• Written By Monica_Kumari
  • Last Modified 06-09-2022

UPSC CDS II 2022: Admit Card, Exam Pattern & Syllabus


UPSC CDS II 2022: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) released the CDS 2 admit card on August 10, 2022. Candidates who applied for the exam can download their hall tickets online from the official website, i.e., upsc.gov.in. Furthermore, they can also access the hall ticket from the direct link updated on this page. UPSC will conduct CDS (2) 2022 on September 04, 2022.

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*Steps to attempt the mock test are mentioned below in this article.

Earlier, UPSC released the official notification and online application form for CDS II on May 18, 2022. Candidates could apply online for CDS 2 until June 07. The Commission will conduct the Combined Defence Services Examination for admission to courses in the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Officers Training Academy (OTA), Indian Military Academy (IMA), and Indian Air Force Academy (IMFA). The selection process consists of a written exam and SSB interviews. Read on to find out more!

UPSC CDS Exam 2022: Overview

Before getting into the detailed information, let us have an overview of the UPSC CDS exam:

Conducting BodyUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam NameCombined Defence Services (CDS) Exam
Exam LevelNational Level
Frequency of ExamTwice in a Year
Mode of ExamOffline
Selection ProcessWritten Exam and SSB Interview
After SelectionTraining at IMA/ OTA/ INA/ AFA
Exam DurationOne day
Official Websiteupsc.gov.in

CDS Important Dates 2022

The conducting body has already released the CDS exam date on its official website. Candidates must go through the table given below to know more about the same:

EventsCDS I DatesCDS II Dates
Notification Release DateDecember 22, 2021May 18, 2022
Registration DatesDecember 22, 2021, to January 11, 2022May 18 to June 07, 2022
Admit Card Release DateMarch 15, 2022August 10, 2022
Date of ExamApril 10, 2022September 04, 2022
Result DateMay 18, 2022October 2022

How to Attempt UPSC CDS Mock Test?

Access unlimited free UPSC CDS mock tests at Embibe and boost confidence to face the examination. Candidates can follow the below-mentioned steps to take the free mock test series:

  • 1st Step: Visit Embibe’s official website, i.e., embibe.com.
  • 2nd Step: Use mobile number/email to log in.
  • 3rd Step: Select Goal as ‘Defence’ under the Government Job section.
Select Goal for Practice and Mock Test
  • 4th Step: Click Next and select ‘UPSC CDS’.
  • 5th Step: Click Next and select the preferred language.
  • 6th Step: Once done, candidates can practice questions and take free mock tests.

CDS Notification 2022

The Union Public Service Commission released the detailed notification for the Combined Defence Services exam 2022. The official notification provided all the relevant exam information, including vacancies, important dates, how to apply, section process, and other details.

Candidates can check the official notification on the official website. Furthermore, they can check as well as download the notification from the direct link updated below:

About UPSC Combined Defence Services Exam

Here are a few important facts about UPSC CDS exam candidates need to know before starting their exam preparation.

  • The Combined Defence Services exam is a national-level entrance exam for aspirants who want to join the defence forces as an officer.
  • After the exam and completion of the SSB Interview, the shortlisted candidates need to undergo training at: 
    • Indian Military Academy (IMA),
    • Officers Training Academy (OTA) (Male & Female),
    • Indian Naval Academy (INA),
    • Air Force Academy (AFA).
  • For candidates aiming at becoming an officer serving under the Indian Army/ Navy/Air Force, this is one of the exams that will pave the way toward achieving their dream.
  • Female candidates can also apply for the CDS exam to join the Officer Training Academy (OTA).
  • The selection of candidates will be based on the written exam and SSB interview.
  • Throughout the interview, recruiters will shortlist the candidates as per their capability and preference.
  • During the training period, cadets will be paid a stipend of around Rs. 21000/-. After the completion of the training period, candidates can expect a payment in the range of Rs. 56,100 – 1,77,500.

