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How to Prepare for CDS Elementary Mathematics

Updated On -

Oct 14, 2020

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Simran Nigam

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CDS (I) 2021 Exam is expected to be scheduled on February 7, 2021 (tentative). CDS Exam pattern comprises of a written exam and personal interview. The written test will be conducted for 3 subjects namely, English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics. Check CDS Exam Pattern and Syllabus

There are 2 papers in CDS Exam that are organized, one for Indian Military Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Air Force and the other for Officer’s Training Academy. Mathematics is an important part of this first paper. Math for CDS exam is most important as you can score high in mathematics if you practise hard enough.

Get FREE CDS 2021 Mock Tests, Sectional Quiz, Previous Years Papers. Click Here

Have a look at the exam pattern for CDS Examination:

Subjects Duration Maximum Marks
English 2 hours 100
General Knowledge 2 hours 100
Elementary Mathematics 2 hours 100

CDS Elementary Mathematics Structure

Mathematics exam comprises of 100 questions which have to completed within a time duration of 120 minutes. This paper is design to test your speed and concepts of math calculations.

Everything depends on how fast you solve various types of problems. Practice more and more for this paper to score well in UPSC Combined Defence service exam. Aspirants must cover these following topics

CDS 2017

Click here to read the official notification of CDS Exam 

CDS Elementary Mathematics: Question – based Analysis

To crack the CDS Elementary Mathematics with flying colours. Here, we are providing you with a pattern of some questions from significant topics which have been repetitively asked year after year. The detailed analysis is mentioned in the table below:


It covers topics like – Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circle. Areas of figures which can be split up into these figures (Field Book), Surface area and volume of cuboids, lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders, surface area and volume of spheres.

Given below is the analysis of questions of previous year’s papers

The number of questions asked from mensuration 3D is higher than 2D. Thus, one needs to try and focus on them as it can really boost your score and help you clear the average cut-off.

Topic No. of questions
2014-I 2014-II 2015-I 2015-II 2016-I
Mensuration -2D 10 6 10 4 7
Mensuration -3D 9 12 11 13 3

Practice Elementary Maths Sample Papers for free during your preparation time of CDS Exam


Sine x, cosine x, Tangent x when fr< x < 90°Values of sin x, cos x and tan x, for x = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90° Simple trigonometric identities. Use of trigonometric tables. simple cases of heights and distances.

Trigonometry previous year’s paper analysis is discussed below

The maximum number of questions are asked from Trigonometrical Identities. It is of utmost importance and you need to emphasize this topic a little more than the others.

Topic No. of questions
2014-I 2014-II 2015-I 2015-II 2016-I
Trigonometric Rations 2 1 1  – 1
Sum, difference and product formulae 4 3 3 3 1
Trigonometrical ratios of multiple and sub-multiple angles 1 2 2  – 1
Properties of triangles 4 1 1 1  –
Height and distance 3 1 3 2 1
Trigonometrical Identities 5 6 7 5 5

Check CDS Exam: Mathematics - Syllabus, Exam Pattern, Preparation Tips, and Recommended Books


Number System-Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, Square roots, Decimal, fractions. Unitary method, time and distance, time and work, percentages, applications to simple and compound interest, profit and loss, ratio and proportion, variation. Elementary Number Theory- Division algorithm. Prime and composite numbers. Tests of divisibility by 2,3,4,5,9 and 11. Multiples and factors. Factorisation Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M. Euclidean algorithm, Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms, use of logarithmic tables.

Analysis of questions from Arithmetic

The topic of Divisibility/ Remainder Theorem with an average of around 8-9 questions in almost every year’s question paper. So, you needs to pay extra attention to this topic to earn more marks & improve their score.

Topic No. of questions
2014-I 2014-II 2015-I 2015-II 2016-I
BODMAS/ Simplification 2 3 5 5 1
Surds & indices 1 2 5 2 1
Divisibility/ Remainder Theorem 8 11 9 7 7
LCM and HCF 5 6 1 2 2

Must Read: CDS 2020 English: Syllabus, Exam Pattern, Preparation Tips, and Recommended Books


It covers topics like – Lines & angles, plane figures, theorems on 

1. Congruency of triangles

2. Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle & square

3. Parallel lines

4. Concurrence of medians & altitudes

5. Properties of angles at a point

6. Similar triangles

7. Loci

8. Circles & its properties including tangents and normals


Collection and tabulation of statistical data, Graphical representation, frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts etc. Measures of central tendency.

To know other sections, Check CDS 2020 syllabus and Exam Pattern

Topic wise analysis of CDS Elementary Mathematics

Important topics and questions regarding CDS Elementary Mathematics is mentioned below

Elementary Mathematics Number of questions
Arithmetic 37
Algebra 10
Trigonometry 14
Geometry 15
Mensuration 20
Statistics 4

Check CDS 2021 Preparation Tips

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