Last 12 Year Solved papers of CDS 1 Examination

Combined Defence Services 1 Previous solved question paper collection

Old Question papers of CDS 1 exam

CDS – Combined Defence Services is an examination conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) twice a year for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy(IMA), Officers Training Academy(OTA), Indian Naval Academy(INA) and Indian Air Force Academy(AFA). The examination conducted in the first half (February) is termed as CDS 1 and the examination conducted during the second half of the year (usually September) is called CDS II. Both these examinations are not inter-connected. Candidates can attempt any one of the CDS examination or both. Successful candidates of this examination are further interviewed for the Intelligence and Personality Test conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSB). Candidates who qualified both the written test and interview round are recruited for Indian Army, Navy or Air Force respectively.

CDS Eligibility:

The candidate must qualify certain criteria like Age Limit, Educational Qualification and Marital Status inorder to appear in these examinations. The specifications for each post is given below. Girls can apply only for the post in OTA – Officers Training Academy.

Post Age Limit Educational Qualification Marital Status
Officers’ Training Academy(OTA) 19 to 24 Graduation or equivalent Unmarried, Married, Widow, Divorcee
Air Force Academy 20 to 24 Graduation with PCM in 10+2 Or Bachelor of Engineering Unmarried
Indian Naval Academy 19 to 23 Bachelor of Engineering Unmarried
Indian Military Academy 19 to 23 Graduation or equivalent Unmarried

Another important criterion is that the candidate must be physically fit according to the standards prescribed by UPSC. The body of the candidate needs to be free from diseases and disability.  Post medical examination if the candidate is found unfit, He/she wouldn’t be eligible for the CDS Examination.

CDS Exam Pattern:

The CDS Examination comprises of a written examination and the candidates who qualify the written examination are called for the Interview by Service Selection Board (SSB). The mode of examination is Offline and the question paper consists of Objective Type Questions only.  The medium of language is English and Hindi for the examination.

  • For Admission to Officers’ Training Academy

Subject Number of Questions Marks Duration
English 120 100 2 Hours
General knowledge 120 100 2 Hours
  • For Admission to Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy

Subject Number of Questions Marks Duration
English 120 100 2 Hours
General knowledge 120 100 2 Hours
Elementary Mathematics 100 100 2 Hours

Note that Negative marking is applicable in the CDS exam. For every wrong answer, one-third mark will be deducted.

The next stage of the selection process is the SSB Interview. It comprises of 2 parts:

  1. Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR)which involve a Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT) wherein candidates will be shown a picture for 30 seconds. Post 30 seconds, candidates will be given 4 minutes to write about the picture. Then several groups of 15 members will be formed to discuss and arrive at a conclusion regarding the picture. Based on the discussion and conclusion, the officer will rate your intelligence skills.
  2. Once this is cleared, the 2nd round consists of Interview, Group Discussion, Psychology Tests and Personality Test Assessment. Based on their performance at these rounds, the candidates are selected for Indian Army, Navy or Air Force respectively.

CDS Syllabus:

The main subjects covered in this examination are English, General knowledge and Mathematics (except for OTA). The syllabus for CDS 1 and CDS II examination is the same.


  • Reading Comprehension
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Sentence Arrangement
  • Spotting Errors
  • One Word Substitution
  • Para-Jumble

General knowledge:

  • Latest Current Affairs
  • Indian Constitution
  • Indian History and Geography
  • Indian Economy
  • Indian Politics
  • Indian Navy & Military
  • Physics topics like motion, force, units, heat, electricity, temperature etc.
  • Chemistry topics like organic, inorganic, physical and general Chemistry.
  • Biology topics like important diseases and human & plant biology.


  • Arithmetic – Number System, Elementary Number Theory—Division algorithm, Factorisation Theorem, H.C.F. and L.C.M., Euclidean algorithm, Unitary method etc.
  • Algebra – Theory of polynomials, solutions of quadratic equations, Simultaneous linear equations, set language and set notation, Remainder Theorem etc.
  • Geometry – 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

  • Mensuration – Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle; Surface area and volume of cuboids; surface area and volume of spheres.
  • Statistics – Graphical representation frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts etc.; Measures of central tendency and Collection and tabulation of statistical data.
  • Trigonometry – Use of trigonometric tables and Simple trigonometric identities.

Reference to the previous years Question Papers would give a clear idea about the exam pattern, topics covered, marking scheme, time management, etc.

CDS 1 Previous year solved question papers

Click on the below links to download the previous years CDS Question Papers:

Sl. No Year of CDS Examination Download Link
1 2019 Download
2 2018 Download
3 2017 Download
4 2016 Download
5 2015 Download
6 2014 Download
7 2013 Download
8 2012 Download
9 2011 Download
10 2010 Download
11 2009 Download
12 2008 Download
13 2007 Download

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