CAPF Vs CDS: Which exam is best suited for you? Know here

Updated Mon, 07 Sep 2020 02:49 PM IST

Many of us aspire of clearing UPSC exams with flying colours. That feeling is inexplicable. But most of the times we get confuse in different exams offered by UPSC, most common being the CAPF & CDS.

CAPF that stands for “Central Armed Police Forces” offers seven security forces in India under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the post is for the Assistant Commandant Officer and is conducted once a year. They are the Assam Rifles (AR), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), National Security Guard (NSG), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Whereas, CDS expands to "Combined Defence Services"  Examination is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment of candidates into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

For CAPF exams there are 3 evaluation criteria.

Source: amar ujala

The first one consists of the written examination in which there are further 2 papers i.e.
Paper1 General Ability and Intelligence - 250 Marks in which there are objective/ multiple choice questions and the paper is in both English as well as Hindi language. Paper 2 General Studies, Essay and Comprehension - 200 Marks in this the student will be given the choice to write their essay in whichever language they are comfortable with either English or Hindi but the medium of Precis Writing, Comprehension Components, and other communications/language skills will be English only.

In Paper II, candidates must ensure that they have to write the answers only in the medium allowed by the Commission for the different Components as mentioned. Other than the allowed medium, no credit will be given for answers written in other than the selected language.

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So, candidates will be required to indicate the medium of Essay Component in the Attendance Lists and on the Answer Book.

Only after the evaluation of Paper 1 and obtaining the minimum qualifying marks, Paper 2 will be evaluated for those candidates.

The second evaluation is on the basis of Physical Standards/Physically Efficiency Test and Medical Standard Tests. The candidates have to undergo a physical efficiency test:
Type Of Test

Males - Total Time Limit & Distance To Qualify Females - Total Time Limit & Distance To Qualify

100 Meters Race

In 16 Seconds In 18 Seconds

800 Meters Race

In 3 Minutes, 45 Seconds In 4 Minutes, 45 Seconds

Long Jump

3.5 Meters 3 Meters
Shot Put (7.26 Kgs)

4.5 Meters -
The final evaluation is Interview/Personality Test: candidates who are declared after the Medical Examination are short-listed and called for the interview to be conducted by UPSC. The candidates who are declared medically unfit but allowed to appear before the “Review Medical Board” on their appeal by the Appellate Authority will be called for Interview/Personality Tests provisionally. The interview round make up to a total of 150 marks.

Then finally a merit list is being made on the basis of the marks obtained by the candidates in the Written Examination and Interview/Personality Test.

When compared this to the CDS examination it consists of only two evaluation criteria i.e. a written examination and an interview for intelligence and personality test.
For written examination:

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
For Admissions To Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy English 2 hrs 100
General Knowledge 2 hrs 100
Elementary Mathematics 2 hrs 100
Total 300
For Admissions To Officers' Training Academy English 2 hrs 100
General Knowledge 2 hrs 100
Total 200
  • All the paper will have only objective types questions. The test booklet of two subjects i.e. General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics will be in two languages: English and Hindi.
  • Use of calculator or any other electronic device is prohibited in the examination hall, so students must refrain themselves from bringing such devices with them.
Then  comes the second round of Intelligence & Personality Test.

The SSB procedure consists of the two-stage Selection process - stage I and stage II.

Stage I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests are Picture Perception* Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on a combination of performance in OIR Test and PP&DT. (b) Stage II Comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days.

Only those candidates who clear the stage I are permitted to appear for stage II.

The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors viz. The Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist. There is no separate weightage for each test. The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in all the test. In addition, marks for Conference are also allotted based on the initial performance of the Candidate in the three techniques and decision of the Board. All these have equal weightage. The various tests of IO, GTO and Psych are designed to bring out the presence/absence of Officer Like Qualities and their trainability in a candidate. Accordingly, candidates are Recommended or Not Recommended at the SSB.

Now, it’s time to take call which suits your personality the best.
“Go, get, better through perseverance”
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