Tips to crack NDA exam 2019

This article provides tips to crack NDA exam. It has been written after interviewing a young officer of Indian army captain Kartikay.  It will be definitely  helpful for those students who aspire to become officers in Indian army.

NDA is such an exam for which every young Indian aspires to crack and become an officer in Indian army. NDA exam is conducted twice a year by UPSC.

First notification  for this exam comes up in the months of  December-January and exam is conducted in the month of April.

Second notification is given in the months of June-July and exam is conducted in the month of September. One can appear for this test before 19 years of age.

Students whose are either studying in class XII or passed class XII can appear for NDA.

There are two papers which need to be cracked by a candidate to appear for SSB. Both these papers contains multiple choice based questions. Answers to these questions are given on OMR sheets. Negative marking is also there.

1. First paper : Mathematics

2. Second Paper: General Ability

1. Mathematics

This is the first paper of NDA exam. It is 300 marks paper. It is of 2 hours and 30 minutes and there are 120 questions.

It consists of questions from Mathematics syllabus studied by the candidate in class XI and XII.

Mathematics is such a subject which can’t be crammed. Practicing Mathematics is the only way to learn it. You should practice maximum sums if you want to crack NDA exam.

You must prepare yourself as per prescribed syllabus of Mathematics before appearing for NDA before. You can  view or download syllabus from website .

While solving sums of Mathematics, time management is very important. Without proper time management, there are good chances that you will not be able to complete paper on time.

You must thoroughly read and understand questions before writing their answers otherwise negative marking will reduce your score.

There may be a few  topics or chapters of Mathematics which you find difficult. It is advised to clear all doubts about these topics from some subject expert otherwise they may become obstacle for you. Click here for tips to score good marks in Mathematics.

Previous papers of NDA can help you to prepare and score good marks in Mathematics section. They give you an idea of questions put in NDA exam. You can find previous year paper from the web site of UPSC

You should start preparing for NDA immediately after class X as Mathematics syllabus of class XI and XII needs to be prepared thoroughly for cracking NDA.

2. General Ability

This is second paper of NDA exam. It is 600 marks paper. It is of 2 hours and 30 minutes. You have to solve 150 questions. You can  view or download syllabus of General ability from website .

This paper is composed of two parts.

Part A – English

English paper is of 200 marks. It covers topics including Grammar and usage, vocabulary, comprehension, synonyms, antonyms to test the candidate’s proficiency in English. You should have knowledge of Subject Verb relationship, prepositions, tenses, narrations etc.

You must be able to identify grammatical errors. Questions related to error finding and  jumbled words are asked in the exam. So candidate must have good command on basics of English language.

To get good marks in English you need to prepare English on regular basis. You can read English newspapers, online articles and English magazines so that your vocabulary becomes strong. Moreover this reading habit will also also help you to solve questions related to comprehensions easily and quickly.

You should also take help of English teacher or expert so that you get versed in use of tenses, voice, narration, using prepositions and other complex components of English.

You can  view or download syllabus from website .

Part B – General Knowledge

This  part is divided into six sections as follows:

(i) Physics

Physics studied upto class X is put in NDA exam. So one must revise science book of class X while preparing for NDA.  Science students have an edge over students of other streams as they study Physics regularly. Students of other streams must give special attention to  Physics before appearing for NDA. Moreover about 25% of exam paper contains questions related to Physics.

Physics syllabus prescribed for NDA includes Physical properties and states of Matter, Motion, Heat, Light, Magnets, Current, Electricity, X-Rays. Principles used in working Pendulum and other equipments.

(ii) Chemistry

Just like Physics, candidates need to prepare Chemistry studied upto class X . So one must revise chemistry book of class X while preparing for NDA.  Students studying chemistry in classes XI and XII have more chances of cracking NDA due to their touch with chemistry. Students of other streams need to  pay special attention to  chemistry. About 15% of exam paper contains questions related to Chemistry.

Chemistry syllabus prescribed for NDA includes physical changes, chemical changes. elements, mixtures, compounds, chemistry symbols, formulas, chemical equations, air and water, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Carbondioxide and Nitrogen , reduction, oxidation, bases, acids,  salts, forms of carbon, fertilizers, material used for soap, cement, paints, glass, ink, paper, safety matches and gunpowder etc, valency, structure of atom, molecular weights .

(iii) General Science

For clearing this section of NDA exam, candidates need to go through science books of class IX and X .  It covers around 10% of questions in NDA exam paper of General ability.

This section contains questions related to  living and non-living. cells, Protoplasm ,tissues, reproduction of animals and plants, human organs, epidemics, constituents of food as well as balanced diet. Other topics include Solar System,,comets, Meteors, Eclipses, eminent Scientists’ achiements.

(iv) History

Indian history is an important component of NDA exam paper. So one must cover topics related to history learnt in classes IX and X. One must remember important dates, movements and places. About 20% of NDA paper contains history related questions.

The syllabus of history prescribed for NDA exam includes Indian History , Freedom Movement , Constitution of India, administration, five year plans, Panchayati Raj, community development. Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, National integration & welfare state, Mahatma Gandhi’ s teachings,

Forces shaping the modern world, Renaissance, American Independence war, French revolution, Russian revolution ,Industrial Revolution. Impact of science and technology on society, one world concept, UN, Socialism ,Communism, Panchsheel, democracy, role of India in world.

(v) Geography

Geography is an important subject as far as NDA is concerned. It has practical usage in defence services. You need to study geography from books of class VI to X.. It has approximate weightage of 20% in the exam.

It covers topics related to The Earth, latitude, longitude, time, International date line, rocks, Weathering , Earthquakes ,volcanoes , ocean currents,atmosphere, planetary winds, humidity, condensation, precipitation, types of climate.,natural regions of the world, Geography of India  including climate, vegetation. resources, agricultural & industrial activities, sea ports, land & air routes, items of Imports and Exports.

(vi) Current Events

It covers questions related to important events and  activities happened in India during recent years. Questions related to world events are also asked.  Prominent personalities  of India and Word related to cultural activities and sports are given good importance This section covers almost 10% of questions. .

You can watch news on TV or read new papers for keeping you updated about current events. Year books and monthly magazines covering current affairs are available in market. They can surely help you if you are aspiring for NDA.

Note of Thanks

This article has been written after interviewing Captain Kartikay  who is a young officer in Indian army. I convey my heartfelt thanks to him  as he agreed to provide tips for students who also want to crack NDA and become officer like him.


This article has been specifically written for students who aspire to crack NDA  exam and become  officer in Indian army.  One can surely become an officer If one strongly implements above tips.

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3 thoughts on “Tips to crack NDA exam 2019

  1. Great site. Lots of helpful information here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks to your effort!

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