How To Prepare For CDS Exam-CDS Eligibility, Age Limit, CDS Syllabus.

By | April 7, 2018


Preparing for CDS exam becomes easy if you have accurate information about exam, its syllabus, books and study plan. In this article you will get all the important information related CDS exam preparation in just 10 minutes. CDS which stands for combined defence services select aspirants for the three wing of military ( Indian air force, Indian army and Indian navy )-Read this books for CDS exam preparation.

Full-Form Of CDS-The full form of CDS is combined defence service which means you will have the opportunity to join IAF , Army and Indian Navy.

Indian Military Academy for Indian Army (Only Men)

Indian Air Force Academy for Indian Air Force (Only Men)

Naval Academy for Indian Navy (Only Men)

Officers Training Academy (Men and Women)

if you wish to join military after graduation and become a military officer , this exam can fulfil your dream.

UPSC conducts CDS exam twice in a year which is known as CDS-1 and CDS-2. So you have the opportunity to apply 2 times in a year.

CDS Exam Eligibility –


(a) Nationality: A candidate must be unmarried and must either be:
(i) a Citizen of India, or
(ii) a subject of Bhutan, or
(iii) a subject of Nepal, or
(iv) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before the 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
(v) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India. Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India. Certificate of eligibility will, however, not be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal. A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination provisionally subject to the necessary certificate being given to him/her by the Govt. before declaration of result by UPSC.

Educational Eligibility-

If you want to apply for CDS exam you have to fulfil certain educational eligibility. These are some minimum educational requirement for CDS exam so pay attention before applying for CDS exam.

Indian Military Academy/Officers’ Training Academy: The candidates must possess a degree from a recognised university or equivalent.

Indian Naval Academy: If you want to join indian navy through CDS you must possess a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

Air Force Academy: The candidates must possess a degree of a recognised university with Physics and Mathematics at Class 12 level or Bachelor of Engineering. If you did not study maths and physics in 12th then you should try for other services like INA, OTA ,IMA.

If you want become a pilot through CDS , you have to clear PABT (pilot aptitude battery test ). Make sure you do not cross age limit mentioned for flying branch.

Apply for CDS-2018 Click Here

Age Limit For CDS Exam-

Age limit is the another important eligibility criteria for CDS exam where most of the aspirants become ineligible. So check your DOB and match it with the latest exam notification then only fill CDS form.

IMA-The age limit for IMA is 19-24 years from the date of the starting of course so beyond this age limit you will not able to apply for IMA.

INA-The age limit for Indian naval academy is 19 to 22 years. SO if you are interested in INA , you must come in this age limit segment.

AFA-If you want to join air force academy then you should come in the age group of 20 to 24 year beyond this age group you are not allowed for this exam.

Medical Fitness For Final Selection-

All candidates who are selected will be undergoing tough military training and will be deployed to perform military duties in any terrain, weather and auste reconditions. In such conditions ill-health of any member of the team can jeopardize the military operations or endanger life of the entire team, therefore medical examinations are carried to select candidates who are “Medically fit to perform military duties in any terrain, weather and austere conditions” candidate should be :-
(i) Medically capable of undergoing training and withstand physical and mental demands of performing Military duties of Armed Forces.
(ii) Medically fit to adopt to the military environment without the necessity of geographical area limitations and capable of performing military tasks without access to specialized medical care.
(iii) Free of medical conditions or physical defects that would entail excessive loss of time from duty for treatment and hospitalization.
(iv) Free of contagious diseases that might endanger the health of other personnel.
(f) All candidates will be examined by Board of Medical Officers who have undergone basic military training and are well oriented to working conditions of military deployment and working conditions. Medical Boards are held at designated Military Hospitals based on the principles described above and latest knowledge in the medical and military sciences. The entire body is examined thoroughly to the extent feasible to screen out common congenital deformities and other easily detectable disabilities. The medical examination is not intended to be diagnostic in nature, hence only limited investigations are carried out for the purpose of screening wherever indicated. The standards for 29 medical fitness indicated herein are only an outline, and are intended only for general guidance of candidates. The Board of Medical Officers refers to the more comprehensive Medical Standards for recruitment/Commission into the Armed forces as Applicable.
(g) The following investigations are carried out mandatory during Special Medical Board, however, Medical Officer/Medical Board examining a candidate may ask for any other investigation as required or indicated :-
(i) Complete Haemogram
(ii) Urine RE/ME
(iii) X Ray chest PA view
(iv) USG abdomen & pelvis
(h) The following are usual of causes for rejection, the list is not exhaustive and Medical Board is the final authority on fitness.
(i) Sinus, fistulae and hernia, cyst, hyper/hypo pigmented patches, swelling, naevus, vascular malformations scars anywhere on the body.
(ii) Head and neck : musculoskeletal deformities which can interfere in using safety gear, cervical rib.
(iii) Chest. Musculoskeletal deformities viz pectus excavated, pigeon chest, rickety rosary, pleural effusion, parenchymal lesions of lungs, active or residual lesions of tuberculosis.
(iv) Abdomen and reproductive system : Hernia, organomegaly,vascular deformities. Renal deformities, gall stones, renal tones etc. Deformities of reproductive system.
(v) Upper limbs, lower limbs and spine : Hyper flexible or restricted movements of joints, Cubitus valgus, Cubitus varus, genu recurvatum, deformities of hands and feet, kyphosis, scoliosis, congenital
deformities, like spina bifida etc.
(vi) Skin : Vitiligo, scars, vascular malformations chronic skin diseases.

