UPSC CDS II Exam Pattern

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Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination is conducted twice a year. UPSC CDS I exam was conducted on February 05, 2017. It is basically recruitment to the post of Office Cadre in Indian Army, Navy and Airforce. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is responsible for the entire recruitment process. You can find UPSC CDS II Exam pattern in detail in this article.

  • UPSC CDS II exam is scheduled for November 19, 2017.
  • CDS exam is a three-stage process: written test, interview by Service Selection Board and medical examination.
  • Mode of examination is offline based on pen and paper.
  • CDS 2017 syllabus includes topics from Mathematics, English and General knowledge.

UPSC CDS II Exam Pattern

Candidates can apply to CDS II exam online through the official website of UPSC Registration for the same will commence from August 09, 2017.

UPSC CDS II exam pattern has been tabulated below. It will equip candidates with all the details of exam including number of questions, syllabus, marking scheme, exam duration etc.

CDS II Exam Date·         November 19, 2017
Duration of exam2 hours
Exam ModePen & Paper based
Language of PaperEnglish
Question TypeMultiple Choice Question (MCQs)
Total Marks INA, IMA and AFA – 300 marks

OTA – 200 marks

Number of questionsIMA, INA and AFA – 340 questions

OTA – 240 questions



Distribution of questions

·         Maths:  100

·         General Knowledge: 120

·         English: 120

(Maths is not applicable for candidates applied for OTA)




Marking Scheme

The maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be equal for each course i.e. the maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interviews will be 300, 300, 300 and 200 each for admission to the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and Officers’ Training Academy respectively
Negative Markinga.     One-third (1/3) marks will be deducted for every incorrect answer.

b.    More than one response will be treated as wrong answer and 1/3rd mark will be deducted.

c.     If a question is not marked by candidates, there will be no marks and penalty will be given.

Candidates must write their paper by themselves and shall not be provided with a scribe for their help under any circumstances. Using calculator is not permitted. UPSC has the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects in the exam.

UPSC CDS II Interview

Candidates who qualify the CDS II written exam are eligible for CDS II interview. Interview is conducted by SSB to test the personality and intelligence of the candidates. It comprises of the following two stages:

  • Stage 1: It includes Officer Intelligence Rating Tests (OIR) and Picture perception description test (PP & DT)
  • Stage 2: It includes interview, group testing officer tasks, psychology tests and conference which are conducted for over 4 days.

Only those candidates who qualify for stage 1 are permitted to appear for stage 2.

Personality Test Assessment

  • The Interviewing officer, group testing officer and the psychologist assess the personality of candidates.
  • There isn’t any separate weightage for each test.
  • After the performance of candidates is considered, marks are allotted by assessors then.
  • Marks for conference are allotted on the initial performance of candidates in the three techniques and decision of Board.
  • All these have equal weightage.
  • All these tests tend to bring out officer like qualities and their trainability in a candidate.

UPSC CDS II Syllabus

The syllabus for CDS II will include questions from Mathematics, General Knowledge and English. These are of moderate difficulty of graduate level whereas Mathematics will be of Matriculation level.

  • UPSC CDS II Syllabus for English

The question paper for English is designed in a manner so as to test the candidate’s understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.

  • UPSC CDS II Syllabus for General Knowledge

Latest Current Affairs, Indian Constitution, Indian History, Indian Economy, Indian Geography, Indian Politics, Indian Navy & Military, Religions, Books & Authors, Sports, Awards, Statement true/false etc.

  • UPSC CDS II Syllabus for Mathematics

CDS II Syllabus 2017 for Mathematics is tabulated below:

Number System Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal fractions. Unitary method, time and distance, time and work, percentages, applications to simple and compound interest, profit and loss, ratio and proportion, variation
Elementary Number TheoryDivision algorithm. Prime and composite numbers. Tests of divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 11. Multiples and factors. Factorization Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M. Euclidean algorithm. Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables
Algebra Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M., Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (Only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns – analytical and graphical solutions. Simultaneous linear in equations in two variables and their solutions. Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations or in equations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable & their solutions. Set language and set notation, Rational expressions and conditional identities, Laws of indices.
TrigonometrySine x, cosine x, Tangent x when 0° <_x < 90° Values of Sin X, Cos X and Tan X, For X = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°, Simple trigonometric identities, Use of trigonometric tables, Simple cases of heights and distances
GeometryLines and angles, Plane and plane figures, Theorems on (i) Properties of angles at a point, (ii) Parallel lines, (iii) Sides and angles of a triangle, (iv) Congruency of triangles, (v) Similar triangles, (vi) Concurrence of medians and altitudes, (vii) Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle and square, (viii) Circles and its properties including tangents and normals, (ix) Loci.
MensurationAreas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle. Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), Surface area and volume of cuboids, lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, surface area and volume of spheres.

Statistics: Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts etc. Measures of central tendency



Candidates are advised to prepare these topics well. Regular practice of these shall increase their chances of cracking CDS II written exam.

UPSC CDS II Important Points

Candidates shall take note of the below mentioned important points related to CDS II 2017 for their consideration.

  • Exam pattern is a basic blueprint of the scheme of examination.
  • Candidates are made aware regarding all the important points like marking scheme, interview procedure, exam duration and mode.

Candidates can formulate their strategies to prepare well for the exam.