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NDA Syllabus 2023

The NDA syllabus consists of two sections for the written exam, General Ability Test (GAT) and Mathematics. GAT aims to test the candidate’s basic knowledge of History, GK, Current Affairs of National and International Events, English, Science, and Geography. The Mathematics paper of NDA is based on 10+2. The GAT paper has the maximum weightage in the UPSC NDA syllabus of 600 marks while the Mathematics section is for 300 marks.

We have provided information about the detailed syllabus for the UPSC NDA 2023 exam.

NDA Exam Syllabus Overview

Before knowing the NDA syllabus 2023, they must get an idea about its pattern, frequency, and other relevant details.

Name of the Exam

National Defence Academy, NDA

Exam Conducting Body

Union Public Service Commission, UPSC

Frequency of NDA Exam

Two times a year

(NDA 1 & NDA 2)

Selection Process

Written Test consisting of Objective Type Questions

Intelligence & Personality Test (SSB)

Mode of exam

Offline (Pen and Paper mode)

Total Papers in NDA Exam


General Ability Test (GAT)

Total Marks for NDA Exam

Total: 900 Marks

- Mathematics: 300 Marks

- GAT: 600 Marks

Total No. of Questions

Mathematics: 120

GAT: 150

Negative Marking

Mathematics: -0.83

GAT: -1.33 marks

Exam Duration

Mathematics: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

GAT: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

NDA Syllabus PDF

Aspirants can download the official NDA syllabus PDF for their exam preparation and prepare a study plan accordingly. They can download the UPSC NDA syllabus for different subjects of Paper 1 and 2.

☛ UPSC NDA Syllabus PDF - Download Here

NDA Syllabus for Paper 1

There are 120 questions of Mathematics of 10+2 level in the Paper 1 of the NDA written exam. The NDA syllabus for Paper 1 consists of Mathematics topics which are provided in detail in the section below. Examinees will get 2.5 marks for each correct answer and there is also a negative marking of 0.83 marks deducted for each incorrect answer.

NDA Syllabus Overview for Paper 1

Total Marks

300 Marks

Total No. of Questions


Correct Answer

2.5 marks

Marks deducted for the wrong answer

- 0.83

Total duration of Mathematics Paper

2 Hours 30 Minutes

NDA Maths Syllabus

Candidates must have a good knowledge of the formulas and concepts of all the important topics. Here is the list of topics and subtopics included in the NDA Maths syllabus PDF.

Name of Topic

NDA Maths Syllabus


Set concept, Sets operations, Venn diagrams, Laws of De Morgan, Cartesian product, Relations, Equivalence relation, Real number representation on a line, Complex numbers - basic properties, module, argument, cube roots, Binary number system, Conversion to the binary system of a number in the decimal system and vice versa, Progressions in arithmetic, geometry, and harmony, Solution of linear inequations of two variables by graphs, Permutation and Combination, Binomial theorem and its applications, Logarithms and their applications.

Matrices and Determinants

Matrix types, Operations, The determinant of a matrix, Determinants' properties, Application-Solution of a system of linear equations in two or three unknowns by the Cranmer's Rule and by the Matrix method, etc.


Angles and their degree and measurements, Trigonometric ratios, Sum of trigonometric identities and formulas, Multiple angles and sub-multiples, Trigonometric functions & their inverse, Applications-Height and Distance, Triangle Properties.

Analytical geometry of two and three dimensions

The Cartesian Rectangular Coordinate System, Formula of distance, Equation of a line in different shapes, Two lines of angle, A point's distance from a line, Standard and general equation of a circle, parabola, ellipse, and hyperbola, A conic's eccentricity and axis, Point the distance between two points in a three-dimensional space, Cosines of direction and ratios of direction, Two points of the equation, Cosines of direction and ratios of direction, A plane equation and a line in different forms, Two lines of the angle between two planes, Sphere's equation, etc.

Differential calculus

Concept of a valued function - a function's domain, range, and graph, Composite functions, one by one, on, and vice versa, Limit notion, default limits — examples, Continuity of functions— examples, Continuous functional algebraic operations, Function derivative at a point, geometric and physical interpretation of an application derivative, Summary derivatives, product, and function quotient derivatives, function derivatives for another function, 20 composite function derivatives, Derivatives of the second order. Increasing and diminishing functions, Application of derivatives in maxima and minima problems, etc.

