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CDS-I 2024 Overview

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The UPSC Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination stands as a beacon for individuals aspiring to serve their nation through a career in the armed forces. Conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the CDS examination is a rigorous selection process that opens doors to prestigious academies such as the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officers' Training Academy (OTA). Eligible candidates undergo a comprehensive written test encompassing English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics, followed by a thorough interview process conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSB). Success in the CDS examination marks the beginning of a transformative journey, with commissioned officers playing crucial roles in the Army, Navy, or Air Force. Beyond academic prowess, the CDS examination seeks individuals with qualities of leadership, intelligence, and character, making it a holistic assessment of one's readiness to contribute to the defense and security of the nation.

UPSC CDS 2024: Notification

The official notification for the UPSC CDS 1 Examination 2024 was published on the official website on December 20, 2023. This notification encompasses essential information about the exam, including details about vacancies, important dates, application procedures, eligibility criteria, exam pattern, syllabus or all other relevant information. With the CDS 1 Notification 2024 being issued for the course set to commence in January and April 2025, the direct link to download the notification is also available on

UPSC CDS 2024: Overview

If you are going to appear for the upcoming UPSC CDS 2023-24 Exam, then you must check the complete overview which is mentioned in the table below: 

UPSC CDS 2024 Exam Overview
Name of the OrganizationUnion Public Service Commission
Exam NameCombined Defence Service Examination (I) 2024
Number of CDS Vacancy457
Mode of ApplicationOnline
Registration Start Dates20th December 2023 
Registration Last Dates9th January 2024
Selection Process

Written Test


Medical Examination

Language of Written ExamBilingual
Examination ModeOffline
Type of QuestionsMultiple-choice questions
CDS Exam Duration2 hours (each paper)

UPSC CDS 2024: Important Dates 

The UPSC has announced the dates for the CDS I exam in 2024, and they are now available in the UPSC Calendar 2024. According to the schedule, the CDS 1 exam is scheduled for April 21, 2024. Here are some important dates which are mentioned below:

UPSC CDS-1 Exam 2024- Important Dates
EventsCDS 1 Dates
CDS 1 2024 Notification Release Date20th December 2023
CDS 1 2024 Online Registration Start Date20th December 2023
CDS 1 2024 Online Registration End Date9th January 2024 (06:00 pm)
CDS 1 2024 Last Date to Pay Fee9th January 2024 (06:00 pm)
CDS 1 2024 Admit Card April 2024
CDS 1 2024 Exam Date 21st April 2024

UPSC CDS 2024: Eligibility Criteria

If you are going to appear for the CDS 2024  exam, you must be aware of the CDS 2023 Eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria is based on the following factors:

  • Nationality Criteria
  • Age Limit Criteria
  • Educational Qualification Criteria
  • Marital Status Criteria

CDS 2024 Eligibility Criteria: Nationality

A CDS 2024  candidate must be unmarried and must either be:

(i) a Citizen of India, or 

(ii) a subject of Nepal, or 

(iii) 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. 

Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii) and (iii) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

Certificate of eligibility will, however, not be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal. A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination provisionally subject to the necessary certificate being given to him/her by the Govt. before declaration of result by UPSC. 

CDS 2024 Eligibility Criteria: Age Limit

The official CDS 2024 notification PDF provides comprehensive information on age limits, as elaborated below.

For IMA:

  • Unmarried male candidates eligible if born between 2nd January 2001 and 1st January 2006.

For Indian Naval Academy:

  • Unmarried male candidates eligible if born between 2nd January 2001 and 1st January 2006.

For Air Force Academy:

  • Age range: 20 to 24 years as of 1st January 2025.
  • Eligible candidates born between 2nd January 2001 and 1st January 2005.

CDS 2024 Eligibility Criteria: Marital Status

The Eligibility Criteria for CDS 2024 Exam on the basis of marital status:

Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Indian Naval Academy (INA):

  • Only unmarried males are eligible to apply.

Indian Air Force Academy:

  • Both married and unmarried males can apply.
  • Marriage during the training period is not permitted.

Officer Training Academy (OTA):

  • Unmarried males and females eligible to apply.

CDS 2024 Eligibility Criteria: Educational Qualification

As per the official notification, there is some educational qualification criteria for CDS 2024 Exam: 

Indian Military Academy (I.M.A.) and Officers' Training Academy:

  • Graduation degree required from a recognized University or equivalent.
  • Any subject is acceptable.

