UPSC CDS 2020 1-Year preparation Strategy

UPSC CDS 2020 exam
UPSC CDS 2020 exam

Hi guys, I am back with a new article on UPSC CDS 2020 Exam 1 Year preparation strategy. I have already written articles on CDS GK strategy, CDS Maths strategy and even CDS English strategy. Those articles are step by step approach to tackle each paper of CDS 2020 exam.

In today’s article, I will guide you on “How to execute those detailed strategies in 1-year span”. Because many aspirants were confused about where to start the preparation and how to manage reading multiple subject books in a day and revise accordingly.

In short, today I will help you to integrate those 3 strategies of UPSC CDS exam preparation and give you a month-wise schedule for complete 1 year (with detailed time management tips) so that after 1 year, clearing CDS exam becomes a smooth road for you. So, let’s start.

UPSC CDS Exam 1 year strategy | Introduction

UPSC CDS Exam 1 Year strategy demands 5-6 hours of daily quality study as per the given strategy. You may be in the final year of graduation, or working professional or you might have taken a gap for 1 year, this strategy works well for those who have a strong will to self-study and are dedicated to follow CDS exam 1-year strategy patiently.

UPSC CDS 2020 exam is conducted twice a year. So, after 6 months of preparation, when exam approaches, you cannot follow detailed strategy due to which you focus on some shortcut solutions to clear CDS written exam. This same happens for the next UPSC CDS attempt as you get only 6 months to prepare for next attempt.

So, make sure you avoid this. I will cover this case also in today’s article.

Also Read: CDS OTA strategy (Score 90+ Marks)

Some basic requirements before starting CDS 1-year Strategy (to make it 100% successful) :

You need to focus only on 1 exam at a time.

For the initial 1 year of preparation, you should focus only on UPSC CDS exam. Once your whole syllabus is completed in 1 year, then you can focus on giving multiple exams at a time. Being a beginner, if you will focus on 2-3 competitive exams at a time, you will end up getting not more than 3 months for each exam and you will waste time switching your gears for different exams. So, for 1 year, focus only on CDS exam.

Keep your sources constant for 1 year:

Especially in CDS GK preparation and CDS Maths preparation, your sources must be as given in individual CDS paper strategies. You need to focus on revising the books multiple times rather than focusing on reading multiple books. Revision is the only key to success in CDS GK and CDS Maths paper. So, watch CDS exam detailed strategy for each subject, maintain a personal booklist as told and try to cover them and revise them. As simple as that.

Please do not underestimate UPSC CDS exam:

Common question which students ask “This is CDS exam, not IAS exam. Then why do we need a detailed strategy for CDS exam?” My answer to their question is that if your strategy is working for you and if you are confident about it, continue with it. After CDS 1 2018 exam, drastic change in pattern can be seen with the introduction of current affairs and dynamic questions and this trend is maintained even today. So, it’s necessary to be mature enough to be well prepared before UPSC CDS 2020 exam throws you out of race.

Belief in yourself and strategy you have chosen:

I have made “Well researched” strategies for all 3 papers of CDS 2020 exam, but still, you can take your time to analyze previous year question papers and make a customized plan for you as per your conditions. But once the strategy is ready, it must remain constant for 1 year with some changes if needed.

And have faith in yourself that you will make it.

Also Read: CDS eligibility (No one will tell you these things!)

The Hindu Newspaper and NCERT books are King Maker in this exam :

Role of The Hindu newspaper and NCERT Books (Printed by government) cannot be neglected. I have made strategies on UPSC CDS GK, CDS Maths and CDS English papers and today I will give month-wise study plan.

Your First CDS exam (after 6 months of starting preparation) must be a trial for you:

I you are a complete beginner and starting CDS 2020 exam preparation from my detailed strategies from today, then upcoming CDS exam must be a trial for you and the next UPSC CDS attempt which will come after 1 year (approx) will be the main attempt when you will be part of Merit list.

(It doesn’t mean that you will take UPSC CDS first attempt lightly. You must study full-heartedly for that attempt too)

UPSC CDS 2020 exam month-wise Strategy :

Watch the detailed strategies of UPSC CDS made for GK, Maths and English paper so that you can correlate with this monthly plan.

Month 1 of UPSC CDS Exam preparation:

First thing to start from 1st day is “The Hindu” paper newspaper reading. It will take initially 2-3 hours to read 4-5 editorials which will reduce with time. Make very crisp notes of the Hindu newspaper. I have made a detailed video on how to read the Hindu newspaper for CDS exam.

