Are previous years questions are enough to crack NDA examination

Jan 11, 2023, 16:45 IST

Most aspirants who wish to join the National Defence Academy (NDA) have the same question- whether solving the previous year's papers is enough to crack the NDA entrance examination. Here in this article, we will find the answer to it. NDA is a national-level entrance exam conducted twice a year by the union public service commission to select eligible candidates who have passed Class 12 for admission to the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of National Defence Academy and Naval Academy courses.

NDA Exam is one of the toughest defence exams conducted by the UPSC. The syllabus encompasses general knowledge, Current Affairs, Geography, History, Economics and Politics. So finding the best book becomes very challenging. Through this article, we will find the answer to whether the previous year's questions are sufficient to crack the NDA Examination. Also, check for various defence entrance exams.

Are previous years questions are enough to crack NDA examination

About NDA Examination

  • The National Defence Academy (NDA) Examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It is for recruitment to the Army, Navy and Air Force Wings of the National Defence Academy.
  • The NDA examination is one of the most important exams for candidates interested in joining the Armed force. The competition is not easy as more than 500,000 candidates are applying to it with their utmost hard work and dedication.
  • The NDA examination happens twice a year, in April and September. The examination consists of two papers: Paper I is Mathematics, and Paper II is General Ability Test (GAT). Candidates must attempt both papers.
  • Candidates who qualify for the written examination will go for an interview by the Services Selection Board (SSB). The SSB interview will test the candidate's suitability for a career in the Armed Forces.
  • The final selection of candidates will be based on their performance in the written examination and the SSB interview. You can also check for the defence service exam.

Importance of Past Year's Questions for The NDA Examination

  • NDA is one of India's most competitive exams; therefore, it is important to be well-prepared for it. Past years' questions can give you an idea about the type of questions asked in the exam and also help you understand the exam pattern better.
  • Aspirants often wonder if solving previous years' papers is necessary. After all, the exam pattern changes every year and questions in the current year's paper can be completely different from those asked in the past.
  • But, Practising past years' questions is a good way to revise your concepts and prepare for the defence exam. It is also helpful in gaining confidence and improving your time management skills.
  • However, despite the pattern changes, specific topics are in the NDA papers almost every year. So, solving previous years' papers gives you an idea about the type of questions generally asked in the exam.
  • It also helps you understand the format of the question paper and get familiar with the time limit for each section. Most importantly, it allows you to track your progress and identify areas where you need to improve.
  • Overall, solving previous years' papers is a great way to prepare for the NDA exam. It gives you a realistic idea of what to expect on exam day and helps you fine-tune your preparation strategy.
  • So, go through as many past years' questions as possible and ensure you understand the concepts well before appearing for the NDA exam. Also, check for exams after graduation for defence.

Are Previous Year’s Questions Sufficient to ace The Examination?

  • The answer to this is both yes and no, the previous year’s questions are not enough to crack the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam, but it is helpful in other ways.
  • It is a highly competitive exam and requires rigorous preparation. You need to have a strong understanding of the concepts tested in the NDA defence exam and be able to apply them to solve problems. In addition, you must be able to manage your time effectively on exam day.
  • So, revise all the important concepts and practice solving questions from different topics. This will help you build confidence and improve your chances of cracking the NDA exam.
  • Now coming back to the main question, preparing only from previous year's papers will give you an idea about the type of questions asked in the examination and help you understand the difficulty level.
  • To crack NDA, you must have a strong hold on all the topics included in Mathematics and GAT syllabus.
  • Previous year papers can be a tool for revision and practice purposes only. Do not mug up solutions without understanding the concepts behind them.
  • This will not only lead to a waste of time. But will also hamper your performance in other sections of the written examination and during the SSB Interview. You can also check for the best books for defence aspirants.

Do's and Don'ts While Solving Previous Year's Questions of The NDA Examination

Before preparing for the NDA exam, candidates must go through the do's and don'ts.


  • Candidates must solve the previous year's question papers of NDA from reliable sources only. There are many websites which provide fake or wrong question papers.
  • Candidates should attempt as many question papers as possible. It will help them get an idea of the exam pattern and the type of questions asked in the examination.
  • Candidates should not just focus on solving the questions but also try understanding the concepts behind them. This will help them solve even the tough questions easily.
  • Candidates should take regular breaks while solving the previous year's question papers because it is important to remain fresh and focused throughout the preparation process.


  • Candidates should save time searching for new topics or trying to learn new things while solving previous year's papers. They should stick to their syllabus and prepare accordingly.
  • Candidates should not mug up the answers to the questions without understanding them properly. This will not help them crack the examination easily, and they might face problems during interviews, also.
  • Candidates should not try to solve the question papers in one go. They should take their time and solve the paper slowly and steadily.
  • Candidates should be satisfied if they can solve some of the questions.

Topper Tips to Crack NDA Examination

Here you will get Topper tips to crack National Defence Examination.

  • Firstly, aspirants must know the syllabus and exam pattern of NDA.
  • Candidates should solve as many question papers as possible. This will give them an idea about the questions that had been asked in the examination.
  • They should also give mock tests and practice papers available online to score well in the examination.
  • Time management is the key to cracking any competitive examination, and NDA is no different. Candidates should ensure they attempt all the questions within the stipulated time limit.
  • Last but not least, candidates must stay positive and confident throughout the examination process.


While there is no one-size-fits-answer to this question, yes, Previous years' questions are a valuable resource for preparing for the National defence academy Exam.

After all, they provide insight into the types of questions asked in the past, giving you a better idea of what to expect. It is also important to supplement your studying with other resources, like mock tests, to ensure that you are as prepared as possible come exam day.

That being said, past year's questions are a great way to get an idea of what to expect and can help you focus your studying. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What are the cut-off marks for the NDA written exam?

Ans. The cutoff for the written examination varies from year to year based on the difficulty of the question papers. It typically ranges between 250 and 350 marks, but in the past three years, it has been between 320 and 350 marks.

Q2. Are women allowed to take the NDA Exam?

Ans. According to the Supreme Court's recent interim order, women can apply for the NDA exam.

Q3. What are the NDA Exam's nationality criteria?

Ans. An applicant for the NDA Exam must be a citizen of India, a subject of Nepal, or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intension of settling permanently in India.

Q4. Are tattoos allowed on the NDA Physical Test?

Ans. Candidates must ensure that any permanent tattoos should be present only on the inner side of the forearm. The UPSC does not accept permanent body tattoos on any other body part. If an applicant is a member of a tribe in which it is customary to have a tattoo, approval will be granted in consideration of those traditions.

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