UPSC NDA Preparation Tips- Get Tips, Strategies, Important topics, and More!



The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), conducts the NDA exam twice a year to select eligible candidates for the Defense and Naval Academy. The selection process comprises a written examination, and an SSB examination (Intelligence and Personality Test). Lakhs of candidates appear for the UPSC NDA Examination every year, which results in stiff competition. So, to ensure that one aces through the selection process, he/she must have a good preparation strategy. So to guide the candidates throughout their journey, we have come up with expert-recommended and subject-wise UPSC NDA Preparation Tips.

The  UPSC NDA Recruitment is prestigious in nature, and therefore candidates must know about the Exam Pattern, Exam Syllabus, and others before appearing for the examination. In order to crack the exam and to increase your chances of being selected, these UPSC NDA Preparation Tips should be followed consistently for the best results 

Subject-Wise UPSC NDA Preparation Tips 2022

Starting with our first batch of tips for the UPSC NDA 1 Exam that is conducted in the first half of the year. The UPSC NDA 1 examination is conducted for two subjects namely Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). These tips are curated by experts and for the best results, one must follow them religiously.

Candidates can check the steps to download the UPSC NDA 1 Result here.

UPSC NDA Preparation Tips for Mathematics

The following are the UPSC NDA Preparation tips for the Mathematics Section – 

  • Learn and maintain a separate sheet for the formulas and short tricks for calculation.
  • Practice the UPSC NDA Previous year papers and try to attempt the questions, as this will surely boost your confidence.
  • Solve Sample Papers and test series regularly to get accurate and precise answers.
  • Try to solve maximum questions in less time to get maximum marks but with accuracy.
  • Revision is the key to success, hence revise the Class 10th, 11th, and 12th Mathematics.

UPSC NDA Preparation Tips for General Ability Test

The following are the UPSC NDA Preparation tips for the General Ability Test – 

  • Refer to the NCERT Textbooks from Class 6th to Class 10th for Science and Social Science.
  • Focus on the subjects like Physics, Chemistry, and bIology of Class 11th and Class 12th, and have a crystal clear understanding of the basic concepts therein.
  • Read regular newspapers or go through some reference books for UPSC NDA, Current Affairs, and GK Updates
  • Revision of topics is important to keep n mind and remember them.
  • Learn the art of time management by appearing for several mock tests, or solving sample papers.

Basic UPSC NDA Preparation Tips 2022

Now that you have an idea about the subject-wise tips, let us dive deeper. These tips are called basic, but are extremely important and will help you prepare an effective study schedule. So take note of the following – 

Tip 1: Know the UPSC NDA 1 Exam Pattern 2022

Knowing the exam pattern is crucial to preparing an effective study schedule. Hence the first tip in our UPSC NDA Preparation Tips is knowing the exam pattern.

Below is the UPSC NDA 1 Exam pattern for your ready reference – 

ExamExamDurationMaximum Marks
Written ExaminationMathematics150 minutes300
General Ability Test150 Minutes600
SSB InterviewScreening Test4 Days900
Psychological Test
Group Testing
Personal interview

Candidates can check for detailed UPSC NDA 1 Exam Analysis here.

Tip 2: Understand the UPSC NDA 1 Exam Syllabus

Just as the UPSC Exam pattern, the syllabus is an important aspect of the UPSC NDA Preparation Tips. Candidates must go through the UPSC NDA 1 exam syllabus, as this will get them an idea about the various topics that are required to be studied. Below is the subject–wise syllabus for UPSC NDA 1 –

UPSC NDA 1 Mathematics Syllabus 

Matrices & DeterminantsTypes of matrices, operations on matrices. The 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
AlgebraConcept of set, operations on sets, Venn diagrams. De Morgan laws, Cartesian product, relation, equivalence relation. Representation of real numbers on a line. Complex numbers—basic properties, modulus, argument, cube roots of unity. Binary system of numbers. Conversion of a number in decimal system to binary system and vice-versa. Arithmetic, 19 Geometric and Harmonic progressions. Quadratic equations with real coefficients. The solution of linear inequations of two variables by graphs. Permutation and Combination. Binomial theorem and its applications. Logarithms and their applications.
Analytical Geometry of Two & Three DimensionsRectangular Cartesian Coordinate system. Distance formula. Equation of a line in various forms. The angle between the two lines. The distance of a point from a line. Equation of a circle in standard and in a general form. Standard forms of parabola, ellipse, and hyperbola. Eccentricity and axis of a conic. A point in a three-dimensional space, the 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. The angle between two lines and the angle between two planes. Equation of a sphere.
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.
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, a derivative of a function with respect to another function, a derivative of a composite function. Second-order derivatives. Increasing and decreasing functions. Application of derivatives in problems of maxima and minima
Vector AlgebraVectors in two and three dimensions, magnitude and direction of a vector. Unit and null vectors, the 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
Integral Calculus & 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—applications. Definition of order and degree of a differential equation, formation of a differential equation by examples. General and particular solution of a differential equations, solution of first order and first degree differential equations of various types—examples. Application in problems of growth and decay
Statistics & 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.

