Combined Defence Services Examination
Combined Defence Services Examination

CDS Syllabus 2024: Download Subject-wise Syllabus PDF

CDS Syllabus 2024 is released by UPSC along with the official notification. The syllabus includes topics and sub-topics from English Language, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics
UPSC CDS Syllabus 2024

UPSC CDS Syllabus 2024

CDS Syllabus 2024: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) releases the CDS Syllabus along with the official CDS notification. The CDS syllabus is a list of subject-specific topics and sub-topics from which questions will be asked in the examination. Candidates must be thoroughly familiar with the syllabus in order to avoid missing any important topics relevant to the examination.

Before beginning their preparation, candidates must thoroughly read the official CDS notification 2024. It enables candidates to plan their preparation and understand the significance of topics in relation to the CDS exam pattern. English Language, General Knowledge, and Elementary Mathematics comprise the CDS syllabus for admission to IMA, INA, and AFA. The syllabus for the CDS exam for OTA, on the other hand, is divided into two subjects: English Language and General Knowledge.

CDS Syllabus 2024

Every year, UPSC releases the CDS Syllabus 2024. The syllabus is intended to assess candidates' knowledge of English, Mathematics, and General Knowledge. CDS exam is for candidates who have graduated; however, the questions on the exam are of the 12th-grade level. 

CDS Syllabus PDF

The official CDS notification will be made available in PDF format by the Union Public Service Commission. The notification includes information about the CDS syllabus and exam pattern. The CDS Syllabus PDF can be downloaded from the official website of UPSC.

CDS Syllabus for Mathematics

The Elementary Mathematics paper is only for candidates who have applied for Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy. The Elementary Mathematics paper is not required for candidates who have applied to the Officers' Training Academy. The CDS Syllabus for Mathematics is as follows:




  • 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. 


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


  • Sine ×, cosine ×, Tangent × when 0° < × < 90° Values of sin ×, cos × and tan ×, for × = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°
  • Simple trigonometric identities.
  • Use of trigonometric tables.
  • Simple cases of heights and distances. 


  • 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. 


  • Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangles and circles.
  • 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.


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

CDS Syllabus for English

The English Language paper is common for both candidates who are applying for IMA, INA, AFA & OTA. The paper assesses the candidates for their grammatical and comprehension skills in the English language. It also tests the candidates’ workmanlike use of the English language.

Candidates must be aware of the CDS English syllabus to strategize their preparation for the exam accordingly. Topics that are covered in the syllabus are as follows:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Sentence Improvement
  • Jumbled Sentence
  • Vocabulary (Synonym/Antonym)
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Spot the Error

CDS Syllabus for General Knowledge

The General Knowledge paper is a common paper for all candidates, regardless of the academy to which they are applying. The paper assesses candidates' knowledge of current events in the country and around the world. It also assesses candidates' understanding of Indian history, geography, and general science.

The detailed information is given in the table below:



Current Affairs

  • Major National & International News
  • Sports News
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Defence News

Indian Polity

  • Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles
  • Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha
  • Powers of the President and Prime Minister
  • Constitutional Bodies
  • Indian judiciary

Indian History

  • Indian Ancient History
  • Indian Medieval History
  • Indian Modern History


  • Budget
  • 1991 Economic Reforms
  • NITI Aayog Reports
  • Latest Facts & Figures on RBI & PSU Banks
  • Repo Rate, Reverse Repo Rate, SLR

General Science

  • Physics: Optics, Motion, Force, Units, Heat, Electricity, Temperature, etc.
  • Chemistry: Organic, inorganic, physical and general chemistry.
  • Biology: Topics of important diseases, botany, zoology as well as human biology.

CDS Syllabus for SSB Interview Process

The CDS SSB Interview comprises two stages: Stage I & Stage II. The syllabus for both stages is as follows:

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

Stage II: Stage II comprises Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days. The details of these tests are given on the website 

CDS Preparation

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination is a highly sought-after examination for candidates who have graduated and are wishing to join the Army, Navy, or Air Force wing of the Indian Armed Forces. The examination is highly competitive and requires a sufficient amount of preparation for it. The CDS preparation must be done in accordance with the syllabus of the examination. 

How to Prepare for the CDS Exam?

Candidates must follow the following steps to effectively prepare for the CDS exam:

  • Read out the CDS syllabus outlined in the official notification released by UPSC
  • Check the Exam Pattern
  • Refer to the books recommended by teachers, toppers and other experts
  • Complete the syllabus topic-wise
  • Read Newspaper daily for current affairs and improve the English Language
  • Go through NCERTs to make concepts clear
  • Buy sample test papers/previous year question papers and practice them thoroughly.

CDS Books

Candidates can check the important books for Mathematics, English Language, and General Knowledge in the table below:



English Language

  • Objective General English by RS Aggarwal
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

General Knowledge

  • Manorama Yearbook
  • Lucent’s General Knowledge


  • Mathematics for CDS by RS Aggarwal
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Examinations paperback by RS Aggarwal


For the past few years, the CDS syllabus has stayed unchanged. UPSC will issue an official notification if the syllabus for the CDS examination changes. Candidates are advised to review the detailed syllabus provided in the preceding article in order to avoid missing any important topics while preparing for the examination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the CDS Syllabus for Maths?

CDS syllabus for Maths includes topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Mensuration & Statistics. Candidates must thoroughly practice the sub-topics of all these topics. Aspirants can refer to NCERT books of 10th-grade level to clear their concepts.

Is the CDS syllabus for OTA different from IMA, INA & AFA?

The OTA CDS syllabus does not include a Mathematics paper. The syllabus for the English Language and General Knowledge papers, however, remains the same for OTA, IMA, INA, & AFA.

Is it possible to cover the CDS syllabus in three months?

Yes, the CDS syllabus can be completed in three months. However, this varies from candidate to candidate. Candidates who understand the fundamentals of different topics of Mathematics and have sufficient knowledge of English grammar and comprehension can complete the syllabus in less time.

How to study General Knowledge for the CDS exam?

General Knowledge is an important paper of the CDS examination. It is feasible to score well in this section provided candidates read daily newspapers and have an understanding of current happenings in the world.

What is the CDS Syllabus for SSB Interview?

There is no defined syllabus for CDS SSB Interview round. However, candidates must have knowledge of ongoing current events across the country along with the knowledge of their academic background and the place they belong to.

What is the CDS Syllabus for SSB Interview?

There is no defined syllabus for CDS SSB Interview round. However, candidates must have knowledge of ongoing current events across the country along with the knowledge of their academic background and the place they belong to.

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