CDS Exam Syllabus | Topic-wise weightage

cds syllabus

Hello guys, let’s begin with one of the most important articles of CDS exam preparation. You might have seen CDS GK paper Strategy, CDS English paper strategy and even CDS Maths detailed strategy which I have specially designed for you. But this article is of special importance because CDS exam syllabus and previous year asked questions will be analysed today.

These 2 things are biggest guide in any exam, and same is the case with CDS exam. That is the reason why I will tell you CDS exam syllabus (as given in notification pdf) , CDS exam syllabus covering sources, CDS exam topic-wise weightage and some sources from which these questions are asked in exam.
Just keep patience till end of this article to have a bird’s eye view of CDS exam syllabus.

Why is it necessary to understand CDS Exam Syllabus?

What differentiates UPSC CDS exam, UPSC CAPF exam and UPSC Civil services exam is the Syllabus and types of questions asked in the exam. It is recommended to stick to syllabus of CDS exam which you are preparing for. Many aspirants directly start preparation from sources before looking syllabus or paper pattern.

“At the end of 10-12 months of preparation, you have to prove your knowledge by solving questions based on it” (No one will orally check how much knowledge you have)

If our ultimate aim is to solve questions correctly, it is necessary to see type of questions asked from syllabus and study accordingly (CDS Syllabus analysis). So, we will begin with most important subject of CDS exam preparation, that is, CDS GK syllabus

CDS GK paper Syllabus

First thing first. GK paper syllabus given in Official Notification is very generalized. We cannot get any specific idea of types of questions asked from this paper. Lets have a look at official CDS exam GK Syllabus:

Exact 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”

Now I will supplement my personal research of previous 4-5 year papers of CDS exam. This table of CDS topicwise weightage will give you idea about which topic to focus on. Be smart to focus more on topics with more weightage in CDS exam syllabus.

Indian Polity 23-26 questions
Geography 16-17 questions (Mapping & location oriented 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 (some polity and geography oriented current affairs)
Defence related 3-4 questions only
Sports, award, important days 2-3 questions only
Environment related 1-2 questions only

CDS GK paper

Have a look at CDS exam detailed strategy where you will get step by step approach with important books to score 45-50 marks in GK paper.

Also Read: CDS GK preparation (Score 50+ Marks)

CDS Maths paper Syllabus (from CDS Syllabus pdf)

Before reading CDS Maths syllabus, feel yourself lucky because you have detailed syllabus of Maths paper given in official notification of UPSC CDS exam. Moreover, pattern of CDS Maths paper remains same every year. This thing can help you score 65+ in Maths paper with smart study. (Strictly stick to syllabus of CDS Maths paper)

Arithmetic topics:

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, 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 questions , laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables, etc (as it is CDS Syllabus pdf taken from official notification)

Algebra topics:

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. (high weightage section of CDS exam Syllabus)

Practical problems of algebra leading to two simultaneous linear equations or in-equations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions. Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices.

Trigonometry topics:

Sine X, cosine X, Tangent X when 0° < X < 90° Values of sin X, cos X and tan X, for X = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°
Simple trigonometric identities.
Use of trigonometric tables.
Simple cases of heights and distances.

Geometry topics:

Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Theorems on

(i) Properties of angles at a point (ii) Parallel lines (iii) Sides and angles of a triangle (iv) Congruency of triangles, (v) Similar triangles (vi) Concurrence of medians and altitudes (vii) Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle and square (viii) Circles and its properties including tangents and normals, (ix) Loci.

Mensuration topics:

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. (Important part of CDS Exam syllabus)

Statistics topics:

Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts etc. Measures of central tendency. (easy section of CDS Syllabus)

Also read: CDS Maths preparation (Score 60+ Marks)

Considering the above syllabus and previous year asked questions, this table of topic-wise weightage of CDS Maths paper can be highly fruitful. Utlilize it maximum.

Number System 6 Questions
Average 2 Questions
Time, speed and Distance 5 Questions
Time and Work 5 Questions
Profit and Loss 2 Questions
Simple Interest 3 Questions
Percentage and Discount 4 Questions
LCM and HCF 1-2 Questions
Ratio and Proportion 5 Questions
Logarithm 2 Questions
Polynomial/ Linear Equation 7 Questions
Quadratic Equation 7 Questions
Sets and series 1 Question
Simple Trigonometry 9 Questions
Height and Distances 2-3 Questions
Angle lines and triangles 9 Questions
Circle and its properties 7 Questions
Parallelogram, square and rectangle 2 Questions
Area of square/Rectangle/triangle 1-2 Question
Volume of cube and cuboid 3 Questions
Volume of Cylinder 2-3 Questions
Volume of cone 2 Questions
Volume of Sphere 1-2 Questions
Surface Area Questions 2-3 Questions
Statistics 5 Questions
CDS Maths paper
CDS Maths paper weightage

Major 2 papers of CDS exam are done. Now, let’s focus on CDS English syllabus.

Also check: Ultimate guide for CDS Exam preparation : Click here

CDS English paper Syllabus

After reading the official CDS English paper syllabus given in notification, you will be shocked as English syllabus is given in 1 sentence.

Exact CDS English syllabus

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

There is no exact CDS syllabus of English given so that you can stick to it. In case of English, topic-wise weightage of CDS English paper made by analyzing previous year papers will be of utmost help. You can use it as CDS Syllabus pdf and save it in your file. Let’s have a look at this analysis table:

Synonym9-10 questions
Antonym8-10 questions
Spotting the errors20-25 questions
Sentence improvement20-24 questions
One word Substitution5-6 questions (may vary)
Selecting correct words5-6 questions (rarely asked)
Ordering of sentences15-20 questions
Ordering of words in sentences15-20 questions
Fill in the blanks (cloze comprehension)10-15 questions
Comprehension (passage)20-25 questions
Direct Indirect speech5 questions (asked only once till now)
Passive Active Voice5 questions (asked only once till now)

I would suggest you to have a look at CDS English Preparation article which can guarantee you 65+ Marks in English preparation.

CDS English paper

CDS Syllabus for OTA

There is no special syllabus for CDS OTA. For CDS Officers Training Exam, you need to focus only on 2 papers, that is, English and GK. The syllabus specified above for CDS English and CDS GK paper are applicable for your upcoming CDS exam.

If your aim is to score high in CDS OTA exam, read our special article on CDS OTA preparation.

What should you do after reading this informative article?

After understanding CDS exam syllabus, take a Xerox of this article and paste Topic-wise weightage in your exam room. This will give you exact direction about what to study, what topics to focus more on, etc

You can also make CDS exam syllabus pdf which can be with you all the time.
And if you still have any doubts regarding the CDS exam syllabus, feel free to ask your doubts to Sarkaari service experts in the comment section below. I will answer them within 24 hours. Guaranteed.

Jai Hind Aspirants.


  1. M environment kere vala tha sir kl se but aapke article dekh kr ab nhi kruga vo time kisi or subject ko dunga thanku sir Very good sir keep it up


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