What are the important topics to be covered under the CDS Syllabus?

What are the important topics to be covered under the CDS Syllabus?

The UPSC CDS Syllabus is released on the UPSC official website. The Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officer Training Academy (OTA) candidates are selected through the CDS exam which is conducted twice in a year. In this article, we will tell you about the important topics of the CDS syllabus. Continue reading the article to know more.

Except for the OTA paper, all of the exams have the same syllabus and exam style. Candidates can find complete information regarding theCDS Exam in notification as well as on BYJU’S Exam Prep. 

  • The IMA, INA, and AFA syllabuses are separated into three subjects, whereas the OTA syllabus is divided into two.
  • In Mathematics, the standard of the questions will be grade 10, and in other subjects, it will be graduation level.
  • Candidates must study past CDS Exam question papers to understand the importance of each topic.

The maximum marks allowed to the written test and the interviews are equivalent for each course, i.e. for admission to the IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA, the maximum marks allotted to the written exam and the interviews are 300, 300, 300, and 200 correspondingly. Check out the detailed CDS syllabus below that covers the important topics that are asked in the exam. 

CDS Exam Syllabus  – English 

The CDS English component evaluates the applicants’ knowledge of English comprehension and word use. The following themes are covered in this section’s questions:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Synonyms and Antonyms
  3. Spot the Error
  4. One Word Substitution
  5. Cloze Test
  6. Fill in the Blanks
  7. Sentence Correction
  8. Sentence improvement
  9. Ordering of words in a sentence
  10. Idioms and Phrases

CDS Exam Syllabus  – General Knowledge 

The CDS General Knowledge curriculum is wide, and questions from a variety of disciplines will be asked. This section includes the following sub-topics:

  1. Geography
  2. History of India 
  3. Polity
  4. Economy 
  5. Current Affairs 
  6. Sociology
  7. Award
  8. Sports
  9. Physics
  10. Chemistry 
  11. Biology
  12. Defence
  13. Environment 
  14. Questions about famous personalities

CDS Exam Syllabus  – Elementary Mathematics 

Applicants to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), or the Air Force Academy (AFA) must pass the CDS mathematics test. Examine the important subjects listed below to have a better grasp of the CDS mathematics curriculum.



Simple Factors

Basic Operations


Set Language and Set Notation

Solutions of Quadratic Equations

Simultaneous Linear Equations in two unknown-analytical and Graphical Solutions


Trigonometry  Use of Trigonometric Tables

Simple Trigonometric Identities

Simple Cases of Heights and Distances

Geometry  Triangles

Parallel Lines

Lines and Angles


Properties of Angles

Similar Triangles

Number System Decimal

Rational and Real Numbers

Ratio and Proportion

Square Roots

Time and Distance



Mensuration  Rectangles

Area and Volume of Spheres

Volume of Right Circular Cones, Cylinders and Surface

Surface area and Volume of Cuboids


Statistics  Bar Charts

Graphical Representation Frequency Polygons


Exam Pattern and Syllabus of CDS

According to the CDS exam pattern , applicants will be allowed two hours for each paper and will be divided into three sections: Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA). Candidates will learn about the marks distribution, types of questions given, and more by studying the CDS exam pattern .

Candidates who pass the written exam will be invited to an interview with the Service Selection Board (SSB). Check out the CDS II written and SSB patterns below.

IMA, INA, and AFA pattern of CDS

Section Number of Questions Marks Allotted Duration
English 120 100 Two Hours
General Knowledge 120 100 Two Hours
Elementary Mathematics 100 100 Two Hours


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