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CDS Exam Pattern 2024, Marking Scheme IMA, INA, AFA and OTA

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination is one of the most prestigious and sought-after exams in India for those aspiring to join the Indian Armed Forces. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is responsible for conducting the Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination for recruiting candidates for the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Indian Air Force Academy. As per the UPSC Exam Calendar 2024, the CDS 2 2024 Exam is scheduled to be held on 01st September 2024 (Sunday).  To qualify for the CDS Exam 2024, it is crucial to comprehend its intricate CDS Exam Pattern 2024 in detail.

CDS Exam Pattern 2024

The written section of the Combined Defense Services Examination is the first stage, while the interview portion is the second. All three forces’ exams are under this examination, which is conducted by the UPSC. A call for the SSB interview is made if the candidate performs well on the written test. The candidate is then dispatched to various locations for training. The CDS Exam Pattern will now be discussed below in this article. CDS Exam Pattern follows a three-stage recruitment process that consists of:

  • Written Test
  • SSB Interview
  • Medical Examination & Merit List
Parameter Details
Mode of Exam Offline
Number of Sections Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA): Three<br>Officers’ Training Academy (OTA): Two
Total Marks IMA, INA, and AFA: 300<br>OTA: 200
Nature of Questions Objective type
Language of Question Paper Bilingual (Hindi and English)
Duration of the Test Two hours for each section

CDS Exam Pattern 2024 – Written Test

The written test of the CDS Exam 2024 encompasses multiple subjects, serving as the initial stage of the examination process. Candidates aspiring to join the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) face a written examination that spans across three key subjects: English, General Knowledge, and Mathematics. Each subject is allocated a duration of two hours, with a maximum of 100 marks assigned to English and General Knowledge sections. For Mathematics, a similar duration and marking scheme are followed, with the subject specifically tailored for candidates aiming for IMA, INA, and AFA admissions.

The following subjects are included in the written examination for Admission to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA):

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
Mathematics 2 Hours 100
SSB Test/Interview 5 Days 300

For Admission to the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA):

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100

CDS Exam Marking Scheme 2024

  • Correct answers in the CDS Exam 2024 are awarded one mark each.
  • Incorrect answers result in a penalty of 0.33 marks deducted per wrong answer.
  • Negative marking discourages random guessing and emphasizes accuracy.
  • Candidates should aim for a balance between speed and precision to maximize scores.
  • Diligent preparation and understanding of the exam pattern are crucial for success.
Details about the UPSC CDS Exam Mathematics  English Exam General Knowledge 
Total marks 100 100 100
Marks for Negative marking -0.33 marks for each wrong answer -0.33 marks for each wrong answer -0.33 marks for each wrong answer

Read More: CDS Eligibility Criteria

CDS SSB Interview Exam Pattern 2024 

After successfully clearing the written test of the CDS exam, candidates are called for the SSB round for final selection in the academy. CDS Interview involves 2 stages that include different tests such as:

  • Stage 1 includes the officer cognitive rating, the picture perception test and the description test.
  • Stage 2 includes an interview, a group testing officer task, a conference, and a psychology test.

CDS Medical Examination

The CDS (Combined Defence Services) Examination not only evaluates candidates’ academic and psychological suitability for a career in the Indian Armed Forces but also emphasizes their physical fitness and medical well-being. The Medical Examination stage holds paramount importance as it ensures that candidates meet the rigorous health standards necessary for military service. Here’s an insight into the CDS Medical Examination process:

  • Purpose: The CDS Medical Examination evaluates candidates’ physical and mental fitness for military service.
  • Components: It includes assessments of physical fitness, medical history, and psychological well-being.
  • Criteria: Candidates must meet predetermined medical standards, including good general health, normal vision and hearing, and mental stability.
  • Consequences: Medical ineligibility may result in candidates being deemed unfit for commission into the armed forces.
  • Importance: The Medical Examination ensures the operational readiness and effectiveness of the armed forces by selecting physically and mentally fit candidates.

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CDS Exam Pattern 2024

How many papers are in CDS?

The written exam for IMA, INA, and AFA comprises three sections: English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics. For admission to OTA, there are only two papers are required i.e., English and General Knowledge.

What are the passing marks in the CDS exam?

The minimum qualifying marks in each subject are 20 marks, i.e. 20%. The CDS Exam requires candidates to receive qualifying marks in both the written exam and the SSB Interview.

Is negative marking in CDS?

As per the CDS 2024 exam pattern, candidates will be awarded one mark for each correct answer whereas 0, 33 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer. There is no negative marking for unattempted questions.

How many rounds are there in the CDS exam?

CDS Selection Process 2024 involves three stages that candidates need to qualify to get the job. In order to recruit suitable candidates for IMA, INA, and AFA vacancies, the Union Public Service Commission conducts the CDS exam twice a year. The CDS exam involves three tiers i.e., Written Test, SSB Interview, and Medical examination.

Can I speak Hindi in the SSB interview?

The assessing officers will address you in English. In the same language, questions will be addressed to you. You will be expected to speak in English during the PPDT round and the GD. You may use Hindi if you have difficulty with a sentence, but you must turn to English to finish your idea.

Can I clear CDS without coaching?

The CDS exam is one of the tough exams to qualify for. But with the right preparation and determination, even without coaching, one can easily successfully pass the exam. All you need to do is make a realistic schedule, understand the CDS syllabus in detail and practise questions every day.

Which book is enough for CDS?

NCERT Books are essential for the preparation of all defence exams. These books are considered the most authentic source for any information which is asked in the government examination like CDS, AFCAT & CAPF and other govt exams.

What is the CDS OTA exam pattern?

The CDS OTA exam pattern comprises two major subjects, English and General Knowledge.

Is CDS very tough?

Yes, CDS exam is one of the toughest exams of UPSC.

How many hours study CDS?

Students should dedicate at least 8 hours daily to prepare for the Written test and 2 hours for physical training to improve physical fitness.

About the Author

I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

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