What is CDS full form? (A to Z details of CDS exam)

CDS stands for: “Combined Defence Services"

You might have heard ‘CDS exam‘ term many times while preparing for competitive exams, especially Defence Exams. But do you know what is cds full form?

If you want to join Armed forces, then you have multiple options like National Defence Academy exam, 10+2 Technical entry, Technical Entry after graduation, AFCAT exam, INET exam, Territorial army, etc but the best exam to join armed forces after graduation is CDS exam. Because:

  1. We can be officer in Army, Navy and Air force via single exam.
  2. Candidate belonging to any branch can give CDS exam
  3. There is no percentage criteria for CDS exam
  4. Exam is conducted twice a year on fixed dates
  5. It’s a highly scheduled exam where candidates join the academy a few months after the declaration of Final CDS result. (No waiting)
  6. Till date, there has been no complaint regarding the transparency of conducting CDS exam
  7. We guide thoroughly for CDS exam preparation that too free of cost and also provide free CDS mock test for serious aspirants.

There are some really important points other than CDS full form which every CDS aspirant must know before starting the CDS exam preparation. All these terms will be analysed in detail in further article.

Lets have a Basic Overview of those terms:

CDS Eligibility

Eligibility for CDS exam is highly generalized as compared to any other exam. Due to which every candidate who graduate in India is eligible for some or the other post of armed forces via CDS exam.

CDS eligibility criteria :

  1. You must be a Citizen of India (or even Subject of Bhutan/Nepal)
  2. You must have done graduation from any recognized university of India (Last year aspirants can also apply)
  3. You must be within the CDS age limit specified by UPSC
  4. You must be medically and physically fit
  5. You must be mentally prepared to work hard as per detailed strategies provided for CDS GKCDS English and CDS Maths.

For exact CDS eligibility criteria like CDS qualification, age limit for different academies, number of attempts, etc follow CDS eligibility article on our website.

CDS Cut off is of 2 types.

  1. Individual Cut off for each paper: 20 marks
  2. Overall CDS Cut off: Calculated out of 200 for OTA and 300 for other academies.

You have to clear CDS individual cutoff, as well as overall cutoff if you want to be eligible for SSB interview.

Check CDS Cut off analysis for last 6 attempts in a detailed article.

CDS Cut off

CDS exam pattern is divided into 2 types:

  • CDS Exam Pattern for IMA, INA, AFA (Out of 300 Marks)
  • CDS Exam Pattern for OTA (Out of 200 Marks)

In the case of Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy, you have to face 3 papers (English, GK and Maths) of 100 marks each.

Subject Duration Marks Number of questions
English 120 Minutes 100 120
General Knowledge 120 Minutes 100 120
Maths 120 Minutes 100 100

CDS Cut off is calculated out of 300 marks (For IMA, INA, AFA)

In the case of Officers Training Academy, you need to give only 2 papers (English and GK)


Subject Duration Marks Number of questions
English 120 Minutes 100 120
General Knowledge 120 Minutes 100 120

CDS OTA cut off is calculated out of 200 marks

Considering the pattern of CDS exam, the only thing constant is CHANGE.

CDS Maths and CDS English pattern is predictable, but CDS GK Pattern keeps on changing for every attempt. Due to which it is necessary to follow the CDS GK preparation strategy to be on a safer side.

CDS Exam Pattern


After being eligible for CDS exam, the next question in your mind will be what to study? What is the CDS Syllabus?

Before beginning with exact CDS syllabus, I will like to tell you that Official CDS syllabus provided by UPSC is very generalized. All exams of UPSC like IAS Exam, UPSC CAPF Exam, UPSC NDA exam, etc have very generalized syllabus which has very broad coverage and you will not get exact idea what to study.

“In case of UPSC CDS exam, previous year question paper is your Syllabus”

Along with the CDS Syllabus given in CDS notification, you must analyse previous year question papers so that you get exact idea regarding what type of questions to study and from where to study.

I have made a CDS Syllabus article where I have divided CDS exam syllabus into different sections and also analysed previous year question papers to provide you topic-wise weightage of each CDS Exam paper.

CDS GK Syllabus: Need to follow previous year paper strictly
CDS Maths Syllabus: Given detail in CDS Notification
CDS English Syllabus: Need to follow previous year paper strictly


I have done a detailed analysis of previous year papers and Notification to prepare one-stop solution over CDS Exam Syllabus.

What is CDS exam? 15 things you must know about CDS 1 2020 exam

We have seen in detail about CDS exam. Now let us see 15 things you must know about CDS exam.

CDS 1 2020 Age limit

You must know about the exact CDS age limit before applying for any academy. The age limit is different for different academies. Let us see the exact range of age limit in terms of dates so that you are 100% confident about the upcoming CDS attempt.

CDS 1 2020 age limit for IMA :

If you want to apply for Indian Military Academy in CDS 1 2020, your date of birth must be within limit 02 Jan 1997 to 01 Jan 2002.

CDS 1 2020 age limit for INA :

If you want to apply for Indian Naval Academy in CDS 1 2020, your date of birth must be within limit 02 Jan 1997 to 01 Jan 2002.

CDS 1 2020 age limit for AFA :

If you want to apply for Air Force Academy in CDS 1 2020, your date of birth must be within limit 02 Jan 1997 to 01 Jan 2001.

CDS 1 2020 age limit for OTA (Men) :

If you want to apply for Officers Training Academy (Men) in CDS 1 2020, your date of birth must be within limit 02 Jan 1996 to 01 Jan 2002.

CDS 1 2020 age limit for OTA (Women):

If you want to apply for Officers Training Academy (Women) in CDS 1 2020, your date of birth must be within limit 02 Jan 1996 to 01 Jan 2002.


(If your date of birth is on the start and end limit, you can apply for CDS exam)

2. CDS 1 2020 Eligibility

CDS eligibility is the same for every attempt. You need to be within the CDS age limit provided by UPSC and must have completed graduation from any recognized university in India.

You can also apply for CDS exam in the Last year of graduation.

And make sure that you are eligible for clearing written exam and SSB interview which will need systematic preparation from the best CDS books.

CDS 1 2020 application form

CDS 1 2020 exam applications start as soon as CDS notification is out. In the case of the CDS 2020 exam, CDS exam registration started on 30th October 2019.

CDS 1 2020 last date to fill form

The last date to fill the CDS 1 2020 form was 19th November 2019. If you have missed the date, you have to wait for CDS 2 2020 exam which will be held in September 2020.

1. CDS 1 2020 Exam Date

CDS 1 2020 Exam will be held on 2nd February 2020 (Sunday) all over India in offline format. (All the 3 papers of CDS exam will be conducted on the same day)

CDS 1 2020 Result

CDS result for written exam is declared around 45-60 days after the commencement of the written exam. While CDS Final Result takes around 10-12 months as it takes time being a 3 stage exam.

4. CDS 1 2020 Syllabus

CDS exam syllabus is the same for every attempt. But it is necessary to analyze previous year CDS papers so that you are aware of the latest exam trends and predict the type of questions asked in the upcoming CDS attempt.

I have done this work for you where you will get topic-wise weightage of each paper of CDS along with systematic breakdown of CDS syllabus.

5. CDS 1 2020 important dates


CDS 1 2020 notification release date: 30th October 2019
CDS 1 2020 online form filling date : 30th October 2019
CDS 1 2020 registration: Already started
CDS 1 2020 written exam date: 2nd February 2020
CDS 1 2020 Answer key: 3rd February 2020
CDS 1 2020 admit card : 3 weeks before written exam
CDS 1 2020 result: 45-60 days after written exam

CDS Eligibility 2020

cds eligibility

In order to be an officer in armed forces, you need to be eligible to give the CDS exam as well as be medically, physically and mentally fit to be an officer. We will see all types of CDS eligibility criteria.

