NDA and CDS exams are national-level defence entrance exams, organised by UPSC to shortlist candidates for India’s defence academy. The National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Combined Defence Services (CDS) are joint defence training modules that directly recruit aspirants for positions in the Air Force, Navy, and Army of India.
NDA and CDS exams are some of the hardest tests held for the much sought-after defence positions in the Indian military. BYJU’s exam prep lays out the coursework, syllabus, and latest updates for easy preparation in a limited time.
Here’s all you need to know about the frequency, age limit, and eligibility of NDA and CDS exams.
Frequency to Apply for NDA and CDS
UPSC conducts NDA and CDS exams twice in a year. Hence, the candidates can apply for both the exams twice a year. However, you must ensure that you hold the required eligibility criteria that is needed to apply for the exams.
NDA: Selection Process and Exam Overview
NDA Exam is conducted by the UPSC to select personnel for the National Defence Academy. The exam is conducted to recruit candidates from the Air Force, Navy, and Army wings of the NDA.
NDA Exam: Quick Facts
- The NDA exam is only open to unmarried candidates.
- The examination is conducted in two stages: written tests and personal interviews.
- The written exam is split into two portions: The general ability test and mathematics.
- Once selected, the members are sent for a training period that lasts 3 years.
NDA Exam: Age Limit
NDA has a strict age limit for its candidates. There is a set minimum and maximum age set for application and enrollment into the training.
- The minimum age for application is 15 years old.
- The maximum age for application is 19 years old.
NDA Exam: Frequency of Application
The NDA exam is conducted twice a year, and aspirants within the age limit can give as many attempts as they can. NDA exams are usually held in the months of April and September. The registration for the exam starts 4 months prior to the main test.
CDS Exam: Basic Facts
- The CDS exam is only open to unmarried candidates.
- The exam is split into two stages: A written test and a personal interview
- Shortlisted candidates must clear an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).
CDS Exam: Age Limit
There’s a multi-tier age limit for Air Force, Navy, and Army. Here’s how it goes:
- Indian Military Academy: Unmarried male candidates between the age of 19 to 24.
- Indian Naval Academy: Unmarried male candidates between the age of 19 to 22.
- Air Force Academy: Candidates between the age of 19 to 23.
- Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course): Candidates between the ages of 19 to 25.
- Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for Men): Candidates between the age of 19 years to 25.
CDS Exam: Frequency of Application
The CDS exam is conducted twice a year, and aspirants within the age limit can give as many attempts as they can within the period of their eligibility. The biannual papers are split into CDS 1 and CDS 2. The exams are usually held in the months of April and September. The registration for the April exam (CDS 1) starts in the month of December, and the registration for the September exam (CDS 2) starts in May. The exam can be cracked with ample of focus on the major topics and following the study guide of BYJU’s exam prep.
The CDS and NDA exams are highly prestigious and competitive exams. The reason for their biannual conduction is to pool as many deserving candidates as they possibly can within their eligibility period. Aspirants who meet the physical, educational, and medical standards can apply as many times as they can, as there is no bar on the frequency of application.