UPSC CDS Exam is one of the most prestigious examination of our country. This exam is conducted for recruitments to the naval academy, Air force academy, Officers Training and Indian Military academy. These exams are held twice a year. The exam conducting body is Union Public Service Commission.

UPSC CDS Exam Preparation

Written Examination

Paper 1: English (100 Marks)

In this section, candidates are tested on Basic English language skills and usage of words.

  • This section is less time consuming and very easy to score.
  • Candidates are tested on Basic English Language skills like reading & writing.
  • One should focus on practicing comprehensions, vocabulary and basic grammar.
  • Newspaper reading is one of the best ways to learn new words.
  • Try to solve as many mock tests as you can and go through previous year papers.
  • To gain speed and develop accuracy, you should always practice comprehensions with a timer. Comprehensions can easily fetch you 5 -6 marks with one passage.

Important Topics:  Comprehensions, Synonyms, Antonyms, Vocabulary & Grammar.


  • Pathfinder for CDS Examination Paperback by Arihant Experts.
  • Objective English By R.S. Aggarwal
  • Word Power Made Easy New Revised & Expanded Edition by NORMAN LEWIS
  • Objective English for Competitive Examinations By Hari Prasad & Uma Sinha

Paper 2: General Knowledge (100 Marks)

  • This paper tests the general awareness of the candidate on a variety of topics.
  • Candidates have to prepare six sections for this paper. These are General Science, Indian History, Geography, Polity, Economy and Current Affairs.
  • Along with this, a thorough knowledge of major International Organizations like UN, IMF, WTO etc. plus defence related news has to be prepared.
  • Candidates should keep track of the latest events in the fields of sports, arts, culture, society, health and technology.
  • Keep a tab of daily national and international events through newspaper reading.
  • Candidates can prepare Science section from Class 12th text books.
  • The candidates should prepare topics like Indian freedom struggle from NCERT text

Important Topics: Current Affairs, Indian Constitution, Compounds and Mixtures, Environment Science, recent policy changes, NATO.


  • Objective General Knowledge & Current Affairs Paperback by Disha Experts
  • Manorama Yearbook 2015 (English) by Mathew M.
  • Objective General Science by BK Editorial Board.
  • Geography and Environment 2012 by UPSC Portal.
  • Indian Polity MCQs 1000+Q by Sachchidanand Jha.

Paper 3: Mathematics (100 Marks)

The first paper tests a candidate’s aptitude in Mathematics. The syllabus directs candidates to prepare a variety of different topics such as:

(i)       Algebra (ii)     Mensuration
(iii)   Trigonometry (iv)    Geometry
(v)     Arithmetic         (vi)  Statistics

Preparation Tips:

  • This paper aims at testing a candidate’s basic understanding of maths concepts.
  • Candidates should start with their mathematics school text books of class XI and XII.
  • Focus on core concepts rather than solving intricate problems.
  • Prepare all the important formulae and note them separately for revision.
  • Candidates should solve mock tests and previous year questions on a daily basis.
  • Do not leave any section of the syllabus since the question paper covers all of them.
  • To gain speed and develop accuracy, always practice questions with a timer.

Important Topics:  Trigonometry, Quadratic Equations, Algebra, Geometry and Probability.


  • Mathematics for C. D. S. Entrance Examination (English) by R. S. Aggarwal
  • Quantitative aptitude for competitive examinations paperback By R.S. Aggarwal.
  • Chapter wise- Section wise Solved Papers CDS by Expert Compilations.


Total Marks: (300 For IMA,INA and AFA and 200 for OTA)

The SSB selection process undergoes two stages. All those candidates who clear the stage I are allowed to appear for stage II. The tests so conducted aim at assessing the Officer like qualities and trainability of the candidate.

Stage I: – Candidates are shortlisted on the basis of their performance in OIR Test (Officer Intelligence rating Test) and PP and DT (Picture Perception & Description Test).

Stage II: – At this stage, the shortlisted candidates from stage I take Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These test aim at testing the Officer like qualities of the candidate. All of these tests are conducted over 4 days.

For details of these tests visit:

Candidates are assessed by three different assessors. These are the Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist. The assessors take the overall performance of the candidate into consideration and then allot marks.

There is no specific weightage of any of these tests. Although marks for the conference test are allotted on the basis of the initial performance of the Candidate in the three tests. Plus decision of the Board is also considered. All of these carry equal weightage.

Preparation Tips:

  • At the interview stage, candidate’s overall personality is assessed.
  • One can also practice psychological tests like Psychometric tests, Word Association Test (WAT), Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Situation Reaction Test (SRT) online.
  • Be honest while answering questions. If you have no idea about something, admit it.
  • Taking Mock interviews helps as it prepares the candidate mentally for the interview.


  • SSB Interviews by Arihant Experts.
  • SSB Interviews Guide for Armed Forces Exams 2015 by Ram Singh Yadav.

Official Website of UPSC:

Since this exam focuses on testing Officer like qualities, a well prepared individual with a thorough knowledge of basics and a good personality can easily crack this examination. Your polished personality can take you a long way into this examination process.

CDS (I) | CDS (II)

ATSE 2019 Scholarship Worth 12 Lac for Class 4 to Class 12 Apply Now!!

Leave a Reply