UPSC NDA Syllabus 2021: Subject-wise Syllabus and Important Topics Pdf Download

Exam Date

Nov 14, 2021

Result Date

Dec 10, 2021

Apr 7, 2021


Browsing all over the internet and looking for tips and tricks on how to qualify an NDA Exam? Well, there's no bigger tips and tricks other than the preparation of the syllabus for the NDA exam. In this section, we have covered up the syllabus which will immensely help the candidates to qualify the NDA exam. Candidates are advised to go thoroughly.

NDA Exam Syllabus

NDA exam will be conducted on Nov 14, 2021. For a better result, preparation of the syllabus is a must. Syllabus for NDA exam is divided into two parts - Mathematics and General Ability. Important topics from each part are given below.

Paper 1 - Mathematics

NDA syllabus of maths is given below:


  • The concept of sets, operations on sets, Venn diagrams.
  • De Morgan laws, Cartesian product, relation, equivalence relation.
  • Representation of real numbers on a line
  • Complex numbers—basic properties, modulus, argument, cube roots of unity
  • Binary system of numbers
  • Conversion of a number in decimal system to binary system and vice-versa
  • Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic Progressions
  • Quadratic 17 equations with real coefficients
  • The solution of linear inequations of two variables by graphs
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Binomial theorem and its applications
  • Logarithms and their applications

Matrices and Determinants

  • Types of matrices, operations on matrices
  • Determinant of a matrix, basic properties of determinants
  • Adjoint and inverse of a square matrix, Applications-Solution of a system of linear equations in two or three unknowns by Cramer’s rule and by Matrix Method


  • Angles and their measures in degrees and in radians
  • Trigonometrical ratios
  • Trigonometric identities Sum and difference formulae
  • Multiple and Sub-multiple angles
  • Inverse trigonometric functions
  • Applications-Height and distance, properties of triangles

Analytical Geometry of 2 and 3 Dimensions

  • Rectangular Cartesian Coordinate system
  • Distance formula
  • Equation of a line in various forms
  • The angle between two lines
  • The distance of a point from a line
  • Equation of a circle in standard and in general form
  • Standard forms of parabola, ellipse, and hyperbola
  • Eccentricity and axis of a conic
  • A point in a three-dimensional space, the distance between two points
  • Direction Cosines and direction ratios
  • Equation two points
  • Direction Cosines and direction ratios
  • Equation of a plane and a line in various forms
  • Angle between two lines and angle between two planes
  • Equation of a sphere

Differential Calculus

  • Concept of a real-valued function–domain, range, and graph of a function
  • Composite functions, one to one, onto and inverse functions
  • Notion of limit, Standard limits—examples
  • Continuity of functions—examples, algebraic operations on continuous functions
  • Derivative of function at a point, geometrical and physical interpretation of a derivative—applications
  • Derivatives of sum, product, and quotient of functions, derivative of a function with respect to another function, derivative of a composite function
  • Second-order derivatives
  • Increasing and decreasing functions
  • Application of derivatives in problems of maxima and minima

Integral and Differential Calculus

  • Integration as inverse of differentiation, integration by substitution and by parts, standard integrals involving algebraic expressions, trigonometric, exponential and hyperbolic functions
  • Evaluation of definite integrals—determination of areas of plane regions bounded by curves— applications
  • Definition of order and degree of a differential equation, formation of a differential equation by examples
  • General and particular solution of differential equations, solution of first order and first-degree differential equations of various types—examples
  • Application in problems of growth and decay

Vector Algebra

  • Vectors in two and three dimensions, magnitude and direction of a vector
  • Unit and null vectors, the addition of vectors, scalar multiplication of a vector, scalar product or dot product of two vectors
  • Vector product or cross product of two vectors
  • Applications—work done by a force and moment of a force and in geometrical problems

Statistics and Probability

  • Statistics: Classification of data, Frequency distribution, cumulative frequency distribution—examples
  • Graphical representation—Histogram, Pie Chart, frequency polygon—examples
  • Measures of Central tendency—Mean, median and mode
  • Variance and standard deviation—determination and comparison
  • Correlation and regression
  • Probability: Random experiment, outcomes and associated sample space, events, mutually exclusive and exhaustive events, impossible and certain events. Union and Intersection of events
  • Complementary, elementary and composite events
  • Definition of probability—classical and statistical— examples
  • Elementary theorems on probability—simple problems
  • Conditional probability, Bayes’ theorem—simple problems
  • Random variable as function on a sample space
  • Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments giving rise to Binominal distribution

Paper 2 - General Ability

Syllabus of General Ability is given below:

  • Question paper on General Knowledge will broadly cover the subjects - Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Geography, and Current Events.
  • Syllabus given below is designed to indicate the scope of these subjects included in this paper.
  • The topics mentioned are not to be regarded as exhaustive and questions on topics of similar nature not specifically mentioned in the syllabus may also be asked.
  • Candidate’s answers are expected to show their knowledge and intelligent understanding of the subject.

