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CDS Selection Process 2024: Qualification & Eligibility

CDS Selection Process 2024: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) defines the selection process for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam, aiming to choose qualified candidates as Commissioned Officers in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. CDS Selection Procedure 2024 involves 3 stages. Candidates first have to clear the Written Examination and then they will be shortlisted for the Interview and Medical Process. In this article, we have provided all the necessary information in detail regarding all the three stages of the CDS selection process.

CDS Selection Process

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) organizes the CDS exam twice in a year to select suitable candidates to serve the nation. The selection process consists of three stages: the Written Test, SSB Interview, and Medical Examination. Aspirants must successfully pass each stage of the CDS Selection Process 2024 to progress to the next stage of the recruitment process. This article provides a detailed understanding of all the stages involved in the UPSC CDS Selection Process 2024.

CDS Selection Process 2024 Overview

Given below is the overview of the CDS exam that will help the candidates to get an idea about the Selection Process and the necessary information that needs to be kept in mind in order to crack the CDS 1 2024 exam.

CDS Selection Process: Overview
Name of the Exam Combined Defence Forces (CDS)
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam Conducted in A Year Twice
Mode of Examination Offline
Type of Questions Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Medium Hindi or English
Number of Questions IMA/INA/AFA – 300
OTA – 200
Time Duration 2 hours for each paper
Negative Marking Yes (1/3rd deducted for every wrong answer)

CDS Selection Process 2024

Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria will need to undergo a three-stage selection process for CDS Recruitment 2024. This process comprises:

  • Written Examination: Candidates must first participate in a written examination.
  • SSB Interview: Successful candidates from the written exam will proceed to the SSB (Service Selection Board) interview stage.
  • Medical Verification: Following the SSB interview, candidates will undergo a medical examination to verify their medical fitness.

CDS IMA, INA, and AFA Selection Process 2024

The Union Public Service Commission shall prepare a list of candidates who obtain the minimum qualifying marks in the written examination as fixed by the Commission in their discretion.

A). CDS 1 2024 Examination Pattern for IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA: The written examination consists of the below subjects:

For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy:

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
Mathematics 2 Hours 100
SSB Test/Interview 5 Days 300

B). CDS 1 2024 SSB Interview involves 2 stages:

Candidates who are declared successful in the written exam will be detailed for intelligence and personality test at the Service Selection Board based on their preference by the respective service HQ.

  • Stage 1 consists of officer intelligence rating, picture perception, and description test.
  • Stage 2 involves a psychology test, interview, group testing officer task, and conference.

Candidates who qualify in the written examination and given their first choice as Army (IMA/OTA) are required to register themselves on the recruiting directorate website www.joinindianarmy.nic.in in order to enable them to receive call up information for SSB Interview. Those candidates who have already registered on the recruiting directorate website are advised not to register again.

C). CDS OTA Selection Process 2024

For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy:

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
SSB Test/Interview 5 days 300

The written exam stage for the OTA comprises 2 papers for a total of 200 marks. The candidates who clear this exam with the minimum qualifying marks will be further shortlisted for the interview round. There will be a positive marking of 1 mark for every correct answer and a negative marking of 0.33 marks for every wrong answer.

CDS 1 2024 OTA SSB Interview 2024 involves 2 stages:

  • Stage 1 consists of officer intelligence rating, picture perception, and description test
  • Stage 2 involves a psychology test, interview, group testing officer task, and conference.

SSB Selection Procedure 2024

SSB Interview is five days long procedure that includes two stages of testing as stage I & stage II. This procedure will be organized at the SSB Centers (designated by SSB).

Stage 1 is a screening test that consists of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and Picture Perception & Description Test (PP & DT), whereas Stage II consists of Psychology Tests, Group Testing Officer (GTO) Tasks, Interview& Conference. SSB Interview also includes Intelligence & Personality Test.

Here, we have updated the complete details about SSB Interview which includes updates for the SSB exam, SSB online procedure.

SSB Interview: Day 1 – Screening Test

  • Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR)
  • Picture Perception & Description Test (PP & DT)

SSB Interview: Day 2 – Psychology Tests

This test of the SSB Interview is viewed as generally precarious to break as it is assessed by logical techniques by the SSB assessors. Psychological test in the SSB Interview consists of the following series:

  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  • Word Association Test (WAT)
  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
  • Self Description Test (SDT)

SSB Interview: Day 3 & 4 – Group Testing (GTO Tasks)

GTO consists of the following group exercises:

  • Group Discussion
  • Group Planning Exercise
  • Progressive Group Tasks (PGT)
  • Half Group Tasks
  • Individual Obstacles
  • Group Obstacles Race or Snake Race
  • Command Task
  • Lecturette
  • Final Group Task

SSB Interview: Day 5 – Conference

After completion of all the tasks, the result is announced on the last day of the SSB Interview procedure and the selected candidates undergo the medical examination and then after a few months, a final merit list of the recommended candidates is announced.

Medical Examination

To be deemed ‘Medically fit’, a candidate must be in good physical and mental health and free from any disease/syndrome/disability likely to interfere with the efficient performance of military duties in any terrain, climate, season including sea, and air, in remote areas, in austere conditions with no medical aid. The candidate also should be free of medical conditions which require frequent visits to medical facilities and the use of any aid/drugs.

What After CDS Selection?

After successfully passing the CDS selection process, candidates follow the given things in each respective academy:

  • Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Officer Training Academy (OTA):
  • Gentlemen or Lady Cadets receive a stipend of INR 56,100 during the training period
  • At IMA, candidates undergo military training for 18 months
  • Upon successful completion of training, Gentlemen Cadets are granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Lt., subject to medical fitness
  • Indian Naval Academy (INA):
  • Candidates joining INA are under probation until the completion of their initial training.
  • After successful completion of approximately 18 months of training, cadets are commissioned in the rank of Sub-Lieutenant.
  • Air Force Academy (AFA) – Flying Branch (Pilots):
  • The approximate duration of training for the Flying Branch (Pilots) at the Air Force Academy is 74 weeks.

These training programs aim to prepare candidates for their respective roles and responsibilities within the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force, ensuring they are well-equipped for their duties as officers.

CDS Selection Process 2024: Qualification & Eligibility_40.1


Q.1 How many stages are there in CDS Exam?

Ans. CDS Selection Process involves two stages i.e. Written Examination and SSB Interview.

Q.2 How is CDS merit list prepared?

Ans. A candidate needs to secure minimum qualifying marks in the Written Examination on the basis of which they will be called for SSB interview.

Q.3 Is CDS exam very tough?

Ans. This is a highly competitive exam so candidates should have a proper strategy and Study Plan to ace this exam. We have curated the 75 Days Study Plan to boost up your preparation.

Q.4 What is the process after CDS exam?

Ans. Candidates who secure the minimum cut off of the written examination will be called for SSB Interview.


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