UPSC – Combined Defence Service Examination

Combined Defence Service Examination


Our country is going through a rapid change and striving towards development in all sectors. The youth in our country has many options to choose, be it for education, career and others.  Majority of the fresher’s who pass out from college like to continue with their studies or find a job which pays them a handsome salary. Among these, there are certain students who like to contribute their services or taking challenges to safeguard their country or defending their country from any known and visible threats which may harm the peace and prosperity of the our country.

The next question arises is that how to be part of the elite force in the country and the answer to that question is Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE). This exam is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) twice a year. The aim of this exam is to recruit candidates for Army, Navy and Air Force. The exam is conducted in the months May and October. The selected candidates will be send to one of the below training centers.

·        Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun

·        Naval Academy, Goa

·        Air Force Academy, Begumpet, Hyderabad

·        Officers Training Academy, Chennai.

The candidates joining who join the first three institutes will be posted for permanent assignments.  The candidates who complete their course from OTA (Officers Training Academy) which be part of the Short Service Commission will be inducted in the Indian Army. The candidates should mention their preferences while completing the application form.

Candidates who clear the exam will be called for personal interview by the Services Selection Board (SSB) who will value the credibility and suitability of the candidate if he/she is eligible for the armed force. The SSB interview last for week and the candidate has to go through various rounds such as physical and psychological tests to identify if the candidate is fit to be in the armed force.

Once the candidate is cleared by SSB he / she will be admitted in the above mentioned institutions.


According to the Union Public Service Commission, all men and women who are a

citizen of Indian,  a subject of our neighboring countries such as Nepal or Bhutan, or a Tibetan refugee who came cross to India before 1st January,1962 with the main purpose  of permanently setting in India  or  a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya ,Uganda the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia,  and Vietnam with the main purpose of permanently setting in India and on those person (subject), the Government of India has issued  a certificate of eligibility.

An Aspirant, in whose special case a original certificate of eligibility is must, may be admitted to the examination but the appointment  letter will be given only after the proper verification and necessary eligibility certificates has been issued to him/ her by the Government of India.

Please do check the latest notification for any change or modification in the eligibility criteria updated by the UPSC from time to time through the Government gazette.

Educational Qualification

The candidates should have the below qualifications from recognized universities.

  • For IMA/OTA – A degree or an equivalent from a recognized university.
  • For Naval Academy – B.Sc. with Physics and /or Mathematics or Bachelor of Engineering.
  • For Air Force – B.Sc. from a recognized university or equivalent with physics and/ or Mathematics or Bachelor of Engineering.


  • For IMA– Unmarried Male between 19-24 years of age.
  • For Naval Academy – Unmarried Male between 19-22 years of age
  • For Air Force – Unmarried Male between 19-23 years of age
  • For OTA – Male Candidates (Married or Unmarried) between the age if 19-25 years.

How to Apply

The Commission is in the process of making available of online application submission in the near future for Indian Forest Service Examination.

The UPSC with the intention of uniformity in the Application Form has released a common form for all their examinations that will be fully processed and stored in computerized machines.

This Applications Form is available in all designated Head Post Office/Post Offices across the country along with detailed Information Brochure which contains all general instructions, an acknowledgement card and a long size envelope for sending the application to the commission.

The cost of the application form is Rs.20.

The application form duly filled in and the acknowledgment card attached with the main application form should then be sent through ordinary posted in the special long size envelope supplied with the kit of information Brochure.

The Aspirants should also write on top of the long size envelope the name of the examination viz.” Combined Defence Service Examination (CDSE) and dispatch it to “Secretary, Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi – 110069”

Do ensure that the duly filled in application with all relevant documents should reach the above said address on or before the said last date. The commission is not responsible for any delay or mistake in the reaching of the application form.

Selection Process

The candidate has to go through below mentioned selection process,

Written Examination Process:

  • Written Exam
  • Interview for intelligence and personality test.

Below are subject which will be covered in the exam, each subject will be of 2 hours duration.

For enrolling in IMA, Naval Academy and Air Force academy

  • English
  • General Knowledge
  • Elementary Mathematics

For OTA admission:

  • English
  • General Knowledge

Note: All questions will be objective type and carry 100 marks. The duration of the test would be 2 hours. The standard of Elementary Mathematics would be based on the 10th Standard examination and other subjects would be based on the university graduate exam. Candidates who clear the written test have to appear for personal interview and series of intelligence and personality tests. This test is verbal and non- verbal and is formulated not only to test mental caliber of the candidate but also the interests in current affairs.

Personality Tests

The tests as are follows:

  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT) – The candidate is required to answered Sixty situations within 30 minutes
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) – The candidate will be provided with 12 pictures and the candidate is required to write a story based on each picture in 3 minutes.
  • Word Association Test (WAT) – The candidate is required make a sentence with the sixty words provided to them in 15 seconds.

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