CDS Syllabus And CDS Exam Pattern 

The Combined Defense Services (CDS) examination is one of the most sought-after competitive exams in India for those aspiring to join the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. It is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). To excel in the CDS exam, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the CDS syllabus and exam pattern. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through the CDS syllabus and exam pattern effectively.

CDS 2 2023 Official Notification

CDS Exam 2023 Overview

For candidates aspiring to join the Defence Forces through the Combined Defense Services (CDS) examination, having a clear understanding of the exam pattern and syllabus is essential. While the CDS syllabus hasn’t undergone significant changes, being aware of any updates is crucial for exam preparation. In this article, we provide you with the latest information on the CDS Exam 2023 Pattern and a detailed CDS syllabus.

Name of the Exam Combined Defence Forces (CDS)
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam Conducted in A Year Twice a Year
Mode of Examination Offline
Type of Questions Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Medium Hindi or English
Number of Questions IMA/INA/AFA – 300OTA – 200
Time Duration 2 hours for each paper
Negative Marking Yes (1/3rd deducted for every wrong answer)
CDS Syllabus And CDS Exam Pattern 

CDS English Syllabus

CDS English Syllabus consists of the following topics. The level of difficulty of questions will be of the secondary school level. Candidates are advised to read newspapers, books, and magazines regularly to improve their reading and writing skills.

  1. Comprehension passages
  2. Synonyms and antonyms
  3. Fill in the blanks
  4. Error spotting
  5. Sentence improvement
  6. Jumbled sentences
  7. Idioms and phrases
  8. Vocabulary
  9. Grammar and usage
  10. Parts of speech
  11. Direct and indirect speech
  12. Active and passive voice
  13. Rearrangement of sentences
  14. Cloze test

To prepare for the English section, we have provided you with the best Test series prepared by professionals. You should solve the practice sets that are available. It will also help you to know where you stand in your preparation. Read the Newspaper daily and note difficult words and find their meaning to improve your vocabulary. Go through the grammar part and learn all the basic rules. It will help you in detecting errors in sentencing and even in sentence completion.

CDS Maths Syllabus 

Topic Subtopics
Number Systems Natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, real numbers
Fundamental Operations Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  Square roots
  Decimal fractions
Unitary Method Time and distance, time and work, percentages
  Applications to simple and compound interest
  Profit and loss
  Ratio and proportion


Elementary Number Theory and Logarithms

Topic Subtopics
Elementary Number Theory Division algorithm
  Prime and composite numbers
  Tests of divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 11
  Multiples and factors
  Factorisation Theorem
  H.C.F. and L.C.M.
  Euclidean algorithm
Logarithms Logarithms to base 10
  Laws of logarithms
  Use of logarithmic tables
CDS Syllabus And CDS Exam Pattern 

Algebraic Concepts and Operations

Topic Subtopics
Basic Operations Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Simple Factors Identifying factors of algebraic expressions
Remainder Theorem Divisibility of polynomials
H.C.F. and L.C.M. Highest Common Factor (H.C.F.) and Least Common Multiple (L.C.M.)
Theory of Polynomials Understanding polynomials, their terms, and coefficients
Solutions of Quadratic Equations Finding solutions and roots of quadratic equations
  Relation between roots and coefficients (real roots only)
Simultaneous Linear Equations Analytical and graphical solutions for systems of linear equations
Simultaneous Linear Inequations Solutions to systems of linear inequalities
Practical Problems Application of algebraic equations in practical scenarios
  Simultaneous equations, simultaneous inequalities, and quadratic equations
Set Language and Set Notation Understanding set theory and its notation
Rational Expressions and Conditional Identities Simplifying rational expressions and solving conditional identities
Laws of Indices Rules governing exponentiation


Trigonometry, Geometry, Mensuration, and Statistics

Topic Subtopics
Trigonometry Sine, cosine, tangent values for specific angles (0°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 90°)
  Simple trigonometric identities
  Use of trigonometric tables
  Heights and distances
Geometry Lines and angles
  Plane and plane figures
  Theorems on:
  (i) Properties of angles at a point
  (ii) Parallel lines
  (iii) Sides and angles of a triangle
  (iv) Congruency of triangles
  (v) Similar triangles
  (vi) Concurrence of medians and altitudes
  (vii) Properties of angles, sides, and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle, and square
  (viii) Circles and its properties including tangents and normals
  (ix) Loci
Mensuration Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangles, and circles
  Areas of figures that can be split into these basic shapes
  Surface area and volume of cuboids
  Lateral surface area and volume of right circular cones and cylinders
  Surface area and volume of spheres
Statistics Collection and tabulation of statistical data
  Graphical representation: frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts, etc.
  Measures of central tendency: mean, median, mode


