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NDA Syllabus

NDA exam (National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination) is conducted every year to take in candidates that are interested in the defence field or the Indian National Army or Navy. NDA exam is divided into a set of two papers as per the NDA Exam Pattern. The first paper in NDA is Mathematics which holds a weightage of 300 marks. The second part of the NDA exam is a General Ability Test. Both the sections of the NDA exam are two and a half hour each in duration.

The NDA exam is an offline examination which scheduled by UPSC on April 23, 2017 and September 18, 2017. The total score for which a candidate is judged is 900 marks. NDA is a national level examination that is conducted for candidates who have recently passed out of school that is 10+2. The examination aims to judge the candidate on their logical ability and general knowledge.

The candidate is required to sit for both the parts of the NDA exam to ensure admission to the desired course. The NDA Syllabus of is also very varied. The NDA exam is also followed by an interview as a part of the NDA Selection Process. Thus, the following article will lead the candidates or readers through everything that they need to know about the National Defence Academy Entrance Examination 2017.

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NDA 2017 Exam Pattern

NDA entrance exam is conducted twice a year in April and September. The NDA exam is scheduled on  April 23, 2017 and September 10, 2017. It is an offline examination i.e. pen and paper based test with objective type questions. The main entrance examination pattern is basically spread over two examination papers both of which are necessary to qualify to ensure admission in the National Defence Academy.

The first paper is Mathematics and is aimed to test candidates’ skill with numbers and calculations. The question paper would be set in both Hindi and English. The Structure for Paper I is indicated in the table below.

Paper I- Mathematics
Total Weightage300 Marks
Total No. of Questions120
Marks awarded for Correct answer2.5 marks
Marks deducted for wrong answer-0.85
Duration2.5 Hours

The Paper II of NDA is the General Ability Test which comprises questions from English Language and General Knowledge. It is also a bilingual paper except for the English section. The structure and pattern for paper II is indicated in the table below.

Paper II- General Ability
Total Weightage600
Total No. of Questions150
No. of questions in English Section50
No. Of Questions in General knowledge Section100
Maximum Marks for English200
Maximum Marks for G.K.400
Marks for Correct Answer4 marks each both in English and in G.K.
Marks for Incorrect Answer-1.33 in both English and G.K.
Duration2.5 Hours

The above tables are meant to provide a concise overview of the NDA exam pattern. The NDA Entrance exam is divided into two parts; Paper I, which is purely a Mathematics paper. It contains 120 questions and the total marks allocated to this section is 300. For each correct answer in Mathematics, the candidate will be awarded 2.5 marks and for each wrong answer 0.85 marks will be deducted from his/her accumulated score.

The second paper in NDA exam is further divided into two section which are namely, English and General Knowledge.The total marks allocated for this section is 600 and therefore the final sum of the papers I and II would be 900. The English section in the second paper consists of 50 questions worth 200 marks and the General knowledge part which amounts to 400. For each correct answer in the second paper a candidate is awarded 4 marks and for each wrong answer 1.33 marks are deducted. The duration for each paper is two and a half hour and no extra time is awarded under any circumstances.

Both the papers are of 2.5 hours duration each.

Detailed NDA 2017 Syllabus for Paper I

Paper-I Mathematics (Code No. 01) (Maximum Marks-300)

This section comprises of mathematics and this paper is completely devoted to mathematics. The mathematics asked for in this part is of the level of 10+2, students of any board can attempt this section with ease as long as they are acquainted with the mathematics of 10+ 2 with expertise. The sub sections in this part are also basic level mathematics that are introduced in the curriculum much earlier and the level of complexity increases with the passing years.


  • Concept of set, operations on sets, Venn diagrams.
  • De Morgan laws, Cartesian product, relation, equivalence relation. Representation of real numbers on a line. Complex numbers—basic properties, modulus, argument, cube roots of unity.
  • Binary system of numbers. Conversion of a number in decimal system to binary system and vice-versa. Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic progressions.
  • Quadratic equations with real coefficients.
  • Solution of linear inequations of two variables by graphs. Permutation and Combination.
  • Binomial theorem and its applications. Logarithms and their applications.

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.


  • Angles and their measures in degrees and in radians. Trigonometrical ratios.
  • Trigonometric identities Sum and difference formulae.
  • Multiple and Sub-multiple angles. Inverse trigonometric functions. Applications-Height and distance, properties of triangles.

Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions               

  • 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 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.

