CDS 2020: What is Officers' Intelligence Test in SSB

Updated On -

Mar 25, 2020

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Neha Rani

Exams Prep Master

CDS Exam is a gateway for admission in armed forces. Students who qualify the written examination are invited for the SSB interview. Plenty of aspirants appear for CDS Exam and only few are able to make to the intelligence test. Now here this article guides you through the about what is the officer's intelligence test and how to prepare for it or clear the test.

  • Shortlisted candidates based on their marks in written test are only considered for CDS SSB Interview
  • Applicants have to face the screening test in Interview, two rounds are conducted as part of the process- first round is OIR test and the second round is PPDT (picture perception and description test).
  • Combined performance in both the test will be used for forming the merit. Check CDS Cut off

OIR Exam is stage 1 of the exam and requires the aspirant to attempt at least 55-60 questions. The OIR section has questions of moderate difficulty level on the basis of the syllabus of verbal and non-verbal reasoning.  PPDT is the second stage and requires the candidate to create a story on the basis of the picture presented.

Check How to crack CDS SSB Interview

Verbal section in OIR Test

There is no official definition of verbal reasoning syllabus in the CDS Officers Intelligence test. Students can prepare the topics that are frequently asked. The time period defined for the test is nearly 30 minutes and nearly 50 questions have to be completed in the time duration.

  • Sentence Completion
  • Analogies
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • World Groups
  • Instruction
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Verbal Deductions
  • Number Quiz
  • Blood Relation Test
  • Letter Series
  • Problems on Ranks
  • coding Decoding
  • Direction Sense Test

Blood Relations questions in Officers intelligence test 

Pointing to a photograph of a boy Suresh said, "He is the son of the only son of my mother." How is Suresh related to that boy?

  1. Brother
  2. Uncle
  3. Cousin
  4. Father

Answer: D

The boy in the photograph is the only son of the son of Suresh's mother i.e., the son of Suresh. Hence, Suresh is the father of boy.
Q2. If A + B means A is the mother of B; A - B means A is the brother B; A % B means A is the father of B and A x B means A is the sister of B, which of the following shows that P is the maternal uncle of Q?

  1. Q - N + M x P
  2. P + S x N – Q
  3. P - M + N x Q
  4. Q - S % P

Answer: C

Solution: P - M → P is the brother of M

M + N → M is the mother of N

N x Q → N is the sister of Q

Therefore, P is the maternal uncle of Q.

Officers intelligence test CDS problems on logical deductions

Statements: No women teacher can play. Some women teachers are athletes.


  1. Male athletes can play.
  2. Some athletes can play.
  3. A. Only conclusion I follows
  4. B. Only conclusion II follows
  5. C. Either I or II follows
  6. D. Neither I nor II follows
  7. E. Both I and II follow

Answer: D

Also Check Psychological Test in SSB Interview

Non-verbal Section

It is expected that nearly 50 questions can be designed in from the syllabus defined for non- verbal reasoning. Sometimes questions can vary from 30-60 depending upon the position applied by the candidate. Total time allotted to complete this section is 25-30 minutes similar to verbal reasoning.

  • Figure Analogies
  • Classification
  • Choosing the Odd Figure
  • Choosing Similar Figures
  • Grouping of Identical Figures
  • Series
  • Figure Matrix
  • Paper Cutting and Folding
  • Spotting the embedded Figure
  • Problems on Cubes
  • Visualizing Pattern
  • Spatial Ability
  • Problems on Dice

Sample questions analogies

Example 1: In each of the following questions find out the alternative which will replace the question mark.

  1. CUP : LIP :: BIRD : ?
  1. BUSH
  1. GRASS
  1. BEAK

Answer: Option D BEAK

Example 2: Phone: Cellphone  :: Computer ::___?____

a) Speaker                 b)Keyboard                     c) Theatre          d) Laptop

Absurd Statements and Statement Justification – Officer Intelligence Rating Test

Instructions: A statement has been provided in the question; choose from the option if the statement

Q. By how many degrees a minute hand rotates in 45 minutes

  • 90o
  • 180o
  • 270o
  • 45o

Absurd Statements and Statement Justification – Officer Intelligence Rating Test

Instructions: A statement has been provided in the question; choose from the option if the statement

Similar Cubes – Officer Intelligence Rating Test

Instructions: Find if the following cubes are similar or not, choose yes or no from the option


CDS 2018

(a) Yes

(b) No

Sample question- Figure Matrix officers intelligence test

In each of the following questions, find out which of the answer figures (1), (2), (3) and (4) completes the figure matrix?

