What Is OTA in CDS - Know All About UPSC CDS Exam for OTA

What Is OTA in CDS - Know All About UPSC CDS Exam for OTA
26-July 2022...........

The Officers Training Academy (OTA), located in Chennai, is an Indian Army training facility that prepares candidates for the Short Service Commission (SSC). The OTA, which trains both male and female candidates, is one of India's leading defence training institutions with a long and rich history. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) holds a national-level entrance examination twice a year, known as the Combined Defence Services - CDS Exam, to induct eligible candidates into the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai. The exam notification for UPSC CDS OTA is normally released in the months of October and June, with the exams taking place in February and November, respectively. Let's take a closer look at what OTA in CDS is and other crucial details about it.


Overview of the UPSC CDS Exam for OTA




Exam Name 

Combined Defence Services - CDS OTA 

Exam Conducting Body 

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Official Website to Apply Online 


Exam Frequency

Twice a year 

Mode of Application 


Applicable Category 

Both male and female 

Application Fee

INR 200/-

Mode of Exam 


Nature of Questions 


Subjects Covered 

  • English 

  • General Knowledge

Selection Process

  • Written Exam

  • SSB Interview

  • Medical Exam 


Eligibility Criteria for UPSC CDS Exam for OTA

Those interested in joining the OTA Chennai should acquaint themselves with the eligibility requirements defined by the Union Public Service Commission in its notification. In the section below, aspirants can get extensive information about the eligibility requirements for the UPSC CDS exam.


  • Nationality: Indian 

  • Educational Qualification: Graduate

  • Age Limit: 19-25 years 

  • Marital Status: Unmarried

  • Category: Both Male and Female


Applicants in their final year/semester of a degree program who have not yet passed their final year of degree examination are also eligible to apply. Before applying for the UPSC CDS written exam, students should read the official notification for a detailed analysis of the various aspects.


CDS OTA Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme

English and General Knowledge are the two main components of the UPSC CDS Exam for OTA. The UPSC CDS OTA written exam is held in an offline format and contains solely objective-type questions with responses to be marked on an OMR sheet.





  • Paper I - English Paper

  • Paper II - General Knowledge Paper

Number of Questions 

240 Questions (120 in each paper) 

Maximum Marks 

200 Marks (100 in each paper) 

Nature of Questions 

Multiple-Choice Questions

Mode of Exam 

Offline (OMR-Based) 

Positive Marking 

0.833 for every correct answer 

Negative Marking 

0.277 for every wrong answer

Time Duration 

4 Hours (2 Hours for each paper) 

Exam Shift 

  • First Shift - English Paper 

  • Second Shift - General Knowledge Paper


UPSC CDS OTA English Syllabus:


  • Reading Comprehension

  • Fill in the Blanks

  • Sentence Rearrangement

  • Grammar and Vocabulary

  • Synonyms and Antonym

  • Idioms and Phrases

  • Spotting the Errors

  • Sentence Sequencing

  • One-word substitutions

  • Para Jumbles


UPSC CDS OTA General Knowledge Syllabus:


  • Important National & International Happenings

  • Personalities in News

  • General Science

  • Economics

  • History of India

  • Games and Sports

  • Awards and Honors

  • Geography

  • Political Science

  • Indian Constitution

  • Everyday Observation

  • Scientific Discoveries

  • Current Affairs

  • Heritage and Culture

  • UN & International Organizations


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