CDS 2020 Exam Pattern

CDS Exam Pattern 2020 – Check Here

The exam of CDS better known as Combined Defence Services is one of the most prestigious exams that is conducted in our country so that the candidates can join the Indian Army. This exam is conducted by the UPSC and the recruitment is done in different posts that include:-

  • IMA (Indian Military Academy)
  • OTA (Officers Training Academy)
  • INA (Indian Naval Academy)
  • IAF (Indian Air Force Academy)

The notification of the CDS exam is released in the month of October and the exam is conducted in the month of February. Similarly, another notification is released in the month of June and the exam is conducted in the month of November.

  • The selection of the candidates will be based on written test followed by interview for intelligence and personality test.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be recruited in different academies based on the merit list and preference.
  • Here, you are going to get detailed information on CDS Syllabus along with the CDS Exam Pattern.

CDS 2020 Highlights

  Name of the exam

  Combined Defence Service Examination

  Conducted by   Union Public Service Commission
  Exam Level   National
  Exam Frequency   Twice a year
  Exam mode   Online
  Exam Time   2 hour
  Language of Question Paper   English and Hindi
  Exam Fee   200
  CDS vacancies   418
  No. of Test Cities   41
  Official website

To clear the examination and to begin your preparation in the right direction, it is important for all the candidates to have a sound understanding of the CDS (I) 2020 Exam pattern along with the syllabus so that they can understand the pattern of the CDS Exam (I) 2020.

The knowledge of the CDS (I) 2020 Exam Pattern helps the aspirants be aware of the subjects and the topics that will be asked in the exam of CDS. Apart from this, the knowledge of the detailed syllabus helps them choose the exact topic to study.

CDS Exam Pattern 2020

Candidates, check this section to know complete details about CDS Exam Pattern 2020:

CDS Exam Pattern is distributed into two parts:–

  • Written Test
  • Intelligence and Personality Interview

The pattern of the CDS 2 Exam is unique for the OTA, INA, IMA, and IAF and it is mentioned below in the table:

CDS 2020 Exam Pattern for IMA, INA, OTA

The Exam comprises of three paper, which carries a total of 300 marks. The exam has a total duration of 2 hours

 English 100 2 hour 120
 GK 100 2 hour 120
Elementary Mathematics 100 2 hour 120

CDS 2020 Exam Pattern for OTA

The exam comprises of two subjects, which carry a total of 200 marks. The total duration of each exam is 4 hours (two hours for each exam).

English  100 2 hour 120
General Knowledge  100 2 hour 120

NOTE : –

  • Negative marking will be applicable in CDS EXAM 2020.
  • One third will be deducted for every wrong answer.

Intelligence Test :

The candidates who have cleared the cut-off marks are then shortlisted for an intelligence test. Intelligence test comprises of two-stage:-

Stage 1: In this stage of the CDS exam, the first level of SSB is conducted, which include:

  • OIR (Officer Intelligence Rating) test
  • PP&DT (Picture Perception Description Test) test.

The applicants who have cleared the stage 1 will proceed to the 2nd stage of the test. In this, the Intelligence and Personality Test of stage 2 is conducted, which is totally based on their performance during the combination of the OIR test and PP&DT.

Stage 2: All those applicants who have successfully passed stage 1 of the exam can appear for stage 2. Here, the candidate is tested on:

  • Personal Interview
  • Officer Tasks for Group Testing
  • Tests based on the Psychology

The tests are conducted over a duration of 4 days and the results are declared on the final day.

Personality Test

Personality test aimed to check the personality of an aspirant which is done by interviewing officer, group testing officer, psychologist.

CDS 2020 Syllabus (Detailed Syllabus)

CDS Syllabus 2020 consists of 3 subjects i.e English, General knowledge, Elementary mathematics.

English Syllabus:-

  • Basic Grammar
  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Comprehension Solving
  • Error Spotting
  • Para Jumble

The CDS Syllabus for General Knowledge includes:

  • Topics around the Current Affairs.
  • Recent global news on any national or international topic from any field.
  • Questions of the Constitution of India, Indian Judicial System, Fundamental Rights of the candidates, Constitutional bodies in India, etc.
  • A brief about the Indian History
  • Indian Geography and the Global Geography
  • Indian Economy and Market
  • Optics, Electricity, Heat, Motion, Temperature from Physics.
  • Organic, Physical and In-organic chemistry.
  • Human body, animal body, and study of plants in the subject of Biology.

The Syllabus for Elementary Mathematics: –


In this section, the candidate needs to cover various topics, which are mainly:

  • Real Numbers, Rational and Irrational Numbers.
  • Different type of numbers such as – Composite and Prime numbers
  • Time and Distance
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Variation, Ratio and Proportion
  • Profit & Loss
  • Multiples & Factors
  • Percentage
  • Time & Work
  • L.C.M and L.C.F
  • Log algorithms


Similar to Arithmetic, the candidate needs to master algebra as well. The important topics of this section include:

  • Polynomials and Quadratic Equations
  • H.C.F. and L.C.M.
  • Remainder theorem and Simple Factors
  • Linear Equations
  • Non-Linear Equations
  • Set Theory and Law of Indices


In trigonometry, the topics that needs to be covered are:

  • Sin functions
  • Cos functions
  • Tan functions
  • Trigonometric tables
  • Trigonometric Tables
  • Questions based on distance and height


The important topics in the section of Geometry are:

  • Plane figures and their problems
  • Lines and Angles
  • Circles
  • Different Types of Triangles and their problems
  • Different types of Angles and their problems
  • Problems of Squares, Rectangles, and Parallelograms
  • Median
  • Altitudes


The topics which are covered in this section are:

  • Area of different objects such as circle, triangle, rectangles, etc.
  • Volume and Surface area of cones, cubes, cylinders, spheres, etc.


In statistics, the candidates need to study various topics:

  • Presentation of Data in a tabular format and its collection
  • Histograms, Charts – Pie, and Bar, Polygons
  • The central tendency measurement.

This is the detailed information for the CDS Exam Pattern. If you are preparing for the CDS 2019it is important for you to focus on your topics and give proper attention to those sections in which you feel weak.




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