Prepare Right to Crack CDS This Year


CDS (Common Defence Service) is conducted twice in February (CDS-I) and September (CDS- II) every year by UPSC. It is supposed to be a very difficult exam to crack.  The number of vacancies versus appearing candidates is very low and the success rate is about 0.02%. However, it is quite possible to give your best and get selected provided your preparation is systematic and disciplined.  All important aspects are given here to prepare the right to crack CDS this year.

CDS Exam Information and pattern:

Information is power, the right information will lead to the right decision. The first step is to know about the CDS exam before preparation tips. The examination of CDS (I) 2020 is scheduled for 2 February 2020.

For Indian Military Academy (IMA), Air Force Academy (AFA) and Indian Naval Academy (INA) exam, there are three papers: General Knowledge, Elementary Mathematics and English. Each paper is of 100 marks with 120 questions and 2 hours duration.  

For Officer’s Training Academy (OTA), there are two papers: English and General Knowledge. Each paper is of 100 marks and 2 hours duration.

Study the syllabus of each paper in detail.

Candidates who are shortlisted in stage I of written examination will go for stage II of intelligence and personality test/interview which is conducted by SSB.

Importance of CDS mock test:

Mock test CDS

Along with subjective preparation, it is mandatory to test your level of preparation e.g. time taken, score, correct answers, wrong answers and solution of questions. All these statistics are available in mock tests.  On line, mock tests are the best way to do the preparation of competitive exams. It is highly recommended to practice online mock test of CDS. Mock tests are based on similar exam patterns and the most probable questions for the coming exam. Online mock tests can be attempted at any time anywhere suitable to individuals on mobile, computer or laptop.  

Practice online mock test of CDS English Exam

Practice online mock test of CDS General Knowledge Exam

Practice online mock test of CDS Elementary Mathematics Exam

Know your strength and weakness:

strength and weakness

Some candidates are good at Math whereas others are good at English or General Knowledge. If you are good at math and confident, prepare well to score high in math paper. This will increase your overall score and will lead to cross cutoff. However, you must prepare other papers to qualify with at least a minimum required score.  In case you are mediocre, give equal weightage to all subjects aiming that the overall score should be good.

Mathematics comes with fundamentals. Basic formulas and the right steps lead to the right answers. Moreover, practice on math questions will ensure your high score.  Noting down important formulas and regular review and application is a must. Speed and accuracy can be achieved with regular practice on questions with short cut techniques.  Solving previous years question papers and frequently and systematically attempting CDS maths mock tests will improve solving maths questions with speed and accuracy.

For English, knowledge of grammar, reading, and writing on a regular basis helps.  Questions are framed from all the topics viz. Fill in the blanks, Ordering of Sentences, ordering of words in Sentence, Comprehension Questions, Cloze Comprehension (Passage with Fill in the blanks), Synonyms, Antonyms, Spotting Error Questions and Idioms and Phrases. Keep attempting an English mock test for CDS.

Know the recent cutoff:

cut off

Knowing your target is necessary to reach the destination. Knowledge of recent cutoff will guide how far you are from the expected target.  Over a minimum score of 130 for IMA, 150 for AFA, 120 for INA should be targeted in the first round. For OTA a target of 85 and above should be there. This is subject to the minimum percentage of marks in each paper. Again the cutoff varies for different Training Academies depending upon the number of vacancies available. The analysis tells that every year the cutoff is increasing making the exam tougher year by year.  

Prepare for second stage exam:

Shortlisted candidates will undergo to next stage of Intelligence and Personality test. In the case of shortlisted in stage I written examination, there will not be much time to prepare for stage II. So candidates must do preparation for stage II along with written examination.

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