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NDA Syllabus 2023-24

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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NDA Exam Syllabus - Maths and General Ability Test PDF Download

The Union Public Service Commission had released the application for NDA 1 Examination 2023 on December 22, 2023. The aspiring candidates must be familiar with the latest NDA Syllabus before preparing for the examination. The examination dates for NDA 2023 have also been released by the Commission - April 10, 2023. However, the dates are subject to change due to the ongoing pandemic situation. 


Since there are hardly a few days left for the main examination, candidates can kick start their preparation soon. They can refer to the NDA Exam Pattern and syllabus provided in this article.

NDA Exam Syllabus - Maths and General Ability Test Free PDF Download

The National Defense Academy Examination is conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission. The exam is held to recruit several candidates in the National Defense Academy under several categories including the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Indian Army. Since the level of competition remains tough, a deep knowledge of the syllabus and marks distribution of the NDA Examination is very important.


We at Vedantu, have provided detailed information about the NDA Exam Pattern and syllabus. Through this article, we aim to help the candidates understand the NDA exam process and subject-wise marks distribution for better preparation. Aspirants can download the free PDFs of NDA Syllabus 2023 Mathematics and General Ability here. 


NDA Exam Pattern 2023

UPSC has categorized the NDA selection process in two stages: written exam and SSB interview. 


It is important for the candidates to pass the written exam to be eligible for the interview. The written exam for NDA is again conducted for 2 categories, i.e., Mathematics and General Ability. Refer to the table below for a better understanding of the exam pattern.


2023 NDA Exam Pattern

NDA Exam 2023

Conducting Body

Union Public Service Commission

NDA Exam Papers

Mathematics (Paper-I)

General Ability (Paper-II)

Total Marks



Total number of questions



Time Allotted

2 hours 50 minutes

Type of Questions

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

Medium of Examination

English & Hindi


NDA Exam 2023 Marking Scheme

The NDA examination mainly covers questions from 10+2 level. Hence, candidates must know the basic concepts of all the subjects. According to the NDA Marking Scheme 2023, there is a negative marking for every wrong attempt question. Therefore, candidates are advised to choose their answers wisely. 

Marking pattern for Mathematics category: 0.83 marks are deducted for each wrong answer and 2.5 marks are added for each correct answer. There is no negative marking for unattempted answers.

NDA Exam Pattern General Ability

The NDA General Ability paper is conducted for 600 marks including 150 questions. 1.33 marks are deducted for each wrong answer and 4 marks are added for each correctly attempted answer. There is no negative marking for unattempted answers. The General Ability Test (GAT) comprises two parts: English (Part A) and General Awareness (Part B)

Given Below Are the 6 Subjects Included Under NDA General Awareness Paper:

  • Physics

  • Chemistry

  • History

  • Geography

  • General Science

  • Current Events

The table below gives a subject-wise mark distribution of the NDA General Ability exam.

NDA General Ability Exam Subject-Wise Mark Distribution


General Ability Test (GAT)



Subject-Wise Marks









General Science


Current Events






Total Marks



GAT topic-wise questions distribution

Distribution of Questions in English


Total Number of Questions

Maximum Marks




Spotting Errors



Order of Words in a Sentence



Selecting Words






Sentence Improvement










Distribution of Questions in General Knowledge



Total Number of Questions

Maximum Marks

Current Events






History and Freedom Movement



General Science













Distribution of Questions in Maths


Total Number of Questions

Matrices and Determinants


Quadratic Equations


Complex Number









NDA Syllabus - General Ability

The syllabus for National Defense Academy Examination is prescribed by the Union Public Service Commission. It is released every year on their official website along with the exam notification.


The General Ability Syllabus of NDA is broadly divided into two categories: English and General Awareness. 


Candidates need to prepare well especially for the General Awareness section as it is a vast section which includes physics, chemistry, general science, history, geography and current events.


Given below is the detailed subject-wise syllabus for NDA Paper-II Exam 2023.


NDA Syllabus for English

Topics Included Adjective Degree Of Comparison Rules

  • List of Synonyms and Antonyms

  • List of One Word Substitutions

  • List of Homophones/Homonyms

Candidates are advised to be very thorough with their grammar and vocabulary to score well in this section. They can find the important questions for the NDA 2023 Exam on the official website of Vedantu. Solving these questions on a regular basis will help the aspirants to gain a clearer concept of each subject.


