[Studyplan] CDS Maths Paper: Number System, Quadratic Equations, Surds, Indices, Linear Equation (Part 1 of 3) for UPSC Combined Defense service exam

CDS Maths Papers (Topicwise Breakup)

[Studyplan] CDS Maths Paper: Number System, Quadratic Equations, Surds, Indices, Linear Equation (Part 1 of 3) for UPSC Combined Defense service exam

  1. Prologue
  2. Topic wise breakup CDS Maths Papers
  3. Gather the weapons
  4. Warm up the brain
  5. [Block#1]: Basics + Algebra
  6. Number System
  7. Surds, Indices, Powers, Exponents
  8. Linear Equations
  9. Quadratic equations
  10. Appendix Download link: Topic wise Sorted NCERTs


Studyplan for CDS GK paper already given click me. In this three part article series, we’ll how to prepare for the maths papers. This is different from CSAT and CAPF in following ways:

  1. No questions on reasoning.
  2. Plenty of questions Trigonometry, quadratic equations asked.
  3. They ask theory based geometry i.e. beyond the routine area-volume-perimeter type questions that you see in bank, LIC and state service exams.
  4. Even Statistics based theory questions are asked.

In recent years, SSC CGL has been moving towards Trigonometry, Geometry and Quadratic equations. CDS runs on parallel tract, but with higher difficulty level.

Topic wise breakup CDS Maths Papers

Duration: 2 hours; 100 MCQs; 100 Marks; Negative-Marking for wrong answers: yes.

Block CDS Exam 2012(I) 2012(II) 2013(I) 2013(II)
BASICS: need to be prepared for any aptitude exam. BoDMAS/Simplification 2 1 1 0
surds indices 2 3 2 5
number system 12 11 7 11
linear equation 3 3 3 2
BANK: these topics are important for Bank, IBPS, LIC, PSU type exam. % (profit loss, Interest rate) 5 7 2 2
Ratio-Proportion 1 1 1 0
Mixture-Alligiation 0 0 2 1
statistics, Data Interpretation 6 7 7 5
Time-Speed-Distance-Work 3 5 9 10
SSC|CDS block: more than 50% of the Questions come from this block. quadratic equations 11 9 13 13
Trigonometry 10 14 18 14
Geometry 39 34 33 36
Misc: asked in SSS/CDS/CAT. This should be prepared at last, once you’re done with priority topics viz. trig, QE and geometry. functions, Coordinate Geometry 2 1 0 0
logarithms 3 2 0 0
Venn Diagrams 1 2 2 1
total MCQs in CDS 100 100 100 100

Let’s plot this data on a graph.
CDS Maths Papers (Topicwise Breakup)

From the above graph you can see in last two papers 2013(I) and 2013(II) nearly 80% of the questions came from only five topics viz.

  1. Number System
  2. Quadratic Equations (And Polynomials)
  3. Time-Speed-Distance-Work
  4. Geometry
  5. Trigonometry

so the only question remains is: how to prepare?  I’m dividing it into four blocks, as show in the following chart. Topics highlighted in red, are high priority.


in this article, we’ll see how to handle block#1.

  • Now in the second article, we’ll see how to approach block#2: percentage, profit-loss, simple-compound interest rate, time-speed-distance-work and statistics-Data interpretation related problems. click me
  • in this third and last article, we’ll see block#3: how to approach geometry, trigonometry and remaining misc. Topics(block#4) .click me

But first….

Gather the weapons

  1. NCERT Maths (required for definition-theory based MCQs). Topicwise zip file given at bottom
  2. One book on quantitative aptitude*
  3. one separate notebook to maintain “diary of mistakes”
  1. Topicwise solved paperset of previous CDS exams (Arihant Publication)
  2. A folder and loose A4 sized papers. (To maintain a diary of mistakes and shortcuts. This is better than a notebook because you can add new pages anywhere as per your requirement.)
  3. A slate, like those poor kids use in government primary schools. (It saves lot of paper wasted in practicing math sums.)

*Which book to use for CDS Maths?

Book-Cover-Quantam CAT Sarvesh

NCERTs only clear the basics but for competitive exam level maths, you need a book on quantitative aptitude to learn and practice advanced concepts.  In the market there are plenty of names. My recommendation is as usual Quantam CAT by Sarvesh Kumar Verma.Reasons:

  1. RS Aggarwal, M.Tyra, Guha etc. don’t cover geometry theory (cords, bisectors, orthocenter etc.);  trigonometry, quadratic equations, logarithms, etc. in detail.  While they help for bank, LIC level exams but hardly useful for CDS.
  2. Sarvesh Kumar’s geometry chapter is thorough, particularly the summary tables of triangles, quadrilaterals and circles. Those of you already know the basics of geometry, can directly use without having to go through NCERTs.
  3. For the given price range this book helps in all competitive exams: starting from SSC CGL, PSU, IBPS, UPSC to all the way upto CAT.  Each chapter contains introductory exercises, level 1, level2 and final round exercises. For CDS do upto level 1. Thus saves your time and money in not having to buy new book for every exam.

Warm up the brain

In CDS, there is minimum physical requirements for height, chest, eyesight. Similarly to glide through Maths paper, you need to meet following requirements:

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