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NDA I 2021 Preparation Tips, Useful Strategy and Guidance

Updated On -

Jan 19, 2021

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Samrat Roy

Exam Prep Master

Today’s youth is so much interested to serve their country, by getting into National Defence Academy. But, it is not a cakewalk to get through the NDA exam and SSB. You have to do a lot of grub work and polish your personality to step inside NDA. After all, it is the question of serving the nation, you have got to be the best, to get selected.

Candidates who appear for the exam must gather all the necessary information about NDA Syllabus. Prepare according to the prescribed syllabus and focus on important topics that cover a high score. The exam conducted in two stages - 1) Mathematics (300 marks) and 2) General Ability Test (600). The time duration for each paper is 2 hours and 30 minutes. 

How to prepare for NDA 2020?

  • Make your study plan smartly. Making a smart study plan is effective for better preparation strategy.
  • First, you should clear your basic concept.
  • You should have in-depth knowledge of General Knowledge and English.
  • Do not forget to practice the previous year's question papers.
  • Revise your lessons as much as possible. 

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

Candidates advised must solve as many previous year question papers as possible to understand the exam pattern. Below, we are providing some tips & tricks which candidates should follow while preparing for the exam.

NDA Preparation Tips 2020 in Details

Get bookish knowledge is not enough to tackle with NDA Exam. You have to build a suitable personality, work on your spoken language, general knowledge, and other factors. To help you out with such factors, we provide you the best NDA Preparation Tips:

  • Get your Mathematics and English brushed up

Mathematics and English are very important for you if you are planning to face the NDA Exam. You must be very fast in making calculations as you can’t afford to waste time in calculations while solving the mathematics section and for this, you have to practice very hard. Only practice can give you this ability to be swift while making calculations in the exam. While for English, you have to read as much as you can. Read anything like English newspapers, blogs, novels, books or you can listen to English news channels. This will improve your English and general knowledge as well.

  • GAT- General Ability Test

While preparing for NDA, get your basic concepts cleared of Physics, chemistry, and biology. For History, Civics, and Economics, all you need is to memorize a few major concepts, but nothing tricky. GAT covers the major portion of the NDA test and so, you just can’t ignore any aspect of this section. Go through the syllabus for the GAT section very carefully and prepare for each and every topic mentioned under the heading. For English in this section, brush up the grammar rules.

  • Keep track of current events

You just cannot survive in the NDA exam and interview, if you are not aware of nearly all the current events. You must know all about the major events that happened, say, at least for the last five years. For this, all you have to do is to watch the news, read the newspaper, listen to the interviews of famous personalities, keep track of all the awards and prizes, on a daily basis.

  • Practice sample papers

Solving sample paper is the backbone of any NDA preparation strategy. You have to solve sample papers if you really want to get an idea of what kind of questions you have to face on the doom day. And if you are lucky enough, you might get some repeated questions as well. All in all, by solving last year's papers or sample papers, you can get a clear picture of what you are dealing with and by that, you can plan your line of study accordingly.

  • Don’t make wild guesses in exam

As you must be knowing that there is a negative marking scheme applicable in the NDA Exam. So, it seems necessary to include this point in NDA preparation tips. It is not at all a smart choice to make a blind guess in the NDA exam. If you don’t know the answer to some questions in the paper, just leave it unanswered. Don’t be over-confident over your guesswork. You might lose the marks that you scored through the correct answers. So, play smart and only answer the questions you are 100% sure about. Be wise and avoid the guessing game.

  • Stay fit and maintain your health

Remember that we are talking about National Defence Academy here, you have to treat your health as a priority. Consider this as the very first NDA preparation tip. You can’t afford to play with your health and hope that the selectors will select you even with a weak personality. All the hard work you did, to clear the written examination can go in vain if, you are not completely fit and carry a weak personality. So, work continuously and properly on your health to enhance your personality.

