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How To Prepare For NDA Written Exam 2024

How To Prepare For NDA Written Exam

How to Prepare for NDA Written Exam: A Comprehensive Guide by MJS Defence Academy :
The National Defence Academy (NDA) exam is a gateway to a prestigious career in the Indian Armed Forces. Conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), this exam requires a well-structured preparation strategy to ensure success. At MJS Defence Academy, we provide you with a detailed guide on how to prepare effectively for the NDA written exam. This guide covers essential tips, study plans, and resources to help you excel in your preparation.

Understanding the NDA Written Exam Structure

The NDA written exam comprises two papers: Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). Both papers are conducted on the same day with a duration of 2.5 hours each.

Mathematics Paper

  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Total Marks: 300
  • Topics Covered: Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Statistics, Probability, Calculus, and Vector Algebra.

General Ability Test (GAT)

  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Total Marks: 600
  • Sections:
    • Section A: English (200 marks): This section tests the candidate’s proficiency in grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension.
    • Section B: General Knowledge (400 marks): This section covers Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, and Current Events.

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Step-by-Step Preparation Guide

Step 1: Understand the Syllabus and Exam Pattern

Thoroughly understanding the NDA syllabus and exam pattern is the first step in your preparation. Familiarize yourself with the topics covered in both papers and the weightage of each section.

Step 2: Create a Study Schedule

A well-planned study schedule is crucial for systematic preparation. Allocate specific time slots for each subject and stick to your schedule. Ensure you balance your study hours with adequate breaks to avoid burnout.

Step 3: Gather Study Materials

Having the right study materials is essential for effective preparation. Here are some recommended resources:

  • Mathematics: Refer to NCERT textbooks of Class 11 and 12. Additionally, use reference books like R.S. Aggarwal’s “Mathematics for NDA and NA.”
  • English: Wren and Martin’s “High School English Grammar and Composition” is a must-have. Regular reading of newspapers like The Hindu can improve vocabulary and comprehension skills.
  • General Knowledge: Lucent’s General Knowledge book, along with current affairs magazines and newspapers, will keep you updated.

Step 4: Focus on Conceptual Clarity

Understanding the basic concepts is crucial, especially for Mathematics and Physics. Ensure you have a strong grasp of fundamental concepts before moving on to advanced topics.

Step 5: Practice Regularly

Regular practice is key to mastering any subject. Solve previous years’ question papers and take mock tests to familiarize yourself with the exam format. This will also help you manage your time effectively during the exam.

Step 6: Work on Weak Areas

Identify your weak areas and devote extra time to improving them. Whether it’s a particular topic in Mathematics or a section in English, consistent practice will help you overcome these challenges.

Step 7: Improve Your English Skills

The English section in GAT is significant, contributing 200 marks. Work on your grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. Regularly practice reading comprehension passages and writing essays to enhance your proficiency.

Step 8: Stay Updated with Current Affairs

The General Knowledge section covers current events, so staying updated is crucial. Read newspapers, watch news channels, and use current affairs apps to keep yourself informed about national and international events.

Step 9: Join a Coaching Institute

Joining a reputed coaching institute like MJS Defence Academy can provide structured guidance and expert mentorship. Our experienced faculty members offer personalized coaching, doubt-clearing sessions, and regular mock tests to ensure you are well-prepared for the exam.

Step 10: Maintain Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is essential not only for the SSB interview but also for overall well-being. Include regular physical exercises like running, swimming, and other sports activities in your routine to stay fit and healthy.

Subject-Wise Preparation Tips


  1. Understand the Concepts: Focus on understanding the basic concepts rather than rote learning. This will help you tackle complex problems more effectively.
  2. Practice Problem-Solving: Regularly solve a variety of problems from different topics. Use previous years’ question papers to get a feel of the type of questions asked in the exam.
  3. Time Management: During practice sessions, time yourself to improve your speed and accuracy. This will help you manage your time better during the actual exam.


  1. Enhance Vocabulary: Learn new words daily and use them in sentences to improve your vocabulary.
  2. Practice Grammar: Work on your grammar skills by practicing from standard grammar books and taking online quizzes.
  3. Read Regularly: Read newspapers, magazines, and books to improve your reading speed and comprehension skills.

