Crack NDA 2020: Ace the Maths Section in 7 Simple Ways

Updated Tue, 11 Aug 2020 03:50 PM IST

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With only few weeks left until NDA 2020, the zeal with which NDA aspirants are preparing is on the rise. Students are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to cracking Nation Defence Academy Exam. It’s not just this year, every year the number of students who appear for this exam has been on the surge. It is because NDA offers you with the golden opportunity to have a secured job while working for your country. Apart from a good livelihood you also get attached benefits like respect from the society, honour, insurances, pension, promotional opportunities and much more.

Today we will discuss the most common problem faced by candidates appearing for NDA exam.

Source: Safalta

As you all must be aware that NDA exam has 2 papers i.e. Maths and General Ability Test. Now, the primary point of concern is that you will be able to crack NDA exam only if you do well in your Paper 1 (Mathematics). This is the section where people face majority of issues because the syllabus and exam pattern is such that maintaining both speed and accuracy becomes difficult for applicants.

In this blog I will take you through 7 simple ways that will help you to boost your Mathematics score in NDA exam.

1. Familiarize yourself with maths section of the NDA exam: This section comprises of total 120 questions that carry 2.5 marks each. Hence, in total maths section carries 300 marks. The biggest mistake that candidates tend to make is, they assume that they need to solve all 120 questions to pass the exam. However, I will suggest you to avoid doing that until and unless you are sure about all answers because for every wrong answer 0.83 marks will be deducted.  

You also need to keep the time constraint in mind. You will have 2 and half hours to finish your exam. Hence, the trick is, try to solve every question in less than 1.5 minutes. If any question takes more time to solve just let it be and move to the next one. This way you will be able to finish your NDA paper in time and that too efficiently.

2. Set your priorities and then make a study schedule for yourself: Maths section in NDA exam comprises of various topics like: probability, trigonometry, sequence series, etc. Every individual has his/her own opinion about each of these topics. So, I would suggest you to make a list of all the topics and then pick the ones which you already know first while preparing for NDA paper. The tip is that you should make the topics you feel confident about even better so that if any question comes from those topics you can 100% solve it.

Try to focus on the basics! If your basic concepts are clear then you will learn the implementation of the concept by itself. Go for solved examples first and then try solving unsolved questions. This will help to build confidence. Begin by solving 11th and 12th standard NCERT maths books and if you still feel the need then go for other books. 

Set weekly and monthly goals so that you can track your progress. Always maintain a list of topics covered and topics left. Learn tricks and tips to solve questions. You can do this either by self study or you can join some online course to prepare for NDA exam.

3. Analyze previous year NDA question papers: While analyzing keep your focus on 2 main things: 

i. Types of questions: Try to find out topics for which questions get repeated each year in NDA exam. However, since this exam is conducted by UPSC there will always be a surprising element. So, prepare yourself mentally that this pattern of questions can change. This analysis does not mean that you study only those topics for which you get more questions each year. It is just to help you to boost your score by laying more emphasis on such topics while studying the other topics as well.

ii. Level of questions: This is the most significant parameter that you need to keep in mind while preparing for NDA exam. The level of questions of each type in exam remains almost the same every year. Solving previous year NDA papers will give you an idea of what type of questions you get. For instance, are the questions related to trigonometry really tough or are they okay?

This analysis will help you to adopt a strategic and more effective approach while preparing for NDA exam which will in turn help you ace the exam.

4. Mind maps: They also play a key role while preparing for NDA exam. Mind maps are nothing but a short formulas or concept sheet. For every topic you study, note down the important formulas and concepts that you came across related to that topic. It is advisable to prepare mind maps because you can carry them with you and have a look at them every now and then. This will help to embed formulas in your mind permanently. Also, this will help you in your last minute revisions. 
Moreover, every year in NDA paper there are 30-35 questions that are super simple and can be solved just with the help of formulas or basic concepts.

5. Mock tests and time management: Do your self evaluation on a regular basis by solving as many mock tests as possible. Identify your weaknesses and try to work on them. Are you aware that about 65% of the people are not able to crack NDA exam because they waste too much time while solving questions. You need to work on your problem solving speed so that you can finish the exam in time.

First of all, try to memorize the basic calculations like multiplication tables, squares, square roots, cubes, etc of numbers. This will help you save calculation time. Secondly, rather than trying to solve questions in the order they appear in exam try to go first for questions based on topics you are confident about. In case you are not able to solve any of the questions do not panic. Peace of mind is very important else you will forget everything. Save time consuming questions for the end.

Follow this approach while solving mock tests so that you develop it is as a habit and hence do not face any challenges on the exam day.

6. Wisely select and reject questions while attempting the final exam: Do not answer all questions because if they turn out to be incorrect you will end up losing large no of marks. 

But how to decide which questions to reject? If you have left out some topics while preparing for exam do not attempt questions related to those topics in final NDA exam. Its human tendency that we try to attempt questions by guessing answers or by looking here and there. Avoid that! Attempt only those questions whose answers you are sure about.

In addition to that, avoid bouncer questions. What most applicants do is that even if they are not able to reach a solution or get stuck while solving a question for about 1-2 minutes, they try to guess the answer for that question. This is a very wrong approach and can lead to reduction in your overall score.

7. Some Important topics: Although I would suggest that you prepare each and every topic in detail but still there are some topics like sets, sequence & series, Matrices and determinants on which I would like you to focus more. You get at least 4 to 5 very simple questions each year based on these topics. 

I have come across majority of NDA aspirants that do not study probability because they find it tough. But let me make it clear, questions that you get on probability in NDA exam are easy and can be solved with some basic knowledge of probability. Hence, I would recommend you to prepare for this topic as well. For trigonometry, you can go through properties of triangles and inverse functions, etc. This will enable you to solve some trigonometry formula based questions.

To sum it up, cracking maths section of NDA exam won’t be tough if you follow the right approach and stay motivated. Do not fear failure but be terrified of regret. So, it’s high time you should start preparing for NDA exam with full dedication and concentration so that you may not have to regret later. Follow the above mentioned steps and I guarantee you will do exceptionally well in your final NDA exam.

For more guidance about NDA exam and NDA coaching you can join course on By paying just a minimal fee of Rs. 2499 you can get access to unlimited relevant study material, live and recorded classes on various topics related to NDA exam. Additionally, you will also get access to Safalta’s telegram group for NDA aspirants. Through this telegram group you can stay updated on current events and other exam related important information.

What are you waiting for? Join today and fulfil you desire to join country’s defence forces. I can assure that you will have a great learning experience with Safalta classes.  

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