UPSC CDS (II) Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2016


UPSC CDS (II) Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2016: UPSC conducts the Combined Defence Services Examination for recruiting new candidates every year for the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. This year, CDS II examination will be conducted on 26th October. Interested candidates can start applying for various posts from UPSC website.

Since, only a few months are left for the UPSC CDS (II) exam, it is important to shed some light on the basic exam pattern and syllabus for the exam. The selection procedure for CDS (II) is going to be same as that of CDS (I). Candidates will have to pass the written examination with good marks to make it to the merit list. The final selection will depend on how the candidates perform in interview/ personality test of the UPSC CDS (II) exam.


UPSC CDS (II) Exam Pattern 2016 

As per the exam pattern, the examination will be held in two stages i.e written exam and interview.

Written Exam

Written examination consists of Objective MCQ based questions carrying 100 marks for each subject. For subject wise analysis of the CDS (II) examination, refer to the following table:

(A) For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy:

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100
Elementary Mathematics 2 Hours 100

(B) For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy:

Subject Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 Hours 100
General Knowledge 2 Hours 100

The question papers of General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics will be set bilingually i.e in Hindi as well as English. The maximum marks allotted to the written examination and to the interview will be equal for each course. This means, for admission to IMA, INA and AFA interview will carry 300 marks and for admission to officers’ training academy interview will carry 200 marks. 

Candidates who are declared successful in the written exam will be detailed for intelligence and personality test at the Service Selection Board (SSB) based on their preference, by the respective service headquarter. 


The candidates who are selected in written test are called for interview. The SSB procedure consists of two stage selection process-Stage I and Stage II. Only those candidates who clear the stage I are permitted to appear for Stage II.

Stage I: It comprises of Officers Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests aand Picture Perception Description Test (PDT). The candidates will be selected on the basis of performance in both the tests. 

Stage II: It comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officers Tasks, Psychology Tests and the conference. 

The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different assessors viz. the interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist.  The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate in both the stages. 


UPSC CDS (II) Syllabus 2016

UPSC CDS (II) syllabus for the papers English and General knowledge is considered to be comparatively easy whereas Elementary Mathematics’ syllabus is quite vast. In order to crack the UPSC CDS (II) examination, you need to increase your knowledge and work on mathematics topics. Given below are subject wise syllabus for the papers of UPSC CDS (II):

Paper I: English

This section consists of basic understanding of English and verbal ability.

Paper II: General Knowledge

Knowledge of current events and of everyday observation and experience in your scientific aspects. The Paper will also include questions on History of India and Geography.

Paper III: Elementary Mathematics

  • Arithmetic: 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 Theory: Division algorithm. Prime and composite numbers. Tests of divisibility by 2, 3,4,5,9 and 11. Multiples and factors. Factorisation 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. Polynomial Theory, Quadratic equations solutions, relation between its roots and coefficients. 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.
  • Trigonometry: Sine 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.
  • Geometry: Lines 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 normal, (ix) Loci.
  • Mensuration: Areas 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.

We hope this article provides you with all the necessary details regarding the UPSC CDS (II) exam pattern and syllabus. Let us know if you have any doubts or queries by posting them in the comment section below.

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