Entrance Exams

NDA 2024 Preparation Tips – Complete Guide To Prepare For NDA Exam

Are you going to appear on NDA 2024? here are some major tips that one should know before starting their preparation.

NDA is one of the most prestigious entrance exams for defence aspirants. Candidates who would like to join the Indian Defence Forces after 10+2 as an officer must appear in the NDA 2024 entrance exam. 

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Before appearing in the NDA entrance exam, it is important for the candidates to know how to prepare for NDA 2024. Here in this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide on NDA 2024 preparation tips & tricks.

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NDA 2024 Preparation Tips

NDA is one of the highly competitive entrance exams in India. Every year lakhs of students appear in the NDA entrance exam for joining Indian defence forces. With such fierce competition, it becomes important for the candidates to prepare well for the examination.

Just like any other competitive examination, NDA requires a dedicated study plan and a well-planned strategy. Candidates have to first understand the syllabus & exam pattern of NDA and then move towards selecting books and study material. In this article, we have mentioned in detail NDA 2024 preparation tips & strategies.

NDA 2024 Exam 

NDA is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year. This entrance exam is conducted twice in an academic year in the month of April (NDA I) and September (NDA II).

NDA is a wonderful opportunity for young defence aspirants who would like to join the esteemed Indian armed forces (Army, Navy & Air Force) as an officer. Candidates have to first qualify for the NDA written entrance test and only the successful candidates based on the merit list will be called for the Interview round known as NDA SSB

After qualifying for the SSB interview process and medical test, the final merit list will be released by the UPSC and the successful candidates will be called for training.

How to Prepare for NDA – Tips & Tricks

  • Know Exam Syllabus & Paper Pattern
  • Start your preparation Early
  • Make a Time Table
  • Study from Best Books
  • Make Notes
  • Revise and Practice
  • Solve Mock Test & Previous Year Question Paper

Know Exam Syllabus & Paper Pattern

  • Candidates must first understand the NDA exam syllabus. The NDA exam syllabus can be obtained from the UPSC NDA information brochure. Candidates should go through the entire syllabus and then prepare accordingly.
  • Download and take a print copy of the syllabus.
  • The NDA paper comprises two papers 1)Mathematics and 2) General Ability.

NDA Mathematics Syllabus

The NDA Mathematics Syllabus comprises questions from CBSE 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Class. The topics include Trigonometry, Algebra, Differential Calculus, Vector Algebra, Integral Calculus and Differential equations, Matrices and Determinants, Analytical Geometry of two and three dimensions, Statistics, and Probability.

NDA General Ability Syllabus

The general ability section comprises two parts which are mentioned below:

Part A (English)

The English syllabus covers topics like vocabulary, Grammar and usage, comprehension and cohesion in extended text to test the candidate’s proficiency in English.

Part B (General Knowledge)

This section of the question paper comprises general knowledge & current affairs. This section also covers the subjects that include Physics, Chemistry, Social Studies, General Science, Geography of 8 to 10th standard.

NDA Exam Pattern

The NDA exam test consists of 2 papers namely Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). The time duration of each paper is 2.5 hours. The total exam duration is 5 hours.

  • The exam will be conducted offline (pen-paper-based mode).
  • The question paper will be objective type questions carrying 300 marks for Mathematics while the General Ability test carries 600 marks. The written test will be a of total 900 marks.
  • There will be negative markings in the examination. For every incorrect response, 1.33 marks will be deducted.
  • The NDA question paper will be bilingual in English and Hindi languages.
SubjectMaximum Marks
General Ability Test (Section-1: English)200
General Ability Test (Section-1: General Knowledge)400
Total Marks900
NDA 2024 exam pattern

Start your preparation Early

Candidates should start their NDA exam preparation as early as possible. It is up to you whether you prepare with the help of a coaching institute/online class or by self-study mode. But the key here is candidates should at least start preparation 8-10 months prior to the exam.

Make a preparation strategy and study plan by considering how much time (Days, months, years) you have. Then accordingly prepare your study routine.

Go through the entire syllabus and mark the important topics. Make sure you cover these topics in depth and clarify your doubts with teachers or faculties.

