NDA II Syllabus 2020 Mathematics & General Ability Test

Updated On -

Sep 3, 2020

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Samrat Roy

Exam Prep Master

UPSC has prescribed NDA 2020 syllabus. NDA examination is divided into two papers – Mathematics and General Ability. It aims to judge a candidate on his logical ability and general awareness. NDA I 2020 is scheduled to be conducted on April 19, 2020.

Check NDA (2) Mock Test for boosting up your practicing skill

  • The Mathematics paper contains 300 marks while the General Ability test holds 600 marks. The written test will be of a total of 900 marks.
  • For every incorrect response, 0.33 marks will be deducted as negative marking in the examination.
  • After clearing the written test, candidates have to go through the SSB Interview. The interview process will have a total of 900 marks.
  • The question paper of Mathematics and PART B of the General Ability test will be available in both English and Hindi languages.
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Check NDA 2020 Admit Card

Check NDA 2020 Preparation Tips

Check NDA 2020 Exam Dates

NDA 2020 Exam Pattern

NDA 2020 is scheduled for April 19, 2020. It is an offline examination i.e. pen and paper-based test with objective type questions.

NDA 2020 Exam Pattern is different for both the papers. It is necessary to qualify them in order to ensure admission to the National Defence Academy. NDA exam pattern for both the papers is given below:


Paper I- Mathematics




Maximum Marks



2½ hours


General Ability Test


2½ hours






SSB Test/Interview




General Ability

Paper II- General Ability
Total Marks 600 marks
Total No. of Questions 150
No. of questions in English Section 50
No. Of questions in General knowledge Section 100
Maximum Marks for English 200 marks
Maximum Marks for G.K. 400 marks 
Marks for Correct Answer 4 marks in both sections
Marks for Incorrect Answer -1.33 marks in both sections
Exam Duration 2.5 Hours

NDA 2020 Syllabus for Mathematics

Paper 1 in NDA is purely based on Mathematics. No change is observed in NDA Syllabus 2020 from the previous year. The questions will be asked from 10+2 level only. The sub-sections in this part are also of basic-level mathematics.

Read  How to Prepare Mathematics for NDA 2020?

Here are all important topics in NDA Syllabus 2020 for Paper 1 i.e. Mathematics:

NDA Syllabus 2020 for Mathematics
Algebra Matrices and Determinants
Trigonometry Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions 
Differential Calculus Integral Calculus and Differential Equations
Vector Algebra Statistics and Probability

NDA Syllabus

Best Books for NDA 2020 Preparation

For Paper 1 in NDA i.e. Mathematics, it is always a better approach to put in some extra efforts. For this, you will need to refer to some books other than NCERT of class XI/XII.

  • These books are a great mix of theoretical knowledge and their practical application, in the form of questions.
  • We advise you to practice from them as much as possible.

Here are some of the best books for NDA Preparation for Mathematics paper:

NDA Books
Book Name  Author/ Publisher
Mathematics for NDA and NA: National Defence Academy and Naval Academy R S Aggarwal
Quantitative aptitude for competitive examinations R S Aggarwal

Study Package MATHEMATICS NDA & NA Entrance Exam

NDA Mathematics (Hindi) RPH Editorial Board

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

NDA 2020 Sample Questions for Mathematics

NDA Math

NDA II 2019 Paper Analysis for Mathematics

NDA Paper 2 in November 2019 had maximum questions from Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Trigonometry, Calculus, Probability, complex number and Quadratic equation.

  • Mathematics section was comparatively easier than the previous year.
  • The exam was for 300 marks in total.

Here is the topic-wise distribution of questions in NDA 2018 Paper 1:

Topic No. of questions
Calculus 20-25
Quadratic equation 20-15
Matrices & Determinants  30
Probability 10
Trigonometry 30
Complex number  10-15

NDA 2020 Syllabus for General Ability Test

Paper 2 in NDA i.e. the General Ability Test judges a candidate’s basic awareness and English proficiency. This section is further divided into two parts, English and General Knowledge.

  • Total marks awarded to Paper 2 are 600.
  • This paper must be completed in 2.5 hours.
  • Here is the subject-wise NDA Syllabus 2020 for Paper 2:

Part A- English 

  • The English portion of the entrance test is designed in a way to judge a candidate's knowledge of basic grammar and vocabulary.
  • It judges a candidate’s 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.
  • Marks allotted to this section are 300.

English Syllabus

English question paper in the NDA exam is framed in such a way that the aspirant’s understanding and their in-depth knowledge of English can be examined. In the following, the NDA 2020 English syllabus has been highlighted in a detailed manner:

  • Grammar and usage
  • Comprehension and cohesion
  • Spotting of errors
  • Para Jumbling
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Synonyms and antonyms
  • Vocabulary
  • Cloze test
  • Sentence correction and improvement
  • Idioms and proverbs
  • Completion of Sentence and para

Part B- General Knowledge (Marks 400)

The question paper on General Knowledge will cover current affairs, questions from Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Geography and Current Events. NDA syllabus 2020 of each topic is given below. The paper aims to check knowledge and intelligent understanding of the subject.

