Overall Preparation Strategy for CDS (2) 2021

By Naveen Singh|Updated : February 8th, 2021

Here is the overall preparation strategy for CDS 2021. Candidates planning to take the exam must read this CDS preparation strategy thoroughly in order to crack this exam with a good score. 

The CDS (Combined Defence Service) Examination is conducted by the UPSC to join the Indian Army, Indian Navy & Air Force as Officers. The Exam is conducted twice a year and candidates can join Military institutions IMA, INA, AFA and OTA. The exam gives the aspirants a good chance of having a job that has pride and satisfaction clubbed together.

While preparing for the examination, it is very common amongst the aspirants to get puzzled by the overall structure of the examination.  We have already shared the Exam Pattern and Syllabus of CDS 2 2021 Examination for your Convenience.

Moreover, the examinations like CDSE have a very detailed and elongated syllabus which makes it more troublesome for the aspirants. Thus, what is desirable is a comprehensive viewpoint with which to approach the exam preparation.

Overall Preparation Strategy for CDS 2 2021

In this article, we are trying to enlist and touch down with some of the major and most prominent points that have the calibre of changing the status of your result.

1. Know your exam

  • It is a quite common occurrence that aspirants do not consider the exam pattern properly, which leads to them being blindsided on the examination day.
  • Any aspirant worth his salt should be able to recite the exam pattern even in their sleep; if not, then it raises a lot of serious questions about the aspirant’s seriousness about the exam itself.
  • Recruitment through CDSE requires the candidates to pass two levels; firstly, the written test, then the dreaded SSB round. Only those candidates who pass both these exams with the desired credentials are inducted in the forces.
  • Check Previous Year Question Paper of CDS Exam and the exam analysis to get an idea about the level of questions asked in the exam.

We have already shared the exam pattern of CDS. Go through it for better understanding. 

2. Know your cut-offs

The cut-offs for the last two exams need to be on the fingertips if one wants to succeed in the examination. This helps in understanding the level of effort that one needs to put to get into the interview list for the personally favoured training institute.



Note: Scoring 20% marks in each subject is mandatory for qualification.

3. Know your syllabus

This is by far the most important part of the preparation strategy. At the end of the day what is asked in the examination are the questions from the designated syllabus, any ignorance about this can be disastrous.

  • UPSC makes sure to give a detailed point by point division of the syllabus in the notification. Still, at all points before and even after the examination, aspirants can be seen bothered about what might come into the examination. A careful and thorough analysis of the syllabus provided in the notification can resolve all such issues once and for all.
  • So, before you start with studying any of the books or any other form of preparation just be very sure about the syllabus which you need to prepare. Below listed are the advantages of knowing the exam syllabus thoroughly.
    1. You’ll be aware of what are the topics which though mentioned in source materials, can be avoided while preparation.
    2. The time spent at the beginning of creating a step-wise plan for covering the syllabus will save your precious time throughout the course of preparation.
    3. As you’ll have a proper course of action prepared, it would help you in developing a long-term preparation plan.
    4. Having a mental catalogue of the syllabus ensures that you do not miss out on any of the important aspects, subjects or topics relevant to the examination.
  • You can very well see how the initial pondering over the syllabus can help you in the subsequent preparation, so don’t shy away from spending some time in understanding the syllabus at the beginning itself.

4. Where to start with

  • The first step in preparation after all the pre-requisites are taken care of, is to collect and practice as many relevant previous year papers as one may find.
  • This allows the aspirants to know the exact level of questions in the paper.
  • It is important because as the aptitude syllabus for almost all the examinations is similar to an extent thus knowing the question types helps in decoding the paper pattern to a good measure.
  • For CDS, the relevant previous year papers can be found from UPSC website. In addition to this, the previous year papers of SSC CGL can also serve as good source material. The questions asked in the General Knowledge paper (particularly from Science & Tech) domain in SSC CGL and CDS are nearly the same.
  • So, start with attempting some of these previous year paper sets, analyse them and try to document any pattern in the questions being asked. This helps a lot in eliminating the irrelevant portions of the syllabus at the time of preparation.
  • A word of caution though, never assume that the level of the paper can be predicted with exact accuracy.  You can get a fair idea by attempting the previous year papers but always be ready for some surprises in the paper.

5. Stay focused on all aspects of the exam

  • It is a very general mistake that the aspirants only work hard on clearing the written examination while neglecting the other important phase, SSB.
  • It is definitely true that SSBs are largely dependent on the actual personality and persona of the candidate, thus it is important to try and keep grooming these skills as well.
  • Improving your Group Discussion skills by having fruitful discussions with friends is one of the most accepted and proven methods. This also allows the candidates to garner confidence which is crucial in SSBs.
  • Physical fitness also forms a very crucial part of the SSB, thus keeping oneself physically active during preparation can be very helpful. This regular physical activity also comes in handy in relieving some of the stress that is part and parcel of preparation for any competitive examination.

Also read:  Strategy to Crack CDS SSB Interview in First Attempt

The final and most important thing is to trust yourself and your preparation throughout the course of the examination. Any wavering from this can become a defining moment between being selected and being nearly selected. Creating a plan and then following it properly is the only sure way to get through the doors of the premier defence institutes.

In the words of Gene Kranz, Flight Director of Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle Missions,

Failure is not an option”.

So, buckle up and give all you can to make your dream come true.

Check Out:

Important Study Notes for Defence Exams

Defence Specific Notes

Weekly Current Affairs

Current Affairs Quiz

SSB Interview Tips



Sahi Prep Hai Toh Life Set Hai


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Naveen Singh
@Pushpendra Singh check out : https://gradeup.co/best-cds-books-i
Abhishek Yadav
Sir is cds 100 day score booster course enough to score around 150 marks,  i wish to join , can i totally rely on this
Naveen Singh
@Abhishek Yadav Yes it is an extensive course which would cover all the important topics for CDS exam. In addition to this you can attempt mock tests also. A major thing also depends on your level of preparedness and how much time you can devote.
Abhishek Shukla
150+ too english & maths mai aa jaate h bt gs dubaa deti h hmesha 3 baar gs mai bhr hua hu 🤕
Suneelkumar Baghel
Thank you Naveen sir
Suman Saini

Suman SainiNov 21, 2019

Sir ji cds ka target batch chahiye kya available ho payega, hindi medium
Atul Lokhande
Thank you so much Naveen sir
Muni Mahesh Kumar
Hi sir.i m preparing for ACC will you plz provide me any meterial.
Sahil Hastodiya
Sir please give important books for cds preparation

CDS & Defence Exams

CDSCAPFAFCATTA ExamACC ExamOther ExamsPracticePreparation
tags :CDS & Defence ExamsGeneralBSF ExamSSB InterviewACC ExamIndian Army TGC ExamNCC Special Entry Exam

CDS & Defence Exams

CDSCAPFAFCATTA ExamACC ExamOther ExamsPracticePreparation
tags :CDS & Defence ExamsGeneralBSF ExamSSB InterviewACC ExamIndian Army TGC ExamNCC Special Entry Exam

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