Tips & Tricks

How to Crack NDA Exam in 1st Attempt?

Hello Defence lovers. In this article, I will tell you guys, how to crack NDA written exam in your very 1st attempt. What is the strategy that I used to crack the exam? And how I cracked it again and again just with 2 days of studies before every exam? So, let’s get started with some basic information.

NOTE: Make sure to read the article completely because I have shared my GOLDEN RULES at the end of the article.

After reading this article, you will know Why one of my friend who took 6-month special coaching for NDA written exam was not able to crack it, while I cracked it without any coaching or studying a lot.

National Defence Academy

NDA or National Defence Academy is the training academy for the young defence aspirants who got selected to be an officer after there 12th class. The test is conducted in 2 parts as shown below in the picture:

Marks Distribution NDA MERIT LIST

This article is purely concentrated over the 1st part i.e. the WRITTEN EXAM. The numbers stated in the above image are marks distribution of both the tests. Now, before explaining the written exam any further, let’s have a look at another picture.

Written Exam

Marks Distribution Written Exam

Now you can see that the written exam is further divided into two parts i.e. Paper 1(Mathematics) and Paper 2(General Studies). Both of them are conducted on the same day at the same place but they have a break of 1 hour and 30 minutes between them for refreshment. You are given 2 hours and 30 minutes for each paper. But as you can see in the picture above, the number of questions are different in both papers. In Paper 1, you will get a total of 120 questions to solve in 150 minutes, and in Paper 2, you will get 150 questions to give answers of, in the same time i.e. 150 minutes. We will discuss the marks and the negative marking in the exam after some time.

Now comes a very important question that a lot of NDA Aspirants ask me on QUORA.

Important question for NDA Exam

Let’s discuss the MARKING SCHEME now. Again, I will show you an image, because it’s easier to understand it that way.

Marking Scheme for NDA WRITTEN EXAM

Here, M/Q represents Marks per Question.

As you can see that marks per question are not the same for Mathematics and General Studies, so don’t get confused with it.

By now, I have told you almost every basic information about the exam except the cut-off. So, let’s discuss little bit about it.

Cut off NDA Written Exam

As you can see, there are two types of cut-off in the written exam of NDA. 1st is Paper wise cutoff and 2nd is overall cutoff. You can read about them in detail in the picture above.

Syllabus of NDA Written Exam

You can see the syllabus is very vast and if you go to some academy, they will teach you the whole syllabus and waste a lot of time as well as efforts of yours. But I will tell you the exact topics which you need to learn/understand to clear the written exam. The written exam is just to clear the cutoff so that you can appear in the SSB interview. If you want to be an Officer in the INDIAN ARMED FORCES, then you should concentrate on the preparation for the SSB interview.

Now here comes the blueprint of my strategy. Look at the image below.

Blueprint to crack Written Exam

Marks shown in the above picture should be your 1st target to achieve. Below is the syllabus for Mathematics Paper 1.

Paper 1 (Mathematics)

Mathematics Syllabus Important question NDA written Exam

You see some text is highlighted with RED color and some in yellow color. The topics in RED are the most important as well as the easiest ones. You should know each and every bit about these topics and you must have practiced a lot of questions on these topics before going to the exam. The topics in YELLOW are important topics (less than the one in RED). You must know each and every formula of these topics and you must have practiced a few questions of these topics.

Now, if you see my strategy for Mathematics, you will find that I have reduced your syllabus by at least 50%( if you count the number of topics), but if you give a closer look to it, you will find that all the topics that I have highlighted are too easy as compared to others. So, quantitatively I have reduced your Mathematics syllabus by 70%.

Now, lets talk about Paper 2.

Paper 2 (General Studies)

English syllabus of NDA written exam

In the picture above, you can see the types of English questions asked in the exam. In paper 2, English is the most scoring subject and you must take it seriously. My suggestion for the preparation of English is that- join some reputed English speaking class where you can practice speaking English along with learning grammar. This will help you not only in the Written exam but also in the SSB Interview. Your preparations for English must be up to that mark where you can give 45 correct answers out of 50 in the exam of English.

Next comes the general studies.

