Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released the NDA syllabus 2020 along with the official notification. The NDA & NA (National Defense Academy & Naval Academy) examination is divided into two papers of 2.5 hours each. Paper I is conducted for Mathematics, carrying a total of 300 marks whereas Paper II is the General Ability Test (GAT), which holds a maximum of 600 marks.
Syllabus for NDA Paper II or GAT is divided into two parts – Part A comprises topics from English language and Part B is all about General Knowledge. The General Knowledge Section (Part B) of the NDA GAT question paper encompasses six major subjects including Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography and Current Affairs. Candidates can refer to this article to gain comprehensive knowledge about important topics and chapters as per the NDA syllabus 2020.
Table of Contents
 NDA Syllabus 2020 – Overview
 NDA Syllabus 2020 for Paper I – Mathematics
 NDA Syllabus 2020 for Paper II – General Ability Test (GAT)
 NDA Syllabus for GAT – English (PartA)
 NDA Syllabus for GAT – General Knowledge (PartB)
 NDA Syllabus – SectionWise Weightage in General Knowledge
 NDA Exam Pattern 2020
 NDA Syllabus – Intelligence and Personality Test
 NDA 2020 – Tips to Prepare
 NDA Previous Years’ Question Papers
 Most Recommended Books for NDA Preparation
 NDA Syllabus – Frequently Asked Questions
 ✔️ How many papers do I need to appear for while taking the UPSC NDA exam?
 ✔️ Do I need to prepare for other topics beyond NDA syllabus 2020?
 ✔️ What is the difficulty level of the UPSC NDA exam?
 ✔️ Is the syllabus for NDA and NA similar to each other?
 ✔️ In NDA Paper II, how are the marks divided between English and General Knowledge sections?
NDA Syllabus 2020 – Overview
1. UPSC conducts NDA exam in two different papers, namely
 Paper I – Mathematics
 Paper II – General Ability Test
2. As per the NDA syllabus 2020, Mathematics paper will broadly have eight sections
3. PaperII of NDA will have two parts:
 Part A – English
 Part B – General Knowledge
4. As defined in official NDA syllabus 2020, the General Knowledge section of NDA Paper II will have questions from the six subjects mentioned below:
 Section A – Physics
 Section B – Chemistry
 Section C – General Science
 Section D – Social Studies
 Section E – Geography
 Section F – Current Events
5. NDA syllabus 2020 for Paper I and Paper II will include chapters from the NCERT textbooks of class 10th, 11th and 12th.
NDA Syllabus 2020 for Paper I – Mathematics
The chapterwise topics as per the NDA syllabus 2020 are available in the table below:
NDA Syllabus 2020 for Mathematics
Name of Chapter  Topics 
Algebra  Representation of Real Numbers on a Line 
Complex Numbers—basic Properties  
De Morgan Laws  
Concept of Set  
Operations on Sets  
Venn Diagrams  
Cartesian Product  
Relation  
Equivalence Relation  
Modulus  
Argument  
Cube Roots of Unity  
Binary System of Numbers  
Arithmetic  
Conversion of a Number in Decimal System to Binary System and Viceversa  
Geometric and Harmonic Progressions  
Quadratic Equations with Real Coefficients  
Solution of Linear Inequalities of Two Variables by Graphs  
Permutation and Combination  
Binomial Theorem and Its Applications  
Logarithms and Their Applications  
Matrices and Determinants  Types of Matrices 
Operations on Matrices  
Basic Properties of Determinants  
Applicationssolution of a System of Linear Equations in Two Or Three Unknowns by Cramer’s Rule and by Matrix Method  
The determinant of a Matrix  
Adjoint and Inverse of a Square Matrix  
Trigonometry  Angles and Their Measures in Degrees and in Radians 
Trigonometric Ratios  
Trigonometric Identities Sum and Difference Formulae  
Multiple and Submultiple Angles  
Inverse Trigonometric Functions  
Applicationsheight and Distance  
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  
Eccentricity and Axis of a Conic  
Point in a Three Dimensional Space  
Direction Cosines and Direction Ratios  
Equation 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  
Ellipse and Hyperbola  
Distance Between Two Points  
Differential Calculus  Concept of a RealValued Function–domain 
Composite Functions  
Notion of Limit  
