How to Prepare For CDS Exam

CDS Exam Preparation Tips

CDS Exam is administered by UPSC to pick eligible candidates for Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officers Training Academy (OTA) courses. The 2019 CDS Test took place twice a year (CDS 1 and CDS 2). Candidates who have passed a formal test are called to the Service Selection Board (SSB) for an interview. You will get the complete details about How to prepare for the CDS exam.

The Topic of CDS Exam Preparation 

Any candidate who wishes to pass the CDS exam must be thoroughly familiar with the CDS Syllabus of the exam. Below are the topics of the CDS wisely relevant syllabus: 


·      Spotting Errors Questions

·      Sentence Arrangement

·      Synonyms & Antonyms

·      Selecting Words

·      Ordering of Sentence

·      Comprehension Questions

·      Vocabulary Preparation

·      Fill in the blanks questions 

General Knowledge 

·      Latest Current Affairs

·      Indian Constitution

·      Indian History

·      Indian Economy

·      Indian Geography

·      Indian Politics

·      Indian Navy & Military

·      Religions

·      Banking Sector

·      Universities

·      Books & Authors

·      Taxation

·      Sports – Awards etc. 


·      Arithmetic

·      Algebra

·      Trigonometry

·      Geometry

·      Mensuration

·      Statistic 

How to Prepare for CDS? 

To prepare for the CDS exam, a candidate must be willing to work hard both physically and mentally. Applicants must have the proper UPSC study material, such as CDS Previous years’ papers, preparation books, thematic notes, etc. Following the acquisition of the appropriate study material, candidates can adopt the following tips to improve their chances of being selected: 

#1. English 

English is one of the topics where many applicants are unable to achieve sufficient points. The CDS English report measures the candidate’s clear understanding of English in a minimum of 120 queries, which add up to 100 points. Candidates only have 2 hours to complete the document, which leaves the applicant with a minute for each question. Therefore, the nominee has to be quick to answer. Here are some steps to be taken to improve this portion of the exam:

·      Create a habit of reading. Reading different kinds of articles, such as journals, newspapers, forums, notices, etc., helps to improve vocabulary as well as learning realistic English.

·      • List all new words and their meanings. Consider using the terms in the list in different scenarios and phrases.

·      Take online mock tests to improve the ability to respond. 

#2. General Knowledge 

CDS GK portion has 120 questions with a minimum of 100 marks that need to be addressed within 2 hours. The paper focuses mainly on topics such as the Constitution, Culture, Environment, Geography, Democracy, Navy & Military and Current Affairs, etc. To plan for the GK section, the following guidelines can be followed:

·      The candidate should first go through the NCERT books for the preparation of the GK Paper. NCERT is the essential book for all of this.

·      Create a routine for the revision of all existing GKs, including state capitals, currencies, cultures, folk dances, superlatives, and dynasties, etc.

·      General Science is another important subject that is being questioned for in the test. For this subject, students will refer to a single liner style GK-based query that is very helpful in the preparation of the exam.

·      The GK portion can be further strengthened by reading the Year Book. The Year Book is important because it has all the events of the year that are very significant for current affairs.

·      Manohar Panday’s book General Awareness covers all topics that are important for the CDS Exam (I). The book is a one-stop solution for all the needs of the GK section. The student was supposed to have this book.

·      Students should refer to magazines such as Pratiyogita Darpan, Competition Success Review (CSR), and Yojana, which can help applicants understand the latest developments around the country, recent government projects, changes in economic policy, etc.

·      Newspapers such as The Hindu, The Telegraph, and The Indian Express, etc., will help applicants in the current affairs segment. 

·      Participants should participate in the online GK exam or feature in the CDS mock study. 

·      Various blogs are providing up-to-date news alerts. 

#3. Mathematics 

The difficulty level of the CDS Mathematics paper can be compared to the matriculation level. The syllabus is similar, too. An applicant with a good memory of the simple formulas can do a good job in this segment. A total of 100 problems with a minimum of 100 points are included in the math report. The following are some suggestions to support candidates with their preparation:

·      List all important formulas, theorems, identities, etc. and revise them on a daily basis.

·      Try to solve a variety of questions to learn how to use theorems and identities properly.

·      Enroll in a mock test series online. 

UPSC CDS Physical and Medical Exam Preparation 

The defense sector needs applicants who are not only mentally strong but also physically strong. Apart from a written examination, candidates must also complete a physical and medical examination. No candidate should have a mental breakdown history. Physical examination is one of the most important parts of the CDS selection process. Candidates can follow the following physical exam tips:

·      The weight and height of the candidate must be on a standard scale.

·      Regular and proper exercise and training is essential.

·      Candidate must get a full body checkup before appearing for the exam to make sure they do not have any type of illness or disease. 

Personal Interview 

After the CDS check has been conducted, the applicants will undergo a personal interview with the SSB. This interview tests the intelligence, personality, and ability of the candidate to hold ranks with officers in the Defense Forces. There are several components of the interview, such as Psychological Testing, Group Discussion, Intelligence Testing, Outdoor Activities, Opinion on Issues, Physical Fitness, etc.

·      Stay confident about this. It’s natural to be nervous or anxious, but a candidate must be able to express his / her thoughts as beautifully as possible.

·      Good communication skills are crucial, as thoughts can be expressed in better and more appropriate words.

·      Be up-to-date and in touch with the latest and interesting events around the globe.

·      Think before you talk and act like you’re an officer.

·      We must be respectful and humble. 

What to do in the Last Weeks 

The few weeks before the test are essential, as it’s time to revise everything you’ve read, without cramming all the details. In that time, the following steps can enable candidates to plan and prepare:

·      Make notes that are small and useful. The notes should be at the point and should act as a summary of what has been studied.

·      Although the last few weeks maybe a chaotic time, a calm and planned approach is all that is needed.

·      The management of time is crucial. The CDS exam is a time-based exam that gives candidates about a minute to try each question. Not only knowledge, but swiftness in the use of that knowledge is important.

·      The test has a negative mark for each incorrect answer. So, guesswork needs to be avoided.

·      The online mock test is helpful.


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Osheen Jain

Osheen is an avid reader and an experienced content writer from Bhopal. She has completed her B.E. in Electronics from RGPV University and her M.A. in Philosophy from University of Delhi.

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