Indian Naval Academy:

  • Graduation in Engineering is mandatory.
  • Recognized University/Institution should award the degree.

Air Force Academy:

  • Bachelor's degree required from a recognized University.
  • Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level for non-Engineering graduates.
  • Bachelor of Engineering for Engineering graduates.

UPSC CDS 2024: Selection Process

The recruitment of UPSC CDS 2024 will be conducted in following stages:

Stage 1: Written Exam

Stage 2: SSB Interview/Personality Test

Stage 3: Document Verification

Stage 4: Medical Examination

The brief explanation of CDS 2024 Exam are as follows: 

CDS 2024 Stage 1: Written Exam

The initial stage involves a written examination that assesses candidates' proficiency in English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics. The examination is structured based on the specific requirements of the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy, and Officer Training Academy (OTA). Candidates who qualify in the written exam proceed to the next stage.

CDS 2024 Stage 2: SSB Interview/Personality Test

Shortlisted candidates from the written examination undergo the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview, also known as the Personality Test. This stage evaluates various aspects, including intelligence, communication skills, leadership qualities, and the overall suitability of candidates for a career in the armed forces. The SSB interview is a crucial step in determining the candidates' potential to undertake the responsibilities associated with military service.

CDS 2024 Stage 3: Document Verification

Following the SSB interview, candidates undergo document verification to ensure the authenticity of their educational qualifications, age, and other essential details. This stage is critical for maintaining transparency and confirming that candidates meet the specified eligibility criteria.

CDS 2024 Stage 4: Medical Examination

Candidates who successfully clear the document verification stage undergo a comprehensive medical examination. The medical examination is conducted to assess candidates' physical fitness and health, ensuring that they meet the prescribed standards necessary for military service. This stage plays a pivotal role in determining the candidates' ability to withstand the physical demands of the armed forces.

The combination of these stages in the UPSC CDS 2024 recruitment process ensures a holistic evaluation, covering academic capabilities, personality traits, documentation accuracy, and physical fitness. Successful candidates, upon completion of these stages, embark on their respective journeys to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy, or Officer Training Academy (OTA) to undergo further training and contribute to the defense forces of the nation.

UPSC CDS 2024: Exam Pattern

Candidates must successfully pass the CDS 2024 Written Examination to advance to the interview round. Review the CDS 2024 examination format for each position outlined below.

  • Multiple-Choice Questions will be present in each paper.
  • The question papers for General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics will be available in both Hindi and English.
  • A penalty of 1/3 marks will be applied for each incorrect answer.
  • The duration of each examination is distinct, totaling 2 hours for each.
CDS 2024 Exam Pattern for  Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA) and Air Force Academy (AFA)
SNoSubjectMaximum MarksDuration
1English1202 hours
2General Knowledge1202 hours
3Elementary Mathematics1002 hours
CDS 2024 Exam Pattern For Officers' Training Academy (OTA)
SNoSubjectMaximum MarksDuration
1English1002 hours
2General Knowledge1002 hours

UPSC CDS 2024: Apply Online

If you want to start your career in CDS, then applying online is the first and the foremost step for the Army career. Here are the following steps to apply online CDS 2024 Exam:

  • Visit the official UPSC website: Go to or use the provided link for direct access.
  • Navigate to CDS 1 Exam Application: On the homepage, click on "Examination," then select "Active Examinations," and finally, choose "Online Application For UPSC CDS 1 Exam."
  • Click on "Part-1": Find "Combined Defence Examination (I) 2024" and click on "Part-1." Read the instructions carefully and click "Yes" to proceed.
  • Fill in Personal Details: On the new page, provide accurate personal details as required.
  • Select Preferences and Move to Part II: Carefully choose your preferences and move on to Part II of the application.
  • Pay Application Fee: Follow the instructions to pay the application fee using online/offline methods.
  • Choose CDS 2024 Examination Center: Select your preferred examination center from the provided list.
  • Upload Scanned Documents: Upload the necessary scanned documents as specified in the CDS 2024 application form.
  • Review and Submit: Double-check all the entered CDS 2024 details and click "Submit."
  • Download Application Form: After submission, download a copy of the UPSC CDS 1 application form 2024 for future reference.

