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UPSC CDS (II) 2021: Notification, Exam Date, Selection Process

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Notification, Registration, Application Form, Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Admit Card & Cut Off

UPSC CDS II 2021 Admit Card Out. The UPSC CDS 2 2021 notification was released by the authorities and the applications were invited till 24th August 2021. The candidates can find all the details on the CDS exam in this below article. The candidates had the option to withdraw the application from 31st August 2021 to 6th September 2021.

  • Candidates are selected on the basis of a written examination and then be shortlisted for an SSB interview process.
  • It will be to test the intelligence as well as to conduct a personality test for the candidates.
  • The shortlisted candidates will be chosen on the basis of merit and preference for the respective academies like Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Indian Air Force Academy, etc.
  • To know more about the UPSC CDS vacancy, eligibility, application process, cut off & Selection process, etc, read this article from the beginning till the end. 

What is CDS Exam?

The Union Public Service Commission holds the Combined Defence Services Examination (abbreviated as CDS Exam) twice a year for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Indian Air Force Academy. The exam is normally held twice a year, in February and September. The national-level defense entrance examination attracts thousands of candidates.

Download UPSC CDS-II 2021 Recruitment Official Notification

UPSC CDS Latest Updates

22nd October 2021: UPSC CDS 2 2021 Admit Card Out

The UPSC CDS Admit Card has been released. The exam will be taking place on 14th November 2021. The candidates can download it from the official website.

Direct Link To Download UPSC CDS Admit Card

8th October 2021: UPSC CDS 2 2020 Marks for Recommended Candidates Out!

The UPSC CDS II 2020 Marks for the Recommended Candidates has been released. Below is the direct link to check the marks.

Direct Link to Check the UPSC CDS II 2020 Marks

UPSC CDS Highlights 2021

Given below is the overview table for UPSC CDS Exam 2021, for the candidates to be aware of all the necessary details required related to the examination.

Exam Name

Combined Defence Services Examination

Name of the Authority

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) 

Level of the Exam

National Level

Frequency of the Exam

Twice a year

Mode of the Exam

Online

Time Duration

Two hours

Language Given

English and Hindi

Application Fees

Rs 200

Vacancies 

345

Exam Centers

41

Official website

upsc.gov.in

UPSC CDS Exam Dates 2021

Given below are the exam dates for UPSC CDS Exam 2021, candidates must refer to the UPSC CDS exam dates to not miss out on anything:

CDS Events 

CDS (I) 2021 Dates

CDS (II) 2021 Dates

Release of notification

28-Oct-2020 

04-Aug-2021

Start of the Application process

28-Oct-2020 to 17-Nov-2020 

04-Aug-2021 t0 24-Aug-2021

UPSC CDS Exam date

07-Feb-2021

14-Nov-2021

Release of Admit Card

07-Jan-2021

22-Oct-2021

Declaration of Result

23-Mar-2021

To be announced 

 

Take CDS 2021 Online Test Series to upscale your exam preparation and beat the competition.

UPSC CDS 2 Vacancy 2021

A total number of  339 vacancies have been released for the UPSC CDS II Recruitment. The UPSC had released a total of 345 vacancies for the UPSC CDS 2020-21 Cycle-I. 

Various CDS Academies

Various CDS Courses 

Number of vacancies reserved for the NCC

Total Number of Vacancies

Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

152ndd (DE) course which will begin in January 2022

13

100

Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala

Course to start in July 2022 Executive (General Service) or Hydro

03

22

Indian Air Force Academy, Hyderabad

(Pre-Flying) Training Course to start in in July 2022

03

32

Officers Training Academy, Chennai (Men)

116th SSC (Men) Course (NT) to start in October 2022

-

169

Officers Training Academy, Chennai (Women)

30th SSC Women (Non-Technical) Course to start in October 2022

-

16

Total 

339 (base)

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UPSC CDS Eligibility Criteria 2021

Candidates applying for the UPSC CDS II Exam 2021 should keep it in mind that they have to first fulfill all the eligibility criteria like age limit, eligibility, educational qualification criteria, etc. to be applicable to apply for their desired post. 

