Union Public Service Commission is the conducting authority, responsible for the National Defense Academy entrance examination. It is conducted twice a year to select the candidates for the academy. UPSC releases an official notification every time when the application form is out for NDA entrance exam. But, to clear the exam one must be aware about the syllabus of NDA entrance exam so that they can get the idea of entrance paper. UPSC also provides a syllabus for NDA written test on its official website.
National Defence Academy exam syllabus consists of 2 sections- Mathematics and General Ability Test. The total duration of NDA is 5 hours combinedly for both sections. Those candidates who pass the written test are able to appear in SSB test and Interview. On the basis of this round UPSC sets the cut-off score to prepare the merit list of candidates who are called for the five-day selection process.
- All the questions in the exam will be objective i.e., Multiple Choice Questions will be asked.
- The medium of the exam will be bilingual with a total of 900 marks.
- Out of 270 questions, 120 questions are from Mathematics and 150 questions from General Ability section.
- There is a provision of negative marking as per the marks allotted to questions asked.
- The syllabus covered under NDA is of CBSE 10+2 standards.
NDA Exam Syllabus
NDA Exam syllabus has been divided into two parts namely Mathematics and General Ability Test. The General Ability Test will contain questions from various topics such as General Knowledge (GK), English, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, General Science and Current Events.
Most of the questions asked in the NDA exam will come from 10+2 level, especially in Mathematics. For preparing General Ability test section candidates should read the newspaper on a daily basis.
|Sections||Related Topics||Number of questions|
|Mathematics||Trigonometry, Differential Calculus, Algebra, Integral Calculus & Differential equations, Logarithms and their applications, Statistics, Probability, Vector Algebra, etc.||120|
|English||Grammar and usage, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and cohesion.||50|
|General Knowledge||Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, Current Events.||100|
Those applicants who will successfully qualify the written exam will be shortlisted accordingly. Such candidates will be called for the final round of selection process i.e. SSB Interview and Test which will be conducted for 4-5 days. After qualifying the Interview round selected candidates will further call for medical test and document verification process.
NDA Full Syllabus for Mathematics
Paper 1 in NDA carry the questions of Mathematics. There is no change observed in NDA Syllabus from the previous year. 10+2 level questions will be asked in this exam. The sub-sections in this part are also of basic-level mathematics.
For more details regarding the 1st paper of NDA i.e Mathematics syllabus go through the following table:
|NDA Syllabus for Mathematics|
|Algebra||Matrices and Determinants|
|Trigonometry||Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions|
|Differential Calculus||Integral Calculus and Differential Equations|
|Vector Algebra||Statistics and Probability|
Books for NDA Exam Mathematics Preparation
In order to prepare the best for the first paper (Mathematics) of NDA, one will need the most recommended books. Below is the name of some books along with their publishers’ name is given, check and follow the books to perform better in the upcoming NDA exam.
|Book Name||Author/ Publisher|
|Mathematics for NDA and NA: National Defence Academy and Naval Academy||R S Aggarwal|
|Quantitative aptitude for competitive examinations||R S Aggarwal|
|Study Package MATHEMATICS NDA & NA Entrance Exam||Arihant|
|NDA Mathematics (Hindi)||RPH Editorial Board|
NDA Exam Paper Analysis for Mathematics
NDA Paper in April 2020 had maximum questions from Algebra, Matrices, and Determinants, Trigonometry, Calculus, Probability, complex number, and Quadratic equation.
- Mathematics sections were comparatively easier than the previous year.
- The exam was for 300 marks in total.
Here is the topic-wise distribution of questions in NDA 2017 Paper 1:
|Topic||No. Of Questions|
|Matrices & Determinants||30|
NDA Syllabus for General Ability Test
Paper 2 in NDA i.e. the General Ability Test judges a candidate’s basic awareness and English proficiency. This section is further divided into two parts, English and General Knowledge.
- Total marks awarded to Paper 2 are 600.
- This paper must be completed in 2.5 hours.
- Here is the subject-wise NDA Syllabus for Paper 2:
Part A- English
- The English portion of the entrance tests the candidate’s knowledge of basic grammar and vocabulary.
- Also, the ability of candidates to form correct sentences judged by the English section of this exam.
