Update on 2024-04-15

CDS exam is also known as Combined Defence Service Exam conducted by UPSC twice a year to admit the defense aspirants to the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy.

Aspiring candidates who are preparing to appear in CDS Exam 2024 must know CDS Exam Pattern and syllabus well for their exam preparations.

In this article, we are mentioning the UPSC CDS Exam Pattern in a detailed structure, Candidates who are looking for any information related to CDS Exam Syllabus and Pattern can find all the details here.

**The combined Defense Service Exam is divided into two phases:**

- Phase-I: Written Exam
- Phase-II: SSB Interview

To know the detailed CDS Exam pattern for both of these phases, continue reading…

**CDS Phase I Exam Pattern:** CDS Written exam pattern for admission to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) has three subjects which are General Knowledge, Elementary Mathematics, and English.

But the exam conducted for admitting the aspirants to Officer's Training Academy (OTA) has only two subjects namely General Knowledge and Engish.

Please note that CDS Exam for Officers Training Academy will not include the Elementary Mathematics subject.

**CDS Exam Pattern for IMA, INA, AFA**

**Type of Questions:**Objective Type questions, Each question will have four options and the aspirant has to choose the most appropriate option**Medium of Exam:**Hindi and English (Bilingual)**Mode of Exam:**CDS exam is a pen-paper-based exam, candidates will be provided with an OMR sheet in which they will have to mark the appropriate response.**No. of Sections:**The CDS Written exam for IMA, INA, and AFA will consist of 3 sections which are: English, GK, and Elementary Mathematics.**Total Questions:**The CDS Written exam 2024 comprises of total 340 questions. English and GK section has 120 questions each, Elementary Mathematics has 100 questions.**Maximum Marks:**The total weightage of the written exam is 300 marks. Each section will carry a weight of 100 marks.**Duration of Exam:**The Total duration of the CDS Exam for IMA, INA, and AFA will be 6 hours. The candidate will get 2 hours to solve each section.**Marking Scheme:**Negative marking scheme will be followed. For each right answer, the candidate will get 1 mark and for each wrong answer, 1/3 mark will be deducted.

Subjects |
Number of Questions |
Maximum Marks |
Time Duration |

English | 120 | 100 |
2 hours |

Elementary Mathematics | 100 | 2 hours | |

General Knowledge (GK) | 120 | 2 hours | |

Total |
340 |
6 hours |

**Type of Questions:**Objective Type questions, Each question will have four options and the aspirant has to choose the most appropriate option**Medium of Exam:**Hindi and English (Bilingual)**Mode of Exam:**CDS exam is a pen-paper-based exam, candidates will be provided with an OMR sheet in which they will have to mark the appropriate response.**Total Questions:**CDS Written Exam for admission to OTA is divided into two sections namely English and General Knowledge. Each Section consists of 120 questions and total of 240 questions will be asked in the CDS OTA Written exam.**Maximum Marks:**The total weightage of the exam is 200 marks as each section will carry 100 marks,**Duration of Exam:**Candidates get a total of 4 hours to complete their exam as the time duration to solve each section is 2 hours.**Marking Scheme:**Negative marking scheme will be followed. For each right answer, the candidate will get 1 mark and for each wrong answer, 1/3 mark will be deducted.

Subjects |
Number of Questions |
Maximum Marks |
Time Duration |

English | 120 | 100 | 2 hours |

General Knowledge (GK) | 120 | 100 | 2 hours |

Total | 240 | 200 | 4 hours |

CDS Exam Pattern 2024 |
Attributes |

Organization | Central Defence Services |

Exam | UPSC CDS Written Exam |

Duration | For IMA, INA, and AFA- 6 hours For OTA- 4 Hours |

Mode | Offline, pen, and paper mode |

Maximum Marks | For IMA, INA, and AFA- 300 For OTA- 200 |

Standard of the Papers | For Mathematics- Matriculation level (10th) Other subjects- Graduation level |

Languages | General Knowledge and Elementary Maths will be bilingual [Hindi and English] |

Type of Questions | Objective |

All the candidates who will qualify for the CDS Exam Phase-I (Written Exam) with a valid score will become eligible to appear in Phase-II which is also called SSB Interview conducted by Staff Selection Board.

This interview is held in two stages and the candidates who will pass stage I will be called to appear in stage II of the SSB Interview.

The final selection of the candidates for admission to defense academies is based on the marks obtained in the interview round. The CDS Interview round is the Phase-II of the Combined Defense Services Exam.

This round carries 300 marks for IMA, INA, and AFA selection and 200 marks for the selection for OTA.

In Stage I of the SSB Interview, there will be an Officer Intelligence Rating conducted on the day of the interview. This test will involve a Picture Perception and Description test, in which a picture will be displayed to the candidate for a complete duration of 30 seconds.

After 30 seconds, the candidate will have to write about the picture in 4 minutes. Afterward, the candidate will be put in a group of 15 candidates where they have to discuss what they observed in the picture and end up to a conclusion about the picture.

Based on the group discussion and conclusion, the officers will rate your intelligence and you will be given marks for the same, The candidates who will successfully clear this round will be allowed to proceed to Stage II of the SSB Interview.

Stage II of the SSB Interview will be held after 4 days of Stage-I. The second stage will comprise Group Testing Officers' Tasks, interviews, Psychology Tests, and conferences.

