How to Crack the NDA Exam in First Attempt?

by Manasvi Gupta September 12, 2022

Every year, the NDA/NA exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission twice to select and train eligible and interested candidates in the prestigious National Defense Academy (NDA). NDA is one of the most renowned and prominent examinations in India for students who want to be a part of the Indian Defense Forces. The national level examination provides aspiring students a great opportunity to join the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. 


Lakhs of candidates apply for this exam, and since there are very few vacancies available, that make the exam more competitive. To crack the exam in the first attempt, the candidates should have the right strategy, hard work and dedication. In this blog, we have described a few tips and tricks that will help you to clear the NDA exam on the first attempt. You must follow these tips to shine in the exam.




UPSC NDA Exam 2022 Preparation Tips

The NDA/NA exams are based on multiple-choice questions divided into two parts - Mathematics & General Ability Test. The overall paper accounts for 900 marks, of which Mathematics holds 300. Therefore, candidates should pay attention to their scores in the mathematics section of the NDA exam as it is the only subject where questions can be solved with 100% accuracy and without errors. 


Take a look at a few important tips and tricks to clear the test on the first attempt. Gone are the days when “Hard Work” used to be the students’ approach to success. Today “Smart work” has become the prefix of hard work. Therefore, we have listed a few effective tips that you must consider to crack the UPSC NDA exam 2022 on the first attempt. 


1. Know the Exam Inside Out

While preparing for the NDA exam 2022, the first thing that you need to do is to familiarise yourself with everything related to the exam. Know the inside out of the exam. 

  • The aspirants should go to the official NDA website upsc.gov.in and thoroughly read the Eligibility Criteria and the entire Selection Process. 

  • Find out the exam pattern, syllabus, timetable, number of questions, negative marking, cut-off, etc. 


This will give candidates a broad idea about forming a foundation for their preparation.


Below is the Table of the NDA Exam Pattern 2022:

Subject 

Paper

Total No of Questions

Exam Duration

Maximum Marks

Mathematics 

Paper I

120

2.5 Hours

300

General Ability Test

Paper II 

150

2.5 Hours

600

Total


270

5 Hours

900


Mathematics Paper

Here is the topic-wise distribution of questions in Mathematics paper:


Topics

Marks

No. of Questions

Algebra and Vector Algebra

100

40

Trigonometry

50

20

Determinants and Matrices

25

10

Statistics and Probability

25

10

Analytical Geometry

50

20

Differential and Integral Calculus

50

20

Total

300

120


General Ability Test Paper

This section comprises the following subjects:

  • General English - 50 Questions

  • General Knowledge - 100 Questions 

Here is the topic-wise distribution of the questions in GAT paper:


Part A: English


Topic

No. of Questions

No. of Marks

Spotting Errors

5

20

Comprehension

6

24

Selecting Words

10

40

Ordering of Words in a Sentence

9

36

Sentence Improvement

10

40

Antonyms

5

20

Synonyms

5

20

Total

50

200


Part B: General Knowledge


Topic

No. of Questions

No. of Marks

Physics

23

92

Chemistry

16

64

General Science

11

44

History & Freedom Movement

16

64

Geography

17

68

Current Events

17

68

Total

100

400


2. Solve Previous Year Question Paper and Mock Tests

  • One of the best ways to strengthen the base of any exam is to solve the last 5 years question papers as much as possible. 

  • It will help you understand the level of questions asked in the exam as well as the topics that have more weightage. 

  • Candidates can download the previous year’s question papers from the UPSC official website (upsc.gov.in).

  • Additionally, solve as many mock tests as possible so that you can evaluate your performance and work on your weak points.


3. Learn Time Management Skills and Improve Speed

  • Effective time management skills are crucial to attempt all the questions in the exam within the given period. 

  • In the Mathematics paper, try to complete each question in 1 minute 25 seconds minimum, while 3 minutes maximum for short to long answers, respectively. 

  • In the case of the GK section under the GAT paper, try to attempt each question in a minimum of 1 minute to 2 minutes maximum. In the case of the General English section, pay attention to your grammatical skills and English proficiency to quickly solve the questions.

  • With time management, you must also increase your speed of solving the questions in the NDA exam.


4. Make a Schedule 

To clear the NDA exam on the first attempt, doing smart study is essential, and creating a study schedule is the first initiative. Make a study plan by dividing topics into easy and difficult and assigning the number of days to cover each topic. Set weekly or monthly goals to keep track of your performance and stick to covering the syllabus on time.

5. Note Down Important Points

Aspiring students of the NDA exam should develop a habit of writing important points like formulas, keywords, and concepts whenever they study. Make a separate notebook and go through it regularly to polish your learnings. Refer to this for your last-time revision as well.

6. Take Professional Help If Required

While preparing for the NDA exam, if you face any difficulty, don't shy away from asking for help from an expert tutor. The guidance of a qualified mentor is very important in these kinds of competitive exams. Additionally, today we have a plethora of sources for studying online that brings you the most experienced and expert teaching faculty to your doorstep. Take their advantage and make the best out of them.

7. Improve Your General Knowledge 

The General Knowledge section contains 400 marks, so it's important to keep yourself updated on current affairs. Read newspapers, articles, and journals or watch news channels. It will also improve your English to clear the General English section.

8. Exam Day Tips

Be calm on exam day! Take a deep breath as peace of mind is important to give your best. Try to solve those questions that you are confident about. Maintain a time limit from the beginning. Don’t worry if you are not able to solve a question. Don’t waste time and move to another one. 


Last but not least, aspiring NDA exam candidates should also focus on “practice". Don’t forget to revise everything you have studied and make notes in the last few days of the exam. Understand the concept instead of just cramming. Keep your basics clear. To clear the NDA exam in the first attempt, the students should stick to their schedule and believe in themselves. Stay motivated. All the best!

FAQs on How to Crack the NDA Exam in First Attempt?

1. Are NCERT books good for the NDA exam?

Yes. They are best to cover the basic concepts. 

2. Is the NDA Exam conducted online?

No. The exam is conducted offline.

3. What are the minimum cutoff marks in the NDA exam?

A candidate is required to get at least 25% marks in each paper (Mathematics & GAT).