• Written By sandeep
  • Last Modified 16-05-2023

What Is NDA: Check Syllabus, Exam Pattern, and Eligibility


The National Defence Academy (NDA) is a prestigious institution in India that provides training for cadets who aspire to join the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. It is known for its rigorous training and high standards of discipline. The NDA exam is a highly competitive exam that requires extensive preparation. Therefore, candidates should know what is NDA and must have knowledge of the NDA exam pattern and NDA syllabus 2023. 

The NDA exam is conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It is one of the most competitive exams in the country, and only a few deserving candidates are selected based on their performance. In this article, we will discuss what is NDA, the NDA syllabus 2023, the exam pattern, and NDA exam eligibility.

What Is NDA Exam?

The National Defence Academy Exam (NDA) is a written exam taken by candidates who wish to join the National Defence Academy (NDA), an institution that trains cadets for the Indian Armed Forces. The NDA exam is the national-level exam conducted by the UPSC twice a year, i.e., in April and September.

The selection process for the NDA includes the following stages:

  • Written Test (Offline)
  • Intelligence & Personality Test (SSB Interview)

The written test includes Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT) sections, and the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview includes physical tests, psychological tests, and an interview.

NDA Exam Pattern

Check the NDA exam pattern 2023 in the following table:

PaperExam DurationMaximum Marks
Paper I- Mathematics2.5 Hours300 Marks
Paper II- General Ability Test (GAT)2.5 Hours600 Marks
Total5 Hours900 Marks

Detailed Breakdown of NDA Syllabus 2023

To crack the NDA exam, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the NDA syllabus. In this section, we have provided a detailed breakdown of the NDA syllabus 2023.

The NDA syllabus is divided into two parts: Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). Check the NDA syllabus 2023 below:

NDA Syllabus for Mathematics (Paper I)

AlgebraConcept of sets, operations on sets, Venn diagrams. De Morgan laws, Cartesian product, relation, equivalence relation. Representation of real numbers.
Complex numbers, basic properties, modulus, argument, cube roots of unity. Binary system of numbers. Conversion of a number in the decimal system.
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 DeterminantsTypes 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.
TrigonometryAngles 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 DimensionsRectangular 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. Equation of a plane and a line in various forms. Angle between two lines and angle between two planes. Equation of a sphere.
Differential CalculusConcept 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 EquationsIntegration 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.

Definition of order and degree of a differential equation, formation of a differential equation by examples. General and particular solution.
Solution of first-order and first-degree differential equations of various types—examples. Application in problems of growth and decay.
Vector AlgebraVectors 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 ProbabilityStatistics: 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. 

NDA Syllabus for General Ability Test (Paper II)

English LanguageComprehension
Fill in the blanks
Complete the sentences
Idioms and phrases
Synonyms and antonyms
Active and passive voice
Finding errors
HistoryIndian History: Culture and civilisation
Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, National Integration and Welfare State, Basic Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi
Indiadom struggle
Panchayati Raj, Co-operatives, and Community Development
French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, and Russian Revolution
Impact of Science and Technology on Society
Concept of one World, United Nations, Panchsheel, Democracy, Socialism, and Communism
Forces shaping the modern world; Renaissance, Exploration, and Discovery
GeographyLandforms of India
Movements of Earth and their effects
Layers of earth
Type of soils
Climate and Atmosphere
Cyclones and Anticyclones
Solar system and universe
Rocks and their classification
PhysicsNatural and Artificial Magnets, Properties of a Magnet, Earth as a Magnet
Spherical mirrors and Lenses, Human Eye
Density and Specific Gravity, Principle of Archimedes, Pressure Barometer
Rectilinear propagation of Light, Reflection and refraction
Static and Current Electricity, conductors and Non-conductors,
Physical Properties and States of Matter, Mass, Weight, Volume,
Heat, Measurement of Temperature and Heat, change of State and Latent Heat, Modes of transference of Heat
Ohm’s Law, Electrical Circuits, Heating, Lighting and Magnetic effects of Current, Measurement of Electrical Power, Primary and Secondary Cells, and Use of X-Rays.
Equilibrium of objects
Laws of Motion
Work, power, and energy
ChemistryMixtures and Compounds, Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equations, Law of Chemical Combination
Properties of Air and Water
Fertilizers— Natural and Artificial
The material used in the preparation of substances like Soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches and Gun-Powder
Elementary ideas about the structure of Atoms, Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights, Valency
Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen
General ScienceBiotic and Abiotic components
Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals
Achievements of Eminent Scientists
Common Epidemics, their causes and prevention
Basis of Life—Cells, Proto-plasma, and Tissues
Current EventsKnowledge of Important events that have happened in India in recent years.
Current important world events.
Prominent personalities—both Indian and International, including those connected with cultural activities and sports.

NDA Exam Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for the NDA (National Defence Academy) exam are as follows:

  • Nationality: The candidate must be a citizen of India, a subject of Nepal, a subject of Bhutan, or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
  • Age Limit: Males and females who are not married and who were born between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2006 are eligible.
  • Educational Qualification: The candidates for the army wing of the National Defence Academy must have passed the 10+2 or equivalent examination conducted by a state education board or a university. Aspirants for the Air Force and Naval Wings of the National Defence Academy and for the 10+2 cadet entry scheme at the Indian Naval Academy must be a 12th-grade pass with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics from a state education board or a university.

FAQs on What Is NDA

Some of the most frequently asked questions on what is NDA are as follows:

Q: Who conducts the NDA exam?

Ans: The NDA exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on behalf of the Indian Armed Forces. 

Q: What is the full form of NDA?

Ans: The full form of NDA is National Defence Academy.

Q: How many subjects are in the UPSC NDA exam?

Ans: The UPSC NDA (National Defence Academy) exam consists of two papers – Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). In GAT, the questions will be asked in English Language, History, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, General Science, and Current Events

Q: What is the age limit for NDA 2023?

Ans: The age limit for the NDA (National Defence Academy) exam is 16.5 to 19.5 years of age as of the date specified in the official notification.

Q: Can girls give NDA exam?

Ans: Yes. Both male and female candidates are eligible for appearing in the NDA exam if they fulfill the NDA exam eligibility criteria.

Quick Links –

NDA RecruitmentNDA Exam Dates
NDA Application FormNDA Syllabus

Stay tuned to Embibe for the latest updates on the NDA exam 2023.

Unleash Your True Potential With Personalised Learning on EMBIBE