Following these steps ensures a smooth and successful completion of your CDS exam registration process.

UPSC CDS 2024: Fees Structure

The Fees Structure for UPSC CDS 2023-24 are as follows:

CategoryCDS 2023-24 Fees Structure
All categoriesRs. 200/-


  • Fees are the same for all categories except SC/ST/Females. They are exempted from fee payment.
  • Payment can be made through either online or offline methods, including Net Banking, Mastercard/Debit Card, or by depositing cash in any branch of SBI Bank.
  • Once the payment is done, it cannot be refined in any case. 

UPSC CDS 2024: Admit Card

The admit card for the CDS (Combined Defence Services) 1 Exam can be downloaded from the official website of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The admit card is a crucial document that serves as proof of eligibility for appearing in the examination. Here are the key steps to obtain and details about the CDS 1 Exam Admit Card:

Step 1: Visit the official UPSC website (

Step 2: Look for the "Admit Card" or "E-Admit Card" section on the UPSC website.

Step 3: Choose the option related to the CDS 1 Exam.

Step 4: Enter your registration ID, roll number, date of birth, and other required details to log in.

Step 5: Once logged in, you should be able to download the CDS 2024 admit card.

Step 6: The CDS 2024 admit card will contain essential information such as your name, photograph, roll number, exam center details, and exam timings.

Step 7: It is advisable to take a printout of the CDS 2024 admit card and keep it safely for future reference.

Step 8: Ensure that all the details on the admit card are correct. In case of discrepancies, contact the UPSC authorities promptly.

Step 9: Read and follow the instructions mentioned on the admit card for a smooth experience on the exam day.

Remember that the admit card is a mandatory document, and candidates are usually not allowed to enter the examination hall without it. It is recommended to download and print the admit card well before the exam date to avoid any last-minute hassles.

UPSC CDS 2024: Cut-offs

UPSC puts up the lowest passing marks, known as cut-off marks, on its website for the CDS Exam. To be eligible, candidates need at least 20 marks in each subject. But, to be selected, they must score higher than the cut-off marks. UPSC releases two types of cut-offs: one for the written exam and another as the final cut-off. To get an idea, take a look at the cut-off marks from the previous year.

CDS 1 Cut Off 2022
CourseWritten ResultFinal Cut Off
OTA (Men)100181
CDS 2 Cut Off 2022
CategoryWritten Cut OffFinal Cut Off
OTA (Men)102183

UPSC CDS 2024: Result out

The results for the CDS (Combined Defence Services) 1 Exam are generally announced by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on its official website. Here are the key steps and information related to checking the CDS 1 Exam Result:

Step 1: Visit the official UPSC website at

Step 2: Look for the "Examination" or "Results" section on the UPSC website.

Step 3: Navigate to the section related to the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination.

Step 4: The results are usually published in the form of a PDF document containing the roll numbers or names of the candidates who have qualified.

Step 5: Download the PDF file and check for your roll number or name in the list.

Step 6: Sometimes, UPSC also releases individual scorecards. If available, you might be able to check your detailed scores by logging into your UPSC account.

Step 7: Ensure that you cross-verify your details against the official result to confirm your qualification status.

Step 8: The result document may also contain instructions regarding the next stages of the selection process.

It's crucial to stay updated with the official UPSC website and any notifications regarding result announcements. Additionally, UPSC may send notifications to candidates via email or SMS regarding the availability of results.

Always keep a copy of the result for future reference. In case of any concerns or discrepancies, candidates should promptly get in touch with UPSC authorities for clarification and resolution.

Exam Date

21st April 2024

Total Vacancies


Pricing Plan

Flexible pricing options for all the aspirants


What are the exam dates for CDS 2024 exam?

As far as the CDS 2024 exam dates are concerned the UPSC CDS 1 exam will take place on April 21, 2024.

What is the selection process of CDS exam? +

The recruitment of UPSC CDS 2024 will be conducted in following stages: Stage 1: Written Exam Stage 2: SSB Interview/Personality Test Stage 3: Document Verification Stage 4: Medical Examination

What is the difference between CDS 1 and CDS 2? +

Every year, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the CDS exam twice in a year to recruit eligible candidates for the armed forces. The notification for CDS 1 is released with 457 vacancies and the CDS 2 notification will be released in May/June along with the number of vacancies.

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