NDA Syllabus 2023 [Mathematics & GAT] - Latest NDA Exam Pattern

NDA Syllabus – UPSC sets the NDA syllabus. Aspirants must know the latest NDA exam pattern and syllabus if they wish to qualify the NDA exams to get into the Indian Defense Force.

NDA is a Defense entrance exam conducted to recruit eligible personnel to the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force Wing of the National Defense Academy and Indian Naval Academy Course -INAC. The Union Public Service Commission had released the NDA 2023 Notification on the official website. Candidates can know more about the NDA exam at the given link. 

Aspirants of other Government exams can check the link provided for the latest information on upcoming examinations. 

This article aims to provide detailed information on the National Defense Academy Syllabus (section-wise and topic-wise) and the latest NDA exam pattern knowing which can help candidates make a strategy for the exam preparation in a systematic manner.

NDA Syllabus PDF – Download PDF Here

Table of Contents:
  1. National Defense Academy Exam Pattern

National Defense Academy Syllabus

  1. NDA Syllabus for Mathematics
  2. NDA Syllabus for GAT
  3. Important Books for NDA Syllabus

NDA Exam Pattern

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) prescribes the exam pattern of NDA exam. 

NDA selection process is divided into two stages-

  1. Written Examination
  2. SSB Interview

However, the written exam of NDA itself is divided into two parts i.e. 

  • NDA written exam for Mathematics
  • NDA written exam for General Ability Test (GAT)

Now, the General Ability Test (GAT) is further subdivided into two parts:

  • Part A – English Test
  • Part B – General Awareness or General Knowledge Test

The marks distribution of NDA exam GAT section is highlighted below:

NDA General Ability Test Sections Maximum marks
Part A – English 200
Part B – General Awareness Physics 100
  History, Freedom Movement, etc. 80
Geography 80
Chemistry 60
General Science 40
Current Events 40
Total 600

 The structure of the NDA exam pattern for written exams is as mentioned below.

NDA Exam Pattern – Written Exams
NDA Written Exams Subject Maximum marks Number of Questions Duration
Paper 1 Mathematics 300 120 2 hrs 30 mins
Paper 2 GAT 600 150 2 hrs 30 mins
Total 900 270 5 hours

NDA Selection Process Important pointers-

  1. All the questions in the NDA exam will be objective i.e., Multiple Choice Questions.
  2. The medium of the exam will be bilingual (English & Hindi) with a total of 900 marks.
  3. Total 270 questions are asked of which 120 questions are from Mathematics and 150 questions from GAT section.
  4. The NDA syllabus covered in the exam is of 10+2 standard
  5. There is negative marking for wrong answers which is given in detail below-

NDA Marking Scheme

The UPSC formulates the NDA marking scheme. As per the scheme, no marks are deducted if a question is left unanswered but there is a provision of negative marking for wrong answers. Candidates will lose 1/3rd of marks allotted to each question for incorrect answers. Go through the detailed NDA marking scheme below:

NDA Exam Pattern – Negative Marking Scheme
Written Exams Marks for each correct answer Marks deducted for each incorrect answer
Mathematics 2.5 0.83
GAT 4 1.33
Wondering how to do a comprehensive study of NDA Syllabus? Check the links for assistance in the preparation of NDA exam- 

NDA Exam Pattern SSB Interview

After qualifying the written exam of NDA, candidates have to appear for the SSB Interview rounds. The pattern of NDA Interview is as mentioned below:

NDA – SSB Interview Pattern
Stage 1 Screening Test
  1. Verbal and non-verbal tests.
  2. PPDT
Stage 2 Psychological Test
  1. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  2. Word Association Test (WAT)
  3. Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
  4. Self Description Test (SD)
Group Testing Officers Test
  1. GD
  2. GPE
  3. PGT
  4. HGT
  5. IOT
  6. Command Task
  7. Snake race/Group Obstacle Race
  8. Individual lecture
  9. FGT
Personal Interview & conference

Aspirants willing to appear for NDA exam can go through the NDA Eligibility Criteria in the given link.

NDA Syllabus – National Defence Academy 

The Union Public Service Commission prescribes the NDA syllabus in detail in the official notification of the exam. 

Broadly, the NDA syllabus is divided into two parts i.e. Mathematics and General Awareness. However, it is not as easy as it seems to be, because the NDA General Awareness section is an umbrella covering 6 subjects under it, that is discussed further in the article.

NDA Syllabus Mathematics

For Mathematics NDA Syllabus candidates are required to know maths till 12th standard. This section tests the candidates’ calculation skills. Let us know the topic-wise NDA Mathematics syllabus and distribution of questions for each topic in the exam.

NDA Syllabus For Mathematics
Mathematics Topic NDA Topic-wise syllabus
Algebra 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.
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, 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.

Trigonometry 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 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. Random variable as function on a sample space. Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments giving rise to Binomial distribution.

Candidates preparing for NDA exam can check the links given below to complement their mathematics preparation.

  1.  Shortcut tricks for Squares and Cube Roots 
  2.  Maths Tricks & Shortcuts for Competitive exams

Now that we are aware of the detailed NDA syllabus for mathematics section, let us know the distribution of questions among these topics in the exam. 

Mathematics Topics for NDA  Number of Questions
Probability 10
Complex number  10-15
Calculus 20-25
Quadratic equation 20-15
Matrices & Determinants  30
Trigonometry 30

 Check out a few concept-based articles that will be helpful to cover up the maths syllabus of NDA conveniently- 

  1. Alligations and Mixtures
  2. Number Series 
  3. Quadratic Equations

For more such articles on various mathematics topics, check the Quantitative Aptitude page linked here.