Most important CDS eligibility criteria

  1. You must be eligible to clear Individual CDS cut off marks for GK, Maths and English paper (20 marks) as well as clear the CDS overall Cut Off for the academy you wish to join.
  2. You must be eligible to clear SSB interview which will need good psychological development, ample practice.

(90% aspirants fail to clear above 2 CDS eligibility criteria)

We will see some other eligibility for CDS exam:

  1. You must be Citizen of India (or subject of Nepal/Bhutan)
  2. You must be a graduate (Arts, Science, Commerce, BE/Btech)
  3. You must be within the age limit (for particular academy)

(Almost all aspirants reading this article are eligible to give CDS exam. So, now be eligible to crack exam with good preparation)

CDS Eligibility Percentage

There is no CDS eligibility percentage You can give the CDS exam even if you have just passed the graduation with 40% marks.

CDS Eligibility for Female

CDS eligibility for females with respect to male aspirants is the same. Only difference is that Women can apply only for Officers Training Academy.

Moreover, there are some additional Medical tests for CDS Female aspirants which are explained in SSB medical tests article.

CDS eligbility age, CDS exam qualification, CDS exam attempts, etc and many more details are given in CDS eligibility article.

Eligibility for CDS (Physical and SSB Medical test)

I have made a separate article on CDS Physical test and CDS Medical test where I have mentioned all the SSB medical tests where aspirants fail.

Also, you need to be aware of the height to weight ratio requirement for Army, Navy and Air force so that you are within the limit.

CDS Exam Pattern

All the 3 papers of CDS exam are conducted on the same day. So, it becomes necessary to understand CDS exam Pattern and study accordingly.

Paper Timing Questions Marks
CDS English paper 9 am to 11 am 120 100
CDS GK paper 12 noon to 2 pm 120 100
CDS Maths paper 3 pm to 5 pm 100 100

CDS exam pattern of CDS

  1. All CDS papers are in MCQ format conducted offline all over India
  2. You have One-third Negative Marking in all CDS papers
  3. You have to score a minimum of 20% marks in each paper
  4. You have a gap of 1 hour between the three papers of CDS
  5. Even if you fail for CDS Maths paper, you can qualify for OTA
  6. CDS Exam pattern and type of questions are the same in CDS Maths and CDS English paper
  7. CDS GK paper pattern keeps on changing every attempt with more numbers of Current Affairs questions.

CDS Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Exam pattern of CDS and syllabus is comparatively easy and predictable as compared to other exams conducted by UPSC (atleast for Maths and English paper). So, take benefit of the CDS Exam pattern and CDS syllabus in your preparation for CDS 1 2020 exam.

CDS Exam Pattern for OTA

Paper Timing Questions Marks
CDS English paper 9 am to 11 am 120 100
CDS GK paper 12 noon to 2 pm 120 100


If you are preparing for CDS OTA, consider yourself lucky as you need to focus only on 2 subjects for preparation.

CDS Syllabus 2020

CDS Exam syllabus

The first thing which every CDS aspirant must do is that he must check CDS syllabus from notification and keep that syllabus in front of him/her while studying.

More or less, CDS exam paper is designed considering the CDS Exam Syllabus which UPSC has published in CDS notification. CDS Maths syllabus provided in CDS notification is to the point and questions are asked from the topics specified in the CDS Maths syllabus. But, that’s not the case with English and GK paper.

CDS Syllabus for OTA

CDS Syllabus for OTA is the same as other academies. The only difference for OTA is that you need to prepare for only 2 papers, CDS English and CDS GK.

Let us see CDS GK syllabus from CDS notification:

CDS GK Syllabus: ‘”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”

This CDS exam syllabus is very generalized. So, we have analyzed CDS previous year question papers to find exact topic-wise weightage for CDS GKCDS Maths and CDS English paper.

Let us see subject-wise weightage for CDS GK Paper

Indian Polity 23-26 questions
Geography 16-17 questions
Economics 13-14 questions
History 14 questions
Physics 10-11 questions
Chemistry 11-12 questions
Biology 10-11 questions
Current Affairs 16-17 questions
Defence related 3-4 questions
Sports, award, important days 2-3 questions
Environment related 1-2 questions


CDS GK paper Weightage

  • Polity
  • Geography
  • History
  • Economy
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Current Affairs
  • Defence Related
  • Sports, Awards, Days
  • Environment

This CDS GK paper Weightage was calculated considering the last 4-5 attempt question papers. With the help of CDS Syllabus and this Weightage chart, you get a specific direction in your CDS preparation.

When we have such a minute breakdown of topics and CDS GK weightage with us, we can manage our time accordingly based on number of questions asked from that topic in CDS exam.

CDS Syllabus 2020 for English given in notification is of just 1 sentence.

CDS English Syllabus: “The question paper will be designed to test the candidate’s understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.”

This is a very generalized CDS Syllabus and will not help you in CDS exam preparation. So, we analyzed CDS previous year question papers to find out the type of questions asked in CDS English paper. Some important topics of CDS English are:

  • Spotting the errors
  • Sentence improvement
  • One word Substitution
  • Selecting correct words
  • Ordering of sentences
  • Ordering of words in sentences
  • Fill in the blanks (cloze comprehension)
  • Comprehension (passage)
  • Synonym
  • Antonym
  • Direct Indirect speech
  • Passive Active Voice

The above 12 important topics from which questions are asked in CDS English paper describes the CDS English syllabus in more practical way.

We have also calculated the topic-wise weightage of CDS English paper which you will get in detailed CDS Syllabus article.

CDS English Paper Weightage

  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Spotting the errors
  • Sentence Improvement
  • Ordering of Sentences
  • Ordering of words in sentences
  • Fill in the Blanks (Close Comprehension)
  • Comprehension
  • Selecting Correct words
  • One Word Substitution
  • Direct Indirect Speech (Rare)
  • Passive Active Voice (Rare)

You will get CDS Maths syllabus analysisCDS Maths weightage, CDS English paper exact number of questions from each topic and much more about CDS Syllabus in detailed article.

CDS Cut Off 2020

CDS Cut off

Roughly 3,50,000 aspirants apply for CDS exam every attempt, out of which only 390-420 aspirants make it through. When the success rate of CDS exam is 0.119 percent then how are candidates shortlisted in 3 stages of CDS exam?

Here comes into picture the CDS Cut off. When you give CDS exam, you are competing with 3 lakh other aspirants out which only 8,000-10,000 aspirants will clear the CDS written exam.

So, you need to be in the top 8,000 aspirants to clear the CDS written exam.

CDS Cut off is different every year based on :

  • Difficulty of paper
  • Number of aspirants who attempted CDS paper
  • Overlapping of 2-3 exams on the same day
  • Less attendance of aspirants also has an effect on CDS cut off.
  • Also, the number of vacancies decides the CDS cut off change.

CDS cut off of the previous year papers will give you a general idea of range of marks you will need to qualify the CDS exam. And your aim must be to score atleast 15-20 marks more than previous year cut off.

CDS exam has 2 types of Cut off’s:

CDS cut off

Individual Cut off: 

Scoring 20 Marks in CDS English paper and Maths paper is easy, but scoring in CDS GK is tough.

In every attempt, there are many aspirants who fail the CDS exam just because of not getting 20+ Marks in CDS GK paper. They even score enough to clear overall cutoff, but without clearing individual cut off, your dream of clearing CDS exam remains impossible.

So, follow CDS GK paper strategy to master GK paper and score 50+ marks.

CDS Overall Cut off :

After clearing th CDS Individual cut off, total of your all 3 papers is done (English+ Maths + GK) to calculate your total score. This total score must be greater than Cut off of the academy you want to join.

(In short, you need to beat comptition and manage to come among 10,000 aspirants out of 3.5 Lakh aspirants to clear CDS written exam)

I have made article on CDS Cut off where I have given last 6 attempt cut off for IMA, INA, AFA, OTA (Men) and OTA (Women) which can give you idea of ideal score.

