CDS Syllabus 2023: Recommended Books

CDS Syllabus 2023: Recommended Books

Syllabus is one of the most important components of any exam, if one prepares according to syllabus he/she can easily devise a strategy to crack the exam. The UPSC CDS also works like that. You need an effective strategy which could only be understood by knowing the syllabus of the respective exam. The CDS Syllabus 2023 comprises of 3 papers – General Knowledge, Elementary Mathematics & English. The Mathematics part will be of matriculation level whereas other two will be of Graduation Level.

This article is meant to shed some light on the CDS Syllabus 2023 and elements associated with it. Aspirants need to make sure they prepare for the exam according to it. They are further suggested to stay tuned to this page as we’ll provide them all the latest updates regarding the exam and Syllabus once announced by the UPSC.

Exam Pattern

Aspirants should know the structure of the exam before appearing for it. Here we’re providing you insights on the exam pattern for CDS which you can take advantage of while making exam preparation strategy.

For admission to IMA/INA/AFA

Subject Exam Duration Marks
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100 Marks
Elementary Mathematics 2 Hours 100 Marks
English 2 Hours 100 Marks

For admissions to OTA

Subject Exam Duration Marks
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100 Marks
English 2 Hours 100 Marks
  • The CDS 2023 written exam will be held in Pen & Paper Mode.
  • Marking Scheme (IMA/INA/AFA/OTA): 1 mark for the correct answer.
  • Negative Marking (IMA/INA/AFA): 1 /3 or 0.33 marks will be deducted for wrong answers.
  • Negative Marking (OTA): 0.83 marks will be deducted for the wrong answer. 

CDS Syllabus 2023

Elementary Mathematics

CDS Exam Solved Paper- Last 11 years- Buy Now

Topics Focus Point

• Number System

• Unitary Methods

• Fundamental Operations and Elementary Number Theorems

• Time and distance

• Unitary method

• Application to simple and compound interest etc.

• Maximum questions will be asked from trigonometry and quadratic equation topics.

• Theory-based geometry questions will also be asked.

• Aspirants need to have strong grasp on basic concepts.

• Memorize all the key formulas.


• Lines and angles

• Parallel lines

• Plane and plane figures

• Sides and angles of a triangle

• Congruency of triangles

• Concurrence of medians and altitudes

• Circles and its properties including tangents and Normal, Loci etc.


• Basic operations

• Quadratic Equations

• Linear equations

• Remainder Theorem

• Theory of Polynomials

• Relationship between coefficients and roots (only real roots to be considered)

• Set language

• Set notation etc.


• Sine x

• Cosine x

• Tangent x

• Simple cases of height and distances

• Simple Trigonometric identities


Calculation of areas of –

• Squares

• Rectangles

• Triangles

• Circles

• Parallelograms

Surface area and volume of spheres etc.


• Tabulation of data

• Histograms

• Graphical representation

• Pie and bar charts

• Frequency polygons etc.

English Language

Topics Focus Point
·         Fill in the blanks

·         Sentence correction

·         Reading comprehension

·         Jumbled sentence

·         Finding errors and omissions

·         Antonyms & Synonyms.

·         Para Jumbles

·         Practice comprehensions regularly.

·         Solve sample papers daily.

·         Improve your vocabulary & learn new words daily from English newspaper or Magazine.

General Knowledge

Topics Focus Point
·         Indian Polity

·         Monuments of India

·         Indian Economy

·         Current Affairs:  business, politics, sports, entertainment, etc.

·         Awards

·         Indian Geography

·         Books and Authors etc.

·         For current affairs, read newspapers and magazines regularly.

·         Solve previous year’s papers.

·         Note any important update.

Recommended Books

Provided below are certain essential list of Books that an aspirant needs to study for CDS exam. These books are highly reliable when it comes to quality.

  • CDSE Pathfinder by Arihant
  • Previous years CDS Solved papers books by Arihant
  • CDS Exam Guide: Combined Defense Services Exam (English) by RP DATASON – CDS exam books
  • Mathematics for CDS by RS Aggarwal
  • Quantitative aptitude By R.S. Aggarwal
  • Objective General English (English) by R. S. Aggarwal
  • Manorama Yearbook (English/Hindi)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *