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How To CRACK NDA Entrance Exam

October 26, 2021 11:39 IST

400 young Indians will make it to the prestigious National Defence Academy in Khadakvasla if they clear the NDA entrance exam on November 14.
UPSC NDA educator Arpit Choudhary tells you how to prepare for the exam.

IMAGE: It was a passing-out parade at the National Defence Academy like every year, but the remarkably fit Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh decided to push the envelope further when he did push-ups with NDA cadets.

The Union Public Service Commission National Defence Academy (UPSC NDA) is one of the most desirable channels for recruitment in the armed forces in India.

Administered by the UPSC, the national level exam is conducted twice a year for admission to the NDA's Army, Navy, and Air Force wings, as well as the Indian Naval Academy's course (INAC).

Candidates are chosen through a two-step process in which they must first clear a written examination and then an interview round conducted by the Service Selection Board.

The UPSC NDA exam is scheduled for Sunday, November 14, 2021.

The NDA written exam is divided into two sections including Mathematics and GAT (General Ability Test).

Candidates are given a total of 2.5 hours for each section.

In the Mathematics section, there are 120 questions of 2.5 marks each.

The GAT section has 150 questions, 50 for English and 100 for GK, each for 4 marks.

As the marking scheme incorporates negative marking, each incorrect answer in the Mathematics and GAT section can result in a penalty of 0.83 mark and 1.33 mark respectively.

Over 300,000 aspirants appear for the NDA exam every year. Only 8,000 to 9,000 candidates clear the exam.

To crack NDA with a good score, aspirants must keep in mind the following workable strategies:

1. Thorough revision of NCERT mathematics of Classes 11 and 12

Every year, 30 percent to 40 percent questions come from NCERT books, therefore it is essential to do a thorough revision of the same.

The more you revise you will be able to identify your weaknesses better.

2. Practice mock tests and previous year's question papers

Mock tests allow candidates to become familiar with the overall layout of the paper.

This ultimately increases the chances of qualifying the examination as UPSC has a fixed pattern for the NDA examination.

The best mock series that are available in the market are - 25 NDA Mock Test Series by Arpit Choudhary, Arihant and Disha Publications.

Candidates should practice question papers from the last ten years to boost their confidence and evaluate weaknesses and strengths.

3. Reference books for Mathematics and GAT

To learn short tricks in math, there are a few recommended books like Arihant 3000 MCQs for NDA, R S Aggarwal for NDA, and Arpit Choudhary's Super 30 notes for NDA.

Under GAT, one can refer to Lucent GK and Disha Publications' 14000 MCQs for GK.

For English, follow books like Wren & Martin and Pathfinder.

4. Pay special attention to your health 

While practicing for the written exam, it is equally important for aspirants to pay attention to their physical and mental health.

Staying healthy will help you with better focus.

Practicing yoga and other light exercises can help you stay healthy and cope with exam stress.

Preparing for the NDA exam takes about 3-5 months on an average. However, it also depends on the candidate's determination and hard work.

Students should practice consistently and be aware of the exam's duration so that they can plan their time accordingly.

In order to finish the paper on time, you must divide your time into sections.

Post the examination, UPSC will make and release a list of candidates who secured the maximum qualifying marks in the examination. These selected candidates will be called for the SSB (Service Selection Board) interview.

This exam will be recruiting over 400 posts for the armed forces in India.

Additionally, the centre has decided to allow women entry into NDA. If this decision gets through formally on paper, women can make their career in the armed forces directly post 12th grade.

Arpit Choudhary is an educator at the Bengaluru-based edtech firm Unacademy, which prepares students for competitive exams like CAT, UPSC, JEE and bank exams.