CDS Cut off for IMA, INA, OTA, AFA:

CDS 1 2020 Cut off for IMA: 125-130 marks
CDS 1 2020 Cut off for INA: 110-115 marks
CDS 1 2020 Cut off for AFA: 135-140 marks
CDS 1 2020 Cut off for OTA (Men): 90-95 marks
CDS 1 2020 Cut off for OTA (Women): 88-92 marks


(This is the Expected CDS cutoff. Actual cutoff will be uploaded after the Written exam)

We have made a detailed CDS Cut off article where you will get the last 4 years (8 Attempts) Cut off analysis. Do check it out.

CDS Books 2020

cds books

How to select CDS exam books?

The biggest parameter to decide CDS exam books is it’s relevance to current exam trends. The difficulty level of CDS exam questions is increasing day by day. So, to meet the exam demands, you will need detailed books for CDS exam.

We will prefer books printed by Government (NCERT Books) as the probability of questions asked from government books is very high.

CDS preparation books must be different based on your time availability. If your aim is to clear the CDS exam in 3 months, then your CDS exam booklist must be different than CDS exam 1-year strategy.

After analyzing the CDS exam latest pattern and question papers, we have made a list of CDS books and also strategy to study them effectively.

Books for CDS exam :

We have 4 categories of CDS exam books based on time of preparation:

  • CDS books for 1-year preparation
  • CDS books for 3 months preparation
  • CDS books for 1 month preparation
  • CDS books for working professionals

CDS Books for 1 -year Preparation 

When you have 10-12 months of time for CDS exam preparation, you must follow this booklist to score 150+ Marks in CDS exam. These are the highly recommended CDS exam books as these NCERT books will clear your basics and build a strong foundation.

After completing NCERT Books, we will shift to some reference books for Indian Polity and Geography mapping which will be highly helpful considering CDS exam requirements.

When we have 10-12 months of preparation time, we can also read ‘The Hindu newspaper’ for Current affairs, which is the backbone of CDS GK paper.

List of CDS exam Books for 1-year preparation:

  • Democratic Politics 1 (9th Polity NCERT)
  • Democratic Politics 2 (10th Polity NCERT)
  • Indian Constitution at work ( 11th Polity NCERT )
  • Political theory ( 11th Polity NCERT )
  • M Laxmikanth book for Polity (Mainly First 3 Parts )
  • India Physical Environment (11th Geography NCERT)
  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography (11th Geography NCERT)
  • 6th to 10th Geography NCERT
  • Geography Through Maps (for Mapping purpose only)
  • Important NCERT science chapters (list given in GK strategy)
  • Modern History Spectrum book
  • Indian Economics Development (11th standard NCERT)
  • Microeconomics NCERT (Conceptual reading)
  • Macroeconomics NCERT (Conceptual reading)
  • Mrunal Sir videos for economy– On youtube (free)
  • CDS Maths preparation- Fastract Arithmetic Book
  • CDS English Grammar (Wren and Martin)
  • The Hindu Newspaper– for Current Affairs

(This list may appear big, but it contains mostly NCERT Books)

CDS GK preparation

How to read these books and what must be the best sequence? Read CDS exam 1-year Study plan where we have given a Month-wise strategy and books to be covered in each month.

Books for CDS OTA 

CDS books for OTA‘ found relevance here because its very necessary to score good marks in GK paper if you want to join Officers training Academy. In order to clear OTA cutoff, you have to score 95-100 marks which demands to score high in GK paper as well.

CDS OTA Score60 marks in English + 35 Marks in GK

To score 35+ Marks in CDS GK paper, you will need the best books for CDS OTA. So, all OTA aspirants must follow CDS Books meant for 1-year preparation.

CDS books for 3 months preparation, 1 Month preparation and for working professionals are provided in detailed article of CDS Books.

Indian Military Academy

What is Full form of IMA in CDS exam?

“IMA Full form= Indian Military Academy


Indian Military Academy is the academy where future officers of Indian Army are trained. It was established in 1932 and is spread over 1400 Acres in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

Indian Military Academy Logo
Location of Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun, Uttarakhand
Motto of Indian Military Academy Valour and Wisdom
Duration of Training at IMA 1.5 Years
Which Cadets are Trained at IMA Indian Army
Exams to Join Indian Military Academy 1. CDS Exam 2. Technical Entry 2. NDA Exam (after 3 years of training ar NDA)
Commission via IMA Dehradun Permanent Commission
Age limit for IMA 19-24 Years
What is Full form of IMA ? Indian Military Academy
Can girls join IMA ? No
Indian Military Academy Eligibility Graduation in any field

Officers Training Academy (OTA)

What is full form of OTA in CDS exam?

OTA Full form= “Officers Training Academy



Officers of the Indian Army Short Service Commission are trained at Officers Training Academy. A 49-week training course at the OTA prepares graduates for all branches of the Army (except medical corps) and the academy is spread over 750 acres.

Officers Training Academy, Chennai (Logo)
Location of Officers Training Academy (OTA) Chennai
Motto of Officers Training Academy Serve with Honour
Duration of Training at OTA 49 weeks
Which Cadets are Trained at OTA Indian Army (SSC)
Exams to Join Officers Training Academy 1. CDS Exam 2. Technical Entry 3. NCC Entry
Commission via OTA Chennai Short Service Commission
Age limit for OTA 19-25 Years
What is full form of OTA ? Officers Training Academy
Can girls join OTA ? Yes, Male and Female
Officers Training Academy Eligibility Graduation in any field

Air Force Academy (AFA)

What is full form of AFA in CDS exam?

AFA Full form=” Air Force Academy

Air Force Academy, Dundigal

Air Force Academy, Dundigal

Air Force Academy gives training to the flying, technical and ground duty branches of Indian Air Force as well as specialized training to officers of the Army, Navy and Indian Coast Guard. It is spread over 7050 acres.

Location of Air Force Academy (AFA) Dundigal, Hyderabad
Motto of Air Force Academy The Glory that touches the sky
Duration of Training at AFA 74 weeks for flying branch 52 weeks for other branches
Which Cadets are Trained at AFA Indian Air Force
Exams to Join Air Force Academy 1. CDS Exam 2. AFCAT Exam 3. Technical Entry 4. NDA Exam (after 3 years of training ar NDA)
Commission via Air Force Academy Permanent CommissionShort Service Commission
Age limit for AFA 19-24 Years
What is full form of AFA ? Air Force Academy
Can girls join AFA ? Yes, Male and Female
Air Force Academy Eligibility All Branches (Physics and Maths at 10+2 level is must)

CDS GK preparation strategy (Score 50+ Marks)


Why is the CDS GK preparation strategy so important?

Many CDS aspirants fail to clear the CDS written exam because they are not able to clear individual cut off marks for GK paper. And just clearing the individual cut off of CDS exam is not our aim. We must aim for a bigger target, that is, 50+ marks if we want our name in the final merit list.

Why many aspirants fail to clear CDS GK paper?

  • CDS GK pattern keeps on changing and any number of questions can be asked from vast topics that make CDS GK paper difficult to tackle.
  • The difficulty level of GK paper questions is increasing day by day and questions of current affairs are also increasing which makes CDS GK paper dynamic.
  • But on the other hand, aspirants do not want to do a vast study of CDS GK subjects and they follow a static study approach.

You must study each and every subject of CDS GK paper in linkage with each other


  • Many questions in CDS GK paper are linked to one or more subjects. Especially, current affairs.
  • So, you must have a ‘birds-eye view’ while studying for CDS GK paper and think of the type of questions that can be asked from the topic you are studying.
  • Daily newspaper reading is a must, as it acts as a linkage between all CDS exam subjects.
CDS exam

Which books should we use for CDS GK preparation

We will follow the best Government sources which will yield you good results in CDS exam:

  • Important chapters NCERT books
  • Important chapters of some reference books like M Laxmikanth
  • Systematic The Hindu reading
  • And revising them atleast 2 times before the actual exam.

