UPSC CDS 2021 Exam Details- Notification, Date, Cut-off, PYQ, Selection Process

About CDS Exam

UPSC CDS 2021: The Combined Defence Services Examination (abbreviated as CDS Exam) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment of Commissioned Officers in the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

The Notification for the examination is usually released in the months of October and June, and the examinations are conducted in February and November respectively. Only unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam. Examination is conducted twice a year. Successful candidates are admitted into the respective Academies after an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).

upsc cds 2021 exam

In this article, we have explained every aspect of UPSC CDS 2021.

UPSC CDS 2021 Exam Basic Info

Go through the glimpse of the UPSC CDS 2 Exam from the below table and know everything about the examination. The candidates who are seeking this opportunity to be a part of the prestigious Defence Academy must bookmark this page to get notified of every latest update.

OrganizationUnion Public Service Commission
Exam NameCombined Defence Service Examination (II) 2021
CDS 2 Vacancies339
CDS 2 Online Registration04th to 24th August 2021
Mode of ApplicationOnline
Selection ProcessWritten Test- Interview- Medical Examination
Language of Written ExamBilingual
Mode of ExaminationOffline
Type of QuestionsMultiple-choice questions
CDS 2 Exam Duration2 hours (each paper)
Marking Scheme1/3 for each incorrect answer
Job LocationAll Over India

UPSC CDS 2021 Vacancy 

The fresh vacancies to be recruited through CDS 2, 2021 examination have been announced along with the official notification on 4th August 2021. For the CDS-2 Exam, a total of 339 vacancies are announced for Indian Air Force, Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Officer’s Training Academy. Have a look at the CDS-2 Vacancy distribution for reference.

CDS II 2021 Vacancy
Name of the academyNumber of Vacancies
Indian Military Academy, Dehradun100
Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala22
Air Force Academy, Hyderabad32
Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai (Madras) SSC Men169
Officers Training Academy, Chennai SSC Women16
Total Vacancies339

UPSC CDS 2021 Exam Important Dates

CDS Exam is held twice a year (February and November). UPSC has released the CDS exam dates 2021 for the CDS II exam along with its notification. As per the notification the CDS II 2021 Exam is scheduled to be held on 14th November 2021. Check all the important dates for the CDS II 2021 exam and set your reminder so you don’t miss any dates.

Online Registration Start Date04th August 2021
Online Registration End Date24th August 2021
Online Application Withdrawn31st August to 6th September 2021
CDS II Admit Card Release DateOctober 2021
CDS II Exam Date 202114th November 2021
CDS II ResultDecember (tentatively)
Interview DatesTo be notified soon
Final ResultTo be notified soon

UPSC CDS 2021 Eligibility Criteria

The candidates must meet the eligibility standards as set by the Union Public Service Commission for defence recruitment. Check detailed eligibility (nationality, education, age, marital status, sex) from below.


A candidate should hold The Citizenship of India, subject of Nepal/Bhutan, or Tibetan refugee who had been migrated to India before January 01, 1962, with the intention of Permanent Settle, or an individual of Indian Origin migrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Zaire & Vietnam for permanent settle purpose in India.

Education Qualification

For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy – The candidate should have a graduation degree (any subject) from a recognized University or equivalent.

For Indian Naval Academy– The candidate should have completed their Graduation in Engineering from a recognized University/Institution.

For Air Force Academy– The candidate should hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Age Limit 

The candidate should fall in the age group of 20 to 24 years. The detailed age limit details are mentioned on the official notification pdf.

Marital Status & Gender

• For Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, only Unmarried males are eligible to apply for CDS Exam

• For Indian Air Force Academy, both married and unmarried males can apply, however marriage during the training is not permitted

• For Officer Training Academy, unmarried males & females can apply for CDS Exam.

CDS Exam 2021 Selection Procedure

The recruitment of AFA, IMA, INA & Officers Training Academy posts will be conducted on the basis of:

  1. Written Exam
  2. SSB Interview/Personality Test
  3. Document Verification
  4. Medical Examination

UPSC CDS 2021 Exam Pattern

The candidates have to clear CDS Written Examination to get selected for the interview round. Check the exam pattern for each position below.

• There will be 100 Multiple-Choice Questions in each paper

• The question paper for General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics will be set in Hindi as well as English

• There will be a penalty of 1/3 marks for a wrong answer

• Duration of each exam is separate i.e. 2 hours.

For Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy
SNoSubjectMaximum MarksDuration
1English1002 hours
2General Knowledge1002 hours
3Elementary Mathematics1002 hours
For Officers’ Training Academy
SNoSubjectMaximum MarksDuration
1English1002 hours
2General Knowledge1002 hours

Note The maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be equal for each course i.e. the maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be 300, 300, 300 and 200 each for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers’ Training Academy respectively.

UPSC CDS 2021 Syllabus 

Candidates can check the UPSC CDS Syllabus in the table given below.

There are 3 main sections in UPSC CDS Exam Syllabus, to get a detailed SyllabusClick here

  • English
  • General Knowledge
  • Elementary Mathematics

English – Antonyms, Sentence improvement, Comprehension, Synonyms, Word substitution, Ordering of sentences(Para Jumbles), Spotting Errors, Selecting Words, Ordering of words in a sentence.

General Knowledge– Current Awareness, Economics, Physics, Biology, Sociology, Chemistry, Award and honours, books and authors, History, Politics, Geography, Environment, Defence, Sport and Culture.

Elementary Mathematics– Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Mensuration, Statistics

UPSC CDS 2021 Exam Application Process

Follow the steps as mentioned below to complete your CDS 2 Exam Registration process.

Step 1: Visit the official website of UPSC i.e.

Step 2: On the homepage, click on Examination >> Active Examinations >> Online Application for UPSC CDS 2 Exam.

Step 3: Click on “Part-1” against Combined Defence Examination (II) 2021

Step 4: Read all the instructions carefully and proceed by clicking on “Yes”

Step 5: You will be redirected to a new page, start filling in your details correctly.

Step 6: Select your preferences carefully and continue to Part-II.

Step 7: Pay the required application fee through online/offline mode as discussed above.

Step 8: Select the desired examination center from the list.

Step 9: Upload scanned documents as required in the application form.

Step 10: Check all the details and click on “Submit”. Download a copy of the application form for future reference.

UPSC CDS 2021 Application Fee

The examination fee for CDS Exam is Rs. 200/- for all categories except SC/ST/Females (exempted from fee payment). The payment can be done through online/offline mode (Net Banking, Mastercard/Debit Card or cash deposit in any branch of SBI Bank) 


UPSC releases cut-off marks for CDS Exam on its official website. The candidates must score the minimum qualifying marks (i.e. 20 marks minimum in each subject) and for selection must score more than the cut-off marks. UPSC releases CDS written exam cut-off and final cut-off separately. The final cut-off for CDS 2 is expected to be out in May 2022. Check the previous year’s cut-off marks for your reference.

CDS-I Cut off 2020 
AcademyWritten ExamFinal Exam
OTA (Men)93173


This article discusses UPSC CDS 2021 Exam in detail. Every candidate is suggested to go through the aforementioned information very carefully. It is hoped that the contents of this article result to be helpful to all the candidates.  

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