Combined Defence Service   Apply Now

Candidates who wants to be a part of Indian Armed Forces after graduation can serve as a part of Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy have to apply for CDS which is Combined Defence Services. CDSE is conducted twice in a year by UPSC interested candidates who appear and cleared CDS written exam will be called for interview by Service Selection Board (SSB) and the successful candidates will be joined as GC (Gentleman Cadet) in respective training academies.

The Notification for the exam is generally publish in the months of October and June, and CDS exam is conducted twice in a year by UPSC in the months February and November.

After qualifying the written exam of CDS, the candidates get call from Services Selection Board for personality tests, these are series of psychological test which find out the quality in candidate for suitability in armed forces. Every candidate who join academy have to go through the process of SSB and to clear it before fixing his place in academies The process of interview is same for all the wings, like IMA, OTA, NA, and AFA. The only difference is that the candidates are called for SSB as per their choice of opting academies and  written marks , the cut-off marks for these vary, the cut-off marks  for OTA is lowest among all and  AFA has mostly the highest cut-off among all.

Now discussing the Interview procedure of CDSE. The interview is mostly a five day process, and few day may be extra in case of AFA flying branch. This interview is conducted by Services Selection Boards known as SSB has different types of tests to find out the quality like an officer in a person’s personality. Finally after clearing this the very few candidates go for further medical examination.

The total marks for the interview is 200 for OTA and 300 for IMA, INA and AIR FORCE ACADEMY.

Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university is necessary for Indian Military Academy(IMA).
Bachelor’s degree in Engineering/Technology from a recognized university or equivalent is necessary for Indian Naval Academy(INA).
Bachelor’s degree in Engineering/Technology from a recognized university or degree from a recognized university with Physics & Mathematics as subjects for Air Force Academy(AFA).
Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university/equivalent for Officers Training Academy(OTA).
Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university for Officers Training Academy.


  • Forms- October and June
  • Exam- February& November
  • SSB (CDS-I) – July / August/ September
  • SB (CDS –II) – February/ March / April

Educational Qualification

  • Degree of a recognized University or equivalent for IMA and OTA
  • B.Sc. with Physics & Mathematics or Bachelor of Engg. for Naval Academy
  • B.Sc. with Physics and/or Mathematics or Bachelor of engineering  for Air Force Academy


Age Limit -Candidate should be older than 19 years to apply for any academy. The age limit will be calculated as on November 28, 2020. For IMA – 19 years to 24 years For AFA – 19 years to 23 years For INA – 19 years to 22 years For OTA – 19 years to 25 years

Mode of Selection 

  • Written Exam
  • SSB Interview
  • Medical


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