top of page


Aspirants you might have wondered many-a-times that in what way are AFCAT and CDSE different from each other. Well, you must be clear about the difference between the two exams in order to prepare nicely for both of them and choose the one which suits your priority.



Type of Force: As the name clearly suggests AFCAT which means Air Force Common Admission Test is a test which is taken to select young boys and girls for Airforce only whereas CDSE which means Combined Defense Service Examination is an exam meant for selecting candidates for all the three wings i.e. Army, Navy, and Airforce.

Conducting Body: AFCAT is conducted by the Indian Airforce twice a year whereas CDSE is conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) twice a year.

Time of declaration of results: Generally AFCAT results are declared within a month of conduction of exam i.e. for AFCAT1 by end of March and for AFCAT2 by the end of September after which the qualified candidates are called for SSB’s. The results for the written of CDSE1 are declared by the month of June and for CDSE2 by the month of January after which SSB follows for the qualified candidates.

Courses Offered: AFCAT makes the girls and boys join the Indian Airforce in Flying, Technical or Ground Duty course. CDSE makes a way for the young boys to join the IAF for the Flying course only, girls can join only OTA i.e. SSC for the Non-Technical course of Army and no other wing of the Defense through CDSE.

Examination Pattern

A    General Awareness: History, Sports, Geography, Environment, Civics, Basic Science, Defence, Art, Culture, Current Affairs, Politics etc.
B    Verbal Ability in English: Comprehension, Error Detection, Sentence Completion, Synonyms, Antonyms and Testing of Vocabulary.
C    Numerical Ability    :    Decimal Fraction, Simplification, Average, Profit & loss, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion and Simple interest.
D    Reasoning and Militarv Aptitude Test    :    Verbal Skills and Spatial Ability.

Strategy for preparation: As we all know everything demands a continuous amount of hard work hence to crack both these exams you need to focus and prepare in well advance. Since we have an idea of the time when this exam is conducted and also of the syllabus hence you can prepare for both these exams in well advance. You need to be clear with the basics first because generally, the questions asked in these exams are a test to check how well you have understood the concepts.

Eligibility: For both, you must be a graduate at least (BA, B.Com, B.Tech etc.) further qualification depends on the type of service you want to join. There is also a difference in Age for both exams. For AFCAT the age depends on the course you want to join.


Age limit is:

Flying:  19-23 years

Technical: 18-28 years.

Ground Duties: Graduate (20-23yrs), PG (20-25yrs), LLB (20-26 yrs.), MEd/Ph.D./CA/ICWA (20-27yrs)

Indian Air Force Academy Passing Out Parade


The "Combined Defence Services" (CDS) Examination is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment into the Indian Military AcademyOfficers Training AcademyIndian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

The Notification for the examination is usually released in the months of October and June, and the examinations are conducted in February and November respectively. Only unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam. Successful candidates are admitted into the respective Academies after an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).


Age Limit

Indian Military Academy-  19–24years 

Air Force Academy-            19–24 years 

Naval Academy-                  19–24 years 

Officers’ Training Academy-19–25 years 


Scheme of Examination

Indian Military Academy / Air Force Academy / Naval Academy

All the papers are of objective type.


  • English-                                100

  • General Knowledge -     100

  • Elementary maths -        100

  • Total=                                    300


Officers' Training Academy

Each paper contains objective type questions.


  • English-                              100

  • General Knowledge -   100

  • Total=                                   200


Exam Pattern: 

1. Synonyms    
2. Antonyms    
3. Ordering of Words    
4. Ordering of Sentences    
5. Comprehension    
6. Spotting Errors    

1. History    
2. Civics    
3. Geography    
4. Physics    

5. Chemistry    

6. Biology

7. Current Affairs     
8. Economics    

1. Algebra
2. Trigonometry
3. Statistics
4. Arithmetic
5. Mensuration
6. Geometry


bottom of page