CDS Selection Process 2022: Written Test & Interview - Embibe
  • Written By Ravikant_Yadav
  • Last Modified 08-08-2022
  • Written By Ravikant_Yadav
  • Last Modified 08-08-2022

CDS Selection Process 2022: Written Test & Interview Round

CDS Selection Process 2022: CDS is a national-level competitive exam held twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission to recruit candidates for the armed forces such as the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The selection process for CDS 2022 involves three stages. Candidates need to clear each stage of the CDS selection process to be eligible for the next stage of the recruitment process. 

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At first, UPSC will carry out the Stage I, which is a written test round. The written test will have questions from different sections. Those who pass the written test will be called for the next round, i.e., Stage II, an interview round and five-day long. We have devised a date-wise CDS interview plan on this page so aspirants can get to know how they need to proceed. Continue reading through the article to learn more about CDS selection rounds.

Steps to Take CDS Mock Test

Access the unlimited free CDS mock tests from Embibe and improve your preparation level. Candidates can follow the below-mentioned steps to take the CDS free mock test series:

  • 1st Step: Visit Embibe’s official website, i.e., Embibe.
  • 2nd Step: Use your mobile number/email to log in.
  • 3rd Step: Select your Goal as ‘Defence’ under Government Job section.
  • 4th Step: Click Next and select ‘UPSC CDS’.
  • 5th Step: Click Next and select your preferred language.
  • 6th Step: Once done, click on the mock test links to take the TEST.

CDS Selection Process 2022

The CDS written exam is conducted to shortlist candidates for the SSB (Service Selection Board) Interview.

  • SSB Interview process consists of Intelligence, Personality, and Psychological Tests which will be conducted for 5 days.
  • After the SSB Interview, document verification will be conducted and then the selected candidates will be called for the medical examination.
  • After all these procedures, a final merit list will be made on the basis of marks secured by the candidates in the CDS Written Exam and SSB Interview. 

Candidates can go through the UPSC CDS Recruitment Procedure for each stage below:

Phase 1: Written Examination

The written exam is conducted in the offline mode. The exam pattern is different for candidates seeking admission to OTA and those seeking admission to IMA, INA, and AFA.

OTA Selection Process

CDS exam pattern for INA, IMA, and AFA aspirants are tabulated below.

SubjectsNumber of Questions/Maximum MarksTime Duration
English120/1002 hours
Elementary Mathematics100/1002 hours
General Knowledge (GK)120/1002 hours
Total340/3006 hours

OTA Selection Process

CDS exam pattern for OTA aspirants is tabulated below.

SubjectsNumber of Questions/Maximum MarksTime Duration
English120/1002 hours
General Knowledge (GK)120/1002 hours
Total240/2004 hours

Key Points

  • The CDS exam has a negative marking scheme. For every wrong answer, 1/3rd of the marks allotted to a question will be deducted from the total marks.
  • The exam is conducted in offline mode (Pen & Paper-based).
  • Only objective-type questions (MCQs) are asked for the CDS exam.

Preparation of Merit List: If a candidate manages to score more than the cut-off set by the IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA then he will be eligible to appear for the next round which is SSB Interview. All the test-takers are required to check their name in the merit list released by the UPSC. CDS-I 2021 merit list has been released on March 23, 2021.

Phase 2: SSB Interview

After the release of the CDS Result, candidates who successfully clear the CDS Written Exam will be required to register for the SSB Interview. Following this, all the registered candidates will be sent the SSB call letter where the SSB Interview date and SSB Centre will be mentioned. SSB Interview will be conducted for 5 days and is divided into two stages – Psychological Aptitude Test and Intelligence Test.

  • Psychological Aptitude Test: This stage involves Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests such as Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT).
  • Officer Intelligence Test: This stage will consist of Psychological Test, Group Testing Officer tasks & Conference.

Now, let us see what happens in each of the 5 days.

SSB Interview: Day 1

Reporting: After arriving at the SSB Centre, candidates need to show their documents and fill out forms.

Screening: This process consists of Verbal and Non-Verbal Tests, and PPDT (story writing and group discussion). Candidates who clear this stage will be eligible for the next tests.

SSB Interview: Day 2

Psychological Test: This test consists of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Word Association Test (WAT), Situation Reaction Test (SRT), and Self Description Test (SD).

