NDA Examination Syllabus and Preparation Strategy

Syllabus for NDA Written Examination.


The NDA candidates are shortlisted through a Written exam conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC), followed by an Intelligence and Personality test conducted by Services Selection Board (SSB), which includes general aptitude, team skills and psychological tests. The UPSC conducts this exam twice a year. The Written Part of Exam consists of two sections: Mathematics for 300 marks and General Ability for 600 marks. Each paper is for 2.30 hours. Questions would be available in Hindi and English and would be objective in nature.

Paper 1: Mathematics

This test will cover topics-
  1. Integral Calculus
  2. Differential Equations
  3. Trigonometry
  4. Algebra
  5. Vector Algebra
  6. Matrices and Determinants
  7. Analytical Geometry
  8. Statistics & Probability.
To prepare for this section, candidates should have clarity in concepts. The questions asked in the exam will test your basic understanding of the concepts. You should go back to the basics if your concepts are not clear and try to solve as many problems as possible. Solving mock test helps to a great extent as you would be able to know where you stand in your preparation

For mathematics, you will also have to learn effective time management, so that you can solve all the questions within the time. Paper 1 (Mathematics) has 200 questions to be solved within 120 minutes, so you will have to practice to come up with the answers in less than a minute. Here, emphasizing on mental mathematics may be a good idea where you learn to solve the questions mentally most of the time. However, cutoff marks can be scored by attempting 50 percent questions with 100 percent accuracy.

General Ability Test

General Ability is further divided into:

Part A: English

The English test is for 200 marks and covers topics like vocabulary, grammar and usage and comprehension. This test evaluates the basic command a person has on the language. To prepare for this test, read English newspaper daily, learn new words, go back to basic grammar and learn the rules thoroughly. Try to solve as many English tests as possible. There are many English tests available online as well. Try to attempt them as much as possible.

Part B: General Knowledge (GK)

The GK test is for 400 marks and will check a candidates general understanding and his insight into the Current Affairs within the country and outside. The test will comprise six sections
  1. General Science
  2. Indian history
  3. Physics
  4. Geography
  5. Chemistry and
  6. Current Events.
To prepare for this paper, you should follow the news updates regularly, keeping yourself aware about the latest happenings in the field of sports, arts, literature, and the like. Read about the current economic scenario in the country, the recent and past policy changes and such other topics that are directly related to India and its neighboring countries.

Tips on how to prepare for NDA exam


  • Candidates who wants you join National Defence Academy should start preparing early, as early as after your Class X exam. In this way you will get edge over other students.
  • You should understand the syllabus thoroughly and make a firm time-table so that you cover all the subjects.
  • Go back to your basics, even if that means referring to your Class VI, VII, VIII, books for certain subjects.
  • You can improve your English by reading a newspaper daily. Watching News Debate would help in increasing your knowledge and reasoning ability.
  • Solving NDA's past years question papers will help in understanding the question pattern asked in the paper.
  • Solving as many mock question test online will give you an idea about where you stand in your preparation.
  • NDA written examination has negative marking, so prepare yourself in such a manner that you do not have to make any guesses in the examination hall. It is best to answer only if you are very sure of the answer.
  • Know yourself better and believe in your preparation.
  • Last but not the least, start thinking and behaving like an officer.

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