Integral Calculus and Differential Equations

Differentiation and integration, standard integrals with algebraic expressions, trigonometric, exponential, and hyperbolic functions.Definite integrals — determination of areas of curved plane regions — applications, General and particular solutions of differential equations, Solutions of the first order, and 1st-degree differential equations of various types—examples, Applications in problems of growth and decay.

Vector Algebra

2D and 3D vectors, vector magnitude, and direction, Unit and null vectors, vector adding, scalar-vector multiplication, scalar product or dot product, vector product, or cross product, Applications — work done through force and moment of force and in geometric problems.

Statistics & Probability

Statistics: data classification, distribution of frequencies, the cumulative distribution of frequencies — examples, Examples of graphic representation— histogram, pie chart, polygon frequency. Central tendency measurements — mean, median, and mode. Variance and deviation of standard — determination, and comparison, Correlation and regression, Sample space, events, exhaustive events & mutually exclusive, impossible and certain events associated with random experiments, results and associated, Union and events intersection, Complementary, composite, and elementary events, Probability, Bayes Theorem, Random variable on a sample space as a function, Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments, the binomial distribution.

NDA Syllabus for Paper 2

The next paper which is the General Ability Test (GAT) includes the following topics: General Knowledge (GK), English, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, General Science, and Current Events. The NDA syllabus for Paper 2 consists of 150 questions in total including 50 questions from English and the remaining 100 questions from General Knowledge which includes other subjects and current affairs. The basic overview of the NDA syllabus for Paper 2 is as follows:

NDA Syllabus Overview for Paper 2

Total Marks for GAT Paper

600 marks

Total No. of Questions

150 Questions

Total questions in English

50 Questions

Total Questions in GK

100 Questions

Total Marks for English

200 marks

Total Marks for GK

400 marks

Marks for Correct Answer

4 marks in each section

Marks for Incorrect Answer

-1.33 marks in each section

Total Duration of GAT Paper

2 Hours 30 Minutes

UPSC NDA Syllabus for GAT

The NDA GAT syllabus has the maximum weightage in the written exam which is why this should be thoroughly prepared to answer a maximum number of questions for the NDA General Ability Test Paper. Check the NDA syllabus for GAT of History, Geography, English, Current Affairs, Physics, GK, Chemistry, and General Science below section-wise.

NDA English Syllabus

We have provided the NDA English Syllabus below which must be checked by the aspirants of the upcoming exam. 50 questions will be asked from this section to test the basic proficiency in the English Language and Comprehension of the candidates. As per the feedback received, the questions range from easy to moderate in the difficulty level which means more questions can be attempted in less time.

      Grammar & usage

      Comprehension & cohesion

      Spotting of errors

      Para Jumbling

      Fill in the blanks

      Synonyms & Antonyms


      Cloze Test

      Idioms & Proverbs

      Completion of Sentence & Para

      Sentence Correction & Improvement

NDA Physics Syllabus

The important topics of the NDA Physics Syllabus are listed below containing all suggested by the UPSC. Around 23-25 questions on Physics in the GAT paper.

      Properties of Mass, Weight, Volume, and Sound waves

      Properties and States of Matter

      Heat and its effects


      Rectilinear propagation of Light

      Density and Specific Gravity

      Human Eye

      Electrical Circuits

      Spherical mirrors and human eye lenses

      Reflection and Refraction of Light


      Motion of objects

      Natural and Artificial Magnets

      Archimedes’ Principle

      Properties of a Magnet

      Newton’s Laws of Motion

      Earth as a Magnet

      Force and Momentum

      Static and Current Electricity

      Parallelogram of Forces

      Ohm’s Law

      Power and Energy

      Primary and Secondary Cells

      Use of X-Rays

      Elementary ideas of work

      Magnetic effects of Current


      Conductors and Non-conductors

      Measurement of Temperature and Heat

      Working of Simple Pendulum, Pulleys, Levers, Periscope, Siphon, Balloon, Pumps, Gramophone, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Lightning Conductors, Telegraphs, Telephone, Telescope, Microscope, Mariner’s Compass, Safety Fuses.

NDA Syllabus for Chemistry

The NDA Chemistry Syllabus is provided below containing topics on the 10+2 level. There are around 15 to 16 questions on Chemistry topics in the GAT paper.

