Latest Syllabus for UPSC CDS examination

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has announced the CDS Syllabus along with the notification on its official . The first and most important step in preparing for the upcoming exam is to become acquainted with the detailed subject-wise syllabus.

The CDS exam is used to select candidates for the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officer Training Academy (OTA). Except for OTA, the CDS syllabus and exam pattern for IMA, INA, and AFA are similar. The following are the highlights of the CDS syllabus-

  • The CDS syllabus is divided into three subjects for IMA, INA, and AFA, and two subjects for OTA.
  • The standard CDS Mathematics syllabus is of Class 10, whereas the other subjects are of graduation level.
  • It is necessary to understand the CDS syllabus to strategically plan for the exam.

To crack any government examination, one must be completely familiar with the Syllabus. We have provided the CDS Exam Syllabus for candidates to help them prepare.

Latest Syllabus for UPSC CDS examination

About UPSC CDS Exam

The CDS exam stands for the Combined Defence Services exam. It is an annual national-level examination held to recruit eligible young people for various armed forces across India. This exam gives people who want to serve their country by joining the armed forces a great opportunity.

The UPSC CDS exam is used to recruit candidates for the following armed forces-

  • Indian Army
  • Indian Navy
  • Indian Airforce
  • Naval Academy
  • Officers Training Academy

This exam offers many opportunities to both men and women. Women and girls can apply for the CDS exam only for Officer Training Academy (OTA) positions. Candidates interested in the military should take the CDS 2023 exam and begin their career with one of the Indian Defence Forces' prestigious institutions.


Now, let's take a look at the detailed syllabus for the CDS Recruitment exam, but first, you should be familiar with the exam format.

  • The written test for the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) will consist of three sections i.e. English, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics with 300 marks.
  • The written test for the Officers' Training Academy will have two sections: English and General Knowledge.
  • The Elementary Mathematics papers will be of Matriculation difficulty/standard.
  • The standard/difficulty level of papers in other subjects will be comparable to that of a candidate with a graduate degree.
Subject Content
Elementary Mathematics Elementary Number Theory
  • Division algorithm
  • Prime and composite numbers
  • Tests of divisibility
  • Multiples & Factors
  • Factorization Theorem.
  • H.C.F. and L.C.M.
  • Euclidean algorithm.
  • Logarithms to base 10
  • Laws of logarithms
  • Use of logarithmic tables.
  • Trigonometry
Number System
  • Rational and Real numbers
  • Fundamental operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  • Square roots
  • Decimal fractions
  • Time and distance
  • Time and work
  • Percentages
  • Applications to simple and compound interest
  • Profit & loss
  • Ratio & proportion
  • Variation
  • Natural numbers
  • Integers
  • Basic Operations
  • Simple factors
  • Remainder Theorem
  • H.C.F. & L.C.M.
  • Theory of polynomials
  • Solutions of quadratic equations
  • Relationship between roots & its coefficients (Only real roots to be considered).
  • Analytical and graphical solutions to simultaneous linear equations with two unknowns.
  • Solutions to simultaneous linear inequalities in two variables.
  • Solutions to practical problems involving two simultaneous linear equations or inequalities in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable.
  • Set language and set notation
  • Rational expressions & conditional identities
  • Laws of indices.
  • Simple trigonometric identities
  • Use of trigonometric tables
  • Simple cases of heights and distances.
  • Lines and angles
  • Plane and plane figures
  • Theorems on Angle Properties at a Point
  • Theorems on Parallel lines
  • Theorems on Sides and angles of a triangle
  • Theorems on the Congruence of triangles
  • Theorems on Similar triangles
  • Theorems on Concurrence of medians and altitudes
  • Theorems on Properties of angles, sides, and diagonals of a Parallelogram, rectangle and square
  • Theorems on Circles and its properties including tangents and normals
  • Theorems on Loci.
  • Areas of rectangles, parallelograms, triangles, circle, & squares
  • Areas of figures (Field Book)
  • Surface area and volume of cuboids
  • Volume and lateral surface of right circular cones and cylinders
  • Surface area and volume of spheres.
  • Collection and tabulation of statistical data
  • Graphical representation of frequency polygons
  • Histograms, bar charts, pie charts, etc.
  • Measures of central tendency.
  • Basic Grammar
  • Idioms & Phrases
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Reading Comprehension Solving
  • Substitution of Words
  • Error Spotting
  • Para Jumbles
General Knowledge
  • Economics
  • Physics
  • Current Affairs
  • Politics
  • Chemistry
  • Sociology
  • History
  • Defense-related Award
  • Geography
  • Environment
  • Sport
  • Biology
  • Cultural
  • Books
  • Statement true/false


