CDS Preparation tips, 8 last minutes preparation for CDS Exam 2023

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Combined Defence Service(CDS) entrance exam for seeking admission into various military academies, which includes the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Officers' Training Academy.

CDS Preparation tips

The exam date has been released by the authority, Now it’s time for aspirants to gear up for the exam. The preparation strategy is a must for the toughest exam in India.

The CDS exam consists of two sections writing exam and a personnel interview. The Aspirants should be aware of the UPSC CDS EXAM PATTERN and UPSC CDS SYLLABUS. It’s time to focus on the preparation and prepare themselves with last-minute tips. We know how important this exam means to all the aspirants. In this article, we have covered some preparation strategies for the UPSC CDS Exam 2023.

UPSC CDS Exam 2023

The UPSC conducts the CDS exam twice a year, and the exam date has been released by the commission. The first CDS exam will be held on 16th April 2023 and the second CDS exam will be held on 03rd September 2023. The eligible candidates can register themselves on the official site of UPSC. Also, Check UPSC CDS 2023 Registration. The overview of the CDS exam is mentioned below -

CDS 2023 Exam Overview
Organization Union Public Service Commission
Exam Name Combined Defence Service Examination (I) 2023
CDS 1 Vacancy 341
Mode of Application Online
Online Registration 21st December 2022 to 10th January 2023
Selection Process Written Test- Interview- Medical Examination
Language of Written Exam Bilingual
Mode of Examination Offline
Type of Questions Multiple-choice questions
Eligibility Unmarried Males & Females
CDS Exam Duration 2 hours (each paper)
Marking Scheme 1/3 for each incorrect answer
Job Location All Over India
Official Website

How to prepare for UPSC CDS Exam?

The preparation strategy is very important for any exam and for the toughest exam, you need to make a proper strategy. Before preparation, you must go through the exam pattern and detailed syllabus analysis. We have covered some important preparation strategies below -

  • Know your Syllabus and exam pattern

Start the preparation with a detailed analysis of the syllabus and exam pattern. You should know all the topics and mark the important topics. The exam also contains negative markings so the exam pattern will help you in understanding the question types and how many questions you need to attempt for qualifying the exam.

  • Time management

Aspirants should start the preparation at least 4 to 6 months before the examination. Time management is a significant factor for the exam. To cover the vast syllabus of the CDS exam, you need to manage your daily study routine like how many topics you will cover in a day. Start solving the question in minimum time, this will help you to attempt the maximum number of questions of the exam within the time duration of the exam.

  • Make short notes

While studying for the exam make short notes for yourself. Learn any topic by writing short notes. Short notes will help you to revise the syllabus in a short time. Revision is a very essential part of the preparation. At the time of the exam, the short notes will help you in the quick revision of the syllabus.

  • Practise previous year's papers

After covering the syllabus, start practising the previous year's papers for your improvement. By practising the previous year's paper you’ll understand the type of questions asked in the exam. Solving the paper will also improve your writing skills.

  • Mock Test

After covering the syllabus with the previous year’s paper practise mock test also. It will help you to improve both speed and accuracy of writing the paper. The mock will prepare you for the exam.

8 last minutes tips for the CDS exam

The last-minute tips for the exam are very essential for the exam, the last-minute tips will prepare you for the exam. The important last-minute tips are mentioned below -

  • Start with a revision of the topic you have prepared for the exam and avoid starting any new topics. Focus on the topics you have already prepared. Revising old topics before the exam will help more to solve the question. If you’ll start new topics then you may not get the time to revise the previous topic.
  • Make a revision strategy for all the subjects. Give every subject equal time for revision, so that you'll be able to complete the revision subject-wise. Revise the important dates and events also, the CDS exam contains a vast syllabus. So you have to make a proper strategy for the vast syllabus.
  • The short notes are very important at the last minute, they will help you to remember every small thing for the exam. So don’t forget to go through the short notes. Note down all the important formulas and important dates of the event.
  • General Knowledge is very important for any UPSC EXAM so, try to focus on general knowledge. Check the new updates and keep yourself updated before appearing for the exam.
  • Improve your vocabulary and read some synonyms and antonyms and also read some new words, this will help you in writing the exam.
  • Practice mock tests and solve previous year’s questions, it will boost your speed and accuracy.
  • Make a checklist of things you need to carry to the examination hall. Your checklist must include stationary and admit card.
  • Don’t take too much pressure before the exam, your body needs proper rest and sleep. Take proper sleep and rest before the exam. You need to approach the exam with a positive attitude, so be positive and confident before the exam.

Important Guidelines for exam day

The important guidelines for the aspirants going to appear in CDS EXAM.

  • Candidates should need to carry an Adhar card/voter id card or any photo id issued by the government of India.
  • Try to reach at the centre least 1 hour earlier than the real exam time.
  • Bring sanitiser and a mask
  • Do not forget to keep your admit card and stationery with you.
  • Do not carry any extra things with you.
  • Wear the mask at the time of entry to the examination hall.
  • Bring a black ball pen.

5 Important tips for Personal Interviews of CDS Exam

After clearing the first test of the CDS Exam, the candidates will be eligible for the final interview round. The interview is conducted for 35 to 40 minutes. The interviewer will ask you some questions related to the exam and other topics. They will try to know your thought process and judge on the basis of your answers. Some important tips for personal Interviews are mentioned below -

  • Start with improving your communication skills, communication is very important in the interviews. You have to represent yourself with good communication skills. It will have a great impact on the interviewers.
  • Before your main interview, practice top interview questions like why you would like to join the defence service, what would happen if you were selected, etc.
  • Keep yourself updated with current affairs or any interesting things happening globally.
  • Try to answer the question with your point of view only.


CDS exam is one of the toughest exams of UPSC. You need to make a perfect preparation strategy for clearing the CDS exam. We hope the preparation strategy we discussed above will help you in your exam preparation. For the CDS exam try to start with the basics, make a proper plan and implement it every day. Every day is crucial, the last-minute revision is also very important in the preparation. Do not lose hope, reach your goal with strong preparation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How much time should we give for the revision of the topics?

Ans. The last minute or you can say the few days before the exam is only for revisions. Don’t start any new topics in the revision period, arrange your revision period according to the topics.

Q2. What is the selection process for the exam?

Ans. The Selection is divided into four rounds:

  • The Written Exam.
  • The Personal interview.
  • Document verification.
  • And the last round is the medical examination of the aspirants.

Q3. What is the exam date for CDS 2023?

Ans. UPSC conducts the exam two times a year. The exam date for CDS 2023 is 16th April 2023 and the second CDS exam will be held on 03rd September 2023.

Q4. Is solving the previous year's questions important?

Ans. Yes, it helps you to understand the exam pattern and types of questions asked in the exam. Solving the previous year’s questions will also help you to improve your writing skill.

Q5. How many hours in a day are required to study for the CDS exam?

Ans. The competition is very tough for the CDS Exam. At least 8 to 10 hours of study in a day are required to prepare for the exam.

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