CDS 2020 Exam - Dates & Details of CDS I And II

 The Combined Defense Service exam commonly known as CDS exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. CDS exam is conducted twice in a year, CDS I in February and CDS II in September. 

CDS 2020 admit card released! UPSC has released the e-admit card for CDS 2 exam on October 15th. Candidates appearing for the CDS Exam on November 8th can download the CDS Admit Card from the official website.  Download CDS Admit Card 2020 here. 

Lakhs of aspirants appear for this National level Defense Entrance exam to get admission in the various Defense training academies-

  • Indian Military Academy (IMA) – Dehradun
  • Indian Naval Academy (INA) – Ezhimala
  • Air Force Academy (AFA) –  Hyderabad
  • Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) – Chennai

This article will provide aspirants with the latest updates of CDS exam 2020 and detailed information on various aspects of the Combined Defense Services exam I and II. 

Table of Content:

    1. CDS Exam Updates
    2. CDS Exam Dates
    3. CDS Vacancy
    4. CDS Exam Eligibility
    5. CDS Application & Registration
    6. CDS Exam Centres
    7. CDS Exam Pattern & Syllabus
    8. CDS Admit Card
    9. CDS Result
    10. CDS Salary
    11. CDS Preparation

Aspirants of various Government Exams can know the details of upcoming examinations on the linked page. 

Eying for a future in Defense services? Prepare for CDS exam and complement your preparation with the following to ace the exam- 

CDS Exam – Updates

CDS 2021- UPSC to release CDS I 2021 notification on October 28, 2020. Last date to fill the CDS I 2020 application form is November 17th. As per the official calendar, the CDS I exam date 2021 for written exam is February 7th, 2021.

Aspirants of CDS 2021 can check the UPSC exam calendar 2021 to kick start their preparation. 

CDS Exam 2020 – 

  1. UPSC released the list of candidates whose application forms are rejected.
  2. CDS I 2020 result has been released on March 23, 2020.

CDS 2019 – UPSC has announced the CDS II 2019 final result. A total of 196 candidates have been recommended for selection to IMA, INA and AFA. 

CDS Exam Dates

UPSC through the official exam calendar announces the tentative CDS exam date so that aspirants can start their preparation much earlier. To announce the commencement of recruitment and the final CDS exam date, UPSC publishes official notification of Combined Defense Services exam on its website.

Given below are the UPSC CDS exam date 2021 and 2020 for reference. 

CDS Exam Date 2021

CDS 2021 exam recruitment is expected to commence in October 2020. As per the latest UPSC calendar, CDS exam date 2021 is given below-

CDS I 2021 Exam Dates
CDS I exam event CDS 2021 Dates (Tentative)
CDS I Notification 2021 October 28th 2020
CDS I Online Application start date October 28th 2020
CDS I Online Application last date November 17th 2020
CDS I Admit Card 2021 To be announced
CDS I Written exam 2021  February 7th 2021
CDS I Result 2021 To be announced

Similarly, the commission has scheduled to release the CDS II 2021 notification by August 2021. The CDS II 2021 exam date is as mentioned below:

CDS II 2021 Exam Dates
CDS II exam event CDS 2021 Dates (Tentative)
CDS II Notification 2021 August 4th 2021
CDS II Online Application start date August 4th 2021
CDS II Online Application last date August 24th 2021
CDS II Admit Card 2021 To be announced
CDS II Written exam 2021  November 14th 2021
CDS II 2021 Result  To be announced

CDS 2020 Exam Dates

UPSC has successfully conducted CDS I 2020 exam on February 2nd and has also announced the result for the same. The table below highlights the CDS exam date 2020.

CDS I 2020 Exam Dates
CDS I exam event CDS 2020 Dates
CDS I 2020 notification October 30th 2019
CDS I Online Application  October 30th 2019 to November 19th 2019
CDS I Admit Card 2020 January 9th 2020
CDS I 2020 Written exam  February 2nd 2020
CDS I 2020 Result March 23rd 2020

Recruitment for UPSC CDS II 2020 exam is ongoing, the exam is scheduled on November 8th. Go through the CDS II exam dates given below in detail. 

CDS II 2020 Exam Dates
CDS II exam event CDS 2020 Dates
CDS II 2020 notification August 5th 2020
CDS II Online Application  August 5th 2020 to August 25th 2020
CDS II Admit Card 2020 October 15th 2020
CDS II 2020 Written exam  November 8th 2020
CDS II 2020 Result December 2020 (tentative)
Note – With the releases of CDS 2 admit card on October 15th, UPSC stated in the notification that ‘in case the photograph is not visible or available on the e-admit card, candidates are advised to carry three (3) identical photographs (one photograph for each session) along with the printout of e-Admit Card at the Venue of the Examination for appearing at the examination with an undertaking’.