CDS General Knowledge Syllabus

  • General Knowledge encompasses various subjects and is important for competitive exams and being well-informed.
  • It includes knowledge of current affairs, everyday observations, and scientific aspects.
  • History topics cover ancient, medieval, and modern Indian history, as well as the Indian national movement and growth of nationalism.
  • Geography covers physical, social, and economic aspects, including Indian and world geography.
  • Indian polity and governance involve understanding the Constitution, political system, Panchayati Raj, public policy, and rights issues.
  • Economic and social development includes topics like sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, and social sector initiatives.
  • Science and technology cover developments in various fields, including space technology, biotechnology, and computer technology.
  • Environmental ecology and biodiversity involve conservation, environmental pollution, impact assessment, and climate change.
  • Defence and security issues focus on current events related to national security, internal and external threats, and the role of the Armed Forces.


CDS Syllabus And CDS Exam Pattern 



CDS OTA English Syllabus:

Topic Description
Sentence arrangement Rearranging jumbled sentences to form a coherent paragraph.
Spotting Error Identifying and correcting grammatical errors in sentences.
Selecting words Choosing the most appropriate words to complete a sentence.
Synonyms and Antonyms Understanding the meaning of words and identifying their synonyms and antonyms.
Comprehension Reading passages and answering questions based on the content and understanding of the passage.
Ordering of Sentence Arranging sentences in the correct sequence to form a meaningful paragraph.
Ordering of words Rearranging words to form a grammatically correct sentence.
Idioms and Phrases Understanding the meaning of idiomatic expressions and commonly used phrases.
Fill up the blanks Filling in the missing words in a sentence to make it grammatically correct and meaningful.


CDS OTA General Ability Test Syllabus:

Topic Description
Current Affairs Knowledge of recent events and updates in various fields, including politics, sports, and culture.
Physics Basic principles and concepts of physics.
Chemistry Fundamental concepts of chemistry and chemical reactions.
Biology Basics of biology, including living organisms, human anatomy, and plant and animal kingdoms.
Geography Understanding of geographical features, climate, and natural resources of different regions.
History Knowledge of significant historical events, ancient civilizations, and the Indian national movement.
Politics Understanding of political systems, governance, and international relations.
Sociology Concepts related to society, social institutions, and social issues.
Economics Basics of economics, including principles of supply and demand, national income, and economic development.
Defence Related Awards Knowledge of awards and honors related to defense and armed forces.
Sports and Culture Awareness of major sports events, prominent personalities, and cultural aspects.
Environmental Science Understanding environmental issues, conservation, and sustainable practices.



CDS Syllabus And CDS Exam Pattern 



CDS Exam Pattern 

For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy:

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
Mathematics 2 Hours 100
SSB Test/Interview 5 Days 300


For Admission to the Officers’ Training Academy:

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
SSB Test/Interview 5 Days 300




Cracking the CDS exam requires a systematic approach, thorough preparation, and a clear understanding of the CDS syllabus and exam pattern. In this blog post, we have provided you with a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through the syllabus and exam pattern effectively. Make sure to create a study plan, gather the right study material, and practice regularly to increase your chances of success. Good luck with your CDS exam preparation


Q1: What is the CDS exam?

The CDS exam is a competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to select candidates for admission into the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Officers’ Training Academy.

Q2: What are the eligibility criteria for the CDS exam?

The eligibility criteria include age limits, educational qualifications, and nationality requirements. Generally, candidates must be between 19 to 25 years of age, hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university, and be citizens of India.

Q3: How can I apply for the CDS exam?

he application process for the CDS exam is online. Candidates need to visit the official UPSC website, fill out the application form, pay the application fee, and submit the required documents within the specified deadline.

Q4: Can females apply for the CDS exam?

Yes, females are eligible to apply for the CDS exam. However, certain academies and branches of the armed forces have specific entry options for women candidates.

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