CDS 2020: Application Form, Eligibility Criteria, Pattern, Syllabus

CDS 2020 will be conducted by UPSC to select the candidates for recruitment in defence services. It is a national level exam held twice a year- in February and November. The candidates who clear the exam and the interview will be considered for recruitment into Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers Training Academy. Interested candidates who fulfill the eligibility requirement for selection can submit their applications from 30th October 2019 (for CDS I) and 5th August 2020 (for CDS II).

News: CDS 2020 application form will be available from 30th October 2019. 

Important Highlights-  CDS 2020

Some major highlights of the CDS 2020 recruitment process are given below:

  • Candidates will be able to fill and submit their application form only in online mode.
  • In case of multiple applications, the one with the higher registration id (RID) will be considered.
  • The candidates can provide their choice for recruitment in any of the IMA, INA, AFA or OTA as per their
  • eligibility.
  • Selection of the candidates clearing both written test and interview will be subject to the successful verification of document and eligibility conditions.
  • Marriage is strictly restricted during the training period. Candidates who get married at any stage subsequent to application process will not be considered for training.

CDS Exam Dates 2020

The official dates related to CDS 2020 are given below.


CDS I Dates

CDS II Dates

Availability of online application form

30th October 2019

5th August 2020

Last date to submit the application form

19th November 2019

25th August 2020

Admit card issue date

January 2020, 3rd week

October 2020, last week

Date of exam

2nd February 2020

8th November 2020

Result declaration

May 2020

December 2020

Interview call latter issue date

August 2020, 4th week (for IMA) November 2020, 4th week (for OTA)

February 2021, 4th week (for IMA) May 2021, 4th week (for OTA)

Final result declaration

To be announced

To be announced

Exam Pattern

The pattern for the CDS exam 2020 is provided below:

  • Mode of exam: Offline
  • Type of questions: MCQ type
  • Medium of test: Hindi & English both, except for English subject questions
  • Negative marking: 1/3rd marks will be deducted for each incorrect answer

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

SubjectMaximum MarksDuration
English1002 hours
General Knowledge1002 hours
Elementary Mathematics1002 hours

For Officer’s Training Academy

SubjectMaximum MarksDuration
English1002 hours
General Knowledge1002 hours

CDS Syllabus 2020

Check here the syllabus for the CDS 2020 exam:

  • English: Understanding of English and Workmanlike Use of Words
  • General Knowledge: Knowledge Of Current Events, Scientific Aspects, History Of India, Geography, etc
  • Elementary Mathematics: Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Statistics and Mensuration

Eligibility Criteria

The following are the eligibility criteria for CDS examination:


  • The candidate should either be a Citizen of India, or a subject of Bhutan, or a subject of Nepal.
  • Tibetan refugee who came over to India before the 1st January, 1962 or 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 with the intention of permanently settling in India are also eligible.

Age limit, sex and marital status:

  • For Indian Military Academy & Indian Naval Academy: Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January/ July 1997 and not later than 1st January/ July 2002 only are eligible.
  • For Air Force Academy: Candidates born not earlier than 2nd January/ July 1997 and not later than 1st January/ July 2001 can apply.
  • For Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for men): Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January/ July 1996 and not later than 1st January/ July 2002 are eligible.
  • For Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course): Unmarried women, widows and divorcees  who have not remarried and are born not earlier than 2nd January/ July 1996 and not later than 1st January/ July 2002 are eligible.

Note: January for CDS I and July for CDS II

Academic criteria:

  • For IMA and Officers’ Training Academy: Candidates with any degree from a recognized university are eligible.
  • For Indian Naval Academy: Those with a degree in engineering from a recognized university/ institution can apply.
  • For Air Force Academy: Degree of a recognized university (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or bachelor of engineering is required.

Physical Standards:

  • Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services.

Application Form

Candidates will be able fill their CDS 2020 application form in online mode. The form will be released on the official website of UPSC The complete application form will consist of two parts: Part I and Part II.

  • To fill the application form, the candidates will have to provide their personal and qualification details.
  • The applicants will also have to upload their photograph and signature in scanned format.
  • Candidates can also provide the choice for examination center at the time of filling the application form.
  • Duly-filled application form can then be submitted online along with the prescribed application fee.
  • All the details provided in the form must be accurate as no changes in the form will be allowed after submission.

Application fee

  • The application fee will be Rs 200/-, except for SC/ ST & female applicants who are exempted from fee payment.
  • Candidates can make fee payment through credit card/ debit card or net banking facility of State Bank of India/ State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur/ State Bank of Hyderabad/ State Bank of Mysore/ State Bank of Patiala/ State Bank of Travancore or by cash deposit in any Branch of SBI.

Admit Card for CDS 2020

  • The eligible candidates will be issued an e-Admit Card around three weeks before the commencement of exam.
  • The e-Admit Card will be made available for download on the UPSC website
  • After downloading the admit card, it must be checked carefully and if any discrepancy is found, it must be brought to the notice of UPSC immediately.
  • If the candidate face any problem in downloading the admit card, he/ she should at once contact the Commission or Facilitation Counter.
  • No candidates will be allowed to take the examination unless they hold a valid admit card for the examination.


  • The result of the CDS 2020 exam will be declared on the official website of UPSC.
  • Candidates who score more than the specified minimum marks will be considered as qualified.
  • Such candidates will then have to appear for Intelligence & Personality Test at the Service Selection Board.
  • Final results will then be announced containing the names of the candidates who clear all rounds and are eligible for recruitment.

Interview Process/ Pilot Aptitude Test

  • Those who clear the written exam will be called for SSB interview.
  • The candidates must appear for the interview as per the schedule communicated to them through call up letter.
  • Such candidates will have to register themselves on the website of Directorate General of Recruiting,
  • The applicants who are selected for Air Force and Naval Aviation will be given Pilot Aptitude Test.
  • Candidates who have failed Indian Navy Selection Board/ Computer Pilot Selection System (CPSS) and/ or Pilot Aptitude Battery Test earlier or who wear spectacles habitually will not be eligible for Air Force.

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