The Combined Defense Services Exam, commonly known as CDS Exam, is an exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) twice a year to recruit officers in the Indian Armed Forces – the Army, Navy and Air Force. It is one of the most competitive exams in India, and aspirants must have a good academic record and physical fitness to be eligible for the exam. The exam consists of three stages – the written exam, the SSB Interview, and the medical examination.
The notifications for the CDS Exam are released twice a year, usually in the months of February and August. The notification contains all the important details such as the exam date, eligibility criteria, exam pattern, syllabus, application form and other details.
CDS Important Dates
The following are the important dates related to the Combined Defense Services (CDS) exam:
1. Apply Online Start Date: Usually the application process starts 1-2 months before the exam date.
2. Apply Online Last Date: The last date to apply for the CDS exam is usually 2 weeks before the exam.
3. Apply Online Link: The link to apply for the CDS exam can be found on the UPSC website.
4. Download Admit Card Date: The admit card for the CDS exam can be downloaded one week before the exam.
5. Written Exam Dates: The CDS exam is usually conducted twice a year, in the months of February and August.
6. Official Website Link: The official website of the UPSC is www.upsc.gov.in.
CDS Exam Pattern
The CDS Exam is conducted in three stages, with the written exam being the first stage. The written exam consists of three papers – English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics. The duration of the written exam is two hours for each paper, and the total marks are 200 for each paper. The marking scheme for the exam is as follows: +1 mark for every correct answer, and -⅓ marks for every incorrect answer.
|General Knowledge||2 Hours||200|
|Elementary Mathematics||2 Hours||200|
The syllabus for the CDS Exam consists of the following topics:
1. English: Grammar, Synonyms, Antonyms, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Fill in the blanks, Jumbled Sentences, Error Spotting, Sentence Improvement, Cloze Test, Para Completion.
2. General Knowledge: History, Geography, Indian Polity, Economics, General Science, Current Affairs.
3. Elementary Mathematics: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration, Trigonometry, Statistics.
CDS What to read for exam
Below are study material like Notes, Books, Guides and papers to prepare for CDS Exam.
Chapter 1. The Stone Age
Chapter 2. Indus Valley Civilisation
Chapter 3. The Vedic Age
Chapter 4. The First Territorial States
Chapter 5. Religious Movements of Mahajanapada Age
Chapter 6. The Mauryan Empire
Chapter 7. The Sangam Age
Chapter 8. Post-MauryanPeriod (200 BC-AD 300 )
Chapter 9. The Gupta Age (AD 320-500)
Chapter 10. The Post-Gupta Era (AD 550-750)
Chapter 11. The Sultanate of Delhi
Chapter 12. Provincial Kingdoms
Chapter 13. Religious Movements
Chapter 14. The Mughal Empire
Chapter 15. The Maratha Empire
Chapter 16. Mughal Decline and Rise of Regional States
Chapter 17. Emergence of European Powers in India
Chapter 18. Tribal and Peasant Uprisings
Chapter 19. Governor-Generals and Viceroys
Chapter 20. Development of Modern Education and Press
Chapter 21. Revolt of 1857
Chapter 22. Social and Religious Reform Movements
Chapter 23. Growth of Nationalism and Struggle for
Chapter 24. Struggle for Independence Second Phase (1919-1927 )
Chapter 25. Struggle for Independence Third Phase (1927-1939)
Chapter 26. Struggle for Independence Fourth Phase (1940-1947 )
Chapter 27. Religion and Philosophy
Chapter 28. Indian Architecture and Painting Schools
Chapter 29. Music, Dance, Theatre and Festivals
Chapter 1. The Universe and the Solar System
Chapter 2. The Earth
Chapter 3. Interior of Earth
Chapter 4. Landforms
Chapter 5. Climatology
Chapter 6. Oceanography