Continuity of Functions—examples  
Derivative of Function at a Point  
Derivatives of Sum  
Second Order Derivatives  
Increasing and Decreasing Functions  
Range and Graph of a Function  
One to One  
Onto and Inverse Functions  
Standard Limits—examples  
Geometrical and Physical Interpretation of a Derivative—applications  
Algebraic Operations on Continuous Functions  
Product and Quotient of Functions  
Derivative of a Function with Respect to Another Function  
Derivative of a Composite Function  
Integral Calculus and Differential Equations  Definition of Order and Degree of a Differential Equation 
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  
Formation of a Differential Equation by Examples  
The solution of First Order and First Degree Differential Equations of Various Types—examples  
General and Particular Solution of a Differential Equations  
Application in Problems of Growth and Decay  
Vector Algebra  Vectors in Two and Three Dimensions 
Magnitude and Direction of a Vector  
Addition of Vectors  
Scalar Multiplication of a Vector  
Scalar Product Or Dot Product of Two Vectors  
Unit and Null Vectors  
Vector Product Or Cross Product of Two Vectors  
Applications—work Done by a Force and Moment of a force and in geometrical problems  
Statistics and Probability  Graphical Representation—histogram 
Classification of Data  
Frequency Distribution  
Cumulative Frequency Distribution—examples  
Pie Chart  
Frequency Polygon— Examples  
Median and Mode  
Measures of Central Tendency—mean  
Variance and Standard Deviation—determination and Comparison  
Correlation and Regression  
Random Experiment  
Outcomes and Associated Sample Space  
Events  
Mutually Exclusive and Exhaustive Events  
Impossible and Certain Events  
Elementary and Composite Events  
Bayes’ Theorem—Simple Problems  
Examples of Random Experiments Giving Rise to Binomial Distribution  
Union and Intersection of Events  
Random Variable as Function on a Sample Space  
Binomial Distribution  
Definition of Probability—classical and Statistical—examples  
Elementary Theorems on Probability—simple Problems  
Complementary 
NDA Syllabus 2020 for Paper II – General Ability Test (GAT)
The General Ability Test (GAT) has two parts – Part A i.e. English carries a maximum of 200 marks. On the other hand, Part B i.e. General Knowledge consists of a total of 400 marks. Find comprehensive details of NDA syllabus 2020 for both the parts of GAT below.
NDA Syllabus for GAT – English (PartA)
This part of NDA Paper II helps in analysing the overall English proficiency of candidates. The questions will be framed as per NDA syllabus 2020 mentioned below.
NDA Syllabus 2020 for English
S.No  Topics 
1  Grammar and Usage 
2  Vocabulary 
3  Comprehension 
4  Cohesion 
NDA Syllabus for GAT – General Knowledge (PartB)
UPSC NDA notification has elaborated the NDA syllabus 2020 for all the six sections (Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Science, Geography and Current Events), which is as follows.
NDA SYLLABUS 2020 FOR SECTION ‘A’ OF GAT – PHYSICS
Newton’s Laws of Motion  Physical Properties and States of Matter  Modes of transference of Heat  Volume 
Force and Momentum  Mass  Sound waves and their properties  General Principles – Balloon 
Parallelogram of Forces  Weight  Simple musical instruments  Principle of Archimedes 
Stability and Equilibrium of bodies  General Principles – Hydrometer  Rectilinear propagation of Light  Pressure Barometer 
General Principles – Pumps  Elementary ideas of work  Reflection and refraction  General Principles – Telephone 
Measurement of Temperature and Heat  Power and Energy  Spherical mirrors and Lenses  Velocity and Acceleration 
Human Eye  Earth as a Magnet  General Principles – Mariner’s Compass; Lightning Conductors  General Principles – Telegraphs 
Natural and Artificial Magnets  Static and Current Electricity  Simple Electrical Circuits  Primary and Secondary Cells 
General Principles – Simple Pendulum  General Principles – Simple Pulleys  Heating, Lighting and Magnetic effects of Current  General Principles – Siphon 
Properties of a Magnet  Conductors and Nonconductors  General Principles – Levers  Density and Specific Gravity 
