NDA Exam Syllabus 2020

NDA exam is conducted twice in the year in the month of April & September by UPSC. UPSC has prescribed NDA 2020 syllabus. NDA examination is divided into two papers – Mathematics and General Ability. It aims to judge a candidate on his logical ability and general awareness.

  • The Mathematics paper contains 300 marks while General Ability test holds 600 marks. The written test will be of total 900 marks.
  • For every incorrect response, 0.33 marks will be deducted as negative marking in the examination.
  • After clearing the written test, candidates have to go through the SSB Interview. The interview process will have total 900 marks.
  • The question paper of Mathematics and PART B of General Ability test will be available in both English and Hindi languages.

NDA SYLLABUS FOR MATHS

Paper 1

Paper 1 in NDA is purely based on Mathematics. The questions will be asked from 10+2 level only. The sub-sections in this part are also of basic-level mathematics.

Algebra

Concept of a 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, Geometric and Harmonic progressions. Quadratic equations with real coefficients. Solution of linear inequations of two variables by graphs. Permutation and Combination. Binomial theorem and its application. Logarithms and their applications. 

Matrices and Determinants

Types of matrices, operations on matrices. 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.

Trigonometry

Angles 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.

Analytical Geometry of two and three dimensions

Rectangular Cartesian Coordinate system. Distance formula. Equation of a line in various forms. Angle between two lines. Distance of a point from a line. Equation of a circle in standard and in general form. Standard forms of parabola, ellipse and hyperbola. Eccentricity and axis of a conic.

Point in a three dimensional space, distance between two points. Direction Cosines and direction ratios. Equation of a plane and a line in various forms. Angle between two lines and angle between two planes. Equation of a sphere.

Differential Calculus

Concept 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, derivative of a function with respect of another function, derivative of a composite function. Second order derivatives. Increasing and decreasing functions. Application of derivatives in problems of maxima and minima.

Integral Calculus and Differential equations

Integration 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 equation, solution of first order and first degree differential equations of various types – examples. Application in problems of growth and decay.

Vector Algebra

Vectors in two and three dimensions, magnitude and direction of a vector. Unit and null vectors, addition of vectors, scalar multiplication of vector, scalar product or dot product of two-vectors. Vector product and cross product of two vectors. Applications-work done by a force and moment of a force, and in geometrical problems.

Statistics and Probability

Statistics: 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 Binomial distribution.

Paper II

General Ability Syllabus

The general ability section comprises of two parts which are mentioned below:

Part ‘A’ – ENGLISH (Maximum Marks 200). The 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, comprehension and cohesion in extended text to test the candidate’s proficiency in English.

Section ‘A’ (Physics)

Physical Properties and States of Matter, Mass, Weight, Volume, Density and Specific Gravity, Principle of Archimedes, Pressure Barometer. 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 Non-conductors, 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; Lightning Conductors, Safety Fuses.

NDA Syllabus Section B – Chemistry

Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon-Di-oxide, Oxidation and Reduction, Material used in the preparation of substances like soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches, and Gun-Powder, Carbon – different forms, Physical and Chemical changes. Symbols, Formulas and simple Chemical Equations, Law of Chemical Combination. Properties of Air and Water, Acids, bases and salts, Elements, Mixtures and Compounds, Fertilizers – Natural and Artificial, Elementary ideas about the Structure of Atom, Atomic, Equivalent and Molecular Weights, Valency.

Section ‘C’ (General Science)


Difference between the living and nonliving. Basis of Life—Cells, Protoplasm’s and Tissues. Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals. Elementary knowledge of 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 Scientists.

Section ‘D’ (History, Freedom Movement etc.)


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 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.

Section E – Geography

Origin of Earth, Weathering – Mechanical and Chemical, Earthquakes and volcanoes, Atmosphere and its composition, Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure, Rocks and their classification, Planetary Winds, cyclones and Anti-cyclones, Humidity, Condensation and Precipitation,  Major Natural regions of the World, Important Sea ports and main sea, land and air routes of India. Main items of Imports and Exports of India, Types of Climate, The Earth, its shape and size, Lattitudes and Longitudes, Concept of time, International Date Line, Movements of Earth and their effects, Ocean Currents and Tides, Regional Geography of India – Climate, Natural vegetation. Mineral and Power resources, location and distribution of agricultural and industrial activities.

Section F – Current Events For NDA Syllabus

Current important world events, Knowledge of Important events that have happened in India and world in the recent years, prominent personalities – both Indian and International including those connected with cultural activities and sports.

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