Books for CDS 2021 Exam Preparation​

Combined Defense Services Examination (CDS) is an examination administered by the Union Public Service Commission, UPSC for recruiting officers to the Indian Naval Academy, Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers Training Academy. Each year, lakhs of students take this exam.
Books for CDS 2021 Exam Preparation​

Books for CDS 2021 Exam Preparation

Combined Defense Services Examination (CDS) is an examination administered by the Union Public Service Commission, UPSC for recruiting officers to the Indian Naval Academy, Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers Training Academy. Each year, lakhs of students take this exam. The CDS I will be held on February 07, 2021, and the CDS II is scheduled for November 17, 2021. Details about the upcoming CDS Exam can be found in the CDS 2 Notification 2021. In this particular blog, I would mention all the important books the candidates should read in order to prepare for the CDS examination. 

CDS Exam Pattern 2021

In order to start preparing for an exam, the first step that the candidate is supposed to take is to look into the pattern of the exam and its syllabus. Once you know what to study, only then you can find out the important books. 

In the CDS notification 2021, UPSC prescribes the CDS 2021 exam pattern. Candidates sitting for OTA exam 2021 will have to attempt only two papers, while CDS exam 2021 will have three papers. There will be no online test for CDS 2021 as it will be conducted in offline mode across the country. 

CDS Exam Pattern 2021 For OTA

SubjectNumber of questionsMaximum marksExam duration
English1201002 hours
General Knowledge1201002 hours
Total2402004 hours

Exam Pattern for CDS 2021 for INA, IMA, and IFA

SubjectNumber of questionsMaximum marksExam duration
Elementary Mathematics1001002 hours
English1201002 hours
General Knowledge1201002 hours
Total3403006 hours

CDS Syllabus 2021

1. MathematicsAlgebra, Trigonometry, Simple and Compound Interest, Geometry, Time and Work, Mensuration, Statistics, Probability
2. EnglishJumbled Sentences, Synonyms, Antonyms, Idioms & Phrases, Comprehension, Error Spotting, Cloze Test, Sentence completion
3. General KnowledgeGeneral Science, Economics, History, Polity, Geography, Art and Culture, Books and Authors

CDS 2021 Books for the English Language

In preparation for the CDS II exam, candidates should read the detailed syllabus and CDS exam pattern. In addition to the NCERT books, the following books have been recommended for each subject: 

Students are asked questions from a variety of topics in the English sections, such as vocabulary, phrases, grammar, syntax, and sentences. Therefore, it is important to select books that assist you in improving your grammar skills. When preparing for the English section, it is recommended that you read the following books.

1. Objective General English by S. P. Bakshi (Arihant Publications)-

The book is ideal for those who are just starting out. It has numerous examples, exercises, and tutorials that can help you to revise the syllabus. A detailed explanation of the answers is also provided. Several practice questions are included in this book, along with detailed explanations and the papers of last year.

2. High School English Grammar & Composition by Wren & Martin-

This is a very helpful book to make a stronghold on the rules and regulations of using grammar in everyday usage.

3. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis -

Your Vocabulary will be enriched in the best way with the help of this book. In this book, you will find many antonyms, synonyms, and One Word Substitutions.

CDS 2021 Books for General Knowledge

A high score can be obtained in the General Knowledge section if you study hard. The General Knowledge section asks questions on Geography, Economics, Politics, Sports, Awards, basic science including Physics and Chemistry and Current Affairs. In order to prepare for the CDS General Knowledge section, you can refer to the following books:

1. General Awareness by Manohar Panday (Arihant Publications)-

This book is one of the most cherished and preferred books as it covers all the detailed information regarding Indian history, Indian politics, Indian geography, Indian economy, and current affairs in India.

2. Manorama Yearbook by Philip Mathew-

The Manorama Yearbook is an effective book for current affairs and is a highly recommended book by experts for enhancing General Awareness of the candidate.

3. Pratiyogita Darpan (Magazines) brought out by Pratiyogita Darpan Editorial Team-

The Pratiyogita Darpan Magazine is a highly beneficial book for aspirants of various government examinations. The magazine has detailed national and international current affairs. All the major policies of the government, news about sports and awards, everything is included in the magazine. Apart from that there are several past year question papers with answers and explanations for candidates to practice before the final exam. 

4. Newspapers such as The Hindu, The Indian Express, The Economic Times-

The newspaper is an important source of information about everything that is happening in and around the world. Reading newspapers not only increases one’s knowledge of current affairs but also improves reading skills and vocabulary. Therefore, reading newspapers should be an important part of preparation for the CDS exams. It also helps a lot in the interview round. 

CDS 2021: Books for Elementary Mathematics

Most of the questions in this section are those from the Mathematics topics we have  studied up to Class 10. Geometry, algebra, trigonometry, mensuration, unitary method etc. are some of the topics covered in this section. It is important for the candidates to choose the right books so that they can clear their concepts.

When studying for the CDS Exam, the following books have been recommended as some of the most helpful resources for Mathematics preparation are:

1. Mathematics for C.D.S. by R.S. Aggarwal

All the details are included in this book regarding the topics that are most likely to be included in this exam. In this book, we discuss all important subjects, their weightage, and last year’s papers, as well as practice papers and solved examples.

2. Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal

Different topics of math are clarified in this book. There is a lot of detail outlined in this book to help beginners understand the issues presented. Many solved examples and practice tests help candidates improve their performance.

3. Pathfinder for CDS by Arihant Publications-

Many candidates who are preparing for CDS exams prefer this book, which provides a detailed syllabus and a list of important topics. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I prepare for CDS 2021?

Answer. In order to prepare for CDS 2021, you should have a good strategy to complete all the important topics of the examinations. If you study well and work hard on the syllabus, you will surely be able to score well in the examinations. You should also practice several past year question papers which will give you an insight into the pattern of the questions asked.

2. Which book is sufficient for CDS?

Answer. English, General Knowledge and Mathematics are the three main sections of the CDS exam from which questions will be asked. At least one good book should be followed thoroughly from each subject. There is no one book which will cover all the three sections.

3. How do I start preparing for CDS at home?

Answer. In order to prepare for the CDS exam nicely, you need at least 4-6 months of time.For preparing at home, maintain a time table such that you give equal amount of time to each subject asked in the exam. Divide your time accordingly. Keep yourself updated with current affairs by reading magazines and newspapers regularly. Also, keep practising past year question papers to understand the pattern of the exam nicely.

4. Is NCERT enough for CDS?

Answer. NCERT books are very essential for competitive exams such as CDS as they help in making the basics of a subject strong. However, there are some other books also that have to be read in order to have a greater understanding of the subjects. For subjects such as Geography, economics, Maths, polity, NCERTs play an important role.

5. Can we crack CDS without coaching?

Answer. Ofcourse, you can crack CDS without coaching. But, the only requirement is that you will have to be consistent in your work and follow a timetable on your own. Coaching teaches a student to manage time and guides the student at each step, but without coaching you will have to be more focussed with a strong determination and will power.

6. Is UPSC CDS tough?

Answer. Any examination is not tough if you have a correct strategy to prepare for it. With a well- defined study plan, time management, important books and knowledge of current affairs, you will be able to make the CDS preparation an easy job for you. With hard work, everything tough can be easily achieved.
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