Use of XRays  Effects of Heat  Gravitation  General Principles – Pressure Cooker 
Motion of objects  General Principles – Thermos Flask  General Principles – Gramophone  Measurement of Electrical Power 
General Principles – Periscope  General Principles – Telescope  Ohm’s Law  General Principles – Microscope 
General Principles – Safety Fuses  –  –  – 
NDA SYLLABUS 2020 FOR SECTION ‘B’ OF GAT – CHEMISTRY
Preparation and Properties of Carbon Dioxide  Physical and Chemical Changes  Preparation and Properties of Nitrogen  Oxidation and Reduction 
Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen  Fertilizers—Natural and Artificial  Elements  Preparation and Properties of Oxygen 
Mixtures and Compounds  The material used in the preparation of different substances  Elementary ideas about the structure of Atom  Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equation 
Acids, bases and salts  Carbon— different forms  Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights  Law of Chemical Combination (excluding problems) 
Valency  Properties of Air and Water  –  – 
NDA SYLLABUS 2020 FOR SECTION ‘C’ OF GAT – GENERAL SCIENCE
Achievements of Eminent Scientists  Food—Source of Energy for man 
Constituents of food  Difference between the living and nonliving 
Elementary knowledge of Human Body and its important organs  Common Epidemics, their causes and prevention 
Balanced Diet  Basis of Life—Cells, Protoplasms and Tissues 
The Solar System—Meteors and Comets, Eclipses  Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals 
Role of India in the present world  Freedom Movement in India  Cooperatives and Community Development  Elementary study of Indian Constitution and Administration 
Forces shaping the modern world; Renaissance  Elementary knowledge of Five Year Plans of India  Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, National Integration and Welfare State  Concept of one World 
A broad survey of Indian History, with emphasis on Culture and Civilisation  Exploration and Discovery; War of American Independence  Basic Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi  A broad survey of Indian History, with emphasis on Culture and Civilisation 
Panchayati Raj  United Nations, Panchsheel, Democracy, Socialism and Communism  Impact of Science and Technology on Society  French Revolution, Industrial Revolution and Russian Revolution 
NDA SYLLABUS 2020 FOR SECTION ‘E’ OF GAT – GEOGRAPHY
Latitudes and Longitudes  Concept of time  Condensation and Precipitation 
Location and distribution of agricultural and Industrial activities  Main items of Imports and Exports of India  Humidity 
Movements of Earth and their effects  Major Natural Regions of the World  Important Sea ports and main sea, land and air routes of India 
Ocean Currents and Tides Atmosphere and its composition  Mineral and Power resources  International Date Line 
Origin of Earth. Rocks and their classification  Regional Geography of India—Climate, Natural vegetation  The Earth, its shape and size 
Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure, Planetary Winds, Cyclones and Anticyclones  WeatheringMechanical and Chemical, Earthquakes and Volcanoes  Types of Climate 
NDA SYLLABUS 2020 FOR SECTION ‘F’ OF GAT – CURRENT EVENTS
S.No  Topics 
1  Knowledge of Important events that have happened in India in recent years 
2  Current important world events 
3  Prominent personalities—both Indian and International including those connected with cultural activities and sports 
NDA Syllabus – SectionWise Weightage in General Knowledge
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) designs the NDA question paper for General Knowledge (Part B of GAT) by providing a certain weightage to all the six sections. Candidates can check the table below to know the sectionwise weightage in the general knowledge paper of UPSC NDA.
NDA General Knowledge Paper – SectionWise Weightage
Section  Name of Section  Weightage 
A  Physics  25% 
B  Chemistry  15% 
C  General Science  10% 
D  Social Science  20% 
E  Geography  20% 
F  Current Events  10% 
NDA Exam Pattern 2020
Apart from the NDA syllabus 2020, it is also wise to understand the exam pattern of NDA written exam. It is really helpful in preparation of a smart study plan.
