UPSC conducts many exams. There are around 11 exams under UPSC. One of them is the UPSC CDS exam. It is one of the most popular exams written by many candidates. Hence, it is always a buzzing topic among aspirants. CDS stands for Combined Defence Service. The exam is an entrance test for IMA, OTA, INA, and IAFA. IMA stands for Indian Military Academy. OTA stands for Officer’s Training Academy. INA stands for Indian Naval Academy. Lastly, IAFA stands for Indian Air Force Academy. In today’s article, we will talk about the UPSC CDS OTA exam pattern and syllabus PDF.
CDS Exam Criteria
The exam takes place two times a year. Moreover, only unmarried and graduated candidates can write the test. The exam notice is out in Oct and June. However, the exam is held around Feb and Nov. After the exam, SSB conducts an interview. Then the candidates are admitted to their respective academies. The age limit for the exam is 19 to 24 years only. This age limit is applicable for all academies. For IMA and OTA, you should have at least a university degree. However, for INA you need an engineering degree. For IAFA, the criteria are quite complex. You need a university degree. However, you should have Physics and Maths as a subject during your 10+2 class. Or else you should hold an Engineering Degree. In addition to these, there are many physical standards for CDS exam candidates.
You must be physically and mentally fit to write the exam. No permanent tattoos are allowed. Moreover, you should have no hernia in your body. There should be no hearing impairments. Moreover, you should not have any venereal disease. Other important standards are the height and weight of the candidates. UPSC sets the UPSC CDS OTA exam pattern and syllabus. The exam has two stages. Firstly, the candidates have to appear for a written test. Secondly, they have to undergo an interview test. However, you reach the second stage only if you clear the first one.
UPSC CDS OTA Exam Pattern
Thus, it is very important to crack the written exam. To score well in the written test, you need to know the UPSC CDS OTA exam pattern and syllabus PDF. The UPSC CDS exam for the three academies has three sections. That is English, GK, and Elementary Maths. However, the UPSC CDS OTA syllabus has only two sections. That is, English and GK. The written exam is for total of 500 marks. The test for IMA, IAFA, and INA carries a total of 300 marks. Moreover, the OTA test carries 200 marks in the exam. The total time duration of the exam is six-hour. Here, each section gets two hours. However, for OTA you get four hours to write the exam. As per the CDS syllabus and exam pattern, the test is a completely objective type. Hence, there are no subjective papers.
As per the CDS exam pattern and syllabus, for IMA, IAFA, INA, each section is of 100 marks. Moreover, you get two hours to solve each section. Hence, the total exam marks are 300. For OTA, you get two hours for each section. And as such there are two sections in OTA. So, total four hours to write two sections. Each section is of 100 marks. Hence, the OTA carries a total of 200 marks.
UPSC CDS OTA Syllabus PDF
UPSC releases the notification for the UPSC CDS syllabus and exam pattern. Hence, any new updates can be checked from its official website. Mostly, there are no changes in the syllabus or exam pattern. Hence, we will clearly list down the syllabus essentials for your exam here. Precisely, the syllabus has three major sections. Let us first talk about the elementary maths part. This section carries a hundred marks in the exam and you get two hours to write this section. The major heads under the UPSC CDS Math syllabus are Algebra and Geometry. Moreover, you also need to study Arithmetic topics and Trigonometry. The level of this paper ranges from easy to difficult. Hence, you must cover the basic type of questions.
Moreover, you should also focus equally on moderate and high difficulty level math problems. Other important topics from the syllabus are mensuration and stats. The major chunk is dedicated to algebra and arithmetic questions. For English, the CDS OTA syllabus is quite simple. Some common English language topics are as follows:
- Spotting Errors
- Ordering of words in a sentence
- Word substitution
- Ordering of sentences
- Sentence improvement
- Selecting Words
You need to clear your basic grammar topics. Then, you can move ahead with solving examples. Solve previous years’ question papers for practice. This will help you to master the section.
General Knowledge CDS Syllabus
Furthermore, there is no such GK CDS exam syllabus. Hence, you have to purely rely on the ongoing affairs for your exams. Moreover, some popular topics under UPSC CDS OTA Syllabus PDF for Current affairs/GK are as follows. You need a basic understanding of economics. Moreover, you should also prepare from news around science, awards and honors, books, and authors. Further, you need to focus on the latest defense tech, news, sports, and culture, etc. You should focus more on the static GK. But at the same time, you must keep an eye on the latest current affairs. Get the UPSC CDS OTA Exam Syllabus PDF here: click now.
CDS Syllabus Preparation Material
To cover the UPSC CDS OTA syllabus PDF, you need the right prep material. Hence, let us now understand the books for your prep. There are multiple resources for the different sections available in the CDS exam syllabus. Hence, you need to research through different books. Some of the famous books for mathematics are as follows. Firstly, you can refer to Mathematics for CDS by RS Aggarwal. This is the most referred book for CDS. You can read other books from RS Aggarwal for quants. Another useful book is Pathfinder for CDS by Arihant Publications. The CDS-specific books are very helpful for beginners. However, if you are planning to attempt multiple entrance tests, you should use a comprehensive book.
Furthermore, the UPSC CDS OTA syllabus PDF does not mention the topics for GK in detail. There are very few books available. Hence, you should rely on the latest news from TV or newspapers. Some famous GK resources are newspapers like The Hindu and The Indian Express. Moreover, you can refer to Manorama Yearbook for comprehensive current affairs. Another useful GK material is General Awareness by Manohar Panday. In addition to this, you can refer to various magazines for current affairs.
Moreover, English study material is another imp tool to crack the CDS exam in one go. Hence, you need to choose the best material. You can refer to Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. This book uses very simple and easy language. The concepts are quite easily understood by readers. Another famous resource for English is ‘Objective General English by SP Bakshi’. To clear your basic grammar and English knowledge, you can use ‘Wren and Martin – High School English Grammar & Composition.
UPSC CDS Marking Scheme
Each question in the CDS exam carries one mark. Moreover, the exam follows the negative marking scheme. Hence, as per the UPSC CDS OTA exam pattern, you lose 0.33 marks for every incorrect answer. If you leave any question unattempted, there is no negative marking for that. If you mark more than one answer for a question, it is considered as wrong. Moreover, you will lose negative marks on such practice. Hence, one must stick to marking only one answer to the question. Further, there is one last stage of the exam. That is the CDS interview. The exam is conducted by UPSC. However, the interview is conducted by SSB. There are two interview stages. Firstly, the candidates have to undergo the OIR and PP & DT. OIR stands for Officer Intelligence Rating. Moreover, PP & DT stands for Picture Perception Description Test.
If you clear this stage, you will be invited to the second stage. The second test comprises an Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Conference, and Psychology Tests. To read more about UPSC exams: click here.
Some of the basic topics under the arithmetic chapter are as follows. Firstly, you need to clear the basic number system concepts. Secondly, you need to study the fundamental operations. This includes addition, subtraction, etc. Other imp topics are ratio and proportion, time and distance, etc.
No. Practically, you need to clear your basic concepts first. If you are sure about the basics, you can grab one practice book to solve different questions.
The minimum age for CDS is 19 years of age. The maximum age is 24 years. Hence, candidates need to make sure they fit in the right age to write the exam.
Editor’s Note | CDS Syllabus
Here, we will conclude our article. In today’s article, we looked at the UPSC CDS OTA Exam Pattern and Syllabus PDF topics. Moreover, we also looked at the exam pattern for IMA, INA, and IAFA. Thus, candidates need to wisely choose what they want to do. Take careful precautions about the various physical and educational criteria. We wish you all the luck for your CDS journey ahead.