CDS Syllabus 2023: Books, Subject wise Topics, & Others

UPSC CDS Syllabus 2023 has been published on the UPSC CDS official website ( The CDS Exam is organised to select candidates for the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officer Training Academy (OTA).

Except for the OTA paper, all of the exams have the same syllabus and exam pattern. Candidates can find detailed information about the upcoming CDS Exam in the CDS 2 2023 Notification.

  • The IMA, INA, and AFA syllabuses are divided into three subjects, while the OTA syllabus is divided into two.
  • The questions in Mathematics will be of grade 10 level, while the questions in other subjects will be of graduation level.
  • Candidates must study previous CDS Exam question papers to know the significance of each topic.

The maximum marks assigned to the written exam and the interviews are equal for each course, i.e., for admission to the IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA, the maximum marks assigned to the written exam and the interviews are 300, 300, 300, and 200 respectively.

Syllabus of CDS for Elementary Mathematics

The math section is designed to be a scoring CDS Exam. Candidates should know their entire syllabus in order to get good grades. Questions from arithmetic, algebra, mensuration, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics are included in the mathematics paper. The following is a detailed syllabus that the questions are based on:

HCF and LCM of numbers Ratio and proportion HCF and LCM of polynomials Area
Number System Simple interest Linear Equations in one and two Variables Surface area and volume of solids
Decimal fraction Compound interest Quadratic Equations and Inequations Lines and angles
Time and distance Average Set theory Triangles
Square roots and cube roots Profit and loss Measurement of angles and trigonometric measurement Circle
Percentage Factorisation and basic operations Ratio Expressions Quadrilateral and polygon
Time and Work Logarithm Height and distance Statistical Data Analysis
Locus  — — 
Mathematics Topics for CDS

Syllabus of CDS for Algebra

Based on which questions are asked in the exam given below is the detailed algebra syllabus:

Rational expressions and conditional identities
Simultaneous linear inequations in two variables and their solutions

Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns-analytical and graphical solutions

Two simultaneous linear equations or inequations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable, and their solutions
Relation between roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered) Remainder Theorem H.C.F. and L.C.M. Set language and set notation
​Basic Operations simple factors Laws of indices Theory of Polynomials Solutions of quadratic equations

Syllabus of CDS for Trigonometry

Based on which CDS questions are included in the exam given below is the detailed trigonometry syllabus:

Use of trigonometric tables Simple cases of heights and distances Values of sin x, cos x, and tan x, for x = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90° Sine x, cosine x, Tangent x when fn< x < 90°
Simple Trigonometric Identities

Syllabus of CDS for Geometry

Lines and angles, sides and angles, rectangles, and other important topics are covered in geometry sections.

The concurrence of medians and altitudes Circles and its properties including tangents and Normals and Loci Theorems on Properties of angles at a point Parallel lines Properties of angles
Lines and angles Plane and plane figures Sides and angles of a triangle Similar triangles
Rectangle and square Congruency of triangles Sides and diagonals of a parallelogram

Syllabus of CDS for Mensuration

Another important topic covered in the CDS math section is mensuration. The following are detailed topics:

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

Syllabus of CDS for Statistics

Bar charts Graphical representation Pie charts Frequency polygons
Collection and tabulation of statistical data Histograms Measures of central tendency

Syllabus For English

The CDS English section contains questions designed to assess a candidate’s understanding of basic grammar, vocabulary, and language knowledge. This section contains questions asked from the following topics:

  • Word substitution
  • Sentence improvement
  • Ordering of words in a sentence
  • Comprehension
  • Synonyms
  • Ordering of sentences
  • Selecting Words
  • Antonyms
  • Spotting Errors

Syllabus for General knowledge

Current Affairs and Static GK are included in the CDS Syllabus’ General Knowledge section. The General Knowledge section of the exam includes questions on the following topics:

  • Culture and Traditions
  • Sociology
  • Sports
  • Environment
  • Economics
  • Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology)
  • Books & Authors
  • Politics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Awards

Recommended Books for CDS Exam: Subject-wise

Here is a list of suggested books for IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA applicants for their preparation given below in the table:

S.No For Elementary Mathematics For English For General knowledge
1. Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma Objective General English by Arihant Manorama Yearbook
2. Mathematics for CDS by RS Aggarwal Word Power Made Easy: Norman Lewis Competition in Focus (Half Yearly and Yearly)
3. Arihant Pathfinder Objective General English by RS Aggarwal Lucent’s General Knowledge
4. Quantitative Aptitude for examinations paperback 2018 by RS Aggarwal

General Instructions for CDS Exam

  1. Only write your Centre and subject in black ballpoint pen, followed by the CDS 2023 test booklet series (in brackets), subject code, and exam roll number in the appropriate space provided at the top of the answer sheet.
  2. Fill in the circles provided on the answer sheet with your CDS 2023 booklet series (A, B, C, or D, as applicable), subject code, and roll number.
  3. If the CDS booklet series is not printed on the test booklet or the answer sheet is not numbered, candidates should report to the invigilator as soon as possible to have the test booklet/answer sheet replaced.
  4. Candidates should be aware that any errors or omissions in the encoding/filling of details in the CDS 2023 OMR answer sheet, particularly in relation to the Roll Number and Test Booklet Series Code, will result in the answer sheet being rejected.
  5. If the test booklet you were given has any unprinted, torn, or missing pages or items, please have it replaced with a complete test booklet of the same series and subject as soon as possible after the CDS 2023 begins.
  6. Do not fold, damage, or write anything else on the CDS Answer Sheet. On the back of the answer sheet, do not write anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques. How many times can you take the CDS exams?

Ans. There is no such thing as a certain number of attempts to appear for CDS. Students can try until they meet the CDS application’s age requirements.

Ques. Is it necessary to enrol in a coaching programme or can self-study suffice?

Ans. It is not necessary to enrol in a coaching programme; you can prepare for the exam on your own. Go over the syllabus in detail, gather a good set of books for each subject, and create a schedule to aid in self-preparation.

Ques. Is there a change in the CDS syllabus each year?

Ans. No, the CDS syllabus and exam questions tend to remain consistent over years. The CDS syllabus does not change every year, but the General Awareness syllabus does, as it assesses candidates’ knowledge of current events and issues. As a result, the questions in this section are changed accordingly.

Ques. What is the English Language syllabus at CDS?

Ans. To master the grammatical section of the English language, you’ll need to practise regularly and put in a lot of effort. Fill in the Blanks, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Synonyms, Antonyms, spotting errors, sentence improvement and corrections are the main topics of the English Language.

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