How to Crack / Clear UPSC CDS Exam in First Attempt

How to Crack / Clear UPSC CDS Exam in First Attempt 

The examination conducted twice a year is open to young graduates for entry to the Officers’ Training Academy in Chennai and the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun.

The Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination has been a gateway to the Indian Defence forces, remaining an attraction for the youth. The examination is conducted for admission to the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai and the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehra Dun in February/ March and August/September every year.

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A career in the defence forces is a cause of pride and prestige, in addition to the status and security it offers. There are, of course, innumerable challenges, but there are also opportunities to explore your hidden potential, to hone your skills, and chisel your personality.

Quest Education Offers two programs for UPSC CDS coaching 90 Days program and One Year Program covering complete syllabus. Regular Classroom program offers unlimited classes even after course completion.

  • Weekend Batches also available.
  • Hostel Facilities Available Separately for Boys / Girls.

Call @ 09891344571 for batch details or Type UPSC CDS and send it to 09891344571 and you will get a call back with all relevant details.

Nowadays, women of India are also taking up the examination enthusiastically and in the process breaking the stereotype of women as homemakers.

The CDS examination provides the biggest opportunity to science and non-science stream graduates in the 21-25 age group to join the Defence forces.

The examination for the OTA consists of two papers — test of English language and test of general knowledge/general awareness, including current affairs.

The examination for the IMA consists of one more paper — test of mathematical ability.

Qualifying in the English paper is compulsory in all competitive exams nowadays. Despite being capable and potential contenders, some students trail behind because of their poor English.

So here are some tips for tackling the English language section of the CDS examination.

The English language has two main components: vocabulary and grammar.

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The vocabulary part starts with important words, their meanings, and usage, followed by synonyms and antonyms, which are necessary to make the writing impressive and interesting.

One should develop a fascination for vocabulary building. Vocabulary building also covers important idioms and phrases in order to impart the finishing touch to your language. Some special words signifying some specific occupations, professions, trades, phobias, and manias need to be mastered, which require repeated and regular practice. One cannot check one’s level of competence in vocabulary building unless one undergoes rigorous practice of multiple-choice questions.

Basically, vocabulary building consists of 10 verticals: words and their meanings; their usage; synonyms; antonyms; idioms and phrases; one word substitution; word formation; specific words; spelling of words; and multiple-choice questions.

The grammar part again consists of 10 verticals: parts of speech (number/gender form of noun, degrees of comparison, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and other cases); tenses; voice; narration; the right understanding of modals and determiners; and non-finites; knowledge of common errors; reading comprehension; sentence completion; and sentence correction.

To tackle the general knowledge segment, focus must be on history, polity, geography, science, general awareness, and current affairs. Reading of class X science textbooks, along with a monthly current affairs magazine to keep in touch with current affairs, will suffice.

The test of mathematical ability segment tests a candidate’s intelligence-quotient level and speed. To crack this segment, one must able to use matriculation-level mathematical formulae, their applications, tricks and short cuts to solve problems in the given time.
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Click here for CDS Syllabus / Eligibility / Pattern 


 

Tips for solving the paper

Advising aspirants on how to crack the test, Chahal says, “Getting a grip on math and English is the first step as these are the most important subjects. You should also learn to manage time as speed is the factor where candidates face problems. The time allotted to solve one question is approximately one minute. Focusing on basic concepts will help you know how to prepare for CDS. Your understanding should be clear. Cramming won’t help. Solving multiple question papers will lead to better time management keep you prepared for all kinds of questions.”

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Previous papers should be attempted as this helps in understanding question patterns and marks distribution according to chapters. Easier chapters should be handled first. The chapters that you already know and understand well will not require much of an effort. “Basics also play a major role. While attempting the paper, you should keep your cool and go through the entire question paper first for a few minutes. Then, without wasting much time start with simple questions and gradually attempt other questions,” he adds.

For CDS exam, you may be from any stream but for entry to Air Force and Navy, you must have studied physics and maths up to Class 12.

