Here is the Best Study Plan to Crack the Upcoming CDS Exam

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Combined Defence Services Examination, or CDS, for the appointment of Commissioned Officers in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Every year, lakhs of aspirants apply for the national-level defence admission exam. Candidates are chosen based on their performance in the written exam, which is followed by an SSB interview for intellect and personality testing.

To start your preparation for the upcoming CDS exam, you must have a well-thought-out study plan in place. This will enable you to cover the vast exam syllabus effectively within a short span of time.

On that note, let’s discuss an efficient and realistic study plan to prepare the different subjects on time and to make the most of the time available before the exam.

Study Plan for UPSC CDS Exam 

There are a few things that students must consider before starting their preparation for any competitive exam. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most important details you should be aware of as you prepare for the CDS Exam.

  • Make sure you are familiar with the latest CDS Exam pattern as well as the detailed syllabus.
  • Solve previous years’ CDS question papers to learn about the questions that are more frequently asked in the exam, as well as the topics that carry the most weightage in different sections.
  • You should also look at CDS exam cut-off marks from the past years. This will give you an estimate of the minimal number of questions you should attempt throughout the entire exam.
  • It is critical to study from the best sources. Therefore before beginning your preparation, secure good books and study material that update and carry relevant information in an easy-to-grasp manner.
  • Identify the areas in which you excel and those in which you struggle in the exam. This type of study will assist you in determining which topics will take more time and effort.

How to use the Time before CDS Exam?

Students preparing for the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and Indian Naval Academy (INA) will be required to take three papers: English, Mathematics, and General Knowledge, while those preparing for the Officers Training Academy (OTA) will only be required to take the English and General Knowledge tests. All three components of the CDS exam are covered in our CDS study plan.

General Knowledge   

The best time to study Gk and Current Affairs is in the morning because your mind is fresh during these hours, which is crucial for remembering the vast amount of information. Therefore, take begin your day of preparation by going through GK and current affairs for around 2 to 2.5 hours.


You are advised to give 2 hours in the afternoon to strengthen your knowledge of basic grammar rules, vocabulary, and comprehensive reading skills. Read daily English newspapers, good magazines, and books. Furthermore, practice enough questions every day from fill in the blanks, para jumble, error spotting, and others to retain various grammar rules. 

Elementary Mathematics

Devote at least 2-3 hours every day to maths. To successfully obtain great marks in the CDS Mathematics portion, one needs to have a clear understanding of the detailed Syllabus and important topics and subtopics to focus on.

Start with easy topics like Number Systems, Algebraic Operations, Linear equations, and Quadratic Equations to build confidence and momentum so that you move to moderately complex topics like geometry, trigonometry, mensuration, work and time, Statistics, and others.

You should be thorough with topics like ratio and proportion, percentage, and average as well as know-how to study different types of graphs so that you can easily grasp the data and perform necessary calculations in the data interpretation part. 

Bar Graph and Multiple Line Graph are the basic type of graphs commonly found in the CDS exams. Lastly, revise important formulas, short tricks, and theorems in various important topics on a regular basis.

Try to study this subject in the evening or at night, as one is usually fatigued by the end of the day, and it is easier to attempt quizzes or practice questions at this hour rather than learning anything new.

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