Defence Exams 2021 - Dates Of Upcoming Defence Exams in India

Are you an aspirant of Defence Exams? Get the latest information on all the upcoming Defence exams in India such as NDA, CDS, CAPF and AFCAT exam in the article. 

The Defence exams are conducted to recruit eligible candidates in the Indian Armed Forces. Through various Defence exams, candidates get admission in the various Defence training academies such as –

  1. Indian Military Academy (IMA) – Dehradun
  2. Indian Naval Academy (INA) – Ezhimala
  3. Air Force Academy (AFA) –  Hyderabad
  4. Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) – Chennai

Every year lakhs of candidates appear for various defence exams to fulfil their dream of being a part of the armed forces, which is undoubtedly highly admired in India. This article aims to provide relevant information on the defence exams in India for aspirants to prepare conveniently for upcoming Defence exams.

Candidates willing to appear for other Government exams can go through the link for information on upcoming exams.

Upcoming Defence Exams

Defence exams offer prestigious, dignified and lucrative career opportunities. Most of the defence exams in India are conducted by the UPSC – Union Public Service Commission. However, there are individual organisations also that conduct their own exams to fill up various vacancies. 

The information related to the following Defence exams are given in the article-

  1. CAPF – Central Armed Police Force
  2. NDA – National Defence Academy/ Naval Academy 
  3. CDS – Combined Defense Services
  4. AFCAT – Air Force Common Admission Test

Lets us have a close look at various Defence exams in India-

Defence Exams – Dates

The exam dates for all Defence exams are announced by the conducting body through the official notification or on the official exam calendar. 

The important dates of upcoming Defence exams 2021 are as follows-

Defence Exam Dates 2021
Defence Exams Notification  Exam Dates
NDA NDA 1 – December 30 2020

NDA 2- June 9th 2021

NDA 1 – April 18th 2021

NDA 2- September 5th 2021

CDS CDS 1- October 28th 2020

CDS 2- To be notified

CDS 1- February 7th 2021

CDS 2- To be notified

CAPF April 15th 2021 August 8th 2021
AFCAT November 28th 2020 20th, 21st, and 22nd February 2021

Candidates can know the relevant dates of Defence exams 2020 in the article. 

Defence Exams – Notification

The notification for CAPF, CDS and NDA exam is released by the UPSC while the AFCAT exam is conducted by the Indian Air force itself. The notification details of these defence exams for the year 2020 are as follows-


CAPF is an All India level exam conducted annually. The notification for CAPF exam is released to recruit various Group A and Group B officers in the seven security forces of India.

UPSC announced the notification of CAPF 2020 on August 18th to recruit Assistant Commandant (group A officers).

The table below highlights Defence exam 2020 dates for CAPF-

Defence Exam 2020 – CAPF Dates 
Official Notification August 18th, 2020
Online Application August 18th to September 7th 2020
Admit Card November 2020 
CAPF Written Exam August 9, 2020 (Postponed)

December 20th 2020 (New Date)

CAPF Result To be notified
CAPF Interview February 2021

Aspirants of CAPF exam can go through CAPF Recruitment for further information.

NDA / NA Exam

NDA/NA is an all India defence entrance exam that is conducted by UPSC twice a year, in April and in September. Candidates who qualify NDA exam get admission to Army, Navy and Air Force wings of NDA & Indian Naval Academy Course -INAC.

The details of this defence exam for 2020 is given in the table below-

Defence Exam Date – NDA 2020
NDA exam events NDA I Exam NDA II Exam 
NDA Notification & commencement of application January 8th 2020 June 16th 2020
Last date for NDA Online application January 28th 2020 July 6th 2020
NDA 2020 Written exam April 19th 2020 (postponed)

September 6th 2020 (new date)

September 6th 2020 (along with NDA I exam)
NDA Result October 9th 2020 October 9th 2020

Candidates can check the detailed NDA notification on the linked page for further details.

