UPSC CDS Exam Pattern- Details, Marking Scheme

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released a notification on 4th August 2021 announcing the UPSC CDS II examination 2021. The UPSC conducts the Combined Defence Services examination twice a year in February and September. These examinations are held to induct eligible and promising aspirants into the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officer’s Training Academy (OTA). Several non-tech vacancies are offered, including SSC Women who wish to join the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. The last date to submit the application form for the UPSC CDS is 24th August 2021.UPSC has already released CDS II 2021 examination date schedule with the official calendar. As per the notice, the UPSC will conduct the CDS examination on 04th November 2021. Continue reading for details of the UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 2021.

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 2021 Details

Exam ModeOffline
Total Number of sectionsIndian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA)-ThreeOfficers’ Training Academy (OTA)-Two
Language asked in the question paperHindi and English
Total Duration of the testTwo hours for each section of the test
Total MarksIMA, INA, and AFA-300OTA-200
Type of questionsObjective type
Exam ModeOffline

The Union Public Service Commission sets the UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 2021. UPSC has mentioned the examination pattern of CDS in detail in the official notification of the examination

The CDS Selection Process is divided into two stages:

  1. Written examination
  2. SSB Interview

CDS Examination Pattern For The Written Examination 

The written examination of CDS is further divided into two parts.

  • For IMA, INA, and AFA, the written test comprises three sections, i.e., English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.
  • For OTA, there are two sections in the written exam, i.e., English and General Knowledge.

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 201 For 

  • Indian Military Academy, 
  • Indian Naval Academy, and 
  • Air Force Academy

The examination consists of three sections: General Knowledge, English, and Elementary Mathematics. Each Section carries 100 marks, and the time duration is 2 hours.

Subjects/ SectionsTotal DurationMax. Marks
English2 hours100
General Knowledge2 hours100
Elementary Mathematics2 hours100

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 2021 For Officers’ Training Academy

The section on Elementary Mathematics is not included in this examination. All other aspects like the total marks and duration of the paper remain the same as discussed above.

SubjectDurationMarks
English2 hours100
General Knowledge2 hours100

DOWNLOAD THE OLIVEBOARD APP FOR ON-THE-GO EXAM PREPARATION

Oliveboard Mobile App
  • Video Lessons, Textual Lessons & Notes
  • Topic Tests covering all topics with detailed solutions
  • Sectional Tests for QA, DI, EL, LR
  • All India Mock Tests for performance analysis and all India percentile
  • General Knowledge (GK) Tests

Free videos, free mock tests and free GK tests to evaluate course content before signing up!

Standard of the Questions

Given below is the expected standard of each section in the CDS Examination.

  • The standard of the papers in Elementary Mathematics will be of the matriculation level. UPSC will set the standard of papers in other subjects according to any recognized Indian university’s graduation level.
  • English: The question paper will be designed to test the candidates’ understanding of English and their fluency in the language.
  • General Knowledge: General Knowledge including knowledge of the current events and matters of everyday observation and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject. The paper will also include questions relating to the history of India and Geography of a nature which the candidate should be able to answer without special study.

CDS Exam Pattern 2021 – Service Selection Board Interview

The Service Selection Board Interview marks are 300 for the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy. The Officers Training Academy is for 200 marks. Candidates who qualify in the CDS written examination will have to appear for SSB Interview. The Union Public Service Commission conducts the CDS examination, but the Service Selection Board – SSB holds the interview. The performance of the candidates will be examined by three persons appointed by the board – the Interviewing Officer, Psychologist, and the Group Testing Officer. The marks are given to the candidates after considering their performance in all the tests. The Service Selection Board Interview is classified into two stages and is conducted over a period of 4 days. Only the candidates shortlisted in Stage I of the SSB Interview are called for Stage II. The two stages of the interview are:

Stage IStage II
Officer Intelligence Rating TestInterview
Picture Perception Description Test (PP & DT)Group Testing Officer Tasks
Psychology Tests 
Conference

The Psychological Test includes

  1. Situation Reaction Test
  2. Self Description Test
  3. Word Association Test
  4. Thematic Apperception Test

The various Group Activities include:

  • Group Discussion
  • Group Obstacle Race
  • Lecturette
  • Individual Obstacles
  • Group Planning Exercise
  • Command Task
  • Final Group Task
  • Progressive Group Task
  • Half Group Task

CDS Marking Scheme 2021

The CDS examination has a  multiple-choice question paper. Negative marking applies to every wrong answer. For each incorrect answer or multiple answers to one question, 1/3 of the marks will be deducted. No negative marking is done for unanswered questions.

The following table shows the detailed marking scheme of the exam.

CDS Marking Scheme for IMA, INA, AFA

CDS PaperEnglishGKMathematics
Maximum Marks100100100
Marks for Correct answer 1 mark for each correct answer 1 mark for each correct answer 1 mark  for each correct answer
Negative marking-0.33 marks for each wrong answer-0.33 marks for each wrong answer-0.33 marks for each wrong answer

CDS Marking Scheme for Officers’ Training Academy

The following table shows the Marking scheme for 2021Officers’ Training Academy

CDS PaperEnglishGK
Maximum Marks100100
Marks for Correct answer 1 mark for each correct answer 1 mark for each correct answer
Negative marking-0.33 marks for each wrong answer-0.33 marks for each wrong answer

Conclusion:

Now that the UPSC CDS II examination date is fast approaching, you must become earnest about your preparation and revision. It is understood that youth with a burning desire to serve the country join the defense services. So, you must be already well prepared for the examination. Continue your preparation as you have been doing already. Your hard work and diligence will certainly make your dream come true. 

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions 

Is the process of Negative Marking followed in the UPSC CDS examination?

Yes, negative marking is applicable for every wrong answer. For each incorrect answer or multiple answers to one question, 1/3 of the marks will be deducted. No negative marking is done for unanswered questions.

How many stages are there in the CDS SSB Interview?

The Service Selection Board Interview has two stages:
Stage I: Officer Intelligence Rating Test, Picture Perception Description Test (PP & DT)
Stage II: Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests, Conference 

What is the UPSC CDS II examination date?

The UPSC CDS II examination will be conducted on 4th November 2021.


Leave a comment