CDS Exam 2024: Details, Timings, and Selection Process

CDS Exam 2024: Details, Timings, and Selection Process

CDS Exam 2024: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) released the admit card for CDS 1 2024 on April 12, 2024. Candidates can download their UPSC CDS admit card using their application number and date of birth on the official website, Previously, the UPSC closed the application correction window for the CDS 1 exam on January 16, 2024.

The notification for CDS 2 2024 will be available on May 15, 2024. The application form for CDS 2 will be open from May 15 to June 4, 2024. The CDS 2 exam will take place on September 1, 2024.

The CDS exam is conducted to select candidates for admission to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA). The exam schedule includes English from 9 am to 11 am, General Knowledge from 12 pm to 2 pm, and Elementary Mathematics from 3 pm to 5 pm. Candidates must arrive at the exam center according to the designated exam timings. Read on for more details about the CDS dates in 2024.

CDS Exam 2024 FAQs

Q. What are the steps to download the CDS admit card?

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) releases the CDS admit card online. To download the admit card for the upcoming exam, candidates should follow these steps:

a) Visit the official website –

b) Locate and click on the link for the UPSC CDS admit card.

c) Log in using your registered account credentials.

d) Click the submit button.

e) The CDS admit card will appear on the screen.

f) Download and save the CDS admit card for future reference.

The CDS admit card contains important details such as the exam name, conducting authority, candidate’s name, parent’s names, exam date, shift timing, date of birth, and more. Candidates should carefully verify all the details on the admit card before downloading it. In case of any discrepancies, report them to the UPSC promptly.

Q. In how many shifts is the CDS exam conducted?

The CDS exam is conducted in three shifts on the exam day. There’s a separate shift for each subject: English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.

Q. What is the timing of the CDS Exam 2024?

Candidates must arrive at the examination hall at least 30 minutes before the exam is scheduled to begin, as entry will close 10 minutes before each session starts. Here are the exam timings for the CDS 2024 papers:

PaperExam Timings
English9:00 am to 11:00 am
General Knowledge (GK)12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Elementary Mathematics3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
CDS Exam 2024 Timings

Also Read: Last Minute Preparation Tips for the CDS Exam 2024

Q. CDS Exam Pattern

Candidates preparing for the CDS exam should be familiar with the exam pattern. Understanding the CDS exam pattern is essential for applicants to better grasp the structure and expectations of the exam. Here’s the CDS exam pattern for 2023:

Mode of ExamOffline
Number of Questions300 MCQs (General Exam)
Number of questions in OTA200 MCQs (OTA)
Maximum Marks300 (General Exam) & 200 (OTA)
Duration of Exam2 hours (120 minutes) per paper
MediumHindi or English
Negative Marking1/3rd mark deducted per incorrect answer
CDS Exam 2024 Pattern

Also Read: CDS Exam 2024: Exam Syllabus, Pattern Eligibility

Q. How can you find out about the CDS exam centre?

There are two main ways to find out your CDS exam centre:

  1. Admit Card:  The most reliable way to find your CDS exam centre is to check your admit card (also called a hall ticket). This will be issued by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) after you have registered for the exam. The admit card will contain all important details about the exam, including the date, time, and venue of your exam centre.
  2. Application Details: If you don’t have your admit card yet, you can also refer to your application form. During the application process, you would have been given the option to choose your preferred exam centres. While the final allotment is based on availability, referring back to your application can give you an idea of which cities you opted for.

Q. Is the NDA and the CDS syllabus the same?

The NDA and CDS syllabuses have some overlap, but they are not exactly the same. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

  • Overall Difficulty: The CDS exam is generally considered to be tougher than the NDA exam, especially in the General Knowledge section.
  • Exam Structure:
    • NDA: The exam has two papers – Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT).
    • CDS: The exam has three papers – English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.
  • Mathematics:
    • NDA: This section is only for candidates appearing for the Army wing. It covers topics from Class 11th and 12th.
    • CDS: This section is for all candidates and focuses on basic Math concepts like Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Algebra, Mensuration, and Statistics.
  • General Knowledge (GK):
    • There is a significant overlap in topics covered in the GK sections of both exams. These include Current Affairs, Science, History, Geography, Polity, Economics etc.
    • However, the CDS exam might delve deeper into certain topics and may ask more analytical questions compared to NDA.

Q. When are the CDS answer keys released?

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) releases the official CDS answer key on its website after the exam is conducted. The answer key is usually provided in a downloadable format (like PDF) and is categorized based on the different test booklet codes used in the exam.

Q. Can I wear masks at CDS exam 2024 centres?

Yes, wearing a mask at CDS centres in 2024 is highly likely. It was mandatory in 2023 and safety is still a concern. Double-check the UPSC website and your admit card for confirmation closer to your exam date.

Q. What is the CDS 2024 selection process?

  1. Written Exam: Three papers (English, General Knowledge, Elementary Mathematics) for IMA, INA, AFA; Two papers (English, General Knowledge) for OTA.
  2. SSB Interview (Service Selection Board Interview): Tests your personality, leadership, and suitability for the military.
  3. Medical Examination: Assesses your physical fitness for military service.

The CDS Exam 2024 offers an opportunity for candidates to pursue a career in defense services through admission to prestigious academies such as the IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA. With precise exam schedules and a structured pattern, candidates can strategically prepare for the three papers—English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics—to perform their best.

Following the recommended steps for downloading the admit card and understanding the selection process, including the SSB interview and medical examination, is crucial. By keeping in mind the various aspects of the CDS exam, including safety measures such as mask-wearing, candidates can approach the exam with confidence and clarity. Good Luck!