CDS Vacancy

The Union Public Service Commission in the notification of CDS exam mentions the approximate number of CDS vacancies for different courses of Defense training. 

Aspirants have to wait till the notification is announced to know the CDS Vacancy 2021.

In the meantime, candidates can refer to the CDS vacancy 2020 for both I and II exam as given in the notification. 

UPSC announced a total of 344 vacancies for CDS II 2020 exam while that of CDS I exam total number of vacancies released was 418.

The bifurcation of CDS vacancies 2020 is as mentioned below:

CDS Vacancy 2020
CDS I vacancy 2020  Army/Navy/Air Force – 177 

Officers Training Academy – 241 (SSC Men -225, SSC Women – 16)

CDS II Vacancy 2020 Army/Navy/Air Force – 158

Officers Training Academy – 186 (SSC Men- 169, SSC Women – 17)

Detailed information on vacancies is available on the CDS Notification page linked here.

CDS Exam Eligibility

Candidates who wish to apply for CDS 2021 must meet the eligibility conditions of CDS exam as prescribed by the UPSC on the official notice.

The CDS exam eligibility goes as under – 

  1. Candidate must be a citizen of India
  2. Only male candidates can apply for INA/IMA/AFA/OTA
  3. Women candidates are eligible to apply only for OTA
  4. Only unmarried candidates can apply. Divorced or Widow women are also eligible to apply for CDS exam depending on case to case basis. 
  5. Male divorcee/widower cannot be treated as unmarried.
  6. Minimum age to apply for the Combined Defense Services exam is 19 years for all the courses. The upper age limit for INA/IMA/AFA and OTA is different.
  7. Candidates willing to apply for Indian Military Academy and Officers’ Training Academy must possess a Graduation degree. 
  8. Candidates applying for Indian Naval Academy must have a degree in Engineering, and 
  9. Those applying for Air Force Academy must have a Degree of a recognised University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Other eligibility conditions such as height parameters, weight and visual parameters, guidelines for the tattoo on body etc are discussed in detail in the CDS Eligibility page linked here. 

CDS Online Application & Registration

The online application for the CDS exam starts with the announcement of the notification. The CDS 2021 application process is expected to start by October 28th 2020. 

Aspirants willing to fill the CDS registration form are required to log on to the official website of UPSC. 

The steps to fill the CDS application form is as mentioned below:

  1. Visit (upsc.gov.in) the official UPSC website.
  2. Click on the latest CDS 2021 notification.
  3. Go through the notification carefully and click on the CDS registration link provided.
  4. Enter the details asked to complete the registration like Phone number, valid mail ID, Name and Date of Birth. 
  5. Give the captcha code and submit. On submission, a registration Id and password is sent to the registered number and e-mail address.
  6. Use it to login again and complete the application form. 
  7. Give the necessary details like gender, nationality, education qualification, choice of preferences for exam centres, etc. 
  8. Attach the scanned photograph and signature. Also attach the relevant documents such as matriculation certificate for proof of age, educational certificates, etc.
  9. Recheck the details provided and submit.
  10. Pay the CDS application fee to complete the process.
  11. Save and download the CDS Application form. 

Note – 

  • Candidates are required to pay a fee of Rs. 200/- either by depositing the money in any Branch of SBI by cash, or by using the net banking facility of State Bank of India or by using Visa/Master/Rupay, Credit/Debit Card. 
  • Female, SC/ST candidates are exempted from the payment of the fee.

Like CDS exam, UPSC conducts various other Defence exams, candidates who wish to appear for defence services exam can go through the given link for detailed information regarding the same.

CDS Exam Centres

The Union Public Service Commission conducts the CDS exam in 41 cities. Aspirants have to give their preferences from these exam centres only. 

Following are CDS exam centres –

CDS Exam Centres
Agartala

Aizawl

Bengaluru

Bhopal

Chennai

Dehradun

Dharwad

Gangtok

Imphal

Jaipur

Jorhat

Kohima

Lucknow

Mumbai

Panaji (Goa)

Port Blair

Ranchi

Shillong

Srinagar

Tirupati

Ahmedabad

Allahabad

Bareilly

Chandigarh

Cuttack

Delhi

Dispur

Hyderabad

Itanagar

Jammu

Kochi

Kolkata

Madurai

Nagpur

Patna

Raipur

Sambalpur

Shimla

Visakhapatnam

Thiruvananthapuram

Udaipur

Important Pointers- 

  1. The exam centres are allotted on the first-apply-first-allot basis
  2. To get their preferred exam centre in CDS 2021 it is advised to fill the application form early and choose the exam centre carefully.
  3. There is a ceiling on the number of candidates allotted to each exam centre except Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Dispur.
  4. Once the capacity of a particular CDS exam centre is attained, the same will be frozen. Applicants will then be allotted the next available exam centre.
  5. After the final submission of application forms, no request for the change of CDS exam centres will be entertained by the commission.
  6. The details of CDS exam centre like address, centre code, etc. will be mentioned on the admit card.