Before beginning the actual step by step process to study for CDS GK paper, let us understand the main topics for CDS GK exam and important subjects:

Important Subjects for CDS GK paper
1. Science and Technology
2. Indian Polity
3. Current Affairs
4. Indian Geography
CDS GK important topics

Whatever may be the change in CDS exam pattern, the number of questions asked from Science, Polity and Current affairs is always high. So, you must master these 4 subjects from best NCERT sources given in CDS GK strategy.

Let us set a practical target for CDS GK paper:

We need to score 50+ Marks in CDS GK paper so that we are safe above the individual and overall cutoff of the CDS exam. For that we need to achieve these goals:

Expected Correct Answers (Minimum) 62-65 Questions
Wrong Answers (Maximum) 5-6 Questions
Time for One GK Question : No issue of time in GK paper
Our target to score in GK: 50+ Marks

In order to attempt 62-65 correct questions in CDS GK paper, you must follow the systematic approach of preparation from the best books for CDS exam. Let us see CDS GK strategy one by one for each subject:

Indian Polity preparation for CDS GK paper :

Begin you CDS GK preparation with Indian Polity as it is easy to understand and necessary to understand current affairs issues.

You preparation must start with these 2 basic NCERT Books:

  • Democratic Politics 1 (9th Polity NCERT)
  • Democratic Politics 2 (10th Polity NCERT)

You will not find direct questions from these 2 books, but your basic concepts related to Indian Polity will be crystal clear. (It will take 5-6 days to complete these 2 books)

After completing basic books, your actual CDS preparation will begin with these 2 books of NCERT:

  • Indian Constitution at Work – 11th Polity NCERT
  • Political Theory– 11th Polity NCERT

Direct questions can also be seen from these 2 NCERT books (It will take 8-10 days to study thoroughly)

Now after completing these 4 NCERT Books, you must study from the Indian Polity Reference book.

Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth: “First 3 chapters

First 3 chapters of M Laxmikanth Book are highly helpful and yield maximum questions in the Polity section of CDS GK paper.

Tips to read M Laxmiknath Books:

  • Revision is a must for M Laxmikanth book. You must revise the first 3 chapters atleast twice before the actual CDS exam.
  • Reading this book once is equivalent to not reading it. (from exam point of view)
  • No notes making from M LAxmikath book. It is a compact notes of Indian Polity in itself. Just highlight important points if necessary.

Will reading The Hindu newspaper, when you come across any new Indian Polity concept, search it in M Laxmikanth book and study it. Indian polity topics relevant in current affairs can be asked in the CDS exam.

We have also started CDS GK Mock Test free which is conducted every Sunday based on a fixed syllabus. So, do check out CDS Mock test and prepare yourself for CDS 1 2020 exam.

Let us see Topicwise weightage of CDS GK paper:

CDS GK paper

We have provided topic-wise weightage for each paper of CDS exam with the number of questions, important books to read and even important chapters for each subject of CDS GK paper. So, read CDS GK preparation detailed strategy article which is one stop destination for CDS GK study.

CDS Maths preparation strategy (Score 60+ Marks)

cds maths

Why is it necessary to score high in CDS Maths paper?

Let us again see the cut off marks for different academies via CDS exam. (IMA, INA, AFA)

CDS IMA Cutoff 125-130 Marks
CDS AFA Cut off 135-140 marks
CDS INA cut off 110-115 marks

Scoring 30-35 Marks in CDS Gk paper is a tough job for many aspirants. Then how are you going to manage clearing cut off for IMA and AFA which are around 130-135 marks?

You have to score 60+ Marks in CDS Maths paper in order to clear CDS written exam. Because the average score of CDS GK is around 30 marks. Moreover, just clearing cut off is not our aim. We must try to score maximum in the written exam so that there is no issue at the time of the final merit list.

CDS Maths Pattern is constant in every attempt

CDS Maths paper pattern remains the same in every attempt and the questions asked in CDS Maths paper are predictable. There is no drastic change in CDS Maths pattern and types of questions asked as it is seen in CDS GK paper. So, it becomes easy to score high in CDS Maths paper.

CDS Maths Syllabus is to the point and helpful

CDS GK syllabus and CDS English Syllabus in notification are very generalized. But CDS Maths syllabus is to the point and questions are asked from the topics given in the syllabus.

So, your Maths preparation must be highly strategic where you must utilize the following sources:

  • CDS Maths detailed syllabus
  • Topicwise weightage of CDS Maths paper
  • Number System
  • Average
  • Time, speed and Distance
  • Time and Work
  • Profit and Loss
  • Percentage and Discount
  • Simple Interest
  • LCM and HCF
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Logarithm
  • Polynomial/ Linear Equation
  • Quadratic Equation
  • Sets and series
  • Simple Trigonometry
  • Height and Distances
  • Angle lines and triangles
  • Circle and its properties
  • Parallelogram, square and rectangle
  • Area of square/Rectangle/triangle
  • Volume of cone, cylinder, cuboid, sphere
  • Surface Area
  • Statistics

Check exact number of questions from each Maths topic in our CDS Maths detailed strategy.

Lets set a practical target for upcoming CDS Maths paper:

Total number of questions to attempt in Maths 70-72 questions
Correct attempt in Maths paper (Minimum) 65 questions
Wrong attempt in Maths paper (Maximum) 5 questions
Target score for CDS Maths paper 60 Marks

Your Maths preparation will begin with study of 16 important NCERT Chapters from 8th to 10th NCERT books (Don’t directly jump on special CDS Maths book)

Clearing Basics of CDS Maths is very important as you want to solve 70+ correct questions and you will get 1.2 minutes only for each question. So, conceptual clarity and ample practice is must to maintain the accuracy in actual CDS Maths paper.

Check 16 important NCERT chapters and best book for CDS Maths preparation in detailed article.

CDS English preparation strategy (Score 65+ Marks)

CDS English

Let us begin strategy for the easiest paper of CDS exam, That is, CDS English paper. I will provide you strategy to score 65+ marks in CDS English paper (And it is easily possible if you are ready to work hard on your core English grammar rules and practice CDS English questions as told in the strategy)

Most of the aspirants never study for CDS English paper and give full focus only on CDS GK and Maths paper considering CDS English as easy paper.

Yes, it is easily possible to clear individual paper cut off of CDS English without any preparation. But it is limited up to 35-40 marks. When we want to score 60-65 marks, it requires good time management and strong English grammar rules which come with detailed study practice.

To clear CDS Cut off, you need to score 60+ marks in atleast 1 subject so that 130+ score seems possible. And it can be achieved in English paper if you will follow CDS English preparation article.

CDS English Syllabus

CDS English syllabus given in CDS notification is of 2 lines (very generalized) which will not be helpful for CDS english preparation.

So, I have made topic-wise weightage of CDS English paper considering:

  • Detailed analysis of past 4-5 attempt CDS English paper
  • Common questions which appeared in every CDS exam

CDS English paper commonly asked question types :

  1. Spotting the errors
  2. Ordering of sentences
  3. Comprehension (passage)
  4. Ordering of words in sentences
  5. Sentence improvement
  6. Fill in the blanks (cloze comprehension)
  7. One word Substitution
  8. Selecting correct words in sentence
Difficult part of CDS English paper Antonyms and Synonyms
Type of questions rarely asked in CDS English: Direct Indirect, Passive Active voice
Highly scoring part of CDS English paper: Ordering of sentences, Ordering of words in sentences, Comprehension

CDS English paper weightage:

CDS English Paper Weightage

  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Spotting the errors
  • Sentence Improvement
  • Ordering of Sentences
  • Ordering of words in sentences
  • Fill in the Blanks (Close Comprehension)
  • Comprehension
  • Selecting Correct words
  • One Word Substitution
  • Direct Indirect Speech (Rare)
  • Passive Active Voice (Rare)

CDS English paper preparation Sources (to score 60+ Marks)

  • Daily 3-4 editorial reading of The Hindu / Indian Express Newspaper

(It will help in Comprehension, vocabulary and even in other grammar questions)

  • Best English grammar book (Important grammar chapters to be done first and then practiced from CDS special book)

(Building English grammar basics is very important. Spotting the error, fill in the blanks, sentence improvement, etc can be easily solved with basic grammar rules )

Continue reading this strategy on the CDS English preparation article where we have given the best English grammar books, the exact number of questions asked from each topic and short cut tricks.

