• Written By Saif_Ansari
  • Last Modified 29-11-2023

CDS Exam Pattern 2024: Check Section-wise Marks & Duration


CDS Exam Pattern 2024: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) provides the exam pattern for the Combined Defence Service (CDS) 2024 exam in its official notification. Candidates planning to appear for the upcoming exam must go through the exam pattern before starting their preparation. It will assist them in understanding the structure of the written test and SSB interviews. They can check the paper pattern on the official website, i.e., upsc.gov.in or in this article.

Practice UPSC CDS Chapter-wise Questions
Practice General Knowledge Chapters From UPSC CDS
Practice English Chapters From UPSC CDS
Practice Elementary Mathematics Chapters From UPSC CDS

*Steps to practice exam questions are mentioned below in this article.

Latest Updates:
— UPSC is set to conduct CDS 1 on April 21, 2024. We suggest all appearing aspirants take CDS I exam mock tests now to ensure their selection for the applied post. See subject-wise mock tests below.

The exam pattern will help candidates know the subjects, number of questions, duration, and marking scheme. Thus, they can create an effective study plan and preparation strategy to clear the exam. The IMA, INA, and AFA CDS paper formats are quite similar, while the OTA test pattern is slightly different. Read on to have complete details on the UPSC CDS paper pattern.

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 2024

According to the selection process, candidates have to go through the following two phases:

  • Phase 1 – Written Examination
  • Phase 2 – SSB Interviews

Let us look into the detailed paper pattern for each phase.

CDS Paper Pattern for Written Test

The written examination for admission to the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Indian Military Academy (IMA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) includes three subjects: Elementary Mathematics, English, and General Knowledge. However, the written exam for admission to the Officer’s Training Academy has two subjects: English and General Knowledge. Aspirants can check the UPSC CDS exam pattern for all academies here.

CDS Paper Pattern for IMA, INA, and AFA:

SubjectsSubject CodesMaximum MarksTime Duration
English11100 Marks2 Hours
General Knowledge (GK)12100 Marks2 Hours
Elementary Mathematics13100 Marks2 Hours
Total300 Marks6 Hours

CDS Paper Pattern for OTA:

SubjectsSubject CodesMaximum MarksTime Duration
English11100 Marks2 Hours
General Knowledge (GK)12100 Marks2 Hours
Total200 Marks4 Hours

Important Note:

  • Mode of Examination: The UPSC CDS will be conducted offline, meaning the candidates must fill the provided OMR sheet using a black ball pen.
  • Type of Questions: The questions are of objective type, meaning each question will come with choices, and candidates must select the right one.
  • Marking Scheme: Each question in the CDS written exam carries 1 mark. There will be a negative marking of 1/3 for every wrong answer.

How To Practice Questions on UPSC CDS Exam?

Know the steps to practice questions on the UPSC CDS Exam 2024 below:

  • 1st Step: Visit Embibe’s official website, i.e., embibe.com.
  • 2nd Step: Use the mobile number/email to log in.
  • 3rd Step: Click on the menu bar “Getting a Government Job”.
  • 4th Step: Select the Goal “Defence” from the dropdown and click “Next”.
  • 5th Step: Search and select “UPSC CDS” on the search bar and click “Next”.
  • 6th Step: Select the preferred language and click on “Done”.
  • 7th Step: Click “Practice” from the header Section.
  • 8th Step: Scroll down to the “Subjects” section.
  • 9th Step: Click on any UPSC CDS Exam subjects.
  • 10th Step: Scroll down to click on the chapters from the selected subject to begin the practice.

UPSC CDS SSB Interview

Candidates who cleared the CDS written exam will be eligible for the SSB interview. They will be called to one of the Services Selection Centres for the interview round. According to the exam pattern, the interview will be in two stages.

Only those applicants who pass stage 1 of the interview will be allowed to proceed to stage 2. Check out the information below:

  • SSB Interview Stage 1: Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) will be conducted during stage 1 of the SSB Interview. This test evaluates candidates based on their intelligence.
  • SSB Interview Stage 2: This stage comprises Interviews, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and Conferences.

The final selection of candidates will be based on their performance in Stage 2 of the SSB Interview.

UPSC CDS Marking Scheme 2024

Applicants must understand the marking scheme outlined in the latest CDS exam pattern to avoid losing marks. Check out the table below to learn more about the marking scheme:

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 the 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 Important Topics 2024

The exam date for CDS 1 & CDS 2 has been released. Candidates must go through the important topics for each subject from the below table:

CDS English Important Topics

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

CDS 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 Maths Important Topics

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

Also, check:

CDS Application FormCDS Eligibility
CDS Recruitment NotificationCDS Syllabus
CDS Exam DatesCDS Books
CDS PreparationCDS Cut-off
CDS Question PapersCDS Exam Centres
CDS Admit CardCDS Answer Key

FAQs on CDS Paper Pattern 2024

Here are the most important frequently asked questions related to the CDS 2024 exam pattern:

Q: Is UPSC CDS 1 exam conducted online?

A: No. UPSC conducts the Combined Defence Services (CDS0 exam offline.

Q: Are the CDS subjects the same for all academies?

A: No. The written exam for Indian Naval Academy, Indian Military Academy, and Air Force Academy has three subjects. In comparison, the exam for Officer’s Training Academy has only two subjects.

Q: For how many marks is the UPSC CDS exam conducted?

A: Each subject of the UPSC CDS exam consists of 100 marks.

Q: What is the language of the CDS 2024 exam paper?

A: The UPSC CDS questions paper is available in English and Hindi. Candidates may write their responses in the language of their choice.

Q: Is there a negative marking in the CDS exam?

A: Yes. There is a negative marking of 0.33 marks for every incorrect response.

We hope that this detailed article on CDS Exam Pattern 2024 helps you. If you have any queries visit our website. We will get back to you at the earliest.

Stay tuned to Embibe for the latest UPSC CDS exam 2024 updates!

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