NDA Books For Exam, Syllabus And Tips For Preparation

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 17 September 2022

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The NDA (National Defence Academy) or the Indian Military Academy is the joint services' academy of the Indian armed forces. A candidate can join the NDA by qualifying the entrance exam conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). If you are interested in a career in the armed forces, it may be beneficial to understand how to prepare for the exam. In this article, we discuss the NDA exam in detail, its syllabus and examine some helpful NDA books for exam preparation.

What Is The NDA Exam?

The NDA exam is conducted by the UPSC for entry into the navy, army and air force academies. It is a national-level exam conducted two times in a year. The process is conducted in two steps - the first being a written exam, which is then followed by an interview or personality test. The written examination is divided into two papers consisting of a mathematics test and a GAT (General Ability Test). Candidates can take the exam right after completing higher secondary education.

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NDA Books For Exam

The NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) textbooks of grade 11 and 12 form the core of your material for preparation. Also, you can refer to these additional NDA books for exam preparation and to gain a competitive edge:

  • For mathematics: you can refer to Mathematics by R.S. Agarwal, Mathematics for NDA and NA by S.Chand publications and NDA Entrance Exam by E.S. Ramaswamy. These books along with the NCERT textbook of 11th and 12th can help you prepare in a well-rounded manner.

  • For English: books like Objective General English by S.P. Bakshi, Wren and Martin High School English Grammar and Composition by S.Chand and Word Power Made Easy by Norman and Lewis are good books for preparation. It may be beneficial to increase your overall English language proficiency by reading and writing in your spare time.

  • For general science, history and geography: These generally contain questions from the NCERT grade 9 and 10 syllabus. You can also refer to books like Objective General Knowledge by Lucant Publications and General Knowledge 2021 by Arihant Publications.

  • For physics and chemistry: For physics and chemistry, candidates can refer to the NCERT textbook of class 11th and 12th. This can provide you with a good knowledge base and prepare you for questions from these subjects.

  • For current affairs: To prepare for the current affairs questions, candidates can develop a habit of reading newspapers and other reliable news publications. Stay up-to-date with the latest news in the country and abroad.

How Do I Prepare For NDA Exam?

Since NDA is one of the most prominent exams to gain entry into Indian defence forces, it is highly competitive and may require significant amounts of preparation. Here are some tips for you to prepare effectively:

  • Create a schedule. Before you start your preparation, it is important to create a schedule for yourself. Familiarise yourself with the syllabus of the exam and plan accordingly.

  • Start with the basics. Since the NDA examination contains questions from your school curriculum along with application level questions, it is crucial to understand the basic curriculum thoroughly. Start your preparation by focusing on what is taught at school and slowly work your way through more complex subjects.

  • Solve previous year's questions. You can find a variety of sources on the internet or publications with question papers from previous years. Going through them can make it easier for you to understand which topics are important and the difficulty of questions asked.

  • Revise regularly. Revision can be a key factor in achieving success in any exam. Create short notes and revise them regularly for longer retention and better recall.

  • Maintain health and fitness. The NDA selection process also contains physical evaluations where a candidate's health and fitness is assessed. Exercise regularly or play a sport to keep fit.

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Eligibility Criteria For NDA Exam

The eligibility criteria for selection into the National Defence Academy requires candidates to be:

  • A citizen of India

  • A subject of Nepal or Bhutan

  • A Tibetan refugee who moved to India with the intention of settling here permanently

  • A PIO (Person of Indian Origin) or someone who has migrated from certain specified countries, with the intention of permanently settling in India. This includes nationals of Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

  • Between the age of 16.5 years and 19.5 years

  • Unmarried at the time of application

  • Academically qualified for the post they have applied for

  • Physically fit

  • Of a certain height, depending on the post they have applied for

  • Free from conditions such as deviated nasal septum, obesity, anorexia, tonsillitis and gynaecomastia at the time of medical examination

  • Free of tattoos on the visible parts of their body

Related: How To Qualify For NDA Exam? (Eligibility Criteria Guide)

NDA Syllabus

NDA syllabus is a comprehensive one covering a range of subjects from mathematics and English to current affairs. Since the syllabus is vast, it is important to understand the topics that are covered by it. Here are some important topics that come under each subject:

Topics covered in NDA mathematics

These are some of the topics covered under mathematics in the NDA exam:

  • Matrices and determinants

  • Trigonometry

  • Algebra

  • Statistics and probability

  • Calculus

  • Complex numbers

  • Differential equations

  • Vector algebra

  • Analytical geometry of two and three dimension

Topics covered in NDA english

These are some of the topics covered under English in the NDA exam:

  • Error correction

  • Vocabulary

  • Sentence construction

  • Comprehension

  • Antonyms

  • Synonyms

Related: 10 Ways To Improve Your English Communication Skills

Topics covered in NDA general science

These are some of the topics covered under general science in the NDA exam:

  • Constituents of food

  • Common epidemics and their causes and prevention

  • Basics of biological life including cells, protoplasms and tissues

  • The human body and its internal organs

  • Growth and reproduction in plants and animals

  • Basic astronomy

  • Achievements of eminent scientists

Topics covered in NDA history

These are some of the topics covered under history in the NDA exam:

  • Survey of Indian history

  • European renaissance

  • Indian freedom struggle

  • Exploration and discovery in the 15th and 16th century

  • French Revolution

  • Industrial revolution

  • Russian Revolution

  • American independence

  • Impact of science and technology on society

  • Indian constitution and administration

  • Five-year plans made by different governments

  • United Nations and its functions

  • Democracy, socialism and communism

  • Co-operatives and community development

  • National integration and welfare states

  • Role of India in the present world

  • Forces shaping the modern world

  • Basic teachings of Mahatma Gandhi

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Topics covered in NDA geography

These are some of the topics covered under history in the NDA exam:

  • The earth, its shape and size

  • Latitudes and longitudes

  • Temperature and atmospheric pressure

  • Cyclones and anticyclones

  • Humidity, condensation and precipitation

  • Planetary winds

  • Ocean currents and tides

  • Movements of earth and its effects

  • Atmosphere and its composition

  • Types of climate

  • International date line

  • Major natural regions of the world

  • Natural vegetation

  • Mineral and energy resources

  • Location and distribution of agricultural and industrial activities

  • Earthquakes and volcanoes

  • Rocks and their classification

  • Important seaports, airports and major sea, land, and air routes within India

  • Main items of import and export in India

  • Regional geography of India

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Topics covered in NDA physics

These are some of the topics covered under physics in the NDA exam:

  • Modes of transference of heat

  • Mass, weight and volume

  • Rectilinear propagation of light

  • Density and specific gravity

  • Physical properties and states of matter

  • Reflection and refraction

  • Archimedes principle

  • Spherical mirrors and lenses

  • Pressure barometer

  • Human eye

  • Motion of objects

  • Force and momentum

  • Velocity and acceleration

  • Properties of a magnet

  • Natural and artificial magnets

  • Static and dynamic electricity

  • Newton's laws of motion

  • Parallelogram of forces

  • Conductors and non-conductors

  • Stability and equilibrium of bodies

  • Ohm's law

  • Gravitation

  • Electrical circuits

  • Heating, lighting and magnetic effects of current

  • Power and energy

  • Measurement of electrical power

  • Effects of heat

  • Measurement of temperature

  • Use of X-Ray technology

  • Principles behind the working of simple pendulum, simple pulleys, siphon, levers, balloons and pumps

  • Lightning conductors

  • Safety fuses

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Topics covered in NDA chemistry

These are some of the topics covered under chemistry in the NDA exam:

  • Preparation and properties of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide

  • Oxidation and reduction

  • Properties of air and water

  • Structure of atom

  • Acids, bases and salts

  • Carbon and its different forms

  • Physical and chemical changes

  • Material used in the preparation of substances like soap, glass, ink, cement, paint, safety matches, and gunpowder

  • Mixtures and compounds

  • Fertilizers

  • Symbols, formulae and simple chemical equations

  • Atomic equivalence and molecular weight

  • Law of chemical combination

  • Valency

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Topics covered in NDA current affairs

Here are some of the topics covered under current affairs in the NDA exam:

  • Knowledge of important events that have happened in India in recent years

  • Prominent personalities on both national and international levels

  • Cultural activities and sports activities

  • Current important world events

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