UPSC NDA 1 General Ability Test Syllabus

PartTopicsMaximum Marks
Physics (Section A)Physical Properties and States of Matter, Mass, Weight, Volume, Density, and Specific Gravity, Principle of Archimedes, Pressure Barometer. The motion of objects, Velocity and Acceleration, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Force and Momentum, Parallelogram of Forces, Stability and Equilibrium of bodies, Gravitation, elementary ideas of work, Power and Energy. Effects of Heat, Measurement of Temperature and Heat, change of State and Latent Heat, Modes of transference of Heat. Sound waves and their properties, Simple musical instruments. Rectilinear propagation of Light, Reflection, and refraction. Spherical mirrors and Lenses, Human Eye. Natural and Artificial Magnets, Properties of a Magnet, Earth as a Magnet. Static and Current Electricity, conductors and Nonconductors, Ohm’s Law, Simple Electrical Circuits, Heating, Lighting and Magnetic effects of Current, Measurement of Electrical Power, Primary and Secondary Cells, Use of X-Rays. General Principles in the working of the following: Simple Pendulum, Simple Pulleys, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Telegraphs, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Microscope, Mariner’s Compass; Lightening Conductors, Safety Fuses.100
Chemistry (Section B)Physical and Chemical changes. Elements, Mixtures and Compounds, Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equations, Law of Chemical Combination (excluding problems). Properties of Air and Water. Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon dioxide, Oxidation and Reduction. Acids, bases, and salts. Carbon—different forms. Fertilizers—Natural and Artificial. The material used in the preparation of substances like Soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches and GunPowder. Elementary ideas about the structure of Atom, Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights, Valency60
General Science (Section C)Difference between the living and non-living. Basis of Life—Cells, Protoplasms and Tissues. Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals. Elementary knowledge of the Human Body and its important organs. Common Epidemics, their causes, and prevention. Food—Source of Energy for man. Constituents of food, Balanced Diet. The Solar System—Meteors and Comets, Eclipses. Achievements of Eminent Scientists40
EnglishThe question paper in English will be designed to test the candidate’s understanding of English and workman-like use of words. The syllabus covers various aspects like: Grammar and usage, vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, and cohesion in extended text to test the candidate’s proficiency in English200
History, Freedom Movement etc. (Section D)A broad survey of Indian History, with emphasis on Culture and Civilisation. Freedom Movement in India. Elementary study of Indian Constitution and Administration. Elementary knowledge of Five Year Plans of India. Panchayati Raj, Co-operatives and Community Development. Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, National Integration and Welfare State, Basic Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Forces shaping the modern world; Renaissance, Exploration, and Discovery; War of American Independence. French Revolution, Industrial Revolution and the Russian Revolution. Impact of Science and Technology on Society. Concept of one World, United Nations, Panchsheel, Democracy, Socialism and Communism. Role of India in the present world.80
Geography (Section E)The Earth, its shape and size. Lattitudes and Longitudes, Concept of time. International Date Line. Movements of Earth and their effects. Origin of Earth. Rocks and their classification; Weathering—Mechanical and Chemical, Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Ocean Currents and Tides Atmosphere and its composition; Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure, Planetary Winds, Cyclones and Anti-cyclones; Humidity; Condensation and Precipitation; Types of Climate, Major Natural regions of the World. Regional Geography of India—Climate, Natural vegetation. Mineral and Power resources; location and distribution of agricultural and Industrial activities. Important Sea ports and main sea, land and air routes of India. Main items of Imports and Exports of India80
Current Events (Section F)Knowledge of Important events that have happened in India in the recent years. Current important world events. Prominent personalities – both Indian and International including those connected with cultural activities and sports.40

Tip 3: Know the Important Topics

Next up for the UPSC NDA Preparation tips are these UPSC NDA Important Topics that are frequently asked in the examination. These topics are recommended by the experts based on the syllabus that we have mentioned above.

Some of the important topics of every subject are give as below:

PapersSubjectsImportant topics covered under each subject
Written ExaminationGeneral Ability TestGeneral KnowledgeHistoryGeographyPhysicsChemistryBiologyCurrent AffairsGeographGeneral EnglishVocabularyComprehensionGrammar
MathematicsAlgebraMatricesDeterminantsTrigonometry functionsIntegral CalculusStatistics

Tip 4: Best Recommended UPSC NDA Books for Preparation

This is the last tip where we are giving you a list of some of the recommended UPSC NDA Books. These books have been recommended by our experts and are definitely worth referring to for the information therien is crisp, with solved papers, and crystal clear concept explanations.

General KnowledgeGeneral Knowledge 2022Manohar Pandey
MathematicsMathematics for National Defense Academy and Naval AcademyRS Aggarwal
General EnglishObjective General English for Competitive ExamsSP Bakshi

We hope that our article on the UPSC NDA preparation tips is useful. For best results, candidates must follow these tips religiously. Consistent efforts and regular practice can enable the candidates to ace the examination. We wish them all the best!

UPSC NDA Preparation Tips FAQs

When will the UPSC NDA 1 Examination 2022 be held?

The UPSC NDA 1 Exam 2022 is to be held on 10th April 2022

What are some of the basic UPSC NDA 1 Preparation tips?

Candidates must go through the exam pattern, know the syllabus, revise regularly, and refer to the expert-recommended list of books for preparation.

What is the exam pattern for the UPSC NDA 1 Written exam?

The Written exam is conducted in two sections  – Mathematics, and General Ability Test for a total of 900 marks and 150 mins each.

Is it possible to crack the UPSC NDA Recruitment 2022?

Yes, with an effective study schedule and by following our UPSC NDA Preparation tips candidates can ace the UPSC NDA Exam 2022

Is the SSB Exam mandatory for everyone?

Yes those candidates who clear the UPSC NDA Written exam will have to appear for the SSB Examination.