Make a Timetable

Candidates must prepare a timetable for study. The timetable must consist of study hours allotted to each subject, mock test practice & revision, solving previous year questions, taking breaks and doing daily exercise/yoga or playing games.

Set weekly & monthly goals and practice as much as you can.

Your chances of success in the NDA examination are directly dependent on how honestly you will follow your timetable.

Preparation Books & Study Material

Books and study material plays an important role in the NDA exam preparation. Candidates must make sure that they do a bit of research before finalising the study material. 

For book recommendations, candidates should ask their teacher or ex-students. Also, candidates should watch the interviews of NDA toppers about the best preparation books. 

Below we have suggested NDA Books for both papers:

NDA Mathematics Books

  1. Study Package Mathematics NDA & NA (National Defence Academy & Naval Academy) Entrance Exam
  2. National Defence Academy and Naval Academy by R S Aggarwal
  3. Pathfinder for NDA & NA Entrance Examination National Defence Academy/Naval Academy

General Ability Test (GAT) Books

Below we have listed subject-wise NDA GAT preparation books. Candidates can go through these books and start preparing for the exam.

English Books

  1. Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & Composition by S. Chand
  2. Objective General English (Arihant Publication) by S. P. Bakshi 

General Knowledge Books

  1. NCERT 8th, 9th & 10th books for Science concepts
  2. Lucent GK for general knowledge & current affairs
  3. All leading daily newspapers like TOI, Hindustan Times, and The Hindu for current affairs
  4. NCERT  9th Geography, History, Civics

Make Notes

Making notes is a very good study habit. Candidates must make notes on every topic that they are studying. This will be very helpful at the time of revising the syllabus.

Keep a separate notebook for each subject and write down the important concepts and formulas for daily revision.


Revision of the studied topics is essentially one of the best study practices. Make a habit of revising the important topics daily.

Candidates should make a revision strategy so as to revise the studied topics daily.

Solve Mock Test & Previous Year Question Paper

Try to solve as many mock tests as possible, this will help you in managing your time and you will be able to track your progress.

Solving mock tests also helps in analysing exam readiness and you will be able to work on your weak areas.

Apart from the mock test, previous year exam papers are also a great way to identify the type of questions asked in the exams.

Practise previous years’ questions regularly as similar types of questions might get repeated this year too.

NDA Preparation – Self-Study or Coaching?

Many students are often confused about whether to go for NDA coaching or do self-study at home. The correct answer to this question is “the choice is yours”. 

When you join NDA coaching or take coaching classes online, you get a competitive environment where you can learn with your peers. Also, you are taught by experienced faculty who have good experience in teaching specific to competitive exams. 

So with the help of coaching one can learn under the guidance of teachers. Also, you get ready-made notes & study material. 

Self-study is also great for preparing for exams at home. These days you can watch videos of NDA tuitions from YouTube or read about exam preparation in blogs. 

These days you also have tons of resources available online for preparing the NDA exam, from the comfort of your home.

If you have any other queries regarding NDA 2024 Preparation Tips, you can ask your queries below.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

Q) How much time is required to prepare for the NDA exam?

Ans) Candidates need 6-7 months of preparation to qualify for the NDA written exam. If your basics are well covered then 3-4 months of preparation will be enough for you.

Q) Is there any negative marking in the NDA exam?

Ans) Yes, 1/3 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer. For every correct answer, 4 marks will be awarded.

Q) Should I join a coaching institute or prepare at home?

Ans) It is completely your choice, Coaching does help in developing a competitive environment among the aspirants. Also one can clarify their doubts from teachers. On the other hand, self-study is also enough to crack this exam, especially if one is determined and focused on the preparation.

Q) How many questions will be asked in the NDA exam?

Ans) The NDA exam will have two question papers: 1) Mathematics, and 2) General Ability Test (GAT). Mathematics papers will have 120 questions, GAT papers will have 150.

Q) Are female candidates eligible for the exam?

Ans) Yes, Female candidates are eligible for the NDA exam.

Q) How many minimum marks will be required to qualify for the NDA written exam?

Ans) Candidates will have to individually score a minimum of 25% marks in each subject. Overall 350 is enough for qualifying written exam.

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