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NDA Exam Pattern | Mathematics & General Ability Test

National Defence Academy Entrance Exam is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year in the month of April and August. If you have it in you and want to join the Indian Defence Forces as an Officer than NDA is the best place for you. But you need to crack the written and interview to get into the academy.

The first phase is the written part and then the selected candidates are called for SSB interview. But to get a call for an interview you, first you need to crack the written exam for which an aspirant need to know certain things like NDA Exam Pattern and NDA Syllabus, etc. Below we have expounded NDA Exam Pattern in great detail so read till the end.

Read: NDA Exam Date, Syllabus & More

NDA Exam Pattern 2021

NDA Exam pattern includes the details about the pattern of the entire syllabus designated for the exam. The NDA Exam comprises of two papers Mathematics and General ability test. The first paper will be of Mathematics and the second one is General ability test which includes English, General science subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and General knowledge, History, Geography, Current Affairs.

Read: NDA Results

NDA Exam will be organized two times in a year through offline mode (written test). Here we have mentioned the detailed exam pattern of NDA exam:

  • Exam Mode: The exam will be conducted through offline mode.
  • Exam Duration: The duration of the examination will be 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Answer Mode: Candidates must use a black ballpoint pen to mark their answers.
  • Type of Question: The question paper will have objective type questions.
  • Paper: The NDA exam consists of 2 papers i.e. Mathematics and General Ability.
  • Total Marks: The Mathematics paper contains 300 marks while General Ability test holds 600 marks. The written test will be of a total of 900 marks.
  • Negative Marking: There will be negative marking in the examination for every incorrect response. For maths, 0.83 marks, for English, 1.33 and for GK 1.33 marks will be deducted.
  • SSB Interview: Candidates have to go through the SSB Interview after clearing the written test. The interview process will have a total of 900 marks.
  • Language: The question paper of Mathematics and Part B of General Ability test will be available in both English and Hindi languages.
  • The written examination of NDA is structured as follows:

Read: Complete NDA Selected Process and Day Wise Test In SSB

General Ability Test (Section-1: English)200
General Ability Test (Section-1: General Knowledge)400
Total Marks900
SSB Interview900
Grand Total1800

NDA 2021 Exam Pattern In Detail

UPSC conducts NDA exam in two rounds every year i.e NDA I and NDA II. The board also provides exam pattern and exam syllabus before few months of the exam on its official portal

Read: Solve NDA Previous Year Papers and Sample Papers

UPSC has released NDA Exam Pattern including the information about the exam mode and medium, Number of sections the question paper consists, question paper type, Total number of questions, exam duration and much more. You can check the same in the below table.

Exam Mode Offline (Pen Paper Based)
MediumEnglish and Hindi
Number of sections2
Question Paper TypeObjective or MCQ
Total Number of Questions270 Questions (120 from Mathematics and 150 from General Ability Test)
NDA Total Marks for Entrance Test900 Marks (300 Marks for Mathematics and 600 Marks for General Ability Test)
Exam duration2.30 hours (Each Section)

NDA Exam Pattern for Mathematics and General Ability Test

UPSC conducted NDA in offline mode and all the questions were of MCQ type. Candidates are asked to attempt two sections- Mathematics and General Ability Test. There were two languages in options i.e Hindi and English provided by the board to attempt the question paper.

Read: How to Clear NDA Written Exam in 1 month

A complete detail related to the exam pattern from both the sections have been tabulated below:

SubjectPaperTotal No of QuestionsDuration of ExamMaximum Marks
Mathematics11202 ½ Hours300
General Ability Test21502 ½ Hours600

All candidates have to appear for NDA Interview after qualifying the NDA entrance test. Details are as below:

Second RoundDurationMaximum Marks
SSB Interview4-5 days900

Most Recommended Preparation Books for NDA General Ability Test

General Ability Test the second paper of the NDA exam , covers a wide syllabus involving various Science, English, and General Science subjects. Hence, this paper consists of the maximum marks 600. Thus, candidates must prepare the best for this paper as they can target a big score.

Considering the importance of this paper the most followed books are prescribed below:

Book Name Author/ Publisher
History Of Modern India (History)Bipan Chandra
Science and Technology in India (Science and Technology)Kalpana Rajaram : Spectrum
Oxford School Atlas (Geography)Oxford 
Social Problems In India (Indian Society – GS1)Ram Ahuja
Objective General English for Competitive ExamsS.P. Bakshi
Manorama Yearbook Mammen Mathew

NDA Paper Analysis for General Ability Test

Last Year NDA Paper 2 in NDA had 150 questions. Marks allotted to this paper were 600. Questions in English were from the prescribed NDA Syllabus.

  • Questions in English were from the prescribed NDA Syllabus.
  • From Section B, science had the toughest questions.
  • Questions from the remaining subjects were moderate in difficulty level.

Here is the analysis for NDA held in April:

PART A- English

TopicNo. of QuestionsNo. of Marks
Spotting Errors520
Selecting Words1040
Ordering of Words in a Sentence936
Sentence Improvement1040

PART B- General Knowledge

TopicNo. of QuestionsNo. of Marks
General Science1144
History & Freedom Movement1664
Current Events1768

NDA Exam Marking Scheme

NDA consists of two sections- Mathematics and General ability test.

  • There will be a total of 120 questions of 300 marks in the Mathematics section.
  • 2.5 marks will be allotted for every correct answer and 0.83 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer.
  • General ability test will comprise 600 marks; 200 marks are allotted to English and 400 marks in total are allotted to General Knowledge.
  • In this section, there will be a total of 150 questions, 50 from English and 100 from General Knowledge.
  • Candidates will be awarded 4 marks for each correct answer in this section.
  • A deduction of 1.33 Marks will be there for each wrong answer. There will be no mark for unanswered questions.

Type of Questions Asked in NDA Exam

NDA exam question paper will have questions from two sections mainly- Mathematics and General Ability section. The questions will mainly be asked of 10+2 level. Solve as many NDA Previous Year Question Papers as possible.

  • In mathematics, candidates must thoroughly prepare-
  1. Arithmetic
  2. Mensuration
  3. Algebra
  4. Geometry
  5. Trigonometry
  6. Statistics, etc.
  • For general ability section, it is important to prepare well for both the sub-sections, i.e., English and General Knowledge.
  • For the English section, candidates must focus on grammar, comprehension and reading abilities.
  • General knowledge questions can be asked from current events, physics, chemistry, general science, history, etc.

The bifurcation of both the sections of the NDA Exam is given below. Marks allotted to each section and sub-sections have been expounded below:

SubjectsNumber of QuestionsMarksMarking schemeNegative Marking
General Knowledge:100+4-1.33
General Science40
History, Freedom Movement, etc.80
Current Events40
Grand Total270900