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CDS 2019 Exam Pattern,

Marking Scheme and Syllabus

CDS Exam Pattern: The competitive exam comprises of two stages

 Written Exam
 Interview for intelligence and personality test

UPSC has scheduled CDS 2019 (Session 1) for February 3, 2019.

The subjects of CDS written exam, the time allowed and the
maximum marks allotted to each subject is tabulated below:

For Indian Military, Indian Naval and Air Force Academy

Subject Duration Max. Marks

English 2 hours 100

General Knowledge 2 hours 100

Elementary Mathematics 2 hours 100

For Officers’ Training Academy

Subject Duration Max. Marks

English 2 hours 100

General Knowledge 2 hours 100

Highlights of CDS Exam Pattern
Mode of Exam Offline only (Pen and paper mode)

Number of Questions
300 MCQ Type

Number of questions in
200 MCQ Type

Maximum Marks 300 and 200 (OTA)

Duration of Exam 2 hours (120 minutes) for each paper

Medium Hindi or English

One third mark deducted for every

Negative marking
incorrect response

CDS Exam Pattern in Detail

Mode of Exam: Offline i.e. candidates will be allocated an OMR sheet
wherein they must color the appropriate response.
Type of Questions: Objective Type i.e. each question will have four
options. A candidate must choose the most appropriate response.
Medium of Exam: Bilingual in Hindi as well as English
Standard of Questions: Given below is the expected standard of each
section in CDS Exam:

 The standard of the papers in Elementary Mathematics will be

of Matriculation level. The standard of papers in other subjects
will approximately be such as may be expected of a graduate
of an Indian University.
 English: The question paper will be designed to test the
candidates’ understanding of English and workmanlike use of
 General Knowledge: General Knowledge including knowledge
of current events and of such matters of everyday observation
and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected
of an educated person who has not made a special study of
any scientific subject. The paper will also include questions on
History of India and Geography of a nature which candidate
should be able to answer without special study.

Other Facts:

 Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no

circumstances will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write
answers for them.
 The Commission has the discretion to fix qualifying marks in
any or all the subjects of the examination.
 The candidates are not permitted to use a calculator for
answering objective type papers (Test Booklets). They should
not, therefore, bring the same inside the Examination Hall.
 Those who qualify in the written test are called for the second
stage i.e., Intelligence and Personality Test.
 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.

CDS Marking Scheme

Negative marking is applicable for every wrong marked answer. In
CDS paper, each question carries 4 options and out of which only 1
option is correct. For each incorrect answer, 1/3 of the marks will be
deducted. More than one option marked is treated as incorrect.
However, if a question is left unanswered there will be no negative
The following table explains the detailed marking scheme of the
CDS Paper English GK Mathematics

100 100 100

Marks for +1 marks for +1 marks for +1 marks for

Correct each correct each correct each correct
answer option option option

-0.33 marks -0.33 marks

-0.33 marks for
Negative for each for each
each wrong
marking wrong wrong
answer answer

The following table shows Marking scheme for 2019 OTA (Officers
Training Academy):

CDS Paper English GK

Maximum Marks 100 100

Marks for Correct +1 marks for each +1 marks for each

answer correct option correct option

-0.33 marks for each -0.33 marks for each

Negative marking
wrong answer wrong answer

Distribution of Questions
Equal weightage is given to all the sections- GK, Mathematics and




The selection of the candidates is on the basis of marks scored in the

interviews. Total marks for interview for Indian Military Academy,
Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy is 300 marks, whereas 200
marks are allotted for interview for OTA.
CDS Intelligence and Personality Test Pattern
SSB interview will be the 2nd part of the selection procedure. SSB
Interview will contain two stages i.e. Stage 1 and Stage 2.
Candidates qualify the stage 1 exam will be called for stage 2.

Stage 1: It is an OIR (Officer Intelligence Rating) Test which contains

Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT). Candidates will
be shortlisted as per their performance in OIR test and PP and DT.
Stage 2: Candidates passing stage 1 will be called for this stage. This
part consists of Group Testing Officer Tasks, Interview, Conference
and Psychology Test. These tests are organized in four days.

CDS Syllabus for English

English question paper will be designed to test the candidates'
understanding of English language. As per previous year analysis,
following are the important topics asked in English paper.

Topic Number of Level of

Questions Difficulty

Sentence Improvement 20 Easy

Reading Easy to
23 (5 passages)
Comprehension Moderate

Synonyms 8 Moderate

Antonyms 7 Easy

One Word Substitution 5 Moderate

Easy to
Para-Jumble 10

Sentence-Jumble 7 Moderate

Spot the Error 20 Easy

Cloze Test 20 Easy

CDS Syllabus for General Knowledge

For GK paper, candidates can cover the following topics:

 Latest Current Affairs

 Indian Constitution
 Indian History
 Indian Economy
 Indian Geography
 Indian Politics
 Indian Navy & Military
 Religions
 Books & Authors
 Sports, Awards, etc
As per previous year analysis following are the important topics for
GK paper:

Topic Number of Questions

History 19

Science 27

Geography 22

Ecology 06

Polity 20

Economy/Trade 11

Miscellaneous /Armed Forces 15

CDS Syllabus for Elementary Mathematics

Mathematics paper covers topics from diverse topics. Following are
the topic covered in CDS 2019 Mathematics paper.

 Arithmetic
 Number System
 Elementary Number Theory
 Algebra
 Trigonometry
 Geometry
 Mensuration
In the following table, previous year paper analysis of mathematics
paper is mentioned.

Topic Number of Level of

Questions Difficulty

Mensuration 14 Easy

Easy to
Algebra 7

Mean-Median-Mode (Frequency
4 Easy
Distribution Table)

Time speed and Distance 6 Easy

Easy to
Number System 20

Simple interest/Compound
5 Easy

Percentage 2 Easy

Profit/Loss 1 Easy

Mixture 1 Easy

Time and Work 3 Easy

Moderate to
Trigonometry 14

Set Theory 1 Easy

Clock 2 Easy

Easy to
Geometry 20