(This reading and notes making must be done every day till you clear UPSC CDS exam)

Things to do in first month:

These 5 basic Indian Polity books of Indian Polity (first 3 books in 3 days)

  • Social and Political Life -1 (6th Polity NCERT)
  • Social and Political Life-2 (7th Polity NCERT )
  • Social and Political Life-3 (8th Polity NCERT)
  • Democratic Politics-1 (9th Polity NCERT)
  • Democratic Politics-2 (10th Polity NCERT)

3 Basic NCERT books of Geography to begin with:

  • 6th Geography NCERT : Earth: Our habitat
  • 7th Geography NCERT : Our Environment
  • 8th Geography NCERT : Resources and Development

For History: complete 11th standard Tamil Nadu board Text Book

For Science: Daily 1 hour study of 6th to 10th Important chapters as per given in detail CDS GK strategy (Detail list of important chapter is already given)

For Maths: Daily 1 hour of Maths study (any topic you want) as per CDS Maths strategy ( Intially Focus on important topics with more weightage)

For English: Daily 20-25 Minutes of grammar study as per list of important topics given in CDS English strategy.

Month 2 of UPSC CDS Exam preparation:


Revise the books and notes made in last month.

For Polity:

  • Indian Constitution at Work: 11th NCERT Book

For Geography:

  • 9th Geography NCERT: Contemporary India 1
  • 10th Geography NCERT: Contemporary India 2

(Study geography with mapping. Search new location in atlas and analyze them in detail)

For Economics:

  • 10th standard NCERT book (very basic book)
  • Indian Economic Development: 11th Economy NCERT

For History:

12th Tamil Nadu Board History Book.

All these basic NCERT’s to be done in detail. Test yourself by solving exercises at the end of every chapter.

For Science: Daily 1 hour study of 6th to 10th Important chapters as given in detail strategy

For Maths: Daily 1 hour of Maths study (any topic you want) as per CDS Maths strategy

For English: Daily 20-25 Minutes of grammar study as per list of important topics given in UPSC CDS English strategy.

Also Read: CDS Cut off (Last 6 attempts cut off analysis)

Month 3 of UPSC CDS Exam preparation:


This month is very important as NCERT Study will be complete here.

For Geography:

  • 11th Geography NCERT : Fundamentals of Physical Geography
  • 11th Geography NCERT : India: Physical Environment

(These 2 books are difficult to understand but very important for UPSC CDS Geography. Each and every word from this books and maps are very important.)

For Economy:

  • 12th Economy NCERT: Microeconomics
  • 12th Economy NCERT: Macroeconomics

Search important chapters of these 2 books from and study them. Focus on clearing each and every concept.

You will do only these 4 new NCERT’s in 3rd month. (Very important and tough to understand books) and revise each and every NCERT book you have studied earlier. Revision of NCERT is a very crucial task of this month as we will start reference books from next month.

Science, Maths and English preparation remains the same for whole period.

Also Read: CDS Syllabus (Systematic breakdown for smart study)

Month 4 of UPSC CDS Exam preparation:


The main target of this month is to complete first 3 parts of M Laxmikanth book. That is, constitutional framework, System of Government and Central Government. Its little difficult but you have to do it. No notes making in 1st reading, but read with good understanding.

Also Start initial reading of Spectrum book (History) from this month for History.

Revise 11th and 12th NCERT books of Geography with notes making of important points (in book only)

Science, Maths and English preparation remains the same for whole period.

Month 5 of UPSC CDS Exam preparation:


Now you have covered enough data to start rigorous MCQ solving practice. Even if you think that you are not prepared for MCQ solving, start this initiative. Solve Daily 50 MCQ’s from these best MCQ books of major subjects:

Begin focused study of Spectrum (1857-1950) and M Laxmikanth remaining parts.

Revision of already done NCERT books and reference book chapters must go on parallel.

Also Read: How to crack CDS exam in first attempt

Month 6 of UPSC CDS Exam preparation:


In 6th Month, your “first reading with understanding” of A to Z sources given in CDS 2020 GK strategy, CDS 2020 English strategy and CDS 2020 Maths strategy must be done. Now, you need to revise and complete remaining topics as given in detail strategy. I just gave this month wise timetable to kickstart your preparation and also a Parameter for you to check whether you are on the right track or not.

If you will follow the way I have told, your confidence will be very high as grasping important subjects will be fast and you will be satisfied with your studies.

Here’s an Overview of Important Topics of each subject and their Weightage:

Let’s begin with GK as its very critical subject in this CDS 2020 exam Preparation:

In case of UPSC CDS GK subjectwise weightage, many questions are overlapping. Means some questions can find their origin in Geography plus current affairs, some may be of Polity plus current affairs and the same goes for science and economics. So, it is necessary to read these subjects in connection with what is happening in current affairs.

Subjects of UPSC CDS GK paperExact Weightage
Indian Polity23-26 questions
Geography16-17 questions (Mapping and location oriented more questions)
Economics13-14 questions
History14 questions
Physics10-11 questions
Chemistry11-12 questions
Biology10-11 questions
Current Affairs16-17 questions (it contains
some polity, geography,
economics oriented current)
Defence related3-4 questions only
Sports, award, important days2-3 questions only
Environment related1-2 questions only
CDS GK paper

Now we will focus on UPSC CDS English paper topic-wise weightage. This Weightage is 95% same in every UPSC CDS exam. There is a very minute change in some types of questions but the major structure of English paper remains the same.

