NDA Exam Pattern -2024

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NDA Exam Pattern - 2024

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UPSC NDA Exam Pattern


The NDA exam is conducted in the conventional pen and paper form and has multiple-choice questions. Especially in the GAT section, one has to be careful as there is a higher negative marking. The following table precisely gives all the necessary information on the exam pattern. When you have a thorough understanding of the pattern, preparing for it at the last moment becomes easier.

Exam Pattern Highlights

NDA I 2021


General ability test

Exam Duration

2 hours and 30 minutes

2 hours and 30 minutes

No. of sections


2 (English and General Knowledge)

Total no. of questions



Total marks


600 (English (200) + GK (400))

Marking scheme

2.5 for correct and -0.83 for incorrect

4 for correct and -1.33 for incorrect


English and Hindi

English for the English section. English and Hindi for GK section

Type of questions

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

The mathematics section is highly scoring if you are adept at solving the problems with accuracy in minimum time. Though you are given ample time to solve the entire paper, unless you have a clear conception of math and science, each problem can be time-consuming.

The general knowledge section of the NDA 2024 consists of the following topics:

  • Physics (100 marks)
  • Chemistry (60 marks)
  • General Science (40 marks)
  • History and Freedom Movement (80 marks)
  • Geography (80 marks)
  • Current Events (40 marks)

Do note: The exam is majorly based on CBSE 10+2 syllabus and irrespective of the books you refer, NCERT books for every subject is the best guide. 

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