Best Books For CDS Exam Preparation at low cost (For OTA, IMA, SSB)

best books for cds exam preparation

In this article, we are going to discuss the best books to prepare for the CDS exam for OTA, IMA, and SSB interviews.

If you want to appear for the CDS exam, you need to know about the CDS exam pattern and syllabus first.

And know about CDS eligibility criteria before applying for the CDS exam.

By knowing about detailed CDS exam patterns and syllabus help to choose better books for your preparation.

What are the best books to prepare for the CDS exam?

These books are helping to prepare for CDS OTA and IMA Exam. These books help for deep study of your exam.

English Books for CDS

    • Objective General English by SP Bakshi (Arihant) – All the theoretical aspects are explained in this book with a huge number of examples, and practice exercises.
    • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis (Goyal Publishers) -For Improve vocabulary based questions
    • High School English Grammar & Composition Edition by Wren and Martin -For learning grammar rules, application, and others.

Click Here, Download CDS Previous year question.

#Tip 1– You made a list of all synonyms and antonyms asked in the last 10 years. So these 10 to 15 marks were sure shot.

#Tip 2– Read daily English newspaper and books paragraph to boost your reading speed.


Best Mathematics Books for UPSC CDS:

To clear your basics, you can read NCERT classes 10th-12th books. After Get these amazing books

    • Pathfinder for CDS by Arihant Publications – Get this book to cover the relevant syllabus of the UPSC CDS exam.
    • Mathematics for CDS by Dr. R.S. Aggarwal (S. Chand Publications)– This book helps in last month’s preparation. This book covers all the important frequently asked topics, solved question papers, and practice sets.
    • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by RS Aggarwal (S. Chand Publications) – Get this book to mastering the fundamentals of many subjects. Multiple solved examples with detailed explanations and enough practice sets of different difficulty (easy, medium, and difficult) from exam point of view.

Click Here, Download CDS Previous year question.

#Tip 1- Made your own notes to quick revision.

#Tip 2– Practice maths question daily, it helps to improve your confidence.

Note: Don’t take the shortcut because we forget how to apply them during the exam under pressure. Take only small shortcuts like- the square roots, cube roots, Pythagorean triplets, etc.

Best CDS Books For GK 

Most questions are asked from Current Affairs, physics, Geography, Awards and Accolades, Economics, Politics, Sports, Chemistry, etc.

This part is very important and could be the most scoring.

You need to be up-to-date with current knowledge and other subjects to clear this section.

    • General Awareness by Manohar Panday (Arihant) – This book covers both Static GK and Dynamic GK i.e. Current Affairs with simple language. It includes Indian History, Indian Polity, Indian Economy, Geography, General Science, etc.
    • Manorama Yearbook by Philip Mathew (Malayala Manorama Publishers)-  This book covers all the major events in India and across the world. This is published once every year. It’s very effective for preparing for the general awareness or the GK section in UPSC CDS.
    • Read Magazines such as Pratiyogita Darpan (by Pratiyogita Darpan Editorial Team), Competition Success Review (CSR), and Yojana
    • Read Daily Newspapers such as The Hindu, The Indian Express, and The Telegraph -Revision is the most important but often overlooked step. Since it is very difficult to remember what you have learned unless you revise.
    • Read Laxmikant Polity to get 100% success in the polity. Also, Attempt last year questions.
    • Lucent book- For Physics, chemistry, bio, and current affairs.
    • DR Khullar Book for Geography- To understand the concepts, maps, and fact-based questions.

Click Here, Download CDS Previous year question.

Best Books for CDS SSB Interview

These books help you to clear the SSB interview. This book help you “how you can improve your skill?”.

Get Success in SSB Interviews(Arihant publication):– It provides information through content, diagrams, and Illustrations for the preparation

SSB Interview: The Complete Guide(SSBcrack):- Simplified and user-friendly book to prepare for tests like- Screening Tests, Psychological tests, Group Testing, interviews, Conference Procedures.

Let’s Crack SSB Interview(SSBcrack):-Also, this book covers all the important topics to crack SSB interviews.

#Tip 1– Discuss with your friends, mentor, and guest to improve your communication skills.

#Tip 2- Enhance your thinking by being more realistic and read daily newspapers.


Best CDS Books For OTA 

CDS (OTA): Combined Defence Services Entrance Examination(DDE ): This book is based on the exact exam pattern conducted by the UPSC. Also, this book help in to improve your question-solving speed. 

Arihant Pathfinder books are also useful for the CDS OTA exam. And above-mentioned books are helpful to read in detail.

And do practice previous year’s question paper for better preparation.


Is Arihant Pathfinder enough to crack the CDS exam for IMA?

No, you can’t totally depend on one book. Because the competition is very high. And Pathfinder does not cover all topics in detail.

I know, Arihant is one of the most common books that is being purchased year after year by CDS aspirants.

Pathfinder covers a short overview of these subjects like-  polity, economy, geography, history, physics, chemistry, and bio.

To know about in detail about these topics you need to purchase different books, the newspaper which mentioned above question and solve CDS previous year paper.

Pathfinder may be good for maths and English subjects. Pick different materials for different topics.


Last Time Preparation Strategy For CDS Exam

cds preparation tips

  • Revise with Hand-made notes: If you had created Hand-made notes. then it will help you in a quick recap.
  • Don’t be afraid with exams during your preparation at home and paper-solving time in the exam hall.
  • Also, time management is very important to complete the paper in time. You solve one question each minute.
  • There is a negative marking for each wrong answer in the exam. Therefore speculation should be avoided.
  • Practice CDS previous year’s question paper.


Can girls give CDS exams?

Yes, girls can give CDS exam after graduation. But girls can only apply for the CDS-OTA exam and get selected for OTA i.e. Officers Training Academy which is in Chennai.

After clear the CDS-OTA exam, girls have to go to training for 9 months.

OTAs (Officers Training Academy) are establishments of the Indian Army that train officers only for SSC.

Short Service Commission(SSC) stands for Limited Career (10-14 Years), however, candidates can apply for permanent commission further.

Both male and female candidates are eligible for this academy.

But girls can’t join the Indian Military Acadamy(IMA). IMA is only for men.

CDS exam conduct twice a year by UPSC.

There are two papers consists. (1) English,  (2) General Studies


Frequently Asked Question:

Question: How Should you Start CDS Preparation?

Ans: After applying for the CDS exam, you check the CDS Exam pattern and syllabus to make a better preparation strategy. Make your study timetable. Read daily current affairs, books, newspaper, and solve last year question paper.

Question: Is NCERT required to pass the CDS exam?

Ans. Yes, NCERT is required to clear your basics to pass the CDS Exam. But Don’t reliable only NCERT books.



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