widows who have not remarried and issue less divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible. They should have been born not earlier than 2nd January, 1996 and not later than 1st January, 2002.

NOTE : Male divorcee/widower candidates cannot be treated as unmarried male
for the purpose of their admission in IMA/INA/AFA/OTA, Chennai courses and
accordingly they are not eligible for these courses.

**Candidates should note that only the Date of Birth as recorded in the
Matriculation/Secondary School Examination Certificate or an equivalent certificate on the date of submission of applications will be accepted by the Commission and no subsequent request for its change will be considered or granted. **

(C) Educational Qualifications

(i) For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy –Degree of a recognised University or equivalent.

(ii) For Indian Naval Academy – Degree in Engineering from a recognised University/Institution.

(iii) For Air Force Academy Degree of a recognised University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Graduates with 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.

Final year/final semester candidates studying in a degree course are also eligible to apply, ONLY if they have no backlogs up to the last semester or year that results had been declared for. Proof of having passed the Degree examination must be provided and sent to the IHQ of Min. of Defence (Army) before respective course commences.

(D) Physical Standards

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Examination (II), 2018 as per guidelines

For more detailed information about eligibility clauses, candidates may refer to the Official CDS Notification  Official CDS I 2019 Notification

UPSC CDS I 2019 Application Form

I. Apply for CDS I 2019

  • Candidates are required to apply Online using the link
  • Detailed instructions for filling up Online Applications are available on the above mentioned website.
  • Applications for CDS I were closed on 19th November 2019
Candidates can use this link to apply for CDS exam up to the 3rd of September 2018 Application Link for CDS I 2019 Exam

II. Application Fee

Candidates (excepting Female/SC/ST candidates who are exempted from payment of fee) are required to pay a fee of Rs. 200/- (Rupees Two Hundred Only)

Fee: Rs. 200/- (Except for exempted categories)

Mode of Payment:

This can be done either by

  • depositing the money in any Branch of SBI by cash, OR
  • using net banking facility of SBI, State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur/State Bank of Hyderabad/State Bank of Mysore/State Bank of Patiala/State Bank of Travancore OR
  • using Visa/Master Credit/Debit Card.

NOTE: If you opt for “Pay by Cash” mode, you are needed to print the system generated Pay in-slip during registration [Part-II] and deposit the fee at the counter of SBI Branch on the next working day only.

III. Application Documents

Scanned Document in .jpg format  File Size
Photograph Scan 7kB to 40 kB
Signature Scan 5kB to 40 kB

UPSC CDS II2019 Admit Card

I. For Written Exam

The eligible candidates shall be issued an e-Admit Card three weeks before the commencement of the examination. The e-Admit Card will be made available on the UPSC website [] for downloading by candidates. No Admit Card will be sent by post.

Candidates can click here to download CDS-I Admit Card 2019 expected in November 1st week – link to be updated

II. For SSB Process

Candidates who have qualified in the written exam are required to register themselves on the recruiting directorate website in order to enable them to receive call up for SSB interview

Important: The email ID registered with DG Recruiting Website [www.] and that given to UPSC must be same and unique to the applicant.

UPSC CDS I 2019 Exam Pattern

A. Scheme of Examination

The Competitive examination comprises:
(a) Written examination
(b) SSB Process i.e., an interview for intelligence and personality test of such candidates as may be called for interview at one of the Services Selection Centres.

A] Written Examination Details

(a) For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy:—

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
Elementary Mathematics 2 Hours  100

(b) For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy :—

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100

The maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be equal for each course i.e. the maximum marks allotted to the written examination 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.

Other Features of the Exam:

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.

Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write answers for them.

The Commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects of the examination.

The candidates are not permitted to use calculator for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets).

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

B] SSB Process Details

(a) Stage I

Stage I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and Picture Perception and Description Test (PP&DT).

The candidates will be shortlisted based on combination of performance in OIR Test and PP&DT.

(b) Stage II

  • 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
  • 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.

UPSC CDS I 2019 Syllabus

I. Standard of the Exam

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 may be expected of a graduate of an Indian University.

II. UPSC CDS I 2019 Syllabus

i) English Syllabus (Code No. 01)

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

ii) General Knowledge Syllabus (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.

iii) Elementary Mathematics Syllabus (Code No. 03)

a) Arithmetic  
Number System—Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, substraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions. Unitary method, time and distance, time and work, percentages, applications to simple and compound interest, profit and loss, ratio 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. Factorisation Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M. Euclidean algorithm. Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables.

b) 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 inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one 21 variable & their solutions. Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices.

c) 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.

d) 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.

e) 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.

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

UPSC CDS I Result 2019

The CDS Result (I) 2019 is expected to be declared in the month of December 2020. The written exam was conducted on 02 Feburary 2020

After the declaration of CDS I Result, selected candidates (who clear the Written Exam) will receive call letter for the next round of the CDS selection process – the SSB Interview.

How to Check Written Exam Result

Step 1 Visit the UPSC official website:
Step 3 Select “Active Examinations” from the menu.
Step 4 Click on Combined Defence Services Examination (I), 2019”.
Step 5 Click on the link provided for Combined Defence Services (I) Written Examination Result 2019.
Step 6 The page will open to a PDF with Roll Number of selected candidates. Press “Ctrl + F” and search for your Roll Number.
Step 7 If your name appears in this list, you have qualified the Written Exam and may take a print out of the PDF for reference.


Union Public Service Commission conducts the Combined Defence Service (CDS) examination twice every year. UPSC releases the cut off which is the base for selection process as candidates will be selected only if they score the minimum qualifying marks. Cut off is the minimum qualifying marks required to appear for the next round and be successful in the competitive examination. The growing popularity of Indian Armed Forces among Indian youth has affected the cut off over the recent years. There has been an exceptional rise and the reason is the lucrative and stable career the forces provide. The cut off depends on various factors which are as follows:-

  1. Number of Candidates appearing in the examination
  2. Difficulty level of the selection process
  3. Average marks scored by the batch
  4. Previous Year Cut off Trends
  5. Total Vacancies available in the Academy

Expected Cut off

The Expected cut off of CDS Examination 2019 is as follows:-


Expected Cut off

Indian Military Academy (IMA) 128 – 130
Indian Naval Academy (INA) 116 – 118
Air Force Academy (AFA) 136 – 138
Officers Training Academy (OTA) – Men 92 – 95
Officers Training Academy – OTA – Women 92 – 95

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