• Students: 1
  • Duration: 10 weeks

The Combined Defence Services Examination (in short CDSE) is organised two times a year by the UPSC for commission into the IMA, OTA, INA and AFA. The Notification for the exam is generally released in the months of October and July, and the exams are held in February and November respectively. Only unmarried candidates are eligible to apply for the exam. Successful candidates join the different academies after a thorough interview procedure by the Services Selection Board (SSB).

Age Criteria

Indian Military Academy (IMA) 19–24 yrs
Air Force Academy (AFA) 19–24 yrs
Naval Academy (NA) 19–24 yrs
Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) 19–25 yrs

Details of Exam

Aspirants who wish to appear in the CDS Exam should know the exam pattern of CDSE so that they can pass the same successfully.

CDSE Pattern

Levels of Exam Written & SSB Interviews
Mode of Exam Offline / Pen & Paper based
Subjects 1- English 120 Qs.2- General Studies 120 Qs.

3- Elementary Mathematics 100 Qs.

Exam Duration 2 hrs Per Paper
Number of questions 340 Objective Qs. – IMA, INA, AFA
240 Objective Qs. – OTA
Medium of Paper English & Hindi (Both languages except in English Paper)


All the papers are of objective type.

Subject Max Marks
English 100
General Studies 100
Elementary Mathematics 100
Total 300

Officers’ Training Academy

Each paper contains objective type questions.

Subject Marks
English 100
General Knowledge 100
Total 200

Tentative Vacancy

Academy Tentative Vacancies
Indian Military Academy 100
Air Force Academy 30
Naval Academy 45
Officers Training Academy 230
Total 405

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