The Union Public Service Commission is all set to conduct NDA 2020 on September 6. In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission decided to conduct a common competitive exam for admission to NDA 1 and NDA 2 sessions on the aforementioned dates. With the release of the admit cards for the NDA exam, there is only a week left before candidates have to report to respective exam centres to take the test.
Referring to the pattern of the NDA 2020 exam as indicated through the official notification, out of the two parts of the question paper, the first part is based on mathematics. The mathematics part carries 300 marks while the other part i.e. General Ability Test (GAT) carries 600 marks. It is well-known that the NDA question paper is set as per standards of class 12.
This is particularly true in the context of the mathematics paper. Therefore, here is a compilation of a list of useful tips and tricks to master the preparation for the mathematics paper during these last few days.
During the last few days, it is advisable that candidates refer to the previous year question papers of the paper to know the exact type and pattern of questions that are asked. Candidates can also check out the sections that are inherently high scoring and then adjust their last-minute preparation strategy with a focus on such sections.
When it comes to a paper such as mathematics, one tried and tested method is practice. While revising for the maths portion of the syllabus, candidates can grab a notebook and solve typical questions. The answer keys are available to verify the correctness of the answers and candidates can easily refer to them to ensure that they are adopting the correct methods to solve typical numerical problems.
Given the vastness of the syllabus, candidates may miss out on certain topics from the maths paper. However, during these last few days, it is not advisable to go about learning new concepts. Instead, prioritise the topics that are the highest scoring and important for the Mathematics portion and focus on revising these areas. In order to grab a place in final merit lists, candidates have to post a good score that is higher than the expected cut-offs. Thus the focus must be on securing a higher number of good attempts.
An important suggestion for this paper is to have a confident grasp on the theoretical portions i.e. formulae and equations that are universally applicable. One can make a list of important formulae and memorise them once every day before they appear in the exam.
Make some dedicated study schedule for sections such as Trigonometry and Algebra. These are high scoring areas and candidates must remember that there are provisions for negative marking in the NDA exam. Therefore, one mistake can incur negative marks. It is not possible to cover all areas but candidates can at least solve typical problems from each sub-topic so as to be in a position to attempt any question that might be asked.
Refer to the NCERT mathematics textbooks of classes 11 and 12. The paper is similar to the higher secondary level, candidates can expect to find a lot of common topics that match the syllabus of the NDA maths paper. Scan through the chapters and look for any new type of mathematical problem. Learn to solve all these typical problems to be in a better position to attempt more questions.
Last but not least, learn to efficiently manage the time for the maths paper. The maximum time allowed is 2.5 hours for this part. Set a timer of 2.5 hours and solve previous year papers of mock tests of the maths part. This can be helpful in developing a strategy to manage time effectively and attempt as many questions as possible.