How are CDS marks calculated for the written & SSB Interview?

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The Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination is one of the premier exams given by Army, Navy, and Air force aspirants. The Union Public Service Commission conducts CDS twice a year to recruit candidates in the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Force, and Indian Air Force. This article will take a broader perspective in understanding how marks are calculated for CDS written exam and SSB interviews.

CDS Exam Format

Take a look at the below table to understand the exam format:

ParameterDescription
Mode of ExamOffline
Number of Questions300 MCQs
Number of Questions – OTA200 MCQs
Maximum Marks300 Marks and 200 Marks (OTA)
Duration2 Hours
MediumEnglish or Hindi
Negative Marking1/3 for every Incorrect answer

CDS Written Exam: Pattern and Standard of Questions

Table 1: Insight into CDS Exam Pattern for IMA, INA, and IAF

SubjectStandardDurationMaximum Marks
English LanguageBasic Understanding level of English Language2 Hrs100 Marks
General KnowledgeKnowledge of Current Affairs, Static GK upto Graduation level is checked2 Hrs100 Marks
MathematicsMathematics questions are from Matriculation Level2 Hrs100 Marks

Table 2: Insight into CDS Exam Pattern for IMA, INA and IAF

SubjectStandardDurationMaximum Marks
English LanguageBasic Understanding level of English Language2 Hrs100 Marks
General KnowledgeKnowledge of Current Affairs, Static GK upto Graduation level is checked2 Hrs100 Marks

CDS Exam Pattern: Interview Stages

The final selection of the candidates is based on the performance in 2 stages of the interviews conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSB).

Stage 1: Officer Intelligence Rating-test contains the Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT). The candidates must be sharp enough to clear the PP & DT exam to get selected for the next level.

Stage 2: The candidates must pass the Group Testing Officer Tasks, Interview, Conference, and Psychology Tests.

The Stage 1 and Stage 2 tests are organized over four days, and the candidates have to prove their mental and physical fitness to get the final selection.

Understanding the CDS Cut-Off Marks pattern

UPSC, the conducting body, of the CDS exam considers the following factors for determining cutoff marks:

  1. Number of Vacancies
  2. The total number of candidates appearing for the CDS exam.
  3. The difficulty level of the exam.

CDS 2021 Marking Scheme: Written Test

CDS is an objective-type questions-based exam wherein the candidates will be getting four answer options to choose from for every question. The candidates need to select the correct option and will be rewarded one mark for every correct answer. If a candidate selects more than one option, then it will be treated as an incorrect answer. If the candidate does not select an option, it will not be treated as an incorrect answer. Kindly refer to the below-mentioned table for detailed reference:

  1. CDS MARKING SCHEME FOR Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Indian Air Force
CDS PAPERENGLISHGKMATHEMATICS
Maximum Marks100100100
Marks for selecting correct option1 mark for correct answer1 mark for correct answer1 mark for correct answer
Negative Marks for an incorrect answer1/3 or 0.33 marks for every incorrect answer1/3 or 0.33 marks for every incorrect answer1/3 or 0.33 marks for every incorrect answer
  1. CDS MARKING SCHEME FOR Officers Training Academy
CDS PAPERENGLISHGK
Maximum Marks100100
Marks for selecting correct option1 mark for correct answer1 mark for correct answer
Negative Marks for an incorrect answer1/3 or 0.33 marks for every incorrect answer1/3 or 0.33 marks for every incorrect answer

CDS 2021 Marking Scheme: SSB Interview

CDS SSB Interview tests the significant 15 Officer-like qualities in the Defence Services aspirants. Take a look at a detailed analysis of the SSB Interview:

ParameterMarksMinimum Marks
Psychology (PP & DT)22590
GTO (Group Task)22590
Interview22590
Conference Round22590
Total900360
  • SSB Interview primarily focuses on Personality traits and uses different methods to assess the personality traits such as your Upbringing and Social Environment, Routine behavior, how the candidates handle various tasks in life, and how much you want to improve them.
  • SSB Interview also checks the Leadership Qualities and other important personality traits of the candidates.
  • If a candidate scores less than 90 marks in one parameter and scores overall 360 or the cutoff set up by SSB, they can be selected.

Good Luck!

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