Led by their ambition to serve the country, thousands of young people will appear for the Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam slated for September 13. The general perception about the competition is that it doesn’t need painstaking study. But it certainly calls for proper planning and a methodical approach.
The exam is a passport to the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA). English, general knowledge and maths are compulsory for all IMA aspirants while OTA hopefuls are exempted from maths. The English and general knowledge papers are set at postgraduate levels while maths is essentially of the matriculation level.
Here are some tips for the different sections.
The question paper is designed to test the candidate’s understanding of English.Regular readers of newspaper and magazines have a better chance of clearing the exam. If you are not an avid reader, then you must prepare well to crack the English test.
n Read at least one newspaper every day.
n Work on your grammar, especially focusing on punctuation and prepositions.
n Make sure unseen passages are practised well so you can complete them in the given time.
You’ll be quizzed on elementary maths, covering arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, geometry, mensuration and statistics.
n Solve previous years’ questions, which give a good idea of the level of questions asked in the paper.
n Practice/solve as many questions as you can.
n If you didn’t study maths at the college level, then focus a little more on the subject.
General knowledge encompasses knowledge of current events, everyday matters and their scientific aspects — everything that an educated person who has not done a special study of any scientific subject is expected to know.
n Be well-versed with current affairs and thoroughly go through all the well-known news magazines.
n Get updated on India-specific news.
n Don’t waste your time preparing topics which fall under the ambit of general knowledge but aren’t related to any current national issue.
n As the break-up of general studies includes Indian economy, Indian polity, social issues etc., pick up information from newspapers accordingly.
Any relevant information jotted down in a notebook will come in handy during last-minute preparations.
Tips by Lt colonel (retired) Ashokan, who runs the Chandigarh-based coaching academy Olive Greens