      Changes in physical and chemical conditions.

      Chemical Combination Law.

      Air and water properties.

      Hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide preparation and properties, oxidation, and reduction. Acids, bases, salts, etc. Carbon— various forms. Fertilizers— Artificial and Natural.

      Material used in the preparation of substances such as Soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Gun-Powder and Safety Matches.

      Basic ideas on Atom, Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights structure, Valence.

NDA Syllabus 2023 for General Science

NDA syllabus for General Science tests the basic knowledge of the candidate on science and environment.

      Living and non-living differences

      Life basis — cells, protoplasms, tissues

      Plant and animal growth and reproduction

      Human Body's basic knowledge and its important organs

      Common epidemics, causes, and prevention of them

      Food — man's energy source

      Food constituents, balanced diet

      Meteors and Comets Solar System, Eclipses.

      Eminent Scientists' achievements

NDA History Syllabus

The NDA History syllabus includes topics on Culture and Civilization, the Freedom Movement in India, American Independence, French Revolution, etc. About 16 questions will be asked about these topics in the General Ability Test.

      A comprehensive survey of Indian History, focusing on culture and civilization

      Freedom movement

      Indian Constitution and Administration elementary study

      India's Five Year Plans

      Panchayati Raj, Community Development Co-operatives

      Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, Mahatma Gandhi's Basic Teachings, National Integration and Welfare State

      Modern world forces; Renaissance, Exploration, and Discovery

      American Independence War

      French Revolution, Russian Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution

      Impact on society of science and technology

      One World Concept, UN, Panchsheel, Democracy, Socialism, and Communism

      India's role in today's world

NDA Syllabus for Geography

The authorities will ask around 17 questions on Geography topics to assess the candidate’s knowledge about Earth and its resources and environment.

      The shape and size of the Earth

      Lattitudes, Longitudes, Time Concept

      Date-Line International

      Earth's movements and effects

      Earth's origin

      Rocks and their classification; mechanical and chemical weathering, earthquakes, and volcanoes

      Ocean Currents and Tides Atmosphere and their composition; Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure, Planetary Winds, Cyclones, and Anti-cyclones; Humidity; Condensation 23 and Precipitation; Climate Types, World's Major Natural Regions

      India's regional geography— climate, natural vegetation.

      Resources for minerals and power; location and distribution of agricultural and industrial activities

      Important seaports and major seaports, land, and air routes

NDA Syllabus of Current Affairs

The NDA Current Affairs syllabus consists of topics on the latest current affairs events of India and the world. Candidates should study the current affairs of the last 8 to 12 months thoroughly to prepare well for the exam.

      Knowledge of major events that have occurred in India over the past few years

      Important exercises conducted between countries worldwide with special reference to India

      Current major events in the world

      Latest appointments

      Important personalities around the world including those related to cultural and sports activities

How to Prepare NDA Syllabus?

Aspirants of the upcoming exam must check for the tips and strategies which they can follow to prepare the NDA syllabus effectively in less time. This will cover the entire NDA syllabus strategically:

      Check the latest NDA Exam Pattern and the section-wise weightage.

      Have a thorough knowledge of the UPSC NDA syllabus and pattern based on the latest notification.

      Download the previous year's papers to acquaint yourself with the important topics and the change in the trend of questions over a period of time.

      Attempt as many NDA Mock Tests as possible to keep up the time management skills.

      Make an effective revision plan before the exam.

Important Topics in UPSC NDA Syllabus

Aspirants can as well go through the important topics of the NDA syllabus first, and then prepare other concepts.

      English: Reading Comprehension, Synonyms-Antonyms, Spotting errors, Vocabulary, Idioms and Phrases, etc.

      NDA Maths Syllabus: Matrices and Determinants, Sets, Venn Diagram, Trigonometry, 2D and 3D Geometry, Differential calculus, etc.

      General Knowledge: History, Chemistry, Current Affairs, Art and Culture, Physics, Chemistry, Basic Science, etc.

Best Books to cover NDA Syllabus

Aspirants should study the best books which will help them to quickly complete the NDA syllabus in order to start their preparation. The books will not only help them understand their topics, but will also provide them with tips for answering questions quickly.

