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NDA Exam Preparation in 3 Months

How To Prepare For NDA Written Exam In 3 Months

The National Defence Academy (NDA) exam, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), is a prestigious gateway for young aspirants aiming to join the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. Given the competitive nature of the NDA exam, thorough preparation within a limited timeframe is essential for success. Here, MJS Defence Academy provides you with comprehensive tips and strategies to effectively prepare for the NDA exam in three months.

Understanding the NDA Exam Structure

Before diving into preparation, it is crucial to understand the exam pattern. The NDA exam comprises two main components: the Written Examination and the SSB Interview. The Written Examination includes two papers:

How To Prepare For NDA Written Exam In 3 Months

NDA 2024 Exam Overview :

  1. Mathematics: 120 questions worth a total of 300 marks.
  2. General Ability Test (GAT): 150 questions, totalling 600 marks, covering subjects such as English, General Knowledge, Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography, and Current Affairs.

Candidates are given 2.5 hours (150 minutes) to complete each section. Upon successfully passing the written exam, candidates proceed to the SSB Interview, which evaluates overall performance and contributes to a final score of 900 marks.

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Detailed NDA Syllabus Breakdown


  • Algebra: Concepts of sets, operations on sets, Venn diagrams, De Morgan laws, relation, equivalence relation, and quadratic equations.
  • Trigonometry: Trigonometric ratios, identities, and equations.
  • Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions: Cartesian coordinates, distance formula, section formula, and equations of lines and circles.
  • Integral Calculus and Differential Equations: Integration and differentiation of functions, application of integration.
  • Vector Algebra: Vectors in two and three dimensions, scalar product, and vector product.

General Ability Test (GAT)

  • English: Grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and cohesion.
  • General Knowledge: Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, and Current Affairs.
    • Physics: Motion, work, energy, power, sound, light, and basic concepts of electricity.
    • Chemistry: Basic concepts of matter, elements, compounds, and mixtures, structure of atoms, acids, bases, and salts.
    • History: Indian History, Freedom Movement, and post-independence period.
    • Geography: Earth’s physical features, climate, and socio-economic aspects.
    • Current Affairs: Recent national and international events.

CDS 2 2024 Eligibility Candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Nationality: Indian citizens or subjects of Nepal/Bhutan, Tibetan refugees settled in India before January 1, 1962, or individuals of Indian origin from specified countries.
  • Education:
    • IMA and Officers’ Training Academy: Graduation in any discipline.
    • Indian Naval Academy: Engineering degree.
    • Air Force Academy: Bachelor’s degree with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level or an Engineering degree.
  • Age Limit: 20 to 24 years as of July 1, 2023 (detailed age criteria available in the official notification).
  • Marital Status & Gender:
    • IMA and INA: Unmarried males only.
    • AFA: Both married and unmarried males, but marriage during training is prohibited.
    • OTA: Unmarried males and females.

Three-Month Preparation Strategy

Month 1: Foundation Building

Week 1-2: Understanding Basics

  • Mathematics: Focus on understanding basic concepts and solving elementary problems. Begin with algebra and trigonometry.
  • English: Improve grammar and vocabulary through daily exercises and reading.
  • Physics & Chemistry: Study fundamental principles and basic concepts. Use NCERT books for a strong foundation.
  • Current Affairs: Start reading newspapers, magazines, and online news portals daily. Note down important events.

Week 3-4: Conceptual Clarity

  • Mathematics: Move to more complex topics like analytical geometry and calculus. Practice problem-solving regularly.
  • English: Continue with grammar and vocabulary enhancement. Start reading comprehension exercises.
  • Physics & Chemistry: Dive deeper into complex topics. Solve numerical problems and conceptual questions.
  • History & Geography: Begin with NCERT books to cover basic historical events and geographical concepts.

Month 2: Intensified Practice

Week 1-2: Problem-Solving and Mock Tests

  • Mathematics: Solve previous years’ papers and take mock tests to improve speed and accuracy.
  • English: Practice writing essays and summarizing articles. Enhance reading comprehension skills.
  • Physics & Chemistry: Focus on solving previous years’ question papers and mock tests. Understand the application of concepts.
  • History & Geography: Make concise notes and use them for quick revisions. Focus on important events and geographical features.

Week 3-4: Comprehensive Revision

  • Mathematics: Regularly revise all topics. Focus on weak areas and solve related problems.
  • English: Continue practicing grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension. Read editorials and articles to improve reading skills.
  • Physics & Chemistry: Revise all major concepts and formulas. Use flashcards for quick revision.
  • History & Geography: Revise notes and important points. Use maps and diagrams to enhance understanding.

Month 3: Final Touches

Week 1-2: Intensive Mock Tests

  • Mathematics: Take full-length mock tests under exam conditions. Analyze performance and work on weak areas.
  • English: Engage in intensive practice of comprehension passages and essay writing. Enhance vocabulary through daily practice.
  • Physics & Chemistry: Continue with mock tests and focus on weak points identified in previous tests.
  • History & Geography: Take mock tests to assess knowledge. Revise notes regularly.

Week 3-4: SSB Interview Preparation and Physical Fitness

  • Communication Skills: Practice group discussions, public speaking, and interviews to enhance communication skills.
  • Physical Fitness: Engage in regular physical activities such as running, jogging, and basic exercises to improve stamina and fitness.
  • Current Affairs: Revise notes on recent events and prepare for possible questions in the interview.
  • SSB Interview Preparation: Understand the SSB process and practice psychological tests, group tasks, and personal interviews.

Subject-Wise Preparation Tips


  • Dedicate a significant portion of your study time to mathematics, given its weightage in the exam.
  • Practice daily to improve both speed and accuracy in solving mathematical problems.
  • Focus on understanding fundamental concepts and solving a variety of problems.


