Key Highlight
of NDA
Application Fees:
For Gen/OBC: Rs. 100/- For SC/ST and wards of NCOs/ JCOs/ORs: These candidates are exempt from paying Fee.
12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a State Education Board or a University.
A candidate must be an Indian citizen
Age Limit:
born not before than 2nd July 2001 and not after 1st July 2004
There are two stages of SSB interview;
Stage 1: OIR (Officer Intelligence Rating) and PP & DT (Picture Perception & Description Test). Stage 2: Group Testing Officer Tasks (GTO Tasks), Psychology Tests, Interview & Conference.
6 September 2020

NDA and NA Exam Pattern

The Union Public Service Commission organises NDA and NA Exam for admission to the Army, Navy and Air Force Wings of the National Defence Academy and Indian Naval Academy Course. The UPSC conducts NDA and NA Exam two times in a year in offline mode as described below.

  1. NDA and NA Examination (I)

  2. NDA and NA Examination (II)

​The selection and examination process remains the same for NDA and NA  I & II. The candidates will face two stages to get admission in National Defence Academy and Naval Academy. The candidates have to pass stage I to face stage-II.

  1. Written Examination

  2. SSB Interview

​The UPSC conducts the NDA Written Exam in offline mode. The UPSC is responsible to set the exam pattern and syllabus for this exam. The UPSC is a renowned organisation for conducting examinations to recruit officers. So it always maintains the standard of exams. The organisation does not ask extremely hard questions and topics in the exams but it asks the comprehensive questions to check the understanding level of topics. So the candidates are advised to prepare the topics in brief. They should practice NDA Mock Tests and previous year papers to strengthen their preparation.

The candidates are also advised to check the NDA Exam Eligibility to avoid circumstances in the selection process. The UPSC releases the admit cards on its official website before 10 days (minimum) to attend the examination. The UPSC reserves the right to change exam schedule, pattern, syllabus, and examination rules. The organisation regulates the NDA Exam in a disciplined manner.

The NDA and NA Exam will be held on 6 September 2020 (Important Dates). There will be two papers in two sittings of a day that are explained below. The duration of each sitting will be 2 hours and 30 minutes.

  1. Mathematics (120 MCQs )

  2. General Ability (150 MCQs)

A separate booklet with an OMR seat will be issued for each paper containing bilingual MCQs (Hindi and English Language). Paper I contains 120 MCQs from only Mathematics and Paper-II contains 150 MCQs from English Language and General Knowledge. There will be 50 MCQs from English Language and 100 MCQs from General Awareness in Paper-II. Each question contains four options as an ordinary exam but MCQs required comprehensive knowledge of the topics. See in the below table to understand the accurate exam pattern of NDA and NA.




  Total Questions

  Total Marks

  Allotted Time


  Paper I (Code: 01)

  120 MCQs

  300 Marks

  2 Hours and 30 Minutes

                                     2 Hours Break

  General Ability


  Paper-II (Code: 02)

  150 MCQs

  600 Marks

  2 Hours and 30 Minutes


  900 Marks

  5 Hours


NDA and NA Marking Scheme

The UPSC sets 1800 Marks for NDA and NA Marking procedure equally divided in Written Exam and SSB Interview.  Both the written exam and SSB Interview contains 900 Marks separately. The written exam contains Mathematics and General Ability papers of 300 Marks and 600 Marks respectively. The General Ability Paper contains English Language and General Awareness of 200 Marks and 400 Marks in the written exam. Each MCQ of Mathematics contains 2.5 Marks and General Awareness contains 4 Marks.

The negative marking is a mark deducting factor in the NDA and NA Exam Marking Scheme. There will be 1/3 of each MCQ Marks deducted in both Mathematics and General Ability Paper. This is an offline exam and marking two or more options simultaneously in an answer is the part of negative marking. There will be no penalty for unattempted MCQ in the NDA Exam. The candidates are advised to be aware at the time of darkening the oval because the answer can not be changed if it once darkened.

The three wrong answers penalty is equal to the one right answer marks that can lessen huge scores of the candidates if they answered questions inaccurately. So it is advisable to mark the answers with accuracy.


Take a glance at the below table to understand the NDA and NA Exam marking scheme:




  Total Questions

  Total Marks

  Marks for Each Correct Answer


  Paper I (Code: 01)

  120 MCQs

  300 Marks

  2.5 Marks

  General Ability


  Paper-II (Code: 02)

  150 MCQs

  600 Marks

  4 Marks


  • 2.5 Marks in Mathematics and 4 Marks in General Ability for each correct answer
  • 1/3 of MCQ Marks will be deducted for each wrong answer in both papers
  • No penalty for unattempted MCQs in NDA Exam

NDA and NA Exam Syllabus


Mathematics Syllabus (Paper I)





  (34-36 MCQs)

Concept of set, operations on sets, Venn diagrams, De Morgan laws, Cartesian product, relation, equivalence relation.


Representation of real numbers on a line. Complex numbers—basic properties, modulus, argument, cube roots of unity. Binary system of numbers. Conversion of a number in decimal system to binary system and vice-versa. Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic progressions. Quadratic equations with real coefficients. Solution of linear inequations of two variables by graphs. Permutation and Combination. Binomial theorem and its applications. Logarithms and their applications.


