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Last Updated - January 17, 2018

Combined Defense Services Examination- Officer Training Academy (CDS-OTA) is a paper-pen based test consisting of objective type questions to test a candidate’s English and General Awareness.

The only major difference between CDS-OTA paper and CDS paper for NDA, IMA and IAF is that the former does not have a Mathematics section while all the latter do.

CDS-OTA is a fairly easy test majorly due to the absence of a mathematics section. One needs to be updated with affairs of the present times as well as get an average strength at English to reach the next step of the selection process. Check CDS 2018

OTA paper 2018 highlights

Aspirants can refer to the major information related to OTA paper highlighted below-

Mode of ExaminationOffline (paper-pen based)
Total No. of Questions asked240
Type of QuestionsMultiple Choice
Maximum Marks200
Duration of Examination240 minutes
SectionEnglish and General Ability
Negative MarkingOne-third for every incorrect answer

CDS OTA Paper 1 Structure

Paper 1 consists of English which is considerably easy and can help one to increase one’s score drastically.

No. of Questions120
Total Marks100
Time allotted120 minutes
Level of SectionEasy to Moderate
  1. Spotting Errors
  2. Comprehension / Close Comprehension
  3. Ordering of Words
  4. Ordering of Sentences
  5. Analogy / Fill in the Blanks
  6. Synonyms
  7. Antonyms

Check CDS 2018 Exam Pattern

CDS OTA Paper 2 Structure

Paper 2 is made of General Knowledge questions which is an important part of the exam and fairly difficult.

SectionGeneral Ability
No. of Questions120
Total Marks100
Time allotted120 minutes
MediumEnglish or Hindi
Level of SectionDifficult
  1. Geography
  2. History
  3. Indian Polity
  4. Economics
  5. Current Affairs
  6. Physics
  7. Chemistry
  8. Biology 

Weightage of topics in Paper 1

Paper 1- English consists of a number of topics; each has the weightage mentioned below-

TopicPercentage Weightage
Sentence correction15%
Error Spotting15%
Ordering of words10%
Ordering of sentence8%
Fill in the blanks3%

Weightage of Topics in Paper 2

Paper 2- General Ability has the following weightage distribution for various topics

TopicPercentage Weightage
Current Affairs13%

CDS-OTA Marking Scheme

The entire paper is allotted marks in the following way-

Total marks200
Marks per Section100
Marks per question0.83
Marks allotted per correct answer0.83
Marks deducted per incorrect answer0.27
Marks deducted per unanswered question0

Books and material recommended to prepare for Paper 1- English

  1. Objective General English By Arihant
  2. Norman Lewis: Your Choice
  3. Paper : The Hindu/The Times of India/ Economics Times
  4. Previous Year Papers
  5. Mock Practice Papers

Books and material recommended to prepare for Paper 2- General Ability

  1. Geography: Ncert (Class 6–12)
  2. Polity : Laxmikanth
  3. History and culture: Ncert (class 6–12) + Fine Arts (Class 11–12)
  4. Economy : Ncert (class 11–12)
  5. Science : Ncert (Class 6–12)
  6. Current Affairs: Monthly/Yearly Magazine/Newspapers
  7. Fact : Lucent General Knowledge

About OTA

Officer Training Academy is one of the most renowned training establishments of the Indian

Army that focuses on training officers for short service commission. Individuals who aspire to serve and protect their country are always welcomed at the two campuses of the Academy, one at Chennai and the other at Gaya.



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