  • Enhance your vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension skills through regular practice.
  • Read newspapers, magazines, and books to improve reading skills.
  • Practice writing essays and summarizing articles to improve writing skills.


  • Focus on mastering fundamental principles before moving to complex topics.
  • Solve previous years’ papers to understand the pattern of questions.
  • Use diagrams and real-life examples to understand concepts better.


  • Prioritize understanding of fundamental theories and concepts.
  • Create notes for revising formulas, equations, and important facts.
  • Solve numerical problems and practice application-based questions.


  • Use NCERT books as primary study material for fundamental historical concepts.
  • Prepare concise notes for efficient last-minute revision.
  • Focus on important events, dates, and personalities.


  • Ensure a thorough understanding of basic concepts outlined in the syllabus.
  • Use maps, diagrams, and visual aids to enhance understanding and retention.
  • Regularly revise important geographical features and concepts.

Current Affairs

  • Stay updated with national and international events through newspapers and online news portals.
  • Create brief notes summarizing key current events for quick revision.
  • Focus on understanding the significance of events and their impact.

Additional Tips for NDA Preparation

Time Management

  • Create a realistic study schedule and stick to it.
  • Allocate specific time slots for each subject and ensure regular revision.
  • Balance study time with short breaks to avoid burnout.

Practice and Revision

  • Regularly solve previous years’ question papers and take mock tests.
  • Analyze performance in mock tests and work on weak areas.
  • Revise notes and important concepts regularly to ensure retention.

Health and Well-being

  • Maintain a healthy diet and get adequate sleep.
  • Engage in regular physical activities to keep fit and relieve stress.
  • Stay positive and motivated throughout the preparation period.

SSB Interview Preparation

  • Understand the SSB interview process and practice relevant tasks.
  • Work on communication skills, group discussions, and public speaking.
  • Focus on building confidence and maintaining a positive attitude.

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1. What is the structure of the NDA exam and how should I allocate my study time?
  • The NDA exam is divided into two parts: the Written Examination and the SSB Interview. The Written Examination consists of two papers:

    1. Mathematics: 120 questions, 300 marks.
    2. General Ability Test (GAT): 150 questions, 600 marks.

    You are given 2.5 hours (150 minutes) for each paper. The SSB Interview follows the written exam and assesses your overall performance.

    Study Time Allocation Tips:

    • Mathematics: Dedicate at least 2-3 hours daily. Focus on understanding fundamental concepts and practice solving problems to improve speed and accuracy.
    • GAT (English, General Knowledge, Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography, Current Affairs): Allocate 4-5 hours daily, dividing time among the subjects based on your strengths and weaknesses. Regularly read newspapers and magazines for current affairs.
2. How can I effectively cover the vast syllabus of the NDA exam in just 3 months?

To cover the extensive syllabus in 3 months, follow these strategies:

  • Create a Study Plan: Divide your syllabus into manageable chunks and create a detailed study schedule. Ensure you allocate sufficient time for each subject.
  • Prioritize Topics: Identify and prioritize high-weightage topics. Focus on areas that are frequently covered in previous exams.
  • Daily Practice: Dedicate daily practice time for Mathematics and English. Solve numerical problems and enhance vocabulary and grammar skills.
  • Regular Revision: Allocate time for regular revision to reinforce your learning and improve retention.
  • Mock Tests: Take regular mock tests to simulate exam conditions, assess your performance, and identify areas needing improvement.
3. What are the key resources for preparing for the NDA exam?

The key resources for NDA exam preparation include:

  • NCERT Books: For Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, History, and Geography. They provide a solid foundation of basic concepts.
  • Standard Reference Books: Books like “Pathfinder for NDA & NA” by Arihant Publications, “Mathematics for NDA and NA” by R.S. Aggarwal, and “Objective General English” by S.P. Bakshi.
  • Newspapers and Magazines: For current affairs, regularly read newspapers like “The Hindu” or “The Indian Express” and magazines like “Pratiyogita Darpan.”
  • Online Resources: Utilize online platforms like MJS Defence Academy’s courses, video lectures, and practice tests.
  • Previous Year Papers: Solve past years’ question papers to understand the exam pattern and frequently asked questions.
4. How important is physical fitness and how should I prepare for the SSB Interview?

Physical fitness is crucial for the SSB Interview as it tests your physical endurance, stamina, and overall health, which are essential for a career in the armed forces.

Preparation Tips:

  • Daily Exercise: Engage in daily physical activities such as running, jogging, swimming, and basic exercises to build stamina and endurance.
  • Healthy Diet: Maintain a balanced diet to ensure good health and fitness.
  • SSB Interview Preparation:
    • Communication Skills: Practice group discussions, public speaking, and interviews to improve your communication skills.
    • Psychological Tests: Understand and practice the psychological tests conducted during the SSB Interview.
    • Mock Interviews: Participate in mock interviews to build confidence and improve your performance.
5. How can I manage stress and stay motivated during the 3-month preparation period?

Managing stress and staying motivated is essential for effective preparation. Here are some tips:

  • Realistic Goals: Set achievable goals and celebrate small milestones to keep yourself motivated.
  • Breaks and Leisure: Take short breaks between study sessions to relax and rejuvenate. Engage in hobbies and activities you enjoy.
  • Positive Mindset: Maintain a positive attitude and believe in your abilities. Visualize your success and stay focused on your goals.
  • Support System: Stay connected with family and friends who can provide encouragement and support.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Ensure you get adequate sleep, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise regularly to keep your mind and body in optimal condition.

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How To Prepare For NDA Written Exam In 3 Months

How To Prepare For NDA Written Exam In 3 Months

How To Prepare For NDA Written Exam In 3 Months

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