• Written By Monica_Kumari
  • Last Modified 03-02-2023

CDS Syllabus 2023: Check Subject-wise Syllabus & Exam Pattern


CDS Syllabus 2023: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) released the CDS 2023 syllabus on the official notification. The CDS exam will be conducted in offline mode on April 16, 2023. Candidates must go through the UPSC CDS syllabus to devise a study plan in a progressive manner. The CDS OTA exam includes two papers while, the CDS IMA/ INA/ AFA comprises of three papers.

SubjectsPractice CDS Unlimited Questions
General KnowledgeUPSC CDS General Knowledge Practice Questions
EnglishUPSC CDS English Practice Questions
Elementary MathematicsUPSC CDS Elementary Mathematics Practice Questions

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

The maximum marks allotted to the CDS written exam and interviews are 300, 300, 300 and 200 each for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers Training Academy respectively. Scroll down to know more about the CDS detailed syllabus and exam pattern.

UPSC CDS Subject-wise Syllabus 2023

Candidates can check the UPSC CDS Subjects for the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) below:

  • English
  • General Knowledge (GK)
  • Elementary Mathematics

The UPSC CDS Subjects for the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) are as follows:

  • English
  • General Knowledge (GK)

CDS English Syllabus

Just like the syllabus for other subjects, the syllabus for English is also imperative. The CDS Syllabus for English focuses on vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, sentence structure, and a lot more. Take a look below to get an in-depth understanding of the syllabus:

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

CDS General Knowledge Syllabus

A section in the CDS syllabus also sheds light on current affairs, general knowledge, and other day-to-day affairs. Candidates must know the General Knowledge syllabus below to get insights on what type of questions are likely to be asked:

Practice Important General Knowledge Chapters From UPSC CDS

History of India



Physics, Chemistry, Biology

Books & Authors
Culture and Traditions, etc.

To score good marks in the General Knowledge segment, all candidates should keep an eye on the current affairs happening worldwide (not just in India). The questions might be asked from any country, irrespective of the location.

CDS Elementary Mathematics Syllabus

The 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

CDS Elementary Mathematics – Arithmetic

The Arithmetic section tests the knowledge of Number systems, Elementary Number Theory, and other basic concepts as below:

  • Basic Operations (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division)
  • Number Series (Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real Numbers)
  • Square Roots, Decimal Fractions
  • Unitary Method
  • Time and Distance
  • Time and Work
  • Percentage
  • Applications to Simple and Compound Interest
  • Profit and Loss
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Variation
  • Division Algorithm
  • Prime and Composite Numbers
  • Tests of Divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 11
  • Multiples and Factors
  • Factorisation
  • Theorems
  • Highest Common Factor (HCF)
  • Lowest Common Multiple (LCM)
  • Euclidean Algorithm
  • Logarithms to Base 10
  • Laws of Logarithms
  • Use of Logarithmic Tables

CDS Elementary Mathematics – Algebra

The CDS Maths syllabus for Algebra is given below:

  • Simple Factors
  • Remainder Theorem
  • Highest Common Factor
  • Lowest Common Multiple
  • Theory of Polynomials
  • Solutions of Quadratic Equations
  • The relation between Quadratic Equation Roots and Coefficients
  • Simultaneous Linear Equations- Analytical and Graphical Solutions
  • Simultaneous Linear Inequations in Two Variables and their Solutions
  • Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable and their solutions
  • Set Language and Set Notation
  • Rational Expressions
  • Conditional Identities
  • Laws of Indices

CDS Elementary Mathematics – Geometry

The CDS Maths syllabus for Geometry is given below:

  • Lines and Angles, Plane and Plane Figures, Theorems on Properties of Angles at a Point
  • Parallel Lines
  • Sides and Angles of a Triangle
  • Congruency of Triangles
  • Similar Triangles
  • The concurrence of Medians and Altitudes
  • Properties of Angles, Sides, and Diagonals of a Parallelogram, Rectangle, and Square
  • Circles and its Properties Including Tangents and Normals
  • Loci

CDS Elementary Mathematics – Statistics

The CDS Maths syllabus for Statistics is given below:

  • Collection and Tabulation of Statistical Data
  • Graphical Representation
  • Frequency Polygons
  • Histograms
  • Bar Charts
  • Pie Charts
  • Measures of Central Tendency

CDS Elementary Mathematics – Trigonometry

The CDS Maths syllabus for Trigonometry is given below:

  • Sin x, Cosine x, Tangent x when 0 degree < x< 90 degree values of Sin x
  • Cos x and Tan x for x= degree 0, 30, 45, 60 and 90
  • Simple Trigonometric Identities
  • Use of Trigonometric Tables
  • Simple Cases of Heights and Distance

CDS Elementary Mathematics Syllabus – Mensuration

The CDS Maths syllabus for Mensuration is given below:

  • Area of Square
  • Rectangle
  • Parallelograms
  • Triangle
  • Circle
  • Area of Figures, which can be Split up into Figures (field book)
  • Surface Area and Volume of Cuboids
  • Lateral Surface
  • Volume of Right Circular Cones and Cylinders
  • Surface Area and Volume of Spheres

How To Practice Questions on the UPSC CDS Exam?

