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NDA II Exam Pattern 2020, Section Wise Paper Pattern, Marking Scheme, Syllabus, Books

Updated On -

Oct 21, 2020

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Samrat Roy

Exam Prep Master

NDA I 2020 Exam held two times in a year through offline mode (written test). The exam consists of 2 sections- Mathematics and General Ability Test. The total duration of NDA 2020 is 5 hours combined for both sections.

Get FREE NDA 2021 Mock Tests, Sectional Quiz, Previous Years Papers. Click Here

Those who clear the written exam will proceed to the NDA SSB Interview Process. UPSC sets the cut-off score to prepare the merit list of candidates who are called for the five-day selection process.

  • All the questions in the exam will be objective i.e., Multiple Choice Questions will be asked. Check NDA Exam Eligibility
  • The medium of the exam will be bilingual with a total of 900 marks.
  • Out of 270 questions, 120 questions are from Mathematics and 150 questions from the General Ability section. Check NDA Preparation Books
  • There is a provision of negative marking as per the marks allotted to questions asked.
  • The syllabus covered under NDA 2020 is of CBSE 10+2 standards. Check NDA Syllabus in Hindi

Check Also Type of Questions Asked in NDA

NDA Exam Pattern 2020 Highlights

Exam Mode and Medium Offline (Pen Paper Based) in English and Hindi
Number of sections 2
Question Paper Type Objective or MCQ
Total Number of Questions 270 Questions (120 from Mathematics and 150 from General Ability Test)
NDA 2020 Total Marks for Entrance Test 900 Marks (300 Marks for Mathematics and 600 Marks for General Ability Test)
Exam duration 2.30 hours (Each Section)

NDA Exam Pattern 2020 for Mathematics and General Ability Test

NDA 2020 is conducted in offline mode and all the questions are of MCQ type. The exam is held in both English and Hindi languages. Candidates are asked to attempt two sections- Mathematics and General Ability Test. 

Other details related to exam pattern from both the sections have been tabulated below:

Subject Paper Total No of Questions Duration of Exam Maximum Marks
Mathematics 1 120 2 ½ Hours 300
General Ability Test 2 150 2 ½ Hours 600
Total -- 270 900 --

Practice previous years NDA Tests’ sample papers

Read the following table to get to know about GAT Distribution:

Sections Maximum marks

Part A - English


Part B - General Knowledge





General Science


History, Freedom Movement, etc.




Current Events




After qualifying the NDA 2020 entrance test, all candidates have to appear for NDA Interview. Details are as below:

Second Round Duration Maximum Marks
SSB Interview 4-5 days 900

After qualifying the NDA 2020 entrance test, all candidates have to appear for NDA Interview. Details are as below:

Candidates are advised to go through the syllabus of the examination along with NDA Exam Pattern 2020. It will help them to have better preparations for both Entrance Test as well as Interview.

Stage I

There are two tests in this stage and these are officers Intelligence Rating (OIR) Test and Picture Perception and Description Test (PP and DT). Only the qualified aspirants will be capable to appear for the Stage II interview process.  

Stage II

In this stage, the aspirants should go through the multiple Group testing Offcers Tasks, and should attend conference and Psychology Tests. The entire process of this stage will take 4 days time to complete.




Screening Test

  • Verbal and non-verbal tests.
  • PPDT


Psychological Test

  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  • Word Association Test (WAT)
  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
  • Self Description Test (SD)

Group Testing Officers Test

  • GD
  • GPE
  • PGT
  • HGT
  • IOT
  • Command Task
  • Snake race/Group Obstacle Race
  • Individual lecture
  • FGT

Personal Interview




NDA 2020 Marking Scheme

NDA consists of two sections- Mathematics and General ability test.

  • In Mathematics section, there will be a total 120 questions of 300 marks.
  • All questions will carry 2.5 marks each, which will only be allotted for choosing the correct answer. 0.83 Marks will be deducted for each incorrect answer.
  • General ability test will comprise 600 marks; 200 marks are allotted to English and 400 marks in total are allotted to General Knowledge.
  • In this section, there will be a total of 150 questions, 50 from English and 100 from General Knowledge.
  • Candidates will be awarded 4 marks for each correct answer in this section.
  • A deduction of 1.33 Marks will be there for each wrong answer. There will be no mark for unanswered questions.



Total Questions



Total Marks



Marks allotted to each question



Negative marking for each incorrect response



What Type of Questions are Asked in NDA 2020 Exam?

NDA will have questions from two sections mainly- Mathematics and General Ability section. The questions will mainly be asked of 10+2 level. Solve as many NDA Previous Year Question Papers as possible.

  • In mathematics, candidates must thoroughly prepare-
  1. Arithmetic
  2. Mensuration
  3. Algebra
  4. Geometry
  5. Trigonometry
  6. Statistics, etc.
  • For general ability section, it is important to prepare well for both the sub-sections, i.e., English and General Knowledge.
  • For English section, candidates must focus on grammar, comprehension and reading abilities.
  • General knowledge questions can be asked from current events, physics, chemistry, general science, history, etc.

