What Comes After the CDS Written Test? How Is SSB Done for UPSC CDS?
The CDS (Combined Defense Services) exam consists of two phases, where the first phase is the written exam, and the second phase is the SSB Interview. The UPSC conducts the SSB Interview for Tier –candidates every year, and the Defense Ministry carries out the same for Tier – II candidates.
Candidates who aspire to join the prestigious Indian Naval Academy (INA), Indian Military Academy (IMA), or the Indian Air force Academy and Officers’ Training Academy must go through both stages of the CDS selection process.
CDS Selection Process
Only those candidates who get through the written exam get to go to the SSB Interview stage. In the SSB Interview stage, the concerned authorities will verify documents, and conduct a medical examination, to determine if the candidates are physically fit. Once a candidate qualifies for the interview, they must then undergo training at the respective academies.
CDS Phase – I: Written Exam
The CDS exam is an offline one that consists of English, Elementary Mathematics, and General Knowledge questions. Those applying for the INA, IMA, and AFA must write the exam for six hours, and for 300 marks, they will be attempting 340 questions. Also, while the English and General Knowledge sections will have 120 questions each, Elementary Mathematics will have only 100 questions.
However, those candidates appearing for the Officers’ Training Academy exam must answer 240 questions, for 200 marks, in four hours. Also, this exam will consist of only two sections, including English, and General Knowledge, where each area carries 100 marks.
The CDS written exam also has negative marking, where candidates will lose one-third of the marks for every wrong answer.
Phase – II: SSB Interview
After successfully qualifying for the written exam, candidates can go through to the SSB Interview Procedure, held for five days. Once candidates get through the written exam, they must register themselves and report to the dedicated centres.
The process consists of a psychological aptitude test where candidates will be rated for picture perception, followed by a descriptive test. Additionally, candidates must also appear for an Officer Intelligence Test, where they will be evaluated with various psychological tests, including group tests and conferences.
The SSB Interview will be held for five days. On the first day, candidates must arrive at the SSB Centers, fill in forms, and submit documents. Also, all candidates will be screened on the same day, based on various verbal and non-verbal aptitude tests.
Besides verbal and non-verbal aptitude tests, candidates must also get involved in story writing and group discussion sessions.
On the second day, candidates must go through a series of psychological tests, consisting of a TAT, WAT, SRT, and Self-Description.
TAT involves writing a story by looking at 11 consecutive pictures. Here, each candidate has only 30 seconds to take a good look at each image, and the 12th photo will be blank.
Likewise, in WAT, candidates must construct a sentence by looking at 60 consecutive words, where they will have 15 seconds to see the words and another 15 seconds to write the sentence.
SRT involves writing responses to 60 different situations. Candidates have 30 seconds to respond to them. SD or Self-Description is a write-up about your outlook and that of your parents, teachers, and other such peers about you.
On the third day, candidates must involve themselves in various outdoor activities, including Group Discussions on any two topics related to current affairs and GPE. In GPE, candidates would be given a problem or situation and asked to develop innovative solutions by working together. Besides this, they would also participate in other tasks, such as PGT, HGT, and GOR, where they must work together to cross some obstacles.
On the fourth day, candidates must participate in various activities, such as delivering lectures and overcoming obstacles. They must also do a final group task and go through a personal interview.
On the last day, candidates must go through a conference or interview, lasting for one or two minutes, and submit a set of documents for verification purposes. The documents required include the marks sheets and certificates of matriculation, intermediate, and degree courses, a valid identity proof, a Bonafide and Custodian certificate, and the UPSC CDS admit card.
They must then undergo a medical examination to determine if they are physically fit and do not suffer from any ailments.
After this rigorous process, candidates must also go through another medical examination carried out by a Special Medical Board, lasting for four to six days and may go up to eight days at most. To prepare for the selection process, candidates can visit the BYJU’S Exam Prep to find the resources they will need.
So, don’t forget to prepare well for the CDS exam, particularly for the rigorous SSB Interview.