Combined Defence Services Examination(CDSe) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) twice a year (around Feb and Nov) for the induction of the officers into the Indian Armed Forces i.e Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy. Every year lakhs of defence aspirants wish to serve the nation by joining the defence forces. Many aspirants lack in clearing the exam because of proper guidance and strategy. Don’t worry, by visiting us you have hit the bulls eye. To clear CDS examination you just need fire in your belly to see yourself in uniform than only you will be able to give your 100% for the preparation. In this article we will provide you every information and proven tips to prepare and crack the CDS examination in your first attempt.

### CDS Exam Preparation Strategy

Every young blood wants to serve the nation by joining the defence forces, but to achieve your dream you have to clear the CDS examination conducted by the UPSC. Aspirants need to understand that clearing the CDS examination needs focus and dedication. We will talk about it in detail below. In the table we have provided you the Subjects that are part of CDS Examination.

Subject Duration Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
Elementary Mathematics 2 Hours 100

Mathematics is eliminated and candidates have to appear in two exams only

## i.e English and General Knowledge.

Syllabus of CDS examination

Here, we have provided you the syllabus for the CDS examination and how to cover it in a systematic manner so that you crack CDS in our first attempt.

## Elementary Mathematics includes

● Number System
● Decimal fractions.
● Time and distance,
● Time and work,
● Percentages,
● Simple and compound interest,
● Profit and loss,

● Ratio and proportion,
● Division algorithm.
● H.C.F. and L.C.M.
● Logarithms to base 10,
● Theory of polynomials,
● Linear equations in two variables and their solutions.
● Laws of indices.
● Trigonometry
● Simple cases of heights and distances.
● Geometry
● Lines and angles,
● Mensuration
● Statistics

## General Knowledge includes

● History of India
● Geography
● Polity
● Economics
● General Science
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.

## English language includes

● Comprehension
● Error Spotting
● Cloze Test
● Sentence Completion
● Jumbled Sentences
● Synonyms
● Antonyms
● Idioms and Phrases

Note: English question paper is designed to test the candidates’ understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.

# What should be the strategy to crack the CDS exam

As mentioned above syllabus for the CDS exam is very vast, so you need to do hardwork in smart way to crack CDS exam. First, decide what academy do you want to join, don’t be a job seeker because Indian Armed Forces are not looking for the job seekers. Joining defence should be your passion by heart than only you would be able to give your best for the CDS examination. Now we will talk about how to approach the CDS examination, all candidates needs to understand that it is a national level examination and you are going to become the Gazetted class I officer of one of the elite Indian Defence Forces. You must understand the importance of each question in exam and should not take anything casually.

You must prepare a blueprint of your preparation strategy and paste it in front of your Study table. In this article we will also provide you the time table that will help you to crack your CDS exam in the first attempt. Lets analyse the previous year cutoffs of the CDS exam and see what should our aim to crack the exam. We went through the data available on the official website of the UPSC and calculated the average of last five year cutoff. Here is the Average cutoff

 Academy Written Exam Final Exam Minimum Marks of the Written Qualified Candidate (Subject to 20 marks in each Subject) Total Minimum Marks of last recommended candidate IMA 125 250 INA 120 241 AFA 140 268 OTA (Men) 84 163

 OTA (Women) 84 164
● Now, candidates we have to play very safe and prepare those
subjects thoroughly which have more importance and will help us to score good marks so that we would be able to clear the cutoff and shall have SSB interview lined up.
● Paper 1 i.e English has very important role to play in clearing the written exam as the level of the paper is easy to moderate and you can easily attempt all question and score good marks.
● After that comes the most significant Paper II i.e General knowledge, this paper decides whether you will clear the written part or not. In this paper majority of candidates sit idle and try to guess the answer because the level of difficulty is pretty high. You have to just cross over 20 marks out of 100, provided you have done good in your English and Mathematics paper. It covers all general knowledge under the roof. We have mentioned the syllabus earlier in this article.
● Last exam is the Paper III Mathematics Exam and all those who are good and find it easy to clear the minimum cutoff i.e scoring at least 20 marks out 100 have upper hand. Some Candidate who are good in Mathematics even score good marks in this but simultaneously you have to score good marks in the earlier subjects as well so that you have your overall score more than the expected cutoff. Level of Maths is moderate to difficult and questions till 10th standard are asked but they have a bit high level standard. So those candidates who find it difficult to crack the exam should make their strategy very carefully so that they score at least 20 marks and cover up the overall cutoff by scoring good marks in General knowledge and English exam. Below we will talk about how to prepare for these sections.

# How to prepare for the CDS Mathematics section

Candidate should keep in mind that if they want to get admission in the IMA/INA/AFA than they have to appear in this examination and even score good marks.(Min 20 out of 100). To clear this exam you need minimum three months of dedicated hardwork with smart planning. All those candidate who have Maths back ground find it easy to clear the math exam but those who are not good should keep in mind that they should cover the chapters which are easy and can help you to score at least 25-30 marks in the exam.

