Close this search box.

20 Study Hacks to Score More on AFCAT CDS NDA Exams

20 Study Hacks to Score More in AFCAT CDS NDA Exams

AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams are the gateways for the aspirants to get into the defence services. The Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) is conducted by the Indian Air Force to recruit officers for different posts in the Indian Air Force. Meanwhile, CDS and NDA will be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. These exams are considered to be the toughest exams for getting into the defence services. 

This article aims to update the aspirants of some study hacks that can be useful in scoring more in the AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams. Here we will provide 20 studies to score more in AFCAT CDS and NDA exams. But before moving to those useful hacks, first let us understand the basics of AFCAT, NDA, and CDS exams respectively.

Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT)

AFCAT exams are conducted by the Indian Air Force twice a year, specifically in June and December.  The Indian Air Force recruits deserving candidates for different posts available in the Indian Air Force. The AFCAT exam is conducted in online mode with a duration of 2 hours. It covers 100 questions of 300 marks. The Engineer knowledge test (EKT) exam is conducted for candidates who apply for technical posts in the IAF. The EKT is conducted for 45 minutes and consists of 50 questions for 150 marks. When candidates crack the AFCAT exam and EKT, they are then called for an AFSB interview, and it further proceeds to a medical examination before finally getting selected and commissioned into the prestigious IAAF.

Combined Defence Services (CDS) exam

The CDS exam is conducted by the UPSC to select deserving candidates for the various posts in the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy. The syllabus and exam pattern of the OTA is different from the rest of the defence boards. To be more specific, 300 MCQs are asked in Indian Military, Navy and Air Force exams while 200 MCQs for OTA exam. Likewise, the marks allotted for each exam also vary. A total of 300 marks are allotted to the rest of the branch of the CDS exam, while 200 marks are allotted for the OTA exam. A deduction of one-third marks is also done for each wrong answer. After the candidates clear the written test, they are called for an SSB interview from their respective boards for the further selection process. 

National Defence Academy (NDA) Exam

The NDA exam is conducted twice a year by the UPSC board. Through this exam, deserving candidates are selected to get admission in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the NDA.  The NDA exam will be conducted in two stages, which are the written exam and SSB Interview. Around 4 lakh candidates appear for the NDA exam. The NDA exam consists of two sections. The first is the General Ability Test (GAT) which consists of 150 objective-type questions and the second is Mathematics which consists of 120 objective-type questions. The candidates have to secure minimum qualifying marks to clear this exam. 

We have given the basic idea of AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams. It is time to check out these effective 20 study hacks that can help candidates in scoring more marks in  AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams.

  1. Make a timetable 

Making a timetable and following it constantly is an important step towards the preparation of any exam. The candidates can make a realistic and achievable timetable according to their needs. Timetables will help in time management and time management will ensure hassle-free preparation of all the topics in a limited time.

  1. Remember the syllabus for the AFCAT, NDA and CDS exam

Understand and remember the syllabus of AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams thoroughly. It will help the candidates in focusing on the important and more scoring areas while studying. Also, the questions on these exams come from the prescribed syllabus, reading extra will just be a waste of time and energy.

  1. Study 5-6 hours daily 

To crack defence exams like AFCAT, CDS and NDA, the candidates will have to devote 5-6 hours to the study consistently. This will ensure proper preparation for defence exams. Those 5-6 hours can be divided and devoted to different topics to be studied. 

  1. Read the newspaper every day

Reading newspapers is one of the good habits any defence aspirant should have. The newspaper provides great insights into the news of local, national and international matters. The aspirants need to stay updated on current affairs.

  1. Get updated with all the current affairs 

Apart from newspapers, the candidates can check out different current affairs magazines like Pratiyogita Darpan. These current affairs will help with the general knowledge section of the question paper. Staying updated with current affairs is a must for defence aspirants to score more in AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams. 

  1. Start with Basic NCERTs

NCERTs are the building stone of knowledge for any competitive exam. It has all the basics of every topic that is asked in defence exams. Before jumping to the standard books, the aspirants need to read the NCERTs thoroughly.

