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CDS Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2024 (Revised)

CDS Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2024 (Revised)_30.1

CDS Syllabus 2024

UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is going to release the  CDS 1 Notification 2024 which aims to select candidates for roles in the Indian Armed Forces. The registration for NDA 2024 Exam will start from 20th December 2023. The aspirants preparing for the CDS exam must be aware of the CDS syllabus to get the exact knowledge of the exam. Aspiring candidates have the option to select their desired category based on their eligibility and preferences, which include the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA). Further useful details regarding these options are given below.

CDS Syllabus

The CDS (Combined Defense Services) exam has three sections: General Knowledge, English, and Mathematics. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to highlight that the Mathematics section is excluded for candidates applying under the OTA (Officers’ Training Academy) category. To successfully pass any government examination, it is essential for candidates to have a thorough understanding and comprehensive knowledge of the entire syllabus. According to that, the candidates need to be prepared for the examination. Here, we are providing the CDS Syllabus for candidates to help in their preparation.

Download FREE EBOOK for CDS 2024 Preparation

CDS Syllabus: Overview

Candidates who want to enter into Defence Forces through CDS must be looking for its exam pattern, topics-wise marking schemes, the number of questions and other related useful information. Though the CDS syllabus has not changed much still few changes are there which you may face while appearing for the exam. One needs to be well-versed with the pattern and syllabus of the CDS exam. In this article, we have provided you with the information related to CDS Exam 2024 Pattern and Detailed CDS Syllabus.

CDS Syllabus: Overview
Name of the Exam Combined Defence Forces (CDS)
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam Conducted in A Year Twice a Year
Mode of Examination Offline
Type of Questions Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Medium Hindi or English
Number of Questions IMA/INA/AFA – 300
OTA – 200
Time Duration 2 hours for each paper
Negative Marking Yes (1/3rd deducted for every wrong answer)

CDS Syllabus (Revised)

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination is a gateway to numerous prestigious positions in the Indian Armed Forces. To excel in this highly competitive exam, aspirants must be thoroughly familiar with the CDS syllabus for 2024. The revised syllabus encompasses three subjects: General Knowledge, English, and Elementary Mathematics.

The General Knowledge section assesses the candidate’s understanding of current affairs, history, polity, geography, science, and defense-related topics. The English section evaluates the candidate’s proficiency in grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing skills. The Elementary Mathematics section tests the candidate’s aptitude in arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, mensuration, and statistics. Here is a detailed overview of the CDS Syllabus.

CDS English Syllabus 2024

The CDS English Syllabus encompasses the subsequent subjects. The complexity of the questions will be like that of secondary school education. Applicants are recommended to engage in consistent reading of newspapers, books, and magazines to enhance both their reading and writing proficiencies.
  1. Comprehension passages
  2. Synonyms and antonyms
  3. Fill in the blanks
  4. Error spotting
  5. Sentence improvement
  6. Jumbled sentences
  7. Idioms and phrases
  8. Vocabulary
  9. Grammar and usage
  10. Parts of speech
  11. Direct and indirect speech
  12. Active and passive voice
  13. Rearrangement of sentences
  14. Cloze test

To prepare for the English section, we have provided you with the best Test series prepared by professionals. You should solve the practice sets that are available. It will also help you to know where you stand in your preparation. Read the Newspaper daily and note difficult words and find their meaning to improve your vocabulary. Go through the grammar part and learn all the basic rules. It will help you in detecting errors in sentencing and even in sentence completion.

CDS Maths Syllabus 2024

The CDS Mathematics syllabus for CDS (Combined Defence Services) exam, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in India for recruitment in the Indian Army, Navy, and Airforce, includes the following topics:

  • 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.

  • Algebra

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.

  • Trigonometry

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.

  • Geometry

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.

  • Mensuration

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.

  • Statistics

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

CDS General Knowledge Syllabus 2024

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 the History of India and the Geography of a nature which candidates should be able to answer without special study.

