How to Prepare for UPSC CDS Exam?

Prepare for UPSC CDS Exam

In a land of brave battles and epic histories, there is no place to wonder if its citizens are the same. It is a passion and dreams for many of this brave land’s citizens to conquer the land, air and the earth. Yes, it is the defence service jobs of the Indian defence services.

The best way to get into the defence service of India is to undertake the exam called UPSC CDS exam.

All about the UPSC CDS exam

The prestigious position of serving the country is only an exam away for a skilled and qualified warrior of the country. The UPSC CDS exam is conducted by the UPSC or Union Public Service Commission to recruit the candidates for defence field like Indian naval academy, Indian air force academy and so on. The UPSC CDS exam is conducted twice a year. Isn’t it a privilege to serve and protect one’s nation? It is just an exam away and a more pleasing fact that this exam is conducted twice in a year.

Recruitment procedures:

  1. Getting qualified in a written test.
  2. Interview with the service selection board.
  3. After the selection process the candidate gets admitted into one of the following:

Indian Military Academy – Permanent Commission

Naval Academy – Permanent Commission

Air Force Academy– Permanent Commission

Officers Training Academy– Short Service Commission

Officers Training Academy – Short Service Commission

These are done as per the preferences and the ranking in the merit list.

There is one small thing to notice. It is that women candidates are only eligible for officers training academy only.

Eligibility for UPSC CDS:

The eligibility for UPSC CDS is decided by the UPSC committee. It is given in terms of education, age, nationality. The age limit to appear for the UPSC CDS exam is 20 to 24. Candidates who have graduated or in the final year of their graduation can appear for the CDS exam.

Details of the UPSC CDS exam:

The following shows the elaborate recruitment process of the UPSC CDS exam.

Written test

The written exam consists of an objective paper with

  • English             –      120 marks.
  • General knowledge -120marks
  • Mathematics -100 marks

It is an objective paper with four options for each question.there is negative marking with 0.33 for each wrong answer.  340 questions in total are to be completed in 360 minutes that is 3 hours.

Officer training academy paper pattern:

This paper does not have a mathematical section. It comprises only of a total 240 marks with only English and general knowledge.

The interview:

The qualified candidates are called for interview after the UPSC CDS exam.  The candidates are put to test by conducting a series of group activities and personal interview.

Preparation abets:


This is the starting step for everything including UPSC CDS exam. Begin with a passion and a devotion to being a future protector of the country. Start the work with a plan. A good plan saves time and is almost like half victory reached. This UPSC CDS exam is the base for those warrior dreams. Hence consider it as a first battle to be won. The best way to win a battle is to plan it well. Hence make a study plan. Prepare a schedule and adhere to it.

 Know the Syllabus:

Know what one is up against help to win the exams. Knowing the syllabus of the CDS exam fully and preparing a checklist will help in last minute preparations also.

Staying updated

Since majority questions for 120 marks in UPSC CDS exam is of general knowledge questions staying updated with current events is important to conquer the CDS exam.

Time management:

Time is the most valuable resource one must first learn to conquer it first.  Managing the time for preparation is important so that the syllabus of the CDS exam is covered. The UPSC CDS exam has 340 questions to be completed in 360 minutes. Hence preparing to attend the CDS exam questions within the time limit is mandatory.

Writing mock exams at home is also a good preparation strategy for the UPSC CDS.

Topic wise studying

Studying each and every topic under the CDS exam syllabus is important. Also preparing for the CDS exam topic wise is proven to improve syllabus coverage. This helps in better-structured preparation and also efficient preparation rather than a random and messy CDSexam preparation.

Practice makes perfect

Practicing is never out of style. There is always better scope for victory for anyone who constantly practices.  Practicing the previous year question papers is also a good way to prepare for the CDS exam. Practicing helps in recognizing the paper well and attending the CDS exam without any last minute jerk. Hence practice well before appearing for the UPSC CDS.

Mental preparation

Since the UPSC CDS exam is conducted for recruiting of defence officers one must be confident and well prepared mentally for the post.

Being an officer at the defence services is not an easy job. It needs a charismatic personality to command over the team. Hence one must also practice developing the characteristics needed for the prestigious job. Mental preparation for handling stress, making judgments and maintain a team with efficiency are the qualities to be skilled at. Also, the ability to handle different situations and tricky encounters will help the candidate perform well at interviews.

Positivity and charisma

After the tedious exam preparations and mental exams, one must be confident to perform well. Exams fears are never to be let near during the time of attending the questions in CDS exam.  A warrior must not be a warrior only on the battlefield but also in every endeavor he encounters. The CDS exam is just a part of the process hence facing it with positivity and confidence is vital. Never lose hope attends all the questions with confidence.

Last minute tips for the UPSC CDS exam:

After the tedious preparation and working out various strategies it comes to one last step. Yes, the last minute brushing up and revising. This is one important step in the UPSC CDS exam. Last minute revisions are vital and are important to help a candidate remember all that is prepared meticulously.

Here are some last minute tips to help a candidate win the final battle of UPSC CDS
  1. Since there are mathematical questions preparing a list of formulas and quick data list will help in the last minute revision. Do all the planning and material preparation at the beginning itself. As revising through prepare flash cards and quick notes from the CDS exam syllabus. This will help you to save time and to avoid the last minute tension.
  2. Don’t do any new learning in the last minute. Do all the learning in the beginning and only do revision in the last minute.
  3. When it comes to attending the questions in the CDS exam answer the questions clearly and don’t stop with any question that is difficult. Attempt and finish the easy ones first.
  4. Never to forget that the UPSC CDS exam has negative markings. Hence it is important to attend each and every question very carefully. As negative marks will also lower the marks obtained from the correct ones.
  5. Taking a mock test before CDS exam will ease the tension and help a candidate prepare for the paper. It makes the paper look familiar and will ease the tension when one receives the questions. This will also help in time management as there are 340 questions in the UPSC CDS exam. It is a lot to answer less than 3 hours. So practicing ock exams with the question models available online is advisory for a candidate attending UPSC CDS exam.

We are sure this article from CareerJobs360 will help you to understand about Tip to have victory in the UPSC CDS Exam.


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