CDS 2018 Question Paper, Answer Key & Paper Analysis

Last Updated - February 05 2018

UPSC has successfully organized CDS 2018 Examination on February 4, 2018. As like previous, CDS 2018 has conducted in offline mode. Those who qualify the written test will proceed to CDS SSB Procedure, wherein, they will be tested Psychologically, Individually and Medically.

  • Question from Trigonometry, number series & Geometry were in high level.
  • Questions asked from General Knowledge & English subject were of moderate difficulty level. Check CDS 2018 Paper Analysis
  • In GK section questions asked from static GK and also a Science-based question from NCERT level.
  • Most of the questions were asked from grammar and vocabulary sections.
  • CDS Cut off is expected to be in ranges of 65-85.
  • As compared to the earlier year, this year CDS 2018 was slightly easier.
  • Result for CDS 1 2018 is expected in May 2018 to be declared at upsc.gov.in.

CDS Response Key 2018

After the completion of the exam, the response key will be announced by coaching institutes. It will be announced for all sets i.e. A, B, C and D. With the help of the response key, students can easily calculate the scores based on the number of accurate and inaccurate responses.

How to Download CDS 2018 Response Key?

  1. Visit the official website of UPSC i.e. www.upsc.gov.in
  2. On the website menu bar, click on the Examination tab
  3. Further click on the Response Keys option
  4. Click on the desired paper Response Key link.
  5. After clicking on the link, a PDF file will be displayed on the screen.
  6. Students can download and take the printout of the file for future reference.

The following table shows the subject-wise links to download the response key:

SubjectSet ASet BSet CSet D
English LanguageDownloadDownloadDownloadDownload
General KnowledgeDownloadDownloadDownloadDownload
Elementary MathematicsDownloadDownloadDownloadDownload

Formula for Calculation of Estimated Marks

For English and General Knowledge

Estimated Score = (Total number of accurate answers X 0.83) – (Number of wrong Responses X 0.33)

For Mathematics

Estimated Score = (Total number of accurate answers X 1) – (Number of wrong Responses X 0.33)

Paper Analysis for CDS 2018

Unlike earlier years, there was no ambiguous question this year. Few questions from some subjects were even lengthier than last year. CDS was moderate to difficult in nature with direct and conceptual questions. CDS 2018 seems to have been moderately easy yet lengthy.

The following table shows the Overall Analysis of CDS exam -

SubjectTotal MarksTime PeriodDifficulty Level
English1002Moderate
General Knowledge1002Moderate to average
Elementary Math1002Moderate to difficult
Total --Moderate

Distribution of the Questions as per Various sections is as follows -

SubjectTopicsNumber of Questions
English LanguageSentence Improvement20
Reading Comprehension23
Synonyms8
Antonyms7
One Word Substitution5
Para-Jumble10
Sentence-Jumble7
Spot the Mistake20
Cloze Test20
General KnowledgeHistory19
Science27
Geography22
Ecology06
Polity20
Economy/ Trade11
Misc. /Armed Forces15
Elementary MathematicsNumber System20
Simple interest/Compound interest5
Percentage2
Profit/Loss1
Mixture1
Time and Work3
Time speed and Distance6
Clock2
Trigonometry14
Set Theory1
Geometry20
Mensuration14
Algebra7
Mean-Median-Method (Frequency Distribution Table)4

Cut off for CDS 2018

The difficulty level of the written test ranges between low and moderate. The cut off is expected to be in ranges of 65-85.

  • CDS 2018 Cut off List is based on the performance of the aspirants in the entrance exam.
  • Aspirants must obtain the scores equivalent to the scores or ranks in CDS 2018 Cut off to be applicable for CDS Selection Procedure.
  • The cut off will decide the selection of aspirant in the particular course.

CDS Cut off 2017

UPSC CDS 2017 LevelsUPSC CDS 2017 Cut off (Expected)UPSC CDS 2017 Final Cut off (Expected)
IMA79-82234-244
OTA (Men)74-77165-172
OTA (Women)74-77172-179
AFA135-141273-285
INA69-72237-247

CDS Cut off 2016

IAF Training AcademiesUPSC CDS 2016 Cut offUPSC CDS 2016 Final Cut off
IMA72214
OTA (Men)68150
OTA (Women)68157
AFA123249
INA63217

CDS Cut off 2017 (Academy-Wise)

IAF Training AcademyLocationIAF WingUPSC CDS Cut offVacancies every year
Indian Military AcademyDehradun, UKIndian Army70-80Around 100
Air Force AcademyHyderabad, APAir Force120-14040-60
Indian Naval AcademyEzhimala, KeralaIndian Navy60-7040-50
Officers Training AcademyChennai, TNIndian Army65-75230-260

CDS Earlier Year Trend Analysis

The CDS 2018 Trend Analysis has been prepared based on the earlier year exam analysis. This trend analysis will help the aspirants to gauge the difficulty level of CDS 2018 exam. The trend analysis showcases the level of difficulty of each section of CDS exam.

EnglishMathematicsGeneral Knowledge

The paper for English was of average standard.


Most of the questions in this paper were of Class 12th standard.


Most of the questions were from Grammar and Vocabulary sections.


Apart from fact-based questions, the passages had a few inferences based questions too.


Vocabulary based questions on Synonyms, Antonyms, Sentence Completion are gaining more space.

This section included questions from a variety of areas.


The major part of Mathematics was based on Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Mensuration, and Geometry.


The questions from Trigonometry, Number System and Geometry were of high level
Algebra-based questions were from Sets, Functions, Relations, Quadratic Equation have seen a sharp decline over time
Trigonometry based questions have also witnessed a steady decline.

Questions from static GK dominated the section.


Science-based questions were of NCERT level.


Questions from history revolved mainly around art and culture.


This section remained to be moderate.


Questions in this section are asked from General Science and Science and Technology, Geography, Polity, Governance and institutions and present affairs, History and Economics.


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