The Difficulty Level of NDA Written Exam

NDA 2023-04-09

The Difficulty Level of NDA Written Exam

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the foremost defence training establishment of India which is continuously producing the warriors of the Indian Armed Forces.

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the foremost defence training establishment of India which is continuously producing the warriors of the Indian Armed Forces. The NDA entrance exam is the gateway for aspirants who wish to join the prestigious defence forces of our country. It is a national-level examination conducted twice a year by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). The NDA selection process comprises a written test which is subsequently followed by a personality-cum-intelligence test called SSB Interview. The aspirants, who clear both the rounds (Written + SSB) of the selection process, have to undergo a medical fitness test and after the completion of every stage, they are finally eligible for admission to the National Defence Academy.

NDA is one of the most competitive entrance exams in our country due to the huge number of applicants for relatively fewer seats. Consequently, strategic preparation under the right mentorship becomes significant to crack the NDA written exam with flying colors. These preparation tips are very important from the examination point of view to help upcoming NDA aspirants make their dreams come true.


NDA Exam Pattern


Below is the pattern of the written NDA exam. It consists of 2 papers with a 1 hour break in between.


NDA Papers

Max Marks



Marking Scheme

Paper 1 - Mathematics



2.5 Hours

+2.5 / -0.833

Paper 2 - General Ability Test



2.5 Hours

+4 / -1.33

Now, since the brief overview is over, let us go into what we have all been waiting for - the difficulty level of NDA written exam.


Mathematics Paper -1

The NDA syllabus for Maths consists of all the topics in Mathematics which you might have studied in 11th and 12th grade. When you begin to start preparing, you should not forget that the questions asked in the exam are all Board level. For a detailed topic wise NDA syllabus, I recommend going through the NDA exam details.

  • Prepare from a Standard Maths Book: Take any standard book in Mathematics by R.D Sharma or R.S Aggarwal or books given by RNA which explains the concepts clearly, and practice.
  • Solve as many examples and questions as you can: If you do that, you should be fine. Several questions which were copied directly from these books.
  • Study the important topics thoroughly: The key topics which stood out during the exam included – Coordinate Geometry, Matrices and Determinants, Differential Equations, calculus, Vector Algebra, and Probability. There were several questions from these topics and attempting most, from these topics should guarantee you a good score in the Mathematics section.

Time Management during the NDA Exam


Another key aspect to the NDA exam was the time constraint. It is quite difficult to attempt all the 120 questions in 2½ hours. Since this is the case, the paper is designed to check the time management skills of the candidate too. Your aim should be to attempt as many questions as you can, accurately.

Some students who tried attempting all the questions, ignoring the time constraint. They got fixated on a particular problem and they didn’t know when to move on. This costed them several marks since they couldn’t even attempt many other questions which were extremely easy.

The most notorious topic which tests this, is Coordinate Geometry. A question which might look seemingly easy, might involve loads of calculation and can be very time consuming. Hence if you are unable to solve a question from this topic. Then don’t waste time on it. Move on.

Here are the tried and tested Time Management Tips for Exams that will help you with attempting the maximum number of questions in the allotted time.

English Paper -2

English section of the NDA written exam to have a significant level of difficulty. It was not child’s play by any means, but it wasn’t the difficult you could find. It boils down to whether you take English lightly, because if you do, you are in for a rude shock. If you don’t, you’ll be fine.

To prepare for English, there is no right way. Some people learn and solve grammar questions, other people learn by reading a lot of books. Many aspirants read books every day to improve vocabulary and grammar.

Physics and Chemistry Preparation

The Physics and Chemistry section to be extremely easy, and a basic working knowledge of all the major topics in these two subjects should suffice. If you paid attention in your classes at school/coaching classes, you can successfully attempt almost 80% of the questions, which is quite enough. Again, your aim is NOT to attempt all the questions, but to attempt as many as you can, ACCURATELY.

General Studies, GK and Current Events Preparation

Suggest going through your History, Geography, Civics and Economics books from grades 7 to 10. Other than that, there will be many questions for which you might have to rely on your General Knowledge.

For current events, you can read about all the events, major and minor, starting from 3 months before the exam, and all the major events starting from maybe 4 years before the exam. Reading Current Affairs daily is your best bet. Most important to read about the defence related events.

In the end, it all comes down to your luck and hard work.


DON’T GUESS, Come what may.