CDS OTA preparation

CDS ota

CDS OTA stands for Officers Training Academy where Indian Army officers of Short Service Commission are trained and you have only 2 papers for CDS OTA (GK and English)

Cut off of CDS OTA is calculated out of 200 marks (as you need to give only 2 papers for OTA)

Due to high competition for CDS OTA and higher age limit for OTA Short service commission, cutoff is increasing day by day.

If you want to clear the CDS OTA exam, you need to score 90+ marks at any cost. (Around 50 % marks) which needs a detailed understanding of CDS OTA Pattern and CDS OTA Syllabus.

But how are you going to manage 90+ score in CDS OTA?

Let’s have a look at 3 probable cases:


Case 1: 30 marks in English and 60 Marks in GK

Practically very difficult to score 60 Marks in GK paper. So, this case is rejected.

Case 2: 45 marks in English and 45 Marks in GK

Can be possible. But still its not too easy to score 45 marks in GK paper. So, this case also rejected.

Case 3: 30 marks in GK and 60 Marks in English

Easiest and highly effective case as scoring 30 Marks in GK is easy and 60-65 Marks is also easily possible if you follow CDS English strategy.

Important: It doesn’t mean that our aim will be to score 30 marks in GK. We just want to be on the safer side by scoring very high marks in English (which is easily possible if we study smartly)

Important: It doesn’t mean that our aim will be to score 30 marks in GK. We just want to be on the safer side by scoring very high marks in English (which is easily possible if we study smartly)

5 important points you must know before we start CDS OTA preparation strategy

  1. In case of IMA or INA, if we score less marks in any one of the three papers, still our overall score can be good due to good score of other two papers. But in the case of OTA, if you score less in any paper, your attempt is lost.
  2. Consider yourself lucky that you have to face only 2 papers. Studying for 3 papers and attempting them with 100% efficiency on the same day becomes too hectic. So, no compromise in preparation.
  3. CDS OTA SSB interview dates are scheduled last. So, you have much time for SSB preparation.
  4. CDS OTA Cut off will never decrease drastically considering the level of competition.
  5. If you have applied for IMA and fail in Maths paper, you can still find you name in Successful candidates list of OTA if you have cleared cut off for OTA.
  6. There is no option to CDS GK strategy (detailed)

Continue reading this article on ‘CDS OTA preparation‘ where we have guided in a step by step manner to score 90+ marks in OTA exam. We have given the best books to study for CDS GK as well as CDS English in CDS OTA article.

How to Crack CDS exam in first Attempt

How to crack cds exam in first attempt

First of all, I will like to make 4 things clear:

  • Clearing CDS exam in first attempt will be tough task. So, be prepared to work hard to achieve it (No Shortcuts)
  • Detailed preparation is need of the hour
  • You have to be very focused and dynamic in CDS written exam and SSB interview preparation
  • You must focus only on ONE EXAM at a time

Every CDS aspirant gets roughly 4-5 CDS exam attempts that too in 2.5 years. Within no time, these attempts will be over. So, be very focused on your preparation to crack CDS exam in first attempt.

We will see 20 tips to crack CDS exam in first attempt in this article. CDS 1 2019 and CDS 2 2019 toppers have contributed in making of these 20 tips. These tips are difficult to be followed and implemented, but once followed rigorously, it can give surpising results.

1. Detailed analysis of previous year paper is must

No one is going to personally check how much knowledge you have about Subjects. You have to prove yourself in those 2 hours of paper via 100-120 questions which you have to solve.

So, if our ultimate aim is to clear the Written exam, it’s your moral duty to understand the type of questions asked in CDS written exam. You need to analyze previous year papers which will take some time, but its first step of CDS Exam preparation.

  1. Analyze common type of current issues from which UPSC is framing the questions
  2. Analyze the topics UPSC prefers to frame questions.
  3. You will see that similar pattern of framing questions is maintained in every CDS attempt (This will happen when you will analyze 4-5 papers)

2. Preparation for 1st attempt is Foundation (very crucial)

When you are preparing for first attempt,

  • Your level of awareness is maximum
  • Your mind is fresh and ready to grasp new things
  • Your curious mind helps you to gain more knowledge
  • You are not aware of misconceptions about CDS exam

Theses things may seem childish, but believe me, your first year of CDS exam preparation is the Foundation stone of Success.

3. One Single book for CDS exam: Those days are gone

If you want to clear the CDS exam in first attempt and at the same time if you are searching for a Single book to study all CDS subjects, then something is wrong.

We have made CDS exam detailed strategies for CDS GKCDS Maths and CDS English papers which are capable enough to help you score 150+ Marks in CDS written exam.

No shortcut. Pure Smart work along with genuine hard work

(Homework: Just check the previous year question papers to know the level of study required).

4. You have to score 65+ Marks in English or Maths

Cut off for CDS IMA, INA and OTA is roughly around 125-145 marks and Cut off for OTA is 90-95 Marks. So, in order to be on a safer side, you have to take lead by scoring 65+ Marks in English or Maths.

Scoring 65+ Marks is possible only in English and Maths papers (Not in GK paper)

  • If you are from Science background: you must target Maths paper for 65+ score
  • If you are from Humanities background: you must target English paper for 65+ score

Read full article on 20 tips to clear CDS exam in first attempt where you will get direct guidance from aspirants who have made it to merit list.

CDS Exam 1-year preparation plan

If you are reading this article of CDS Exam 1- year preparation plan, then its good that you are ready to do work hard for your dreams. And if you are ready to work hard for the upcoming 1 year, no one can stop you from being successful.

Today we will see “Exact books which you must read from Month 1 to Month 12, Month-wise plan for new reading and revision, best month to give CDS Mock test, etc which is specially designed for freshers to prepare in 1-year time span.

For CDS 1-year preparation plan, our strategies will be the same:

We will just see “which books to study in which month” so that A to Z preparation of CDS exam is done in stipulated time.

(Read the above articles to know exact books we need to cover in 12 months preparation span)

Things to remember before starting Month-wise Study plan

  1. Focus only on 1 exam at a time
  2. Keep your study sources constant (No change at any cost)
  3. Follow 80:20 rule for new reading and revision
  4. CDS written and SSB preparation must go on parallel
  5. You must be optimistic that you will clear CDS exam

CDS exam books to be covered in first month

We will begin with 2 interesting subjects, that is, Indian Polity and geography.

Begin with these 3 basic books of Indian Polity NCERT which will be covered in 3 days time:

  • Social and Political Life 1 (6th NCERT)
  • Social and Political Life 2 (7th NCERT)
  • Social and Political Life 3 (8th NCERT)

Basic concepts are explained in a very simple manner in these 3 books which will be covered in 2-3 days.

After completing these basic books, focus on:

  • Democratic Politics 1 (9th Indian Polity NCERT)
  • Democratic Politics 2 (10th Indian Polity NCERT)

(These 2 books must be completed in 4-5 days Maximum with detail reading)

In the case of Geography, you must read 3 basic Ncert Books in Month 1:

  1. 6th Geography NCERT (The Earth, our Habitat)
  2. 7th Geography NCERT (Our Environment)
  3. 8th Geography NCERT (Resources and Development)

(These 3 books must be completed in 5-6 days)

In the case of History, you must read this one book in Month 1:

  1. 11th standard Tamil Nadu NCERT book (Very imp)

Along with this, you must do following things on daily basis for month 1:

  1. Daily 20-25 minutes English grammar study from Wren and Martin book
  2. Daily 1 hour Maths question solving as per CDS Maths strategy
  3. Covering atleast 3 important chapters of Science NCERT (List is given in CDS GK strategy)

Continue reading next month’s preparation strategy on the CDS exam 1-year preparation plan article

CDS exam preparation with Pathfinder Book

CDS Pathfinder

It is not possible for everyone to follow CDS detailed strategy. So, I have made a custom strategy that contains CDS Pathfinder Book and a list of must-read NCERT sources.