NDA Syllabus 2023 - General Awareness

Candidates often find it difficult to prepare for the General Awareness category due to its vast syllabus. Therefore, it is very important for them to segregate the entire syllabus before starting with the preparation. By doing so, they will be familiar with their weaknesses and focus more on those areas.


Given below are the syllabus for each subject included under the General Awareness section.


NDA Syllabus for Physics

Syllabus for Physics

Topics Included

  • Static and Current Electricity

  • Newton’s Laws of Motion

  • Earth as a Magnet

  • Force and Momentum

  • Spherical mirrors and Lenses

  • Pressure Barometer

  • Human Eye

  • Reflection and refraction

  • Principle of Archimedes

  • Physical Properties and States of Matter

  • Modes of transference of Heat

  • Mass, Weight, Volume, Sound waves and their properties

  • Simple musical instruments

  • Rectilinear propagation of Light

  • Density and Specific Gravity

  • Parallelogram of Forces

  • Conductors and Non-conductors

  • Stability and Equilibrium of bodies

  • Ohm’s Law

  • Gravitation

  • Simple Electrical Circuits

  • Elementary ideas of work

  • Motion of objects

  • Natural and Artificial Magnets

  • Velocity and Acceleration

  • Properties of a Magnet

  • Heating, Lighting and Magnetic effects of Current

  • Power and Energy

  • Measurement of Electrical Power

  • Effects of Heat

  • Primary and Secondary Cells

  • Measurement of Temperature and Heat

  • Use of X-Rays

  • General Principles in the working of Simple Pendulum, Simple Pulleys, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Telegraphs, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Microscope, Mariner’s Compass; Lightning Conductors, Safety Fuses.


NDA Syllabus for Chemistry

Chemistry Topics for NDA Exam 2023

  • Physical and Chemical Changes

  • Acids, bases and salts

  • Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide, Oxidation and Reduction

  • Elementary ideas about the structure of Atom

  • Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equations

  • Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights

  • Mixtures and Compounds

  • Law of Chemical Combination (excluding problems)

  • Properties of Air and Water

  • Valency

  • Material used in the preparation of substances like Soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches and Gunpowder

  • Fertilizers — Natural and Artificial

  • Elements


NDA Syllabus for History

Syllabus for History

Topics Included

  • Forces shaping the modern world; 

  • Renaissance

  • Exploration and Discovery; 

  • A broad survey of Indian History, with emphasis on Culture and Civilisation

  • Freedom Movement in India

  • French Revolution, Industrial Revolution and Russian Revolution

  • War of American Independence,

  • Impact of Science and Technology on Society

  • Elementary study of Indian Constitution and Administration

  • Concept of one World

  • Elementary knowledge of Five Year Plans of India

  • United Nations, 

  • Panchsheel, 

  • Panchayati Raj, Democracy, Socialism and Communism

  • Role of India in the present world

  • Co-operatives and Community Development

  • Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, 

  • National Integration and Welfare State

  • Basic Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi


NDA Syllabus for Geography

Syllabus for Geography

Topics Included Under Geography

  • The Earth, its shape and size

  • Ocean Currents and Tides Atmosphere and its composition

  • Latitudes and Longitudes

  • Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure, Planetary Winds, Cyclones and Anticyclones; Humidity; Condensation and Precipitation

  • Concept of time

  • Types of Climate

  • International Date Line

  • Major Natural Regions of the World

  • Movements of Earth and their effects

  • Regional Geography of India

  • Climate, Natural vegetation. Mineral and Power resources; 

  • Location and distribution of agricultural and Industrial activities

  • Origin of Earth. Rocks and their classification

  • Important Sea ports and main sea, land and air routes of India

  • Weathering—Mechanical and Chemical, Earthquakes and Volcanoes

  • Main items of Imports and Exports of India.