NDA Syllabus General Ability Test 

The NDA Syllabus for GAT is divided into two parts. Part A tests candidate’s proficiency in English while Part B tests candidates General Knowledge on various topics/subjects.

NDA Syllabus GAT English

The English syllabus of NDA covers topics like vocabulary, grammar and usage, comprehension and cohesion.

To start with the English part of NDA syllabus refer to the links of relevant English language topics that are asked frequently in the examination:

For more important topics on English For Competitive exams, such as Precis and Letter writing format, rules and list of prepositions, articles, conjunctions etc. check the link provided.

Also, go through important questions and answers on English topics for practice and preparation.

More question and answer articles on important topics of the Verbal Ability section can be found on the linked page.

NDA Syllabus GAT – General Awareness/ General Knowledge

The General Knowledge of NDA syllabus comprises questions from Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography and Current Events.

The topic-wise syllabus of each subject is as mentioned below:

NDA Exam Syllabus – GAT – History
  • 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 Exam Syllabus – GAT – 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

Aspirants of NDA exam can check the related links given below-

NDA Exam Syllabus – GAT – General Science
  • Common Epidemics, their causes and prevention
  • Difference between the living and non-living
  • 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 General Science preparation can be done simply by going through the NCERT Notes for basic physics, chemistry and life science topics.

NDA Exam Syllabus – GAT – Chemistry
  • Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide, Oxidation and Reduction
  • Acids, bases and salts
  • Carbon— different forms
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Fertilizers—Natural and Artificial
  • Elements
  • Material used in the preparation of substances like Soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches and Gunpowder
  • Mixtures and Compounds
  • Elementary ideas about the structure of Atom
  • Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equation
  • Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights
  • Law of Chemical Combination (excluding problems)
  • Valency
  • Properties of Air and Water


NDA Exam Syllabus – GAT – Physics
  • 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
  • Reflection and refraction
  • Principle of Archimedes
  • Spherical mirrors and Lenses
  • Pressure Barometer
  • Human Eye
  • Motion of objects
  • Natural and Artificial Magnets
  • Velocity and Acceleration
  • Properties of a Magnet
  • Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Earth as a Magnet
  • Force and Momentum
  • Static and Current Electricity
  • Parallelogram of Forces
  • Conductors and Non-conductors
  • Stability and Equilibrium of bodies
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Gravitation
  • Simple Electrical Circuits
  • Elementary ideas of work
  • 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 Exam Syllabus – GAT – Current Affairs
Knowledge of Important events that have happened in India in recent years.

Prominent personalities of both Indian and International level, Cultural activities and sports activities, Current important world events.

For the preparation of this section important topics that candidates must go through are listed below:

More such topics on general awareness are given on the Static GK page, check the link provided. For the preparation of current affairs candidates can check the following links

List of NDA Books

To prepare effectively for the NDA Exam one must have several good books handy. NDA books will help the candidates focus better on the subject matter at hand and ultimately score more marks in the exam.
The section-wise NDA books for exam preparation are given below:

NDA Books
  • NCERT Mathematics Textbooks of Class 11th & 12th
  • Pathfinder NDA & NA by Arihant Publications
  • Mathematics for NDA and NA by RS Aggarwal
  • Chapter-wise and section-wise Solved Papers NDA/NA by Arihant Publications
  • 10 Practice Sets for NDA & NA by Arihant Publications
General Ability Test
  • NCERT Textbooks of all Subjects from Class 9th
  • Latest Manorama Yearbook
  • Success Series General Knowledge by Sachchida Nand Jha
  • History Of Modern India (History) by Bipan Chandra
  • Science and Technology in India (Science and Technology) by Kalpana Rajaram: Spectrum
  • Objective General English for Competitive Exams by S.P. Bakshi

Candidates can download the NDA Syllabus and Booklist PDF given below:

NDA Syllabus & Booklist PDF – Download PDF Here

The most common mistakes that candidates make is they start their preparation for the National Defense Academy exam without completely understanding the NDA syllabus. 

Knowing in detail the Syllabus of NDA is important as it confines the preparation and helps to strategise the study plan that is the key to attain success in any exam.

Also, go through the Competitive Exam Preparation Strategies to plan out a good study schedule and leave no stone unturned for exam preparation.

Frequently Asked Question – NDA Syllabus


Q.1. What are the subjects covered in the NDA Syllabus?

Ans. The NDA syllabus covers Maths and General Ability Test.

Q.2. What is the level of National Defense Academy Syllabus?

Ans. Candidates appearing for the National Defence Academy / Naval Academy exam have to study the subjects of standard 10th, 11th and 12th level.

Q.3. What is covered in the English in the Naval Academy Syllabus?

Ans. The English portion of NDA syllabus comprises Grammar and usage, vocabulary, comprehension and cohesion.

Q.4. Who prescribes the syllabus of National Defence Academy Examination?

Ans. The Union Public Service Commission prescribes the NDA/ NA Syllabus on its official website as well as in the official notification.

Q 5. What are the passing marks in NDA examination?

Ans. Candidates appearing for NDA / NA exam are required to score a minimum of 25% marks in each subject to qualify for the written examination.

UPSC 2023


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  1. Hey byjus,I’ve a question that now can girls give these nda exams or not??