UPSC CDS Vacancy

The Commission has announced vacancies for Indian Air Force, Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Officer’s Training Academy. Candidates can check the Combined Defence Services vacancy details from the table below:

Name of the AcademyCDS I VacanciesCDS II Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun100100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala2222
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad3232
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai (Madras) SSC Men170169
Officers Training Academy, Chennai SSC Women1716
Total Vacancies341339

Combined Defence Services Eligibility Criteria

Before applying online for the CDS, candidates must diligently check the CDS eligibility criteria for a better understanding. The officials of the conducting body will not accept the application invites from those candidates who are not eligible for the said examination.

Here, we have enlisted the eligibility norms as per the UPSC’s guidelines. Candidates are advised to go through the same while filling in the application form online.

1. Nationality

A candidate must be an unmarried Indian citizen or one among the following categories:

  • A subject of Nepal, or
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

2. Age Limit

Let us look at the age limit criteria for candidates to apply for the UPSC CDS exam:

AcademyAge Limit
Indian Military Academy (IMA)Born not earlier than 2nd January 1998 and not later than 1st January 2003
Indian Naval Academy (INA)Born not earlier than 2nd January 1998 and not later than 1st January 2003
Indian Air Force AcademyBorn not earlier than 2nd January 1998 and not later than 1st January 2002
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for Men)Born not earlier than 2nd January 1997 and not later than 1st January 2003
Officers’ Training Academy—(SSC Women Non-Technical Course)Born not earlier than 2nd January 1997 and not later than 1st January 2003

3. Gender & Marital Status Requirements

Let us look at the gender and marital status criteria for candidates to apply for the UPSC CDS exam:

AcademyGenderMarital Status
Indian Military AcademyMaleUnmarried
Indian Naval AcademyMaleUnmarried
Indian Air Force AcademyMaleUnmarried
Officer Training AcademyMaleUnmarried
Officer Training AcademyFemaleUnmarried/Issueless widows who have not remarried, and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents)

4. Educational Qualification

Let us look at the educational qualification criteria for candidates to apply for the UPSC CDS exam:

AcademyEducational Qualification Required
IMAGraduate Degree from a Recognised University
INAEngineering Degree from a Recognised University
AFAGraduate Degree with Physics & Maths at 10+2 or
BE from a Recognised University
OTAGraduate Degree from a Recognised University

Note: If a candidate is not found to be eligible, he/she can be rejected at any moment, irrespective of whether or not they have cleared the CDS examination.

Also, graduates with the first choice as Army/Navy/Air Force are to submit proof of Graduation/provisional certificates on the date of commencement of the SSB Interview at the SSB.

UPSC CDS Application Form 2022

The CDS 2022 application form has to be filled out online at the official website. All aspirants are required to fill in the CDS Registration Form before the last date.

Candidates can follow the steps as under to register for CDS Exam successfully:

  • Visit the official website of the UPSC at upsconline.nic.in.
  • Against the CDS exam, click on ‘Part-I Registration.‘
  • Fill in the basic details such as the candidate’s name, date of birth, parents’ name, address, category, mobile number, email address, etc.
  • After finishing Part-I, a registration ID will be generated.
  • Now go to Part-II and enter the registration ID to pay the application fee.
  • Continue to fill in the application form after the fee payment. Enter the personal and educational details, and select the exam centre preference.
  • Upload the scanned copy of the Photo, Signature, Photo ID, and mark sheet.
  • After finishing Part II, Click on “I Agree to the Declaration” and submit the application form.

Note: Photo ID Card can be Aadhaar Card/Voter Card/PAN Card/Passport/Driving Licence/Any other Photo ID Card issued by the State/Central Government.

Combined Defence Services Application Fee

Candidates, except for Female/SC/ST candidates, are required to pay a fee of Rs 200/-. The application fee can be paid in online or offline mode.