  1. Current Affairs: Events of national and international importance, sports, awards and honours, books and authors, and major developments in the fields of politics, economics, and social issues.
  2. History: Ancient, medieval, and modern Indian history, Indian national movement, and the growth of nationalism.
  3. Geography: Physical, social, and economic aspects of geography, including Indian geography and world geography.
  4. Indian Polity and Governance: Constitution of India, political system, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  5. Economic and Social Development: Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  6. Science and Technology: Developments in the field of science and technology, including space technology, biotechnology, and computer technology.
  7. Environmental Ecology and Biodiversity: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment, and climate change.
  8. Defence and Security Issues: Current events related to national security, internal and external threats, and role of Armed Forces.

Apart from self preparation,  you can also take online course from Adda247 for the same. This helps in clearing doubts. Professional guidance will boost your Josh for the exam preparation. Be true to yourself and give your best efforts for the exam as the competition is tough.

CDS OTA Syllabus

The CDS OTA Syllabus is the same as the syllabus for the other two academies, namely Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Indian Naval Academy (INA) except for one Mathematics paper. CDS Official Training Academy(OTA) syllabus has only two papers English and General knowledge. Check CDS OTA Subject-wise Syllabus below.

CDS OTA English Syllabus

To crack the English section you just need to learn some basic grammar rules and practice as many previous year questions as possible of various types.

Sentence arrangement
Spotting Error
Selecting words
Synonyms and Antonyms
Ordering of Sentence
Ordering of words
Idioms and Phrases
Fill in the blanks

CDS OTA General Ability Test Syllabus

General Awareness consists of a lot more than we can possibly study so the best can we do is to have the right approach. Team of DefenceAdda helps you to target that quality-based content.

Current Affairs
Defence Related Awards
Sports and Culture
Environmental Science

CDS Exam Pattern 2024

The CDS 2024 Written examination will be held using a pen-and-paper-based offline mode. In this format, candidates will be provided with an Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet on which they must mark their responses. The question papers for all subjects will consist of objective-type multiple-choice questions. The written examination consists of the below subjects:

A) 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
Mathematics 2 Hours 100
SSB Test/Interview 5 Days 300
B) For Admission to the Officers’ Training Academy:
Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
SSB Test/Interview 5 days 300

CDS Exam Important Instructions

Write only in Black ballpoint pen, your Centre and subject followed by the CDS 2024 test booklet series (in brackets), subject code and the exam roll number at the appropriate space provided on the answer sheet at the top.
  1. Encode your CDS 2024 booklet series (A, B, C, or D as the case may be), subject code and roll number in the circles provided for the purpose in the answer sheet.
  2. In case the CDS booklet series is not printed on the test booklet or the answer sheet is un-numbered then candidates should report immediately to the invigilator and get the test booklet/answer sheet replaced.
  3. Candidates should note that any omission/mistakes/discrepancy in encoding/filling of details in the CDS 2024 OMR answer sheet, especially with regard to the Roll Number and Test Booklet Series Code, will render the answer sheet liable for rejection.
  4. Immediately after the commencement of the CDS 2024 please check that the test booklet supplied to you does not have any unprinted or torn or missing pages or items etc., if so, get it replaced by a complete test booklet of the same series and subject.
  5. Do not write your name or anything other than the specific items of information asked for, on the CDS answer sheet/test booklet/sheet for rough work.
  6. Do not fold or damage or put any extraneous markings over the CDS Answer Sheet. Do not write anything on the reverse of the answer sheet.

CDS Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2024 (Revised)_40.1

CDS Related Useful Links
CDS 2 2023 Notification CDS Salary
CDS Admit Card CDS Previous Year Papers
CDS Eligibility Criteria


What is the official website of UPSC CDS syllabus?

The CDS syllabus is available on Official website of UPSC which is upsc.gov.in and upsconline.nic.in.

How many papers are there in the UPSC CDS exam?

There are 3 Papers for IMA/INA/AFA i.e. General Knowledge, English and Mathematics. There is no Mathematics paper for OTA category.

In which language UPSC CDS exam will be taken?

UPSC CDS will be taken in both Hindi as well as English.

Is there negative marking in the CDS exam?

Yes, there is negative marking in the CDS exam. For each incorrect answer, 1/3rd of the marks allotted to that question will be deducted.

How can I prepare for the CDS exam?

To prepare for the CDS exam, it is important to understand the exam pattern and syllabus. It is also recommended to practice time management and develop test-taking strategies