Given below is the bifurcation of both the sections of NDA Exam. Marks allotted to each section and sub-sections have been expounded below:

Subjects Number of Questions Marks Marking scheme Negative Marking
Mathematics 120 300 +2.5 -0.83
English 50 200 +4 -1.33
General Knowledge: 100 -- +4 -1.33
Physics -- 100 -- --
Chemistry -- 60 -- --
General Science -- 40 -- --
History, Freedom Movement, etc. -- 80 -- --
Geography -- 80 -- --
Current Events -- 40 -- --
Grand Total 270 900 -- --

For practicing mock test and sample papers in free of cost, check NDA Mock Test 

NDA 2020 Exam Syllabus

The syllabus of NDA 2020 has been divided into two parts namely Mathematics and General Ability Test. The General Ability Test will contain questions from various topics such as General Knowledge (GK), English, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, General Science, and Current Events. Check Complete NDA Syllabus 2020

Most of the questions asked in NDA exam will come from 10+2 levels, especially in Mathematics. For preparing the General Ability test section candidates should read the newspaper on a daily basis.

Sections Related Topics Number of questions
Mathematics Trigonometry, Differential Calculus, Algebra, Integral Calculus & Differential equations, Logarithms and their applications, Statistics, Probability, Vector Algebra, etc. 120
English Grammar and Usage, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and cohesion. 50
General Knowledge Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, Current Events. 100

Candidates, who will be shortlisted on the basis of written exam, will be called for SSB interview which will be conducted for 4-5 days. Candidates, who successfully qualify SSB round, will further call for medical test and document verification process.

NDA 2020 Recommended books

In NDA 2020, questions are asked from class 12 Mathematics. Also, candidates are required to be aware of the current happenings around the world to attempt General Ability test. Some of the recommended books for candidates are mentioned below.

Check Best Books to Prepare for NDA 2020

  • These books contain a vast explanation of mathematical concepts.
  • It covers every minor topic mentioned in the syllabus like Sets and relations along with functions, quadratic equations, logarithms, trigonometry and geometry topics like circles, triangles, coordinates etc.
  • These books also include the tricks and shortcut methods for solving the questions.
Subjects Books Author
Mathematics Mathematics for NDA and NA: National Defence Academy and Naval Academy R S Aggarwal
Mathematics Quantitative aptitude for competitive examinations RS Aggarwal
English NDA and NA National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Entrance Examination: 10 Practice Sets (English) Expert Compilations
English NDA INA Practice Papers: Conducted by UPSC (English) Sachchida Nand Jha
General Knowledge Objective General Knowledge & Current Affairs (Level 1) Disha Experts
General Knowledge Objective General Knowledge & Current Affairs (Level 2) Disha Experts

Go through the NDA (2) Mock Test before your exam. 

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.


shradha jain
Can a female write NDA exam?

Hi Shradha. No, female candidates are not eligible to apply for NDA exam.

sourajit mukherjee
How can I join the Indian Army with a commerce background after 12th?
kavita rani

Hi Sourajit. Yes, a commerce student are eligible to join Indian Army after passing 12th through NDA Exam. However, 10+2 Commerce students are eligible to join the NDA only for Indian Army selection as for others science and maths are compulsory subjects. You can refer here to know more about the same.

lakshya giri
Is the syllabus of maths is only from claas 12 in the nda exam
common admission test

Hii Lakshya, The questions in NDA Exam are asked from topics and concepts of both class 11th and 12th. To know more about syllabus of Mathematics for NDA Exam click here.

lakshya giri
What is the minimum marks to pass the NDA exam

Hello Lakshya, greetings from Collegedunia. The minimum marks or say the cut-off marks for NDA is different for each session depending upon various factors such as number of vacancies, cnadidates, difficulty level of the exam, etc.

ibashisha mukhim
How can I join the Indian Army with a commerce background after 12th?
common admission test

Hii Ibashisha, Greetings. You can join Indian army after 12th as Any male candidate who have passed 12th from any stream is eligible for NDA Exam. 

rahit bhar
Which are the best books to prepare for the ATC (Air Traffic Control) examination?
kavita rani

Hi Rahit. Air Traffic Control Test Prep is one of the books which can be referred while preparing for the ATC (Air Traffic Control) examination.

karan rathod
Can a person clear the NDA exam if his general knowledge is not good but if he is good in maths?
kavita rani

Hi Karan. You need to focus on GK section as well as it holds a significant weightage in the exam.  Also, referring to the latest books will help you focus on the general knowledge section. You can refer to the link here to know the ways to excel in general knowledge section as well.

ambar ahirawar
I am a 3rd year 2nd semester student and I want to apply for NDA. Is it possible?
kavita rani

Hi Ambar. The minimum eligibility criteria to give the NDA exam is 12th or equivalent exam. In case along with education criteria, you meet age eligibility as well, you can give the exam. Refer here to check other important eligibility criteria.

aswani kumar
Can we apply for nda after 10th boards?If yes then how much marks we have to score?.

Hello Ashwani, greetings from Collegedunia. In order to be eligible for the NDA exam, you must have completed class 12th at the least.

ammar zaheer ahmed
How much percent is eligible for the board in the NDA exam?
kavita rani

Hi Ammar. You must have obtained at least 60% aggregate in Physics, chemistry and Maths to give the NDA exam. Refer here to know more.