CDS Syllabus


CDS Syllabus 2024 – Subject Wise Syllabus PDF and CDS OTA Syllabus!


CDS Syllabus 2024 – The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will prescribe the CDS syllabus for 2024 in the official notification that will be released around Mid- December 2023. Candidates must go through the UPSC 2024 CDS syllabus to prepare a study plan to ace the exam. Civil Defense Service Examination is one of the highly competitive examinations in India and hence candidates show high dedication towards the preparation and their religious will to get selected in every round.


UPSC CDS subjects for the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) are as mentioned below:


  • English
  • General Knowledge (GK)
  • Elementary Mathematics


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


  • English
  • General Knowledge (GK)


Scroll down to learn more about the CDS exam 2024 syllabus.


CDS Syllabus PDF


The CDS Syllabus for 2024 has not been released. Once released, candidates can download the PDF here

Having a comprehensive understanding of the CDS Exam syllabus is crucial for candidates as it enables them to develop a clear vision and effective action plan for their exam preparation. It is important to note that only those who pass the written test are eligible for the SSB Interview stage.

This article aims to assist applicants in gaining a thorough understanding of the curriculum, bringing them closer to achieving their goals. UPSC CDS 2024 Syllabus link will be updated here soon. 


UPSC CDS 2024 Notification will be out on December 20, 2023 which will include information about CDS Syllabus and Exam Pattern.


CDS OTA Syllabus

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


  • English – 100 Marks
  • General Knowledge (GK) – 100 Marks



Syllabus of Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) is given below:


  • English – 100 Marks
  • General Knowledge (GK) – 100 Marks
  • Elementary Mathematics – 100 Marks


CDS Syllabus for General Knowledge

General knowledge encompasses staying updated with current affairs and having a broad understanding of everyday observations and experiences, including a scientific aspect, which is expected from an educated individual who hasn’t specialised in any scientific field. Furthermore, the examination will include questions related to geography and Indian history, which any competent candidate should be able to answer without requiring additional study.


Current Affairs
Cover news of important international and national summits/ conferences, awards, sports-related news, books, and authors, etc.
Political Science
Important facts of the Indian constitution, fundamental rights, and directive principles, powers of the president and prime minister, constitutional bodies, Indian judiciary, etc.
Questions may be asked from Ancient, Medieval and Modern India.
Prepare important facts of Indian as well as world geography.
Prepare topics like Budget, Five-year plan, foreign trade, etc.
Physics: Focus on topics like optics, motion, force, units, heat, electricity, temperature, etc.

Chemistry: Prepare important topics of organic, inorganic, physical and general chemistry.

Biology: Focus on the topics of important diseases, botany, zoology as well as human biology.

Defence Related News
Questions in this section may be asked about important defence-related topics like Army Day, Navy Day, recent developments, etc.


CDS English Syllabus

In order to enhance their performance in this section, candidates are advised to cultivate a habit of daily newspaper reading. They should identify challenging words and seek their meanings, thereby improving both their vocabulary and comprehension of passages. This section aims to evaluate candidates’ proficiency in English and their capacity to employ language effectively and professionally. Important topics for CDS English are listed below.


  • Reading Comprehension Questions
  • Spotting the Error Questions
  • Fill in the Blanks Questions
  • Synonyms & Antonyms Questions
  • Idioms and Phrases Questions
  • Sentence Arrangement or Jumbled Questions
  • Ordering of words in Sentence Questions
  • Sentence Improvement or Sentence Correction Questions


CDS Maths Syllabus

The CDS Elementary Mathematics syllabus encompasses topics such as arithmetic, trigonometry, geometry, measurements, statistics, and more. To enhance preparation and achieve favourable outcomes in this paper, consistent practice and dedicated efforts are necessary. It is important for applicants to maintain both accuracy and speed in order to answer the questions within the allotted time frame.


  • 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
  • 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
  • Linear Equations- Analytical and Graphical Solutions
  • Laws of Indices
  • 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
  • Collection and Tabulation of Statistical Data
  • Graphical Representation
  • Frequency Polygons
  • Histograms
  • Bar Charts
  • Pie Charts
  • Measures of Central Tendency
  • Sin x, Cosine x, Tangent x when 0 degree
  • 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
  • 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 Prepare CDS Syllabus?

How to prepare English for CDS?

