CDS Maths: Preparation, Topic Wise Weightage, Questions

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

CDS Maths, if prepared thoroughly, can prove to be the most scoring section of the exam. So, here are some important tips to prepare for the Mathematics section of the CDS exam. Elementary Mathematics for CDS is an important section of the exam for those who have applied for the Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy. For the OTA posts, there is no CDS Maths section in the written exam.

Read these CDS Maths preparation tips well to understand how one should prepare for the math section of the exam to score good marks.

Elementary Mathematics for CDS

Maths is an important section in the CDS Exam containing a total of 100 questions carrying a maximum of 100 marks. Candidates need to complete these CDS Maths questions in 2 hours of time. If one wants to crack the paper, then a thorough knowledge of the basic maths concepts and knowing how to prepare for CDS Maths is crucial which are provided in detail in this article.

How to Prepare for CDS Maths?

Paper III of the examination is about Elementary Mathematics for CDS. This paper consists of 100 questions with 1 mark per question which totals 100 marks. If a candidate has not followed General Knowledge rigorously, then the CDS Maths paper can be an exam saviour. So try and give your best shot in this paper.

The CDS Maths paper is designed to test basic concepts of Mathematics at the matriculation level. Here are some general quick tips to prepare elementary mathematics for the CDS exam:

  • A very simple but most important tip to solve CDS Maths questions is to “Read the Question Properly!”. Numerous costly mistakes happen due to the improper reading of questions, in ways like, reading only the main text, not understanding the depth of questions or pre-assuming some similar type of problem attempted while practising, deviating the concentration from the question by thinking or jumping to another problem.
  • The strategy is to solve the easy questions on the first attempt.
  • A perfect & synchronous balance of speed and accuracy is the key to success in the CDS Maths section.
  • Practice as many questions as you can from the CDS Previous Year Papers, mock tests and any other source you may reach out to, in order to score well in the UPSC Combined Defence Service exam.

Best Books to Prepare CDS Maths

For efficient preparation of the CDS Maths section of the exam, ‘Mathematics for CDS Entrance Examination by Dr R. S. Aggarwal’ and for more comprehensive study, NCERTs of 6th to 10th can be followed (please keep this as an option for studying only particular topics, otherwise, you may end up wasting a lot of your valuable time).

Important Topics for CDS Maths Section 

Here in this article, we are providing you with the 7 most important topics for CDS Maths Section. If you are preparing for CDS Maths, you cannot miss these 7 topics. 

1. Number System

The following subjects are covered in the Number System segment of CDS Maths questions:

  • Questions in this subsection comprise topics like:
    (a) Basics of Number System
    (b) L.C.M. & H.C.F.
    (c) Surds and Indices
    (d) BODMAS
    (e) Remainders
  • One can refer to the NCERT books of the 9th-12th standard to understand the basic concepts of this topic.
  • A number of questions are usually asked from LCM/ HCF and Remainders. So, it is advisable to understand the correct approach to solve these questions, look for shortcuts (if any) and practice these topics thoroughly for the exam.
  • HCF & LCM: Understand the basics of the highest common factor (HCF) and Lowest common multiples (LCM) among various numbers and the relationship between HCF and LCM of two numbers.

2. Arithmetic

CDS Maths questions in the Arithmetic subsection consist of the under-mentioned topics:

  • Time, Speed and Distance – Basic knowledge of speed, time and distance is the prerequisite here with an added emphasis on units of measurement as very frequently in the problem, the values can be switched from one unit of measurement to another.
  • Time and work – This topic requires some thorough study. The questions can be of a single person involved in some activity or a group of people working for a common goal. To solve these questions, you should be fluent in calculations of LCM, the Unitary method etc.
  • Percentages
    It is one of the easiest topics to attempt in the CDS Maths section, however, the students should take care of silly mistakes in calculations.
  • Simple and Compound Interest – Questions from this topic usually require the application of basic formulas of SI, CI and Amount.
  • Profit and Loss – Again, this is an easy topic but do read the question properly since the language of the question can pose difficulty in identifying CP and SP if the product is repeatedly bought and sold among different people.
  • Ratio and Proportion – This is also an easy topic and the candidate won’t have to invest too much time here.

3. Algebra

Questions in CDS Maths Algebra will be asked from the following topics:

  • Quadratic equation – Questions of the standard form of a two-degree quadratic equation, sum and product of roots etc., are commonly asked from this topic.
  • Simultaneous Equations – This usually involves solving simultaneous equations involving two variables and practical problems which may lead to the formulation of simultaneous equations or inequalities.
  • Set Theory – Questions from this topic usually involve basic theorems of union and intersection in practical cases like a group of players playing hockey, cricket and football with some of the players playing only one, two, all or none of the games.
  • Law of Indices – This topic is similar to Logarithm and can be covered jointly.
  • Logarithm and its laws – This topic, if not comfortable with, should be referred from the material and preparing short notes of the same will be an added advantage for revising the topic in future.

4. Trigonometry

In CDS Maths Trigonometry, the following subjects will be covered in questions:

  • Prepare basics of Sine, Cosine and Tangent, the quadrant in which they are and trigonometric identities relating one trigonometric term to another.
  • Practical problems in form of height and distances using the application of trigonometric basics are commonly asked.

5. Geometry

The following topics will be addressed in questions in CDS Maths Geometry:

  • Lines – Prepare properties of lines like parallel and perpendicular lines etc.
  • Plane figures and Angles – Geometry is all about the angles hence be well-versed with the related properties of various plane figures like triangles, rectangles, squares, parallelograms and circles.

6. Mensuration

The CDS Maths questions on this topic may involve the following:

  • Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangles and circles as well as the conversion of one form to another keeping a parameter constant.
  • Surface area and volume of cuboids, spheres, right circular cones, cylinders etc. and problems related to finding a relationship between the dimensions of one figure to another keeping Surface area/Volume constant.
  • Practical problems of Surface area and Volumes, for example, an oil tank in form of a cylinder with half of the spheres on either side may be given in the question and the capacity of the oil tank may be asked.

7. Statistics

The CDS Maths questions’ Statistics section covers the following topics:

  • Problems with histograms, bar charts, and pie charts will require visual interpretation with some common sense rather than just in-depth knowledge.
  • Frequency Analysis – Logical presentation of the raw data to arrive at a definite result, for example, weights of the ‘n’ number of students are given in the question and the students need to calculate the mean and median weight.

CDS Maths Topic Wise Weightage

Check the tentative number of questions that might be asked in the CDS Maths paper based on the CDS Exam Analysis. The following table shows the CDS Maths topic-wise weightage which might be useful for the candidates to know on which topics one should give more time and vice-versa:

Topics Number of Questions 
Simplification 8
Divisibility 4
Quadrilaterals and Polygon 4
HCF and LCM 1
Trigonometry 14
Reminders 1
Area and Perimeter (2D) 10
Sequence and Series 2
Powers and Roots 2
Profit and Loss 2
SI and CI 1
Tank and Cistern 2
Time and Distance 3
Work and Time 3
Algebraic Identities 3
Triangles 8
Volume and Surface Area (3D) 8
Circle 3
Statistics 1
Data Interpretation 10
Properties of Number System 2
Height & Distance 2
Quadratic, Polynomials and Inequations 6

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