UPSC NDA Syllabus

The Union Public Service Commission is responsible for conducting the UPSC NDA Syllabus which serves the purpose of selecting appropriate candidates for the three armed forces – Army, Air Force and Navy. The ultimate institutes of training here are the National Defence Academy and the National Naval Academy.

This exam is held twice a year at a gap of 6 – 7 months and is conducted uniformly throughout the country. There are several aspects to be kept in mind while checking for eligibility for this exam such as nationality, age, stream chosen in high school etc.

 UPSC NDA Syllabus

The UPSC NDA Syllabus is very expansive and has many subjects and attributes. It has two broad sections – Mathematics and General Ability. The total marks are spread over a spectrum of 900 points and the time given is 5 hours. The question papers have both Hindi and English modes of conveying the content and the pattern is objective type. While you gain 1 mark for every right answer, you lose ⅓ marks for every wrong one.

Mathematics Test is purely to test your application of fundamental concepts in your daily life and how spontaneously smart you are. This section is of 300 marks and the time of completion for it is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

The General Ability Test is a culmination of English and General Knowledge and puts your grammatical intelligence and awareness about everything happening in the world to test. This section is of 600 marks and the time for completion for it is also the same as the previous section, i.e. 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Mathematics Test Syllabus- UPSC NDA Syllabus

  • Basic fundamental high school concept of sets, cartesian product, equivalence relation, Venn diagrams and binary operations.
  • Algebra – Everything about real numbers, complex numbers, binary system of numbers, Arithmetic progressions, Geometric progressions, Harmonic progressions, quadratic equations with real and imaginary coefficients, linear equations in two variables, permutations and combinations, binomial theorem and log
  • Matrices and Determinants 
  • Trigonometry – Concept of angles, ratios, identities, inverse trigonometric functions and their applications
  • Geometry(two and three dimensional) – Cartesian coordinate system, equations of a line, angles, distance of a point from a given line, equations of circle, ellipse, hyperbola, parabola and cone. Three-dimensional coordinates of a point, discretion cosines, equations of a plane and line, forms of expressing the equations of plane and line, the angle between two lines and equations of a sphere.
  • Calculus – Domain and range properties and graph of a function. Composite functions and inverse functions. Continuity and differentiability (concept of limits) of a function. Analytical and physical meanings of derivatives, applications of derivatives and second-order derivatives. Integration and its various methods. Applications of integration. Differential equations and their general and particular solutions. Growth and decay problems.
  • Vectors – Two and three-dimensional algebra of vectors, dot and cross product of vectors and their applications.
  • Statistics – Properties of data and graphical representation. Mean, median, mode, standard deviation, variance, correlation and regression.
  • Probability – Types of events and outcomes associated with them, theorems on probability and binomial distribution.
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English Test syllabus 

  • Ability to find grammatical errors
  • Vocabulary 
  • Comprehension
  • English proficiency
  • Ease of reading and understanding 


General Knowledge Test syllabus

This part of the exam covers multiple topics like physics, chemistry, current affairs etc. These topics do not have a bounded syllabus and only a relative idea of the syllabus can be extracted.

  • Physics – Properties and states of matter, the motion of objects, force, momentum, heat, sound waves, propagation of light, human eye and lenses, magnetism, electricity and electromagnetism.
  • Chemistry – Physical and chemical properties of matter and changes associated with it, methods of preparation and properties of chemicals like hydrogen and oxygen, oxidation/reduction, fertilisers, the structure of atoms.
  • General Science – Fundamental concepts about living and non-living cells, growth and reproduction in species, the human body, common diseases and their prevention, food as a source of energy and solar system.
  • History – Indian ancient and medieval history, constitution and administration of India, national and sub-national schemes, modern-day functioning of the constitution, important phases that shape the global scenario like French Revolution, different forms of governance, the status of India on the global index.
  • Geography – Fundamental concepts about the Earth, natural phenomena that take place on earth, the composition of Earth, tides, rocks, environmental cycles, climate and seasons, regional climate, agricultural and industrial structure of India, seaports, air routes, import and export.
  • Current Affairs – A thorough understanding of all pivotal events taking place across the globe in terms of politics, sports, geo political standstills etc.


How to prepare for the NDA exam?

  • Making a study plan smartly – Time management along with good knowledge of your capacity is essential. Knowing how much content your brain can absorb in one day and then planning accordingly is key. Try to keep a variety of subjects spread out during the day. Studying the same subject would introduce monotony and ultimately make the studying process less effective.
  • Relying on the basics – The NDA exam is all about focusing on your fundamentals and applying them appropriately. Analysing the subject and marking key points is very helpful. Give more time to the core concepts and then move on to the bigger topics. 
  • General knowledge and English – Practising comprehensions and compositions, reading daily and being up to date with current affairs by watching news and reading newspapers can gradually increase your proficiency in these aspects. 
  • Study material – Finding the right books and references is the make or break. Look for books that come to your own level of understanding and convey the topics at your individual pace. It is very important to study from a number of books to gain multiple perspectives.
  • Solving previous years’ questions –  A look into the past years’ papers would give you an insight into the pattern of the exam and sometimes the same questions also appear in the consequent exams.
  • Revision – Give yourself enough time to go through each topic at least thrice in between gaps for better retention. Repetition is the way to go.
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The NDA exam is a golden opportunity but also equally competitive. While one must persevere and put only the best foot forward, it is crucial to never let your morale down and never compare yourself to others. Study with all your heart and dedication. Confidence and hardwork will never let you down.




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