CategoryApplication Fee
Female/ SC/ ST CandidatesNot Applicable
All OthersRs. 200/-

Combined Defence Services Exam Centres

The Combined Defence Services exam is conducted in various exam centres across the nation. Candidates can check a list of CDS exam centres from the table mentioned below:

AgartalaGhaziabadPanaji (Goa)
AjmerGurgaonPort Blair
AhmedabadGwaliorPrayagraj (Allahabad)
Almora (Uttarakhand)IndoreRaipur
Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh)ItanagarRajkot
ChennaiKohimaSrinagar (Uttarakhand)
Gautam Buddh NagarNavi MumbaiWarangal

UPSC Combined Defence Services Selection Process

Candidates can check the UPSC CDS Selection Procedure below:

  • A candidate first needs to appear for the written exam, i.e., the CDS exam.
  • Candidates who pass the CDS exam will then be called for SSB (Service Selection Board) interview.
  • The selected candidates’ names will be present in the CDS merit list.
  • They need to report to the venue (reporting date and time will be mentioned in the SSB Call Letter).
  • The candidates’ Psychological and Intelligence tests will be conducted at the SSB centre.
  • Once the candidate has cleared all the tests of the SSB Interview, they will be called for a medical check-up.
  • Selected candidates will then have to undergo various medical tests where they have to meet the physical requirements set by the board.
  • After the medical test and submission of documents, the selected candidates will be given 18 months of training in the: 
    • Indian Military Academy (IMA),
    • Officers Training Academy (OTA),
    • Indian Naval Academy (INA), or
    • Air Force Academy (AFA).
  • The selection of the academy will be done on the basis of the priorities chosen by the candidates in the application form.

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern

The exam pattern is different for the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and for Officers Training Academy. The important details of the CDS Exam Pattern are as follows:

Mode of ExamOffline
Duration of Exam6 hours (for IMA, INA & AFA)
4 hours (for OTA)
Type of QuestionsMCQs/Objective type
SectionsElementary Math, English Language, and General Knowledge

Note that there will be negative marking for every wrong attempt. A total of one-third marks, i.e., 0.33 marks, will be deducted for every incorrect answer.

UPSC CDS Syllabus

The officials have prescribed the CDS Syllabus that every aspirant needs to follow for the exam. The subjects that every candidate has to cover are:

  • English
  • General Knowledge
  • Mathematics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Mensuration, and Statistics.

Note that only the Class 11 syllabus and Class 12 syllabus are being followed. Candidates need to follow the Class 11 and 12 NCERT textbooks for subjects other than General Knowledge.

CDS Admit Card 2022

UPSC releases the UPSC CDS admit card online. Candidates can download the admit card from the official website, i.e., upsc.gov.in. The CDS admit card is usually released three weeks before the exam date. Candidates can download it from the official website by logging in with their registration ID and date of birth.

The admit card has details like the candidate’s name, registration ID, date of birth, exam venue, etc. Furthermore, the allocated exam centres will be mentioned on the admit card. Candidates should check the details mentioned on the admit card and take a printout.

Combined Defence Services Preparation Tips

The CDS preparation plan may vary from one candidate to another. Go through the CDS Preparation Tips which will help candidates build the CDS exam preparation strategy:

  • Start the CDS preparation early and be aware of the syllabus and exam pattern.
  • Prepare a timetable for preparation. Distribute and prioritise the topics which are to be covered as per the syllabus.
  • Follow standard books to learn the concepts and practice well to increase accuracy.
  • Go through the daily current affairs and newspapers. Candidates have to be very consistent as memorising the current affairs before the day of the exam will not be very effective.
  • Practice and apply the concepts which were learned. Solve the previous papers and sample papers without fail.
  • Take mock tests and learn from mistakes. Improve speed and accuracy by analysing the mistakes.

Best Books for Combined Defence Services Exam

It is extremely important to refer to the right books in order to save time and prepare well. Here are some recommended CDS Books that candidates need to follow for exam preparation:

CDS Books – English Language

  • Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & Composition (S. Chand)
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis (Goyal Publishers)
  • Objective General English by S.P. Bakshi (Arihant Publishers)

CDS Books – General Language

  • General Knowledge (Latest Edition) by Manohar Pandey( Arihant Publication)
  • Manorama Yearbook (Malayala Manorama Publishers)

CDS Books – Mathematics

  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination by Dr R. S. Aggarwal
  • Mathematics for CDS Examination by Dr R. S. Aggarwal

UPSC CDS Result 2022

The written exam and final selection results for the CDS are announced in two stages. The CDS result for both stages is released in PDF format on the official website. The roll numbers of qualified candidates are displayed in the result.  It is necessary to secure qualifying marks in both the written exam and SSB Interview separately.