Know the steps to practice questions on the UPSC CDS exam 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 on “Next”.
  • 5th Step: Search and Select “UPSC CDS” on the search bar and click on “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 subjects.
  • 10th Step: Scroll down to click on the chapters from the selected subject to begin the practice.

CDS OTA Syllabus 2023

The CDS OTA consists of two sections: English and General Ability Test (GAT). Check the syllabus for both subjects below.

CDS OTA English Syllabus

The CDS OTA syllabus for English is given below:

  • Sentence arrangement
  • Spotting Error
  • Selecting words
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Comprehension
  • Ordering of Sentence
  • Ordering of words
  • Idioms and Phrases
  • Fill up the blanks

CDS OTA GAT Syllabus

The CDS OTA syllabus for GAT is given below:

  • Current Affairs
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Politics
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Defence Related Awards
  • Sports and Culture
  • Environmental Science

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern

While studying the CDS exam pattern, all participants must understand that General Knowledge, Elementary Math, and English are required when preparing for admission into AFA, INA, and IMA. However, for OTA, there is a need for Math; only the first two subjects have been considered in the exam pattern.

To know more about which subjects need to be studied, please refer to the CDS exam pattern. Let us have a look at the exam pattern for a better understanding:

CDS Exam Pattern for IMA/ INA/ AFA

Here’s the CDS 2023 exam pattern for admission to IMA/INA/AFA:

TopicsMaximum MarksTime Duration
Elementary Math1002 Hours
English1002 Hours
General knowledge (GK)1002 Hours
Total3006 Hours

CDS OTA Exam Pattern

For admission to the Officers’ Training Academy, the CDS 2023 exam pattern is as under:

TopicsMaximum marksTime Duration
English1002 Hours
General knowledge (GK)1002 Hours
Total2004 Hours

CDS Intelligence and Personality Test

Candidates who qualify for the written test will be called for the SSB Interview. The SSB Interview consists of Stage 1 and Stage 2. Aspirants who clear Stage 1 will go ahead with Stage 2.

Stage 1: This stage has tests based on Picture Perception (PP), Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR), and Description Test (DT). Aspirants are shortlisted based on their combined OIR Test, PP and DT performance.

Stage 2: This stage comprises an Interview, Psychology Tests, Group Testing Officer Tasks, and the Conference. This stage takes over 4 days to get completed.

Also, check:

CDS Question PapersCDS Recruitment Notification
CDS Application FormCDS Eligibility
CDS Cut-offCDS Admit Card
CDS Exam DatesCDS Books
CDS PreparationCDS Exam Centres

FAQs on UPSC CDS Syllabus 2023

Below are the frequently asked questions regarding UPSC CDS Syllabus 2023:

Q: Who prescribes UPSC CDS Syllabus?
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) prescribes the syllabus for CDS.

Q: What is the level of the CDS Mathematics Syllabus?
The questions asked in the Mathematics section will be of Class 10 (Matriculation) level. Whereas, for other subjects, the questions will be of Graduation level.

Q: How many sections are in the CDS exam?
CDS for IMA/ INA/ AFA has three sections, i.e., Elementary Maths, English, and General knowledge (GK). However, CDS for OTA has only two sections, i.e., English and General knowledge (GK).

Q: What is the CDS syllabus for English?
The English syllabus contains topics like Spotting Errors, Sentence Arrangement, Synonyms & Antonyms, Ordering of Sentences, Reading Comprehension, Fill in the blanks, etc.

Q: What is the syllabus for CDS General Knowledge?
The syllabus for CDS General Knowledge consists of the History of India, Geography, Politics, Economics, Sociology, Sports, Awards, Books & Authors, Culture & Traditions, etc.

We hope that this detailed article on the UPSC CDS Syllabus 2023 is helpful. Feel free to check our website or download our app in case of any queries.

Stay tuned to embibe.com for the latest news and updates on UPSC CDS 2023.

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