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Preparation Tips for CDS 2018 English Language

Last Updated - February 13, 2018

CDS paper includes 3 subject General knowledge, English and Elementary Mathematics. Each paper is given a duration of 2 hours to complete 120 questions. Candidate appearing for OTA (Officers training academy) have to appear only in English and GK papers. Each question has 4 options out of which only 1 is correct. CDS exam has a provision of negative marking. For every wrong marked answer, 1/3 of the marks allotted is deducted.

This section will test the applicant’s command over English language. The topics to be covered under this section are unlimited. However, there are few common and important topics which listed below will help the applicants to prepare well for the examination. The topics are-

  • Jumbled sentences
  • Sentence correction
  • Reading comprehension
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Finding errors & omissions etc.

How to prepare for CDS 2018 English Language

CDS English language section is considered to be very important. To prepare for English, first you should develop the habit of reading. Keep in mind the following preparation tips:

Reading habits: Improve your reading habit via many sources like English Newspapers, Magazines, Notes, books etc.

Time management: Set proper time management for all grammar and vocabulary sections. Manage your time carefully. Select the questions you solve first, keeping in mind your stronger areas of study.

Mock test: Take CDS English online test and try to solve UPSC CDS Last Year English question papers.

Interest: Mark the topics as per your knowledge and strength.

Check CDS Preparation Tips

Practice: Practice as much as you can, it is one of the most important parameter. Take up a book which covers all the topics and make it a habit to practice till the end. As the saying goes, “practice makes a man perfect”. This will boost your confidence.

Set a goal: Categorization and division of topics as per the assigned time help in achieve your set target.

Maintain notes: Create summary notes. Spot the key terms & concepts. Design in such a manner that you understand them.

Revise and learn from your mistakes: At the last moment, all these notes will help you to be thoroughly revised. Make sure you go through them once at the end of the week.

Techniques: Adopt smart learning methods like Flashcards. This way, it makes you learn all of the grammar rules and will help in proper sentence formation.

Lastly, maintain a positive outlook to release the pressure.

Topics from Previous Year’s Exam

We have provided you the table below through which you can get an idea about weightage of English language in CDS.

In 2014 CDS I, there were 20 questions each in 3 topics i.e. sentence improvement, spotting errors & selecting words/cloze test But in CDS II questions in spotting errors increased to 25.

In 2015 CDS I, there were 20 questions each in 3 topics i.e. sentence improvement, spotting errors & selecting words/cloze test But in CDS II questions in spotting errors decreased to 15 while questions in sentence improvement & selecting words/cloze test increased to 25.

On the basis of analysis, we can see No. of questions in English range is between 16-25.   

For more understanding, we have mentioned some topics from previous year’s papers:

TopicsNumber of Questions 
 2014 CDS-I2014 CDS – II2015 CDS – I2015 CDS – II2016 CDS-I2017 CDS- I
Sentence Improvement202020252021
Ordering of words in a sentence111171520
Ordering of sentences in b/w first and last sentence108101021
Fill in the blank4101010
Selecting Words/ Cloze Test2020202520-
Spotting Errors202520151526
Reading Comprehension151623202121
Word Substitution5-

Check CDS Syllabus

UPSC CDS Exam Preparation books are being mentioned below and the candidates can prepare so well for the exam.

  1. English for Competitive Examination – by A.K. Kapoor
  2. Objective English – by S.P. Bakshi
  3. Quick Learning objective English – by Vikas & R.S. Aggarwal
  4. The Pearson Guide to English - by Edgar Thorpe, Showick Thorpe



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