Chapter 7. Biogeography
Chapter 8. Chapter eight Human Geography
Chapter 9. Economic Geography
Chapter 10. Continents
Chapter 11. India : Physical Aspects
Chapter 12. Indian Agriculture
Chapter 13. Resources
Chapter 14. Industrial Features of India
Chapter 15. Transport, Trade and Communication in India
Chapter 16. Urbanisation in India
Chapter 17. India Cultural Geography
Chapter 18. Ecology : Basic Concepts
Chapter 19. Environment
Chapter 20. Biodiversity and Its Conservation
Chapter 21. ’Climate Change
Chapter 22. Sustainable Development
Chapter 23. Disaster Management
Chapter 1. Constitutional Development
Chapter 2. Salient Features of Indian Constitution
Chapter 3. The Preamble
Chapter 4. The Union and Its Territory
Chapter 5. Citizenship
Chapter 6. Fundamental Rights
Chapter 7. Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties
Chapter 8. Union Executive
Chapter 9. Parliament
Chapter 10. The Judiciary
Chapter 11. State Government
Chapter 12. Centre-State Relations
Chapter 13. Local Government
Chapter 14. Emergency Provisions
Chapter 15. Official Languages
Chapter 16. Public Service Commissions
Chapter 17. Elections
Chapter 18. Political Parties and Pressure Groups
Chapter 19. Scheduled and Tribal Areas
Chapter 20. Constitutional, Statutory, Non-Statutory Institutions
Chapter 21. Governance
Chapter 22. Public Policy in India
Chapter 23. Rights Issues in India
Chapter 24. Constitutional Provisions Regarding UTs, States with Special Status and Tribunals
Chapter 25. Amendment of the Constitution
Chapter 1. Introduction to Economics
Chapter 2. National Income
Chapter 3. Economic Growth and Development
Chapter 4. Economic Planning in India
Chapter 5. Money and Banking
Chapter 6. Public Finance
Chapter 7. India’s Balance of Payments
Chapter 8. India’s Foreign Trade
Chapter 9. International Financial and Economic Organisation
Chapter 10. Inflation
Chapter 11. Demographic Profile of India
Chapter 12. Poverty and Unemployment
Chapter 13. Agriculture
Chapter 14. Indian Industry
Chapter 15. Services Sector
Chapter 16. Government Schemes and Programmes
General Science Notes
Chapter 1. Units and Measurement
Chapter 2. Kinematics
Chapter 3. Force
Chapter 4. Work, Energy and Power
Chapter 5. Gravitation
Chapter 6. General Properties of Matter
Chapter 7. Waves
Chapter 8. Heat
Chapter 9. Light
Chapter 10. Electricity
Chapter 11. Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Chapter 12. Matter and Its States Matter
Chapter 13. Gas Laws
Chapter 14. Atomic Structure
Chapter 15. Carbon and Its Compound
Chapter 16. Energy Resources
Chapter 17. Living Organisms
Chapter 18. Origin of Life
Chapter 19. Systems of Human Body
Chapter 20. Health and Diseases
Chapter 21. Plant Biology
Chapter 22. Agriculture
Chapter 23. Animal Husbandry
Chapter 24. Computer Introduction
Chapter 25. Networking
Chapter 26. Security Threats
CDS Previous Papers
Previous year papers of the CDS Exam can be found on the UPSC website. These papers are important to practice in order to understand the exam pattern and get an idea of the type of questions asked.
The following books are recommended for the CDS Exam:
1. English: Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis.
2. General Knowledge: Manorama Yearbook 2020.
3. Elementary Mathematics: Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal.
CDS Selection Process
The selection process for the CDS Exam consists of the following stages:
1. Written Exam: The written exam is the first stage of the selection process. Candidates must qualify in all the three papers of the exam in order to be eligible for the SSB Interview.
2. SSB Interview: Candidates who qualify the written exam are called for the SSB Interview. The SSB Interview is a five-day process and consists of a series of tests such as the Officer Intelligence Rating Test, Picture Perception and Discussion Test, Psychological Tests, Group Tests, and Personal Interview.
