UPSC NDA 2019: Last minute preparation tips, important topics

UPSC NDA 2019: Last minute preparation tips, important topics

What makes a candidate shine out in an exam? It is not just the long hours spent going through all the important topics or practising every previous years’ question paper. But it is that extra mile that one is willing to go to achieve the target. What is that ‘extra mile’?

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NDA exam is to be held on April 21, 2019. (Representational Image)

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will be conducting the National Defence Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy (NA) written exam on April 21, 2019. With only couple of days left for the exam, each one has their own strategy which they follow, however, there are some added tips that will help you not only with the syllabus and technicality of the exam but also be prepared for the D-Day mentally and physically.

The NDA 2019 exam pattern constitutes of two papers — mathematics and general ability test (GAT). Mathematics part will be of 300 marks and the GAT section will be of 600 marks. In the GAT section, the questions will be asked from physics, chemistry, general science, history and freedom movement, geography and current events.

There will be objective type MCQ questions. Four alternatives to each question will be available. Both the papers have to be completed in a duration of 2.5 hours. A penalty will be imposed for wrong answers. There will be a deduction of 33 per cent of marks constituted for the question for every wrong answer marked.

Now the exam pattern is clear, let us jump into how to go about the last minute preparation for NDA 2019 written examination. We are also adding to the bonus tip to add that “extra mile”.

Tip 1: Stop studying


Stop your studies the way you have been until now. You need to revise now. From each of the topic in maths, physics and chemistry especially, jot down all the important formulas and chant them in your free time. Formulas are the basis of calculations and can help you solve many questions.

Also in addition to that, forget all your doubts. There is no more room for any doubts at this stage. Doubts will add unnecessary pressure at this point. Concentrate on what you know and what you have learned until now and ace those topics.

Tip 2: Practice on managing time

Note that, In the first paper, mathematics there will be 120 questions. Each question is of 2.5 marks and the total time allotted to solve them is 150 minutes. You need to have a strategy to complete all the questions in the available time, it will be easier if you practice the time management using NDA 2019 mock tests from today.

Tip 3: Plan now for what to do in the exam hall

This is what a topper would do! Yes, plan exactly what you are going to do at the exam center. Make a blueprint of the exam day strategy and practice accordingly from now on. You can apply the following:

On the NDA 2019 exam day for the mathematics section especially, screen the paper as soon as you get the question paper. Now mark the questions as 1, 2, and 3. These marks denote 1 – attempt in the first go, 2 – attempt in the second go and 3 – attempt in the last, this will be the questions that you are less confident in and if the time is not left you can leave them.

This or a similar type of technique can be used to attempt all the questions. You just need to figure it now, and practice to see if it works and apply it on the exam day.

Tip 4: Analyse the trend

Analyze previous years’ question papers and find out the chapters/topics from which most numbers of questions are asked. As per the trend analysis, note the chapters that are on the high priority and focus on them. However, do not start any new topic, as mentioned above.

Based on our analysis, here are the most important chapters from which most of the questions are asked:

Mathematics: Binary systems of numbers, logarithms, inequalities, set theory, complex numbers, quadratic equations, sequence and series, Permutation and combination, Probability, Binomial theorem, and Matrices.

Bonus Tip 2: Practice

The hidden factor of the NDA written exam that very less realize is following “Honesty is the best policy”. Yes, in NDA written exam candidates is also judged on the number of guesses that goes wrong. If a candidates attempt 45 questions and have got 15 wrong answers proves to be a bad impression and if a candidate who attempts 30 questions and gets 28 correct, is definitely going to have a better impression.

You are attempting an exam to join the armed forces, thus you are judged on many bases and not just attempting the questions. Your answer sheet is scrutinized at so many levels. Thus, do not do guesswork in the examination.

Bonus Tip 2: Focus on only NDA level questions

Do not fidget with questions with JEE level or other national level examinations. Stick to NDA level questions. Follow the NDA previous years question papers for this purpose.

The candidates who will appear for the written exam will get their NDA 2019 result declared by 3rd week of June. After the result, the selected candidates have to appear in the Services Selection Board (SSB) interviews.

After the exam, the answer key for the written examination will be available on the day of the exam itself as the exam is completed. The answer key can be used by the candidates to get an estimate of their scores in the NDA 2019 exam.


After all the tips, remember it is important to believe in self and stay confident. All the best and good luck for your NDA exam 2019.