Overview of NDA Exam Pattern
Particulars  Details 
Mode of exam  Offline i.e., Pen & Paper Based 
Medium of exam  English or Hindi 
Number of Papers  2 (Mathematics and General Ability Test) 
Type of questions  MCQs 
Total questions  270 (Mathematics – 120 and General Ability Test – 150) 
Paperwise marks  Mathematics – 300 and General Ability Test – 600 
Total marks  900 
Time duration  2.30 hours (for each paper) 
Highlights of NDA Marking Scheme
Particulars  Marking pattern 
Mathematics  2.5 marks for every right answer 
General Ability Test  4 marks for every right answer 
For an incorrect answer in both Paper I and II s  0.33% marks will be deducted 
For unattempted questions  Zero marks 
For picking more than one answer  0.33% marks will be cut 
NDA Syllabus – Intelligence and Personality Test
 Final selection of candidates is based on their total NDA score out of 1800 marks. NDA Written Exam (Paper I & II) carries a maximum of 900 marks whereas SSB Test/Interview also holds the same weightage i.e. 900 marks.
 SSB Interview procedure consists of two stages. Candidates, who qualify the first stage of SSB Interview, are eligible for participation in stage II
 SSB Interview Stage I includes Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR), Picture Perception and Description Test
 SSB Interview Stage II consists of an interview followed by Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and a Conference
 Stage II of the Intelligence and Personality Test is conducted in a stretch of four days
NDA 2020 – Tips to Prepare
 Get the hang of NDA exam pattern and syllabus around which you need to devise your NDA preparation plan
 Make it a daily habit to read newspaper/s to keep a track of current events
 For the GAT Part A (English), read as many recommended books as possible and watch English news channels & movies as a leisure pursuit
 While preparing for GAT Part B (General Knowledge), you need to have a basic understanding of topics covered in each section
 Do not dig deep inside the topics while preparing for Part B of GAT as it is a General Knowledge paper and requires only the basic understanding of the concepts
 Practise as many sample papers and previous year question papers as possible. This will help you in recognising the most important topics and chapters
 Prepare a plan in sync with a daily calendar, set targets and meet the deadlines religiously
 Create short notes while studying. This will help in lastminute revision
NDA Previous Years’ Question Papers
Solving previous years’ papers is immensely helpful in understanding the nature of questions and the paper pattern of the NDA written test. The table below comprises the NDA question papers of last three years that candidates can refer to:
Subjects  2019  2018  2017  
NDA I  NDA II  NDA I  NDA II  NDA I  NDA II  
General Ability  Click Here  Click Here  Click Here  Click Here  Click Here  Click Here 
Math  Click Here  Click Here  Click Here  Click Here  Click Here  Click Here 
Most Recommended Books for NDA Preparation
NCERT textbooks from class 10th to 12th are considered to be the best for NDA preparation. Still, aspirants can refer to other expertrecommended books for a foolproof NDA preparation.
Important Books for NDA Paper I (Mathematics) Preparation
 Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by RS Aggarwal
 NDA Entrance Exam by ES Ramasamy
 Mathematics for NDA/NA: National Defence Academy and Naval Academy by RS Aggarwal
Important Books for NDA Paper II (General Ability Test) Preparation
Section  Books 
English 

Physics 

Chemistry 

General Science, History, Geography 

Current Affairs 

NDA Syllabus – Frequently Asked Questions
✔️ How many papers do I need to appear for while taking the UPSC NDA exam?
UPSC NDA written exam is divided into two papers  Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). General Ability Test is further divided into two parts  Part A comprises questions on English language and Part B is about General Knowledge.
✔️ Do I need to prepare for other topics beyond NDA syllabus 2020?
Yes, while preparing for a particular section, candidates must study all the topics that can be covered under it. UPSC NDA evaluates the basic understanding of the candidates for a particular subject. Thus, any topics beyond NDA syllabus 2020 may also surprise you.
✔️ What is the difficulty level of the UPSC NDA exam?
Union Public Service Commission designs the question paper of NDA after considering all the topics covered in the NCERT syllabus of class 10th, 11th and 12th broadly. Candidates must have an understanding of all the topics they have been taught at secondary and senior secondary level.
✔️ Is the syllabus for NDA and NA similar to each other?
Yes. The syllabus for NDA and NA is the same. Candidates have to follow a similar preparation strategy as test structure and the syllabus are similar to each other.
✔️ In NDA Paper II, how are the marks divided between English and General Knowledge sections?
As per sectional marks distribution in NDA Paper I & II, English section holds a maximum of 200 marks and General Knowledge consists of a total of 400 marks.