The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS) twice a year for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Officers Training Academy (OTA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and the Indian Air Force Academy (IAF). The registration process for UPSC CDS 1 2021 starts today that is, 28th October. In the following article, you can find out about the latest notification released for the exam, the exam pattern, important dates, and the UPSC CDS 1 2021 age limit.

UPSC CDS 1 2021 Important Dates and Age Limit

The important dates for the CDS exam are as follows-

  • Registration starts- 28th October 2020
  • Last Date for Applying for Admissions- 7th November 2020
  • Release of Admit Card (tentative)- 2nd week of January 2021
  • Exam Date- 7th February 2021
  • Declaration of the Results- April 2021
  • Dates of the Interview/ Personality Test- July/ August 2021
  • Dates for the Final Result- October 2021

The age limit for UPSC CDS varies based on the reservations and categories. The minimum age for applying for the exam is 19, and the candidates must be unmarried, widowers or divorcees are not eligible either. The maximum age limit for different categories as follows-

Category Age Limit Gender Marital Status
Indian Military Service 19-24 Male Unmarried
Indian Naval Academy 19-22 Male Unmarried
Air Force Academy 19-23 Male <25 years unmarried or >25 years both married and unmarried
Officers Training Academy (SSC Course for Men) 19-25 Male Unmarried
Officers Training Academy (SSC Non-Technical Course for Women) 19-25 Female Unmarried Women, issueless widows who have not remarried, and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents)

Also Read: Eligibility Criteria for the UPSC CDS 2021 Examination

Exam Pattern

The UPSC CDS Exam consists of a Written Test and an Interview. Your selection is based on your merit as well as your choice of department. The CDS 1 exam is conducted online while the CDS 2 exam is conducted offline. Based on your final selection, you would be then allotted training centers for different departments. The exam pattern for the Writing Test and the Interview/ Personality Test is as follows-

Written Test

Three main subjects that are covered in the exam including elementary mathematics, general knowledge, and English. For the Officer’s Training Academy only two subjects are accepted namely General Knowledge and English. There are 100 questions in every exam and the candidates are provided with a total of 6 hours to complete their exam. Every correct answer is awarded 1 mark and ⅓ marks are deducted for every wrong answer, that is, 1 mark is deducted for 3 wrong answers.

The English exam tests the candidates on their understanding of basic English grammar and vocabulary including workmanlike use of words. The General Knowledge exam tests the candidates on current events and things of everyday use, history, and geography of India. The Mathematics exam consists of elementary mathematics including concepts like algebra, statistics, geometry, etc.


The Interview or Personality test for the CDS exam is conducted in 2 stages. The first stage includes a Picture Perception and Description Test for the candidates to test their intellectual abilities. The second stage includes a variety of tasks such as interviews, conferences, tasks, and psychological tests.


If you are planning to apply for the UPSC CDS 1 exam, you must have been prepared for the exam already. We advise you to focus your time on revision and practice papers now that the exam is near. If you need help with your UPSC CDS exam preparation, you can sign up with us to find personal experienced mentors.

Also Read : UPSC GS Paper 2 Syllabus: How to Study for Each Topic?

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UPSC CDS 1 2021 Age Limit: Exam Pattern and Important Dates
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UPSC CDS 1 2021 Age Limit: Exam Pattern and Important Dates
What is the Age Limit for a UPSC CDS 1 candidate? How many papers does the exam consist of? What are the important dates for the exam?
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UPSC Pathshala
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