UPSC, CDS II exam registration underway: Check eligibility, exam pattern, syllabus and more |

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) had announced the Combined Defence Service I (CDS I) Exam result on May 9, 2024. It was conducted on April 21, 2024. This exam is conducted by UPSC twice a year. In 2024, CDS II is scheduled to be conducted on September 1, according to the UPSC calendar. The registration window for UPSC CDS II went Live yesterday, 15th May.The last date of application is June 4, 2024. Here is a bird’s eye view of this crucial exam, meant for candidates seeking jobs in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force and training in the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA). All aspiring candidates are required to undergo training at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) after clearing the CDS exam.
CDS Exam II 2024: Eligibility Criteria
Aspirants seeking to join the Indian Armed Forces through the CDS exam must meet specific eligibility criteria, including nationality, age limit, and educational qualifications.
Nationality: A candidate must be unmarried and must either be:
(i) A Citizen of India
(ii) A subject of Nepal
(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 intending to settle in India permanently. Candidates belonging to categories (ii) and (iii) above should have a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India.
Age limit: The candidate must be between 20-24 years, the minimum age limit being 19 years. The age limit for the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy is 25 years, and 24 years for the Indian Military Academy.
Educational Qualification: The candidate applying for the exam must be a graduate or in the final year of graduation.

Educational qualification required
  1. Indian Military Academy (IMA) and

Officers’ Training Academy (OTA)

  1. Indian Naval Academy (INA)
Bachelors in Engineering
  1. Air Force Academy (AFA)
Graduated with Physics and Mathematics in Class 12th or Bachelor of Engineering

Physical Eligibility:The candidate appearing for the CDS II exam must meet certain physical and medical criteria to sit for the exam. For male candidates, the minimum height required is 157.5 cm, and for female candidates, the required minimum height is 152 cm. Apart from height, there are weight requirements too. The weight of male candidates must be proportionate to height, with a minimum of 50 kg for 152cm height and increasing by 0.5 kg for every additional cm of height. For the female candidates, the minimum weight requirement is 46kg for 152cm height and increasing by 0.5kg for every additional cm of height. Check details here.

Male Candidate
Height Required (in cm)
Navy 152cm
Air Force Flying Branch 162.5cm
Air Force Ground Duty 157.5cm
Gorkhas, Assamese, Garhwalis, etc 152cm
Indian Military Academy 157.5cm

Female Candidates
Height Required (in cm)
Gorkhas, Assamese, Garhwalis, etc 147cm
Candidates from the hills and Northeastern region (Garhwali and Kumaon etc.) 5cm shorter than the standard height
Lakshadweep candidate 2cm shorter than the standard height

Syllabus and Exam Pattern

The CDS exam is conducted in two stages. The first stage involves a written exam, followed by an interview for the second stage. The written exam comprises objective-type questions that assess the candidate’s knowledge and aptitude.
For IMA, INA, and AFA, the written exam comprises three subjects: English (100 marks, 2 hours), General Knowledge (100 marks, 2 hours), and Elementary Mathematics (100 marks, 2 hours). OTA includes English (100 marks, 2 hours) and General Knowledge (100 marks, 2 hours). Check the details here. Here is a look at the syllabus of each subject.

  • English: Vocabulary, basic grammar, comprehension.
  • General Knowledge: Current Affairs, Indian Polity, Indian History, Economics, general science, and defense-related news, etc.
  • 2. Elementary Mathematics (Not required for OTA)- Arithmetics, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, statics, etc.
IMA, INA, and AFA English (100 marks, 2 hours),

General Knowledge (100 marks, 2 hours),

Elementary Mathematics (100 marks, 2 hours)

OTA English (100 marks, 2 hours) and General Knowledge (100 marks, 2 hours).

There is also a negative marking of ⅓ marks for each wrong answer. The candidate who qualifies for the written exam proceeds to the Service Selection Board (SSB) interview, which evaluates their personality, leadership qualities, and communication skills.

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