How to attempt a CDS mock test to get a good score in the exam

The Combined Defence Service (CDS)-II by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is round the corner. The exam is a one-stop entry point to stellar careers within the IMA (Indian Military), INA (Indian Navy), IAF (Indian Air Force), and Officers Training Academy. The exam is conducted twice a year, in February and November, and has 3 sections – GK (General Knowledge), English, and Mathematics.

Your preparation strategy must include detailed coverage of the exam syllabus as per the UPSC website. Candidates should also be familiar with the previous year’s question papers and weightage is given to topics. Regular assessment of knowledge will help candidates understand where they stand and the sections that require further focus. One sure-shot way of ensuring this is by attempting CDS mock test. Candidates can also attempt mock tests at BYJU’S Exam Prep designed by subject-matter experts.

Tips and Tricks to Ace Your Mock Test

  1. Practice ensures perfection: The adage is all the more relevant in today’s competitive world. It is also important that you try a platform with a maximum number of candidates so that your score best reflects where you stand vis a vis your peers.
  2. Be aware of the exam pattern:
  • The CDS exam pattern consists of 3 sections, each composed of 100 questions carrying one mark each. Candidates must be aware that there is negative marking (one-third mark per wrong answer).
  • The exam needs to be attempted within the allotted time slot of 2 hours.
  • Past year papers must be thoroughly practiced to understand the pattern.
  1. Start with your strengths: Attempt the section you are most comfortable with first. You can skip or mark the difficult questions to come back and attempt later. For example, some candidates may find the GK section easier to attempt as you either know the answer or not. Similarly, the English section can be easily attempted before moving on to more paragraphic questionnaires.
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  2. The mathematics paper also usually contains formulaic questions that can be attempted easily.
  3. Brush up on your basics: Section-wise tips to keep in mind before attempting the mock exam:
  4. English:
    1. Refresh your memory of the English grammar portion.
    2. Keep in mind phrases and passages.
  5. General Knowledge:
    1. Read up on topics that were given more weightage in previous papers.
    2. Revise current affairs from 4-5 months prior to the exam date more thoroughly, as papers are set well before the exam date.
  6. Mathematics:
    1. Brush up on topics you are already confident about. Attempting to study new topics at this stage may not yield desired results.

Ensuring Good Score in the Exam

Merely attempting a mock test would not suffice. After every practice test, candidates must dedicate time to sit down and review the answers.
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For every wrong answer, mentally devise an approach to attempt similar questions in the future. You can practice online with CDS Test Series 2021 to score better in the CDS exam. To ensure performance improvement, follow the approach below while analysing your score:

  1. Divide your answers into 3 buckets: Right, Wrong, and Unattempted
  2. Focus on unattempted first: Could you have attempted these questions with effective time management? Were there questions from the sections that are familiar to you that you can easily follow up and cover?
  3. Review the wrong answers: These may be questions you thought you knew but did not. What went wrong? Was there a gap in the conceptual understanding of the question? Was it a trick question?

Repeat the process for all the questions in the ‘wrong’ and ‘unattempted’ buckets.  Learning platforms such as BYJU’S Exam Prep often provide data and insights that help with the analysis of attempted questions and highlight your strengths and weaknesses that will help bolster your understanding of where you stand.

Last but not the least, do not panic! You have prepared for this exam for a long time. It is imperative to keep calm and have a sound mind while attempting the questions. If you don’t feel confident, you can always try out the online study materials from BYJU’S Exam Prep here.
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Happy learning!

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