Age Criteria:

The very first criteria is the age criteria which varies in the case of various academies like Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, etc. as mentioned below. Let us check out the table below: 

Various Departments

Age Criteria in each case

Indian Military Academy

Candidates born not earlier than 2nd July 1998 and not later than 1st July 2003

Indian Naval Academy

Candidates born not earlier than 2nd July 1998 and not later than 1st July 2003

Indian Air Force Academy

Candidates born not earlier than 2nd July 1998 and not later than 1st July, 2002

Officers' Training Academy

Candidates born not earlier than 2nd July 1997 and not later than 1st July 2003

Officers' Training Academy—(SSC Women Non-Technical Course)

Candidates born not earlier than 2nd July 1997 and not later than 1st July 2003

To get the detailed UPSC CDS Answer Key, candidates can visit the linked article.

Prerequisites for Various Posts under the UPSC CDS 2021:

The Combined Defence Services Exam conducted by the UPSC also requires the candidates to be of certain marital status i.e. married or unmarried in case of various departments. Let us check in the table below: 

Various Departments Involved 

Gender

Status Required in each case

Indian Military Academy

Male

Unmarried

Indian Naval Academy

Male

Unmarried

Indian Air Force Academy

Male

Unmarried

Officer Training Academy

Male

Unmarried

Officer Training Academy

Female

Unmarried

Educational Qualification Criteria:

The educational qualification criteria vary in each case as per the requirements of the respective academies like Officer Training Academy, Indian Air Force Academy, etc. The candidates should fulfill the following as given below for the UPSC CDS I examination 2021.

Various Posts

Educational Qualification Criteria Required 

IMA (Indian Military Academy)

Candidates should have a degree from a well-reputed university or Institution

INA (Indian Naval Academy)

Candidates should possess an Engineering Degree from a well-reputed university or institution. 

AFA (Air Force Academy)

Candidates should possess an Engineering Degree with Physics & Maths in their 12th Std from a recognized university 

OR

Bachelor of Engineering

OTA (Officer Training Academy)

Candidates should be Graduates from a well-reputed University

For details on the UPSC CDS Eligibility Criteria, refer to the linked article.

Nationality:

A candidate for the UPSC CDS recruitment exam 2021 must be one of the following:

  • A Citizen of India, or
  • A subject of Nepal, or
  • A subject of Bhutan, or
  • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962 with the intention of settling permanently in India, or Indian origins who migrated to India from Burma, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Zaire, Zambia, and Ethiopia, or Vietnamese origins who migrated to India with the aim of settling permanently in India.

UPSC CDC Physical and Medical Standards:

According to the UPCS rules, candidates must be physically and mentally fit. On medical grounds, a large number of qualified candidates are disqualified. As a result, candidates are highly urged to have a medical examination before applying for the CDS Exam.

Some common defects are:

  • Condition of Overweight / Underweight
  • Under Sized Chest
  • Piles
  • Wax (Ears)
  • Deviated Nasal Septum
  • Tonsillitis
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Varicocele
  • Hydrocele / Phimosis
  • Male candidates must be at least 157.5 centimeters tall (157 cms for Navy and 162.5 cms for Air Force). The minimum height requirement for female candidates is 152 cms. After all kinds of waivers/dispensations, the minimum height for all entries is 148 cm.
  • Male candidates should have a well-developed chest. After complete inspiration, the minimum range of expansion should be 5 cms.
  • The Body Mass Index of the aspiring candidates should be below 25.

UPSC CDS Height and Weight Standards:

  • Male candidates must be at least 157.5 cm tall to be considered. (The Navy's is 157 cms, while the Air Force's is 162.5 cms).
  • The minimum permissible height for female candidates is 152 cms.
  • Gorkhas and people from the hills of India's north-eastern region, such as Garhwali and Kumaon, will be allowed to be 5 cm shorter.
  • The minimum permissible height for candidates from Lakshadweep can be lowered by 2 cm. After all kinds of waivers/dispensations, the minimum height for all entries is 148 cm. If not, the candidate will be labeled a dwarf.

Read About CDS interview questions here.

UPSC CDS Height and Weight Standards

How To Apply Online for the UPSC CDS 2021 Recruitment?