How To Apply For CDS Exam?

UPSC conduct CDS exam twice in a year so you can apply for CDS exam when its notification are issued. Join our mailing programme to get CDS notification first. You can apply online from its official website at .

When you click in this link you will see two-part of this exam which are known as part-1 and Part-2 . you have to fill part-1 then part-2 to complete . You can also make payment online via your debit card or net banking.

Once you start filling CDS form , make your that you fill correct information otherwise you will not get chance to edit once you submit it. Before submitting CDS  form you are advised to recheck it and then submit.

You will also have to upload some specific size photograph and signature. The resolution and size of these photograph and signature is a minimum. You can edit your photo and signature at your own if you have PC or Laptop at your home. Click here to resize your photo and signature.

FEE For CDS Exam-

Candidates (besides Female/SC/ST candidates who are exempted from payment of fee) are required to pay a fee of Rs. 200/- (Rupees Two Hundred Only) either by depositing the money in any Branch of SBI by cash, or by using net banking facility of SBI, State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur/State Bank of Hyderabad/State Bank of Mysore/State Bank of Patiala/State Bank of Travancore or by using Visa/Master Credit/Debit Card.

CDS Exam Syllabus-

English Syllabus-

The English syllabus for CDS exam is made to understand the basic english knowledge of the candidate so UPSC test aspirants in the following parameters of english.English Grammar and Composition Book (Regular Edition)

  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Para Jumbles
  • Error Spotting
  • Jumbled Sentences
  • Sentence Correction
  • Fill in the Blanks

All these topics are very basic in nature but you are advised to prepare well this section. These topics can be covered from any english grammar books of 10-12th standard. You can read this book to prepare english section for CDS exam.

General Knowledge Syllabus-

Most part of the CDS exam questions are coming from current affairs , current events which cover a wide range of area. Current affairs cover national, international, sports, security etc. You are advised to read newspaper daily to cover current affairs for cds exam.

Any good newspaper and a magazine is enough to prepare current affairs for CDS exam. Read this book for current affairs for CDS exam.

Mathematics Syllabus-


Number System – Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions. Read these books for CDS exam preparation.


Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M. Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns-analytical and graphical solutions. Simultaneous linear equations 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 & their solutions. Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices.


Sine x, cosine x, Tangent x when 0 < x < 90 degrees, Values of sin x, cos x and tan x, for x = 0, 30, 45, 60 and 90 degrees, Simple trigonometric identities, Use of trigonometric tables, simple cases of heights and distances.


Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Theorems on (i) Properties of angles at a point (ii) Parallel lines, (iii) Sides and angles of a triangle, (iv) congruence of triangles, (v) Similar triangles, (vi) Concurrence of medians and altitudes, (vii) Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle and square (viii) Circles and its properties including tangents and normals, (ix) Loci.


Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle. Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), Surface area and volume of cuboid, lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, surface area and volume of spheres.


Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts, etc. Measures of central tendency.

Interview (SSB)-

This is the final selection step where you have to go through SSB which takes 5 to 7 days to complete. In SSB you are tested in various physical and mental examinations. You have to perform well in the given tasks some of them are Group discussion, group planning, visual test etc. There will be final interview board which comprises of 3 to 5 board members which will test your psychological ability , analytical ability, decision-making and other crucial tests. Once you clear SSB, you will be called for medical test, if you successfully clear medical test and declared fit for  services you will be asked for joining based on the date of course.Read this books for SSB preparation.

Salary Of Military Officers-

Salary and other allowances of military officer are mentioned below which are based on 7th pay commission. So you can refer the salary of military officer after 7th pay commission based on these information. The allowances and some pay may be varied which are based on the location of posting and nature of duty. The basic idea of the salary of military officer is given below.

Pay scale of Army Officers and equivalent ranks in Air Force and Navy(i) Pay

Rank Level -(Pay in Rs.)
Lieutenant Level 10- 56,100 – 1,77,500
Captain Level 10 B -6,13,00-1,93,900
Major Level 11 -6,94,00 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant Colonel Level 12A -1,21,200 – 2,12400
Colonel Level 13 -1,30,600-2, 15,900
Brigadier Level 13A -1,39,600-2,17,600
Major General Level 14- 1,44,200-2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG Scale Level 15 -1, 82, 200-2,24,100
HAG+Scale Level 16 -2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG) Level 17 -2,25,000/-(fixed)

Above mention numbers are the basic idea of salary which are based on latest 7th pay commission. The salary of officer increases every year with the increase of DA and other allowances.

How To Prepare For CDS Exam?

Preparing for CDS exam is not so difficult if you follow right guidance, read best CDS books, follow a planned preparation method. So i have made an exclusive list of CDS books for you which will help you in making your CDS preparation easier. CDS exam need regular preparation and practice of previous exam papers. You are also advised to give some mock test before CDS exam which will help you in actual exam to score high marks.

CDS exam preparation can be done by self-study at your home so you need not to go for coaching. You can clear CDS exam without coaching. Now a days , you can access every information online FREE so why to pay lakhs of money to coaching institutes. You can also follow this blog for more information on CDS exam preparation which we update on regular basis. Here is the list of some best books for CDS exam preparation for You-

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