The year 2020 comes up with a number of challenges to various government recruitment bodies in carrying on their regular operations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting India, various state and central government recruitment agencies were pushed to postpone ongoing and upcoming recruitment events and exams.
The UPSC was also forced to defer many of their recruitment exams among which, the exam for admission to the NDA was also included. However, with situation normalising and people getting used to this new normal, the UPSC has announced that the NDA examination will be conducted on September 6.
Generally, UPSC conducts the NDA exams twice a year. However, this year due to the prevailing pandemic situation, the exams for NDA 1 and NDA 2 are scheduled to be conducted on the same day. The online registration and application process for both NDA 1 and NDA 2 is over now and it is only a matter of a few weeks before the exam is conducted. For those who are appearing in the NDA exams this year, here are some important points to remember.
The UPSC provides some crucial instructions to follow on the exam day through the admit card for the NDA exam. Candidates are advised to report to the allocated exam centre well before time considering the strict procedure of admission to the exam hall after careful frisking and checking. Essentially, such procedures take time and therefore candidates are recommended to report to the authorities well before the indicated time for their own convenience.
The commission has indicated a range of items that are not allowed inside the examination hall. Every candidate will be frisked to ensure that they are not in the possession of any banned items such as mobile phones, Bluetooth devices, smart watches and other electronic communication devices. Candidates, in their own interest, are advised not to carry any item of value to the exam centre as the commission does not hold liability for the loss or theft of the same.
Candidates are permitted to enter the exam hall only after the aforementioned procedure has been completed and their identity and provisional eligibility are confirmed. For this, candidates have to produce the admit card and any government-issued photo-identity viz. voter card, Aadhaar card etc. Candidates must note that they must appear only in the exam centre allocated to them. Those who are found to be appearing for the test in an exam centre other than the one allocated to them are disqualified.
Once inside the exam hall, candidates must navigate their way to the seat allocated to them. As per the syllabus and scheme, the examination consists of two paper i.e. Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). For each of the papers, candidates are allowed 2.5 hours of time. The Mathematics paper carries 300 marks in total while the GAT paper carries 600 marks. All the questions are of MCQ type and candidates are not required to write the answers but mark them separately in the answer sheet.
Candidates are provided with a test booklet and an answer sheet to give the test. The booklet consists of the test questions in chronological order. Each of the questions has four possible answers to choose from. Candidates have to select the option that they think is the correct answer and mark the same in the answer sheet. The marking must be done against the corresponding question number in the answer sheet. Candidates are advised to use a black ballpoint pen to mark their chosen option in the answer sheet. Incorrect answers lead to negative marking and 1/3rd of the total marks allotted to a question is deducted for every incorrectly answered question.
It is generally not advisable to leave any preparation for the last moments i.e. the day before the examination. However, one can always do their last-minute revisions for a quick recall of important topics. Among various learning resources such as solved papers, mock tests and question banks, we recommend that candidates refer to the previous year question papers for the last-minute revisions.
Meanwhile, the guidelines provided here are non-exhaustive and candidates must strictly adhere to all the instructions provided in the official notification of NDA 1 and 2 2020 exams, admit card and by the authorities at the exam centre.