The application process for CDS II is the first step to apply for recruitment into the first cycle of the Combined Defence Services. Candidates should be careful to enter the correct information here as the same will be printed on your CDS II admit cards. Go through the step-by-step procedure given below to be able to apply smoothly. 

Direct Link To Apply For The UPSC CDS II 2021 Recruitment

(The 2021 application link is expired, the new link will be updated here once available)

OR

Step 1: You should first enter the official website of UPSC to apply for the CDS I Exam. 

Step 2: You have to enter your personal credentials under the heading “Part I” of your application form. 

Step 3: You should first check the eligibility criteria & then apply for the respective academy which you wish for. (Indian Naval Academy, Indian Air Force Academy, etc.) 

Step 4: A registration ID will be generated after “Part A” and you can proceed to “Part B” of the CDS I application form. 

Step 5: Upload all scanned documents & signatures in the specified format. (PDF, JPEG, etc.). The candidates can use the Testbook Resize Tool for this purpose.

Step 6: Finally, you need to pay the application fee and select your examination center.

Step 7: Double-check all details and finally click on “Submit”

Step 8: Keep the application number generated safely. 

Step 9: Take a print-out of the application form for future reference.

What are the Documents Required to Apply for the UPSC CDS 2 exam?

  1. Candidates require ID proof like Passport, PAN Card, Aadhar Card, etc. 
  2. Recent passport size photographs of the applicant
  3. Signature of the applicant in the required format. (JPEG, PDF, etc.)
  4. Educational Qualification mark sheets are required (10th, 12th, graduation, etc.)
  5. Caste certificates(if applicable)
  6. Jammu & Kashmir domicile related documents(if applicable)

For details on the UPSC CDS Apply Online, refer to the linked article.

UPSC CDS Application Fees

The UPSC CDS 2021 Application Form for cycle one will only be complete if you submit the application form along with an application fee. Remember the following pointers for clarity. 

  • The application fee is Rs.200/- for all categories. 
  • The SC/ST/females do not have to pay any fees. 
  • You can pay via net banking or credit/debit cards (Maestro/Master/Visa etc.) 
  • You can pay offline at any branch of the State Bank Of India. 

CDS Selection Process

The UPSC CDS selection procedure involves a few stages which the candidates have to clear with flying colours to go a step closer to obtaining their desired post in their desired academy like AFA, IMA, etc. The various selection stages include: 

  • Written Examination: The first phase in the CDS 2021 selection procedure is the written exam. It comprises of three 2-hour papers. Candidates will just have to attempt the English and General Knowledge sections of the examination. Candidates for the Indian Naval Academy, Indian Maritime Academy, and Indian Air Force Academy must pass all three papers: English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics.
  • SSB Interview or Personality Test: The personality exam or SSB interview is the second phase in the CDS 2021 selection process. Stage I and Stage II of the SSB technique are two-stage selection processes. Only those applicants who have passed Stage I are eligible to take Stage II.
  • Document Verification: In this stage, all required documents of the candidates will be verified. 
  • Medical Examination: All of the shortlisted candidates will undergo a medical examination to determine whether or not they are medically fit. A Board of Service Medical Officers conducts a medical examination of the applicants nominated by the Services Selection Board. Women applicants are examined by a Medical Board made up of male and female doctors, specialists, and gynecologists. A Lady Medical Officer will also be a member of the Board. Only those candidates who have been deemed fit by the Medical Board will be allowed to the Academy.

Note: A final merit list will be prepared for the shortlisted candidates who clear all these stages successfully. 

What is the CDS Selection & Interview Procedure? 

Only candidates who clear the written examination stage will proceed to the UPSC CDS interview round. It will comprise of two stages as given below: 

Stage I: This stage will involve a Picture Perception & Description Test which will basically test the Officer’s Intelligence. 

Stage II: This stage will test how the minds of the candidates work via psychological tests, interview round, group testing office tasks as well as a conference round. 

Note: You have to qualify for the personality tests mentioned above to proceed to the document verification and medical test rounds. 

To get the detailed CDS Selection Process, candidates can visit the linked article.

CDS Exam Pattern 2021 - Written Test

The candidates who are applying to these respectable academies as mentioned above should be well-aware of the latest examination pattern to have a well-informed idea about the important topics and sub-topics from an examination point of view. 

