UPSC Combined Defence Services (CDS) Exam syllabus as detailed by the Union Public Service Commission is given here. Candidates who will appear in the UPSC CDS (I) exam or UPSC CDS (II) exam can refer to the detailed syllabus of Combined Defence Services exam here. Note the important information of this important exam held by UPSC for vacancies in the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), Officers Training Academy (OTA). The syllabus given here is only for the written examination. Candidates who qualify in the Combined Defence Services written exam will be then called for intelligence and personality test.

UPSC Combined Defence Services (CDS) Syllabus

Know UPSC CDS Syllabus to prepare for it. UPSC defines CDS exam syllabus in notification. Get here exam pattern for UPSC CDS, syllabus, good books for UPSC CDS exam.

Standard of Paper for UPSC CDS Exam

The standard of the papers in Elementary Mathematics will be of Matriculation level. The standard of papers in other subjects will approximately be such as may be expected of a graduate of an Indian University.

UPSC CDS Syllabus for English

The question paper will be designed to test the candidates’ understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.

UPSC CDS Syllabus for General Knowledge (GK)

General Knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of everyday observation and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject. The paper will also include questions on History of India and Geography of a nature which candidate should be able to answer without special study.

Elementary Mathematics


Number System – Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, substraction, 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, variation.

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 to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables.


Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M., Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns—analytical and graphical solutions. Simultaneous linear inequations in two variables and their solutions. Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions. Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices.


  • Sine x, cosine x, Tangent x, when degree 0 <= x <= 90. Values of sin x, cos x and tan x for x = degree 0, 30,34, 60 and 90
  • Simple trigonometric identities.
  • Use of trigonometric tables.
  • Simple cases of heights and distances.


Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Theorems on

  • Properties of angles at a point
  • Parralel lines
  • Sides and angles of triangle
  • Congruency of triangles
  • Similar traiangles
  • Concurrence of medians and altitutes
  • Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, ractangle and square
  • Circles and its properties including tangents and normals
  • Loci


Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle. Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), Surface area and volume of cuboids, lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, surface area and volume of spheres.


Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts etc. Measures of central tendency.

UPSC CDS Syllabus for Intelligence and Personality Test

The SSB procedure consists of two stage Selection process – stage I and stage II. Only those candidates who clear the stage I are permitted to appear for stage II. The details are:-

Stage I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests are Picture Perception* Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on combination of performance in OIR Test and PP & DT.

Stage II Comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days. The details of these tests are given on the website

The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors viz. The Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist. There are no separate weighage for each test. The mks 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.

Good books for UPSC CDS Exam

There are numerous books available for the preparation of UPSC CDS Entrance Exam and some most reputed ones are mentioned below in the table:

S.No. Section Name of book Publisher/Author
1 English/GK/Elementary Mathematics Kit for CDS Exam
(For IMA, OTA and Air Force)
Dhillon Group of Publications
2 English/GK/Elementary Mathematics Pathfinder CDS Arihant Publication
3 English/GK/Elementary Mathematics CDS 10 years Topic-wise Disha Publication
4 English/GK/Elementary Mathematics Chapter-Section wise Solved Paper of CDS Mathematics/English/General Ability Arihant Publication
5 Elementary Mathematics Mathematics for C.D.S. Entrance Exam R.S. Aggarwal

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