About CDS:

CDS  is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) twice a year for graduate candidates who wish to pursue their career as commissioned officers in Army, Navy and Air Force.

CDS Exam Pattern 2017 - The exam pattern of CDS 2017 will help candidates know detail of exam like questions pattern, number of questions, syllabus, marking scheme, exam duration and other details. The CDS exam pattern 2017 helps candidates to prepare well for the exam so to score good marks. As per CDS 2017 exam pattern, the exam will conducted in pen and paper based mode and each paper will be of 2 hours. Candidates appearing for CDS 2017 can check below the detailed information related to paper pattern, number of questions, subjects, marking scheme, syllabus, etc.

Candidates who will qualify the CDS 2017 written exam will be called for Services Selection Board (SSB) for Personality cum Psychometric tests and Intelligence Interview. CDS SSB interview is a five days process which evaluates personality, compatibility and potential of candidates for recruitment in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Candidates can check the detail of CDS 2017 Exam Pattern from the table given below.

CDS Exam Pattern 2017

CDS Paper Pattern


CDS 2017 Exam Phases

  • CDS I
  • CDS II

Exam Duration

2 Hours for each paper

Exam Mode

Pen & Paper Based Mode

Language of Paper English

English & Hindi (Both language except Hindi)

Types of question (MCQ)

Multiple Choice Question (MCQs)

Question Booklet

There will be four sets of question booklet namely A,B, C and D. Candidates will get question booklet randomly

Number of questions

340 MCQs for – IMA, INA and AFA

240 MCQs for – OTA 



Distribution of questions

  • Maths:  100*
  • General Knowledge: 120
  • English: 120

*Maths is not applicable for candidates applied for OTA




Marking Scheme

The maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be equal for each course i.e. the maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be 300, 300, 300 and 200 each for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers’ Training Academy respectively

Negative Marking

  • For each incorrect response one-third (1/3) marks will be deducted
  • More than one response will be treated as wrong answer and 1/3rd mark will be deducted
  • If a question left blank there will be no marks and penalty will be given to candidates

CDS Syllabus: The booklet of CDS 2017 will have questions from Maths, General Knowledge and English. The elementary Mathematics will be of Matriculation level while the standard of papers in other subjects will be of a graduate of an Indian University.

CDS Syllabus for English

The question paper will be designed to test the candidates' understanding of English and workmanlike use of words

CDS Syllabus for General Knowledge

Latest Current Affairs, Indian Constitution, Indian History, Indian Economy, Indian Geography, Indian Politics, Indian Navy & Military, Religions, Books & Authors, Sports, Awards, Statement true/false etc.

CDS Syllabus for Elementary Mathematics


Number System - Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions. Unitary method, time and distance, time and work, percentages, applications to simple and compound interest, profit and loss, ratio and proportion, variation

Elementary Number Theory - Division algorithm. Prime and composite numbers. Tests of divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 11. Multiples and factors. Factorisation Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M. Euclidean algorithm. Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables

 Algebra - Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M., Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear equations in two unknown - analytical and graphical solutions. Simultaneous linear in equations in two variables and their solutions. Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or in equations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions. Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices.

 Trigonometry: Sine x, cosine x, Tangent x when 0° <_x < 90° Values of Sin X, Cos X And Tan X, For X = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°, Simple trigonometric identities, Use of trigonometric tables, Simple cases of heights and distances

 Geometry: Lines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Theorems on (i) Properties of angles at a point, (ii) Parallel lines, (iii) Sides and angles of a triangle, (iv) Congruency of triangles, (v) Similar triangles, (vi) Concurrence of medians and altitudes, (vii) Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle and square, (viii) Circles and its properties including tangents and normals, (ix) Loci.

 Mensuration: Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle. Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), Surface area and volume of cuboids, lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, surface area and volume of spheres.

Statistics: Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts etc. Measures of central tendency

What is CDS SSB:

Intelligence and Personality Test: The SSB procedure consists of two stage Selection process - stage I and stage II. Only those candidates who clear the stage I are permitted to appear for stage II. The details are:-

Stage I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests are Picture Perception* Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on combination of performance in OIR Test and PP&DT.

Stage II Comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days. The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors’ viz. Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and Psychologist. There are no separate weightage for each test. The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in all tests. In addition, marks for Conference are also allotted based on the initial performance of the candidate in the three techniques and decision of the Board. All these have equal weightage.

As explained above, CDS preparation requires training for each of the areas of the written test of CDS namely- English, Elementary Maths & General Knowledge