CDS I 2020 Answer Key , Question Paper & Analysis

Updated On -

Feb 14, 2020

Megha Rohilla's profile photo

Megha Rohilla

University Data Specialist

CDS I 2020 has been successfully conducted on February 2, 2020 through offline mode. Various coaching Institutes have released an unofficial answer key. Candidates who have appeared for CDS 2020 can check their answer key as subject-wise. Candidates can know their probable score with help of answer key. 

  • Result for CDS I 2020 is expected to be declared in April 2020 at
  • As per the marking scheme, the weightage of each paper is of 100 marks. Candidates are awarded 1 mark for each correct answer and 1/3 marks are deducted for each incorrect answer.
  • CDS Cut off is expected to be in ranges of 65-85.
  • Applicants score equal or more than cut off marks are considered for the next process.

UPSC CDS 2020 Answer Keys by SSB Crack

SSB Crack has released the answer key PDFs for CDS 1 2020 Exam:

CDS Exam Papers Unoffifial Answer Key and Question Papers
English Download
General Knowledge Download
Mathematics Download

CDS I 2020 Quick Paper Analysis

  • As compared to the previous year, this year CDS was slightly easier.
  • Questions asked from General Knowledge & English subjects were of moderate difficulty level. Check CDS 2020 Paper Analysis
  • Question from Trigonometry, number series & Geometry were in high level.
  • Most of the questions were asked from grammar and vocabulary sections. Read detailed CDS Exam Pattern
  • In GK section questions asked from static GK and also a Science-based question from NCERT level.

CDS 2018 Answer Key

The following table shows the subject-wise answer key for CDS I 2018:

Subject Set A Set B Set C Set D
English Language Download Download Download Download
General Knowledge Download Download Download Download
Elementary Mathematics Download Download Download Download

CDS 2020 Answer Key

After the completion of the exam, the answer key will be released by coaching institutes. It will be released for all sets i.e. A, B, C and D. With the help of the answer key, students can easily calculate the scores based on the number of correct and incorrect answers.

How to Download CDS 2020 Answer Key?

  1. Visit the official website of UPSC i.e.
  2. On the website menu bar, click on the Examination tab
  3. Further click on the Answer Keys option
  4. Click on the desired paper Answer Key link.
  5. After clicking on the link, a PDF file will be displayed on the screen.
  6. Students can download and take the printout of the file for future reference.

Formula for Calculation of Estimated Marks

For English and General Knowledge

Estimated Score = (Total number of correct responses X 0.83) – (Number of wrong Answers X 0.33)

For Mathematics

Estimated Score = (Total number of correct responses X 1) – (Number of wrong Answers X 0.33)

CDS 2020 Paper Analysis

Unlike previous years, there were no ambiguous question this year. CDS was moderate to difficult in nature with direct and conceptual questions. CDS 2020 seems to have been moderately easy yet lengthy. Few questions from some subjects were even lengthier than last year.

The following table shows the Overall Analysis of CDS exam -

Subject Total Marks Time Duration Difficulty Level
English 100 2 Moderate
General Knowledge 100 2 Moderate to average
Elementary Math 100 2 Moderate to difficult
Total  - - Moderate

Distribution of the Questions as per Different sections is as follows -

Subject Topics Number of Questions
English Language Sentence Improvement 20
Reading Comprehension 23
Synonyms 8
Antonyms 7
One Word Substitution 5
Para-Jumble 10
Sentence-Jumble 7
Spot the Error 20
Cloze Test 20
General Knowledge History 19
Science 27
Geography 22
Ecology 06
Polity 20
Economy/ Trade 11
Misc. /Armed Forces 15
Elementary Mathematics Number System 20
Simple interest/Compound interest 5
Percentage 2
Profit/Loss 1
Mixture 1
Time and Work 3
Time speed and Distance 6
Clock 2
Trigonometry 14
Set Theory 1
Geometry 20
Mensuration 14
Algebra 7
Mean-Median-Mode (Frequency Distribution Table) 4

CDS 2020 Expected Cut off

The difficulty level of the written test ranges between low and moderate. The cut off is expected to be in ranges of 65-85.

  • CDS 2020 Cut off List is based on the performance of the candidates in the entrance exam.
  • The cut off will decide the selection of candidate in the particular course.
  • Candidates must obtain the scores equivalent to the scores or ranks in CDS 2020 Cut off to be eligible for CDS Selection Process.

