The Combined Defence Services Examination CDS/CDSE is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Officers Training Academy (OTA), Indian Naval Academy (INA) and Indian Air Force Academy. It is conducted twice every year. The notification for the same is usually announced in October and June while the examinations are conducted in February and November respectively. Candidates who are unmarried graduates are can only sit for the exam. Candidates who successfully pass the exam go through the Interview phase which is conducted by Services Selection Board (SSB) only after which the selected candidates are admitted into the respective Academies.
- For Naval Academy: Bachelor of Engineering
- For Air Force Academy: Bachelor degree from a recognized University with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level
- For IMA/OTA: Bachelor degree from a recognized university or equivalent
- Naval Academy: 19-23 years
- Officers’ Training Academy (OTA): 19-25 years
- Indian Military Academy (IMA): 19-24 years
- Air Force Academy: 19-23 years
All the papers are of Objective Type and as per UPSC CDS Syllabus
Indian Military Academy / Air Force Academy / Naval Academy
General Knowledge 100
Elementary Mathematics 100
Officers’ Training Academy
General Knowledge 100
Candidates who are successful in the written examination are then called for interview by a Services Selection Board. The SSB interview lasts for a week, during which rigorous physical and psychological tests are done to confirm whether the candidate is or not an officer material. Candidates who have opted for selection in Air Force Academy are tested for Pilot Aptitude Battery test [PABT]. Once the candidate successfully clears these test, he/she goes through a medical only after which they are selected into the armed forces.
The selection interview is based on an objective assessment of each candidate in which the qualities like initiative, alertness, judgement, courage, physical fitness endurance, cooperation, group planning, decisiveness, knowledge, etc. are judged. In addition to that, the psychological and mental robustness of the candidate vis-a-vis requirements of the Armed Forces is judged and finally, an overall assessment of the personality of a candidate is made by way of exhaustive personal interviews.