NDA I: Expected Question Pattern

By Sonam Satapathy

The National Defence Academy (NDA) exam is one of the most prestigious exams that attract 4 to 6 lakh aspirants each year. Out of these huge numbers, a mere 6000-7000 clear the written exam round for the next SSB interview round. The level of the examination and the strict selection criteria says that if you really want to join NDA, it is really important to prepare well. 

UPSC NDA I 2021 Exam will be conducted on 18th April 2021. UPSC NDA I 2021 Written Exam will carry two sections i.e., General Ability Test (GAT) & Mathematics. The mathematics part contains 300 marks and the and the General Ability Test section carries 600 marks for a total of 900 marks in the Objective MCQ Format. For every wrong answer, the candidate will be penalized for 1/3rd total mark of the respective question.


Read also : NDA Exam pattern and Syllabus

So let’s take a look at the questions asked in this UPSC NDA I 2020:  

NDA I 2020 Mathematics Question Pattern:

Chapter Number of questions Difficulty level
Set theory, Relations, and Functions 15-17 Difficult
Calculus 7-8 Moderate
Trigonometry 15 Easy
Geometry 10-12 Difficult
Complex Number 3 Moderate
Conic section 3-4 Moderate
Applications of Integrals 1-2 Moderate
Quadratic Equations and Inequality 12 Moderate
Permutation and Combination 3 Easy
Logarithm 1-2 Moderate
Matrices and Determinants 4-5 Moderate
Vector Algebra 7 -8 Moderate
Probability 8-9 Moderate
Miscellaneous 5-7 Moderate

NDA I 2020 GAT Question Pattern:

The General Aptitude Test section of NDA I 2020 was divided into two parts – English and General Knowledge and the total marks allotted for this section was 600. From a survey, it was concluded that for most of the candidates, the GAT section was moderate to difficult.

What topics are important for the NDA exam?

If you analyze the trend of the questions in the NDA question paper pattern, you will find that the focus of the questions in the Mathematics section is to test the calculative skill of the candidate. Though the standard of questions is basically of Class 10th, 11th, and 12th levels, the questions are a bit tricky and calculative. So the NDA aspirants should focus on the following sections while preparing for NDA I 2021 Exam.

  • Arithmetic
  • Mensuration
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • 3-D
  • Trigonometry
  • Statistics, etc.

In the General Aptitude Test section, the examiner aims to test the current awareness level of the candidates along with the English knowledge. This section carries questions from English, physics, chemistry, history, geography, and current affairs. You can say that Part B is the scoring area but do not try guess-work at all as it includes negative marking for each wrong answer. However, the followings are the most focused topics for NDA I 2021 Exam.

  • Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Temperature and Heat
  • Gravitation
  • Electricity & Magnetism
  • Chemical properties of matter
  • Human Anatomy
  • Reproduction
  • Freedom Fight of India
  • Impact of Science and Technology on Society
  • Ocean
  • Atmosphere
  • Current affairs

NDA I Previous year Exam Cut Off:

NDA I 2020 written test result is released and the interview rounds are going on. Though NDA I 2020 exam Cut-off has not been released yet let's have a look at the previous year's cut-offs of NDA exams.

Year NDA cut off
2019 704
2018 688
2017 624
2016 602
2015 637

Guidelines for NDA I 2021 Aspirants

Prioritize your time: Every NDA aspirant should prepare a time-table as per the schedule considering the weak or strong part honestly. Consistency is the key to crack such kinds of exams.

Start with the basics: The candidates should start their preparation from the basic level. The major profit of this strategy is it increases the confidence level of the candidate. So do not rush into the difficult part first.

Enhance Reading Activity (Newspapers, novels, etc.): Newspaper reading is a very good way to take your vocabulary and English knowledge to a next level. Besides this, reading newspapers will give you knowledge on general knowledge, vocabulary, grammar, etc. Also, you can read different novels, magazines and other relevant things which will enhance your English knowledge.

Previous year papers: Another major criterion to crack the NDA I 2021 exam is to analyze the previous year's question papers thoroughly. Because, by doing this, you will get to know about the pattern of the exam and start your preparation accordingly. It also helps you in analyzing the number of questions coming from the specific topic so that you can work on it as per the need.

Read also : NDA: A bright and respectable career option.


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