Let us see why CDS Pathfinder book is well known among CDS aspirants

  • This Book is specially designed considering the CDS exam syllabus and type of questions asked in CDS exam.
  • The latest CDS paper questions are updated in every Year’s New edition.
  • It contains theory as well as practice questions.
  • But we need to read some other sources too for CDS exam preparation.

CDS pathfinder is the most common name when we think about CDS exam preparation. But due to changing CDS exam pattern, CDS Pathfinder book is not self-sufficient. We need to supplement CDS Pathfinder book with some quality NCERT books and some good sources for Current Affairs preparation.

You can score 130+ Marks in CDS exam if you will study from CDS Pathfinder book along with the list of some additional sources which I have mentioned in CDS Pathfinder book review article.

Check CDS Pathfinder review article where you can prepare for CDS exam in 3 months.

How to prepare for CDS exam in 2 Months

This strategy on How to prepare for CDS Exam is especially for those candidates who are in the last year of graduation or who have just completed their graduation. If you have 2 months left for CDS exam with absolute zero preparation, then you must follow this article on how to prepare for CDS exam in 60 days.

CDS exam preparation in 60 days will be:

  • Very hectic
  • Highly challenging
  • Tough task (but not impossible)
  • Will demand daily revision ( 70 : 30 rule)

While following this strategy, you will not get any chance for rest. Because even 1-day rest will develop huge backlogs.

For convenience and strategic study, we will divide 60 days into 4 slots (of 15 days each) and our preparation will be as per slot. Let’s have a diagrammatic representation:

prepare for cds exam
Slot 1 Dedicated for GK study
Slot 2 Dedicated for Maths study
Slot 3 Dedicated for GK and Maths revision
Slot 4 Free CDS Mock test (practice papers)

What about CDS English preparation? Don’t worry, you will understand it at the end of this article.

Rule for this strategy: Read, Revise, Read and Repeat….

Slot 1 preparation (Day 1 to Day 15)

We will begin with the most difficult part of the CDS exam, that is, CDS GK preparation. Considering the available time with us and current exam needs, we will study Lucent GK book for GK preparation.

Lucent GK book will give maximum coverage to all topics of CDS GK paper that too in minimum time.

What exactly to read from Lucent Gk Book?

In the table below, I have given important topics and corresponding back to back pages in Lucent GK Book which you need to read in the first 15 days of preparation.

Indian Polity 40 Pages
World History 16 Pages
Geography 41 Pages
Indian History 63 Pages
Indian Economy 40 Pages
Chemistry 21 Pages
Physics 24 Pages
Biology 26 Pages

These number of pages needs to be done during the first 15 days which is possible even if you read 18-19 pages per day (on an average)

But can we recall this huge data during CDS exam? Don’t worry because the next 45 days study plan is designed in such a way that these topics will be revised again.

Check Slot 2, Slot 3 and Slot 4 preparation in a dedicated article on “How to prepare for CDS exam in 2 months

How to prepare for CDS exam in one month

Do you really think that we can prepare for CDS exam in one month? It’s difficult, but we can.

Atleast we can try our best for Officers Training Academy where we need to study only for 2 papers (Out of which English paper is very easy and scoring)

4 things you must remember while preparing :

  1. Even if you fail, your preparation of GK and English will be helpful for the next attempt (Worst case scenario)
  2. Aim to score high for CDS English paper (65+) as GK score cannot be high with one month preparation.
  3. Revise, Revise and Revise for GK
  4. And daily practice of English questions is a must for 30 days

Prepare for CDS exam in one month (Video Strategy)

CDS Mock test 2020

CDS Test series

You might have heard from many toppers that giving CDS Mock test or solving previous year question papers is highly beneficial. Because when we study so many subjects at a time, the possibility is that we may forget what we have read.

While reading different sources, we must check whether we can recall that data even after a few weeks. Here comes the role of CDS Test series.

When we give CDS Mock test, we come to know:

  • Areas where we lag
  • Our common mistakes
  • Our time management issues
  • Our strong and weak areas
  • Silly mistakes done in test

Which can be analyzed at our end and improved.


So, understanding the need for CDS Mock test, we have started CDS Mock test 2020 free of cost for all CDS aspirants.

Details of our CDS Mock test 2020:

Number of tests 11
Test duration Till CDS exam (Every Sunday)
Syllabus for test Given every week (on instagram and telegram group)
Test Marking scheme 100 Marks
Test time 120 minutes
Test format Online
Answer key available Yes
Criteria for Mock test No criteria. Its free of cost

Let us see the CDS 1 2020 Test series time table so that you can prepare accordingly.

CDS 2020 test series CDS Mock test Date CDS Mock test 
Test 1 (Live) 17 Nov 2019 100 Marks
Test 2 (Live) 24 Nov2019 100 Marks
Test 3 (Live) 1 Dec 2019 100 Marks
Test 4 8 Dec 2019 100 Marks
Test 5 15 Dec 2019 100 Marks
Test 6 22 Dec 2019 100 Marks
Test 7 29 Dec 2020 100 Marks
Test 8 5 Jan 2020 100 Marks
Test 9 12 Jan 2020 100 Marks
Test 10 19 Jan 2020 100 Marks
Test 11 (Full Syllabus) 26 Jan 2020 100 Marks
Final Test 2nd February 2020 CDS Exam

Take CDS Mock test now and check your level of preparation.

CDS Admit Card 2020

What is CDS Admit Card?

CDS admit card is nothing but hall ticket for CDS exam. We need to carry the CDS admit card at the exam center to be eligible to give the exam.

CDS admit card also have important CDS exam instructions which every CDS aspirant must read before attempting the exam.

CDS Admit card pdf has an “Identity Card” specified on it (which you have submitted at the time of filling the exam form). Remember that you need to carry this “Identity card” at the time of the written exam.

When is CDS admit card released?

CDS Admit card is released by UPSC on the official website 3 weeks before the written exam. You can get your Admit card from upsc.gov.in which can be downloaded in pdf format. You need to take a print out of this admit card for CDS written exam.

How to download CDS admit card (step by step process)

Step 1: Go to upsc.gov.in

Step 2: Click on Admit Card after scrolling down

CDS admit card

Step 3: In the list of currently active exams, click on CDS 2020 exam

Step 4: You have to add your “Roll number” or “Registration ID” to get your CDS admit Card

CDS admit card

CDS 1 2020 admit card

CDS 1 2020 Admit card is out. You can check it on upsc.gov.in

What to do if Admit Card of CDS is lost?

Even if you have lost CDS admit card and cannot check your CDS result, dont worry. Because if you have cleared DS written exam, you will get SSB interview dates mailed on your mail ID which you have submitted while filling the CDS exam form.

CDS admit card can also be downloaded without Roll number and Registration ID. Check our article on CDS admit card for more details.

CDS Answer Key 2020

What is CDS answer key?

CDS answer key = Solution of questions asked in CDS written exam

After CDS written exam is over, it is necessary to check how much correct questions we have attempted and calculate the estimated score. With the help of the estimated score, we can check whether we will clear CDS written exam or not (based on previous year CDS Cut off marks for different academies)

Why is it necessary to check CDS answer key?

I will give a very simple reason why you must check CDS answer key:

  • If you  have cleared CDS cut off marks: You can start preparation for SSB interview
  • If you couldn’t clear CDS cut offYou can start preparing for Next CDS attempt

CDS 1 2020 answer key will be released on 3rd of February, 2020 after the commensation of CDS 1 2020 written exam.

