How To Crack CDS 2024 Exam
CDSE consists of 3 separate papers held on a single day with a gap of an (hour) between each paper. You must score 20% minimum marks in each paper to clear individual cut off of each subject. The example below illustrates the marks scored and the result.
|90 or 30% (❌)
|129 or 43% (❌)
|125 or 41% (✅)
Now, first let me tell you that if you have heard what i’m going to tell you then you need a clean slate on mindset before we proceed. THESE DON’T WORK!
1) Reading 5-6 different books for CDSE? You’ll apply for CDS either during your final year of graduation or once you have finished it. Practically you’ll not have enough time to read 5-6 different books but assuming even if you do, will you be able to study and remember everything from these 5-6 books? it’s impractical!
2) Coach for CDSE? Coaching is tutoring but instead of personal tutoring, it is a “mass tutoring” and you are at the peril of what tutors make you all do.
You can be explained topics but who is going to memorise? Who will create notes from rough clustered data that is provided? You are not a school child who needs tutoring. Do you?
Although personal Coaching can help but mass coaching is not desirable. If you have to do everything on your own why not save time and money to research and self study!
This way not only you prepare smart but will also have your own personal freedom to carve your strategy, planning and blueprint and you will not be forced an overall strategy followed by others in coaching.
3) Practice 10 previous year papers? Long gone are those days when only practicing previous year papers could do wonders during your written. The syllabus is evolving and becoming tough year over year. Not having a good planning can leave you helpless during written and you’ll not be able to answer even 10-15 questions in CDS General Knowledge.
So, it is necessary that you have a clean slate before we move on to the ultimate Secrets. You dont want to waste any attempt of yours in any trial and get going for the SSB Interview.
Now, Let us find some truth to CDS paper starting with the first paper English.
Paper 1 English
So, English is a lengthy paper. If you are too slow then you will certainly miss around 20 questions. Some topics are tough, some easy, but overall, the English pattern remains consistent. Here’s a brief overview.
|Parts of Speech
|Ordering of words
|Ordering of sentence
|Fill in the blanks
|Preposition & determiners
|Completion of sentence
|Idioms & phrases
|Antonyms & Synonyms
While there’s always a mix of questions from every topic, expect at least 5 questions from each & if you’re lucky you may get 10 questions each from easier topics.
“English is a scoring paper” , Yes thats true! because Gk isn’t going to be scoring at all and hence you must do your bit to score above 60 in English.
Firstly, you should have a habit of reading fiction books of your interest before going to bed! See, English is a language and there is nothing to memorise. The more you talk, think and watch in English, the better will be your flow. But how do you prepare for CDSE?
You need proper introduction of all topics, let us say parts of speech. So you first understand the topic as given below in the picture. Many books do not even have this topic in their syllabus.
Hence, follow study material that includes entire CDSE syllabus. Understand the topic, practice questions and see how strong you are for this particular topic. Whichever book you refer should have practice workbook separately so that you can have enough revision.
Practice well so that you can go through the entire paper during your exam. Your aim should be to attempt atleast 80 percent of the paper. Many will tell you to attempt only those questions that you are completely sure of but it is not a good strategy in English. It is definitely a good strategy in General knowledge but in a scoring paper like English It is always recommended to attempt at least 80% of the paper. Why? Have a look at the below attempted scores.
Paper 2 General Knowledge
CDS GK is a very tough paper. The questions are from varied topics and there is no fixed weightage of topics.
Example, sometimes there will be more questions from wars and battles while sometimes there are more questions from personalities and prominent figures. You can never guess the weightage. Candidates find it very difficult to score even the cut off marks in GK paper.
Complete understanding is necessary but do smart study and memorise what is important. Example, let us take the topic of “Indus Valley Civilisation”
You can learn many things about Indus Valley civilisation such as who was the founder and in which year was this discovered? but will it be asked in your exam? You are not doing PHD in these subjects. Your aim is to know everything important for CDS exam so that you clear your written.