Physics Section

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

NDA Syllabus 2020 for Physics
States of Matter and its properties Light and Sound (properties)
Motion and Laws of Motion Magnet and its properties
Work, Energy, and Power Current and Electricity
Modes of Transfer of Heat and its effect General 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

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

Chemistry Section

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

NDA Syllabus 2020 for Chemistry
Physical and Chemical Changes Properties of Oxygen, Hydrogen, etc. with Oxidation and Reduction
Air and Water (properties) Carbon and its forms
Chemical equations and Laws of Chemical Combination Atom and its structure (details)
Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures Fertilizers
Acids, Bases and Salts Use of materials for the preparation of different chemicals

General Science Section

The topics for general science are tabulated below. The candidates must prepare according to the NDA Syllabus 2020 to obtain a good score in the NDA exam.

NDA Syllabus 2020 for General Sciences
Basic Unit of Life: Cell Reproduction in Plants and Animals
Living and Non-Living Things Human Body and Life processes
Epidemics: causes and preventions Food and Balanced Diet
Solar System Achievement of Eminent Scientists

History Section

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

NDA Syllabus 2020 for History
Indian History: Culture and Civilisation Constitution and Administration of India
Nationalism in India Government of India at various levels
Five Year plans of India Renaissance and Discovery
French, Russian and Industrial Revolution United Nations and the Concept of one world
Democracy in India Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi

Geography Section

Candidates must prepare the following topics thoroughly for the Geography section in NDA 2020:

NDA Syllabus for Geography
Earth and its Origin and Movement (latitudes and longitudes) Tides and Oceanic Currents
Rocks and Its classification The atmosphere and Atmospheric Pressure
Types of Climate Regional Geography of India
Agricultural and Industries Transportation and Trading routes of India
Imports and Exports of India

Current Affairs Section

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:

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

NDA Syllabus

Intelligence and Personality test

The SSB process is containing of two stages and these are stage I and stage II. Only the qualified aspirants from stage I will get the permission to take the stage II process. Read the following content to understand the detailed information of two stages:

NDA SSB Personality Test
Stage I
  • Picture Perception Description Test (PP&DT)
  • Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR).
Stage II
    • Interview (IO)
    • Psychology Tests (Psych)
    • Group Testing Officer Tasks (GTO)
    • Conference

The absence/presence of officer liked features and characteristics of an aspirant can be highlighted with the help of the GTA, IO, and Psych tests. 

Best Books for NDA 2020 Preparation

There is no set syllabus for Paper 2 as the questions challenge a candidate’s vigilance for current and recent events around the globe. Along with it, the basic knowledge of various subjects is tested.

  • For NDA Preparation, go through books, magazines, newspapers, archives, news channels, etc. to be able to score well in this paper.
  • Candidates must have the basic knowledge of the subjects that are tested in NDA.
  • Other than newspapers and class XII books, there are plenty of NDA Preparation Books available in the market that can help you with the General Ability Section. Here are a few of them:
NDA Books
Book Name  Author/ Publisher
History Of Modern India (History) Bipan Chandra
Science and Technology in India (Science and Technology) Kalpana Rajaram : Spectrum
Oxford School Atlas (Geography) Oxford 
Social Problems In India (Indian Society – GS1) Ram Ahuja

Objective General English for Competitive Exams

S.P. Bakshi

Manorama Yearbook 2020

Mammen Mathew

NDA 2020 Sample Questions for General Ability Test

General Ability

NDA 2019 Paper Analysis for General Ability Test

Paper 2 in NDA 2019 had 150 questions. Marks allotted to this paper were 600.

  • Questions in English were from the prescribed NDA Syllabus.
  • From Section B, science had the toughest questions.
  • Questions from the remaining subjects were moderate in difficulty level.

Here is the analysis for NDA 2018 held in April:

PART A- English

Topic No. of Questions No. of Marks
Spotting Errors 5 20
Comprehension 6 24
Selecting Words 10 40
Ordering of Words in a Sentence 9 36
Sentence Improvement 10 40
Antonyms 5 20
Synonyms 5 20
Total 50 200

PART B- General Knowledge

Topic No. of Questions No. of Marks
Physics 23 92
Chemistry 16 64
General Science 11 44
History & Freedom Movement 16 64
Geography 17 68
Current Events 17 68
Total 100 400

NDA 2020 Preparation Tips

Here are some useful NDA Preparation Tips to score better in the exam:

  • Make sure you are thorough with the NDA 2020 Syllabus and exam pattern.
  • Do not forget to refer to class 11 and Class 12 NCERT books.
  • You must know the basic formulae/ concepts from Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry.
  • Plan a preparation schedule and practice as many NDA Practice Papers as possible.
  • For the English section, focus on reading comprehension, basic grammar, and vocabulary. You must revise the basic grammar rules from a reliable source.
  • Be well aware of current affairs and events that are making news.
  • Make sure the political and historical scenario of India is on your tips.
  • Take help from coaching centers if required, but make sure they hold a good record.

