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CDS 2016: Exam scheduled on October 23, Know the Exam Pattern

Last Updated - September 14, 2016

The Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS) is conducted twice a year by Union Public Service Commission. The second phase of CDS Application process, was completed on August 12, 2016. In a notification released for CDS II on July 16, 2016 the commission announced October 23, 2016 as the proposed CDS Exam Date. The First phase of CDS Exam was successfully conducted by the board on February 14, 2016. TheCDS Results for Phase 1 were declared on May 3, 2016.

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Since the second phase of CDS exam is just a month away, the aspirants need to gear themselves up and should prepare well for the exam for attaining fruitful results. For the assistance of CDS aspirants, we are trying to provide some help by giving them an idea on CDS syllabusand some tips and tricks to prepare for the same.


CDS Exam pattern

CDS exam is conducted in traditional pen-paper mode. The questions in the CDS entrance test are in the pattern of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions). It is often observed that candidates are not aware of CDS syllabusand CDS Exam Pattern, in a complete sense. So in order to acquaint applicants with the syllabus and exam pattern, we are providing aspirants with the detailed information on it.

Firstly, Knowing CDS exam pattern is necessary for candidates as it will give an idea about the sections to attempt. Following are the sections of CDS exam pattern:

1.English (100 marks)

2. General knowledge (100 marks)

3. Elementary Mathematics (100 marks)

Please Note: CDS carries a provision of Negative marking. Against every wrong answer, 1/3 marks will be deducted.

Sometimes, not knowing the complete information about syllabus, leads to half-knowledge which further results in not attempting the exam, properly. To avoid this trouble, we want you to get familiar with CDS syllabus, so that you can attempt paper with full confidence. Below is the explanation of CDS syllabus against each section and preparation tips along with it:


English section tests the candidates’ understanding of English language. The English paper consists of 100 marks and it is an objective test. This section comprises basic grammar, antonyms, synonyms, marking the correct sentence among the wrong choices and alike.

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Candidate can refer to the below mentioned topics to prepare English section for CDS entrance exam:

  • Antonyms
  • Sentence improvement Comprehension
  • Synonyms
  • Word substitution
  • Ordering of sentences
  • Spotting Errors
  • Selecting Words
  • Ordering of words in a sentence

Tips to attempt English Section

     1. This section will check candidate's knowledge on Syllogisms, Contextual Usage, Jumbled paragraphs, Sentence correction etc

    2.Try to read more and observe things around you. Make a word pool and remember those new words by memorizing them regularly.  Read books of different genres as a candidate will get to know different words and their usage in accordance to the exam pattern. This will certainly help a candidate to increase the Basic English which will further help you to crack CDS Exam.

Books that can help you!

  1. Objective General English by Arihant
  2. Objective General English by RS Aggarwal
  3. Word Power Made Easy: Norman Lewis


General Knowledge

For attempting General Knowledge section of CDS exam, candidate need to have a sound knowledge of current affairs, History of India, Geography, Politics and Economics. Below are some topics you must get a hang of before attempting the exam.

  • Economics
  • Physics
  • Current Awareness
  • Politics
  • Chemistry
  • Sociology
  • History
  • Defence related
  • Awards
  • Geography
  • Environment
  • Sports
  • Biology
  • Culture
  • Statement true/false

Tips to attempt General Knowledge section

  1. For attempting this particular section, Candidate must prepare Question bank for each section which will further help him/her in checking the knowledge and how much you have studied for the exam. After complete revision, candidate can attempt answering these questions to get a reality check.
  2. Candidate is required to polish his/her general awareness knowledge every day as this knowledge will help you to remain updated for answering any quiz or exam. Also, candidates are advised to not to answer questions impromptu as guess work can lead to negative marking.           

Books that can help you!

  1. Manorama Yearbook 2017
  2. Lucent’s General Knowledge
  3. Competition in Focus (Half Yearly and Yearly)

Elementary Mathematics

This section is considered as the most scoring section in CDS paper. Below is the detailed syllabus for the same:

Algebra: Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M. Set language and set notation, rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices. Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear in equations in two variables and their solutions. Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns-analytical and graphical solutions. Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or in equations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions.

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

Geometry: Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Sides and angles of a triangle, Similar triangles, Concurrence of medians and altitudes, Congruency of triangles, Theorems on Properties of angles at a point Parallel lines, Properties of angles, rectangle and square Circles and its properties including tangents and Normals, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram.

Mensuration: Areas of squares, parallelograms, rectangles, triangle and circle. Surface area and volume of cuboids, Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, surface area and volume of spheres.

Statistics: Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation, pie charts, histograms, bar charts, frequency polygons, etc. Measures of central tendency.

Tips to Elementary Mathematics attempt section

  1. Start with practicing basic Maths by taking help for Class 10th textbook. Also, study material will help you a lot in increasing your Mathematical skills to clear CDS exam entrance exam. Learn as many formulas as you can and try to experiment with your own shortcuts.

  2. For attempting this section, CDS aspirants should have a thorough knowledge on varied categories like Arithmetic Progression, Ratios and Proportion, Geometric mean, Algebra, Median, Profit & Loss, Trigonometry etc.

Books that can help you!

  1. Arihant Pathfinder
  2. Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
  3. Mathematics for CDS by RS Aggarwal
  4. Quantitative Aptitude for examinations paperback 2017 by RS Aggarwal



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