Strategy and skill set required

The candidates must begin with ascertaining the specific requirements, in terms of syllabus for the exam, weightage of each subject/component in each subject. Draw up a daily schedule to  cover the complete syllabus at least three to four weeks in advance to the examination dates for revision and consolidation. Since the exam is in an objective type format, the major skills required are speed and accuracy. While preparing, emphasis must be on practising against the constraints of time. Timed practice sets for each examination must be attempted daily to ensure that you acquire skills such as time management and accuracy.

Make a time table so as to do three revisions – ie one detailed study and two quick revisions. Make notes while studying. Remember, once you clear the exam, you will get a chance to wear the prestigious uniform of the services.

What to expect in the interview/personality test 

* The interview focuses on qualities such as reasoning ability, expression (written and oral) ability to influence others with your logical arguments, initiative, self confidence, social adjustments, courage, stamina and cheerfulness
* You must train your mind to think clearly, logically and rationally.
* A cooperative nature, with good sense of responsibility towards any given task is desired. Respect towards seniors and elders and self-discipline are essential
*  Another focus area is good communication skills or power of expression. Psychological tests reveal your written power of expression — you are given very little time to write about your ideas, thoughts. Good command of a language, particularly English, helps. Answers can be given in Hindi, too, but a reasonable knowledge of English is a plus point for candidates
* General awareness of the candidate is tested by the interviewer. The candidate must update himself on events of national/international importance

How you can crack it

Ruchika Malhotra age: 22 place: Ajmer

Prepare well and maintain a balance between what you say and what you do to be able to perform well. For the written test, you need to brush up your general knowledge, which is not restricted to just one subject. Questions are asked from history, geography, economics and political science etc. Aim for a high score as it holds the key in deciding whether you qualify in the merit list

Cleared: CDS, SSB thrice and is hoping to join OTA, Chennai, in October

Kulwinder Singh age: 22 place: Jalandhar

Speed and accuracy are important to handle Class 10 geometry and trigonometry. Good command of English, including grammar, antonyms, synonyms, comprehension passages etc will also help. Good general awareness levels are a must to clear the written exam. Read as many books, newspapers, magazines as possible and surf the Internet regularly

Cleared: CDS, appearing for SSB

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Aatish Gupta age: 25 place: Jammu

Work on your weak areas and do not overlook the strong ones. The CDS exam is not very tough to crack if you have been exposed to a variety of questions in each topic. After clearing the written test, your focus should immediately shift to SSB as you are assessed on as many as 15 soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, and confidence etc

Cleared: CDS, SSB, medical test. He is likely to join the Air Force

Mugging up won’t help
Many candidates try to memorize the responses to various tests and thus lose out on originality. They are not able to adapt their responses to the given situations and it is quite evident that they have come to the SSB with pre-conceived answers. The assessor is more interested in the candidate’s own response and not the tutored ones.

Quest Education Offers two programs for UPSC CDS coaching 90 Days program and One Year Program covering complete syllabus. Regular Classroom program offers unlimited classes even after course completion.

  • Weekend Batches also available.
  • Hostel Facilities Available Separately for Boys / Girls.

Call @ 09891344571 for batch details or Type UPSC CDS and send it to 09891344571 and you will get a call back with all relevant details.

Must have books for CDS Exam is that you need only six sources to cover up major chunk of the syllabus:

  1. NCERT and NIOS textbooks
  2. Indian Polity by M.Laxmkanth (religiously mugup this book for ~10 marks in the exam.)
  3. General Studies Manual (for filling up the gaps/topics left in NCERTs + for practice of mock questions) you don’t need to buy latest edition, because static topics (history, geography, science) remain one and same in all edition. So grab second hand/used copy for a cheaper price or borrow it from a friend. Any publication will work: Unique, TMH, Spectrum etc.
  4. The Hindu Newspaper 
  5. The Indian Year Book 2015
  6. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh 

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