CDS Syllabus & Exam Pattern

As per the guidelines of UPSC mentioned in the notification of CDS exam the exam pattern of Combined Defense Services is divided into two stages –

  1.  Written exam and SSB Interview
  2. Written exam for IMA, INA and AFA comprises 3 sections i.e. English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics. While the exam for OTA contains 2 sections – English and General Knowledge.
  3. Each section has 100 questions with maximum marks of 100 i.e. each question carries 1 mark. 
  4. For each wrong answer candidates will lose 1/3rd marks.
  5. Candidates will be given 2 hours for each section to complete the exam. 

CDS Syllabus 

Broadly, the syllabus of the Combined Defense Services exam is divided into three sections English, Mathematics and General Knowledge.  

CDS Exam Syllabus
Subjects  Topics 
English  Candidates are tested for their understanding of English and Grammar. 
General Knowledge  Economics, Physics, General Awareness, Politics, History, Geography, Sociology, etc. 
Elementary Mathematics  Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Mensuration, Statistics, etc.

Detailed CDS syllabus and exam pattern can be checked on the given link. 

CDS Admit Card

The CDS Admit card is issued by the conducting body 15 days before the scheduled date of examination. Candidates should know that the admit card for CDs exam is made available to download till the day of the exam.

As per the guidelines mentioned by UPSC in the notification, no admit card is sent by post. Aspirants have to download the CDS 2021 admit card online from the official website.

Candidates willing to appear for CDS 2021 exam, can download the admit card by following the below-mentioned steps-

  1. Log on to the official website
  2. Click the CDS Admit Card Link provided
  3. Insert the Registration number or roll number and password
  4. CDS exam Admit card will appear on the screen in PDF format.
  5. Check all the details carefully and then download the CDS Admit card. 

Applicants of CDS II 2020 exam can expect the release of Admit Card by October 2020. 

Check the relevant date for CDS Admit card 2020 mentioned below:

CDS Exam Admit Card
CDS I Admit Card 2020 9th January 2020
CDS II Admit Card 2020  15 October 2020

CDS Result 

Union Public Service Commission releases the CDS results separately for the two stages of the exam i.e. written test and SSB Interview. 

CDS result is published on the official website of UPSC in a PDF format giving the roll numbers of the candidates qualifying the Combined Defense Services exam. 

Generally, the commission releases the result in a month’s time after conducting the examination. So, candidates appearing for CDS II in November can expect the results in December 2020.

CDS I examination was conducted in February and UPSC released the CDS I 2020 result on March 23rd 2020. 

The commission has also announced the result of CDS II 2019 exam on September 1st 2020. Further details on CDS Result can be checked on the given link. 

CDS Salary

Candidates recruited as the Officers in Army, Navy and Airforce through CDS exam get lucrative salary along with various allowances and perks. 

The Union Public Service Commission mentions in detail the salary of CDS in the notification. 

Candidates on clearing the CDS exam are entitled to a training stipend of 56,100/ per month fixed. This is the basic pay offered to officers at level 10 rank. 

The salary range of CDS varies depending on the rank of officers and area of posting. The maximum salary is 2, 25,000/ per month fixed for officers at level 17 or Level 18 ranks in Army and other Defense academies.

The rank-wise CDS Salary, allowances, perks and other monetary benefits accredited to candidates selected through CDS exam are given in detail in the article linked above.    

CDS Preparation

Since lakhs of candidates apply for the CDS exam, the competition for the CDS exam is tough. Therefore it is necessary for aspirants to have a proper plan and move ahead with the CDS preparation strategically. 

Given below are a few points of assistance for CDS exam preparation. 

  • Have clarity of the exam pattern, subjects covered and the types of questions asked in the exam.
  • Gather good books to start your CDS exam preparation. Avoid referring to too many books to prepare for one topic.
  • Devise a study schedule and follow it religiously. Devote equal time of preparation for each topic and subject.
  • For maths, first, clear the basic concepts by referring to the NCERTs books from class 8 to 12th.
  • Watch news channels and read newspapers regularly to upkeep the current affairs part.
  • Refer NCERTs to prepare for various subjects covered in the General Knowledge section.
  • Prepare Notes as and when you go through any important topic or subject. 
  • Regular revision to all that is studied is extremely crucial, and regular practice for Maths and English is also imperative to gain accuracy and speed.
  • Refer previous year question papers and solve Mock tests to understand the exam pattern, scope of questions and strong and weak areas in your preparation.

To ace the competition of CDS exam 2021 it is important for aspirants to do preparation with due diligence.

Aspirants of other exams conducted by UPSC can go through the given links for assistance-

Check details related to Government exams after 12th in the given link. 

For further assistance on preparation, strategy and tips, important books etc. look no further than BYJU’s. 

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