cds syllabus 

CDS Syllabus 2020 Latest Syllabus

CDS syllabus 2020: The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) conducts CDS (Combined defence service) examinations two times in a year for Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers’ Training Academy. For the women’s candidates applications are being considered only for the Short Service Commission at OTA. 

Here, in this article we will provide you the detailed CDS syllabus for the aspirants who are planning to prepare for the cds exam.

CDS Syllabus 

Before starting the preparations it is very important to to understand the syllabus and exam pattern of the particular exam with eligibility. Below we have provided the detailed CDS syllabus, exam pattern, best books recommendations and FAQ to answer any doubt or query.

The syllabus of the written examinations consists of the following subjects: English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics and the detailed topic of each subject are mentioned below according to the official notification.

Stages of CDS Exams:

The scheme of the combined defence service exams are:

  •  Written examination
  •  Interview for intelligence and personality test

Written examination

Some of the important points regarding written examinations of cds are as follows:

  • It includes objective type questions only.
  • There will be ⅓ negative marking for each wrong answer
  • The exam will be conducted only in English and Hindi

CDS Written examination pattern

For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy:

Subject  Duration Maximum Marks 
English  2 Hours 100 
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100 
Elementary Mathematics  2 Hours 100 

For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy

Subject  Duration Maximum Marks 
English  2 Hours 100 
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100 


ENGLISH (Code No. 01)

The question paper will be designed to test the candidates’ understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.


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.



Number System—Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions. Unitary method, time and distance, time and work, percentages, 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, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables.


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


Sine ×, cosine ×, Tangent × when 0° < × < 90° Values of sin ×, cos × and tan ×, for ×

= 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°

Simple trigonometric identities.

Use of trigonometric tables.

Simple cases of heights and distances.


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.


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. 


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


The SSB procedure consists of two stage Selection process – stage I and stage II. Only those candidates who clear the stage I are permitted to appear for stage II. The details are:-

(a) Stage I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests are Picture Perception* Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on combination of performance in OIR Test and PP&DT.

(b) Stage II Comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days. The details of these tests are given on the website

The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors viz. 

The Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist. 

There are no separate weightage for each test. The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in all the test. In addition, marks for Conference are also allotted based on the initial performance of the Candidate in the three techniques and decisions of the Board. All these have equal weightage. The various tests of IO, GTO and Psych are designed to bring out the presence/absence of Officer Like Qualities and their trainability in a candidate. Accordingly candidates are Recommended or Not Recommended at the SSB. 

SSC MTS Syllabus

SSC CHSL syllabus

SSC CPO syllabus

Best books for CDS syllabus

The best book for the cds syllabus exams are as follows:

English books for CDS

  • SSC English by Ajay Kumar Singh
  • Objective General English by S.P. Bakshi 
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

Elementary Mathematics books for CDS

  • Quantitative Aptitude by R S Aggarwal
  • Mathematics for CDS Entrance Examination by R.S. Aggarwal
  • Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma

General Knowledge and General Awareness for CDS

  • Lucent General Knowledge
  • General Knowledge by Manohar Pandey 

CDS Syllabus PDF

FAQ on CDS Syllabus:

What is the CDS syllabus for written examinations?
The syllabus of written examinations are as follows: English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics. 

Are there any negative marking in the CDS exam?
Yes, there is ⅓ negative marking for the wrong answer.

How many times CDS exams are conducted in  a year?
It is conducted by UPSC two times in a year.

What are the stages of CDS examinations?
It include:

  •  Written examination
  •  Interview for intelligence and personality test


Leave a Comment