Syllabus for General Science

The general science syllabus for NDA General Awareness section includes the following topics:

  • Common Epidemics, their causes and prevention

  • Difference between the living and nonliving

  • Food—Source of Energy for man

  • Basis of Life—Cells, Protoplasms and Tissues

  • Constituents of food

  • Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals

  • Balanced Diet

  • Elementary knowledge of Human Body and its important organs

  • The Solar System—Meteors and Comets, Eclipses. Achievements of Eminent Scientists.

The questions in the General Science section mostly cover the Class 9 to Class 12 levels. It mainly tests the basic concepts of the candidates regarding the subject. Therefore, regular revision of the NCERT textbooks will help them score higher marks.


Syllabus for Current Events

For the current events category, students must be aware of the latest happenings in the world. These may include sports, economics, politics, national and international events. Reading the daily newspapers, listening to current affairs and news channels will help you know the latest updates of the world. 


NDA Syllabus 2023 Mathematics

The NDA Mathematics paper mainly includes questions from 10+2 level and tests the basic concepts of the candidates. Therefore, it is very important for the candidates to prepare each topic thoroughly. 


Although the subject Mathematics is considered tough by many aspirants, a proper analysis of the syllabus will help them understand the exam pattern.


The table below gives a detailed list of topics included in the NDA Mathematics syllabus.


NDA Syllabus for Mathematics

Topics-wise syllabus sub-topics include:


  • Sets

  • Venn diagrams

  • De Morgan laws

  • Cartesian product, relation, equivalence relation

  • Real numbers, Complex numbers, Modulus, Cube roots

  • Conversion of a number in Binary system to Decimals and vice-versa. 

  • Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic progressions

  • Quadratic equations, Linear inequations

  • Permutation and Combination

  • Binomial theorem and Logarithms.



  • Concept of a real valued function

  • Domain, range and graph of a function

  • Composite functions, one to one, onto and inverse functions

  • Notion of limit

  • Standard limits

  • Continuity of functions, algebraic operations on continuous functions

  • Derivative of function at a point

  • Geometrical and physical interpretation of a derivative-application

  • Derivatives of sum, product and quotient of functions

  • Derivative of a function with respect to another function

  • Derivative of a composite function

  • Second order derivatives, increasing and decreasing functions, application of derivatives in problems of maxima and minima


Matrices and Determinants

  • Types of matrices, operations on matrices

  • Determinant of a matrix, basic properties of determinants

  • Adjoint and inverse of a square matrix

  • Applications-Solution of a system of linear equations in two or three unknowns by Cramer’s rule and by Matrix Method.


Integral Calculus and Differential Equations

  • Integration as inverse of differentiation, integration by substitution and by parts, standard integrals involving algebraic expressions, trigonometric, exponential and hyperbolic functions.

  • Evaluation of definite integrals — determination of areas of plane regions bounded by curves — applications.

  • Definition of order and degree of a differential equation, formation of a differential equation by examples.

  • General and particular solution of differential equations, solution of first order and first degree differential equations of various types—examples. Application in problems of growth and decay.



  • Angles and their measures in degrees and in radians. Trigonometric ratios. 

  • Trigonometric identities Sum and difference formulae.

  • Multiple and Sub-multiple angles.

  • Inverse trigonometric functions. 

  • Applications-Height and distance, properties of triangles.


Vector Algebra

  • Vectors in two and three dimensions, magnitude and direction of a vector. 

  • Unit and null vectors, addition of vectors, scalar multiplication of a vector, scalar product or dot product of two vectors. 

  • Vector product or cross product of two vectors. 

  • Applications — work done by a force and moment of a force and in geometrical problems.


Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimension

  • Rectangular Cartesian Coordinate system. 

  • Distance formula.

  • Equation of a line in various forms. Angle between two lines. Distance of a point from a line. 

  • Equation of a circle in standard and in general form. 

  • Standard forms of parabola, ellipse and hyperbola. Eccentricity and axis of a conic. 

  • Point in a three-dimensional space, distance between two points. 

  • Direction Cosines and direction ratios. Equation of two points.

  • Direction Cosines and direction ratios. Equation of a plane and a line in various forms. 

  • Angle between two lines and angle between two planes. 

  • Equation of a sphere.


Statistics and Probability

  • Probability: Random experiment, outcomes and associated sample space, events, mutually exclusive and exhaustive events, impossible and certain events. 

