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August 30, 2022

What is the Difference between AFCAT and CDS Exam?

The AFCAT exam and CDS exam are both related to the defence services. AFCAT exam (Air Force Common Admission Test) is for those candidates who want to be in air force service, and CDS (Combined Defence Service) examination is for those candidates who want to be in defence forces (Indian Army, Navy, Air Force). We will learn about the differences between AFCAT 2022 exam and the CDS exam in this article.

CDS and AFCAT candidates must meet certain eligibility and physical standards in order to participate. CDS 2022 and AFCAT 2022 differ in many ways, and we will discuss them in this article.

Difference Between AFCAT and the CDS exam

The parameters to differentiate between AFCAT and CDS

Type of Force:

In the Airforce, AFCAT stands for Air Force Common Admission Test while CDS  stands for Combined Defense Services Examination.

Exam Conducting Body

The Indian Air force conducts the AFCAT exam. It is arranged twice a year, first in February and the second in August or September. This exam is held online, and then there is another stage of this process if you qualify for the test, which is an interview. Male and female both are eligible for the test, but the candidate must be 19 or above to give the test and below 25.

CDS exam (Combined Defence Service) is conducted by UPSC. In this, you have to fill out the application offline. And the examination takes place in offline mode too. There is also an examination fee for that. This exam is held twice a year.

Time of Notification and Exam

For AFCAT, notifications come in the first week of December & first week of June, For CDS, notifications come at the beginning of November & last week of May.

Time of Declaration of Result

The results of the AFCAT are usually announced within a month of the examination, i.e. by the end of March for AFCAT 1 and by the end of September for AFCAT 2. In the month of June, CDS results are declared for CDS 1 and in January for CDS 2.

Difference between AFCAT and CDS: Eligibility

The minimum requirement for both is a Graduate degree (BA, B.Com, B.Tech, etc.). The education qualification for this is different for different sectors of service. In the Indian army, you need to have a Degree in any field from a recognised university.

In the air force, you need to have a Mathematics + Physics background with an engineering degree from a recognised university.

AFCAT Exam Age Limit:

  • Flying Branch: 20-24 years
  • Ground Duty: 20 to 26 years

CDS Exam Age Limit:

  • IMA: 19-24 years
  • OTA: 19-25 years
  • AFA: 20-24 years
  • INA: 19-24 years

AFCAT Vs CDS Exam Pattern

There are four sections in the AFCAT exam:

  • English
  • GA
  • Mathematics
  • reasoning

The CDS exam consists of three papers:

  • English
  • GA
  • Mathematics

Each paper will have 120 questions, and each paper will have a maximum time of two hours to complete.

The entrance test ( CDS ) includes two phases first is a test, and another is the interview. If the candidate is passed the test with the minimum score, only then is the person allowed to go for the interview round held by different academies. The merit and preference will be the base for selecting the passed candidates and which academy they need to visit for the interview round. The academies are based in four different places, i.e. Dehradun, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Ezhaimala. The interview round is the test of your personality and intelligence. With BYJU’s Exam Prep, you can prepare for competitive exams such as AFCAT, UPSC, SSC, IBPS, SBI, and teaching exams.


If candidates have a strategic plan, they can easily crack both exams. If you reappear in the future, you won’t need to start from scratch again, as once concepts have been cleared.


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