Last 10 days tips to Crack CDS 1 2021 Exam

The Combined Defence Services or CDS 1 exam notification was announced on October 28th 2020 and it is set to be held on Feb 7th 2021. Conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, it is counted amongst the most prestigious defence examinations in the country. 

Selected candidates get the opportunity to serve in the Indian Military Academy and Indian Naval Academy, amongst others. The selection procedure comprises of the Written Examination followed by the Intelligence and Personality Interview. 

Here, we will present you with the best last days section-wise tips for CDS 1 2021 exam which will help you forge a solid CDS preparation strategy.

CDS 2021 Preparation: Exam Pattern and Syllabus

The CDS preparation syllabus consists of three sections [two for Officer’s Training Academy Exam] as mentioned below. There will be only objective type questions and the standard of the questions will be of Matriculation level for Maths and Graduate level for other subjects. Take a look at the following table for more details.


Section Topics [tentative] Marks Duration
English Reading Comprehension, Sentence/Paragraph Correction, Error Detection, Jumbled Sentences, Active & Passive Voice, Cloze Test, Odd One Out, Fill in the Blanks, Sentence Connectors, Vocabulary [Synonyms, Antonyms, One-word Substitution], etc. 100 2 hours
General Knowledge Current Affairs, Indian Constitution & Polity, National Issues, Business & Economics, Important Institutions [Domestic & International] and current changes, Indian and World History, Film & Television, Science & Technology, Indian & World Geography, Culture, Important Offices & Dignitaries, Important Dates & Anniversaries, Environment, Sports and Recreation, Currency, Books & Authors, General Science 100 2 hours
Elementary Mathematics* Ratio & Proportion, Number System, Speed & Distance, Simplification/Approximation, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Average, Inequalities

Trigonometry, Probability, Simple & Compound Interest, Ages, Functions, Geometry, Quadratic Equations, Linear Equations, Series & Sequences, Permutation & Combination, Probability Graphs & Tables, Data Interpretation, Statistics

100 2 hours
Total 300 / 200* 6 hours / 4 hours *


* Not applicable for Admission to Officer’s Training Academy

CDS 2021 preparation: English

  • Although the number of questions is not fixed, as per last year, the number of the question you are likely to face is 120 questions which will hover around the moderate level. As for questions, there are normally 10 questions each on common topics in the above-mentioned table.
  • In the last 10 days, it is essential to develop an exam intelligence, in addition, to be able to remember, recall and analyse acquired information and techniques. Therefore, a good CDS preparation strategy is attempting short topic-based tests on Error Detection, Fill in the Blanks, Cloze Test, etc. gives you the edge in this respect. This helps in being attentive, refreshed and prepared. 
  • Typically, you will face 2 passages for reading comprehension. During the precious last 10 days, decide on the reading method you will apply and whether you will attempt RCs at the start, middle or end of the section. Also attempt diverse passages belonging to different fields such as science, languages, economics and like. This also aids you in keeping a close eye on the time you take in reading, answering and revising. 
  • For Vocabulary prep in the last 10 days, go through the intermediate level word lists rather than beginner or advanced as it is more likely to be tested. Furthermore, take a look at the synonyms, antonyms, word roots and native language translations of a few of the important words.

CDS 2021 preparation: General Knowledge

  • The General Knowledge section carries a heavy weightage on History, Geography and Polity with a total of 59 questions between them. General Science and Current Affairs had 30 and 22 questions respectively.
  • The last 10 days are absolutely crucial when it comes to General Knowledge and especially the current affairs portion. In that, the subjects of dates and anniversaries, business and economics developments, science and technology innovations and most importantly, defence-related news. Give special attention to missile tests, new inductions, nuclear treaties in the current discussion and other important international organisations.
  • Incorporate as many creative methods as you can. This ranges from puzzles, quizzes and diagrams, flow charts to explainer videos, online assessment and feedback sessions amongst others. This is in addition to the daily newspapers and magazines. The CDS preparation syllabus for GK is quite vast and comprehensive and this CDS preparation strategy is one of the best techniques to achieve confidence.

CDS 2021 preparation: Elementary Mathematics

  • The mathematics section can be said to be a little on the easy side as compared to the other sections. Mensuration and Number System are important portions with 23 questions and 3 questions respectively. Other topics such as Geometry, Trigonometry, Linear Equations and Statistics are also thoroughly tested. 
  • In the vital 10 days of your preparation, the CDS preparation syllabus for Mathematics needs to be revised and cemented. There is no short cut to this other than topic-based short tests along with mock tests. Focus on the calculation speed and how much time you are devoting to question reading, calculation and marking. Switch from different types of questions, make yourself acclimatise with fraction conversions, simplifications and decimals.
  • The Statistics section can be quite scoring with mean, median mode, tables, graphics and introductory data interpretation. The best CDS preparation strategy for Elementary Mathematics is to narrow down your answer choices in terms of units, extreme options and likely options. Further, you must have a solid core of the formulae memorised thoroughly.

CDS preparation strategy: Key Tip

Over and above the above tips, the most important one is that you must not lose confidence in yourself. Keep calm and composed, have faith in your abilities and don’t panic. Get all your documents and necessary items ready, don’t solve any mock tests during the last two days and focus only on revision. On the very last day, refrain from heavy prep and rather take rest. Best of Luck. Stay Connect with our Education Blog India