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CDS Eligibility, Educational Qualification, Age and Height Requirements

Updated On - January 21st 2019 by KRITIKA GUPTA

CDS Eligibility: CDS is conducted in two stages for the post of office cadre in Indian Army or Indian Navy or Indian Air Force or Officer’s Training Academy (OTA). The post preference must be mentioned at time of registration.

UPSC has released CDS I registration and exam dates:

  • Registration: October 31 – November 26, 2018
  • CDS I Date: February 3, 2019 in offline mode – Check CDS Exam Pattern

Listed below are few key points of who all can are eligible to apply online:

  • Indian/ outside India candidates from neighboring countries who are settled in India.
  • The upper age limit varies for the different institutes and categories but the minimum age limit is 19 years.
  • Female candidates are eligible for OTA only.
  • Married candidates can apply only for Air Force Academy (AFA) and OTA.
  • For IMA/INA/AFA, B.Tech degree is acceptable while degree in any discipline is accepted in OTA. Check OTA Exam Pattern, Syllabus and Books
  • Candidates must be physically fit for any post as per the physical standards set by the institute.

Approximately, 417 posts will be filled through this exam:

  • 100 for the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun
  • 45 for Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala
  • 32 posts for Air Force Academy, Hyderabad
  • 225 posts for Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai
  • 15 posts for Officers Training Academy, Chennai-25th SSC Women (NT) course
Note: The last date to download CDS I Admit Card is February 02, 2019. Click Here

Highlights of CDS Eligibility Criteria

  • It is important for the candidate to be unmarried and should not be a widower or should not be a divorcee.
  • The highlights of eligibility standards as per Category, Age Limit, Gender and Marital Status are tabulated below:
CategoryAgeGenderMarital Status
Indian Military Academy (IMA)19 – 24 YearsMaleUnmarried
Indian Naval Academy (INA)19- 22 YearsMaleUnmarried
Air Force Academy19- 23 YearsMale<25 years unmarried or >25 years married or not.
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for Men)19- 25 YearsMaleMarried or Unmarried
Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course)19- 25 YearsFemaleUnmarried Women, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried are eligible.

CDS Nationality Criteria

For CDS exam, the candidate should be a subject/citizen of any 1 of the following countries/regions:

  1. A citizen of India
  2. A subject of Bhutan
  3. A subject of Nepal
  4. A Tibetan refugee who came to India before July 1, 1962 with the intention of permanently setting in India.
  5. A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka or East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or from Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
    Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India

CheckCDS Exam Cut off

CDS Educational Qualification

All the candidates should have completed their Graduation or should be appearing for the final year degree examination. The individual educational qualification required for each institution is discussed below.

  • I.M.A. and OTA: Degree of a recognized University or equivalent.
  • Indian Naval Academy (INA):  Degree in Engineering from a recognized university/institution.
  • Air Force Academy: Degree of a recognized University (with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level) or Bachelor of Engineering.

Note: The candidates who are in the final years of their Degree Course and have yet to pass the final year Degree examination are also eligible to apply. Such candidates are required to submit the proof of passing the requisite qualifying examination by a date to be specified in the Commission’s Notice for the Examination.

CDS Sample Papers, CDS Practice Papers

CDS 2019 Age and Marital Status Criteria

The candidate should go through the cut off dates for age limit and marital status criteria before filling the online Application form for CDS examination1:

For Indian Military Academy (IMA): The candidate falling in the age group of 19 – 24 Years i.e. they are born not earlier than January 2, 1993 & not later than January1, 1998 only. The candidate should also be unmarried to be considered eligible.

For Indian Naval Academy (INA): The candidate falling in the age group of 19- 22 Years i.e. they are born not earlier than January 2, 1993 & not later than January 1, 1998 only. The candidate for this category should also be unmarried to be considered for eligibility.

For Air Force Academy: the candidate falling in the age group of 19- 23 Years i.e. they are born not earlier than January 2, 1993 & not later than January 1, 1997 (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and current Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable up to 26 yrs. i.e. born not earlier than January 2, 1991 & not later than January 1, 1997) are eligible. The candidates below 25 years should be unmarried and above 25 years can or cannot be married.

For Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Course for Men): The candidate belonging in the age group of 19- 25 Years i.e. they are born not earlier than July 2, 1991 & not later than July 1, 1997 are eligible. Also, here the candidate can either be married or unmarried.

For Officers’ Training Academy (SSC Women Non-Technical Course): the candidate belonging to age group of 19- 25 Years i.e. they are born not earlier than July 2, 1992 and not later than July 1, 1998. The candidate is eligible if they are unmarried, issueless widows who have not remarried and issueless divorcees (in possession of divorce documents) who have not remarried.

Check CDS Exam Syllabus

CDS 2019 Physical Criteria

To be applying for the Defence services the basic and the most important criteria for a candidate is to be physically and mentally fit. It is a category on which the candidate can look forward to serve its country in a way they want to.  

It is a vital eligibility criterion for a CDS 2019 candidate. He/ she should have good mental as well as physical health. Mentioned below are the Physical as well as mental guidelines to be followed by the candidates for the CDS 2019:

Physical Standards for CDS exam 2019

  • It is advisable for the candidate to get oneself medically examined before filling application form. It is because if due to some reason the candidate was found unfit, he/ she wouldn’t be an eligible candidate. Hence, all the effort of the candidate will go in vain.
  • It is important for the candidate to have a body, which is free from any disease as well as free from any disability. If at all the candidate who might be unfit may apply for Appeal Medical Board (AMB) to be completed within 42 days of SMB.

CheckCDS Exam Dates (Updated)

Height and Weight Standard Eligibility Criteria

Table 1: For Army and Navy Males

Height in centimeters (without shoes)Weight in Kgs.
18 Years20 Years22 Years

For Navy 45* and 47**

A ± 10% (for Navy) departure from the average weight given in the Table above is to be considered within normal limit. However, in individuals with heavy bones and broad built as well as individuals with thin built but otherwise healthy this may be relaxed to some extent on merit.

Table 2: For Air Force Male Candidates

(For FAT % (<20) of Normal Individuals)

Height in centimetersAge Range of the candidate
15-17 Yrs.18-22 Yrs.23- 27 Yrs.28- 32 Yrs.33-37 Yrs.38-42 Yrs.43-47 Yrs.>48 Yrs.

The acceptable weight for Air Force candidates will be ± 10% of the average weight given above.

Table 3: For Female Officers’ Training Candidates

Height in centimeters (without shoes)Weight in Kgs.
20 Years25 Years30 Years

Before the SSB (Service Selection Board) interview the candidate should make sure of the following pointers:

Visual Standards for Air Force

  • Candidates who habitually wear spectacles are not eligible for Air Force.
  • Minimum distant vision 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in other correctable to 6/6 only for

Hypermetropia Colour vision CP-1

  • Hypermetropia: +2.0 d Sph
  • Manifest Myopia: Nil
  • Retinoscopic Myopia: –0.5 in any meridian permitted
  • Astigmatism: +0.75 D Cyl (with + 2.0 D- Max)

Maddox Rod Test

(i) at 6 meters: Exo-6 prism D | Eso-6 prism | D Hyper-1 prism D | Hypo-1prism D

(ii) at 33 cms: Exo-16 prism D | Eso-6 prism D | Hyper-1 prism D | Hypo-1 prism D

Spinal Conditions for Air Force

Past medical history of diseases or injury of the spine or sacroiliac joints, either with or without objective signs which have prevented the candidate from successfully following a physically active life, is a case for rejection for commissioning in IAF. History of spinal fracture/prolapsed intervertebral disc and surgical treatment for these conditions will entail rejection. The following conditions detected during medical exam will disqualify a candidate for Air Force service.

(a) Granulomatous disease of spine

(b) Arthritis/Spondylosis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and allied disorders
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Osteoarthrosis, spondylosis and degenerative joint diseases
  • Non-articular rheumatism (e.g. lesions of the rotator cuff, tennis elbow, recurrent lumbago etc.)
  • Miscellaneous disorders including SLE, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, vasculitis.

(c) Spondylolisthesis/spondylolysis/spondylosis
(d) Compression fracture of vertebrae
(e)Scheurman’s desease (Adolescent Kyphosis)
(f) Loss of cervical lordosis when associated with clinically restricted movements of the cervical spine.