General Knowledge

  1. Stay Updated: Make it a habit to read newspapers and watch news channels regularly to stay informed about current events.
  2. Study Standard Books: Use standard books like Lucent’s General Knowledge and NCERT textbooks for a comprehensive understanding of history, geography, and science.
  3. Take Notes: Make concise notes of important events, dates, and facts. Review these notes regularly.

Physics and Chemistry

  1. Understand Basic Concepts: Focus on understanding the fundamental concepts in physics and chemistry. Use NCERT textbooks as your primary reference.
  2. Solve Numerical Problems: Practice solving numerical problems, especially in physics. This will help you apply theoretical concepts to practical situations.
  3. Revise Regularly: Regular revision is crucial for retaining important concepts and formulas.

Mock Tests and Revision

Take Mock Tests

Regularly taking mock tests is crucial for your preparation. They help you assess your performance, identify weak areas, and improve your time management skills. At MJS Defence Academy, we provide a series of mock tests designed to simulate the actual exam environment.

Revise Regularly

Regular revision is essential for retaining what you have learned. Allocate time in your study schedule for revising important topics and concepts. Use flashcards, mind maps, and notes for quick revision.

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1. What are the key topics covered in the NDA Mathematics paper?

The NDA Mathematics paper covers a range of topics from the 10+2 level, including:

  • Algebra: Quadratic equations, sequences and series, complex numbers, and logarithms.
  • Trigonometry: Trigonometric identities, equations, and inverse trigonometric functions.
  • Geometry: Lines and angles, circles, triangles, and conic sections.
  • Calculus: Limits, continuity, differentiation, integration, and differential equations.
  • Statistics and Probability: Data interpretation, mean, median, mode, variance, and probability theory.
  • Vector Algebra: Vectors in two and three dimensions, scalar and vector products.
2. How can I improve my English for the NDA General Ability Test (GAT)?

To improve your English for the NDA GAT, follow these tips:

  • Enhance Vocabulary: Learn new words daily and use them in sentences. Reading English newspapers and books can help.
  • Practice Grammar: Regularly practice grammar exercises from standard grammar books like Wren and Martin.
  • Improve Comprehension: Practice reading comprehension passages and answer related questions to improve your understanding and speed.
  • Write Essays: Write essays on various topics to improve your writing skills and expression.
3. What is the best strategy to prepare for the General Knowledge section of the GAT?

To prepare for the General Knowledge section:

  • Stay Updated: Read newspapers, watch news channels, and follow current affairs websites to stay informed about national and international events.
  • Use Standard Books: Refer to books like Lucent’s General Knowledge and NCERT textbooks for history, geography, and science.
  • Make Notes: Create concise notes of important events, dates, and facts. Regularly revise these notes.
  • Practice Quizzes: Take online quizzes and practice previous years’ question papers to test your knowledge.
4. How important are mock tests in NDA exam preparation?

Mock tests are crucial for NDA exam preparation for several reasons:

  • Assess Performance: They help you assess your strengths and weaknesses in different subjects.
  • Time Management: Practicing with mock tests improves your ability to manage time effectively during the actual exam.
  • Familiarization with Exam Pattern: Mock tests familiarize you with the exam pattern and types of questions asked.
  • Build Confidence: Regular practice with mock tests builds your confidence and reduces exam anxiety.
5. What are some effective tips for managing time during the NDA exam?

Effective time management during the NDA exam can significantly impact your performance:

  • Practice with Timed Tests: Regularly practice with timed mock tests to get used to the pressure of completing the exam within the allotted time.
  • Prioritize Questions: Start with questions you are confident about to secure easy marks early on. Move to more challenging questions afterward.
  • Avoid Spending Too Much Time on One Question: If a question seems too difficult, move on and come back to it later if time permits.
  • Divide Your Time: Allocate specific time slots for each section based on your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Stay Calm and Focused: Maintain your composure and stay focused throughout the exam to avoid wasting time on unnecessary distractions.

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