  • TAT: Write a story based on 11 pictures which will be displayed back to back. Each picture will be shown for a period of 30 seconds. The 12th and last picture will be blank.
  • WAT: Write a sentence based on 60 words shown back to back (each shown for 15 seconds and for each word you need to write a sentence within 15 seconds).
  • SRT: Write your response based on 60 situations (the time allocated is 30 minutes)
  • SD: Write about yourself, how you see yourself, what your parents, peers & teachers think about you, and your opinion about things you would like to develop in the future (the time allotted will be 15 mins).

SSB Interview: Day 3

GTO: Day 3 consists of various outdoor activities. The main aim is to test the candidate’s ability to perform group tasks. It consists of Group Discussion (GD), Group Planning Exercise (GPE), Progressive Group Task (PGT), Half Group Task (HGT), and Individual Obstacles Task (IoT).

  • GD: Back-to-back group discussions on two topics, mostly current affairs.
  • GPE: Candidates will be given a map and will be asked to solve a problem. Candidates need to come up with a common solution.
  • PGT: It is a group task where candidates are required to cross some obstacles.
  • Snake Race/Group Obstacle Race: Entire group has to cross obstacles while competing with other group members
  • HGT: Same as PGT but with half the number of members.

SSB Interview: Day 4

Day 4 consists of a Command Task, Individual Obstacle Task (OAT), Individual Lecturette, Final Group Task (FGT), and Personal Interview.

  • Individual Lecturette: Out of 4 topics given, the candidate needs to give a lecture for 3 mins on one topic selected by him/her.
  • IoT: Required to attempt obstacles individually.
  • Command Task: Required to cross some obstacles with 2-3 of your subordinates.
  • FGT: Final Group Task, same as PGT, just another chance to show your potential.
  • Personal Interview: The candidate will be interviewed bythe interviewing officer.

SSB Interview: Day 5

Conference: Candidates will be interviewed by the SSB board members. The duration of this interview will be 1 to 2 minutes.

Document Verification: The following documents will be verified in this stage:

  • Matriculation or Equivalent Certificate
  • Intermediate/10+2 pass Certificate
  • Marks Sheet of Matriculation or Equivalent
  • Marks Sheet of Intermediate/10+2 Examinations
  • Semester/Year-wise Independent Marks Sheets
  • Valid Proof of Identity
  • Bonafide cum Custodian Certificate
  • Graduation Degree/LLB Degree/Provisional Degree
  • UPSC CDS Admit Card

Medical Examination: Candidates should be physically fit and free from any ailment which may hamper their performance in the Physical Tests/Interviews.

After clearing the SSB Interview, candidates have to undergo a Medical Test performed by a Special Medical Board (SMB) over the next 4 – 6 days. In exceptional cases, it may take up to 8 days.

Final Merit List: On the basis of marks from the Written Exam and SSB Interview, candidates will be selected for the limited number of vacancies.

FAQs on CDS Selection Process

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the CDS written examination.

Q1. What are the pass marks for CDS?
Ans. The written exam of CDS is conducted for 300 marks and the qualifying score in the exam is 20% of the total marks i.e. 60. Candidates need to clear qualifying scores in all three papers of the CDS exam.

Q2. How many rounds are there in the CDS selection process?
Ans. There are 2 rounds in UPSC CDS Selection Process. A written examination and SSB Interview.

Q3. Can girls apply for the CDS exam?
Ans. Yes, girls can apply for the CDS exam. They are considered for OTA and are allotted SSC (Short Service Commission) in the non-technical cadre.

Q4. What is the structure of the SSB interview?
Ans. The SSB interview round is a 5-day long process consisting of many different tests. The details are given in this article.

Q5. What subjects are included in the CDS written examination?
Ans. UPSC CDS asks questions from Elementary Mathematics, English and General Knowledge.

Important Links:

CDS ExamCDS Recruitment Notification
CDS Application FormCDS Eligibility
CDS Cut-offCDS Syllabus
CDS Exam PatternCDS Books
CDS PreparationCDS Exam Dates
CDS Question PapersCDS Exam Centres
CDS Admit CardCDS Answer Key

We hope this article on CDS Selection Process helps you. Stay tuned to Embibe for the latest news and updates on the CDS selection process!

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