How to Crack UPSC NDA Exam?

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The NDA Exam is the most popular among students who desire to join the Indian Defense Forces. The UPSC is in charge of this exam (Union Public Service Commission). It serves as a stepping stone for students interested in joining the Indian Army, Air Force, or Navy. It is a national examination that takes place twice a year. This post is recommended for students seeking assistance and preparation ideas for the NDA written examination. We have provided all of the necessary information on how to prepare for the NDA Exam.

The following phase is practise after applicants have double-checked that all of the exam’s major topics have been adequately covered.

While there may not be enough time before the exam, there is always the option of taking practise examinations. Mock tests are useful practise tools for securing a spot on the NDA (1) merit rankings. NDA mock exams are tried and true learning tools that assist candidates prepare for the exam. Aside from academic preparation, mock exams can assist a candidate in improving time management throughout the exam so that they can accurately answer as many questions as possible.

If you’re preparing to take the UPSC NDA/ NA test, here are some tips to help you prepare.

Covering the syllabus and revising important topics on a daily basis are some of the most basic preparation strategies that most students adopt. However, during the last few weeks before the exam, there is so much more to do if a candidate is willing to go the extra mile and top the NDA exams.

UPSC NDA Exam Pattern

  1. Objective type questions will be included in all of the subjects’ papers.
  2. The mathematics question papers (test booklets) and Part “B” of the General Ability Test will be bilingually set in Hindi and English.
  3. Candidates should be aware that incorrect answers marked by a candidate in Objective Type Question Papers will result in negative marking of one-third of a mark.
  4. When answering objective-type questions, candidates are not permitted to utilise a calculator or a mathematical or logarithmic table.

The following are the subjects of the written test, the time allotted, and the maximum marks allotted to each subject:

UPSC NDA Written Exam
SubjectCodeDurationMaximum Marks
Mathematics (120 Questions)012 Hours & 30 Minutes300
General Ability Test (150 Questions) English + General Knowledge022 Hours & 30 Minutes600
Total900
SSB Test/Interview900

Strategy to Crack UPSC NDA Exam

  • Schedule your Study Plan Smartly

For better preparation, it is necessary to have a smart study plan. Here, smart study plan means to manage your time and NDA syllabus efficiently. Your preparation schedule must be well-organized so that you are able to score good marks.Your Basics Should Be Clear

Firstly, do the analysis of your complete syllabus and mark the topics that require more concentration. Start preparing the topics from basics. If your basics are clear then only you are able to solve the high level questions. Clear you basics first then go through the exam pattern and syllabus.

  • Prepare a study plan

Planning is the key to productive preparation. Prepare a smart study plan to manage your time effectively. The schedule must be prepared meticulously, hence, learning becomes productive.

  • Focus on Concept-based Questions

Since the NDA syllabus shares a remarkable resemblance to the senior secondary syllabus of Mathematics, therefore, besides previous year papers & practice papers for the exam, one may also refer to NCERT Mathematics books for class 11 and 12. This will only diversify the subject knowledge while candidates will get the opportunity to learn one or two techniques for answering concept-based questions.

  • Dig deeper into the syllabus

Make sure you have gone through the syllabus thoroughly. Plan your exam preparation in a way that you allot a slot and timing for each topic. The syllabus has been made accessible on the Commission’s website.

  • Focus on General Knowledge and English Subject

Proficiency in English is required for clearing the NDA examination. Your English is not only tested in written test but if there is fluency in your English, then it may leave the good impression on selectors also at the time of interview.As General Knowledge is the part of syllabus so prepare it well. You can strong your GK portion by reading newspapers, magazines, journals, refer books of prominent writers that focus on current affairs, etc.

  • Study Material

Preparation from right books is very necessary. Market is full of large number of book stocks but every book is worth, not possible. After the complete analysis, we have prepared some NDA books that help you for scoring good marks.

  • Focus on key topics:

Mathematics and General Ability Test Paper-I Mathematics includes eight major topics — Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus and Differential Equations, Vector Algebra, and Statistics and Probability. Paper-II has two parts as follows: Part A English and Part B General Knowledge. Part B consists of six topics — Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History Freedom movement, etc, Geography, and Current Events.

  • Prepare short notes

It is very important to do the preparation in right direction. By solving previous year questions, your speed will be enhanced as well as you will get the idea about the NDA exam pattern of the examination and difficulty level of the questions asked in the examination. Make short notes after learning each topic. This will come in handy and helpful for your last-minute preparation. This also helps you to remember the topics you have learned.

  • Practice with previous year question papers

Practicing with previous year’s question papers will help you to understand the state of your preparation. This will also guide you to manage your time effectively for the examination. Along with these, revise all the topics to memorise the chapters you have learned. You can use the short notes you have made during preparation. With right plan and preparation strategy, you can crack the UPSC NDA/NA exam.

  • Revision

Revision is a key to success. Candidates are advised to make short notes & revise them on regular basis. This will help candidates to remember it longer. On the other hand, keep atleast last one week before examination.

  • Health Maintenance and Personality

Selection through NDA is based not only on the written test but your personality and health also plays a major role in it. It is advised to all the aspirants to keep you fit and healthy through the intake of sufficient food and water. Besides this, also prefer yoga or some another exercise or meditation to relief stress.

