What is NDA General Ability Test?
The NDA written exam consists of two papers, Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). The total marks for the written exam are 900 marks. A total of 150 questions are asked in the NDA General Ability Test (GAT), consisting of questions from English, Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography, General Science, and Current Events. The detailed information related to NDA GAT paper is provided in the below table.
Number of General Ability Questions for NDA Exam
The time given to solve the NDA General Ability Test is 2.5 hours. Let us first see the sub-sections which are a part of General Ability and the respective number of questions asked from them.
No. of Questions
Marks for each correct answer
Marks for each wrong answer
How to Prepare for NDA General Ability Test?
The preparation tips for General Ability Test NDA help you to strategize your efforts and prepare an effective study plan for the upcoming exam. The sections below contain the subject-wise tips on how to prepare for the NDA General Ability Test for English, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, and Current Affairs.
NDA General Ability Test: English Preparation Tips
- This section intends to test the candidate’s understanding of English in terms of proficiency, vocabulary, and use of words.
- The syllabus covers various aspects like grammar and usage, reading comprehension, synonyms, and acronyms, fill in the blanks, spot the error, Para jumbles, etc.
- The best way to prepare is to read. Reading is basically a wide segment that includes newspapers, novels, storybooks etc.
- Reading newspapers will not only improve the candidate’s vocabulary but also keep him up to date about current affairs.
- Apart from reading, the candidate can also watch English news channels to ensure proper command over the language.
Physics Preparation Tips for the NDA GAT Paper
- This section usually carries 23-25 questions from general physics topics.
- The topics covered in this section are force, volume, gravity, momentum, the motion of objects, sound waves and their properties, density, conductors and non-conductors, change of state, latent heat, magnets and their properties, heat and its effects, cells, and types of cells, Archimedes Principle, X rays, Ohm’s Law, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Reflection, Refraction, and stability and equilibrium.
- The candidate should make notes of important definitions and formulae.
- The most important aspect of physics is that it is not limited to sums. If the candidate finds the numerical portion of physics tough, he should strengthen his theoretical portion first and then return to the sums.
- The candidate should list down all the formulae and solve at least 8-10 sums for each formula.
- In the case of physics, Ohm’s Law has maximum weightage. This is followed by topics such as Mass, Force, and Momentum.
General Ability Test NDA: Chemistry Preparation Tips
- This section has questions mainly based on chemical formulae and reactions.
- The topics covered are elements, mixtures, compounds, physical & chemical changes, acids, bases, salts, simple chemical equations, laws of chemical combination, properties of air & water, oxidation, reduction, carbon and different forms, the structure of an atom, atomic equivalent, molecular weight, valency, mole concept, fertilizers, preparation of substances like soap, glass, cement, preparation and properties of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.
- Here, NCERT books are enough as they cover all the topics mentioned above.
- Questions on the mole concept and P block are repetitive.
- Private publication books can also be used in addition to NCERT books. Alternatively, the candidate can also use free online study material.
Biology Preparation Tips for NDA Exam
- This section covers topics like cells and tissues, living and non-living organisms, human body and organs, development and reproduction in plants and animals, common epidemics – causes and preventions, balanced diet and food as an energy source for living beings, solar system, meteors, comets, eminent scientists and their achievements, etc.
- Such topics are relatively easy to cover as they can be made into bullet points and memorized.
History and Geography Preparation Tips for NDA General Ability Test
- The history and geography sections constitute 70-80 marks each and are one of the easiest scoring papers in the examination as they deal with simple factual information.
- The general topics that usually appear in the History section are Indian Independence and Freedom Movement, World War I, World War II, Cold War, Russian Revolution, Panchayati Raj, socialism and communism, the role of India in the present world, Five-year plans of India, Cultures, and civilizations of India, Indian constitution, development of science and technology and its impact on the modern world, and famous personalities (for instance, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, etc.).
- The general topics that will appear in the Geography section are Earth – shape, size, origin, rotation and revolution, ocean currents and tides, International date-line, vegetation, agricultural and industrial activities, climatic conditions (types of climate), weather, rocks – formation and classification, coordinates (latitudes and longitudes), natural disasters such as volcanoes and earthquakes, atmosphere (composition, temperature, humidity), sea, air, and land routes, geographical phenomenon – atmospheric pressure, cyclones, and anti-cyclones.
- The simplest and most concise books for preparing the History and Geography section are the NCERT class IX and X books. They give a brief yet clear idea about all the above-mentioned topics.
NDA General Ability Test Preparation for Current Events
- This section includes questions related to all the latest happenings in India and around the world, like politics, eminent personalities, sports, cinema, awards and recognitions, cultural events, science and technological breakthrough, government rules and policies, countries and prime ministers or presidents, countries and capitals, finance and banking, etc.
- The candidate must be up to date about the events that have occurred globally as well as locally over the last year.
- A few ways in which the candidate can stay updated is:
(a) He must make it a habit to read newspapers daily
(b) Blogs are another source of information
(c) The candidate must opt for watching the news or learn about a particular topic on YouTube if he is more comfortable with visual learning
(d) There are many applications available online which will help a candidate get daily updates about current events
Overall a few strategies that the candidate can apply are:
- Write down all important formulae, dates, names, equations, etc. in the form of bullet points to aid in last-minute revision.
- Form study groups to ensure the exchange of ideas and information.
- Solve previous years’ question papers to get a clear idea about the weightage given to each topic
- Try giving more importance to difficult topics if time permits, else the candidate must work on strengthening those topics that he finds easy
- Give as many mock tests as possible to get an idea of the amount of time that can be spent per topic or per question
- Learn space management
- Regularly read English newspapers or watch English news channels to enhance vocabulary as well as stay up to date on current affairs and events
- Try remembering shortcuts, especially in the case of physics formulae and chemical equations
- Understand the topic as far as possible and avoid memorizing everything as too much information may get jumbled up.
Sample General Ability Test Questions For NDA Exam
NDA exam comprises of Two papers Mathematics and GAT. In GAT paper of NDA exam questions are asked from different subjects including English, Science, Geography, History, Current Affairs, etc. In the following table we are providing the links to previous year question paper of NDA exam.
Best Books to Prepare NDA General Ability Test (GAT)
While a wide variety of books are available for every subject, NCERT books are concise and ensure a clear understanding for the candidate. They also come in handy if the preparation time is less, i.e., when the examination date is fast approaching. Given below is a list of books that the candidate can refer to while preparing for the examination.
Let’s Crack NDA Exam
Path Finder for NDA & NA Entrance Examination
Objective General English
Objective English for Competitive Examinations
McGraw Hill Education
Science Class VII-X
Science Class X
Chemistry Class XII
Science Class VI-IX
Class IX and X
Class IX and X
Manorama Year Book
Competition Success Review
CSR Editorial Board
You can also read the Mathematics preparation tips for NDA & NA exam here!