Defence Exams in India 2022

It is highly prestigious for an individual to serve the nation by being part of the Indian Armed Forces. More than 6 lakhs students appear every year for various exams conducted by the UPSC to join the most coveted and respectable government job in India. Through these defence exams, the candidates are selected for Indian Defence Academies like Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala, Air Force Academy (AFA), Dundigal, Officer’s Trainer Academy (OTA) in Chennai and Gaya, etc.

The Defence exams are conducted to recruit eligible candidates in the Indian Armed Forces. Through various Defence exams, candidates get admission in the various Defence training academies such as –

  1. Indian Military Academy (IMA) – Dehradun
  2. Indian Naval Academy (INA) – Ezhimala
  3. Air Force Academy (AFA) –  Hyderabad
  4. Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) – Chennai

Want to fulfill the dream to be in the Defence Forces in India?

Read in complete details about the different Defence exams conducted by UPSC and others in 2022.

Defence Exam Eligibility

Aspirants of various Defence exams have to fulfil the basic eligibility requirement as mentioned by the conducting body in the respective exam notification.

Every citizen of India, irrespective of class, caste, religion and community is eligible to appear for defence exams provided they meet the criteria such as physical standard, age and educational qualification. 

The criteria for Defence exams eligibility are as follows:

Defence Exam Age Limit

The age limit for different Defence exams in India are different which is highlighted below:

Defence Exam Age Limit 
Exams Minimum Age Maximum Age
CAPF20 years 25 years
NDA16 years19 years
CDS19 years22 years – INA

23 years – AFA

24 years – IMA

25 years – OTA
AFCAT Exam20 years24 years – Flying Branch

26 years – Ground Duty

Defence Exam Education Qualification

The minimum education qualification required to appear for the defence exam is 12th Board pass. The details for education requirements for different Defence exams is as follows:

Defence Exam Educational Qualification
ExamsMinimum Education Requirement
CAPFA Bachelor’s degree from any Government recognised University Or Deemed to be University
NDA/NA Exam12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination
CDS ExamGraduation/Bachelors from a Government recognised University
AFCAT ExamA Graduation degree from any Government recognised University

Defence Exam Syllabus & Exam Pattern

The UPSC and Air Force, reserves the right to set and make changes in the exam pattern and syllabus of CDS, NDA, CAPF and AFCAT respectively.

The notification published by the conducting body mentions the Defence exam syllabus and exam pattern in detail. 

Aspirants of various defence exam in India can go through the highlights of patterns and Defence exam syllabus given below-

Defence Exam Syllabus & Exam Pattern
Defence ExamsExam PatternSyllabus
CAPFPaper-I – Objective; 250 marks

Paper-II – Subjective; 200 marks

Physical Efficiency Test – on qualifying Paper I & II

Personality test/Interview – 150 marks
Paper I – General Ability and Intelligence

Paper-II – General Studies, Essay and Comprehension
NDAWritten Exam (Part I – Maths – 300 marks, Part II – GAT –  600 marks)

SSB Interview – Two stages – 900 Marks
Written exam – broadly covers subjects like Maths, English, and General knowledge
CDSWritten Exam – (INA/IMA/AFA – 300 marks & OTA – 200 marks)

SSB Interview
English, General knowledge and Elementary Mathematics
AFCATWritten test (compulsory for all branches) – 300 marks

EKT(Only for Technical) – 100 marks
Written test– General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability and Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test

EKT– Mechanical, Computer Science and Electrical & Electronics

Indian Defence Exams 2022 Preparation

Different Defence exams conducted in India





Indian Air Force

Indian Coast Guard


National Defence Academy and Naval Academy (NDA & NA) exam is held twice in a year for the students appearing in the 12th board exam or have completed the intermediate level. An offline exam is conducted followed by an SSB interview; after successfully clearing these two stages the candidates undergo a three-year course in NDA, Khadakwasala.

2. UPSC CDS (Combined Defence Services)

The Union Public Service Commission conducts graduate level CDS exam twice in a year. The candidates become officers in the defence services after qualifying offline exam and SSB interview. Female candidates can apply for OTA only (Short Service Commission).

3. UPSC CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces)

UPSC conducts graduate level CAPF exam to recruit the candidates for various paramilitary forces like Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). A written exam, a physical efficiency test or medical fitness test and an interview need to be qualified by the candidate to become part of one of the paramilitary forces.

4. AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test)

AFCAT is held two times in a year to recruit candidates for posts like Flying Branch, Ground Duty (Technical and Non- Technical), etc. Indian Air Force is responsible for conducting a graduate-level AFCAT exam. The candidates must get minimum qualifying marks in the online written exam and Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT) (Only for Ground Duty-Technical post).

5. Indian Air Force (IAF) Group X & Y

The 10+2 level exam is held every year for the selection as Airmen in Group X & Y, which is conducted by Indian Air Force.

6. Indian Coast Guard (ICG)

A graduate-level exam for the post of Indian Coast Guard Assistant Commandant is conducted in two stages- Written exam and Interview.

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