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CDS 2019 Syllabus, Exam Pattern and Important Topics

Updated On - January 21st 2019

CDS Syllabus is declared on the official portal of UPSC CDS ( is conducted for recruitment to Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA) and Officer’s Training Academy (OTA). The syllabus and exam pattern for all the exams is similar, except for OTA paper. Check CDS Exam Pattern

  • CDS 2019 (session 1) is scheduled for February 3, 2019 in offline mode. 
  • Candidates appearing for OTA exam can check the exam pattern for this session. Click Here!
  • All the questions in recruitment entrance test are objective type in nature. 
  • The Competitive examination comprises:
    • Written examination
    • Interview for intelligence and personality test

The subjects of CDS written exam, the time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject is tabulated below: 

For Indian Military, Indian Naval and Air Force Academy
SubjectDurationMax. Marks
English2 hours100
General Knowledge2 hours100
Elementary Mathematics2 hours100

For Officers’ Training Academy

SubjectDurationMax. Marks
English2 hours100
General Knowledge2 hours100

Note: The maximum marks allotted to the written exam and to the interviews will be equal for each course i.e. the maximum marks allotted to the written exam and to the interviews will be 300, 300, 300 and 200 each for admission to the IMA, INA, AFA and OTA respectively. Download Free CDS Question Papers

Read on to know more about the syllabus of CDS exam in terms of important topics, recommended books and other details.

CDS English Syllabus

English section tests the candidates’ understanding of English and workmanlike use of words. Given below are the topics to prepare English section for CDS exam.

AntonymsSentence improvementComprehension
SynonymsWord substitutionOrdering of sentences
Spotting ErrorsSelecting WordsOrdering of words in a sentence

CDS Recommended Books: English

  1. Objective General English by Arihant
  2. Objective General English by RS Aggarwal
  3. Word Power Made Easy: Norman Lewis

CDS Syllabus for General Knowledge

  • The questions in CDS General Knowledge paper are based on current affairs, History of India, Geography, Politics, and Economy.
  • A regular update of the past few months is necessary to score well in this section.
  • In the following table, topics are mentioned on which questions are asked.
EconomicsPhysicsCurrent Awareness 
History Defence relatedAward
Statement true/false ---- 

Best Books for General Knowledge

  1. Manorama Yearbook 2018
  2. Lucent’s General Knowledge
  3. Competition in Focus (Half Yearly and Yearly)

Check CDS Preparation Tips

CDS Syllabus for Elementary Mathematics

Mathematics section is thought-out as a scoring CDS Exam. To score good marks, candidates should know its complete syllabus. Mathematics paper consists of questions from arithmetic, algebra, mensuration, geometry, trigonometry and statistics. Given below is the detailed syllabus, on which questions are based on:

  • Algebra: Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M. Set language and set notation, rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices. Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear inequations in two variables and their solutions. Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns-analytical and graphical solutions. Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions.
  • Trigonometry: Simple cases of heights and distances. Use of trigonometric tables. Sine x, cosine x, Tangent x when fn< x < 90° Values of sin x, cos x and tan x, for x = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90° Simple trigonometric identities.
  • Geometry: Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Sides and angles of a triangle, Similar triangles, Concurrence of medians and altitudes, Congruency of triangles, Theorems on Properties of angles at a point Parallel lines, Properties of angles, rectangle and square Circles and its properties including tangents and Normals, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, Loci.
  • Mensuration: Areas of squares, parallelograms, rectangles, triangle and circle. Surface area and volume of cuboids, Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), 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, pie charts, histograms, bar charts, frequency polygons, etc. Measures of central tendency.

Number SystemSimple interestHCF&LCM of polynomialsArea
HCF & LCM of numbersCompound interestLinear Equations in one and two VariablesSurface area and volume of solids
Decimal fractionRatio and proportionQuadratic Equations and InequationsLines and angles
Square roots and cube rootsAverageSet theoryTriangles
Time and distanceProfit and lossMeasurement of angles and trigonometric measurementQuadrilateral and polygon
Time and WorklogarithmHeight and distanceCircle
percentageBasic operations and factorizationRatio ExpressionsStatistical Data Analysis
Locus ------ 

Best Books for Elementary Mathematics

  1. Arihant Pathfinder
  2. Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
  3. Mathematics for CDS by RS Aggarwal
  4. Quantitative Aptitude for examinations paperback 2018 by RS Aggarwal

Read More CDS Paper 2018 Analysis

CDS Important Instructions

  1. Write only in Black ballpoint pen, your Centre and subject followed by the CDS 2019 test booklet series (in bracket), subject code and the exam roll number at the appropriate space provided on the answer sheet at the top.
  2. Encode your CDS 2019 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.
  3. In case the CDS booklet series is not printed on the test booklet or answer sheet is un-numbered then candidates should report immediately to the invigilator and get the test booklet/answer sheet replaced.
  4. Candidates should note that any omission/mistakes/discrepancy in encoding/filling of details in the CDS 2019 OMR answer sheet, especially with regard to the Roll Number and Test Booklet Series Code, will render the answer sheet liable for rejection.
  5. Immediately after the commencement of the CDS 2019 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Do not fold or damage or put any extraneous marking over the CDS Answer Sheet. Do not write anything on the reverse of the answer sheet.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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