3. Medical Examination: Candidates who qualify the SSB Interview are called for the medical examination. The medical examination is conducted to assess the candidate’s medical fitness as per the standards of the Indian Armed Forces.
CDS Exam Preparation Tips
The following tips can be followed for the preparation of the CDS Exam:
1. Read the UPSC syllabus thoroughly and practice as many questions as possible.
2. Stay up to date with current affairs and read books on general knowledge and English.
3. Make sure to practice mock tests and analyze your performance.
4. Time management is an important factor in the CDS exam, so practice time management techniques.
5. Prepare notes for quick revision.
6. Take short breaks between study sessions to keep your mind fresh.
7. Have a positive attitude and stay motivated.
CDS Exam Analysis
The CDS Exam is one of the most competitive exams in India and requires a lot of hard work and dedication to ace it. The exam is divided into three papers – English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics – and the total marks are 600. The question paper is of medium difficulty and the topics covered in the exam are from the UPSC syllabus. The exam has a time limit of two hours for each paper, so time management is an important factor for the exam.
The eligibility criteria for the CDS Exam are as follows:
1. Age: The minimum age limit is 19 years and the maximum age limit is 25 years.
2. Educational Qualification: The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
CDS How to apply Online?
The following steps can be followed to apply online for the CDS Exam:
1. Visit the official website of UPSC.
2. Click on the link “Apply Online”.
3. Fill in all the necessary details such as name, date of birth, educational qualifications, etc.
4. Upload the necessary documents such as photograph and signature.
5. Make the payment for the application fee.
6. Click on “Submit”.
CDS Application Fees
The application fee for the CDS Exam is Rs. 200/- for General/OBC/EWS category candidates and Rs. 0/- for SC/ST/PWD category candidates. The application fee can be paid through online mode using a credit card, debit card, net banking or UPI.
CDS Admit Card
The admit card for the CDS Exam can be downloaded from the UPSC website one week before the exam. The admit card contains details such as the exam date, time and venue.
CDS Answer Key
The answer key for the CDS Exam is released by the UPSC after the exam is conducted. The answer key contains the correct answers to all the questions asked in the exam. Candidates can use the answer key to check their performance in the exam.
The result of the CDS Exam is declared by the UPSC after the exam is conducted. The result can be checked on the UPSC website. Candidates who qualify the written exam are called for the SSB Interview and the final selection is based on the performance in the SSB Interview.
The cutoff for the CDS Exam is based on the performance of the candidates in the written exam, SSB Interview, and medical examination. The cutoff marks for the written exam are usually released by the UPSC along with the result.
The salary of a CDS officer depends on the rank of the officer. The salary of a Lieutenant in the Indian Armed Forces is approximately Rs. 56,100 per month. The salary increases with the rank of the officer and the highest rank in the Indian Armed Forces is the rank of a General, which has a salary of approximately Rs. 1,44,200 per month.
CDS Exam FAQs
Q1. What is the CDS Exam?
Answer: The Combined Defense Services Exam, commonly known as CDS, is an exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) twice a year to recruit officers in the Indian Armed Forces – the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Q2. What is the eligibility criteria for the CDS Exam?
Answer: The eligibility criteria for the CDS Exam are as follows: Age: The minimum age limit is 19 years and the maximum age limit is 25 years. Educational Qualification: The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
Q3. What is the selection process for the CDS Exam?
Answer: The selection process for the CDS Exam consists of the following stages: Written Exam, SSB Interview, and Medical Examination.
Q4. How to apply for the CDS Exam?
Answer: The application for the CDS Exam can be done online through the UPSC website. Candidates must fill in all the necessary details such as name, date of birth, educational qualifications, etc. and upload the necessary documents such as photograph and signature.
Q5. When is the CDS Exam conducted?
Answer: The CDS Exam is usually conducted twice a year, in the months of February and August.