CDS 2023: CDS 1 Eligibility Criteria, Exam Date, Exam Pattern

CDS 2023– UPSC will soon be inviting the applications for recruitment in different Indian defence services such as IMA, OTA, INA and AFA. Candidates interested in pursuing a career in the armed forces need to apply for CDS 2021 by filling the online application form. UPSC conducts CDS examination twice a year. The application form for CDS-I is to likely be released in October 2022 and for CDS-II it will release in August 2023.

Candidates must ensure their eligibility status before they apply for the exam.The exam will be conducted in pen and paper-based mode where the candidates will get a question booklet and OMR answer sheet to mark their response. They will get a total of 2 hours for each subject.Selection in Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy will be subjected to the eligibility conditions, performance of the candidates in CDS 2023, and other factors.

UPSC CDS 2023 Highlights

  1. Only online application will be treated as a valid one. There will be no printed applications released by the authority for submission.
  2. Candidates must possess a valid email id and phone number to register for the exam.
  3. In case of multiple applications, the one last received with the higher registration ID will be considered as a valid one.
  4. Women candidates can only apply for OTA and not for the other remaining services.
  5. Candidates who are married and above 25 years of age can apply for CDS, but no accommodation will be provided to them during the training. Such candidates are also prohibited to live outside the premises with family during the training.
  6. Those who are serving in government service or private organisation or any similar organisation can submit their applications directly to the commission via direct recruitment process.
  7. Medical fitness is the pre-condition for appearing in the CDS recruitment process.
  8. Candidates who will clear the written test need to register themselves for the SSB interview round on the official website of Indian Army.

Important dates

The tentative schedule of UPSC CDS 2023 examination is mentioned below-

Application form releasing October 2022 August 2023
Last date to register November 2022 August 2023
Admit card downloading 2nd week of January 2023 Last week of October 2023
Date of written examination February 2023 November 2023
Result declaration To be announced December 2023
Call letter downloading for Interview To be announced Last week of February 2023 (IMA)

Last week of May 2023 (OTA)

Final result announcement To be announced To be announced

Exam pattern

Given below is the exam pattern of CDS 2023 recruitment-

  • Exam language:Hindi and English
  • Duration:2 hours for each subject
  • Mode:Offline
  • Type of questions:Multiple choice-based
  • Negative marking:A penalty of 1/3rd marks will be levied for each incorrect answer.


Subject Maximum marks Duration
General Knowledge 100 2 hours
Elementary Mathematics 100 2 hours
English language 100 2 hours
Total 300 6 hours


Subject Maximum marks Duration
General Knowledge 100 2 hours
English 100 2 hours
Total 200 4 hours


CDS syllabus comprises of the subjects such as GK, English and Elementary mathematics. The topics included in these subjects are generic in nature. With the dedication and right kind of preparation, candidates can crack the written exam easily. Here are some of the key topics that must be prepared by the candidates-

  • General knowledge:Person in news, current affairs, history, geography, environment, international and national news, political science etc.
  • English:Antonym, synonym, sentence correction, sentence rearrangement, one-word substitution, comprehension, reading passage, vocabulary, etc.
  • Elementary maths:Trigonometry, number system, geometry, algebra, mensuration etc.

Application form

Candidates are required to apply online by using the The Commission has introduced the facility of withdrawal of Application for those candidates who do not want to appear for the Examination. The application form will ask for details such as personal, educational, work-experience, payment details among others. Candidates need to fill these details as per their correct knowledge. If at any stage, the information given by them is found to be misleading then such candidates will be debarred from taking the exam and strict actions will be taken against them.

Before making the final submission of application, candidates should review their details and correct the same if required. It is mandatory for the applicants to pay the required sum as the application fee except for female and SC/ST candidates. Candidates need not send the hardcopy of their applications to the commission. The form must be submitted on or before the due date specified by UPSC.

Application fee

Applicants need to pay Rs. 200/- as the application fee. Female and SC/ST candidates need not pay the stated fee. The payment can be made using the credit card, debit card, net banking and E-Challan of SBI bank. Fee once paid shall not be refunded under any circumstances.

Eligibility criteria

In order to apply for CDS 2023, candidates must fulfil the necessary eligibility conditions laid down by the commission. Here are those conditions-

Nationality: A candidate must be unmarried, and must either be-

  • Citizen of India or subject of Bhutan/ Nepal or a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before1st January 1962 to permanently settle in India.
  • A PIO migrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, and East African countries of- Zaire, Kenya,Uganda, United republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, or Vietnam now settled in India.

Age limit, sex, and marital status

  • For AFA: The age of the candidates should fall between 20 years old and 24 years as on 1stJanuary/ July 2024.
  • For OTA (men): Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January/ July 1999 and not later than 1st January/ July 2005 can apply.
  • For OTA (women): Unmarried women, widows and divorcees who have not remarried and are born not earlier than 2nd January/ July 1999 and not later than 1st January/ July 2005 are eligible.
  • For IMA: Candidates should be an unmarried male and must not have been born earlier than 2nd January/July 2000 and not later than 1st January/ July 2005.
  • For INA: Unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January/July 2000 and not later than 1st January/July 2004 can apply for the exam.
  • Applicants whose age is less than 25 years must be unmarried.

Educational qualification

  • For INA: Candidates should have completed B.E/B.Tech from a recognized university/ institution.
  • For AFA: Candidates must hold a degree of a recognized university (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or have done Bachelor of Engineering from a recognized university.
  • For IMA and OTA:A degree from a recognized university in any discipline is required.

Admit card

  • Applicants can download the admit card of CDS 2023 from the official web portal of UPSC.
  • Only E-admit card will be released by the commission. No admit card shall be sent to the candidates through post or other mode.
  • Candidates must bring the printed copy of the admit card and a valid ID proof to the exam hall failing which they won’t be allowed to appear in the exam.
  • Any discrepancy in the admit card must be reported to the authority immediately.


  • The result of written exam and interview can be checked from the official web portal of UPSC.
  • Only those candidates can appear for SSB interview who have cleared the written exam.
  • Applicants selected for Air Force and Naval Aviation need to appear for the pilot test.
  • Those who qualify the exam need to register themselves for SSB interview on the official website of Indian Army.

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