CDS Exam Pattern 2022: Check CDS 1 & 2 Marking Scheme, Total Marks
  • Written By Monica_Kumari
  • Last Modified 06-09-2022
  • Written By Monica_Kumari
  • Last Modified 06-09-2022

CDS Exam Pattern 2022: Check Exam Pattern, Section-Wise Marks & Duration

CDS Exam Pattern 2022: The Union Public Service Commission conducts the Combined Defence Service (CDS) examination twice every year. The UPSC CDS-II exam is scheduled to be conducted on September 4, 2022, as per the official notification. Candidates who have applied successfully can appear for the written exam. 

Practice Free CDS 2022 QuestionsLink
UPSC CDS General Awareness MCQsPractice Now (Free)
UPSC CDS Mathematics MCQsPractice Now (Free)
UPSC CDS English MCQsPractice Now (Free)

**Steps to attempt a free mock test are mentioned below in this article.

It is important that candidates who are going to appear for the exam have a clear understanding of the CDS exam pattern and syllabus. It will help them to have a good study plan and preparation strategy and clear the exam. Check the UPSC CDS exam pattern for different stages of the selection process and the syllabus for the written exam in this article.

– Check & download CDS 2 Result 2021 here.
– Direct link to fill CDS 02/2022 Registration Form here.

CDS Exam Pattern 2022 Overview

Candidates can check out the overview of the CDS 2022 exam pattern below:

Mode of ExamOffline Only
Number of Questions Asked IMA, INA & AFA300 Multiple-Choice Questions
Number of Questions in OTA200 Multiple Choice Questions
Maximum Marks300 (Indian Military, Navy & Air Force) and 200 (OTA)
Duration of Exam2 Hours (120 minutes) for Each Paper
MediumHindi or English
Negative MarkingOne-third of marks deducted for each wrong answer

**Steps to Take Free UPSC CDS Mock Test

Access the unlimited free CDS mock test from Embibe and improve the preparation level. Candidates can follow the below-mentioned steps to take the CDS free mock test series:

  • 1st Step: Visit Embibe’s official website, i.e., Embibe.
  • 2nd Step: Use the mobile number/email to log in.
  • 3rd Step: Select Goal as ‘Defence’ under Government Job section.
  • 4th Step: Click Next and select ‘UPSC CDS’.
  • 5th Step: Click Next and select the preferred language.
  • 6th Step: Once done, click on the mock test links to take the TEST.

Stages of CDS Exam 2022

The CDS 2022 exam is divided into two phases:

  • Phase I – Written Examination
  • Phase II – SSB Interview

Let us look into the detailed CDS paper pattern 2022 for each of these phases.

CDS Exam Pattern for Written Test

CDS paper pattern for the Written Examination for admission to the Indian Naval Academy, Indian Military Academy, and Air Force Academy will include three subjects: Elementary Mathematics, English, and General Knowledge. However, admission to the Officer’s Training Academy will only have two subjects: English and General Knowledge. Elementary Mathematics is not included in the CDS exam pattern of OTA.

CDS 2022 Pattern for IMA, INA, AFA

SubjectsNumber of Questions / Maximum MarksTime Duration
English120 / 1002 hours
Elementary Mathematics100 / 1002 hours
General Knowledge (GK)120 / 1002 hours
Total340 / 3006 hours

CDS 2022 Pattern for OTA

SubjectsNumber of Questions / Maximum MarksTime Duration
English120 / 1002 hours
General Knowledge (GK)120 / 1002 hours
Total240 / 2004 hours

Key Points Regarding UPSC CDS Exam Pattern

  • Mode of Examination: UPSC CDS 2022 will be conducted in offline mode, which means the candidates must fill the provided OMR sheet using a black ball pen.
  • Type of Questions: The questions are of objective type, which means each question will come with choices, and candidates will have to select the right one.
  • Total Marks: Each section contains 100 marks, and since IMA, INA, and AFA have three subjects, the total marks for them are 300. OTA contains only 2 sections, so the maximum marks for the Officer’s Training Academy are 200.
  • Time Duration: The total time duration for each section is 2 hours.
  • Negative Marking: Each question in the CDS Written Exam carries 1 mark. There will be a negative marking of 1/3 for every wrong answer.

CDS Exam Pattern for SSB Interview

Candidates who cleared the CDS written exam are needed to appear in the SSB interview. Candidates will be called to one of the Services Selection Centres for the CDS interview round. The interview would be held in two stages, according to the UPSC CDS exam pattern 2022.

Only those candidates who pass stage I of the CDS interview will be allowed to proceed to stage II. Check out the information below regarding both stages of the CDS interview.