CDS 2020 Expected Cut off

UPSC CDS 2017 Levels UPSC CDS 2020 Cut off (Expected) UPSC CDS 2020 Final Cut off (Expected)
IMA 79-82 234-244
OTA (Men) 74-77 165-172
OTA (Women) 74-77 172-179
AFA 135-141 273-285
INA 69-72 237-247

CDS Previous Years’ Cutoffs

UPSC CDS 2019 Phase 2 cutoff will be released after the conclusion of the recruitment drive. Meanwhile, candidates can check the cutoff of CDS 1 and CDS 2 for the Year 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016. 

CDS I 2019 Cutoff

Academy Written Exam Final Exam
IMA (Indian Military Academy) 116 242
INA (Indian Naval Academy) 105 233
AFA (Air Force Academy) 129 264
OTA (Officers’ Training Academy) men 78 160
OTA (Officers’ Training Academy) women 78 162

CDS I 2018 Cutoff

Academy Written Exam Final Exam
IMA (Indian Military Academy) 118 240
INA (Indian Naval Academy) 98 225
AFA (Air Force Academy) 138 279
OTA (Officers’ Training Academy) men 69 154
OTA (Officers’ Training Academy) women 69 150

CDS I 2017 Cutoff

Academy Written Exam Final Exam
IMA (Indian Military Academy) 125 249
INA (Indian Naval Academy) 118 241
AFA (Air Force Academy) 144 268
OTA (Officers’ Training Academy) men 82 163
OTA (Officers’ Training Academy) women 82 164

CDS I 2016 Cutoff

Academy Written Exam Final Exam
IMA (Indian Military Academy) 72 214
INA (Indian Naval Academy) 63 217
AFA (Air Force Academy) 123 249
OTA (Officers’ Training Academy) men 68 150
OTA (Officers’ Training Academy) women 68 157

CDS Cutoffs Official PDFs

Candidates can download official PDFs from the below-given links:

Year CDS I Cutoff CDS II Cutoff
2019 Download to be available soon
2018 Download Download
2017 Download Download
2016 Download Download
2015 Download Download
2014 Download Download

The below tables represents the previous years cut off of CDS Exam. 

CDS 2017 Cut off

UPSC CDS 2017 Levels UPSC CDS 2017 Cut off (Expected) UPSC CDS 2017 Final Cut off (Expected)
IMA 79-82 234-244
OTA (Men) 74-77 165-172
OTA (Women) 74-77 172-179
AFA 135-141 273-285
INA 69-72 237-247

CDS 2016 Cut off

IAF Training Academies UPSC CDS 2016 Cut off UPSC CDS 2016 Final Cut off
IMA 72 214
OTA (Men) 68 150
OTA (Women) 68 157
AFA 123 249
INA 63 217

CDS Cut off (Academy-Wise)

IAF Training Academy Location IAF Wing UPSC CDS Cut off Vacancies every year
Indian Military Academy Dehradun, UK Indian Army 70-80 Around 100
Air Force Academy Hyderabad, AP Air Force 120-140 40-60
Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala, Kerala Indian Navy 60-70 40-50
Officers Training Academy Chennai, TN Indian Army 65-75 230-260

CDS Previous Year Trend Analysis

CDS 2020 Trend Analysis has been prepared based on the previous year exam analysis. The trend analysis showcases the level of difficulty of each section of CDS exam. This trend analysis will help the candidates to gauge the difficulty level of CDS 2020 exam.

English Mathematics General Knowledge

The paper for English was of average standard.

Most of the questions in this paper was of Class 12th standard.

Most of the questions were from Grammar and Vocabulary sections.

Apart from fact-based questions, the passages had a few inferences based questions too.

Vocabulary based questions on Synonyms, Antonyms, Sentence Completion are gaining more space.

This section comprised questions from a variety of areas.

Major part of Mathematics was based on Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Mensuration and Geometry.

The questions from Trigonometry, Number System and Geometry were of high level
Algebra based questions were from Sets, Functions, Relations, Quadratic Equation have seen a sharp decline over time
Trigonometry based questions have also witness a steady decline.

Questions from static GK dominated the section.

Science based questions were of NCERT level.

Questions from history revolved mainly around art and culture.

This section remained to be moderate.

Questions in this section are asked from General Science and Science and Technology, Geography, Polity, Governance and institutions and current affairs, History and Economics.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.