CDS 2020 GK Answer key with solution

  • CDS 1 2020 GK Answer key Set A: Check here
  • CDS 1 2020 GK Answer key Set B: Check here
  • CDS 1 2020 GK Answer key Set C: Check here
  • CDS 1 2020 GK Answer key Set D: Check here

CDS 2020 Maths Answer key with solution

  • CDS 1 2020 Maths Answer key Set A: Check here
  • CDS 1 2020 Maths Answer key Set B: Check here
  • CDS 1 2020 Maths Answer key Set C: Check here
  • CDS 1 2020 Maths Answer key Set D: Check here

CDS 2020 Maths Answer key with solution

  • CDS 1 2020 Maths Answer key Set A: Check here
  • CDS 1 2020 Maths Answer key Set B: Check here
  • CDS 1 2020 Maths Answer key Set C: Check here
  • CDS 1 2020 Maths Answer key Set D: Check here

You will get CDS 2020 answer key of various Renowned training academies on our CDS answer key page.

CDS Result 2020

CDS 1 2020 Result Declared or not?

No. CDS 1 2020 result is not declared yet. Will update as soon as CDS 2020 result will be out on official website.

When is CDS 1 2020 result?

CDS 1 2020 result is expected on 23rd March 2020. If result is declared before 23rd March, I will update on all social media platforms.

How to check the CDS result?

You can check CDS result on upsc.gov.in in “What’s New” section

As soon as CDS result is declared, you will get a CDS Result pdf which will contain roll numbers of all successful candidates.

After 2-3 days, UPSC will also release “Name List of Successful candidates in CDS exam

What is the average duration between CDS Result and SSB interview?

Air Force Academy SSB (AFSB) dates Around 1 month after written result
Indian Military Academy SSB dates Around 2 months after written result
Indian Naval Academy SSB dates Around 2 months after written result
Officers Training Academy SSB dates 3 months after written result (Last)

If you want to check CDS written exam result and CDS Final result, check our article on CDS Result 2020.

SSB Interview Preparation

Finally, we have begun with SSB Interview preparation guide where you will be guided is most appropriate and most practical ways. In this SSB Interview section of our website, I will tell you SSB Interview experiences of my SSB’s as well as thousands of successful aspirants who have cleared SSB Interview in different attempts. (And good news is that 10-15 detailed inteviews are already available with us which you will get free of cost on our website)

In order to be officer in armed forces, you have to give SSB Interview and clear it, whichever may be the entry (Direct Entry or SSB after written exam). For example:

  • NDA Exam
  • 10+2 Technical Entry
  • University Entry scheme
  • CDS exam
  • AFCAT Exam
  • INET Exam
  • Territorial Army Exam
  • Coast Guard AC
  • NCC Special entry
  • Technical Entry after Graduation, etc

You have to clear SSB Interview in order to fulfill your dream. And strategy for SSB preparation is not like other written exams which can be done in a matter of 3-4 months of study.

Because SSB is not just a test of your knowledge, but it also tests your psychology, Officer like qualities, eligibility to bear physical and mental stress in critical conditions, and other armed forces requirements, etc.

So, be mentally prepared to work on basics. You need to indulge good habbits (representing 15 Officer like qualities) so that those are reflected in you psychological tests and body language at the time of SSB.

Don’t just think that you can fake these qualities at the time of SSB. It will be a nighmare for you.

Instead of directly beginning with SSB Interview tips and preparation guide, let us first understand the SSB Interview procedure, that is, SSB Interview 5 days procedure as well as upcoming 3 days procedure (De Novo System)

Because there are various terms and tests in Service Selection Board Interview which you need to understand in detail and then master before going for SSB Interview.

For Example: PPDT, TAT, WAT, SRT, SD, GD, GPE, PGT, GTO, IOT,etc which needs your urgent attention. So, begin your process of SSB preparation with SSB Interview procedure article.

SSB interview Toppers tips (Arvind Kaushik-AIR 4) (Video)

Yes, you read it right. We had an Interview with Arvind Kaushik (All India Rank 4 – Indian Military Academy) which is a detailed interview where Arvind sir has guided in detail for SSB interview preparation. He has cleared many myths and doubts regarding SSB Interview and gave new dimension for SSB Interview preparation.

Without wasting any time, we will see Educational Background and previous SSB details of Arvind sir so that while watching SSB Interview video of you can connect with him in a more awesome way.

  • Native Place: Vishkhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
  • Graduation: Electronics and Telecommunication
  • 93% IN 10th standard and 96% percntage 12th standard
  • Highly actice in sports and currently in last year of graduation
  • Cleared SSB Interview in 2nd attempt
  • In first attempt, was screen out from AFSB via AFCAT exam
  • Recommended in 2nd attempt for IMA (Via CDS exam)= AIR 4
  • 2 SSB Interviews were pending at the time of joining IMA
  • No coaching from any institute. Purely self study

Lets start with actual Interview of Arvind Kaushik where he have revealed A to Z tips which he followed to clear CDS exam as well as SSB Interview.

Believe me guys, this video can change your life” 

SSB interview Toppers tips (Ipupu Mena-AIR 1) (Video)

After watching the Arvind Kaushik sir’s Interview, let us move on to AIR 1 Ipupu Mena Mam’s interview. Ipupu Mena mam is currently undergoing training at Officer’s Training Academy. This interview was recorded 1 day before of joining academy.

The SSB Interview preparation tips which you will get in this video cannot be obtained even in any paid coaching institute. So, make sure that you watch this video till very end.

Ipupu Mena mam was conference out in 1st SSB attempt after which she left her defence dream for 2 years. Then she come back for 2nd SSB interview for Navy in which she again failed. And then finally Ipupu mam was abe to make it through in third attempt for Army SSC Tech. 

Let us see some basic details about Ipupu mam so that you could connect better in SSB Interview guidance video :

  • Native Place : Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Graduation field : Civil Engineering
First Attempt UES Navy Entry (Conference Out)
Second Attempt Navy SSB (Conference Out)
Third Attempt Army SSC Techn(Recommended)


This video is capable of transforming your life!! So don’t dare to skip even a second of this video

CDS salary (Army officer Salary in Hand)

CDS salary

Let us begin with the most interesting topic, that is CDS Salary or Army officer salary. We will discuss each and everything that you must know about CDS Officer salary and also see Army officer salary in hand (Along with A to Z allowances)

First of all, the prestige, respect and satisfaction which Armed forces will provide you are highly precious for any officer. Salary is a secondary thing that we are discussing on aspirant’s demand.

Do cadets get paid in the training academy?

Yes. Cadets get paid in training academies in the form of a stipend. And good news for you, that this stipend has recently increased to level 10 (Which is equivalent to officers salary)

Stipend to Gentlemen or Lady Cadets during the entire duration of training in Service Academies i.e. during the training at IMA and OTA. Rs. 56,100/- per month

What does level 10B, level 11, etc mean in Armed Forces?

Each officer in Armed forces (Army, Navy and Air force) is associated with a level to bring uniformity between them while deciding the seniority and pay scale. Officers belonging to the same Level in armed forces have same payment.

Army officer Salary per month (CDS salary per month

Level Air Force Rank Salary in Rupees
Level 10 Flying Officer 56,100 – 1,77,500
Level 10 B Flight Lieutenant 61,300 – 1,93,900
Level 11 Squadron Leader 69,400 – 2,07,200
Level 12A Wing Commander 1,21,200 – 2,12,400
Level 13 Group Captain 1,30,600 -2,15,900
Level 13A Air Commodore 1,39,600 – 2,17,600
Level 14 Air Vice Marshal 1,44,200 – 2,18,200
Level 15 Air Marshal HAG Scale 1, 82, 200-2,24,100
Level 16 HAG+Scale 2,05,400 – 2,24,400
Level 17 VACS/Airforce Cdr/ Air Marshal (NFSG) 2,25,000/-(fixed)
Level 18 CAS 2,50,000/-(fixed)

(CDS salary OTA is same as IMA: these salaries are based on Rank and Level, not academy)

There are total 11 + Allowances that get added to the above salary. Due to which Army officer in hand salary increases drastically. Check our article on CDS Salary to understand these 11 allowances and actual In hand salary of Army, Navy and Airforce officers.

