Cracking CDS 2024: Exam Pattern and Tips

This article provides a comprehensive overview of cracking CDS 2024, covering all the essential details you need to know.

CDS, or Combined Defense Services, is an examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to recruit officers into the Indian Armed Forces.

The application process for CDS 2024 will be conducted online. Interested candidates can complete the application form by visiting the official UPSC website.

Stay tuned for more in-depth information and guidance regarding CDS 2024.

Cracking CDS

CDS 2024 Exam Pattern

The CDS 2024 exam pattern consists of the following key features:

  1. Exam Mode: The format of the written exam is offline mode.
  2. Negative Marking: Candidates should be cautious as there is a penalty for incorrect answers. For each incorrect response, 0.33 marks will be deducted.
  3. Section-wise Questions: The examination comprises a total of 360 questions, with each section containing 120 questions. These sections include English, Mathematics, and General Knowledge.
  4. Gender-Specific Note: It’s important to note that the Mathematics section is exclusively for male candidates.
  5. Section Duration: The time span for each section is of 2 hours for candidates to complete.

These key elements define the structure and guidelines of the CDS 2024 examination.

CDS 2024 Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for CDS 2024, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Indian Nationals: Indian citizens are eligible to apply for the exam.
  • Educational Qualification: Candidates should possess a degree from any recognized institution. Those in the final year of graduation can also apply.
  • Marital Status: Only unmarried male and female candidates are eligible to apply for CDS 2024.
  • Age Limit: Applicants should be below 25 years of age.
  • Physical Fitness: Candidates must meet the prescribed physical fitness criteria as per the Combined Defence Services Examination guidelines.

These eligibility criteria define who can apply for CDS 2024.

CDS 2024 Eligibility Criteria by Academy

Below is a summary of the eligibility criteria for CDS 2024 based on the different academies:

Academy NameQualification CriteriaAge Limit
Indian Military Academy (IMA)Graduation or Equivalent Degree20-25 years
Indian Naval Academy (INA)Degree in Engineering20-24 years
Indian Airforce Academy (IAF)Degree in B.E or B.Tech/B.Sc with 10+2 Certificate20-25 years
Officer’s Training Academy (Women) (OTA)Graduation in any discipline from a recognized UniversityOnly Unmarried Candidates (20-25 years)
Officer’s Training Academy (Men) (OTA)Graduation in any discipline from a recognized universityUnmarried Candidates (20-25 years)

These eligibility criteria are specific to each academy, ensuring that candidates meet the requirements for their chosen course of study.

CDS 2024 Syllabus

The CDS 2024 syllabus covers various sections. Here, the order of sections is randomized:

General Knowledge:

  • Indian Navy & Military
  • Indian Constitution
  • Indian History
  • Indian Economy
  • Religions
  • Indian Geography
  • Indian Politics
  • Latest Current Affairs
  • Universities
  • Banking Sector
  • Taxation
  • Sports – Awards, etc.
  • Books & Authors


  • Geometry
  • Algebra
  • Arithmetic
  • Trigonometry
  • Statistics
  • Mensuration


  • Fill in the Blanks Questions
  • Vocabulary Preparation
  • Ordering of Sentences
  • Sentence Arrangement
  • Synonyms & Antonyms
  • Comprehension Questions
  • Spotting Errors Questions
  • Selecting Words

This syllabus outlines the topics that candidates should focus on to prepare for the CDS 2024 examination.

CDS 2024 Admit Card, Result, and Selection Process

Here’s essential information about the CDS 2024 admit card, result, and the selection process:

  • Admit Card Availability: The CDS 2024 admit card for CDS(I) is expected to be available in January, while for CDS(II), it is anticipated in October. Candidates can access the admit card on the official website: It’s recommended to take two printouts for reference.
  • Written Exam Result: The result for the CDS I written exam is scheduled to be declared in March 2024. Candidates can check their results online.
  • Interview by SSB: Candidates who qualify in the written exam are invited for an interview by the Service Selection Board (SSB). This interview is a crucial part of the selection process.
  • Appointment to Training Academies: Shortlisted candidates are appointed to their respective training academies based on their performance and merit.

CDS 2024 Books

To prepare effectively for the CDS 2024 examination, it’s crucial to have the right study materials. Here are some recommended books categorized by subject:

General Knowledge:

  1. Geography & History: Utilize NCERT textbooks from Standard 6th to 12th. These provide a solid foundation in geography and history.
  2. Polity: “Indian Polity” by M. Laxmikant is a comprehensive guide covering the Indian political system and governance.
  3. Economy: For economics, refer to NCERT textbooks, specifically from the 11th and 12th standards.
  4. Science: For science, focus on NCERT textbooks from 7th to 10th standards, and consider studying a few selected topics from the 11th and 12th standards for a more in-depth understanding.


  1. R Gupta CDS Book: This book is specifically tailored for the CDS examination and covers English comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar comprehensively.
  2. CDS Pathfinder Book: Another excellent resource designed for CDS aspirants, providing a thorough coverage of English comprehension and grammar.
  3. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis: Enhance your vocabulary with this renowned book, which is beneficial for improving your command of the English language.


  1. CDS Pathfinder Book: This book not only covers English but also includes a mathematics section with ample practice questions.
  2. R.S Aggarwal: A popular choice for mathematics preparation, R.S. Aggarwal’s book provides a wide range of mathematical topics and practice exercises.

These recommended books provide a strong foundation and comprehensive preparation for the CDS 2024 examination. Utilize them effectively as part of your study plan to increase your chances of success.

How to Prepare for CDS 2024

Preparing for the CDS 2024 examination requires a structured approach and commitment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you prepare effectively:

1. Stick to the Syllabus:

  • Study the syllabus provided earlier and create an efficient study timetable that allocates sufficient time to each topic and subject.
  • Incorporate regular breaks of 15 to 20 minutes after every 2 hours of study to maintain focus and productivity.

2. Diet and Exercise:

  • Physical health is crucial as it’s evaluated in the personal interview stage. Maintain a balanced diet that includes items like oats and milk.
  • Dedicate at least an hour daily to exercise to stay fit and active.
  • Consult a dietician or explore healthy food options, and ensure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Include salads in your diet.

3. Communication and Confidence:

  • Develop strong communication skills, as they are essential for success.
  • Stay informed about current events by reading newspapers, magazines, and watching news channels.
  • Enhance your English language skills by watching English movies with subtitles and engaging in conversations with friends and family in English.
  • Build confidence by practicing public speaking in front of a mirror, paying attention to natural body language, and reading newspapers aloud.

4. Avoid Distractions:

  • Minimize distractions such as social media and utilize the internet productively by browsing previous year question papers.
  • Solve these papers within the time limits set by UPSC to enhance your time management skills.
  • Practice solving as many previous year question papers and sample test papers as possible to understand the exam pattern.
  • Take mock tests to assess your skills and knowledge.
  • Remember that success requires consistent hard work over the course of a year. Invest your efforts into building both knowledge and physical health while maintaining confidence.
Relevant Links
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Preparing for CDS 2024 is a journey that demands dedication and a strategic approach. By adhering to these guidelines and maintaining a structured study plan, you can increase your chances of success. Best of luck with your preparations.

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