## Chapters on which main focus should be given to clear the CDS Exam are

● Number System
● Decimal fractions.
● Time and distance,
● Time and work,

● Percentages,
● Simple and compound interest,
● Profit and loss,
● Ratio and proportion,
● H.C.F. and L.C.M.
● Linear equations in two variables and their solutions.
● Mensuration

If you prepare the following chapters thoroughly and solve the mock test series, previous year question paper, you will definitely clear the Maths section. Later i will provide you the best time-table that you can follow to crack the CDS exam. To become master in these chapters all you need is focus and practice Stay away from the distractions and maintain your routine. Keep Watching Motivational videos of Indian Army on YouTube. This will help you to keep your focus on the exam and you will put your all energy in clearing the CDS exam.

# How to Prepare for the General Knowledge Exam

Many defence aspirants find this section the most difficult one. It is just because they are not aware as how they have to prepare for this exam and score good marks. Indeed this exam is difficult but if you prepare with plan and put efforts it is just a cake walk to clear it. Now, very important thing is that, i mentioned above that candidate even don’t get 20 marks in this exam, so you have to be very careful while attempting the questions in this exam. Questions are asked from every field so every candidate have benefit that there will be questions related to his/her study background. Question would be asked from History including Ancient, Medieval and Modern, Polity and Constitution of India, Economy, Defence Knowledge, Current Affairs, General science including Physics, Chemistry, Biology. Sometimes questions from International Relations, Political Science and from World History are also asked.

Now, question arises that how should we prepare for this exam, if you want to clear the exam, first know that what are your strong subjects and what are your weak subject. Prepare the strong subjects thoroughly.
Candidate should first prepare the subjects according to his/her background for eg. if you are from science back ground than you should prepare the General Science syllabus thoroughly as General knowledge paper have at least 20-25 questions related to this field. After that you have to do selective study like preparing important current affairs of last six months.You can prepare it online from GK today website or buy the hard copy of Pratiyogita Darpan year book or Competition Success Review magazine. Buy any general knowledge book like Arihant Pathfinder or Manohar Pandey GK book, read it at least 4 times and after that just solve the previous year question paper and mock tests. Keep the right answer rate above 50 percent in each test and keep on improving. In this way you will be able to give your best in the General Knowledge exam and by god’s grace you will score good marks.

# How to prepare for English Section

All the Candidates shall keep in mind that English paper seems very easy but it is also tricky as 60 percent of the paper consists of errors and rest questions are from Comprehension, cloze test, jumbled sentences, synonyms and antonym (For last 1 year UPSC has not asked questions from this area).

Now your main aim should be to score at least 70 marks out of 100 so that your over all score is above the required overall cutoff to clear the written exam. To prepare for English, first and foremost thing is to improve you written English, for this start learning the basic grammar rules.

You can opt for free online courses available on YouTube or even you can refer to English section given in Arihant CDS Path Finder, it is more than sufficient. Start reading newspaperand make it a hobby as it would also help you in the SSB interviews.

Whenever you find a new word note it down and find its meaning and also find words related to it. It will help you in developing your vocabulary.Practice questions that are given in the books and also practice online mock tests, in this way you will get to know where are you lacking and what are the areas that you need to work on.

# Best Time table to prepare for the CDS Exam

We have tried our best to make a timetable that will help you clearing your CDS exam in first attempt. If you follow it honestly and dedicatedly for 2-3 Months, you will crack the CDS written exam and will be physically and mentally fit to appear for the SSB interviews.

Day Subject- Mathematics Time Duration Subject-General Knowledge Time Duration Subject- English Time Duration
Sunday Number System, HCF LCM, Square and cube roots 2 Hours Physics 1 Hour Cloze test 1 Hour
Monday Time and distance, Time and work,Percentagces, 2 Hours Chemistry 1 Hour Sentence Completion 1 Hour
Tuesday Simple and compound interest,Profit and Loss 2 Hours Biology 1 Hour Reading Comprehen sion and ParaJumble Practise 1 Hour
Wednesday Division algorithm. 2 Hours History  2 Hour Synonym and Antonym 1 Hour
Thursday Log 2 Hours Polity 2 Hour Error Rules 1 Hour
Friday Trigonometry,H eights and distances and Geometry 2 Hours Economics 1 Hour Current Affairs 1 Hour
Saturday Statistics and Probability 2 Hours Geography 2Hhour Defence Knowledge 1 Hour

Physical and Productive Activities- Everyday for at least 45 minutes play some outdoor as well as brain boosting games like football, chess, Solving Rubiks cube, Running etc. This will keep you focused and attentive.

At last, believe in your preparation and have self confidence in you, by gods grace you will definitely clear the CDS written Examination and SSB Interview process and serve the Nation.