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NDA Written Exam – Syllabus, Format and Question Papers

NDA written exam, organised by UPSC. The written exam comprises of Mathematics and General ability test. Check out the format and question papers.

The National Defense Academy (NDA) is the joint academy that trains cadets to join Indian Armed Forces. The process to join NDA consists of three level; Written exam, SSB and Medical. Every year the written exam is conducted twice a year, in the month of April and September. In this post, we have listed down the syllabus and format of question papers and everything else that you need to know to clear this test. We have also given previous 5 year question paper for NDA for you to have an idea about the paper.

The written exam for NDA consists of two main parts.

  1. Mathematics Section – 300 Marks
  2. General Ability Section – 900 Marks

Syllabus of NDA Written Test:



  • Sets, operations on sets, Venn Diagrams
  • Relations and Functions, Complex numbers, Binary system of numbers
  • Arithmetic Progression (AP) and Geometric Progression (GP).
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Linear Equation in two variables
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Binomial theorem and applications
  • Logarithmic functions

Matrices and Determinants

  • Types, operations and determinant of a matrix
  • Adjoint and inverse of a matrix, Applications of Adjoint and inverse of matrix


  • Degree to radian and vice versa
  • Trigonometric Ratios
  • Trigonometric identities and difference formulas.

Analytical Geometry in 2D and 3D 

  • Cartesian system, distance formula, various equation of lines
  • The equation of a circle, parabola, hyperbola, ellipse and applications
  • Eccentricity of a cone
  • Point in a 3D space.

Differential Calculus

  • Domain, Range and graph of a function, one -one and onto functions
  • Inverse functions, limit and standard limit and continuity of a function
  • Derivative of a function at various points and sum, product of function
  • Second order derivatives, increasing and decreasing functions, minima and maxima and it’s applications

Integral Calculus 

  • Integration by parts, substitution and trigonometric, exponential and hyperbolic function.
  • Vectors, Vector product and cross products, magnitude and direction of a vector and applications

Statistics and Probability 

  •  Frequency distribution, Pie Chart, Classification of data, Graphical representation Histogram, frequency polygon examples, cumulative frequency distribution examples.
  • Mean, median and mode. Variance and standard deviation, determination and comparison and their applications.

General Ability Section


  • Grammer usage, Direct and Indirect speech, Figure of speech, Active and Passive, Sentence correction, Correct usage of verb forms, Prepositions and Interjections.
  • Vocabulary and Comprehension

General Knowledge 

  • Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Social Studies, Geography and Current Affairs and happenings.


  • States of Matter, Mass, Weight, Volume, Density and Specific Gravity.
  • Motion of objects, Velocity and Accelerations, Newton’s Laws, Momentum and Force, Gravitation, Power and Energy
  • Heat and it’s effects, change of state, latent heat of fusion, Waves and their properties.
  • Light – Reflection and Refractions
  • Electricity – Ohm’s law, conductor and insulators, electric and magnetic effect of current
  • Various Devices such as – Simple Pendulum, Safety Fuses, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Simple Pulleys, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Microscope, Lightening Conductors, Telegraphs.


  • Physical and Chemical changes, mixtures, Chemical equations and statements.
  • Oxidation and Reduction, Salts and bases, Carbon and it’s forms
  • Structure of Atom, Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights, Valency of an atom.
  • Soaps, detergents, paints etc.

General Science 

  • Solar Systems and it’s parts
  • Functioning of body
  • Cells and it’s properties
  • Growth and reproduction in plants and animals.


  • Indian history and various civilizations, Indian freedom movement.
  • Freedom movement in west.
  • Five year plans in India, Panchayati Raj, Govt Schemes etc.
  • Mahatma Gandhi and other notable figures.
  • Indian Economics and it’s structure


  • The earth and it’s location, latitude and longitude, time-date effect.
  • Rocks, Tides, Oceans, water bodies, forests, atmosphere etc.
  • Geography of India – Climate, Natural vegetation, Mineral and Power Resources, Industrial Activities etc.
  • Sea ports and sea routes, forests areas.

Current Affairs and News

  • Current important office holdings, judge of supreme courts.
  • PM and presidents of various countries.
  • Current World events.

Last Years NDA/NA Question Papers

NDA 2014 – GAT Paper

NDA 2014 – Mathematics PAper


NDA 2015 Mathematics Paper

NDA GAT 2016 Paper

NDA MAthematics paper 2016

Exam Tips: 

All the question would be objective type questions. There would be marks for right answers and marks will be deducted for wrong answers.
There are 900 questions in total, out of which 300 would be of Mathematics. Mathematics part is most important as without clearing it, you can’t move on to the next section. It’s advisable that you are thorough with the syllabus of 11th and 12th grade.

Above mentioned information is collected from official NDA resources. In case of any doubt or complaint, feel free to write us in the comment section.

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