CDS Exam Syllabus for OTA 2021: What Exactly is OTA in CDS?

cds ota sylabus 2021

First of all, let’s start with the simplest question: what exactly is the CDS exam?

“CDS” is a term for the “Combined Defense Services” exam. The Combined Defense Services exam otherwise known as CDS  is held twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission for selection at the  Officers Training Academy, Indian Military Academy, the Indian Naval Academy, and the Indian Air Force Academy. How many of you know the CDS OTA syllabus 2021? Only a few. That is why today you will be introduced to the CDS exam syllabus for OTA. So let’s begin!

After finishing our undergraduate course, most of us go through this dilemma of what’s next? The choice that comes to mind is to have a postgraduate degree in your subject of graduation, a UPSC, or an MBA. But have you ever discussed the possibility of working for your nation? The Combined Security Services test is your opportunity to join the Army, Navy, or Air Force. Think about it, huh? You should consider the CDS exam as it is relatively simpler than other UPSC exams.

What is Exactly OTA in CDS?

OTA or Officers Training Academy is an IMA and NDA-like military academy. It was founded in Chennai on 15 January 1963. The 49-week OTA course trains graduates from all branches of the Indian Army excluding the Army Medical Corps. Its training time is less than that of the IMA; thus it is significantly more intense than that of the IMA.

Why Join OTA?

A cadet trained in OTA will be provided with critical analysis, preparation skills, administrative and management skills, a wide outlook, and a wider horizon of thinking that he/ she can follow in personal ventures when they retire.

Substantial promotions are also provided:

  • Captain’s rank, after 2 years of commissioned service.
  • Colonel’s rank, after six years of commissioned service.
  • Lieutenant Colonel, after 13 years of commissioned service.

What is the UPSC CDS OTA Syllabus?

Good understanding of the central defence service exam pattern and syllabus is very relevant to all candidates who are preparing for the exam. Awareness of the exam pattern allows students to understand which subjects will be asked in the CDS exam alongside their respective number of questions and the weighting of marks.

There are only two subjects English and General knowledge that you are required to know for OTA. Let’s look at the English syllabus in detail:

This segment will test your knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary. Along with this, sentence development skills are also tested.

  1. Finding errors
  2. Sentence arrangement
  3. Synonyms and antonyms
  4. Choosing words
  5. Ordering of sentences
  6. Comprehension
  7. Ordering of words in a sentence
  8. Fill in the blanks

Also Read: UPSC CDS Cut Off 2020: Check-out the Exam Expectations Here

UPSC CDS Syllabus for General Knowledge

The General Knowledge portion of the CDS syllabus contains Current Affairs and the Static gk. The General Knowledge paper includes questions on different topics as set out below:

  1. History
  2. Geography
  3. Politics
  4. Economics
  5. Sociology
  6. Physics, Chemistry, Biology
  7. Environment
  8. Sports
  9. Awards
  10. Books & Authors
  11. Culture and Traditions

Applicants would have to monitor regular current affairs in order to plan for the current affairs portion. Applicants should read newspapers and a variety of books on current affairs such as The Yearly Current Affairs 2020 for Competitive Exams to prepare for this section.

Let’s Find the Eligibility for CDS OTA

There are several requirements that you are supposed to meet in order to sit for the CDS OTA exam. He/ should meet the following conditions:

  • A citizen of India

  • A subject of Bhutan, or

  • A subject of Nepal or  a Tibetan refugee who had come to India before 1 January 1962 in order to live permanently in India, or

  •  A person of Indian descent who has emigrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and the East African countries (Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam) with an aim to permanent settlement in India.
  • Graduation degree from a respected university
  • The age should be 19-25.
  • He/ she should be unmarried

These were the main and the big ones if you wish to know the physical eligibility you can find out here.


Between now and the central defence service exam, it’s advised that candidates go through the CDS Exam Pattern and the CDS Syllabus thoroughly and start the training so that you can crack the exam with a top score. Don’t forget to look at the cutoff of the last years to know the competition. Cracking CDS requires a lot of effort and practice. So, dedicate yourself seriously to the preparation of the CDS and go ahead with the right knowledge and mindset.

Also Read: Check This to Know All About CDS OTA Training Period

CDS Exam Syllabus for OTA 2021: What Exactly is OTA in CDS?
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CDS Exam Syllabus for OTA 2021: What Exactly is OTA in CDS?
What subjects are there in CDS OTA syllabus 2021? Find out if you are eligible to take the CDA exam or not? Is the syllabus easy or hard? Watch out for GK topics as well
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UPSC Pathshala
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