Eligibility Criteria

  • For IMA: Unmarried male candidates between 19 to 24 years.
  • For Indian Naval Academy: Unmarried male candidates between 19 to 22
  • For Air Force Academy: Unmarried male candidates between – 19 to 23 years.
  • For Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for Men): Male candidates (married or unmarried) – 19 to 25

For Officers Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course): Unmarried Women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible. –19 to 25

Note: Male divorcee/widower candidates cannot be treated as unmarried male for the purpose of their admission in IMA/INA/AFA courses and accordingly they are not eligible for these courses.

Educational Qualification:

  • For I.M.A. and Officers’ Training Academy: Degree of a recognized University or equivalent.
  • For Indian Naval Academy: Degree in Engineering from a recognized university/institution.

For Air Force Academy: Degree of a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of

Note: Those candidates who are studying in the final years Degree course and have yet to pass the final year Degree examination are also eligible to apply.

How to Apply For CDS:

The CDS application is to be filled out in two stages: Part I & II. The candidates are expected to complete the basic details in Part I of the registration. Later, the applicants must pay the application fees, choose the exam centre, upload photographs, signature, photo identity card document and declaration in Part 2.

Part 1:

  • Check out the official upsc.gov.in website.  
  • To register for the CDS test, click on the Part-I link 
  • To apply online for CDS, enter personal information, address, and educational qualifications 
  • Applicants will need to choose their preferred branch 
  • Prior to submitting the registration form, check the data 
  • The registration ID will be produced upon effective registration. 

Part 2:

To fill out the information in Part-II of the CDS application form, candidates have to login with their generated registration ID. The exam fee charged can be paid by the applicants via cash/credit card/debit card or net banking.

Selection Procedure:

(a) Written examination
(b) Interview for intelligence and personality test. (SSB Interview)

The subjects of the written examination, the time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject will be as follows:

(a) For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy: —

SubjectDurationMaximum Marks
English 2 hours 100
General Knowledge 2 hours 100
Elementary Mathematics2 hours100

(b) For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy: —

SubjectDurationMaximum Marks
English 2 hours 100
General Knowledge 2 hours 100

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

Intelligence and Personality Test:

The SSB protocol consists of stage I and stage II selection processes. Only those candidates who cleared the stage I are eligible to reach the next stage II. The particulars are as follows: 

 Day 0: Reporting Day

On the day candidate has to report, he has to follow the instructions as mentioned in the SSB call letter. Generally, the candidate has to report at the railway station in the morning between 7 Am – 8 Am, and from there, candidates are escorted to the board by one of the SSB officials. On the very same day, candidates are made to sit in the testing hall where they have to present their educational documents for verification and are allotted a number (called chest number) by which they will be able to identify the candidates throughout the process. A briefing about the schedule, various tests and general instructions shall be given.

Day 1: Screening test – Stage I

On Day 1, stage one of testing is administered. This includes a verbal and non-verbal intelligence test (About 50 questions each) and then a Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT). In this test, a picture, either clear or hazy is shown to the candidates for 30 seconds. Each candidate observes it and then, in the next minute, must record the number of characters seen in the picture. Then within a given time, each candidate must write nearly seventy words, make a story from the picture (not just describe the picture). The candidate must record the mood, approximate age and gender of the first character they saw, known as the “main character”. In stage two of the PPDT, the candidates are given their stories which they may revise. Each candidate in the group must narrate his or her story within one minute. The group is then asked to create a common story involving each of them or their perceived picture stories.

After the completion of these tests, unsuccessful candidates are dismissed. Other candidates are short-listed. They must complete the first of the five personal information questionnaires which must be recorded in the same manner. The personal information questionnaire is the main basis for the individual candidate interview.

Day 2,3,4: Psychology test, GTO tasks, and Personal Interview – Stage II

On Day 2, a thematic apperception test (TAT) or picture story writing is administered. It is similar to the PPDT, but the picture used is clear. Again the candidates are shown a picture for thirty seconds and then write a story in the next four minutes. Twelve such pictures are shown sequentially. The last picture is a blank slide inviting the candidates to write a story of their choice. Candidates do not need to remember the number of characters in each picture and there is no group discussion.

The next test will be the Word Association Test (WAT). The candidates are shown sixty simple everyday words in sequence. Each is shown for fifteen seconds. For each word, the candidates write the first thought that comes to mind in response to the word. Other tests administered on day two are the Situation Reaction Test (SRT) in which a booklet of 60 situations is given in which the responses are to be completed in 30 minutes and finally the Self Description Test (SDT) which consists of 5 questions asking about parents’, teachers’/employers’, friends’ and candidates’ own perception.

On days 3 and 4, Group test is conducted by a GTO (Group Testing Officer) On the third and fourth days, there are tasks including group discussion; group (military) planning exercises; progressive group tasks; small (half) group tasks; individual tasks (obstacles); group obstacle or “snake race”; command tasks; a lecturette with four heads; two group discussion on current as well as on social and personal topics and a final group task. Along with GTO, an individual candidate interview is conducted by the interviewing officer. It is based on the personal information questionnaires filled by the candidates on day 1 and other general and defense knowledge.

Day 5: Final assessment and results (Conference)

On day five, All the officers in proper uniform will attend a conference with each candidate. They will also have a conversation with a panel of assessors. The assessors will look for confidence and expression when speaking; a positive attitude in adversity and in life; honesty. Following this, the final results are announced. Successful candidates will remain for an intensive medical examination which takes four to five days at a military hospital.

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