10 Mistakes You Should While Preparing for UPSC CDS Examination

For Students who wish to pursue a career in Defense Services, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam. The exam attempts to recruit suitable candidates for the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force. Candidates who have the vision to serve the country should aim high to score good grades in the exam. We have listed some mistakes that candidates generally go through, which must be avoided in order to secure good grades.

10 Mistakes You Should While Preparing for UPSC CDS Examination

Exam Highlights

It is a national-level competitive exam held two times a year, usually in the month of February and September. The exam is conducted in 2 phases - An offline written exam and then an interview. The questions are asked from General Awareness, English, and Mathematics.

Preparing for this UPSC defense exam requires hard work and consistent efforts, there are some common mistakes that you should avoid in order to clear the exam.

10 Common Mistakes Which Candidates Do

  1. Not Reading Newspaper

Every competitive exam requires general awareness in some or the other way. One must make a habit of reading newspapers daily. General awareness is one major section of the CDS exam and you should not take it lightly.

Reading newspapers makes us aware of the surrounding world and keeps us updated such as knowing about the present chief of defense staff, it S 400 missile defense system, etc, also enhances our vocabulary, so not reading the newspaper is one of the significant mistakes one can do, it will hamper your grades.

  1. Studying For Many Exams At The Same Time

Although preparing for many exams is not bad, it is necessary to focus on one particular exam at the moment, it will create confusion in your mind and you will not be able to score well in any of them. So first analyze which exam you are preparing for and continue with its preparation for a long with full focus.

  1. Studying From Too Many Sources

Select your best study materials and specialized defense books and do not refer to too many books for them, as it creates confusion about the topic. You might feel that by studying from many books, you will get more knowledge but it's not like that. It's better to stick to one book and then read reference books for practice and added information, but keep your focus on one source.

  1. Not Practicing Mock Tests

After studying a certain topic or a chapter, go for practice. Practicing makes a strong hold on that topic and improves learning. Practice, practise, and practise is the ultimate remedy to scoring well on the test. It not only enhances your preparation but also builds confidence in you. Attempt mock tests for practice, it also gives an idea about how questions are framed and an idea about defense GK.

  1. Not Having A Proper Schedule

Defense entrance exams such as the UPSC CDS exam demand good physical as well as mental health, it is necessary to maintain a proper routine, which involves sleeping at right time and eating healthy food. Try to wake up early as in the morning hours our mind is quiet and we can concentrate easily.

  1. Revision

Even if you study long hours, if you don't revise at the end, your whole preparation will go to waste. Revision is a very important part of any preparation, make sure you revise previously studied topics. Divide your timetable in such a way that you get at least an hour to revise daily. Pick topics that you did previously and revise them from time to time.

  1. Develop Speed

Although the exam demands mathematics in the 9th and 10th classes, which might seem easy, the most important thing you should consider is to develop speed to solve questions. As in the exam, you will get limited time so try to solve numerical questions within a fixed time limit, otherwise, you will miss the questions because of the time limit.

  1. Not Focusing On Weak Points

To improve your performance, start focusing on your weak areas or the topics in which you are not well prepared. Concentrate especially on those topics and make them strong.

  1. Make Notes

Start making notes in your own language, in the form of short pointers, and keywords, so at the end time it will be easier for you to revise. Notes help in organizing your study material and help in remembering the content.

  1. Don't Underestimate yourself

The most significant mistake candidates make is to underestimate themselves during the preparation, remember you can achieve your goals, try to be confident and never lose hope.


Here we have gathered some relevant mistakes that students generally make. While sitting for the UPSC CDS exam, try to keep the above things in mind and stay away from these mistakes. This will surely increase your chance of passing and securing good grades. Also, try to keep a check on your preparation occasionally. You can also check for Syllabus for UPSC CDS examination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can I give the UPSC CDS exam after completing my 12th?

Ans. No, you must be a graduate to sit for the CDS exam.

Q2. Can I change the exam center after submitting the application form?

Ans. Once you have submitted the application form, and admit cards get released you can not change the center or anything on it.

Q3. I am in my bachelor's final year, Can I attempt for CDS exam?

Ans. Yes, bachelor's final year candidates can apply for the CDS exam, however, they must not have any backlogs.

Q4. How many times CDS Exam is conducted in a year?

Ans. CDS Exam is conducted two times a year, with the session first in February- April and the second session in September - November.

Q5. Can I Upload my passport-sized photo in black and white color?

Ans. There is no restriction in uploading the type of photograph, you can upload black and white or even a colored photo. But make sure it should be of the desired photo size as mentioned in the application form.

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