The CDS syllabus 2023 is divided into three subjects: elementary mathematics, English language, and general knowledge. Candidates should be aware that Elementary Mathematics is only available to those who have applied for IMA, INA, and OTA. Candidates can determine which topics and chapters to cover for the exam by reviewing the CDS syllabus. Candidates should also review previous years' question papers to learn about the important topics for the exam.

Particulars Details
Mode of exam Offline
Stages of exam Written exam & SSB Interview
Number of sections Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), and Air Force Academy (AFA) - 3 Sections Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) - 2 Sections
Exam subjects English, General Knowledge, & Elementary Mathematics
Nature of questions Objective-type
Level of questions Mathematics questions are of Class 10 level, while other subjects are of Graduation level.
Duration 120 minutes for each subject
Language English and Hindi

Preparation Tips

The following are some pointers to help you clear the UPSC CDS exam-

  • Candidates should aim for the highest possible score rather than meeting the CDS cutoff.
  • Candidates who put in a lot of effort and commitment during the exam, will undoubtedly get the best CDS result and qualify for the SSB.
  • Candidates must attempt to solve as many CDS question papers from previous years as possible.
  • Various types of questions from each subject should be practiced.
  • Spend three to four hours per week studying.
  • Examine all of the CDS syllabus subjects thoroughly.
  • It is a good idea to work on the weak areas while also devoting time to the strong areas.
  • Take full-length and sectional practice exams.
  • Make sure you understand the principles and fundamentals of each subject.


I hope you found this article on the CDS syllabus 2023 useful. If you have any questions about any of the topics or the syllabus, please leave a comment below. You can also use the PW App to access comprehensive courses, PDF study notes, and new test series for exam preparation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is the level of the CDS syllabus?

Ans. The syllabus for the CDS is divided into two levels: Class 10 and graduation. Other subjects are taught at the graduate level, while elementary math is taught in the tenth grade.

Q2. Is the CDS exam challenging?

Ans. The CDS exam paper is generally mild to difficult in difficulty. More information on CDS exam analysis is available here.

Q3. What is the secret to passing the CDS Exam?

Ans. Candidates can pass the CDS exam with hard work, perseverance, and patience. Candidates must keep a consistent study schedule.

Q4. The CDS exam includes mathematics questions up to what grade level?

Ans. CDS 2023 mathematics will be prepared up to grade 10. This subject's important topics include simple interest, triangles, profit and loss, time and work and distance, quadratic equations and inequations, ratio expressions, and so on.

Q5. Is it necessary to enroll in a coaching program, or can self-study suffice?

Ans. It is not necessary to enroll in a coaching institute; you can prepare for the exam on your own. Go over the syllabus thoroughly, gather a good set of books for each subject, and make a schedule- this will aid in self-preparation.

Q6. What exactly is the CDS 2023 Syllabus?

Ans. The syllabus for the CDS exam includes graduate-level topics in English, General Knowledge, and General Math. There will be questions about fundamental concepts from the same. Current affairs, history, geography, political science, reading comprehension, error spotting, trigonometry, statistics, geometry, mensuration, synonyms, antonyms, ratio & proportion, and other topics are covered in the CDS syllabus.

Q7. How do I apply for the CDS exam 2023 online?

Ans. The UPSC administers the CDS exam twice a year. Candidates can apply for CDS through the UPSC website. To begin, you must create an account with a valid email address. Now, log in with your registration information and complete the application form. Finally, upload the necessary documents and pay the application fees.

Q8. What should you do after passing the CDS exam?

Ans. Once you have passed the CDS 2023 written exam, you must pass the SSB interview as well as the medical examination. This may necessitate some effort on your part, as an active person has a better chance of completing these rounds. Begin doing activities such as GD for mental conditioning, while cardio and agility training will help with physical conditioning.

Q9. How Should I Study for the UPSC CDS 2023 Exam?

Ans. It's just like any other competitive exam. Begin by comprehending the exam syllabus and pattern, then select the best study materials and begin preparing.

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