The written exam pattern for the CDS I Examination varies in the case of the OTA or Officer Training Academy and other academies (Indian Naval Academy, Indian Military Academy, Indian Air Force, etc). Let us look at the tabulated forms below for a better idea. 

CDS II Exam Pattern for INA, IMA & IAF

The candidates should be aware of the exam weightage in the case of the written examination stage which comprises 3 objective papers for a total of 300 marks(100 marks each). Let us go through the table to understand better. 

Various Subjects

Total Marks of each subject

Duration of each paper

English

100

2 hours Each

General Knowledge

100

Elementary Mathematics

100

Total

300

CDS I Exam Pattern for Officer Training Academy (OTA)

The written exam stage for the OTA comprises 2 papers for a total of 200 marks. The candidates who clear this exam with the minimum qualifying marks will be further shortlisted for the interview round. 1 mark will be allotted for every correct answer and a negative marking of 0.33 will be deducted for every wrong answer. Let us look at the table below to understand better. 

Various Subjects

Total Marks of each subject

Duration of each paper

English

100

2 hours each

General Knowledge

100

Total

200

To get the detailed CDS Exam Pattern, candidates can visit the linked article.

UPSC CDS Interview 2021

The UPSC CDS SSB Interview will be held for candidates who pass the written exams. The CDS SSB Interview is divided into two stages, each of which includes an intelligence and personality test:

  • Officer Intelligence Rating, Picture Perception, and Description Test make up Stage 1.
  • Interview, Group Testing Officer Task, Psychology Test, and Conference are all part of Stage 2.
  • The CDS SSB Interview lasts four days. During the interview round, candidates are assessed physically, mentally, and psychologically.

UPSC CDS 2021 Syllabus

Candidates willing to apply for this examination should be well aware of the comprehensive syllabus for the UPSC CDS 2021 Exam. It includes the following subjects of which they should know the important topics and sub-topics as given below: 

General Knowledge

Questions on History, Physics, Biology, Geography, Political Science, and current affairs from all the happenings around the world, Defence-related news, Environment-related, Sociology, etc.

To get the detailed UPSC CDS Syllabus, candidates can visit the linked article. 

English

Questions will be asked on Grammar, Synonyms & Antonyms, Reading Comprehension Solving, Error Spotting, Para Jumbles, Direct and Indirect Speech, Idioms and Phrases, Active and Passive Voice, etc. 

Elementary Mathematics

Questions will be asked on Prime & composite numbers, Simple & compound interest, Areas of Squares, Rectangles, Parallelograms, Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Circles and its properties including tangents and normals and Loci HCF & LCM, Euclidean algorithm, Geometry, Logarithms, Trigonometry, Statistics, Ratio and proportion, Variation, Elementary Number Theory: Division algorithm, Prime and composite numbers, etc.

UPSC CDS Admit Card 2021

The UPSC CDS Admit Card 2021, will be available to the candidates 10-15 days prior to the examination. Candidates must download the UPSC CDS Admit Card 2021 without any hassle or confusion. 

Steps to download the UPSC CDS Admit Card 2021:

Given below are the steps to download the UPSC CDS Admit Card 2021:

Step 1: Visit the official website to download your Admit Card.

Step 2: Search for the UPSC CDS Admit Card 2021.

Step 3: The admit card will appear in front of you. After reading all the instructions, select the option of downloading the admit card through Registration ID or Roll Number.

Step 4: After that, fill in your date of birth and captcha. Click the Submit button.

Step 5: Print the Admit Card on a clear sheet and keep it safe.

To get the detailed UPSC CDS Admit Card, candidates can visit the linked article.

UPSC CDS Cut-Off 2021

Candidates who took the UPSC CDS recruitment 2021 written examination should know how to check the cut off marks. To do so, follow the steps outlined below to determine the UPSC CDS cut off marks for 2021.

Step 1: Visit the official website to download the UPSC CDS Cut-Off.

Step 2: Press on the examination tab.

Step 3: Now go to the "Cut Off Marks" dropdown.

Step 4: Now find the link for CDS (II) 2019 Cut off marks in the recent link.