- The syllabus of the English paper ranges from various aspects like the knowledge and usage of grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and his mental ability to remember and place the meaning of words in their proper places.
- Marks allotted to this section are 300.
Part B- General Knowledge
General Knowledge question paper will cover current affairs, questions from Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Geography, and Current Events. NDA full syllabus of each topic is given below. The paper aims to check knowledge and intelligent understanding of the subject.
The table below includes the important topics asked in the Physics section of the General Ability Test:
|States of Matter and its properties||Light and Sound (properties)|
|Motion and Laws of Motion||Magnet and its properties|
|Work, Energy and Power||Current and Electricity|
|Modes of Transfer of Heat and its effect||General Principles of Working of Simple Pendulum, Pulleys, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Telegraphs, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Microscope, Mariner’s Compass; Lightening Conductors, Safety Fuses|
The basic knowledge of Chemistry and various chemicals is tested in the chemistry section. The topics to be considered for preparation are given below:
|NDA Chemistry Syllabus||Topics|
|Physical and Chemical Changes||Properties of Oxygen, Hydrogen etc. with Oxidation and Reduction|
|Air and Water (properties)||Carbon and its forms|
|Chemical equations and Laws of Chemical Combination||Atom and its structure (details)|
|Elements, Compounds and Mixtures||Fertilizers|
|Acid, Bases and Salts||Use of materials for preparation of different chemicals|
General Science Section
The topics for general science are tabulated below. The candidates must prepare according to the NDA Syllabus to obtain a good score in the NDA exam.
|NDA General Science Syllabus||Topics|
|Basic Unit of Life: Cell||Reproduction in Plants and Animals|
|Living and Non-Living Things||Human Body and Life processes|
|Epidemics: causes and preventions||Food and Balanced Diet|
|Solar System||Achievement of Eminent Scientists|
Candidates must prepare the following topics thoroughly for the Geography section in NDA:
|NDA Geography Syllabus||TOpics|
|Earth and its Origin and Movement (latitudes and longitudes)||Tides and Oceanic Currents|
|Rocks and Its classification||Atmosphere and Atmospheric Pressure|
|Types of Climate||Regional Geography of India|
|Agricultural and Industries||Transportation and Trading routes of India|
|Imports and Exports of India|
The important topics covered in the history section of the general ability test in NDA is given in the table below:
|NDA History Syllabus|
|Indian History: Culture and Civilisation||Constitution and Administration of India|
|Nationalism in India||Government of India at various levels|
|Five Year plans of India||Renaissance and Discovery|
|French, Russian and Industrial Revolution||United nations and Concept of one world|
|Democracy in India||Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi|
Current Affairs Section
Candidates must follow the latest newspapers and magazines with information about the current events across the country and the world both. The topics to be prepared to qualify in this section with good marks are tabulated below:
|NDA Current Affairs Syllabus|
|Important and Recent Events in India||Current and Important World Events|
|Important Indian or Non-Indian Personalities related to Cultural Activities and Sports||—|
Top Ranked 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 Exams||S.P. Bakshi|
|Manorama Yearbook||Mammen Mathew|
NDA 2020 Paper Analysis for General Ability Test
Paper 2 in NDA 2020 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 2020 held in April:
PART A- English
|Topic||No. of Questions||No. of Marks|
|Ordering of Words in a Sentence||9||36|
PART B- General Knowledge
|Topic||No. of Questions||No. of Marks|
|History & Freedom Movement||16||64|
NDA Exam Marking Scheme
- 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-
- 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:
|Subjects||Number of Questions||Marks||Marking scheme||Negative Marking|
|History, Freedom Movement, etc.||—||80||—||—|
NDA Exam Preparation Tips
Here are some useful NDA Preparation Tips to score better in the exam:
- Firstly, check the NDA Syllabus and exam pattern carefully and collect your study material accordingly.
- Must Involve class 11th and 12th NCERT books in your study material.
- Give your best to learn the basic formulae/ concepts from Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry.
- Make a daily routine and preparation schedule and practice as many NDA Practice Papers as possible.
- For the English section, focus on reading comprehension, basic grammar, and vocabulary. You must revise the basic grammar rules from a reliable source.
- Make sure the political and historical scenario of India is on your tips
- Keep yourself updated with current affairs and events that are making the news.
- Take help from coaching centers if required, but make sure they hold a good record.