  • Keep track of time

Remember that time is not your ally in NDA Exam so, you just need not waste any of it over the questions you have no idea about. First of all, solve the questions you have prepared for or the one you know something about. After that, if there is still any time left in your hands then you can go for the ones you are not sure about and which are time-consuming. But remember, answer only those questions, you are very sure about or you might lose your hard-earned marks.

  • Create your very own short notes

While doing preparation work for NDA, you might have to consult a very large number of books and notes. But when the revision stage arrives, you don’t have enough time to go through them again. So, it’s better to keep your own short notes which handy and you can revise them without taking much time and which are actually useful and important. 

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

Toppers Tips for Preparing NDA Exam 2020

To crack the NDA Exam 2020, the aspirants can go through the following content to get an idea about the toppers’ preparation tips:

Piyush throve: NDA 2019 Topper

Rank: AIR 16

  1. The aspirants should have clear and in-depth knowledge about the subjects
  2. Read thoroughly the NCERT books
  3. Divide the entire syllabus into sections and prepare a routine and then follow it accordingly while studying.
  4. Try to keep yourself calm, do not take stress unnecessarily. 

Sparsh Kankane: NDA Exam 2018 Topper

Rank: AIR 1

  1. To get a good score, the aspirants should practice more and work hard
  2. You should have a clear understanding of the exam pattern and the NDA syllabus.
  3. Try to practice previous years' question papers for knowing the pattern of questions.

Importance of Mock Test

To crack the NDA exam, it is important to have a good grip on the in-depth knowledge of the students, so that they can complete the paper in a speedy manner and within the time. Hence, the aspirants are advised to take full-length mock tests before the exam as much as possible. It will, in turn, help the students in their practicing. On the other hand, they can identify their strong and weak areas and can understand their progress in learning. 

Steps to Prepare for SSB Interview

SSB Interview is consisting of Intelligence Test and Psychological Test. Go through the following content to get an idea about the SSB Interview:

  1. Maintain both physical and mental health
  2. Improve your eating habit and hence, have a look at your diet plan. Do exercise regularly. 
  3. You should do work hard
  4. Improve your English speaking skills
  5. Build a good habit of reading newspapers regularly to enhance your knowledge in English. 

NDA 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 a General Ability Test. Some of the recommended books for candidates are mentioned below.

  • 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. Also, Check 15 days NDA Preparation Tips and Best Books
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

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


how to prepare for nda written exam in 1 month?
kavita rani

Hi Priya. Candidates must do more mock tests and last year papers to do well in the exam. Go through the test series for free during the preparation time before the exam. Most importantly, stay calm, do not take stress unnecessarily. Refer here to get more details.

uday roy
Sir i am Uday 11 class , and arts stream i can fill this from?

HI Uday

You need to be minimum 16 years old to apply for the NDA exam and the upper limit is 19 years but thers is some relaxation for the reserved category. Visit on our official website of NDA Eligibility to check your requirements for the exam.

jyoti ranjan mandal
abdul nazir

Hi Jyoti, NDA cut off for 2020 is yet to be released. For NDA 1, dates of cut off will be announced soon, while for NDA 2, cut off will be released in the month of May 2021. Expected cut off for written exam is around 342 and final cut off will be expected to be at 704. To know more visit NDA 2020 cut off.

Sir, I'm 16.5 and I'm in class 11, will I be eligible to write NDA? By 2022 I'll be completing class 12.

Hello SriHaran,

You give the NDA examination once in 2021 ( NDA-II) and you can also give NDA I in 2022. For more details on eligibility, visit- NDA Eligibility.

aditya kumar
I m in class 11now. Can I fill this form or not?
common admission test

Hii Aditya. No, you can't appear for the NDA Exam now as minimum eligibility for NDA Exam is the aspirants should qualify their class 12 or HSC exam under 10+2 exam pattern. 

shivam gaur
Sir can I selected in the NDA without coaching

Hi Shivam

Yes you can crack NDA exam without coaching if you are dedicated enough and work hard for it. Coaching is not mandatory to crack any exam if you put enough time on yourself with studies and prepare for the exam. You can achieve anything by yourself if you work for it.