I want you to write this topic-wise weightage of all three papers on paper and stick it somewhere in Study room where you can see it daily. Because at the end of the day, these are the questions which you have to tackle during the exam day.

Type of questionsWeightage
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 (rare)
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 (rare)
Passive Active Voice5 questions (rare)
CDS English paper

Last but not the least is UPSC CDS Maths weightage. The most predictable paper of the UPSC CDS exam is maths paper. Difficulty may vary by 19-20, but structure and types of questions are the same. (Check last 4 attempt maths papers for reference)

UPSC CDS Maths paper topicsWeightage
Number System6 Questions
Average2 Questions
Time, speed and Distance5 Questions
Time and Work5 Questions
Profit and Loss2 Questions
Simple Interest3 Questions
Percentage, Discount4 Questions
LCM, HCF1-2 Questions
Ratio and Proportion5 Questions
Logarithm2 Questions
Polynomial/ Linear Equation7 Questions
Quadratic Equation7 Questions
Sets and series1 Question
Simple Trigonometry9 Questions
Height and Distances2-3 Questions
Angle lines and triangles9 Questions
Circle and its properties7 Questions
Parallelogram, square and rectangle2 Questions
Area of square, Rectangle, triangle1-2 Question
Volume of cube and cuboid3 Questions
Volume of Cylinder2-3 Questions
Volume of cone2 Questions
Volume of Sphere1-2 Questions
Surface Area Questions2-3 Questions
Statistics5 Questions
CDS Maths paper
CDS Maths paper

It takes lots of effort to analyze content and make such articles for you. So, please give a review in the comment section below which motivates me to make such content.

Also Check: CDS Salary (Army officer salary in hand)

Things which will remain constant for the whole 1-year preparation of UPSC CDS exam:

I have given month-wise books which you must study for CDS exam. But there are some sources which you must keep reading and referring constantly in this 1-year preparation span.

  • Daily The Hindu editorial reading and very short notes making (note more than 10-12 sentences)
  • Daily 1 Hour Science Imp chapters reading (List is given in GK strategy, so trick to it)
  • Daily 1 hour of Maths imp topic study (List given in UPSC CDS Maths strategy, so strictly stick to it)
  • 10 minutes of meditation in the morning to keep you optimistic and positive in this journey
  • Watching Mrunal sir video on Economy when you feel bored of reading given books (These videos are entertaining plus informative)
  • Revision is the key to success. (Even if you have 10 min spare time, try to revise what you have studied ) M Laxmikanth and 11th Geo NCERT books needs atleast 1 good revision to solve questions of UPSC CDS GK paper.
  • MCQ solving is equally important. Choose best source of MCQ’s and try to solve atleast 5-10 question when you have free time.

And if you have any more doubts, feel free to ask in the comment section below. I will give answers in less than 24 hours.

Also Check: SSB medical tests (major reasons of SSB rejection )

CDS Mock test (Free of cost)

Yes you read it right. Here on Sarkaari Service, we conduct free CDS mock test on every Sunday (based on weekly syllabus)

Some features of our CDS test series 2020:

  • 100 marks online test
  • 100 questions
  • 120 minutes
  • A to Z answers with solution
  • All India Ranking

CDS Mock test is designed in such a way that at the end of 11 tests, A to Z syllabus of CDS exam is completed.

You can participate in CDS Mock test right now.

CDS Mock test toppers
AIR 10 of CDS Mock test

CDS coaching

Yes, you can treat this website as CDS online coaching because we will guide you online for UPSC CDS exam. Now, it depends on your hard work which will decide whether you will make it or not.

Moreover, this CDS Coaching is free of cost for all CDS aspirants of India. No CDS Coaching institute in India will guide any students free of cost like Sarkaari Service does. So, it’s your moral responsibility to crack CDS 2020 exam and serve our mother nation.

(And please stop asking me questions like CDS coaching in Delhi, best CDS Coaching, CDS training center,etc because those are your excuses for hard work)


You have UPSC CDS 2020 all 3 paper strategies with you, I will be there to guide you in this journey. Now it’s your time to take responsibility on your shoulder. You have 2 options:

  • To start preparation from today itself, as its high time to start preparing for the upcoming UPSC CDS attempt.
  • Waiting for easy strategies and shortcut sources which will eventually waste your time and attempt. So, be aware.

If you have any doubts regarding CDS exam by UPSC, clear it today itself in the comment section. Our experts will solve them within 24 hrs.

Everything in life can be regained, except TIME.

“Jai hind”


  1. This is some GOD level research on the exam which does not even provide the detailed syllabus. Thank you so much for doing this for all the aspirants and that too for free. Really commendable work.
    Keep making these strategies and videos for the preparations and there won’t be any need to pay extravagant amount of money to coaching centres or any online course, if the student is dedicated enough.
    Thank you so much sir.

  2. Nice sir….
    I am confused that which exam should i prepare for….i have given multiple exams but didn,t get results as u told that focus on one exam than you can get results. Can you plz help me to get out of this confusion.


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