Differential Calculus

  • 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—examples.
  • Continuity of functions—examples, algebraic operations on continuous functions.
  • Derivative of function at a point, geometrical and physical interpretation of a derivative—applications.
  • 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.

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 a differential equations, solution of first order and first degree differential 18 equations of various types—examples.
  • Application in problems of growth and decay.

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.

Statistics and Probability

  • Statistics: Classification of data, Frequency distribution, cumulative frequency distribution—examples.
  • Graphical representation—Histogram, Pie Chart, frequency polygon—examples.
  • Measures of Central tendency—Mean, median and mode. Variance and standard deviation—determination and comparison.
  • Correlation and regression.
  • 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.
  • Random variable as function on a sample space.
  • Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments giving rise to Binominal distribution.

Detailed NDA 2017 Syllabus for Paper II

General Ability Test (Code No. 02) (Maximum Marks—600)

This section judges the candidates basic knowledge and English proficiency. This section is further divided into two parts, English and General Knowledge, and is meant to judge the basic knowledge of the candidate in both sections.

Part ‘A’—English (Maximum Marks—200)

The English portion of the entrance test is designed in a way to judge a candidates knowledge of the basic grammar and vocabulary. It judges the candidates ability to form correct sentences and use of words. The syllabus of the English paper ranges from various aspects like the knowledge and usage of grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and his mental ability to remember and place the meaning of words in their proper places.

Part ‘B’—General Knowledge (Maximum Marks—400)

The question paper on General Knowledge will not limit itself only to the general knowledge and current affair but will be further divided into the following g subjects: Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Geography and Current Events. – The syllabus of each of the following subjects is given below and detail and it charts the total scope of the paper for the candidate. Candidate’s answers are expected to show their knowledge and intelligent understanding of the subject

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • General Science
  • History, Freedom Movement etc.
  • Geography
  • Current Events

Physics Section

The table below includes the important topics asked in Physics section of the General Ability Test:

Syllabus for Physics
States of Matter and its propertiesLight and Sound (properties)
Motion and Laws of MotionMagnet and its properties
Work, Energy and PowerCurrent and Electricity
Modes of Transfer of Heat and its effectGeneral Principles of Working of Simple Pendulum, Pulleys, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Telegraphs, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Microscope, Mariner’s Compass; Lightening Conductors, Safety Fuses

Chemistry Section

The basic knowledge of Chemistry and various chemicals is tested in the chemistry section. The topics to be considered for preparation are given below:

Syllabus for Chemistry
Physical and Chemical ChangesProperties of Oxygen, Hydrogen etc. with Oxidation and Reduction
Air and Water (properties)Carbon and its forms
Chemical equations and Laws of Chemical CombinationAtom and its structure (details)
Elements, Compounds and MixturesFertilizers
Acid, Bases and SaltsUse of materials for preparation of different chemicals

General Science Section

The topics for general science are tabulated below. The candidates must prepare according to the NDA Syllabus to obtain a good score in the NDA exam.

Syllabus for General Sciences
Basic Unit of Life: CellReproduction in Plants and Animals
Living and Non-Living ThingsHuman Body and Life processes
Epidemics: causes and preventionsFood and Balanced Diet
Solar SystemAchievement of Eminent Scientists

History Section

The important topics covered in the history section of the general ability test in NDA exam is given in the table below:

Syllabus for NDA
Indian History: Culture and CivilisationConstitution and Administration of India
Nationalism in IndiaGovernment of India at various levels
Five Year plans of IndiaRenaissance and Discovery
French, Russian and Industrial RevolutionUnited nations and Concept of one world
Democracy in IndiaTeachings of Mahatma Gandhi

Geography Section

The geography based concepts are tested in the geography section of the NDA exam. The candidates must prepare the following topics thoroughly for the NDA entrance exam:

Syllabus for Geography
Earth and its Origin and Movement (latitudes and longitudes)Tides and Oceanic Currents
Rocks and Its classificationAtmosphere and Atmospheric Pressure
Types of ClimateRegional Geography of India
Agricultural and IndustriesTransportation and Trading routes of India
Imports and Exports of India 

Current Affairs Section

The candidates must follow the latest newspapers and magazines with information about the current events across the country and the world both. The topics to be prepared to qualify in this section with good marks are tabulated below:

Syllabus for Current Affairs
Important and Recent Events in IndiaCurrent and Important World Events
Important Indian or Non-Indian Personalities related to Cultural Activities and Sports 

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