  • Union and Intersection of events. 

  • Complementary, elementary and composite events. 

  • Definition of probability—classical and statistical — examples. 

  • Elementary theorems on probability — simple problems. 

  • Conditional probability, Bayes’ theorem — simple problems. 

  • Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments giving rise to Binomial distribution.


NDA SSB Interview

After clearing the NDA Written Examination, candidates are eligible to sit for the SSB Interview. This is the final selection test to get selected into the National Defense Academy and hence, it includes two stages- Stage 1 and Stage 2.


Stage 1 is a screening test which examines the verbal and non-verbal skills of the candidates. This stage also includes the Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT).


While Stage 2 includes the Psychological test and Group Testing Officers Test.


The Psychological tests comprises of the following tests:

  • Word Association Test (WAT)

  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

  • Self Description Test (SDT)

  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT)

The total number of tests included in Stage 2 is 10. These are as follows:

  • Command Task

  • Group Obstacle Race/ Snake Race

  • IOT 

  • GD

  • HGT

  • PGT

  • GPE

  • FGT

  • Individual Lecture

  • Conference and Personal Interview.

After clearing both the stages, candidates are selected for a round of personal interview. Based on the interview performance, he/she will be selected for the eligible post in the Defense Academy.


NDA Booklist for Mathematics and General Ability

Books are always considered to be helpful in understanding any subject more precisely. But many times, candidates face difficulty in selection of correct reference material. Therefore, we have provided below a list of books for Mathematics and General Ability which can be handy for kickstarting their preparation.


NDA Booklist for Mathematics

Name of The Books


Pathfinder NDA & NA

Arihant Publications

Mathematics for NDA and NA

RS Aggarwal

Solved Subject-wise Papers for NDA and ND

Arihant Publications

10 Practice Sets for NDA Exam

Arihant Publications


NDA Booklist for General Ability

Booklist for General Ability


Name of The Books


Objective General English for Competitive Exams.

S.P. Baksh

Success Series General Knowledge.

Sachchida Nand Jha

History Of Modern India.

Bipan Chandra

Science and Technology in India.

Kalpana Rajaram


Apart from the above given list, candidates must also follow the NCERT Class 9-12 Textbooks of all the subjects. Most of the questions asked in the NDA Written Exam are upto 10+12 level. 


For General Awareness, it is important for the aspirants to read the daily newspaper regularly to stay updated with the latest national and international events. 


Important Preparation Tips for NDA Exam 2023

The Union Public Service Commission will soon release the NDA exam dates for the year 2023. Since there are are hardly a few days left for the exam aspirants must kick start their preparation by keeping the following tips in mind:

  • Prepare a daily time table and distribute the syllabus according to the level of difficulty. Doing so will help the candidates to prepare every topic equally.

  • Make a habit of solving the previous year question papers on a daily basis. It is very important to know the type of questions asked as well as the difficulty level of the question paper.

  • Candidates are also advised to visit the official UPSC website for any updates regarding the change of syllabus and exam dates.

  • Try to note down important formulas and tricks to solve the numerical problems easily and quickly. Also do not enter the examination hall with a stressful mind, this will often lead to creating silly mistakes.

  • Try to focus on your weak areas and start practicing questions based on those topics regularly. This will help you to get a clear understanding of all the topics.

  • Try to download the admit card at least five days before the exam to avoid any last minute tension. 

  • Selection in NDA does not only depend on the written exam but also depends on the personality and health of the candidates. Aspirants are advised to take care of themselves by eating healthy food, practicing yoga and exercising daily.

  • After completing the course, aspirants must revise all the concepts before the examination day so that they can remember all the important formulas and can solve questions easily in the examination.

  • All the candidates are instructed not to learn or practice any new topic before the day of the examination. By doing this, they might get confused and mess up with all that they have learnt for the exam.

  • A candidate has to do lots of practice with full dedication to score qualifying marks in the NDA examination. They should avoid all the environmental distractions. Also, it is advised to avoid using their mobile phones and social media platforms till the examination.

Following these above mentioned tips regularly will definitely help you in passing the exam with flying colors.

