UPSC CDS (Combined Defence Services) is a national level examination conducted every year. Candidates who qualify this examination are eligible for the recruitment in various defence services like Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy. Entrants who appear in UPSC CDS examination are somewhat afraid of its difficulty level because it is a tough exam to crack. But, right preparation strategy and tips may help you to get through this examination.

Preparation for UPSC CDS Examination 2018

Candidates who want to prepare for UPSC CDS 2018 Examination can look up to this article which will help you to prepare for the same. UPSC has released the dates for CDS (I) 2018 examination which are as follows:
Date of notification for UPS CDS Exam
November 8, 2017
Last Date for receipt of Applications
December 4, 2017
Date of Examination
February 2, 2018

Scheme of UPSC CDS Examination 2018

The examination of CDS 2018 Comprises of two sections. One is the written examination and second one is the interview or personality test for those candidates who will qualify the written examination. Now, let us see the scheme for both examination:
  • Written examination- Written examination consists of three subjects that are English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics of 100 marks each. The time duration to complete the examination is 2 hours.
  • All questions in the written examination will be of objective type only.
  • Intelligence and Personality Test- Candidates who will be qualified in the written examination shall further called for interview and personality test. Personality shall be done in two stages that are given below:
    • Stage 1 comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and picture perception. Shortlisted candidates will further undergo the second stage of interview.
    • Stage 2 comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These test will commence for four (4) days
  • Candidates are advised to check complete details of UPSC CDS examination on its official website at

How to prepare for UPSC CDS 2017 Examination

For the preparation of CDS 2018 examination, candidates should know one thing that they have to analyse the syllabus of CDS which will be available on UPSC official website at . After studying whole syllabus you should get proper study material such as books, practice papers, previous year question papers etc. Now let us see the complete subject wise guide that will help you to crack the examination.

Written Examination

There are three subjects in written examination. Given below are some preparation strategies for each subject.
For English- Through this paper examiner test your basic english, grammar, vocabulary and english skills. But most of the students are afraid of english section and due to this they do not get enough marks in the paper. To prepare for english, candidate must develop the habit of reading newspapers, magazines, books and journals. Learn grammar and vocabulary from various books and try to learn 100 new words per day along with their meaning and origin, this will help you to improve your vocabulary. Try previous year english papers and practice mock papers.
For General Knowledge- CDS general knowledge is a objective type of paper. It includes history, economics, geography and current affairs etc. For G.K preparation read newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express and magazines like Frontline, Manorma yearly book etc. Do practice the online G.K tests, CDS mock tests, practice papers etc.
For Mathematics- Elementary mathematics contain objective type of questions of 100 marks. It consists of questions from Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry etc.  For the preparation of this paper, make a list of the important formulas and tricks that you will use frequently in your practice. Check the UPSC CDS solved maths paper. Write down all the formulas that will help you for last minute revision. Practice more and more to get good marks in mathematics. Solve mock papers and previous year question papers to get an idea of the pattern.

Personal Interview – Intelligence and Personality Test

Those candidates who successfully qualify the written examination of CDS, they will be further called for personality test. In this exam you will be judged on the basis of your personality and intelligence. The points that should be keep in mind while giving the interview are given below:
  • Be confident- You should have the ability to express yourself
  • Present a nice personality in front of the judges
  • Be aware of general awareness and current affairs
  • You should develop good communication skills.

Medical Interview for UPSC CDS 2018

Students who are going to participate in UPSC CDS 2018 examination must be physically and mentally fit for the posts they are eligible for. All the eligible candidates will undergo a medical examination that may be different for different posts (Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy). Regular exercising shall keep you fit and fine with proper weight and most importantly eat healthy foods.

Some preparation Tips for UPSC CDS 2018 Examination

Here are some tips which will help you to stay focussed and positive.
  • Give time to each subject of written examination with a proper planning.
  • Focus more on your weaker subject and practise it daily
  • Do not over burden yourself, 5-6 hours of study is enough for the preparation.
  • Update yourself with current affairs and general knowledge
  • Practice makes you perfect, practice mock papers and previous years question papers as much as you can
  • You should build up your self confidence and stay positive towards the preparation of examination.