The candidate will be selected for admission to IMA, INA, AFA, or OTA based on the basis of the candidate's performance in Stage II of the SSB Interview.

Various tests involved in the CDS SSB Stage II interview are specifically tailored to analyze the intelligence, decision-making skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving ability of the aspirants.

These tests help the interview board members to determine whether the candidate is psychologically fit to serve in the defense forces or not.

**Below, we have mentioned the elements of these tests:**

**The Psychological Test will include the following:**

- Word Association Test
- Thematic Appreciation Test
- Situation Reaction Test
- Self Description Test

The various Group Testing Officer tasks will include the following activities:

- Group Discussion
- Group Planning Exercise
- Progressive Group Task
- Half Group Task
- Group Obstacle Race
- Lecturette
- Individual Obstacles
- Command Task
- Final Group Task

In the CDS Written Exam 2024, the negative marking scheme will be followed. Each question will carry the weightage of 1 mark.

For every right answer, 1 mark will be awarded to the candidate and for each wrong answer, 0.33 marks will be deducted. For no answer, no marks deduction will be done.

CDS Paper |
English | GK | Mathematics |

Maximum Marks |
100 | 100 | 100 |

Marks for Correct answer |
+1 mark for each correct option | +1 mark for each correct answer | +1 mark for each correct answer |

Negative marking |
-0.33 marks for each wrong answer | -0.33 marks for each wrong answer | -0.33 marks for each wrong answer |

CDS Paper |
English | General Knowledge |

Maximum Marks |
100 | 100 |

Marks for Correct answer |
+1 mark for each correct answer | +1 mark for each correct answer |

Negative Marking |
-0.33 marks for each wrong answer | -0.33 marks for each wrong answer |

Candidates who are looking for CDS Exam Syllabus 2024 can refer to the table mentioned below. We have tabulated the detailed syllabus of the CDS Written Exam 2024 which is also called the CDS Phase-I exam.

Please note that the syllabus for CDS Exam for IMA, INA, AFA, and CDS Exam for OTA will remain the same except for the Elementary Mathematics section.

The CDS Exam Syllabus for OTA will not have Elementary Mathematics as the exam pattern for the CDS OTA Exam includes only two sections which are: General Knowledge and English.

For IMA, INA, and AFA, the syllabus will consist of three subjects which are Elementary Mathematics, English, and General Knowledge.

Sections |
Topics |

English | Spotting Errors Questions Sentence Arrangement Questions Synonyms & Antonyms Selecting Words Ordering of Sentence Comprehension Questions Ordering of words in a sentence Fill in the blanks questions Idioms and Phrases |

General Awareness (GK) | Economics Physics Current Affairs Politics Chemistry Sociology History Defence-related Award Geography Environment Sport Biology Cultural Book Statement True False |

Algebra | Basic Operations Simple Factors Remainder Theorem H.C.F. L.C.M. Theory of polynomials Solutions to quadratic equations Relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered) Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns—analytical and graphical solutions Simultaneous linear inequations in two variables and their solutions Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions Set language and set notation Rational expressions and conditional identities Laws of indices |

Arithmetic | Number System: Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions Unitary method Time and Distance Time and Work Percentages Applications of Simple and Compound Interest Profit and Loss Ratio and Proportion Variation Elementary Number Theory: Division algorithm Prime and composite numbers Tests of divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 11 Multiples and factors. Factorization Theorem H.C.F. and L.C.M. Euclidean algorithm Logarithms to base 10 Laws of Logarithms Use of logarithmic tables |

Trigonometry | Sine ×, cosine ×, Tangent × when 0° < × < 90° Values of sin ×, cos ×, and tan ×, for ×= 0°, 30°, 45°, 60°, and 90° Simple trigonometric identities Use of trigonometric tables Simple cases of heights and distances |

Geometry | Lines and angles Plane and plane figures Theorems on Properties of angles at a point Parallel lines Sides and angles of a triangle Congruency of triangles Similar triangles Concurrence of medians and altitudes Properties of angles Sides and diagonals of a Parallelogram Rectangle and Square Circles and their properties including tangents and normals Loci |

Mensuration | Areas of squares, Rectangles Parallelograms Triangle and Circle Areas of figures can be split up into these figures (Field Book) Surface area and volume of cuboids Lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders Surface area and volume of spheres |

Statistics | Collection and tabulation of statistical data Graphical representation frequency polygons Histograms Bar charts Pie charts etc Measures of central tendency |

- Use only black ballpoint to fill the OMR answer sheet.
- In case the candidates find that his/her CDS booklet series is not printed on the test booklet or find that the answer sheet is unnumbered, he/she should report immediately to the invigilator and get a new test booklet and answer sheet.
- Once you are provided with the test booklet, immediately check the test booklet for any unprinted or torn, or missing pages. In case you find any, get it replaced with a test booklet of the same series and subject.
- Any omission, mistake, or discrepancy in the filling or encoding of details in CDS OMR Answer Sheet 2024 will be liable for rejection.
- Candidates should not write names or anything other than the specific information asked on the CDS OMR Answer Sheet.
- Encode your CDS 2024 booklet series (A, B, C, or D as the case may be), subject code, and roll number in the circles provided for filling these details in the CDS OMR Answer sheet 2024.
- Do not fold, tear, damage, or put any unnecessary marking on your CDS Answersheet. Also do not write anything on or reverse side of the answer sheet. Doing this can lead to the rejection of the answer sheet.

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