CDS medical tests (Major cause of rejection in tests)

Let us now have a look at the most neglected topic by CDS aspirants, that is SSB Medical tests or even CDS medical test which you have to face after clearing the SSB interview. We all are aware that it’s challenging to clear CDS written exam as well as SSB Interview but we are not aware about the large percentage of aspirants who have to give up their dream because of being medically and physically unfit.

CDS exam is a year-long process. If unfortunately, you fail in clearing CDS Physical tests and SSB medical tests, Then your 1 year is wasted that too of your youthful phase of life.

So, it’s better to get CDS medical tests done before applying for CDS exam. In this article, I will give you A to Z parameters on which you need to be fit and also tell you common reasons for SSB medical rejections.

Let us begin with common defects that cause rejection in SSB medical tests that can be cured with proper medical treatment and exercises.

  • Overweight and Underweight
  • Wax in ears
  • Deviated Nasal Septum
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Hydrocele / Phimosis / Varicocele
  • Piles
  • Permanent tattoos on body (other than forearm)

Let us begin with a very basic and highly important parameter.

CDS exam height eligibility criteria

Minimum acceptable height Height measurement
Men (Army) 157.5 cm
Men (Navy) 157 cm
Men (Air Force) 162.5 cm
Women (OTA) 152 cm

If you are not fulfilling this parameter, then you are out of the race.

Many aspirants are either overweight or underweight. So, let us check this parameter.

Height Vs Weight chart for CDS exam (Army and Navy)

Height in cm 18 Years 20 Years 22 Years 24 Years
152 44 (45=Navy) 46 47 48
155 46 48 (47=Navy) 49 50
157 47 49 50 51
160 48 50 51 52
162 50 52 53 54
165 52 53 55 56
168 53 55 57 58
170 55 57 58 59
173 57 59 60 61
175 59 61 62 62
178 61 62 63 64
180 63 64 65 66
183 65 67 67 68
185 67 69 70 71
188 70 71 72 74
190 72 73 74 76
193 74 76 77 78
195 77 78 79 81

(10 percent variation is permitted)

Now, let us check the basic CDS Physical eligibility for male and CDS physical eligibility for female which we can try to maintain from today itself.

Running 2 to 4 km in just 15 minutes
Pushups & Sit-ups Minimum 20 each
Chin-ups Minimum 08
Rope Climbing 3 to 4 mtr

Candidates are not tested on these parameters, but these are ideal requirements from a CDS aspirant.

If UPSC has given these parameters in official notice, then definitely it will have relevance while CDS physical test.

Continue reading this article on SSB medical tests where you will get CDS eyesight eligibility, CDS physical criteria for men,CDS physical criteria for women, etc

Also, common CDS SSB tests in which many candidates have faced temporary as well as permanent rejections will be discussed in CDS SSB Medical tests article.

Frequently Asked Questions about CDS Exam :

What is CDS?

CDS Stands for “Combined Defence Services“. It is a common exam conducted to recruit officers in Army, Navy and Air Force. CDS gives opportunity to join armed forces after graduation.

Who conducts CDS 2020 Exam?

UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) which is also called as “Watchdog of merit system in India” conducts CDS exam which which increases credibility and authority of CDS Exam.

What is CDS Exam Qualification?

You just need to be a GRADUATE from any field (Arts, Commerce, Science, BTech). Just make sure that you do not have any live backlog. You are eligibile even if you have 40% marks in graduation.

What is Salary of CDS Officer?

In Hand Salary of CDS officer as per 7th Pay Commission is Rs. 78,000 to 88,000 on an average (per month). There are more than 11 allowances based on location of posting.

Can a girl give CDS Exam?

Yes. Girls can give CDS exam. They can opt for Officers Training Academy only which grants Short Service Commission (SSC) in Indian Army. SSC can be converted into PC based on performance and vacancies.

How many times CDS Exam is conducted in a year?

CDS Exam is conducted twice in a year. Once in February and second in November. For eg: CDS 1 2020 will be conducted on 2nd February 2020 and CDS 2 2020 on 8th November 2020.

Can I give CDS Exam after 12th ?

No. You need to be a Graduate to apply for CDS exam. You can go for NDA exam which is conducted after 12th standard.

Where will candidates be posted after clearing CDS Exam?

After cracking CDS exam, candidates are not posted directly. They have to take training in repective training academies. For Army= IMA and OTA, for Air Force=AFA and for Navy=INA

Is NDA tough or CDS?

No comparison at all. NDA is given after 12th and CDS after gradutaion. But still as per my experience: NDA wrtten exam is tough than CDS, while CDS SSB is tough than NDA (due to maturity and high competition)

How can I apply for CDS exam?

If you meet educational qualification criteria and age limit, you can apply online for CDS exam via upsconline.nic.in when notification will be released. I will update on our website.

How many attempts can be given for CDS exam ?

Attempts for CDS exam depends on age limit and duration of graduation course (3 or 4 years). But on an everage, every aspirant gets 4-5 attempts for CDS exam.

Which is the best online Mock Test for CDS Exam?

Best mock test for CDS exam is previous year question paper solving. I will like to tell you that we conduct free mock test for CDS exam our website. You get syllabus to study for a week and test is conducted on every Sunday.

Who are eligible for CDS exam ?

Every Indian graduate who is in the Age limit specified for CDS exam is eligible to appear for CDS exam.

How many times CDS is conducted in a year?

CDS exam is conducted 2 times in a year (February and November)

How much percentage is required for CDS exam?

Even if you have 40% marks in Graduation, you are eligible for CDS exam. Just make sure that you do not have any live backlogs (dead backlogs are allowed)

What is syllabus of CDS?

CDS Syllabus given in notification is very generalized. So, remember that “CDS Exam syllabus=Previous year question paper”, where you come to know what exactly to study and what not to study.

What is OTA in CDS Exam?

OTA in CDS exam stands for Officers Training Academy which offers Short Service Commission to aspiring female and male aspirants who wants to serve Indian Army.

How can I prepare for CDS Exam?

You need to be mentally prepared to read from NCERT books and some specialized reference books plus The Hindu newspaper for current affairs section. No option to it.

What is CDS exam pattern ?

Subject Duration Marks Questions
English 2 hours 100 120
Mathematics 2 hours 100 100
General Knowledge 2 hours 100 120

For OTA, you have to give only 2 papers (GK and English) and cut off is calculated out of 200 marks.

Is there any negative marking in CDS Exam?

Yes. One third negative marking in CDS written exam for all 3 papers.

How many papers are there in CDS exam?

There are 3 papers in CDS written exam

  1. General Knowledge (100 marks)
  2. English (100 marks)
  3. General Mathematics (100 marks)

Do questions repeat in CDS exam?

No. But the pattern of questions asked in CDS exam do repeat.

How can I prepare for CDS SSB interview?

Treat SSB as a ‘Way of life’ and implement Officer like qualities in your day to day life. In every small activity you do, make sure you behave like a responsible person.

What is difference between CDS and SSB?

  • CDS= Combined Defence Services (Written exam to qualify for SSB interview)
  • SSB= Service Selection Board (Board of senior specialized officers select deserving candidates for armed forces who are appearing for SSB interview after clearing any written exam or via direct entry )

How to prepare for CDS GK?

Remember that scoring 20+ marks (clearing individual cut off for GK is also tough). So follow these 3 steps for preparation of CDS GK:

  • Reading important chapters of NCERT Books
  • Reading important chapters from some reference books like M Laxmikanth
  • Readinf ‘The Hindu’ on daily basis (helpful for Written exam as well as SSB)