  1. Check out the standard books for the exams

As we said, NCERTs are the building stones, but the AFCAT, CDS and NDA exam wants their candidates to have more knowledge than just NCERTs. So, the questions that are asked in the exam mostly belong to a high level compared to NCERTs. For this, the candidates can take the help of the standard prescribed books and guides for the Defence exam.

  1. Solve previous year’s question papers

Previous year question papers are considered to be very helpful in the preparation of any defence exams. They give a great insight into one’s preparation and let the candidates know their weak and strong areas. Further, it also helps the candidates to know the exam pattern practically.

  1. Focus more on revisions

The human brain can’t remember all the content that has been studied for a long time, and that is why the concept of revision has come up. The candidates should limit their study material and revise more of it so that they can get a stronghold of what they have studied. 

  1. Take a daily dose of meditation 

Meditation is very important in the preparation stages for any aspirant. The mind gets tired of studying constantly. So, to give it a rest, the candidates should do will also increase concentration and will calm the mind.

  1. Avoid social media platforms 

Social media has become a great tool of distraction these days. Most aspirants stay indulged in them, instead of honestly preparing for their exams. It is very important to dislodge oneself from any social media sites to focus fully on the study and upcoming exam.

  1. Focus on easier questions 

While candidates appear in the AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams, they should first do the easier questions rather than pondering their head over the difficult and tangible questions. Solving the easier questions will give confidence and calm down the mind. With the released pressure, the candidates will be able to solve the difficult questions. 

  1. Find strong and weak areas 

Every candidate has some strong and weak areas. Instead of escaping from the weak areas, the candidates should focus and give more time to those areas. It will help them in tackling any such questions if they appear in the exam, and eventually, they will score more. It is better to embrace the weak areas and correct them rather than run away from them.

  1. Give more time for difficult topics

As you prepare for AFCAT, CDS and NDA, try to focus on difficult topics.  Most of the time, these difficult topics contain a huge margin of marks. So, it is better to prepare oneself for the difficult topics too.

  1. Use colourful pens, highlighters and sticky notes

Colours have a very important role to play in our minds. Candidates can use it in their favour. They can underline important topics, paste sticky notes and highlight important points from their textbooks. This will help them in retaining their knowledge easily without getting bored. 

  1. Stay consistent with your study routine 

Consistency is the key to success for any exam. The candidates should be self-disciplined and consistent while they prepare for the defence exams. Try not to break the decided timetable and routine unless an emergency. Always remember, dedication to the right thing will create the right results.

  1. Avoid any sort of negativity or distractions 

Apart from social media, other distractions can hamper your preparation for the exams. Staying in comfort zones, more frequent outings, less focused study and other distractions can be reasons for candidates to score less. So, avoid any sort of distractions.

  1. Solve mock test papers 

Mock test papers can be beneficial during the last two to three months before the AFCAT, CDS and NDA  exams. Mock test papers can help the candidates in analysing their strengths, weaknesses and degree of preparation. Try to solve 20-30 mock test papers before appearing for the AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams.

  1. Take online coaching if necessary

Online coaching has become important since the global pandemic started. It has become a great alternative for candidates living in remote areas. Candidates can opt for online coaching from the most trusted defence portal, SSBCrackExams. Their course and online mentorship can surely help the candidates in their preparations and will help them, in scoring more in AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams.

  1.  Believe in yourself 

The first and foremost thing to do before the start of preparation for these exams is to believe in yourself. Unless the candidates believe that they can crack it, they can’t crack these exams. Believing in oneself, having the right and positive attitude, is just as important as having the right study materials. As for the right study material and online courses, the candidates can refer to SSBCrackExams but for inner motivation, the candidates must believe in themselves. 


So, here we discussed the basics of the AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams. We also discussed 20 study hacks that can help in scoring more in the AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams. Candidates can follow these tips and tricks to get the most out of their preparation. Undoubtedly,  the AFCAT, CDS and NDA exams are tough, but they can be cleared with constant hard work and persistence. It is important to believe in oneself. For further guidance, candidates can also take online coaching and enrol themselves in their preferred courses on SSBCrackExams. Happy reading!

How to prepare for the NDA, AFCAT and CDS Exam?

Leave Your Comment

🔴Live Courses

spot_img spot_img spot_img

🔴 Live Courses

Download Our App