CDS Exam

CDS is a national level defence entrance exam which is again conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. CDS exam is conducted biannually, CDS I in February and CDS II in September. The important dates of the CDS defence exam are as mentioned below-

Defence Exam 2020 – CDS Dates
CDS exam event CDS 1 CDS 2
CDS notification October 30th 2019 August 5th 2020
CDS Online Application  October 30th- November 19th 2019 August 5th to 25th 2020
CDS Admit Card January 9th 2020 15 days before the exam
CDS Written exam  February 2nd 2020 November 8th 2020
CDS Result March 23rd 2020 December 2020 (tentative)

Detailed information on CDS notification and relevant details are given on the linked article. 


The Indian Air force conducts the AFCAT exam to select candidates for multiple posts in the Air Force such as Flying Officers, Officers in Ground Duty – Technical Post, and Officers in Ground Duty -Non-Technical Post.

The AFCAT exam is also conducted biannually, once in February and then in August. Aspirants from across the country can apply for this Defence exam. The notification for AFCAT 2020 1 and 2 examinations was released in November 2019 and June 2020, respectively.

The details of important events for AFCAT defence exam is highlighted in the table below-

Defence Exam 2020- AFCAT Dates
AFCAT Notification November 23, 2019 June 9th, 2020
AFCAT Registration December 1st to 30th, 2019 June 15th to July 14th, 2020
AFCAT Admit Card  February 3rd, 2020  September 4, (postponed)

September 15th 2020 (new date)

AFCAT exam date February 22nd and 23rd 2020 September 19th and 20th 2020 (postponed)

October 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2020 (New dates)

AFCAT Result March 17th 2020 November 2020 (Tentative)

Further details regarding AFCAT can be checked on the AFCAT Notification page. 

Government Exams 2021

Defence Exam Eligibility

Aspirants of various Defence exams have to fulfil the basic eligibility requirement as mentioned by the conducting body in the respective exam notification.

Every citizen of India, irrespective of class, caste, religion and community is eligible to appear for defence exams provided they meet the criteria such as physical standard, age and educational qualification. 

The criteria for Defence exams eligibility are as follows-

Defence Exam Age Limit

The age limit for different Defence exams in India are different which is highlighted below-

Defence Exam Age Limit 
Exams  Minimum Age  Maximum Age
CAPF 20 years  25 years
NDA 16 years 19 years
CDS 19 years 22 years – INA

23 years – AFA

24 years – IMA

25 years – OTA

AFCAT Exam 20 years 24 years – Flying Branch

26 years – Ground Duty

Defence Exam Education Qualification

The minimum education qualification required to appear for the defence exam is 12th Board pass. The details for education requirements for different Defence exams is as follows-

Defence Exam Educational Qualification
Exams Minimum Education Requirement
CAPF A Bachelor’s degree from any Government recognised University Or Deemed to be University
NDA/NA Exam 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination
CDS Exam Graduation/Bachelors from a Government recognised University
AFCAT Exam A Graduation degree from any Government recognised University

All the Defence exams have certain physical and medical standards that are mandatory to be fulfilled by the candidates in order to be eligible for the examination. Aspirants can go through the detailed eligibility requirements of various Defence exams on the links provided below-

  1. CAPF Eligibility
  2. NDA Eligibility
  3. CDS Eligibility
  4. AFCAT Eligibility

Defence Exam Vacancy

The Defence exam vacancies are announced by the conducting bodies along with the release of the official notification. 

Candidates can go through the Defence exam vacancy for various Defence exams in India highlighted below

Defence Exam Vacancy 2020
Defence Exams Exam 1 Vacancy Exam 2 vacancy
NDA/NA NDA  – 370 

Naval Academy – 48

NDA  – 370 

Naval Academy – 43

CDS Army/Navy/Air Force – 177 

Officers Training Academy – 241

Army/Navy/Air Force – 158

Officers Training Academy – 186

AFCAT  249  256
CAPF 209 Assistant Commandants in (SSB, ITBP, CISF, BSF, CRPF)

For detailed information on Defence Exam vacancy please refer to the notification page for respective exams.