Step 5: Click on the download link and save for future reference.

Exam Centers for the UPSC CDS 2021

The CDS (1) written exam will be held in 41 different cities. The CDS exam centre information will be printed on the admit card. Candidates will choose their exam centres when filling out the application form. Candidates were assigned CDS exam centres on a first-come, first-served basis.

Agartala

Ahmedabad

Aizawl

Allahabad

Bengaluru

Bareilly

Bhopal

Chandigarh

Get details about CDS exam centres here.

UPSC CDS - Books for Preparation

The candidates who apply for the UPSC CDS recruitment should always have access to proper study material. Most students are confused about the books they should buy or refer to while preparing for the exam. In the below-given table, we have provided the list of books candidates can use to prepare for the examination.

Best Books for UPSC CDS - English

Books

Author

Remarks

Objective General English

S.P. Bakshi (Arihant Publications)

Best for Beginner, Solved examples & Exercises to Practice along with detailed theory.

High School English Grammar & Composition

Wren and Martin

Good book with proper rules and applications mentioned in detail

Word Power Made Easy

Norman Lewis

One Stop solution for Vocabulary

Check CDS for girls in detail here.

Best Books for UPSC CDS - General Knowledge

Books

Author

Remarks

General Awareness

Manohar Panday (Arihant Publications)

This book covers Indian History, Indian Polity, Geography, Indian Economy along with the current affairs

Manorama Yearbook

Philip Mathew

Effective & recommended book for preparing General Awareness

Pratiyogita Darpan (Magazines)

Pratiyogita Darpan Editorial Team

Covers complete news along with practice set & previous year papers

Newspapers

Hindu, The Indian Express, The Economic Times

This is a must. Reading regularly will help you to stay updated with all the topics relevant to the exam

Books for UPSC CDS Elementary Mathematics

Books

Author

Remarks

Mathematics for C.D.S.

R.S. Aggarwal

This book is focused on the topics which are frequently in CDS examination. It covers all the topics which have high weightage with properly solved examples, practice sets, etc.

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations

R.S. Aggarwal

This book is best to clear various topics of maths from basics as it has many solved examples (different varieties of questions) along with practice sets (simple & tough both).

Pathfinder for CDS

Arihant Publications

Another book followed by many aspirants which cover entire syllabus of maths which has to be covered for this subject

For details on the UPSC CDS Books, refer to the linked article.

UPSC CDS Answer Key 2021

If you applied for the UPSC CDS 1 Recruitment 2021, you must understand how to use the UPSC CDS Answer key as well as the procedure for downloading it.

After the exam, the answer key is posted on the UPSC's official website.

Step 1: Visit the official website to download the UPSC CDS Answer Key 2021.

Step 2: Once on the site search for the answer key and download it.

Step 3: Save the answer key for future references

Step 4: Check your answers from the UPSC CDS Answer Key 2021

UPSC CDS Salary 2021

Those who pass the CDS exam will be paid a stipend during their training days. They will be paid a stipend of Rs 21,000 per month. The candidates who qualify for this prestigious UPSC CDS I examination will receive a handsome salary as per the 7th pay Commission. It is quite sought after by the commissioned officers recruited via CDS. The CDS salary range varies rank-wise and also with the years of service rendered by the officers. Let us look at the table below for a better understanding: 

Sr. No.

Ranks

Pay Scale

Pay Matrix Level

1

Lieutenant

Rs. 56,100 - 1,77,500/-

Level 10

2

Captain

Rs. 61,300 - 1,93,000

Level 10B

3

Major

Rs. 69,400 - 2,07,200

Level 11

4

Lieutenant Colonel

Rs. 1,21,200 - 2,12,400

Level 12A

5

Colonel

Rs. 1,30,600 - 2,15,900

Level 13

6

Brigadier

Rs. 1,39,600 - 2,17,600

Level 13A

7

Major General

Rs. 1,44,200 - 2,18,200

Level 14

8

Lieutenant General

Rs. 1,82,200 - 2,24,400

Level 15

9

HAG + Scale

Rs. 2,05,400 - 2,24,400

Level 16

10

VCOAS

Rs. 2,25,000

Level 17

11

COAS

Rs. 2,25,000

Level 18

To get the detailed UPSC CDS Salary & Job Profile, candidates can visit the linked article.

