Can a non-math student apply for the NDA exam?

Although there is a compulsory paper on mathematics in the NDA exam, it does not mean you are ineligible to apply if you do not have math at the 10+2 level. Let us make it simple for you to understand. Due to a lack of awareness and proper guidance, many aspiring candidates refrain from applying for the NDA exam simply because they don’t have mathematics as a subject at the intermediate level. To bust this misconception, Centurion Defence Academy has come up with a complete analysis of how to apply for the NDA exam if someone doesn’t have math.

The official notification for the NDA exam states that math at the 10+2 level is mandatory only for those candidates who want to join the Air Force or Naval wing of the National Defence Academy. Contrary to this, if you are someone who doesn’t have math, you can apply for the Army wing of the NDA. No matter whether you have taken PCM, PCB, commerce, or even arts in 11th and 12th classes, you are completely eligible to apply for the NDA exam. Let us now see other aspects of the NDA exam for candidates who do not have math and how they can score good marks in the mathematics paper of the NDA exam.

How do you tackle the mathematics paper in the NDA exam?

I hope it is now clear that students from any stream can apply for the NDA exam even if they do not have math. However, one has to understand that merely applying for an exam doesn’t ensure selection. To crack the exam, one has to score adequate marks in both the papers of the NDA exam—mathematics and general ability tests.

Broadly speaking, the NDA written syllabus consists of two papers. The first is the mathematics paper, and the second is the General Ability Test (GAT). Furthermore, mathematics is a compulsory paper in the NDA exam, and every candidate appearing in the exam must attempt this paper irrespective of his or her academic stream.

NDA Mathematics Exam Pattern

The following table clarifies everything about the NDA mathematics paper that you should know about. It includes shift, number of questions, maximum marks, positive and negative markings, duration, mode of the exam, and the subject-wise cut-off marks.

Number of Questions120
Maximum Marks300
  • Algebra
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Trigonometry
  • Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions
  • Differential Calculus
  • Integral Calculus and Differential Equations
  • Vector Algebra
  • Statistics and Probability
Positive Marking2.5 marks for every correct answer
Negative Marking0.83 marks for every incorrect answer
Time Duration2 Hours 30 Minutes
ModeOffline (OMR)
Cut-off Marks (Math)*25% (It may vary from 20-30%)

Cut-off Marks (Math)*

Since you are from a non-math background, a systematic study plan is a must for you to tackle the mathematics paper in the NDA exam. As we have already discussed, you can’t neglect the mathematics paper just because you are from the commerce or arts streams. It is a must to attempt this paper and also score at least 25% marks to crack the subject-wise cut-off. However, the minimum score in the NDA mathematics paper may vary from 20% to 30%. Over the last few years, it has been 25%.

To crack the NDA mathematics paper, the first step should be to analyze the previous years’ papers. A detailed analysis of the previous years’ papers will help you know the mathematics chapters or the topics that are important and frequently asked. A few important topics in the NDA math paper include probability and statistics, permutations and combinations, trigonometry, vectors, matrices and determinants, sets, etc. These are some commonly asked math topics, however, to better understand the difficulty level of the questions and the important topics, it is always right to solve the previous years’ papers.

How do you score the minimum cut-off marks in the NDA math paper?

To determine the number of questions a candidate should attempt in the NDA Maths paper to clear the cut-off, we’ll need to calculate the minimum marks required to meet the 25% subject-wise cut-off.

  • The maximum marks for the NDA Maths paper are 300, and the subject-wise cut-off is 25%. 
  • Therefore, a candidate needs to score a minimum of 75 marks out of 300 to meet the 25% cut-off in the NDA Maths paper.
  • Hence, to qualify for the 25% cut-off in the NDA Maths paper, a candidate should attempt at least 30 questions correctly without any incorrect attempts.

However, this should be applied only when a candidate is from a non-math background and he or she finds it challenging to score adequate marks in the NDA math paper. Thus, candidates need to aim for accuracy and attempt a sufficient number of questions. This will help him or her to clear the overall cut-off score in the NDA exam and achieve the dream of joining the armed forces.

Join Centurion Defence Academy for Complete NDA Preparation

If you are looking for the right mentorship and quality guidance for the NDA exam, then join Centurion Defence Academy, the best NDA coaching in India. Even if you are a non-math student, Team Centurion has a systematic study plan to acquaint you with the key aspects of the NDA math paper and enhance your overall NDA preparation. Centurion offers the best NDA foundation course, which provides you with an opportunity to complete your schooling while also preparing for the NDA exam. Centurion Defence Academy not only fosters written exam preparation but also boosts your SSB interview preparation. If you have further queries regarding the NDA exam, just call us at +91 9795977776.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can arts students apply for NDA?

Yes, arts students are eligible to apply for NDA. Mathematics is not mandatory for the Army wing of the National Defence Academy.

  • What is the syllabus of NDA for arts students?

The syllabus for arts students applying to NDA remains the same as for other streams. It includes Mathematics and the General Ability Test. GAT covers English, General Knowledge, Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, Current Affairs, etc.

  • What is the NDA syllabus for arts students without math?

Candidates without Mathematics can apply for the Army wing. The NDA syllabus for art students without math is the same as for other students.

  • Can I join NDA after 12th arts?

Yes, you can join NDA after completing 12th in the arts stream by appearing in the NDA exam.

  • How to join NDA after 12th commerce?

Commerce students can join NDA after the 12th by applying for the exam conducted by UPSC. They can join the Army wing without Mathematics as a subject.

  • Can a girl join NDA after 12th commerce?

Yes, female aspirants can join NDA after the 12th commerce.

  • How to join NDA after 12th arts?

After completing 12th in arts, candidates can apply for NDA by appearing for the entrance exam conducted by UPSC.

  • Is NDA for commerce students without math?

Commerce students without Mathematics can join the NDA for the Army wing. Also, Mathematics is mandatory only for Air Force and Naval wings.

Comments (4)

    • Sir Shishir Dixit June 5, 2024

      Glad to hear that, for admission & fees related queries pls call on +919795977776.


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