UPSC CDS Syllabus 2024 PDF, Check Paper Pattern and Examination Scheme

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination to recruit officers for the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (INA), Air Force Academy (AFA), and Officers’ Training Academy (OTA). This prestigious exam attracts thousands of aspirants aiming for a career in the defence services. Understanding the syllabus is crucial for effective preparation.

Currently, the commission has invited applications from Male and Female individuals to be admitted to the Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Wings and Officers Training Academy across the country. Interested candidates were asked to apply online from 15 May to 04 June 2024. In this recruitment drive, there are 459 vacancies.

UPSC CDS Syllabus 2024

Department Name Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam Name Combined Defence Services Examination (II) 2024
Total Vacancies 459
Article Category Syllabus
Location India
Official Website

UPSC CDS Exam Scheme and Paper Pattern

The CDS examination consists of a written test followed by an interview for intelligence and personality assessment. The written exam pattern varies slightly depending on the academy a candidate is applying for. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

Written Examination

  • For Admission to IMA, INA, and AFA:
    • English: 100 marks, 2 hours
    • General Knowledge: 100 marks, 2 hours
    • Elementary Mathematics: 100 marks, 2 hours
  • For Admission to OTA:
    • English: 100 marks, 2 hours
    • General Knowledge: 100 marks, 2 hours

Interview Process

Candidates who clear the written examination are called for an interview by the Services Selection Board (SSB). This interview assesses the candidate’s intelligence, personality, and suitability for a career in the defence services. The interview process includes psychological tests, group tasks, and a personal interview.

UPSC CDS Subject-wise Detailed Syllabus


The English paper is designed to test the candidate’s understanding of English and the ability to use words in a workmanlike manner. The syllabus includes:

  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar and usage
  • Comprehension
  • Sentence construction and structure

General Knowledge

The General Knowledge paper includes questions on:

  • Current events
  • History of India
  • Geography
  • General Science
  • Economics
  • Polity

Elementary Mathematics

The Mathematics paper is of matriculation level and covers the following topics:


  • Number System
  • Fundamental operations
  • Unitary method
  • Percentages
  • Profit and loss
  • Simple and compound interest
  • Time and work
  • Time and distance


  • Basic operations
  • Solutions of quadratic equations
  • Simultaneous linear equations
  • Set theory


  • Basic trigonometric ratios
  • Use of trigonometric tables
  • Simple trigonometric identities


  • Lines and angles
  • Triangles
  • Circles
  • Quadrilaterals
  • Loci


  • Areas and volumes of various geometric figures


  • Collection and tabulation of data
  • Graphical representation
  • Measures of central tendency

UPSC CDS Exam Scheme and Paper Pattern

Subject Code Duration Maximum Marks
English 11 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 12 2 Hours 100
Elementary Mathematics 13 2 Hours 100

For OTA, Elementary Mathematics is not required, thus the table would be:

Subject Code Duration Maximum Marks
English 11 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 12 2 Hours 100

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