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 Pattern

The CDS 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] Stage I: Written Examination

CDS I 2019 is a written exam consisting of 2-3 subjects depending on course applied for. It will consist of only objective Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Each paper (English/GK/Mathematics) carries 100 marks.

For candidates applying to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Indian Air Force Academy, they will be required to appear for 3 papers- English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics. For Officers Training Academy, candidates will need to take two papers – English and GK.

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.

Marking Scheme

  • Every MCQ will carry 4 options out of which only 1 option is correct.
  • Each correct answer carries 1 mark.
  • Negative marking will be applied for every incorrectly marked answer.
  • For each incorrect answer, 1/3rd of the marks will be deducted i.e., 0.33 marks.
  • If the question is left unanswered, there will be no negative marking applied.

Other Features of the Written Exam for CDS

The papers in all the subjects will consist of objective type questions only – MCQs.

The question papers for GK and Elementary Mathematics will be set in Hindi as well as English.

In questions involving measurements, the metric system of Weights and Measures only will be set.

Use of scribe is not permitted under CDS guidelines.

The Commission has the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any/all subjects of the examination. Thus, individual as well as total cutoff may apply.

The candidates are not permitted the use of calculators.

B] Stage II: SSB Process (Interview and PT)

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.

(a) Stage I Details

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 Details

  • 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.