As one may know, the general ability test of the NDA exam carries a total of 600 marks. This part of the question paper is based on topics like general science, physics, chemistry, english Language, current affairs, history etc. Thus, candidates can expect a lot of factual questions.

The only way to answer questions correctly in this section is by having the requisite knowledge of recent current affairs, military developments, general science etc. Thus, besides the general textbooks and solved papers, one must be willing to expand their knowledge in the aforementioned realms. It may be noted that among GAT and mathematics, the marks weightage of the former is higher in the NDA (1). Therefore, one must prepare to attempt as many questions in GAT correctly, as they can.

NDA question papers with answer keys are effective ways to prepare for the GAT section. Candidates can get to know the exact type of questions asked in this exam by the UPSC. In addition, one can refer to the corresponding year’s answer key to find the correct answer to questions from current events in the Indian defence scenario and other important topics.

Important tips for UPSC NDA I Exam 2021:

The most important thing right now is to be clear with the syllabus, the pattern of questions asked, of both the subjects i.e., mathematics and English competency, and General Aptitude Test. Paper 1 which is the mathematics paper is marked out of 300 marks which have to be completed in a time span of 150 minutes. Similarly, paper 2 is the English competency and General Aptitude Test which is going to be is marked out of 600 marks and which has to be completed in a time span of 150 minutes too.

Paper 1Paper 1 i.e., of mathematics is considered to be very scoring, and only practice can make candidates competitive clear it and it includes algebra, matrices, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, decimal fractions, percentage, average, ratio, and proportions, etc.
Paper 2Paper 2 commonly known as GAT can only be cleared by following a planned approach that includes is a variety of subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Geography, History, and Current Affairs. Apart from studying English grammar books, regular reading of English newspapers, watching English news channels will also help a lot in clearing the latter part of Paper 2.

The syllabus is vast and very intense and it requires months of dedicated preparation and diligence. Here are some of the ways which will help you to focus and clear the examination which is on way in 2021.

  • Clear your basics of science (Physics, chemistry, and biology) by using any basic science books. Thoroughly read the basic books of geography (Physical features of India- Mountains, Rivers, their deltas and estuaries, etc.), polity (Indian constitution), economics (5-year plans, economic terms, Census, etc.) and history (Ancient, Medieval and Modern) which are very interesting too.
  • A good study environment will allow students to maintain concentration and maximize learning efficiency. Choose a place with proper ventilation, lighting, and minimal distractions where you can study peacefully. Try to keep your study place clean as this will help eradicate any distractions.
  • Set a time to complete a task: Before you start any task evaluate the time required and efforts to complete it. Be determined to complete the task within the specified time. Plan and schedule your daily activities and try not to let anything interrupt your schedule.
  • Using mnemonics to help build memory: Mnemonics are memory techniques that help us remember information by associating it with images, sentences, or words. There are many ways you can make mnemonics such as associating a concept with a visual image. You can build acronyms with the first letter of every word of a sentence or make a rhyme of all the words. This will help you retain and recollect a concept or formula with ease.
  • Set your goals according to your potential and priorities. Having realistic targets keeps you motivated and helps you focus better rather than getting worked up over unrealistic goals. Stick to specific short-term goals and work towards them with a proper study plan.
  • Once you feel that you are prepared, refer to the previous year’s question papers of the NDA exam and find out where you are lacking, and again focus on those topics. So, start well in advance, work hard, be determined, and dedicated to studies that will ensure greater success. Solving mock question papers also works.
  • Discuss what you learned: Have a discussion with your peers on what you learned that day. This helps you revise the day’s learning and helps you retain it for a longer period. Peer discussions also help you check your progress and exchange knowledge while offering friendly/healthy competition.
  • Taking regular breaks is very critical to enhance learning capacity. Ensure you take a short break after every hour to keep your brain from overworking. Use these short intervals to stretch, listen to a song, or relax for a few minutes. These short breaks will make your study time more efficient and productive.
  • Sleep improves attention and concentration. Lack of sleep affects your mood, focus, and motivation. Getting adequate sleep by going to bed early helps in better retention of all that is studied. Hence, ensure you sleep at least 7-8 hours every day.
  • Time management and planning to solve the question paper is very important to succeed in any exam, so, don’t waste your time on a question that is not known to you; switch to the next question and attempt it at last.
  • Always be positive and believe in yourself to achieve excellence in all that you do.
  • Meditation can help calm your mind and improve your concentration power. Physical exercise relaxes and rejuvenates your body while enabling you to take your mind off things. Physical and mental exercise helps keep stress levels in check.
  • Numerous distractions that come from your phone and other electronic gadgets are the biggest barriers to maintaining concentration. Engaging in such activities during your study time might break your focus. Refrain from using any gadgets during your study time except during breaks.

Given the current pandemic and the uncertainties associated with it, students will likely be feeling stressed as their complete study schedule has turned topsy-turvy. As we are all adapting to the circumstances, we must recognise that it is a difficult situation and find ways to keep ourselves motivated and on track with our goals. Students must keep their long-term ambitions in mind and supplement their study efforts with a healthy diet, proper hydration, exercises, and fun activities to break the monotony.

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