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Career in Indian Army

Indian Army

The entry route into the Indian Army is through the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE). The UPSC conducts this CDSE twice a year — in February and August/September — to admit cadets to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, and the Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai. CDSE also admits cadets to the Navy and Air Force — for which you require either a BSc (physics/maths) or a BE/BTech. The eligibility criteria and the pattern of the exam is as follows: For IMA: Unmarried males with Bachelor’s degree in any discipline. For OTA (SSC course): Married or unmarried males with Bachelor’s degree in any discipline. Selection is on the basis of an objective type written exam followed by SSB tests and interview for those who qualify the written exam. The intelligence and personality tests essentially cover outdoor, group and psychological activities. The written exam is held at various centres all over the country and consists of three papers for admission to IMA, Naval and Air Force Academy. The examination for OTA consists of only the first two papers. Paper I tests your English. Paper II tests your general knowledge of current events and general science. Also, it includes questions on geography and history of India. Paper III tests your knowledge of elementary mathematics, arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, geometry, mensuration and statistics. You can take the general knowledge and maths papers in English or Hindi. Each paper is of two-hours and carries 100 marks. There is negative marking for wrong answers. Once you clear the written tests you will proceed to the next stage, which is conducted by the Service Selection Board. The SSB tests evaluate your potential and aptitude in terms of reasoning, intelligence, communication skills, courage, initiative, confidence, responsibility, social adaptability, decision-making and organisational ability to see if you possess ‘officer-like’ qualities. The tests call for average intelligence and are conducted at designated army selection centres.