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How to Prepare for UPSC CDS Exam?

This is a comprehensive article that will answer the question: How to Prepare for CDS. Through this article we bring to you the tools for creating an efficient study plan and effortlessly acing CDS Preparation.

Before starting your preparation, please make sure that you have with you the recommended CDS preparation study material, a comprehensive list of CDS syllabus topics and their notes, previous years’ papers and mock tests for practice.

CDS Preparation: English Section

The CDS Exam’s English section is set in such a manner that it tests your basic understanding of the English language. So the paper has 120 objective questions worth 100 marks that need to be solved in 2 hours. Some of the question types that you will see in the exam are basic grammar, spotting the correct sentences, antonyms, synonyms, and the like.

Preparation tips

  • The day you figure out you want to write CDS, it is advised that you start reading the newspaper daily. This will expose you to new words and their usage in English language. Reading the newspaper will also go a long way in helping you forming your opinions and articulating them.
  • You can go through any of the grammar books that you followed during your school days to refresh your grammar concepts.
  • Set goals: try to learn a stipulated number of words daily. You could start off by learning one word a day and slowly increase it every week. This will help you monitor your progress and keep track of all the words you have learned.
  • You can also learn the antonyms of the word along with its usage simultaneously.
  • Solve past years papers at regular intervals to gauge if your preparation is helping.

CDS Preparation: General Knowledge

The General Knowledge section tests your knowledge of current affairs, history, geography, scientific phenomena and other topics. The paper consists of 200 questions worth 100 marks and will be objective in nature. You will be given 2 hours to complete the section.

Preparation tips:

  • Read newspapers regularly and watch television for the latest happenings in and around the world. Also make it a habit to read the editorials of the newspaper.
  • Read magazines that cover a variety of topics ranging from economy to business to trade policies to the latest awardees in the fields of sports, art and literature. In short, prepare to be asked questions from any field during the exam.
  • Refer to past question papers to get an idea of the type of questions that are regularly asked and prepare accordingly( for eg: authors of books, full forms of acronyms etc.)

CDS Preparation: Mathematics Section

The Elementary Mathematics paper will contain questions from basic 10th grade level topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Mensuration and Basic statistics. This section too will have questions worth 100 marks that need to be completed in 2 hours.

Preparation tips

  • Cover each topic mentioned in the syllabus thoroughly and strengthen your basics;start with topics that you find easy and gradually move on to the more difficult topics
  • Practice each topic regularly
  • Go through previous years papers and solve questions from it. Regularly monitor your performance.

CDS Preparation:Intelligence and Personality test

You can become eligible to take the Intelligence and Personality test by clearing the written test. The Intelligence and Personality test is conducted by Services Selection Board (SSB). The SSB has the sole authority to conduct this test, which is usually spread over 3 to 4 days. The Intelligence and Personality test is aimed at evaluating your personality, checking your intelligence and your ability to thrive as an officer of the Defence Services. The test has several components: Psychological Tests, Group Discussion, Intelligence Tests, Outdoor activities, Opinion on issues, Physical Fitness, and the like. By clearing the written test you will have proved your academic prowess and intelligence; but this test is your opportunity to prove to the SSB that you truly have what it takes to become a worthy officer.

Preparation tips

  • Concentrate and develop reasoning ability, written and oral expressions, self-confidence, courage, a positive and a cheerful attitude. Try participating in debates with your friends and family. Get involved in discussions about current-day events
  • Train your mind to think clearly, rationally and logically. Whenever you read a news article, you could jot down your opinions and arguments and practice speaking them out.
  • Improve your communication skills, practice till you have a good command over the language.
  • Train yourself to respect your seniors and juniors
  • Develop a cooperative and responsible attitude, which will help in successfully carrying out team work
  • Improve your general awareness regarding national and international issues
  • Begin to think and behave like an officer

Here are some generic tips that you must follow to ace the CDS Exam:

Syllabus: Have the syllabus firmly in mind. Try to practice regularly and avoid skipping any topics.
Past question papers: Solve as many past question papers as possible. Previous years’ question papers will give you an insight into what to expect.

Maintain routine: It is a good idea to maintain a routine so that you completely cover all the subjects and also have the time to have a quick revision.

Clear concept: Have a clear understanding about the topics. This will help you solve the paper easily.

Time management: How to solve and answer all the questions in the examination hall is something that you have to plan and prepare well. Having a strategy in place helps. The strategy will differ from person to person. You can choose your own strategy. For instance, identify the topics you are strong at and tackle those questions first. Then move on to questions you are less confident about. Also time yourself and mentally have a certain amount of time fixed for answering the questions and stick to it.

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Study material: You can refer to good study materials. They are available in book stores or online. They certainly help a lot.

Coaching: You can opt for personal coaching if you feel the need to. Or maybe you can get in touch with candidates who have cleared the CDS exam and take tips from them.

Officer’s attitude: Begin to think and behave like an officer. You can practice by putting yourself in the shoes of an officer every time you face a situation. This will certainly play a vital role in developing your personality. Just a word of caution – be sincere when you think and behave like an officer, because superficiality is not going to pay here.

Build confidence: Have the confidence that you will clear the CDS exam. After all the Defence Forces is all about courage and confidence. So, having a positive attitude will go a long way in ensuring that you clear the CDS exam.

CDS Preparation:  How to use Wordpandit for CDS Exam Preparation?

  • Wordpandit offers you the complete collection of material, tips, resources, and strategy guides that are needed to clear competitive exams. The important areas of the exam receive exhaustive coverage from our side. Have a look:
  • English: We have a complete set of tests for your help and cover the entire range of CDS topics.
  • GK: We have a dedicated General Knowledge section, with extensive testing for Static GK.
  • Mathematics: Important CDS topics such as Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Mensuration have adequate representation in the form of tests and concepts.
  • Unique Vocabulary Section: Our most unique feature, our dedicated Vocabulary learning area, offers you the easiest possible way and extensive material to learn words easily. Coupled with our other unique section, the Reading section, we offer you some of the best English Language Skill Building material that is available online.
  • Well, this is not all. We have a 120 Aptitude Preparation Plan on the website. You can go through this preparation plan, one day at a time, and cover all the important concepts, tests, and material on this website. This is out guided preparation section for you guys. So, what are you waiting? Get started with your preparation @ Wordpandit right away.
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