How to Prepare for NDA: Syllabus, Mark Distribution & Success Strategies

How to Prepare for NDA 2024: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the National Defence Academy (NDA) exams twice a year, typically in April and September. Candidates who successfully pass all stages of the NDA exam are eligible for training at the National Defence Academy.

Now, let’s delve into some essential tips for preparing for the NDA exam in 2024. Since there’s ample time available, let’s start with the fundamental aspects.

How to Prepare for NDA

Schedule your Study Plan Smartly

To succeed in the NDA exam, it’s essential to plan your study schedule intelligently:

  • Align your timetable with the official NDA syllabus. Pay close attention to the topics specified in the syllabus.
  • Efficient Preparation: Dedicate the necessary time to each topic and concept. Avoid overburdening yourself with excessive subjects or topics.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Make sure to cover all the questions from NCERT books, ensuring a well-rounded understanding of the subjects.

Establish a Strong Foundation

One of the most critical aspects of your preparation is to establish a solid foundation right from the start. A strong grasp of the basics is key to mastering your subjects:

  • Begin by thoroughly understanding even the smallest definitions.
  • Start by solving the simplest questions and gradually progress to more complex ones and challenging topics.
  • When you have a clear understanding of the fundamental concepts within a subject, you’ll find it much easier to grasp the more advanced aspects.

General Knowledge and English Proficiency

Both General Knowledge (GK) and English proficiency are crucial for success in the NDA exam:

English Proficiency:

  • Fluency is key. You need to be proficient in both written and spoken English.
  • English skills are not only assessed in the written test but are also important in the personal interview.
  • Begin with the basics, such as English grammar. Pay attention to nuances like tenses, articles, errors, and verbs. These fundamentals are often overlooked but are essential.
  • While English coaching can be beneficial, it’s not always necessary. You can self-study with resources like “Oxford English Grammar Just for You” to acquire a solid understanding of English grammar.

General Knowledge (GK):

  • Stay well-informed about current affairs by regularly watching the news and reading newspapers and magazines.
  • Enhance your GK by learning about India’s geographical system, including rivers, valleys, states, continents, cities, and towns.

Both English proficiency and a strong GK will play a significant role in your NDA exam success.

Selecting the Right Study Material

Choosing the correct study material is crucial for effective NDA exam preparation:

  • Refer to the NDA syllabus and select books that align with it. You can opt for different books for each subject or find comprehensive books that cover the entire syllabus.
  • Ensure the chosen books include previous year’s question papers and mock tests.
  • Utilize online resources to gather previous year’s question papers. Try solving them without referring to the answers initially.
  • Take advantage of mock tests and work on various assignments. These practices will familiarize you with the syllabus and exam pattern, helping you understand the types of questions asked.
  • Pay attention to your speed while solving papers. As time progresses, aim to increase your efficiency, allowing you to complete the papers quickly and leaving time for revision at the end.

Health and Personality: Key Aspects

NDA admissions heavily rely on personal interviews and physical assessments, making health and personality crucial factors for success:

  • Maintain Fitness: Regular exercise is vital. Dedicate at least an hour daily to physical activities. Staying fit and active is essential.
  • Balanced Diet: Consume a balanced diet rich in protein and essential nutrients. Consider creating a diet chart or consulting a dietitian for guidance on healthy food choices.
  • Personality Development: Besides physical fitness, focus on developing a well-rounded personality. This includes qualities like leadership, teamwork, and effective communication.

By prioritizing both your physical well-being and personality development, you’ll be better prepared for the NDA admissions process.

NDA Exam Syllabus

Here’s an overview of the syllabus for the NDA exam:


  • Sets and operations on sets
  • Venn diagrams
  • Types of matrices and operations on matrices
  • Determinants of a matrix
  • Trigonometric ratios and identities
  • Sum and difference formulae for trigonometric functions
  • Distance formula
  • Equations of lines in various forms
  • Angle between two lines
  • Distance of a point from a line
  • Equations of circles in standard and general forms
  • Composite functions, one-to-one, onto, and inverse functions
  • Notion of limit and standard limits

GAT (General Aptitude Test):


  • Vocabulary, grammar, and usage
  • Comprehension and cohesion in extended text to test English proficiency

General Knowledge:

  • Topics covering physics, chemistry, general science, geography, current events, history, and the freedom movement
Relevant Links
How to Score 100 Marks in Mathematics in Class 12th
How to Score 100 Marks in Physics in 12th Class – Examgyani
How to Prepare For NEET 2023 Without Coaching

Marks Distribution for NDA 2024

If you’re preparing for NDA 2024, it’s crucial to understand the marks distribution and exam structure. Here’s a breakdown of the subjects, maximum marks, and duration for your reference:

Subjects Maximum Marks Duration
Mathematics 300 2 ½ hours
GAT (Section 1- English) 200 2 ½ hours
GAT (Section 2- General Knowledge) 400

Now, let’s also focus on some valuable tips to excel in your exams:

  1. Gather Information: Ensure you have all the necessary study materials and resources.
  2. Hard Work: Success comes through hard work. Dedicate time to study and practice regularly.
  3. Health is Wealth: Don’t neglect your health. Incorporate regular exercise and maintain a balanced diet.

Wishing you the best of luck in your exams! Remember, preparation and dedication are the keys to success.

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