Preparation Tips for UPSC CDS 2021

Aspirants who wish to crack the UPSC CDS exam 2021 must know a few tips and strategies on how they can prepare better for the exam. Below we have provided a few preparation tips for the UPSC CSE exam 2021. Check the points mentioned below.

  • Know the Syllabus & Exam Pattern Well
  • Prepare with the help of previous years' question papers.
  • Focus on important topics.
  • Have an idea about all the topics.
  • Know the basics.
  • Set a proper study plan.

UPSC CDS Results 2021

The UPSC CDS Exam results help you check your final cumulative scores as well as serve as a final confirmation of if you finally bagged your desired position or not. Go through the steps below to make sure you know how to download the results: 

Click on the direct link here for the UPSC CDS Results 2021

OR

Step 1: The first step is to visit the official website of UPSC as given above.

Step 2: Navigate to the “CDS I Results 2021” link on the homepage and click on it. 

Step 3: The login page will ask for personal credentials in order to enter your registration number and password. 

Step 4: The results are to be downloaded in PDF format.

Step 5: Save and print a hard-copy for future reference. 

UPSC CDS Exam Analysis 2021

On February 7, the CDS (1) 2021 exam analysis was announced. General Knowledge, Mathematics, and English were all included in the exam analysis. The overall difficulty level of General Knowledge and English, according to the teachers, was moderate. In comparison to last year, the Mathematics paper was difficult. Candidates may use CDS exam analysis to determine the overall and section-by-section difficulty level, as well as key subjects.

UPSC CDS 2021: Exam Day Guidelines 

Candidates are advised to follow the below-mentioned guidelines/instructions on the day of the examination. 

  • Applicants must carry a hard copy of their admit card & copies of passport size photographs as proof of identity on the day of the examination.
  • Applicants won’t be allowed to attempt the examination without an admit card.
  • Applicants can carry items like a writing pad, blue/black ball pen to the examination centre.
  • Rough work material will be provided to the candidates during the examination.
  • Applicants should not carry any items like electronic gadgets, books, rough pages, calculators, smartwatches, log tables to the centre.

UPSC CDS 2021: Advantages for NCC Certificate Holders

Candidates who participated in the National Cadet Corps (NCC) throughout their college years and received a “C” certificate will have an advantage in the UPSC CDS entrance test. Read the given below points to see how!

  • Candidates can apply for the SES (Special Entry Scheme), which entails being chosen for the SSB (Interview) round without having to take the written exam.
  • Applicants can attend IMA because a limited amount of seats are designated for holders of NCC certificates (“C”).
  • NCC “C” certificate holders who attempt the UPSC CDS written test shall receive bonus marks

Check CDS Exam paper Analysis Here.

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UPSC CDS Exam 2021 FAQs

How to download the application form for the UPSC CDS(II) Examination 2021?
You can download the application form for the UPSC CDS(II) Examination 2021 by following the steps given above.
What are the vacancies for the UPSC CDS(II) Examination 2021?
The vacancies for the UPSC CDS(II) Examination 2021 is 339
What is the starting date of application for the UPSC CDS(II) Examination 2021?
The starting date of application for the UPSC CDS(II) Examination 2021 was 4th August 2021
What is the closing date of application for the UPSC CDS(II) Examination 2021?
The closing date of application for the UPSC CDS(I) Examination 2021 was 24th August 2021
What is the written exam date for the UPSC CDS(II) Examination 2021?
The written exam date for the UPSC CDS(II) Examination 2021 is 14th November 2021
Where can the candidates download the admit cards?
The candidates can download the admit cards from the official website.
What are the application fees to be paid for this written exam?
The application fees to be paid for this examination is Rs. 200/-.
What is the time duration of each paper in the written examination stage?
The time duration of each paper in the written examination stage is 2 hours.
What are the expected total marks of each subject in both the written examinations?
The expected total marks of each subject in both the written examinations is 100 marks.
When are the results expected to be released for this examination?
The results are expected to be released after the exam has been held in 2021.