UPSC CDS Syllabus, Exam Pattern, Eligibility Criteria – Combined Defence Services

The UPSC Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination is conducted in two parts: CDS 1 and CDS 2. Both exams have similar syllabi. Below, I will provide a detailed syllabus for both CDS 1 and CDS 2, including all topics covered in the examination.

UPSC CDS Syllabus – Syllabus of Combined Defence Services

CDS 1 and CDS 2 Syllabus:

The CDS examination consists of three papers:

English (Code No. 01):

  • The question paper consists of objective-type questions designed to test the candidate’s understanding of English grammar and vocabulary.
  • Topics include:
    • Grammar and usage.
    • Vocabulary.
    • Comprehension and cohesion in extended text.

General Knowledge (Code No. 02):

  • The General Knowledge paper covers a wide range of topics related to current events, history, geography, polity, economics, science, and culture.
  • Topics include:
    • Current Affairs.
    • History of India.
    • Geography.
    • Indian Polity.
    • Economics.
    • General Science.
    • Static GK (Awards, Honors, Books and Authors, etc.).
    • Culture and Art.

Elementary Mathematics (Code No. 03):

  • The Elementary Mathematics paper tests the candidate’s knowledge of basic mathematics concepts.
  • Topics include:
    • Arithmetic (Number System, Fundamental Operations, etc.).
    • Algebra (Basic Operations, Quadratic Equations, etc.).
    • Trigonometry.
    • Geometry (Lines and Angles, Triangles, Circles, etc.).
    • Mensuration.
    • Statistics and Probability.

Please note that the syllabus mentioned here provides a general overview of the topics covered in the CDS examination. Candidates are encouraged to refer to the official UPSC CDS notification for the specific year they plan to appear for the examination for the most up-to-date and detailed syllabus.

Additionally, candidates should prepare for each paper as per the weightage given in the examination. English and General Knowledge papers are crucial for both CDS 1 and CDS 2, while the Elementary Mathematics paper is only applicable for candidates applying for the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA).

Practicing previous years’ question papers and taking mock tests can be beneficial for effective preparation for the CDS examination.

The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination is conducted in two stages: the Written Examination and the Interview/Personality Test. Here’s a detailed overview of the CDS exam pattern for both stages:

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern – Combined Defence Services

Written Exam for UPSC CDS – Combined Defence Services

The written examination for CDS consists of three papers:

Paper 1 English (100 Marks)

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective-type multiple-choice questions (MCQs)
  • Total Questions: Approximately 120 questions
  • Negative Marking: One-third of the marks assigned to a question will be deducted for each wrong answer.

Paper 2 General Knowledge (100 Marks)

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective-type multiple-choice questions (MCQs)
  • Total Questions: Approximately 120 questions
  • Negative Marking: One-third of the marks assigned to a question will be deducted for each wrong answer.

Paper 3 Elementary Mathematics (100 Marks)

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Type of Questions: Objective-type multiple-choice questions (MCQs)
  • Total Questions: Approximately 100 questions
  • Negative Marking: One-third of the marks assigned to a question will be deducted for each wrong answer.

Interview/Personality Test for UPSC CDS – Combined Defence Services

Candidates who qualify in the written examination are called for an interview/personality test conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB). The interview assesses the candidate’s suitability for a career in the Armed Forces. It includes various tasks, group discussions, psychological tests, and an interview.

Important Points to Note:

  • The written examination for CDS is conducted in English and is an objective-type test.
  • Candidates applying for the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) are required to take all three papers (English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics).
  • Candidates applying for the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) only need to appear for the English and General Knowledge papers.
  • There is a penalty for wrong answers in the objective-type papers. For each incorrect response, one-third of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted.

Candidates aspiring to appear for the CDS examination should prepare for the written examination by studying the relevant subjects and practicing previous years’ question papers. Clearing the SSB interview is also an essential part of the selection process, and candidates should be well-prepared for it.

The eligibility criteria for the UPSC Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination are as follows:

UPSC CDS Eligibility Criteria – Age Limit for Combined Defence Services

Nationality:

  • A candidate must be one of the following:
    • A citizen of India.
    • A subject of Nepal or Bhutan.
    • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India.
    • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Age Limit for UPSC CDS – Combined Defence Services

  • The age limits for different academies and services are as follows:
    • For Indian Military Academy (IMA): Candidates must be between 19 and 24 years old.
    • For Indian Naval Academy (INA): Candidates must be between 19 and 24 years old.
    • For Air Force Academy (AFA): Candidates must be between 19 and 24 years old.
    • For Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) for Men: Candidates must be between 19 and 25 years old.
    • For Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) for Women: Candidates must be between 19 and 25 years old.
  • The age is calculated as of the date mentioned in the official CDS notification for the respective examination year.

Educational Qualifications:

  • The educational qualifications vary based on the academy and service for which a candidate is applying. Generally, candidates should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or institution.
  • For INA, candidates should have a degree in Engineering.
  • For AFA, candidates should have a degree with Physics and Mathematics at the 10+2 level or a Bachelor of Engineering.
  • There is no specific subject requirement for OTA, and candidates should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.

Marital Status:

  • For OTA, both men and women can apply, but candidates should be unmarried at the time of application.

Physical and Medical Standards:

  • Candidates should be in good physical and medical health as per the standards prescribed by the respective services. Detailed physical and medical standards are mentioned in the official UPSC CDS notification.

Candidates should carefully check the official UPSC CDS notification for the specific examination year they plan to apply for to confirm the eligibility criteria and any other requirements or conditions. Meeting the eligibility criteria is essential for candidates to apply for and appear in the CDS examination.

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