Section A (Physics)

  • Physical Properties and States of Matter, Mass, Weight, Volume, Density, and Specific Gravity, Principle of Archimedes, Pressure Barometer
  • The motion of objects, Velocity and Acceleration, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Force and Momentum, Parallelogram of Forces, Stability and Equilibrium of bodies, Gravitation, elementary ideas of work, Power and Energy
  • Effects of Heat, Measurement of Temperature and Heat, change of State and Latent Heat, Modes of transference of Heat
  • Sound waves and their properties, Simple musical instruments
  • Rectilinear propagation of Light, Reflection, and refraction. Spherical Mirrors and Lenses, Human Eye
  • Natural and Artificial Magnets, Properties of a Magnet, Earth as a Magnet
  • Static and Current Electricity, conductors and Non-conductors, Ohm’s Law, Simple Electrical Circuits, Heating, Lighting and Magnetic effects of Current, Measurement of Electrical Power, Primary and Secondary Cells, Use of X-Rays
  • General Principles in the working of the following: Simple Pendulum, Simple Pulleys, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Telegraphs, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Microscope, Mariner’s Compass; Lightening Conductors, Safety Fuses.

Section B (Chemistry)

  • Physical and Chemical changes. Elements, Mixtures and Compounds, Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equations, Law of Chemical Combination (excluding problems)
  • Properties of Air and Water. Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon dioxide, Oxidation and Reduction
  • Acids, bases, and salts
  • Carbon— different forms
  • Fertilizers—Natural and Artificial
  • The material used in the preparation of substances like Soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches, and Gun-Powder
  • Elementary ideas about the Structure of Atom, Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights, Valency.

Section C (General Science)

  • Difference between the living and non-living
  • Basis of Life—Cells, Protoplasms, and Tissues
  • Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals
  • Elementary knowledge of Human Body and its important organs
  • Common Epidemics, their causes, and prevention. Food—Source of Energy for man
  • Constituents of food, Balanced Diet. The Solar System—Meteors and Comets, Eclipses
  • Achievements of Eminent Scientists

Section D (History, Freedom Movement and the like)

  • A broad survey of Indian History, with emphasis on Culture and Civilisation
  • Freedom Movement in India
  • Elementary study of Indian Constitution and Administration
  • Elementary knowledge of Five Year Plans of India. Panchayati Raj, Co-operatives, and Community Development
  • Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, National Integration and Welfare State, Basic Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Forces shaping the modern world; Renaissance, Exploration, and Discovery; War of American Independence
  • French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, and Russian Revolution. Impact of Science and Technology on Society
  • Concept of one World, United Nations, Panchsheel, Democracy, Socialism, and Communism
  • Role of India in the present world

Section E (Geography)

  • The Earth, its shape, and size
  • Latitudes and Longitudes, Concept of time
  • International Date Line
  • Movements of Earth and their effects
  • Origin of Earth
  • Rocks and their classification; Weathering—Mechanical and Chemical, Earthquakes and Volcanoes
  • Ocean Currents and Tides Atmosphere and its composition; Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure, Planetary Winds, Cyclones, and Anti-cyclones; Humidity; Condensation and Precipitation; Types of Climate, Major Natural Regions of the World
  • Regional Geography of India—Climate, Natural vegetation
  • Mineral and Power Resources; location and distribution of agricultural and Industrial activities
  • Important Sea ports and main sea, land, and air routes of India
  • Main items of Imports and Exports of India

Section F (Current Events)

  • Knowledge of Important events that have happened in India in recent years
  • Current important world events
  • Prominent personalities—both Indian and International including those connected with cultural activities and sports.

SSB Interview (Stage II)

Only those candidates who clear the stage I are permitted to appear for Stage II. The details are as follows:

  • Part I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and the Picture Perception & Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on the combination of their performance in their OIR Test and their PP&DT.

  • Part II Comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted over a duration of 4 days.

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