  1. Select a suitable figure from the four alternatives that would complete the figure matrix.

CDS 2018

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

Answer: Option D

  1. Select a suitable figure from the four alternatives that would complete the figure matrix.

CDS 2018

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

Answer: B

Last Digit – Officer Intelligence Rating 

Q. what is the last two digits of a number 78^379

A. 34    B.28    C. 92   D. 72

Answer:  (2 × 39)379 = 2379 × 39379 = (210)37 × 29 × (392)189 × 39 = 24 × 12 × 81 × 39 = 92

Q. what is the last two digits of a number 87^ 474

A. 29    B. 89    C. 39   D. 33

Answer: 87472 ×—872 = (874)118 ×—872 = (69 × 69)118 × 69 (The last two digits of 872 are 69) = 61118 ×— 69 = 81 ×— 69 = 89 

Series Completion – Officer Intelligence Rating Test

Instruction: Choose the correct alternative and complete the given series

  1. 120, 99, 80, 63, 48, ?
  1. 35
  1. 38
  1. 39
  1. 40

Answer: A


The pattern is - 21, - 19, - 17, - 15,.....

So, missing term = 48 - 13 = 35.

  1. 589654237, 89654237, 8965423, 965423, ?
  1. 58965
  1. 65423
  1. 89654
  1. 96542

Answer: D

Solution: The digits are removed one by one from the beginning and the end in order alternately

So as to obtain the subsequent terms of the series.

Coding and Decoding – Officer Intelligence Rating Test

  1. If in a certain language, FROG is coded as 6 18 15 7, how is DOCTOR coded in that code ?

A. 4 12 13 6 1 6

     B. 8 12 7 9 34 18

     C. 9 12 6 7 6 13

     D. 4 15 3 20 15 18

Answer: D

What is PPDT (Picture Perception Description Test)? 

P.P.D.T is a picture perception and description test, and it is part of the CDS screening process. In this, the candidate is shown a hazy picture for about time duration of 30 seconds and the candidate has to create a story about the same. The student has to write complete story in 3 minutes by noting down the basic seven parameters:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Character
  • Mood

The time must be classified in the following three dimensions:

  • Past (what he done)
  • Present (what is going on in the story)
  • Future (what will he do)

Environment of conducting P.P.D.T

All the candidates are invited to sit in a big auditorium and psychologist gives instructions about P.P.D.T.  Then the lights are turned off and on the projection screen a hazy picture is projected for 30 seconds. A student must not down the details on the basis of the pointers defined above.

Students are then given a time of around 3 minutes to write a story. Students are arranged in a semi-circle and then they are asked to discuss their own stories in front of the president of the board, G.T.O. , the psychologist sit there to select the for the next 4 days along with the rest of the team to finalize the students.

Before you start writing the answer, there is just one thing that a student is required to mark, in a rectangular box given on the screen.

  1. Who is the main character of the picture?
  2. What is the age, mood, situation presented?
  3. What led to the situation (past), what is going on in the situation (present), and what will happen at the end (future).

A sample problem will look like:

cds 2018

How to project story in PPDT?

The story narration must be done following the format below:

  • The story must end at a positive note and written in a positive manner.
  • There must be a hero in the story.
  • The hero must be of same age and same sex.
  • In case you do not find a hero in the story, then create a story of same sex and age.
  • Write an introduction to the story i.e. what lead to the story in the past, the present and the future.
  • Story must be written in the past tense only.

Tips to succeed in P.P.D.T

  1. While the story is being narrated or group discussion is in process, never look at the officials.
  2. Listen to the speaker with complete focus and never look any way around.
  3. Focus on your body language; it must be confident and strong.
  4. While the discussion is in process, try to talk in about three times, this will help you get noticed. It is not necessary to talk about P.P.D.T.
  5. While presenting your view point never argue with a co-candidate, make sure you present your view point clearly and in a precise manner.
  6. Always carry a smile while discussing ideas in P.P.D.T.
  7. Help the weak members in the group to talk and express their view point.
  8. While the instructios are presented for dispersing from the room of P.P.D.T., stand erect in your position with chest out, head held high. This will show that you are confident in your participation.  

How to Prepare for officers Intelligence Rating Test?

In final merit list OIR and PPDT both are considered equally important. Often students assume that OIR is less important and thus can end up losing marks and thus, the position in the CDS examination.

It is suggested that do not assume that OIR is less important or fall prey to this common misconception. Rather on a practical level you can identify that both are equally important and CDS has never stated that OIR is less important. 

OIR is designed to check the skills of verbal and non- verbal reasoning based questions and practical problems. Every candidate must try to solve maximum questions in the limited period of time to overcome the barrier of minimum cut off defined by the authorities. A candidate thus must perform well in the PPDT and OIR equally well.

As CDS examinations are tricky, so you can expect any last minute changes in the difficulty level of the exam and the quality of content in the question paper, so you must put in your best effort to excel in the exam. There are no shortcuts thus to perform well in the exam.

Candidates must closely observe the syllabus and pick one topic at a time and start preparing. More the practice better is the performance, so do a lot of practice to improve your accuracy. It has been observed that questions are generally easy in the officers Intelligence Rating Test and the difficulty level is moderate.

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