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All You Need to Know About the UPSC CDS Exam

UPSC

UPSC, the abbreviation for the Union Public Service Commission is a body entrusted with recruiting the workforce for the important central government jobs. Among the various key roles, one of its wings is Combined Defence Services (CDS) which looks after recruiting people for the highly regarded defense section of India. It includes the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Indian Air Force Academy.

The Exams

The CDS conducts biennial written exams for entrance known as CDS 1 (conducted in February) and CDS2 (conducted in November) and a student needs to appear for any one of them. After passing them, he/she has to sit for the SSB, the interview rounds.

Qualifications

It has various qualification requirements of age, physical and mental fitness, marital status, Indian citizenship and academic degrees. These qualifications vary slightly for the different sections of recruiting, but mostly it is for an unmarried Indian citizen aged between 19-24 years having a graduation degree.

Subjects

The CDS Exam has 3 subjects carrying 100 marks each and each exam is held for 2 hours. The whole paper consists of Multiple Choice Questions. Subjects are:

  1. English
  2. General Knowledge
  3. Elementary Mathematics
  1. English

There are 120 questions in this paper, each carrying one mark and there is a negative marking of 0.27 for a wrong answer while a correct answer begets you 0.83 marks.

The topics in the syllabus include

  • Synonym and antonyms
  • Sentence completion
  • Phrases
  • Jumbled sentences
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Active and passive voice
  • Direct and indirect speech
  • Error finding
  1. General Knowledge

There are 120 questions in this paper, each carrying one mark and there is a negative marking of 0.27 for a wrong answer while a correct answer begets you 0.83 marks. The topics in the syllabus include

  1. Current affairs
  2. Art and culture
  3. Economy
  4. History
  5. Geography
  6. Books and authors
  7. Chemistry
  8. Physics
  9. Biology

  3. Elementary Mathematics

There are 100 questions in this paper each carrying one mark and there is a negative marking of 0.33 for a wrong answer while a correct answer begets you 1 mark. OTA candidates need not appear for this exam. The topics in the syllabus include

  • Arithmetic
  • Geometry
  • Algebra
  • Trigonometry
  • Statistics
  • Mensuration

Preparation Tips:

  • Check the full syllabus and make a study schedule and time frame by when you wish to complete your syllabus. Make sure you keep enough time to revise and appear for mock tests and solve previous year question papers. Since the exam has negative marking for wrong answers, it is better to attempt your strong topics and leave questions you are unsure about answering.
  • For English, keep reading newspapers and general textbooks and conversing in English.
  • For general knowledge again, newspaper reading is a very big plus.
  • For Mathematics allocate dedicate time to solve problems and keep the formulae sheet at hand for revision.

Students can get most of the required information on the official website regarding the exam dates, application dates, admit card dates, the revised syllabus, previous exam question papers, cut off in the previous exam etc. Students also need to work on their communication skills and confidence level while attempting these exams. Top universities of India like MM(DU) organize regular personality development programs to help the students crack difficult entrance and professional exams.

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