UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 2017 – CDS Written Exam Pattern, SSB Interview | CDS Exam Syllabus

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 2017: –UPSC CDS Exam Pattern, CDS Exam Pattern 2017, CDS Written Exam Pattern, SSB Interview, CDS Exam Syllabus

Union Public Services Commission conducts Combined Defence Services Exam twice every year. They are organized in February and October/ November every year. About three lakh candidates apply for it. Therefore it is important for applicants to know about the latest UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 2017. It covers a vast spectrum of details like CDS Written Exam Pattern, number of questions, time duration, maximum marks & more. However the most important aspects are CDS Exam Syllabus & SSB Interview.

This exam is conducted to recruit men and women into the three arms of the Indian defence forces. They are commissioned as Officers in Air-Force, Army or Navy as the case may be. But before commissioning they pass through a training period in respective academies. They are IMA (Dehradun), AFA (Hyderabad), OTA (Chennai) and INA (Ezhimala).

CDS Exam Pattern 2017 | Are you aware of the latest exam pattern?

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern | CDS Exam Syllabus | CDS Written Exam Pattern | SSB Interview

For last few years there hasn’t been any significant change in UPSC CDS exam pattern. Much as earlier the CDS exam pattern 2017 is divided into two phases. They are CDS written exam pattern and SSB interview. Moreover the CDS written exam pattern is different for OTA candidates. Therefore we have provided you all information in great detail in this article. So have a look.

CDS Exam Syllabus

First of all let’s discuss about the CDS exam syllabus. In all, the exam will have three papers. Candidates will be tested in English, Mathematics and General Knowledge. However the candidates aspiring for OTA don’t have to appear in elementary mathematics paper. The syllabus for each of the papers has been given below in appropriate detail.

The paper in elementary mathematics will be of matriculation level. The standard of papers in other subjects is of graduate level.

CDS exam syllabus for English (Code No. 01): – The question paper will be designed to test the candidates’ understanding of English. It will test your understanding of workman-like use of words. (We are working on providing you the major topics of the syllabus. They will be uploaded soon.)

CDS exam syllabus for General Knowledge (Code No. 02): –
  • 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.
CDS exam syllabus for Elementary Mathematics (Code No. 03): –


Number System: –

  • Natural numbers, integers, rational and real numbers.
  • Fundamental operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots and 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.
  • Factorization theorem, HCF and LCM Euclidean algorithm.
  • Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables.
  • Basic Operations, simple factors, remainder theorem, HCF, LCM, theory of polynomials.
  • Solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (only real roots).
  • Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns—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.


  • Sine ×, cosine ×, tangent × when 0° < × < 90°.UPSC CDS Exam Pattern, CDS Exam Pattern 2017, CDS Written Exam Pattern, SSB Interview, CDS Exam Syllabus
  • 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, planes and plane figures.
  • Theorems on
    • Properties of angles at a point.
    • Parallel lines.
    • Sides and angles of a triangle.
    • Congruency of triangles.
    • Similar triangles.
    • Concurrence of medians and altitudes.
    • Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle and square.
    • Circles and its properties including tangents and normal.
    • Loci.
  • Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle.
  • Areas of figures which can be split up into figures like (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.
  • Measures of central tendency.

CDS Written Exam PatternUPSC CDS Exam Pattern, CDS Exam Pattern 2017, CDS Written Exam Pattern, SSB Interview, CDS Exam Syllabus


As you already know that you have to choose one out of three services (Army, Navy & Air-Force) in the application form of CDSE. These services are associated to their respective academies in which future potential Officers are trained. They are as given below.

Sr No Service Training Academy Place Type of Commission
1 Indian Army Indian Military Academy Dehradun Permanent
2 Indian Army Officers’ Training Academy Chennai Short Service
3 Indian Navy Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala Permanent
4 Indian Air-Force Air-Force Academy Hyderabad Permanent

As you may have noticed the CDS exam syllabus is different for OTA candidates. Same is the case with CDS written exam pattern.

The subjects of the written examination, time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject are as follows.

For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy
Sr. No. Subject Duration Maximum Marks Number of Questions
1 English 2 Hours 100 120
2 General Knowledge 2 Hours 100 120
3 Elementary Mathematics 2 Hours 100 100
For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy
Sr. No. Subject Duration Maximum Marks Number of Questions
1 English 2 Hours 100 120
2 General Knowledge 2 Hours 100 120

Some important points of the CDS written exam pattern are given below.

  • Question papers will consist of objective type questions.
  • There will be cut-off marks for each paper and the exam overall. Qualifying marks will be fixed later by the commission.
  • There will be negative marking for wrong answers. One-third of the marks assigned to the question will be deducted.
  • Use only pen to fill the OMR sheet and follow other instructions.
  • Calculators and other electronic gadgets are not allowed in the exam hall.

SSB InterviewUPSC CDS Exam Pattern, CDS Exam Pattern 2017, CDS Written Exam Pattern, SSB Interview, CDS Exam Syllabus

Intelligence and Personality Test

SSB interview is the next stage in the CDSE. Only shortlisted candidates who score above the cut-off are called for intelligence and personality test. These interviews are conducted by Services Selection Centers. A list of these centers and the detailed SSB interview pattern is given below.

List of SSB interview centers
Selection Center East (SCE) Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) 11 SSB 14 SSB 18 SSB 19 SSB & 34 SSB
Selection Center Central (SCC) Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) 20 SSB 21 SSB & 22 SSB
Selection Center South (SCS) Bangalore (Karnataka) 17 SSB & 24 SSB

The SSB procedure consists of two stage Selection process. 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.
SSB Interview Assessment PatternUPSC CDS Exam Pattern, CDS Exam Pattern 2017, CDS Written Exam Pattern, SSB Interview, CDS Exam Syllabus

The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors. They are the Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist. There is no separate weight-age for each test. The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in the entire test.

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 weight-age. The various tests of IO, GTO and Psych are designed to bring out the presence/absence of Officer like Qualities and their trainability in a candidate.

Accordingly candidates are Recommended or Not Recommended at the Services Selection Board.

NOTE: – 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 IMA, INA, AFA and OTA respectively.

Those who are declared successful (recommended) undergo through a medical examination. Check CDSE physical standards here.

CDS Exam Merit ListUPSC CDS Exam Pattern, CDS Exam Pattern 2017, CDS Written Exam Pattern, SSB Interview, CDS Exam Syllabus

Finally separate merit lists are prepared for IMA, INA, AFA & OTA courses. Candidates are placed in the list as per their performance in written test and SSB interview. Then the courses commence as per their respective schedules.

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We hope that we have cleared most of your queries related to UPSC CDS exam pattern. However if you still have any doubt relating to latest CDS exam pattern 2017 in CDS written exam pattern or CDS exam syllabus you may ask them. To know any specific or critical information about SSB interview please comment below.

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Updated: November 15, 2016 — 12:33 pm

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