Also practice previous years NDA Tests’ sample papers

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


How can I, a student of class 11 PCM, prepare for the NDA?
kavita rani

Hi Priya. You need to follow a special preparation strategy while preparing for the NDA exam. So to prepare for the NDA exam, first of all you need to clear all your doubts and make sure that all your concepts are clear. Do a detailed revision of all the chapters. Do NCERT based learning as most of the questions come from the NCERT books only. Do more mock tests, as it will help boost your preparations.

jatin sharma
Can an arts student go for the NDA (army/air force/navy), and what's the syllabus of the exam?
kavita rani

Hi Jatin. Yes, even the arts students can join NDA they are not eligible to opt for Airforce and Navy as candidates who have studied maths, physics and chemistry are preferred.

margaret atwood
If I want to the preparation of NDA which book is best for my return test? The book that can give me all exam syllabus to qualify my return test?
kavita rani

Hi Margaret. Some of the best books that can be referred while preparing for the NDA exam include MATHEMATICS FOR NDA AND NA: NATIONAL DEFENCE ACADEMY AND NAVAL ACADEMY by by Aggarwal R.S. (Author) and Pathfinder for NDA & NA Entrance Examination National Defence Academy/Naval Academy Conducted by UPSC by by Arihant Experts

Refer here to know about other books.

divakar sharma
What are the syllabus for history, geography, and polity in the NDA exam?
kavita rani

Hi Divakar. UPSC has very prescribed NDA 2020 syllabus and the candidates preparing for the same have to prepare for two subjects including Mathematics and General Ability. Some of the important topics asked in the history section include Constitution and Administration of India, Nationalism in India, Government of India at various levels, etc. You can get detailed syllabus here.

shaik kabeer
I got 96% in +2 (Kerala state board syllabus). Can I crack the NDA exam?
kavita rani

Hi Shaik. To be honest, it does not matter whether you have scored 96% or 69% in boards. Cracking the NDA exam has no connection with your board marks. In addition to good academic skills, you must have officer like qualities to get a considered for NDA. You must aim at getting selected into the academy, so study accordingly for the exam.

What is the NDA exam mathematics syllabus?
kavita rani

Hi Taniksha. The Mathematics paper in NDA is of 300 marks and for each incorrect answer, 1/3 marks will be deducted. Some of the important topics asked in NDA mathematics exam include Matrices and Determinants, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus and Differential Equations, etc. For detailed syllabus refer here.

How does one manage to complete 12th syllabus by August so as to take NDA 2 exam in September while going to school everyday? Wouldn't dummy schooling be better in that case?
kavita rani

Hi Sameer. While preparing for the NDA exam, you need to develop more focused approach from your school days only. Preparing for NDA does not mean studying after schools, rather you have to be careful and do hard work from your school days only. Work hard work from the beginning of 12th class, whether you score 70% or 80% or 90% marks in 12th board exam, you must not lose your focus. • Each candidate preparing for the NDA exam must understand the NDA syllabus and should stay focused on their studies. • The candidates must not forget to update the basics of each subject. They should refer to the books they study from Class VI to XII. • Improve your English, read a newspaper on a daily basis.

shaik kabeer
Can I manage the NDA syllabus myself or should I enroll in any institute after pursuing the HSC state board exam in 2020?
kavita rani

Hi Shaik. To be honest, UPSC has a large amount of syllabus that needs to be covered to NDA exam. So it is quite a daunting task to go through the entire syllabus without proper guidance. Coaching institutes help candidates understand the latest exam syllabus of all the subject, topics, sub-topics, etc. that can help them to get good scores. But ultimately, it’s your decision. In case you are able to manage all the things yourself, you can prepare for NDA syllabus yourself.

shatakshi patki
What are the best alternatives to reading newspapers for current affairs for the UPSC exams and NDA so that you can cover the syllabus at an efficient, shorter duration of time?
kavita rani

Hi Shatakshi. While preparing for the NDA and UPSC exams, you can cover current affairs by reading monthly or yearly magazines or can refer to several online sources that can help preparing for the current affairs. There are several YouTube channels that provide daily newspaper analysis and you can take down notes with them. These are some of the alternatives to newspaper, but in case you have time, you must read newspaper as it helps improve your understanding and you can remember many events and happenings around the world by reading the newspapers.

divakar sharma
Is the NDA exam tough?
kavita rani

Hi Divakar. To be honest NDA exam is difficult, but in case the candidates start preparing for the exam from the starting stage, they can crack the exam. Referring to the right kinds of books, resources, etc, help in the preparation. If you have started your preparations immediately after the board exams, then there are higher chances that you will get good score in NDA exam.