UPSC CDS 2024 Application Forms: Official Notification and How to Apply Online

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has officially released the notification for the Combined Defence Services Examination (II) 2024 on its website,

This highly anticipated examination provides a gateway for aspiring candidates to join various branches of the Indian Military Forces, including the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Officers Training Academy (OTA).

Overview of UPSC CDS Examination

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination is conducted biannually by the UPSC to recruit officers for the Indian Armed Forces.

The CDS Examination (II) 2024 offers a total of 459 vacancies distributed among different military training academies. This year’s examination invites both male and female candidates to apply, provided they meet the specified eligibility criteria.

Important Dates and Application Process

Notification Release Date: 15 May 2024
Application Start Date: 15 May 2024
Application End Date: 04 June 2024
Exam Date: 01 September 2024

Steps to Apply for UPSC CDS 2024

  1. Visit the Official Website: Go to
  2. Locate the Notification: Find the “Exam Notice: Combined Defence Services Examination (II) 2024” under the “What’s New” section.
  3. New Registration: Click on the “New Registration” link to begin the application process.
  4. Fill in Details: Enter and submit your basic details accurately.
  5. Pay Application Fee: Complete the payment of the registration fee through various available modes such as Cash, Debit Card, Credit Card, Visa, MasterCard, UPI, or Internet Banking.
  6. Print Registration Form: Take a printout of the submitted registration form for future reference.

Application Fee

  • General/OBC Candidates: ₹200/-
  • SC/ST/Female Candidates: Exempted from the registration fee

Eligibility Criteria

Educational Qualifications

  • Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Officers Training Academy (OTA): A recognized university or equivalent degree.
  • Indian Naval Academy: An Engineering degree from a recognized university or equivalent.
  • Air Force Academy: A degree from a recognized university with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics at the 12th level, or a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering.

Age Limit

  • Minimum Age: 20 years
  • Maximum Age: 24 years
  • Date of Birth Range: Born not earlier than 02 July 2001 and not later than 01 July 2005.
UPSC CDS 2024 Application Forms, Check Official Notification and Online Application Link

Distribution of Vacancies

  • Indian Military Academy, Dehradun – 159th (DE) Course (July 2025): 100 vacancies (including 13 reserved for NCC ‘C’ Army Wings Holders)
  • Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala – Executive Branch (General Service)/Hydro (July 2025): 32 vacancies (including 6 reserved for NCC ‘C’ Certificate Naval Wings Holders)
  • Air Force Academy, Hyderabad – (Pre-Flying) Training Course (July 2025): 32 vacancies (including 3 reserved for NCC ‘C’ Certificate Air Wings Holders)
  • Officers Training Academy, Chennai – 122nd SSC (Men) (NT) (October 2025): 276 vacancies
  • Officers Training Academy, Chennai – 36th SSC (Women) (NT) (October 2025): 16 vacancies

Examination and Selection Process

The UPSC CDS Examination comprises a written test followed by an interview. The written exam varies for each course, assessing candidates on different subjects.

Written Examination

  • IMA, INA, AFA: Subjects include English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.
  • OTA: Subjects include English and General Knowledge.


Post the written examination, candidates who qualify will be called for an interview conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSB). This interview assesses the personality, intelligence, and suitability of the candidates for a career in the Indian Armed Forces.

Equal Weightage

Both the written exam and the interview carry equal weightage in the final selection process for each course, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of all candidates.


Preparation Tips for Aspirants

  1. Understand the Syllabus: Thoroughly review the syllabus for each subject and focus on key topics.
  2. Regular Practice: Solve previous years’ question papers and take mock tests to improve speed and accuracy.
  3. Stay Updated: Keep abreast of current affairs and general knowledge to perform well in the GK section.
  4. Physical Fitness: Maintain good physical fitness as it is crucial for the SSB interview.
  5. Time Management: Develop effective time management strategies to cover all sections of the exam within the allotted time.

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