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6 Preparation tips to clear CDS Exam

Updated on 13 October 2020
6 min read 1 views
Updated on 13 October 2020

Every year a lot of students apply for the CDS (Combined Defence Services) exam to become a part of Indian Armed forces. The level of competition is increasing with time. A lot of students ask how to crack the CDS exam? Students who are planning to write the CDS exam are suggested to check the exam pattern first and then move to the syllabus. By knowing the exam pattern you can create a very good CDS exam strategy plan. With a good preparation plan, one can easily crack the CDS exam. You must be properly familiar with the marking schemes, weightage for the topics and type of questions asked, etc. In this article, we have come up with the CDS Exam Preparation tips to help you boost your exam preparation.

Following are the 6 preparation tips to clear CDS Exam:

1. You must know CDS Exam Pattern

CDS examination comprises of three subjects:

  1.  General Knowledge
  2.  English
  3. Elementary Mathematics.

Each subject carries 100 marks with a time duration of 2 hours. Candidates who wish to be selected for IMA(Indian Military Academy), INA(Naval Academy), or AFA(Air Force Academy) need to give and clear all the three papers. However, the candidates who wish to be selected for OTA(Officer Training Academy) have to write only English and General Knowledge papers. 




General Knowledge


2 hrs




Elementary Mathematics


2 hrs

2. Get familiar with the CDS Exam Syllabus

This is one of the best and effective 6 preparation tips to clear CDS exam.

Any student who wishes to clear the CDS exam must be totally familiar with the CDS exam syllabus. Given below are the topics for each subject. Kindly go through each and every topic.


The English test is conducted for 100 marks and covers topics from vocabulary, grammar and usage, and comprehension. For English, you have to read as much as you can. Read various things like English books, newspapers, novels, blogs or you can watch an English tv channel. Following this will be useful for improving your English and general knowledge as well. Also, candidates should focus on basic grammar rules. While reading, if the candidates come across difficult words then try to find the meaning of those words in the dictionary.


Spotting Errors Questions


Ordering of Sentence


Sentence Arrangement


Comprehension Questions


Synonyms & Antonyms


Vocabulary Preparation


Selecting Words


Fill in the blanks questions


Candidates need to work on their speed to solve the mathematical calculations as they cannot waste any time. Only practice can give you the ability to do the calculations as fast as possible. So, candidates should practice this daily.

General Knowledge:

The test comprises questions from General Science, Indian history, Physics, Geography, Chemistry, and Current Events. Follow the news updates regularly. Candidates must possess the knowledge of sports, arts, literature, etc. Read about the current affairs, economic affairs, current and past policy topics related to India and its neighboring countries. 

3. Try Solving Last Year Question Papers

Once you know the exam pattern and the syllabus then you should solve some previous year papers of the CDS exam. This way you will get an idea about the real exam. Keep checking your answers, get any answer key, or ask some subject expert to check your test.

This will really help you to know your strong and weak areas. Try to focus more on the topics you are weak at.

4. Figuring out the recent cut-off

The candidate must know the recent cut-off from the previous year’s question paper.

By examining the recent cut-off, students will get an idea about the minimum score.

They can focus on the topics from which they can easily get the safest score.

5. Time Management

The students must increase their speed of solving questions. For that candidates should practice solving mock tests, previous year CDS Exam questions every day. All the mathematics formulas must be there in their mind along with tables, squares, cubes, cube root, etc. So Time Management is one of the soft skills every candidate must have and this can be set by practicing every day.

6. Start in advance

For achieving anything you must have a good plan. Students who clear the CDS exam, plan everything in advance and stick to that plan till the end. Sometimes even the deserving students are not able to clear the exam because they don't realize the importance of the time and at the last minute they miss out on everything. Follow good preparation tips to clear CDS exam and have a good strategic plan and you can easily clear the CDS exam.

This was the complete CDS Exam Preparation tips that candidates should follow. Clearing this exam requires a lot of dedication and hardwork so candidates should focus on it seriously. Good luck to all the aspirants!

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