What was the cremation system during the civilisation? what was their symbol? what were the crops grown? Do you know these answers? Check these notes below on Indus Valley Civilisation. This is how smart notes should be!
You can answer any question on Indus Valley Civilisation ever asked in UPSC through these smart notes and covered in barely 2 pages. Is that not amazing? This is how each and every topic should be covered. Further maps are very important to understand and give context
Similarly you have to cover other subjects such as geography, economics, defence & practical science. For example when covering notes on economics you need to understand economic terms in simple words with daily life examples. If I ask you about demand income relation, elasticity, you may or may not know about it but going through this you’ll definitely understand it properly.
Let us take another example of practical science. Practical science refers to those topics of science that are related to our daily life such as which colour on wall makes room hot or cold, will ship float more on salt water or fresh water? sound is heard more in night or day? or which is flat bone in human body? which chemical in toothpaste prevents tooth decay?
With such notes for every topic your confidence soars higher than ever. If you can prepare such notes then well enough.
But I suggest, you leave it to the experts and save time. I’m going to refer you this book called Mission CDS, comprehensive guide meticulously crafted for the CDSE (Combined Defence Service Entrance Examination). It covers English, General Knowledge & Mathematics.
Lastly, To revise your GK, I highly recommend that you practice 5000+ Most Expected MCQs. These are carefully picked questions with chapter wise detailed explanation.
I don’t recommend reviewing previous year papers for GK because the challenging nature of the GK paper makes it highly unlikely that questions from previous CDSE exams will be repeated. Rather go for all GK papers of SSC, Bank, IB, because questions frequently recur from these UPSC sources. Get 5000+ Most Expected MCQs for a solid practice.
Paper 3 Elementary Mathematics
Coming to paper 3 Mathematics, Any Females still reading this blog? This paper isn’t for you or even for those males who are only applying for OTA, a short service commission of 14 years in Indian Army.
Those applying for IMA, INA & AFA, hold yourself together for this section as lot of things are going to be cleared up.
One, Mathematics is a Very Lengthy paper and if you go about to solve it as if you were giving your 10th or 12th board paper, you’ll hardly reach 40th question until the bell rings and the time is up.
Practically, you have 2 hours for this paper containing 100 questions and this can be your possible speed
|Average time per question
|Possible Attempted Questions
So, now you know that you have to be super fast to solve the paper. Some questions may be easy, taking only 1.5 minutes, while others may take over 5 minutes without reaching an answer. Here is an average breakdown of difficulty in CDS Mathematics
Overall CDS Mathematics is a paper with medium difficulty and the weightage of questions from each chapter keeps changing. Have a look at the Birds Eye view below to understand the syllabus.
Now you know why speed is essential for CDS Mathematics paper and to fast track it you need mathematic tricks. Certain questions too are long and takes time to understand. Let us take this trick for example, could you have possibly read this question and solved this in 1.2 minutes without this trick?
Further you need to have clarity on the chapter. Example if you take this chapter. “Work & Time”. Wouldn’t you be more confident if I tell you only these 5-6 types of questions come from this chapter? Further, you can then focus on these types individually with solved example and tricks. Then solve overall practice exercise including all kinds of questions for revision.
Self practice is crucial; mathematics may seem effortless in a group, and tricks are simple to apply. However, memorization is challenging without consistent practice.
I Recommend Mission CDS Book that has simple explanation, chapter divided into separate types of questions with shortcut tricks and solved examples. Further, you get Fully solved practice exercise at the end of each chapter.
If you are only preparing for Mathematics then you can order CDS Maths Fastrack with shortcut tricks separately on major e-commerce platforms like Amazon & Flipkart, otherwise Mission CDS includes Mathematics.
This new New book, Mission CDS covers everything in point to point manner and with more details, chronological topics so that there is no confusion, maps to revise, Maths tricks and sample practice papers.
Your score will reflect how you utilized your time and directed your efforts. You’re in for a stroke of luck with this exceptional guide in hand especially as you gear up for your CDSE preparation.
Dream, Believe, Achieve. Best Wishes