The CDS Written Examination is conducted by UPSC twice every year for graduates to fill the vacancies of the following institutions of the Indian Armed Forces.

  • Indian Military Academy (IMA) : Dehradun
  • Indian Naval Academy : Ezhimala
  • Air Force Academy : Hyderabad
  • Officers Training Academy (OTA) : Chennai. For both Men and Women

  • How To Apply For CDS / OTA Examination

    The Notification for the CDS written exam is issued in the months of November and July. UPSC holds the exam in the months of Feb and October. Students can apply for the CDS and OTA written examination online only on UPSC website.

    Eligibility For CDS Written Examination

    Educational: Graduates- qualified or appearing (final year) are eligible to sit for CDS written exam. For Air Force and Navy candidates must have engineering /physics and mathematics subjects. For details check the notification. For OTA, Graduates and final year students can to apply.

    Age: 19 to 24 years on date of joining IMA. For OTA, age must be between 19 to 25 years on date of joining.

    Gender: Both male and female can apply for OTA exam.

    Exam Pattern of CSS / OTA Written Examination

    The CDS written exam consists of three papers.
    1. General Knowledge- 100 Marks.
    2. English- 100 Marks.
    3. Mathematics- 100 Marks.

    All three papers of the CDS written exam are held on the same day and the duration of each paper is two hours. The papers of CDS written exam are of 100 marks each and the total of the CDS written exam is of 300 marks.

    The OTA Written exam consists of only two of the above mentioned papers;
    1. General Knowledge- 100 Marks.
    2. English- 100 Marks.

    OTA Candidates are exempted from Mathematics exam. The remaining two papers of OTA written exam are of 100 marks each and the total of the OTA written exam is of 200 marks.


    NDA or National Defence Academy is a national institute for training selected young men for officer level entry into the Armed forces of India. NDA is located at Khadakwasla near Pune, Maharashtra. It is a training facility for the leaders of tomorrow who will be respected and followed. It is not just an institution but a way of life. NDA transforms a hesitant young cadet into an honourable, physically and mentally competent and polished man who is prepared for any kind of adversity that might face him; an officer and a gentleman.


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