CDS SSB Interview Stage 1

Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) will be conducted on the day of the SSB Interview. It will involve a Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT), wherein candidates will be shown a picture for 30 seconds. Post 30 seconds, candidates will be given 4 minutes to write about the picture.

Then several groups of 15 members will be formed to discuss and arrive at a conclusion regarding the picture. The officer will rate the intelligence skills based on the discussion and conclusion. Only those who clear this round will be eligible to appear for Stage 2.

CDS SSB Interview Stage 2

This stage will be organized for four days, followed by stage-1 selection. Stage II comprises Interviews, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests, and the Conference. A variety of tests and activities are conducted in this round through which the personality of the candidates is judged.

Three different officials, namely Interviewing Officer (IO), a Group Testing Officer (GTO), and a Psychologist will be rating the candidate based on their performance in the tests held. Additionally, marks for Conference are allotted based on the candidate’s initial performance in the three techniques and the decision of the Board.

The Psychological Test will include the following:

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

The various Group Activities include:

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

The final selection of candidates will be made based on their performance in Stage 2 of the SSB Interview. These various tests of IO, GTO, and Psychology are specifically designed to analyze the presence or absence of Officer Qualities and trainability in the candidate. Based on these tests, the candidates will be recommended by the officers of SSB.

UPSC CDS Marking Scheme

To learn more about the CDS marking scheme, look at the table mentioned below:

CDS Marking Scheme for IMA, INA, AFA

CDS PaperEnglishGKMathematics
Maximum Marks100100100
Marks for Correct answer+1 mark for each correct option+1 mark for each correct option+1 mark for each correct option
Negative marking-0.33 marks for each wrong answer-0.33 marks for each wrong answer-0.33 marks for each wrong answer

CDS Marking Scheme for OTA

Check the table for marking scheme:

CDS PaperEnglishGK
Maximum Marks100100
Marks for Correct answer+1 mark for each correct option+1 mark for each correct option
Negative marking-0.33 marks for each wrong answer-0.33 marks for each wrong answer

CDS Syllabus 2022

Go through the important topics for each subject of the CDS 2 exam:

CDS 2 English Important Topics

Practice English Chapters From UPSC CDS
Ordering of Sentences
Fill in the Blanks

CDS 2 General Knowledge Important Topics

Practice Important General Knowledge Chapters From UPSC CDS

History of India



Physics, Chemistry, Biology

Books & Authors
Culture and Traditions, etc.

CDS 2 Maths Important Topics

The CDS Maths syllabus for the Elementary Mathematics exam derives topics from the high school syllabus: Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry, Statistics, and Mensuration. The Maths syllabus is further divided into sub-topics that the registered applicants can check to have better clarity:

Practice Important Mathematics Chapters From UPSC CDS
Number Systems
Simplification and Approximation
Ratio and Proportion
Progression and Series
Algebraic Expressions
Exponentials and Logarithms
Sets, Relations and Functions
Graphical Representation of Data
Organisation of Data
Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion
Data Sufficiency
Geometrical Shapes
Coordinate Geometry

Candidates can also check –

CDS ExamCDS Recruitment Notification
CDS Application FormCDS Eligibility
CDS Cut-offCDS Syllabus
CDS Exam DatesCDS Books
CDS PreparationCDS Selection Process
CDS Question PapersCDS Exam Centres
CDS Admit CardCDS Answer Key

FAQs on CDS Paper Pattern

Here, we have enlisted the most important frequently asked questions related to the CDS Exam Pattern 2022. Candidates must go through these questions and answers to clear out their doubts regarding the same subject.

Q.1: Are the CDS subjects and syllabus the same for IMA and OTA exams?
Ans: No, IMA has 3 subjects, whereas the OTA exam has only 2 subjects.

Q.2: How many times is the CDS exam conducted in a year?
Ans: UPSC conducts the CDS exam two times a year.

Q.3: Is UPSC CDS 2 exam conducted online?
Ans: No, the UPSC CDS 2 exam is conducted offline on the OMR sheet.

Q.4: What is the selection process for UPSC CDS?
Ans: There are two phases in the UPSC CDS exam selection process. The first phase is a Written Exam, and the second phase is an SSB Interview.

Q.5: What is the difficulty level of the UPSC CDS Exam?
Ans: The difficulty level of the UPSC CDS exam varies each year. You should solve CDS Exam Previous Year’s Questions to get an idea of the level of difficulty and types of questions asked.

We hope that this detailed article on CDS Exam Pattern 2022 helps you. If you have any queries visit our website. We will get back to you at the earliest.

Stay tuned to to get the latest updates on the CDS Exam Pattern 2022!

Unlimited Practice with Hints & Solutions for Every UPSC CDS Exam Question