  (4-5 MCQs)

Types of matrices, operations on matrices. Determinant of a matrix, basic properties of determinants. Adjoint and inverse of a square matrix, Applications-Solution of a system of linear equations in two or three unknowns by Cramer’s rule and by Matrix Method.


 Measurement of Angles in Degree and Radian

  (17-18 MCQs)

Angles and their measures in degrees and in radians. Trigonometrical ratios. Trigonometric identities Sum and difference formulae. Multiple and Sub-multiple angles. Inverse trigonometric functions. Applications-Height and distance, properties of triangles.


Height and Distance

  Two Dimensions Analytical Geometry

  (10-12 MCQs) Rectangular Cartesian Coordinate system. Distance formula. Equation of a line in various forms. Angle between two lines. Distance of a point from a line. Equation of a circle in standard and in general form. Standard forms of parabola, ellipse and hyperbola. Eccentricity and axis of a conic. Point in a three dimensional space, distance between two points. Direction Cosines and direction ratios. Equation two points. Direction Cosines and direction ratios. Equation of a plane and a line in various forms. Angle between two lines and angle between two planes. Equation of a sphere.

  Three Dimensions Analytical Geometry

  Vector Algebra

  (5-7 MCQs)

Vectors in two and three dimensions, magnitude and direction of a vector. Unit and null vectors, addition of vectors, scalar multiplication of a vector, scalar product or dot product of two vectors. Vector product or cross product of two vectors. Applications—work done by a force and moment of a force and in geometrical problems.

  Differential Calculus

  (20-22 MCQs) Concept of a real valued function–domain, range and graph of a function. Composite functions, one to one, onto and inverse functions. Notion of limit, Standard limits—examples. Continuity of functions - examples, algebraic operations on continuous functions. Derivative of function at a point, geometrical and physical interpretation of a derivative-application. Derivatives of sum, product and quotient of functions, derivative of a function with respect to another function, derivative of a composite function. Second order derivatives. Increasing and decreasing functions. Application of derivatives in problems of maxima and minima

  Integral Calculus

  (4-6 MCQs)

Integration as inverse of differentiation, integration by substitution and by parts, standard integrals involving algebraic expressions, trigonometric, exponential and hyperbolic functions. Evaluation of definite integrals—determination of areas of plane regions bounded by curves—applications.

  Differential Equations

Definition of order and degree of a differential equation, formation of a differential equation by examples. General and particular solution of a differential equations, solution of first order and first degree differential equations of various types—examples. Application in problems of growth and decay.


Statistics: Classification of data, Frequency distribution, cumulative frequency distribution - examples. Graphical representation - Histogram, Pie Chart, frequency polygon—examples. Measures of Central tendency—Mean, median and mode. Variance and standard deviation determination and comparison. Correlation and regression.


Probability: Random experiment, outcomes and associated sample space, events, mutually exclusive and exhaustive events, impossible and certain events. Union and Intersection of events. Complementary, elementary and composite events. Definition of probability—classical and statistical—examples. Elementary theorems on probability—simple problems. Conditional probability, Bayes’ theorem—simple problems. Random variable as function on a sample space. Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments giving rise to Binominal distribution.


General Ability Syllabus (Paper-II): 150 MCQs


English Syllabus (50 MCQs)

Practice English Mock Test




  Reading Comprehension

  Parts of Speech


  Para Jumbles

 Active and Passive Voice


 Sentence Improvement


 Idioms and Phrases

  Cloze Test

 Spotting Errors and Correction

 One Word Substitution


General Awareness Syllabus (100 MCQs)


  Physics (25%)

  General Science (10%)

  Geography (20%)

  Chemistry (15%)

  History (20%)

  Current Events (10%)


NDA Preparation Tips

·         You need a proper study plan to finish NDA exam within prescribed time limit. Go through the topics in syllabus and start with the ones that you are good at. Practise mathematics problems by memorising formulas to become faster. Same with Physics and Chemistry, learn chemical equations by writing over and over.

·         Make mathematics your strong suit, practise questions to solve them within time to increase efficiency. The trick here is to mug up math formulas by heart, so they come in handy while solving a problem.

·         Become smart by attempting questions that you are sure of first, then come to the questions you’re in doubt. But don’t attempt them anyway, remember negative marking is a factor here. Therefore, only attempt questions that you are sure of.

·         Manage your time properly; give appropriate amount of time to each section. Try to improve your time by practicing as many online tests as possible. Youth4work provides online mock tests will time limit attached to each question; this way one can learn to finish the entire exam within the time limit.

·         Studying in a stretch for hours can be tedious and hard and also not so good. Therefore, try to study at several times in regular sessions during a day. This will make learning easy and fun, also you will have enough time to brush up the already studied topics in between intervals. Don’t forget to practise NDA question papers of previous years that are easily available on

·         It is very important to maintain proper health, so you don’t fall sick on the big day. Give your brain appropriate time to refresh itself. Don’t rush too much information into your head than its limit allows. Take it slow and steady. And get at least eight hours of sleep each night.

Youth4work Prep Tests

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Following are interesting insights from nearly lakhs of question attempts on NDA exam practice tests on Youth4work. Every aspirant is rated on a Rating Scale. The ratings of the aspirants change with every question attempt.

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