Defence Exam Syllabus & Exam Pattern

The UPSC and Air Force, reserves the right to set and make changes in the exam pattern and syllabus of CDS, NDA, CAPF and AFCAT respectively.

The notification published by the conducting body mentions the Defence exam syllabus and exam pattern in detail. 

Aspirants of various defence exam in India can go through the highlights of patterns and Defence exam syllabus given below-

Defence Exam Syllabus & Exam Pattern
Defence Exams Exam Pattern Syllabus
CAPF Paper-I – Objective; 250 marks

Paper-II – Subjective; 200 marks

Physical Efficiency Test – on qualifying Paper I & II

Personality test/Interview – 150 marks

Paper I – General Ability and Intelligence

Paper-II – General Studies, Essay and Comprehension

NDA Written Exam ( Part I – Maths – 300 marks, Part II – GAT –  600 marks)

SSB Interview – Two stages – 900 Marks

Written exam – broadly covers subjects like Maths, English, and General knowledge
CDS Written Exam – (INA/IMA/AFA – 300 marks & OTA – 200 marks)

SSB Interview

English, General knowledge and Elementary Mathematics
AFCAT Written test (compulsory for all branches) – 300 marks

EKT(Only for Technical) – 100 marks

Written test– General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability and Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test

EKT– Mechanical, Computer Science and Electrical & Electronics

Candidates can check the detailed Defence exam syllabus for different exams on the link provided below – 

  1. CAPF Syllabus
  2. CDS Syllabus
  3. NDA Syllabus
  4. AFCAT Syllabus

Aspirants of various Defence exams in India must be willing to know the remuneration, perks and allowances admissible to candidates selected in these exams. Hence, they can refer to the links provided below to know the Defence exam salary-

Defence Exam Result

The various exam conducting bodies announce the Defence exam result within a month’s time span after the completion of the examination. This section will highlight the information regarding Defence exam results.

  1. CAPF Result –  Since the exam for CAPF 2020 is scheduled to be conducted on 20th December 2020, the result for the same can be expected in February 2021. Details on CAPF results are elaborated on the CAPF exam page.
  2. NDA Result – UPSC has announced the result of NDA 1 and NDA 2 exam 2020 on October 9th. The common exam for NDA 1 and 2 was conducted on September 6th 2020. Check the details on NDA Result in the given link. 
  3. CDS Result – The commission will announce the Defence exam result for CDS 2 in December 2020 as the exam is scheduled to be conducted on November 8th 2020. UPSC has announced the CDS 1 result on March 23rd, the exam for which was conducted on February 2nd 2020. Go through the detailed information on CDS Result in the linked article. 
  4. AFCAT Result – The Indian Air Force announced the result of AFCAT 1 on March 17th 2020. The exam was conducted on February 22nd and 23rd. However, the result for AFCAT 2 released on October 21st 2020. Check further details on the AFCAT result page linked here.    

Defence Exam Preparation

Aspirants of various Defence Exams in India must follow a strategic approach for defence exam preparation.  They can follow the below-given tips for preparation of Defence exam-

  1. Set a schedule for your Defence exam preparation and make sure you stick to it.
  2. Socialize with people who are preparing for the same or have already qualified for the exam. Utilise this time to discuss preparation and clarifying doubts.
  3. While studying for the Defence exam, make notes as you go through the study material. These are short and effective and help for last-minute revision. 
  4. Listen to the short news and do not waste time listening to unnecessary news based on discussion unless the topic demands it.
  5. Speed up your learning by following some memory techniques.
  6. Give tests and practice writing answers frequently. 
  7. Practice mock papers, identify your mistakes and the area where you lack knowledge. This is an essential part of regular preparations for successful candidates. Also, it helps to increase your speed to solve the exam on time.

Candidates can go through preparation strategies for competitive exams to do diligent preparation for the examination.

Aspirants can also details related to Government exams after 12th in the given link.

Candidates who aspire to appear for various government exams can check the links below for relevant details-

free online quiz for IBPS, SSC and other government exams

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