Being a member of the Indian Armed Forces and serving your country is a very honourable experience. Every year, more than 5 lakh candidates take part in the numerous tests offered by the UPSC in an effort to land one of India’s most prestigious and prestigious positions. Candidates are chosen for Indian Defense Academies such as the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala, the Air Force Academy (AFA), Dundigal, among others, through these defence tests.

Read in-depth information on the popular defence exams offered by UPSC and others.


The National Defence Academy and Naval Academy (NDA & NA) test is offered twice a year to students who are either taking the intermediate level or the 12th board exam. After passing both of these stages—an offline exam and an SSB interview—the candidates enrol in a three-year programme at NDA, Khadakwasala.

2. CDS UPSC (Combined Defence Services)

Graduate-level CDS exams are administered by the Union Public Service Commission twice a year. After passing the offline exam and SSB interview, applicants are appointed as officers in the defense services. Only female applicants are accepted for OTA (Short Service Commission).

3. CAPF UPSC (Central Armed Police Forces)

To enlist candidates for a variety of paramilitary services, including the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Sashastra Seema Bal, UPSC holds graduate-level CAPF exams (SSB). To join one of the paramilitary forces, a candidate must pass a written examination, a physical efficiency test or medical fitness test, and an interview.

4. AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test)

To find applicants for positions like Flying Branch, Ground Duty (Technical and Non-Technical), etc., AFCAT is held twice a year. The Indian Air Force is in charge of administering the graduate-level AFCAT examination. The Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT) and online written exam must be passed with the required minimum scores by the candidates (Only for Ground Duty-Technical posts).

5. Group X and Y of the Indian Air Force (IAF)

The Indian Air Force administers the 10+2 level test each year for the selection of Airmen in Group X & Y.


6. Indian Coast Guard (ICG)

The Indian Coast Guard Assistant Commandant position requires a graduate-level exam, which is administered in two phases (written test and interview).

Dates for Defense Exams

The conducting board publishes the exam dates for all Defense exams in the official announcement or on the official exam calendar.

The following are key dates for the impending 2023 latest Defence exams in India:

Defence Exam Dates 2021
Defence Exams Notification Exam Dates
NDA NDA 1 – 21-Dec-2022

NDA 2- 17-May-2023

NDA 1 – 16-Apr-2023

NDA 2- 03-Sep-2023

CDS CDS 1- 21-Dec-2022 to 10-Jan-2023

CDS 2- 17-May-2023

CDS 1- 16-Apr-2023

CDS 2- 03-Sep-2023

CAPF April 26, 2023 August 06, 2023
AFCAT AFCAT 1 – December 2022

AFCAT 2 – June 2023

AFCAT 1 – June 2023

AFCAT 2 – August 2023

FAQs related to Defence Exam

  1. Can I join the Indian Army after ITI?
  2. Yes, anyone with a 12th-grade education or more may apply for Indian Army jobs.
  3. What are the exams to join the Indian Army?
  4. The Indian Army recruits early youths through the NDA, CDS, and AFCAT tests.