Name of Book

Author & Publication

Objective GK

Sanjiv Kumar (Lucent Publication)

National Defence Academy and Naval Academy

R S Aggarwal

Objective General English

S. P. Bakshi (Arihant Publication)

Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & Composition

S. Chand

NCERT 11th and 12th Books


FAQs on NDA Syllabus

What is NDA Syllabus 2023?

Those preparing for the forthcoming exam must check the NDA syllabus 2023 which is released by UPSC along with the official notification. It contains the topics to be covered in the Mathematics, English and General knowledge sections of the exam. A total of 270 questions will be there in the written exam out of which 120 will be from Maths topics and 150 from English and General Knowledge.

From where can I download the NDA Syllabus PDF?

Candidates can download the NDA syllabus PDF from the official website of UPSC or the direct link below. It contains the section-wise topics to be prepared for the upcoming exam preparation. The syllabus for NDA Maths, History, English, Science, etc., is provided in this PDF which you can download and save for future use.

☛ NDA Syllabus 2023 PDF - Download Here

What is NDA Maths Syllabus?

NDA Maths syllabus covers the topics from higher secondary Mathematics on Trigonometry, Algebra, Differential Calculus, 2D and 3D Geometry, Matrix and Determinants, etc. A total of 120 questions will be there from the Maths section carrying a maximum of 300 marks. Candidates must clear their basics and focus on learning simple tricks to get answers easily in less time to score well in this section.

How many subjects are there in the UPSC NDA Syllabus?

There are mainly three sections containing various NDA subjects, and those are Mathematics, English, and General Knowledge. The NDA syllabus for the General Ability Test divides into English, History, Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Current Events, and Geography.

Are questions from the NDA Syllabus for written exam objective?

Yes, all the questions asked in the written exam are objective multiple-choice questions (MCQs). In the Maths section of the NDA syllabus, each correct answer carries 2.5 marks and there is a negative marking of 0.83 for every wrong answer. In the GAT paper, candidates get 4 marks for each right answer, while 1.33 marks are deducted for incorrect answers.

Can I complete the NDA Syllabus in 2 months?

It is suggested to give 6 months for NDA Preparation, but with sheer dedication and the right approach, one can clear the exam in 2 months of preparation as well. Go through the important topics in the NDA syllabus first, and then prepare other concepts. Check and attempt previous year's papers and mock tests regularly to improve time management skills.

What is NDA Exam Syllabus for the General Ability Test?

NDA syllabus for GAT includes questions on History, Physics, Geography, Chemistry, General Science, Current Affairs, and English. A total of 150 questions carrying a maximum of 600 marks are there in the GAT paper out of which 50 questions are from the English section.

How much time is needed to prepare NDA Syllabus?

Five to six months of preparation is enough for the NDA syllabus 2023. Candidates must start by going through the subject-wise syllabus of NDA, followed by learning tricks to attempt questions faster. Before the exam, NDA Previous Year Question Papers and mock tests must be attempted to get a real-time experience of attempting the paper.

How many questions will be asked from NDA Maths Syllabus?

120 questions will be there from the NDA Maths syllabus on the following concepts: Trigonometry, Real and Complex numbers, Sets and Venn diagrams, Different number systems, Permutation and Combination, Matrices and Determinants, Trigonometric functions, Coordinate System, Differential calculus, Relations and Functions, etc.

What are the important topics in UPSC NDA Syllabus?

The subject-wise important topics in the UPSC NDA syllabus are as follows:

      Maths: Trigonometric ratios and functions, Inverse, Matrix and Determinants, Relations and Functions, Set theory, etc.

      English: Synonyms and Antonyms, Correction of Sentences, Error spotting, Vocabulary, Comrepehesion, etc.

      General Knowledge: Indian and World History, Freedom Movement, Physics, Geography, Current Affairs, Famous Personalities, etc.

Who prescribes NDA Syllabus?

The Union Public Service Commission prescribes the NDA syllabus every year along with the recruitment notification. It helps candidates to focus on the preparation of each subject properly. The topics covered in the syllabus of NDA can be segregated based on the priority to formulate a study plan.

What are the best books to prepare NDA Syllabus?

The best books to prepare NDA syllabus are Objective GK by Sanjiv Kumar (Lucent Publication), National Defence Academy and Naval Academy by R S Aggarwal, Objective General English by S. P. Bakshi (Arihant Publication), Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & Composition by S. Chand, etc.

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