UPSC CDS Syllabus 2019, Exam Pattern, Selection Process, Dates

UPSC CDS Syllabus 2019 : UPSC CDS 2019 exam pattern is given in the notification for Combined Defence Services exam which is conducted by UPSC twice every year to recruit prospective candidates in the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy as well as in the Officer’s Training Academy.

UPSC CDS I 2019 notification had been released in the month of October 2018 and the applications went on till 26th November 2018. The offline mode written exam will be conducted on 3rd February 2019. UPSC CDS (II) Notification will be released on 12th June 2019 and the application process will begin from the same date and last till 8th July 2019. CDS (II) exam will be conducted on 8th September 2019.

UPSC CDS Important Dates

CDS (I) Dates
CDS (II) Dates
CDS Online application start date31st October 2018
Last Date Of CDS Online Application26th November 2018
CDS Exam Date3rd February 2019 (Sunday)
UPSC CDS Result DeclarationMay-June 2019 (tentative)
December 2019
CDS SSB interviewJuly 2019 (tentative)
January 2020

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern 2019

UPSC CDS exam will be conducted in 2 phases. Phase 1 exam of CDS (I) will be conducted in the pen and paper mode by the commission on 3rd February 2019. This exam will be followed by Phase 2 which is SSB interview and document verification process followed by medical examination. Candidates who successfully qualify all the stages are considered eligible for final recruitment.

UPSC CDS Exam Pattern

UPSC CDS exam pattern 2019 consists of the following

  1. Witten Examination (Pen and Paper mode)
  2. Interview for Intelligence and personality test

UPSC CDS Written Exam Pattern

  • Pattern of the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy

Total questionsTotal duration
(In Hours)
Total Marks
Elementary mathematics
General knowledge
  • The total duration of the exam is 6 hours i.e. 2 hours for each subject.
  • Each subject will have 100 questions and the total marks awarded for each subject is 100 marks. The final score will be stipulated out of 300 marks which will be the combined score of all the three subjects.
  • Question paper will only have MCQs and Mathematics and GK will be set bilingually i.e., both in Hindi and English.
  • For every wrong answer there will be a negative marking. Each candidate will lose one-third marks for every answer that goes wrong i.e., o.33 marks will be deducted for wrong answer and 1 mark is given for the right answer.

Pattern Of The Officer’s Training Academy

Total questions
Total duration
(In Hours)
Total Marks
English language1002100
General Knowledge1002100
  • The total duration of the exam for the OTA will also be 4 hours i.e. 2 hours for each subject.
  • Each subject will have 100 questions and the total marks for each subject is 100. The candidates will obtain their final score out of a total of 200 marks.
  • Question papers will have objective type questions only and GK will be set bilingually i.e., Hindi and English.

There will be a negative marking for each wrong answer. One-third mark allotted to each question shall be deducted for every wrong answer. Each mark will be awarded to each right answer and 0.33 mark will be deducted for each wrong attempt.

Interview For Intelligence and Personality Test

SSB process consists of 2 stage selection process namely stage I and stage II.

  • Stage I : OIR test and PP & DT – Officers Intelligence Rating and Picture Perception & Description Tests
  • Stage II : Interview, Psychology Tests, Group Testing Officer Tasks and the Conference.

Marks allotted for Interviews of Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy are 300 and for Officer’s Training Academy is 200.

Further details on Interview for Intelligence and personality test are explained in the selection process.

Standard Of Examination

Elementary Mathematics will be in the standard of Matriculation level and other subjects will be in the level of Graduation.

UPSC CDS Syllabus 2019

UPSC CDS syllabus 2019 for the pen and paper mode written exam will comprise of 3 sections viz. English language, Elementary mathematics and General knowledge. For the OTA candidate’s Elementary mathematics is not included in the syllabus.

UPSC CDS Syllabus

Combined Defence Services subject wise syllabus 2019 is mentioned below.

English Language

  • Antonyms and Synonyms
  • Sentence reordering
  • Sentence rearrangement
  • Spotting of errors
  • Reading comprehension
  • Appropriate word selection
  • Fill in the blanks

Elementary Mathematics

This section consists questions from Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry and Statistics.


  • Integers
  • Rational numbers
  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Time and work
  • Time, speed and distance
  • Simple and compound interest
  • Profit and loss
  • HCF and LCM and divisibility rules
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Mensuration


  • Basic questions
  • HCF and LCM
  • Remainder theorem
  • Linear equations in one and two variables
  • Polynomials
  • Quadratic equations
  • Law of indices
  • Identities


  • Sine X, Cosine X and Tangent X
  • Trigonometric identities and trigonometric tables
  • Heights and distances


  • Lines and angles
  • Property of triangles, parallel lines
  • Congruence of triangles
  • Similar triangles
  • Properties of 3-D and 2-D figures
  • Circles


  • Collection of Data and Tabulation of data
  • Polygons and Histograms
  • Bar graph and Pie charts

General Knowledge

  • Indian history
  • Indian economy
  • Polity and constitution
  • Indian geography
  • Culture and heritage
  • General science
  • Current affairs and important events
  • Static G.K

Selection Procedure

UPSC CDS selection procedure 2019 involves a written test which is followed by an Officer Intelligence Rating and Picture Perception and Description test and a SSB interview. Candidates qualifying all the stages are called on for document verification followed by a medical examination.

UPSC CDS Written Exam

Candidates want to be selected through the UPSC CDS exam need to first qualify in the offline mode pen and paper written exam. The written exam will test the English Language, Elementary Mathematics and General Knowledge of the candidates. Once this exam is completed and the results are announced in a PDF file that comprises the roll numbers of those candidates who have qualified the exam.

Picture Perception and Description Test and Officer Intelligence Rating Test

This is the stage prior to the SSB 4-day interview. This is a 1-day program qualifying which candidates are eligible for the SSB interview.

The Officer Intelligence Rating test aims to test the verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills of the candidates. The verbal reasoning section comprises of 50 questions which are to be completed in a span of 30 minutes. After finishing off this test candidate are handed over the non-verbal set which consists of 50 questions and needs to be completed in 25-30 minutes.

After this test, candidates move on to the next stage i.e. the PPDT test. In this test candidates are shown a picture or a series of pictures for 30 seconds which is to explained properly in 3-4 minutes. This is one of the challenging tasks of the CDS exam.

UPSC CDS SSB Interview

Candidates successfully qualifying the OIR test and PPDT are then called on for the 4 day SSB interview. This stage involves Psychological Tests, Group tasks, Personal Interview and Conference. A candidate is scrutinized and tested through each of these tests and is put to test in Officer like situations. Candidates who are able to successfully qualify this stage is then called for the final verification and medical examination.

Document Verification

Candidates who are called on for the document verifications need to present the following documents.

  • Certificate of proof of education qualifications
  • A government approved valid photo ID proof
  • Proof of residence
  • Date of birth certificate
  • Passport size photographs
  • Caste certificate (if applicable)
  • Disability certificate (if applicable)
  • Declaration of minority in a judicial stamp paper

After the verification of documents, candidates are required to pass the medical examination which aims to ensure that all candidates who are selected as prospective officers are medically fit and sound. After medical examination, final list of selected candidates will be released based on the combined score in Written test and SSB Interview and appointed as per their preference of institutes.


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