Preparation Guide for CDS 2021

CDS is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for admission to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), the Indian Naval Academy (INA), the Air Force Academy (AFA), and the Officers' Training Academy (OTA). Before learning the detailed CDS syllabus, candidates should familiarize themselves with the CDS exam pattern.
Preparation Guide for CDS 2021

Preparation Guide for CDS 2021

CDS is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for admission to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), the Indian Naval Academy (INA), the Air Force Academy (AFA), and the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA). Before learning the detailed CDS syllabus, candidates should familiarize themselves with the CDS exam pattern. It is important for candidates to know the current exam pattern and syllabus for their upcoming exams. Previous years’ question papers must be examined to see what types of questions were asked, how many points were assigned to each topic, etc. To analyze their strengths and weaknesses, candidates must also take mock tests on a regular basis. It is necessary for candidates to buy the right books and take notes on each topic. Here are some helpful tips on how to prepare for CDS 2021.

CDS Preparation Strategy 2021

1. Make a Proper Timetable

Another common mistake candidates make is arriving late at the testing center. In order to avoid making this mistake, you should arrive at the exam center at least an hour before the test starts. The time and date of your exam can be found online 

2. Be familiar with the Exam Pattern and Syllabus

To crack the CDS exam, candidates must familiarize themselves with the exam syllabus and exam pattern. Students will gain an understanding of the topics they will have to cover for the exam. Studying the CDS syllabus will help you to find out which topics you are confident about and which you have no knowledge of. Identify and deal with weaker areas as soon as possible in order to avoid confusion.

3. Select the Best Books

The best books for CDS 2021 preparation should be selected by candidates. In order to prepare for the exam, applicants can review the important topics and chapters. 

4. Focus on the Basics

You should familiarize yourself with the basic concepts instead of memorizing formulas. Simple questions may appear in a tricky format, so you should know your concepts thoroughly in order to answer the questions correctly.

5. Focus on Important Topics

By analysing past year question papers, you will be able to know what are the important topics asked in the CDS examination. Lay emphasis on the topics which carry maximum marks and also on those which are easier to score marks. Candidates should make sure that they do not leave out on the easy sections of the examination.

6. Practice Past Year Question Papers

It is crucial to solve the previous years’ CDS question papers in order to prepare for the exam. This will give you a better idea of the type of questions on the exam, how they are distributed, how difficult they are, and how they are graded. In addition, it is useful in assessing how prepared you are for the exam. As a result, you can focus on your weaknesses, and improve yourself. 

7. Practice Mock Tests

In order to maximize their preparations, candidates must practice the online mock test after they finish all the syllabus. CDS mock tests can be used to improve candidates’ speed and accuracy.

8. Make Short Notes

Short notes must be prepared for last-minute revisions. In the CDS exam 2021 short notes, you must include formulas, concepts, and shortcuts critical to the exam. Short notes make it easy to review the syllabus at once in a very short period of time. CDS preparation in 2021 depends heavily on revision.

9. Attempt Easier Questions First

You should go over all the questions and attempt to answer the ones that you find easy and will take less time to complete. If you are uncertain about your ability to answer a question, don’t attempt it, as you will be marked negatively as well.

Tips to Manage Time

Importance of Solving Previous Years Sample Papers

Tips for CDS Preparation Section-By-Section for 2021


Grammar rules must be mastered in order to improve your English paper score. Preparation of idioms and phrases is essential.

General Knowledge

Based on an analysis of previous years’ question papers, identify the topics with the highest weightage. Review the main points from those topics. Review the current affairs of the last four to five months thoroughly.

Elementary Mathematics

The use of Algebra, Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Geometry, Mensuration, and Statistics formulas and methods should be revised. Instead of studying new topics, review the ones you have already covered.

CDS Physical and Medical Exam

Applicants must be strong both mentally and physically in order to work in the Defense sector. Candidates also need to pass a physical examination and a medical examination in addition to the written examination. There should be no history of mental illness on a candidate’s record. CDS candidates must pass a physical exam as part of the selection process. Tips for the physical examination can be found here:

Tips for Preparing for a CDS Interview

SSB conducts the personal interview after the candidates pass the CDS test. Candidates are tested for intelligence, personality, and capability to hold ranks with the Defense Forces Officers at the SSB interview. A typical interview consists of a variety of components, such as psychological tests, group discussions, intelligence tests, outdoor activities, opinion polls, physical fitness tests, etc. For acing the interview, here are some tips:

Important Points to Remember

An individual practicing for the CDS exam must be able to work hard both physically and mentally. The candidates must have appropriate study materials such as past papers, preparation books, topic-by-topic notes, etc. To boost their chances of selection, candidates can follow the following tips after acquiring the relevant study material:

Last-Minute Tips for CDS 2021

It is vital that you revise all that you have learned in the weeks preceding the exam, as there is little point in cramming up all your knowledge in that time frame. Candidates might find the following steps helpful in planning and preparing during that period:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How should I start preparing for CDS?

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 y quesear question papers which will give you an insight into the pattern of thetions asked.

2. How many days of preparation is required for CDS?

Answer. Ideally, you should start preparing for the CDS exam three to six months in advance.

3. Is the CDS exam very 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.

4. Are 2 months enough for CDS preparation?

Answer. Ideally, four to 6 months are important for CDS preparation. If you want to prepare yourself only in 2 months, you will really need to work very hard as CDS has a vast syllabus.

5. What is the salary of OTA in CDS?

Answer. Defence entrance exams like CDS are highly coveted in the country. Cadets of the respective academies, IMA and OTA, are given a monthly stipend of Rs 56,100 for CDS salary during their entire training period.

6. Can I prepare for CDS in 3 months?

Answer. Yes, you can very well prepare for CDS in 3 months if you work hard with proper planning, read the good books and practice a lot.


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