(g) Unilateral/bilateral cervical ribs with demonstrable neurological or circulatroy deficit.

Physical Conditioning:

Prospective candidates are advised to keep themselves in good physical condition by following the under mentioned routine:

  • Running: 2 to 4 km in 15 minutes
  • Pushups & Sit-ups: Minimum 20 each
  • Chin ups: Min. 8
  • Rope Climbing: 3 to 4 metres

Other Important Facts

The following conditions detected on X-ray examination will be disqualifying for entry to Army and Navy:

(a)  Granulomatous disease of spine.

(b)  Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis & allied disorders and ankylosing spondylitis

(c)  Scoliosis more than 10o degree as measured by Cobb's Method.

(d)  More than mild Kyphosis/Lordosis.

(e)  Spondylolisthesis/Spondylosis/Spondylolysis.

(f)  Herniated nucleus pulposes.

(g)  Compression fracture of Vertebra.

(h)  Sacralisation Disease.

(i)  Cervical ribs with demonstrable neurological or Circulatory deficit.

(j)  Presence of Schmorl's node at more than one level.

(k)  Atlanto-occipital and atlanto-axial anomalies.

(l)  Incomplete Sacralisation Unilateral or Bilateral.

(m)  Spinabifida other than SV 1 and LV 5.

(n)  Any other abnormality, if so considered by specialist.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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Susmita Deb

can female candidates appear for CDS and NDA exams?

23 Jan, 2019 00:20
Sarthak Mahajan

Hi Susmita, Yes female candidates can apply for CDS and NDA Exam.

23 Jan, 2019 10:59
Kaushal Jaat

Female candidates can only apply for cds not nda

29 Jan, 2019 20:12
satyajeet mishra

currently i am pursuing my btech(mech) and i am in my prefinal year can i apply for UES exam

23 Jan, 2019 00:20
Sarthak Mahajan

Hi Satyajeet, You may please check the eligibility criteria given above.

23 Jan, 2019 10:53
Sayan Dutta


14 Jan, 2019 17:47
Sarthak Mahajan

Hi Sayan, To get the eligibility information, please follow the link: CDS Eligibility 2019 (Stage I and II).

17 Jan, 2019 16:08
Abhijit Rajput

Hello sir I am Abhijit ,I fullfill all the criteria of cds but FIR is logged against me and without having any concerns I was dragged in police case and hearing in the court is yet to be done so is it possible for me to join IMA

05 Jan, 2019 03:36

I have blocked tear duct due to which I get tears in my eyes frequently. Can this be the cause of rejection in medical for Airforce.

27 Dec, 2018 22:28
Chandresh Patel

My BOB is 15-06-1997. I m in 2nd year 3rd sem of B Pharm. Will I be eligible for IMA in my final year. ( appearing???) ( In 2020) ??? Please reply...

06 Nov, 2018 08:04
Komal Chawla

Hello Chandresh, Yes you can apply for the exam in the final year of your B.Pharm.

13 Dec, 2018 15:27
Madhuri Borah

I have completed my graduation (arts) can I attend the CDS OTA exam???

02 Nov, 2018 17:18
Akansha Expert

Hi Madhuri, As above mentioned all the details regarding the eligibility for CDS Exam, you can check that.

02 Nov, 2018 17:47
Vikas Raika

My DoB is 30 may 1995 and height is 5'8 and weight is 65kgs .. am i eligible for cds 1 2019 ota and cds 2 2019 ota ?????

31 Oct, 2018 02:33
Akansha Expert

Hi Vikash, Yes you are eligible, As above mentioned all the details regarding the eligibility for CDS Exam, you can check that.

31 Oct, 2018 11:51

I'm in my final year of aeronautical engineering

27 Oct, 2018 16:45
Akansha Expert

Hi Sugu, You may please let me know how can I help you with this information.

31 Oct, 2018 17:54
kshitij Tyagi

My DOB is 24/11/1991 can i appear in CDS 2019 Feb attempt by any chance.

27 Oct, 2018 00:20
Akansha Expert

Hi Kishitij, Yes you are eligible for CDS, The upper age limit varies for the different institutes and categories but the minimum age limit is 19 years and maximum age limit is 24 years.

31 Oct, 2018 15:27

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