CDS (I) 2021 Syllabus and Exam Pattern

Updated Sat, 26 Dec 2020 10:15 AM IST

Combined Defence Service Examination (CDS) is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission to recruit eligible candidates to serve as officers in the Indian Armed Forces. CDS is usually conducted in February and Septermber of every year. It is prestigious exam which is highly competitve. Candidates who clear this exam join the Indian Military Academy or Officers Training Academy or Indian Air Force Academy or the Indian Naval Academy to receive their training to join the forces.
The notification for CDS (I) 2021 was released by the UPSC in the month of October, according to which the exam will be conducted in on 7th February, 2021.
Before preparing it is very important to know the syllabus and pattern of this exam. Here we have explained the syllabus of CDS (I) 2021 in detail and the exam pattern as well.

CDS 2021 Syllabus
CDS written exam pattern and syllabus is different for IMA, OTA, IAF and INA.

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The written exam for OTA consists of questions from English and General Knowledge, whereas the written exam for IMA, IAF and INA consists of questions from English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics.

1. English
In this section questions are usually asked from the following topics:
  • Vocabulary
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Idioms and Phrases
  • Sentence Rearrangement
  • Comprehension
  • Spotting Errors
  • Vocabulary
  • Active and Passive Voice
  • Parts of Speech
  • Direct and Indirect Narration

2. General Knowledge
In this section questions are asked from various subjects and one needs to be abrest with the Current Affairs as well. The topics or subjects from which questions are asked are as follows:
  • History
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Indian Polity
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Defence
  • Environment
  • Current Affairs

3. Elementary Mathematics
Candidates who have opted for OTA in their application form do not have to appear for this paper. This section included questions from various topics such as:
  • Algebra- This will include questions from sub-topics such as Basic Operations, L.C.M., H.C.F., linear equations, set theory, polynomials, quadratic equations.
  • Trigonometry-Trigonometric Identities, Height and distance, Trignomteric Tables.
  • Geometry-Lines and planes, parallel lines, triangle, circle, parallelogram.
  • Mensuration-Areas of the square, rectangle, parallelogram, circle, triangle, cuboids, lateral surface area and volume of a cone, sphere etc.
  • Statistics-Histograms, bar chart, pie chart, measures of central tendency and collection and tabulation of statistical data.

CDS 2021 Exam Pattern
CDS exam has two stages-Written Exam and SSB Interview. Candidates who qualify the written exam have to appear for the interview to be finally selected for the various academies. 
CDS 2021 Exam Pattern for OTA
Subject Duration Number of Questions Maximum Marks
English  2 Hours 120 200
General Knowledge 2 Hours 120 200

CDS 2021 Exam Pattern for IMA, AFA and INA
Subject Duration Number of Questions Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 120 200
General Knowledge 2 Hours 120 200
Elementary  Mathematics 2 Hours 100 200

CDS 2021 Marking Scheme
In CDS,1/3 marks are deducted for every wrong answer and no marks are awarded or deducted for unattempted questions.

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