With the CDS 2, 2020 exam admit card released and the exam is less than one month away, many candidates would like to know the cutoff for CDS exam.

Previously, students had to score at least 20% in all the three sections of the exam, that is the Maths, English and the General Knowledge section of the CDS paper, but that changed for the 2019 paper onwards.

The UPSC declared that candidates now needed to score only 10% in the GK section, whereas the other sections remained 20% only. So out of 100 marks, students needed to score only 10 marks.

CDS 2019 Cut Off

The cut off for the CDS Exam 209 is :

Academy  Written exam Final exam
Aggregate marks of last qualified candidate* Mark of last recommended candidate
IMA 116 242
INA 105 233
AFA 129 264
OTA (MEN) 78 160
OTA (WOmen 78 162

*Subject to a minimum of 20% in paper 1 and 10% marks in paper 2 and 20% in paper 3.

Importance of Previous Years

The reason for knowing the previous year cut off is that it can influence the next year’s cut off.

There are other factors too:

  • Total vacancy available for the course
  • Total number of candidates writing the exam
  • The difficulty of paper and questions
  • Previous year cut off marks

If you go through the 2019 CDS exam cut off, you may be able to get an idea of the cut off for 2020.

The cut off is an indication, not a factor to base your preparation around, please remember that!

Preparing for CDS

The CDS exam is required if you want to enter the Indian Navy, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force or get an OTA job.

Preparing for the exam is a little easier than preparing for the IAS exam.

There are three papers for the exam. Maths, English and General Knowledge. This does not mean the paper is easy but in comparison, it is a little easier as the syllabus is much narrower.

GK paper has a wider base of questioning, which makes it tougher but also can be the highest scoring subject. Read current affairs regularly and work on the CDS GK topics.

Also Read: GK Questioning to Prepare You for CDS

Know Your Exam

Knowing about your exam in detail will help you!

Know the syllabus in detail. Always make sure you cover all the topics in the syllabus, whether you find them important or no. the exam cannot be predicted so do not lose out on marks unnecessarily.

Know the rules and regulations of the exam. With the pandemic going on, rules and regulations have been changed to adapt. Make sure you read the latest guidelines that are released by the UPSC.


If you are preparing for the CDS exam, then this article will help you to understand the cut off marks.

The previous year’s CDS cut off marks can help you to understand the cut off marks for the next exam.

This should not mean that candidates base their preparation around cut off marks. Word hard as regular and aim to score the highest marks always.

All the best to all students appearing for the CDS 2 2020 exam!

Also Read : What is CSAT in UPSC? Check-out the CSAT Syllabus for UPSC Examinations

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UPSC CDS Previous Years Cut Off: Understanding the UPSC CDS Examination
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UPSC CDS Previous Years Cut Off: Understanding the UPSC CDS Examination
Are you appearing for the CDS 2 2020? Know the cut-off marks from previous years to guess the cut-off marks for CDS paper and CDS OTA cut off. Click on the link to know more.
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UPSC Pathshala
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