FAQs on NDA Syllabus 2023-24

1. Who is the conducting body of NDA Examination 2023?

Union Public Service Commission conducts the NDA Examination every year to select eligible candidates to the National Defence Academy. The notification for NDA 2023 examination had been released by the Commission on their official website.

2. How can I appear for the NDA SSB Interview?

To be eligible for the NDA SSB interview, one must have to sit for the NDA Written Examination that is conducted by UPSC every year. This interview is the final stage of the selection process and includes screening tests of the verbal and non-verbal skills, psychological skills and physical fitness of the candidate.

Candidates need to secure a minimum of 25% marks in all the subjects of the written examination to be eligible for the SSB interview. 

3. Are the NDA Previous Years’ Question Papers available online?

Yes, the previous years’ question papers for the NDA exam are available online at various E-learning sites. Also, candidates can easily download free PDFs of solved NDA question papers by visiting the official website of Vedantu.

4. What are the subjects included in the NDA Written Examination?

The written examination for NDA is categorized into two parts i.e., Mathematics exam and General Ability exam. The General Ability exam consists of English and General Awareness topics along with Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Current events and Geography.

5. Is there any negative marking in NDA Examination 2023?

Yes, as per the latest NDA exam pattern, there is a negative marking for every wrong answer. For the Mathematics category, a negative marking of 0.83 marks will be deducted for each wrong attempt. While, for the General Ability section, 1.33 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer. 

6. What are the topics covered in the OIR Test of SSB in NDA?

The questions that come in the OIR Test of SSB in NDA are generally based on the topic of Logical and Reasoning Skills. These are Maths-based questions that are picked from the verbal and non-verbal syllabus. Some of the topics are the problem of cube and dice, visualizing patterns, jumbled words, coding-decoding, figure matrix, odd one out, logical venn diagram, reconstruction test, paper cutting, problem on rank, one word substitution, etc. Students can refer to various reference books to build their concepts.

7. Which concepts are covered in the NDA History syllabus?

The NDA History syllabus includes the following topics:

  • A broad survey of Indian history (civilisation and culture)

  • Forces shaping the modern world

  • The freedom movement in India

  • Discovery and exploration, French revolution, Russian revolution and American independence

  • Impact of technology and science on society

  • Elementary study of Indian administration and constitution

  • Panchayati raj

  • Community development and co-operatives

  • Role of India in the modern world

  • Basic teachings of Mahatma Gandhi

  • Sarvodaya, bhoodan, welfare state and national integration

  • Socialism and communism, United Nations and panchsheel

8. What is the English NDA syllabus?

The knowledge and understanding of candidates in English is examined through the NDA English question paper. Students should consider various English grammar books to practice questions and learn basic rules. As English is a scoring and language subject, therefore students should not ignore it. The detailed syllabus of NDA English is given below:

  • Usage and grammar

  • Completion of para and sentence

  • Proverbs and idioms

  • Sentence improvement and correction

  • Cohesion and comprehension

  • Para jumbling

  • Spotting of errors

  • Cloze test

  • Vocabulary

  • Fill in the blanks

  • Antonyms and synonyms

9. What is the curriculum for NDA Biology?

The syllabus for NDA Biology is mentioned below:

  • Common Epidemics and their causes and prevention

  • Achievements of Eminent Scientists

  • Elementary Knowledge of the Human Body and important organs

  • The Solar System (Meteors, eclipses and comets)

  • Reproduction and growth in Animals and Plants

  • Difference between the non-living and living food

  • Basis of Life (Protoplasms, tissues and cells)

  • Balanced diet

  • Source of energy for a man – food

These topics have to be studied by students from the NCERT book and other reference books for better understanding.

10. What is the syllabus for NDA Geography?

The concepts covered in the curriculum of the NDA Geography are listed below:

  • Types of climate

  • Longitudes and latitudes

  • Concept of time

  • International dateline

  • The shape and size of the earth

  • Main items of exports and imports of India

  • Main sea, air and land routes and important seaports of India

  • Mechanical and chemical weathering, volcanoes and earthquakes

  • Rocks and their classification and origin of the earth

  • Movements and effects of the earth

  • Regional geography of India

  • Ocean tides and currents

  • Atmospheric pressure and temperature