How to prepare for the CDS I 2015 Examination?

imagesUPSC has notified the examination details of Combined Defence Services or CDS I to be conducted in February 2015. UPSC which conducts the CDS exam twice in a year in February and August has designed this exam to target the individual aspiring to enter in the Indian Defence services – Indian military academy, Naval academy, Air Force academy or the officers’ Training Academy.

What to expect from the examination

The examinations will be conducted in the following rounds

  • Written examination ( negative marking)
  • Personal interview involving an intelligence and personality test
  • Medical examination

Ideally you should be well prepared to give the exam if you prepare with full dedication for a minimum of five to six months. However, you can take less time as well depending upon your preparation strategy and dedication.

Pattern of the written examination

For Indian Naval academy, Indian Military Academy and Airforce academy, candidates will be tested on their skills in English, General Knowledge and Mathematics. The exam will be of 100 marks and duration of the exam will be 2 hours.

For Officers’ Training academy, candidates will be tested on their skills in English and General Knowledge. Again, the exam will be of 100 marks and duration will be 2 hours.

How to crack the written exam


English examination will be objective in nature and it will test your understanding of the language. To ace the English exam, you should read the leading newspapers regularly and try to improve your vocabulary and knowledge of the subject. You should try to learn 5-10 words and brush up your grammar. When you learn new words, try to use them in new sentences to learn their usage. as well as their synonyms and antonyms.


General Knowledge
As is expected from competitive examinations, General Knowledge section will be objective in nature and candidates should be thorough with their understanding and know- how of the current affairs, history, geography, people and events in news.  To brush up your general knowledge, you can refer a yearbook as well. You can also subscribe to current affairs magazines or websites.  Read newspapers and magazines to be aware of latest events of the world. Try to cover important topics like business, economic policies, sports or any other event which is trending.


Mathematics paper will cover topics like algebra, trigonometry, arithmetic etc which you have covered in your school. For mathematics, try to solve as many problems as you can. As you have studied the subjects already, brush up your knowledge. You need to make the areas which you are strong in stronger by practicing thoroughly and focus on your weak areas as well and try to give more attention to your weak areas. You need to make your concepts clear for all the topics as mathematics can be a bit tricky.

A candidate will be eligible for the Intelligence and Personality test if they clear the cutoff of the written examination.  This round will be conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB). A candidate needs to prove his intelligence as well as display qualities to prove his worth in this round. While in the medical round, candidates will be tested for their medical fitness. So, try to maintain your fitness level and go through some basic tests to ensure you aren’t surprised on the day of your test.

Some more tips …

  • Be in sync with the syllabus and prepare subjects by solving previous years’ question papers.
  • Have a disciplined schedule and devote equal time to all subjects. Try to focus on your weak areas and make them stronger.
  • Manage your time well and have a strategy to solve the paper well. For example, you can solve questions which you are sure about and then devote time to the questions you are unsure of.
  • Read newspapers every day and focus on your personality as well. Maintain a positive and cheerful outlook and focus on developing your confidence.

And at the last remember that every winning effort begins with preparation, so practice more and more to transform your endeavor into success.

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