General studies syllabus for NDA Written Exam

In the above image, you can see subjects marked with RED and YELLOW color. As you are going to appear in NDA written exam, you must be pursuing or have passed the 12th class in the Non-Medical stream. So, you must be having sound knowledge of Physics and Chemistry. To prepare for Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, I suggest you solve previous year question papers of these subjects. For Biology, specifically, refer to previous year question papers only(at least 10 papers of last 5 years). For Physics and Chemistry, solve the last 5-year question paper and also revise NCERT’s. For current affairs, read an English newspaper daily (I prefer THE TRIBUNE). That’s all for G.S.

LEAVE HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, POLITICS, AND ECONOMICS. You can pass NDA without them. I personally never even looked at these subjects. While in the exam, you may feel bad for leaving almost 35-40 question unattended but trust me, preparing for them waste a lot of time and efforts.

As I told you in the start, one of my friend took coaching for NDA WRITTEN EXAM from a very reputed coaching institutes of DEHRADUN for 6 months but was not able to crack it because they taught him a lot of unnecessary things like history and geography, and before exam he was consumed in revising that stuff while I revised only the formulas of Mathematics.

Also Read, Want To Be An Officer?

Here I END this Article with my GOLDEN RULES. Read them to know “how to crack NDA WRITTEN EXAM in 1st attempt?”

Golden Rules

  1. Paper 1 (Mathematics) is more about leaving the easy but lengthy questions than attempting all questions in a sequence. Here they check your time management.
  2. Paper 2 is more about attempting the right question. In this paper, you will get enough time to sleep after completing the exam so don’t worry about time. Just keep on moving with the plan i.e. attempt only those questions for which you are confident.
  3. First attempt only easy and less time-consuming question for which you are confident that you will get the correct answer and fill the circles in OMR sheet when half-hour is remaining and count how many have you done and calculate, if 80% of them are correct then will you be able to clear the cutoff? If yes or if you are on the margin line, go for the lengthy questions and attempt only those where you feel confident. If you a lot behind the margin line and time left is less than an hour, close your question paper and fill the OMR sheet without seeing questions in a set of 4 consecutive same answers ( I prefer option C the most) lol… it sometimes works….
  4. HOW TO PREPARE FOR NDA IN 2 DAYS? I told you earlier that I study for 2 to 3 days only before the exam, so the question is what do I study? I revise formulas of important chapters of mathematics, I revise previous year question papers of English, physics, chemistry, biology. I don’t solve any maths question and I don’t study anything new in these days. That’s all what I prepare.
  5. And remember, don’t study in journey to the exam centre or while waiting outside, although your parents will force you to study, but last moment study only messes up things and won’t help at all. I have seen candidates utilising every second before the exam to study a bit more, I have seen candidates completing their mathematics paper before time and attempting all questions with full confidence but when the result is announced, I sometimes see myself as the only candidate passing the exam on my center. So, attempting more is not that important, what is really important is to control your nerves during the exam.
  6. Don’t buy Arihant’s PATHFINDER if you don’t want to blow up your mind. Instead, buy Arihant’s Previous year solved papers book.
  7. And the most IMPORTANT, if a lot of students followed my strategy than the cutoff may go high (by around 50 marks), so be prepared for that. It means you must prepare well (selected topics).

Also Read, What Is TGC & JAG Entry?

Disclaimer: Article is written based on personal experience, and observations from some reputed websites. Author or Publisher don’t claim that everyone reading the article will pass in NDA written exam. It depends on the hard work and intelligence along with the strategy of the aspirant himself.



    1. Thanks for reading the article. And I am sorry for giving you some incorrect information earlier, but that was a misunderstanding from me only. You are eligible to apply for the NDA Written exam for Army with PCB stream. To apply for the Air force and Navy, you need Physics and Mathematics as compulsory in +2 class. And in that case, also, there is not much clarity about the air force ground duty branch that has started this year only. Thanks and sorry again. It was just a stupid mistake by me.

    1. Thanks for reading the article. In the next article, i will share original question papers of NDA (solved) and SSB experiences in the later one.
      I cleared NDA written 4 times and scored almost 400 to 500 each time. And i am twice conference out. A few of my friends cleared SSB of NDA last time and some are in NDA right now. In the coming articles, i will try to share their experiences with you as well.

  1. Kindly tell about your SSB interview and what are where the mistakes if you were not recommended….LFE IS TOO SHORT TO COMMIT ALL THE MISTKAES AND LARN FROM THEM….that’s why kindly reply.

    1. No. Just try to read the selective topics rather than reading it completely. And remember, revision is the key to success. When you read selective topics, you will get more time to revise it.

  2. Sir you are really doing a grear job and also as i think most of the people be benifitted by your experience and in the last but not the least sir please carry on

    1. I am very thankful to you all guys for reading the article. Thanks for your motivating words, Satyam shukla.

    1. I will make sure to tell you this in my next article. Thanks for reading the article. For now, try solving some previous year question papers, they will automatically give you idea of that. For the whole science part, i greatly depended on previous year papers, so please check them out first, when you start your preparations. Thanks again.

  3. Bhai,
    Leaving the social studies part in written exam may work,
    But will going for the ssb part the person will not be able to answer the officer questions (Share your ssb experience please).

  4. First of all, Thanks for reading the article, Mohan. Interviewers hardly ask any questions from the social studies part. The interview is mostly (70%-80%) concentrated over you only. And these kinds of questions, if asked by the interviewer, don’t matter much. Rather than the correct answer, the thing that matters more is – how you answer. Your confidence matters the most throughout the interview. And, I will surely share my SSB experience in my coming articles. Thanks again for reading the article.

    1. Thanks Suraj for reading the article.
      And YES you need to pass the written test each time to appear in SSB INTERVIEW whether you were screened out or conference out or medical out or merit out or maybe you didn’t even appeared in SSB, the last time.

  5. The above mentioned tricks are better for a science student but what about a non science stream student? What tricks should he apply?

    1. Thanks a lot for reading the article so sincerely that you came up with a very nice question. Now answer to your question is very simple, Arnab, I was a Non-Medical student and so I planned my strategy according to my strengths and weaknesses. Maths, Science, and English were my strengths so I sharped them more and more. Now, if you are a Non-Science student, you have to make your own strategy according to your strengths and weaknesses because no one knows them more than you. Best of LUCK. Comment below or Mail me if you want to know anything more.

      1. But if I am not wrong he can apply for army without physics and maths. And yes he can write NDA for army stream. Physics and maths is only a necessity for Air force and Navy.

        1. You are not wrong. Thanks, gentlemen for correcting me. It was my mistake. I just got a little misunderstanding about that. Now I have changed, what I previously wrote. And, to your previous comment, where you asked for my SSB experience, I will hopefully bring a video on that, in which one of my friends, twice recommended in NDA will share his experience. I will bring this video or article after the announcement of the merit list for NDA. Thanks for correcting me.

  6. Sir i am from commerce stream.
    And i am eligible to give nda exam (for army only) so is there any suggestions or study plans for me??

    1. Thanks for reading the article. And yes, you are eligible to give the NDA exam. But you really need to work hard, because being a commerce student, you need to study maths, science, and social studies from very basic. I think you should concentrate on Maths and Social studies portion as maths is compulsory, and you can clear cut off with S.S. and English also in paper2, by leaving the Science part, but again it will affect your interview. That’s why I said that you really need to do a lot of hard work. Best of Luck. I wish you will achieve everything that you want. Thanks again.

    1. Thanks for reading the article. Now, before coming to your question, let me explain something to you. After clearing the written exam of NDA, we are called for SSB Interview, and document verification is a part of the SSB, where all our education, identity, and extracurricular activities documents are verified. But, in case, if we are pursuing +2 class during SSB, then we are given some exception. But when the training course starts at NDA, at that time, it is a must to show them the original documents of class 12th. So, if we apply for the NDA written exam of April, then we can’t get our 12th mark sheet by September at any costs. Although we can give written exam of April while pursuing 12th but we can’t go for SSB because they will send us back without testing in the case mentioned above.
      So, your answer in 1 line will be- you can give the exam both times while pursuing 12th class but you can appear for SSB only for the September Exam.

  7. Its a very informative article on NDA exams. Many of the aspirants not get selected because of lack of strategy…..going to share this article with all my friends………and waiting for the strategy for SSB interview.


  9. Hey,
    What a fantastic Post! Enjoyed reading the article above, really explains everything in detail, the article is very interesting and effective and ingenious. Thank you and good luck for the upcoming articles!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Back to top button
Translate »