How to Score maximum marks in CDS English Paper?

Here are some crucial pointers to help you study for the CDS Exam’s English portion, which is one of the three components that make up the CDS exam. To understand the strategy one should use while studying and to achieve high scores on the English portion of the CDS Exam, read these CDS English preparation tips in their entirety.

The three courses that make up the Combined Defence Services test, or CDS as it is also known, are General Knowledge, Elementary Mathematics, and English. Each subject carries 100 marks, and the exam lasts two hours. To be eligible for the IMA, INA, OTA, or AFA positions under the CDS Exam, one must pass all three papers. In this article, let us discuss the approach to study for CDS English.

English Preparation for CDS

The CDS exam’s English part comprises 120 questions, worth a total of 100 points. The English paper takes two hours to complete, as was previously noted. Less than one minute is left for each question, for the students. Therefore, it’s crucial to be knowledgeable about every subject covered in the CDS English part. Vocabulary, reading passages, and grammar are often the areas where one must pay close attention.

Topics Covered under CDS English Paper

  • Sentence arrangement
  • Error Correction
  • Sentence ordering questions
  • Cloze tests
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Word substitution
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Idioms & Phrases
  • Reported Speech
  • Active/ Passive Voice

How Should I Study English for the CDS Exam?

The CDS Exam is a highly essential opportunity for candidates to practice their English. It covers one-third of your course material for those taking the IMA, AFA, and INA exams and one-half for those aiming for the OTA. The preparation advice for each topic for CDS English is provided below.


Most of us have studied grammar in English from around the second grade. By the time I reached the seventh grade, we had finished learning all of those complex grammar rules. Well, not much has changed with regard to grammar instruction.

Pick up a well-known grammar book (like Wren & Martin) and review all the rules for crucial areas like nouns, pronouns, prepositions, articles, tenses (an examiner favorite), etc. Fill in the blanks and “Spot the errors” grammar questions are typical and need for a solid understanding of the fundamentals of grammar.

After reading these guidelines, practice the questions. A cursory look at the regulations is insufficient and occasionally perplexing. It is essential to practice CDS English questions based on all you have read in order to fully understand the subject and be able to respond to the various types of questions offered. You’ll get a long way with practice.

English vocabulary for CDS

Of all the subjects covered in the English portion, this is possibly the most significant. Understanding the meaning and the context of words is crucial, whether it’s for fill-in-the-blank questions or reading comprehension tests.

  1. Write down terms that you struggle with when practicing.
  2. Learn the definitions of those words and try to comprehend the context in which they were used.
  3. To help you remember the terms better, use them in sentences and when speaking.
  4. Reading Comprehension for CDS in English
  5. While trying to read a chapter, there are a few simple steps that can be taken.
  6. First, identify the passage’s main theme and the logical progression it takes.
  7. Second, summarise the section and take note of the tones used.
  8. Thirdly, make an intelligent deduction from the passage to answer the questions.
  9. The secret to getting the best grade on a reading comprehension passage is speed and precision.
  10. Naturally, you may increase your speed by practicing more.
  11. Working on specific areas, such as vocabulary, comprehending and distinguishing tones, contextual summarising, etc., can enhance accuracy.
  12. Regular practice will help you complete a medium-level reading passage in 8 to 10 minutes.

Now let’s look at how to get ready for the subjects that come up in the CDS English section:

Spot the Errors

Spot the errors questions, as their name implies, require students to identify the flaws in a given statement and choose the proper response from the available options. These errors typically have to do with spelling, tenses, prepositions, verbs, articles, and conjunctions, among other things. Therefore, it’s crucial to fully comprehend CDS English grammatical norms.

Cloze Test

In a cloze test, applicants are given a paragraph and asked to build a logical statement out of it by substituting the missing word with one of the possibilities (already provided in brackets). Cloze tests are designed to evaluate knowledge in a particular subject. Therefore, the types of questions you might see in cloze assessments include those that are vocabulary, grammar, and inference-based. The ideal strategy for answering problems in cloze tests is to read the entire material and move backward using the options. Determine the solution by eliminating the alternatives as necessary.

Fill the blanks

Fill in the blanks are questions that can be asked about any subject. Questions about grammar, vocabulary, or simply fitting the correct answer to the passage are common. It’s similar to a cloze test.

Arrangement of Sentences

It is, as the name implies, a test of the ability to understand a set of sentences and rearrange them in the most coherent form as a single passage. The trick to answering these questions is:

  1. Find the connecting words. Sentences that begin with the words “if” or “but” will not be the first sentence.
  2. Sentences that begin with an explanation or definition can be zeroed in as the first sentence.
  3. Concluding sentences typically include the words “therefore,” “hence,” and similar phrases. That is a sign of a conclusion. Even when such words are not used, concluding sentences usually include reasoning for the topic at hand. This can also be an indicator.

Word Replacement

Word substitution can be a difficult skill to master. To answer these questions, you must be familiar with the sentence and its meaning, as well as the meaning of the word that must be substituted. The best way to get more points on this topic is to eliminate options.

Idioms/ Phrases and Synonyms/ Antonyms are examples of vocabulary-based questions. Vocabulary isn’t something you can master in a single day. To master vocabulary, you must devote enough time and prepare consistently.

Regularly read newspapers. They are one of the most effective ways to expand your vocabulary. Look up the definitions and synonyms/antonyms of any new words you come across. You can also keep a separate notebook for this; it will come in handy for later revision. Try to use these words in your daily practice, such as when conversing with others. enough time and prepare consistently.

Regularly read newspapers. They are one of the most effective ways to expand your vocabulary. Look up the definitions and synonyms/antonyms of any new words you come across. You can also keep a separate notebook for this; it will come in handy for later revision. Try to use these words in your daily practice, such as when conversing with others.

Reported Speech

Look up the conversion rules for direct to indirect speech and vice versa. Attempting questions on this topic is relatively simple if you are familiar with the rules and have had enough practice. Take note of the reporting verb’s tense. (Reporting verb is the verb of the first sentence, before what is quoted by the speaker). For example, “I am studying for an exam,” she says. She stated that she was preparing for an exam.

Active/Passive Voice

First and foremost, thoroughly familiarise yourself with the CDS English Grammar rules for converting active to passive voice and vice versa. Remember that the subject and object swap places during conversion.

For example, She enjoyed playing table tennis.

The general rule for changing from active to passive voice is as follows: object + be/is/are/am/was/were/been/being/etc. + past participle by verb + by + subject. The second term changes depending on the verb of the sentence.

I hope you have clarity now on how you can score maximum marks in CDS English Paper in the upcoming CDS exam in April. Feel free to ask any doubts and keep reading.

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