CDS Cut-off Marks

The CDS cut-off is the minimum mark required to clear the CDS written exam. UPSC is responsible for releasing the CDS cut-off. Aspirants can also refer to the previous year cut-off of the CDS 1 exam:

AcademyWritten ExamFinal Exam
Aggregate marks of last qualified candidate*Marks of last recommended candidate
OTA (Men)107189

UPSC Combined Defence Services: Career Opportunities

There is a huge scope for career growth for candidates who are commissioned as officers in IMA, AFA, INA, or OTA. Check the details below:

RanksPromotion (years of service)
LieutenantOn completion of training
Captain2 years
Major6 years 
Lieutenant Colonel13 years
Colonel(TS)16 years
Colonel15 years
Brigadier23 years
Major General25 years 
Lieutenant General28 years 
GeneralNo restrictions

CDS Salary Structure

Here is the salary for different posts after becoming an officer through the Combined Defence Services exam:

Lieutenant Level 10Rs 56,100 – 1,77,500
Captain Level 10 BRs 6,13,00 – 1,93,900
Major Level 11Rs 6,94,00 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant Colonel Level 12ARs 1,21,200 – 2,12,400
Colonel Level 13Rs 1,30,600 – 2,15,900
Brigadier Level 13ARs 1,39,600 – 2,17,600
Major General Level 14Rs 1,44,200 – 2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG Scale Level 15Rs 1,82,200 – 2,24,100
HAG + Scale Level 16Rs 2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/ Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG) Level 17Rs 2,25,000 (fixed)
COAS Level 18Rs 2,50,000 (fixed)

Note that Miltary Service Pay (MSP) of Rs. 15,500/- is also paid to the officers from the rank of Lieutenant to Brigadier.

Candidates may also check:

CDS Answer KeyCDS Exam Notification
CDS Application FormCDS Eligibility
CDS Exam DatesCDS Syllabus
CDS Exam PatternCDS Books
CDS PreparationCDS Selection Process
CDS Question PapersCDS Exam Centres
CDS Admit CardCDS Result
CDS Cut-off

FAQs on UPSC Combined Defence Services 2022

Here, we have enlisted some of the significant frequently asked questions related to the Combined Defence Services 2022 exam. Candidates must go through the questions and answers diligently to clear their doubts regarding the same subject.

Q.1: What is the qualification required for the CDS exam?
Ans: A candidate must have an Engineering degree for INA, a Graduate degree with Physics and Maths at 10+2 for AFA, and a graduate degree in any discipline for IMA and OTA from a recognised university.

Q.2: What is the age limit required for the CDS exam?
Ans: For AFA, the upper age limit is 24 years, while for IMA, OTA, and INA, the age limit is 23 years.

Q.3: Are women candidates eligible for the CDS exam?
Ans: Yes, unmarried female candidates are eligible to appear for the CDS exam. They will be joining OTA (SSC Women Non-Technical Course).

Q.4: What is the salary that will be offered after the CDS exam?
Ans: After the CDS exam, candidates will be given training at the respective academies, during which they will be given a certain stipend. Once they have completed their course, their position will be Lieutenant, for which the starting salary is Rs 56,100.

Q.5: When will the CDS 2022 exam be conducted?
Ans: The Commission conducted the Combined Defence Services (I) exam on April 10, 2022. Furthermore, UPSC will conduct the Combined Defence Services (II) exam on September 04, 2022.

Q.6: When will UPSC release the CDS 2022 exam application form?
Ans: UPSC started online applications for the Combined Defence Services (II) exam on May 18, 2022, on the official website, i.e., upsc.gov.in.

We hope that this detailed article on UPSC CDS 2022 helps you. Feel free to check our website or download our app if you have any queries. We will surely help you.

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