• CDS Syllabus 2023: Subject Wise Syllabus PDF and CDS OTA Syllabus

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03 Sep 2023
Update on: 16 May 2023 13:17:38 PM

CDS Syllabus 2023 is notified by the UPSC for recruitment into the IMA, INA, AFA, and OTA. Get complete details about CDS syllabus for English, Mathematics and General Knowledge. 

CDS Syllabus 2023

CDS Syllabus 2023 is segregated into three subjects, English, Mathematics and General Knowledge. The candidates who will be appearing for the CDS 2023 exam should know the subjects wise CDS syllabus so that they can plan their strategy to crack the exam. Candidates who apply for the OTA post will have to appear for English and General Knowledge subjects. Elementary Mathematics, English and general knowledge subjects are to be attempted by those who intend to take admission in IMA, INA or AFA. However, the candidates who plan on taking admission to OTA will have to appear only for English and General knowledge papers. Get details about CDS syllabus here.  

CDS Syllabus 2023 Subject Wise

It is important to know the CDS syllabus subject wise so that you an allot your time accordingly for the preparation of each subject. Every subject has a number of topics that need to be studied thoroughly by the candidates.The syllabus for the following subjects has been discussed here in great detail: 

- CDS Syllabus for General Knowledge

- CDS English Syllabus 2023

- CDS Maths Syllabus 2023

Check out the CDS previous year papers to boost your preparation.

CDS General Knowledge Syllabus

The CDS General Knowledge syllabus covers the subjects that are to be known by any candidate who appears for the competitive exams. It covers subjects such as Polity, History, Science, Geography, Economics, Defence news and well as Current Affairs. The subject-wise syllabus for the CDS exam are as follows: 



Current Affairs

International and national summits/conferences, awards, latest appointments, sports-related news, books and authors, etc.


Constitutional Framework, Fundamental Rights and Duties, DPSP, Union Territories & Local Government, Constitutional Bodies, Emergency Provisions, etc. 

Indian History

Ancient, Medieval and Modern History


Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, Five Year Plans, etc

General Science

Physics: Motion, Light, Sound, Reflection and Refraction, Gravitation, etc. 

Chemistry: Atoms and Molecules, Matter, Chemical Reactions, Acid, Bases and Salts, etc. 

Biology: Cell, Food and Hygiene, Diseases and their cure, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, Heredity and Evolution, Reproduction, etc. 

Defence Related News

Deals and excercise between countries, important days related to defence, etc.

Know about CDS Eligibility Criteria 

CDS English Syllabus

The CDS English syllabus consists aims to test your basic vocabulary. For this, the candidates should be well aware of the usage of nouns, pronouns etc. Check the important topics related to it in the table below. 



CDS English Syllabus

Basic Grammar

Idioms & Phrases

Para Jumbles

Synonyms and Antonyms

Reading Comprehension Solving

Substitution of Words

Error Spotting

Sentence Improvement or Sentence Correction

CDS Mathematics Syllabus

CDS Mathematics syllabus consists of topics such as Mensuration, Statistics, Trigonometry, Geometry, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Statistics, etc. Check the important topics CDS Maths syllabus below in the table. 

CDS Maths Topic



Number System, Fundamental operations, Percentage, Time & Work, Simple & Compound Interest, Time & Distance, Ratio & Proportion, Profit & loss, Theorem of factorisation, Factors & Multiples, Euclidean algorithm, laws of algorithm & algorithmic tables, etc.


Remainder theorem, L.C.M. & H.C.F, Polynomial theories, Quadratic equations, Linear equations in 2 variables, Sets, Laws of indices, Conditional identities, Rational Expressions, etc.


Trigonometric identities, Trigonometric tables, Problems on Height and Distance, etc.


Plane & plane figures, Lines, and angles, Parallel lines, Congruency of triangles, Medians & Altitudes, Similar triangles, Parallelograms, etc.


Area of circles, Triangles, Rectangles, Squares, Parallelograms, Volume, Surface area of cuboids, Cones, Cylinders, Spheres, etc.


Tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation of frequency polygons, Bar graphs, Histograms, Pie charts, Measures of central tendency, etc.

Best Books for CDS Syllabus Preparation

To be able to prepare the CDS syllabus, candidates need to have the best books that could solve their query at best. Having the best subject wise books for CDS exam preparation enables your doubts to get clarified at the best. We have listed the subject wise books for CDS exam preparation below. 

Subject Wise Books for CDS Syllabus Preparation


Name of the book


Mathematics for CDS by RS Aggarwal

Quantitative Aptitude for Examinations paperback by RS Aggarwal

Pathfinder for CDS by Arihant Publications

Quantitative Aptitude for examinations paperback by RS Aggarwal


Wren and Martin – High School English Grammar & Composition

Objective General English by SP Bakshi

Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

General Knowledge

General Awareness by Manohar Panday

Magazines such as Pratiyogita Darpan, Competition Success Review (CSR), and Yojana

Manorama Yearbook

Other than this, one should also read newspapers such as The Hindu, Indian Express, etc. to get acquainted with Current Affairs

CDS Exam Pattern 2023

UPSC prescribes the CDS exam pattern along with its notification. The CDS exam is held in offline mode, i.e. pen and paper mode. The question paper is set in both English and Hindi languages, except for English paper. 

The CDS exam is for a total of 300 marks and is held for six hours. For admission to OTA, the written exam comprises two sections: English and General Awareness. The candidates who intend to take admission in IMA, INA and AFA will have to appear for English, General Knowledge and Mathematics subjects. CDS exam pattern for the written exam is given below:

CDS Exam Pattern for IMA, INA and AFA


Duration (In hours)

Maximum marks



General Knowledge


Elementary Mathematics


CDS Exam Pattern for OTA



Maximum marks


2 hours


General Knowledge

2 hours


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