This section tests the ability to use grammatical rules as well as vocabulary. Below are some preparatory tips for CDS-


  • Candidates must work on English grammar and refer to standard books like Wren & Martin.
  • They should not only glance at the grammar exercises but also practise them. The practice would help understand the application and usage of rules better.
  • They should develop reading habits, jot down the words that cannot be understood, and find their meaning. Learn their usage as well.
  • Candidates must use the new words learned in day-to-day activities like writing or talking. It will help in memorising the words.
  • While attempting comprehension, they should read the passage thoroughly and attentively.
  • When solving the Cloze Test, they must read the entire passage properly and work on it backwards with the help of the options present.
  • Candidates must read books and newspapers regularly to increase word building and revise regularly.


How to prepare Mathematics for CDS?

The Mathematics section of the CDS exam is a bit difficult. Since the syllabus for Maths is vast, candidates need to have a high level of problem-solving ability to clear this section. Below are the preparatory tips for the Mathematics section:


  • Candidates must start the CDS preparation by listing the easy and difficult chapters per the weightage.
  • They should note down formulas and read them daily to memorise them.
  • They should understand the theory behind every concept and then go through example problems to understand how to approach them.
  • Candidates must avoid memorising steps for any particular type of problem. Instead, practise the sum and understand the theory and steps to solve it.
  • They must practise NCERT Maths to understand the question pattern.
  • Aspirants should not leave important and complex chapters like Trigonometry, Quadratic Equations or Geometry for the last minute.
  • They should revise regularly.
  • They must focus more on the important chapters, weak chapters, and any particular type of questions that candidates find difficult. Solve them regularly.


How to prepare GK for CDS?

This has been the most avoided and taken-for-granted section. The fact is, this section plays an important role when it comes to performance. This section basically tests a candidate’s knowledge of current events happening around them. 


  • Firstly, prepare a timetable with a fixed set of hours a candidate must devote to the GK section.
  • Candidates must go through NCERT textbooks covering History, Civics, and Geography for sound preparation.
  • They should read newspapers and journals regularly to stay up-to-date with the recent happenings at the national and international levels.
  • Candidates must make notes of important points during the study.
  • They should create a strong foundation for the GK section, review previous years’ papers and make notes.
  • They must stay updated with topics like current military exercises, important dates, the formation of forces, awards, books, etc.
  • Candidates must keep revising the notes prepared regularly.
  • They should also take GK mock tests daily. It will help in mastering this section.


How to Prepare for SSB Interview?

After clearing the CDS exam, candidates must appear for a personal interview with the SSB. The SSB interview assesses a candidate’s intelligence, personality, and ability to hold ranks among the Defense Forces’ officers. Here are some pointers on how to ace the interview:


  • Candidates must maintain their confidence and avoid being nervous throughout the personal interview.
  • Candidates must be able to communicate their thoughts to the interview panel.
  • They must enhance their ability to communicate.
  • They must stay updated with the latest and most interesting events worldwide.
  • Candidates must speak and act in the manner of an officer.


CDS Tips for Physical & Medical Exams

Candidates for positions in the defence sector must be mentally and physically strong. They must also undergo a physical and medical exam and a written exam. There should be no history of mental illness. For the physical exam, applicants can use the following guidance:

  • The candidate’s weight and height must be measured on a standard scale.
  • To stay fit, candidates must train and exercise regularly.
  • Before attempting the exam, candidates must get a full body checkup to ensure they are free of any illness or disease.


Important Topics in UPSC CDS Syllabus

Candidates must go through the important topics for each subject from the below table:


General Knowledge
  • Ordering of Sentences
  • Comprehension
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • Voices
  • History of India
  • Geography
  • Politics
  • Economics
  • Physics, Chemistry, Biology
  • Environment
  • Sports
  • Awards
  • Books & Authors
  • Culture and Traditions
  • Number Systems
  • Simplification and Approximation
  • Averages
  • Percentages
  • 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
  • Trigonometry


CDS Syllabus FAQs

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

Q. What is the difficulty level of the CDS Mathematics Syllabus?
Ans. 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?
Ans. 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?
Ans. 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 CDS 2024 syllabus for General Knowledge?
Ans. The syllabus for CDS General Knowledge consists of the History of India, Geography, Politics, Economics, Sociology, Sports, Awards, Books & Authors, Culture & Traditions, etc.



The UPSC conducts the CDS exam biannually to select candidates for various Indian Defense Services, including the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Officers’ Training Academy. The UPSC releases the CDS Syllabus along with the CDS 2024 Notification PDF on its official website, 

The CDS Syllabus 2024 includes English, General Knowledge, and Mathematics for admission to the Indian Naval Academy, Indian Military Academy, and Air Force Academy. However, the syllabus for admission to the Officers’ Training Academy focuses solely on English and General Knowledge subjects.


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