All The Best

mohd waseem
I'm in 12th now i am from arts stream I want to give NDA 2021 so can I give it? And how can I prepare for it?

Hello Waseem,

Yes, you can apply for the Army Wing of NDA. For some tips related to how you should be preparing for NDA, kindly visit – NDA Preparation Tips

sagar sachin kulkarni
Respected sir/Mam I have to do preperation of nda I m form std 8 .so please guide me which book we have to take and etc Sagar Sachin Kulkarni . Dhule Maharashtra
arvind kumar

Hi Sagar, you have a lot time to prepare for NDA Exam. For complete guidance and preparation strategy along with the books visit: NDA PREPARATION

amit mishra
Mam I am from commerce stream and maths and physics is tough for me so how I can prepare both subject please help me to make strategy for these subject please mam.

Hello Amit,

You can ace in Maths and Physics by consistent practice. You will have to devote extra time to your weak subjects and make efforts in a smart way. Please visit – NDA Preparation Tips for more tips that will help your strategise your work. 

darshan dayanand mathapati
I'm in 11th now but when I'm appearing in 12th I want to give NDA 1 2021 so can I give it? And how can I prepare for it?
arvind kumar

Hi Darshan, Greetings from Collegedunia. The minimum eligibility for NDA exam is 10+2 with atleast 60%. So, you can give the exam if you fulfill the eligibilty criteria and for more details click here.

How can I crack NDA maths paper with 1 month prepration?
arunava ray
How can I crack NDA maths paper with 1 month prepration?
kavita rani

Hi Arunava. You can easily crack NDA Maths exam in one month. Analyze the last question papers, as it helps check your performance. To get a good score in Mathematics, it is important to clear all the concepts taught in class 11th and 12th. Also, make sure that you remember all the formulas as it will makes the asked questions easy to solve. Study hard to get at least 140 marks. Focus on all the important topics such as Trigonometry, Vectors, Differentiation, Integration, Limits, etc. and practice hard. Revise all the chapters studied daily as it helps memorize all the formulas easily.

ranu kanwar
How do I prepare for the NDA 2020? Is there any effective way for preparation?
kavita rani

Hi Ranu. An affective way for preparation include:

Schedule your Study Plan Smartly

Get best study material

Your Basics Should Be Clear

Focus on General Knowledge and English Subject

Solve Previous Year Question Papers

Health Maintenance and Personality


riyaz sen
How do I prepare for NDA in 20 days and clear it?
kavita rani

Hi Riyaz. Some important points to remember while preparing for the NDA include:

Revise all the chapters of Mathematics.

Don't waste your time understanding the chapters you are weak in.

Look for the ways to clear the cut off rather than trying to top the examination.

Don't waste time reading the GAT part in-depth, rather focus more on English.

Preparing for the English section will help you to clear GAT by English marks alone.

Pay extra efforts.

This is not the time to make a new time table, etc. Rather focus on more important points and leave the rest. Since the exam is approaching, so the last two days before the exam are very crucial. Don’t take any stress and relax your brain.

arunava ray
How can I prepare for NDA in 2 weeks?
kavita rani

Hi Arunava. To be honest, preparing for NDA SSB in two weeks is quite a daunting task but in case you follow the below-mentioned guidelines and strategies, you can prepare for the NDA exam:


Get familiar with the latest syllabus and exam pattern

Start making notes

Do more last year question papers

Revision is important. Revise all the formulas and tricks again.

Also revise your GK notes.

Don’t take stress, take short breaks in between your revisions.

margaret atwood
What are some YouTube channels and websites for NDA preparation?
kavita rani

Hi Marharet.

Some of the best YouTube channels for NDA Preparation include:

Major Kalshi Classes

Sharad Neha Gupt

aHack To Crack NDA


Centurian Defence Academy

Neha mathematics

alok sharma
I got very important information by it
samanuri aparana