How To Score 170+ Marks in NDA 1 2024 English Section

English is an important subject in the NDA written exam. It is also a high-scoring subject, provided that candidates have done enough practice and developed conceptual understanding. If you follow the right tips and strategies, you can score 170+ in the NDA 1 2024 English section. In this blog by Centurion Defence Academy, we’ll be sharing some effective tips to score well in the English section of the upcoming NDA exam. Follow these English tips for the NDA 1 2024 exam and boost your written score to qualify for the SSB interview.

Overview of the English section in NDA

The NDA 1 2024 written exam will take place on 21st April, which means you still have sufficient time to boost your score in English. All you need to do is refer to the below tips and adhere to them to make a difference in your NDA written score in the upcoming NDA 1 2024 exam.

  • English is included in the GAT paper of NDA. Out of the two papers in the NDA written exam, the General Ability Test paper contains 150 multiple-choice questions. Here, the English section alone covers 50 questions in the NDA GAT paper. 
  • Each question carries 4 marks. This way, you have a golden opportunity to score 200 marks in the NDA GAT paper by attempting questions from the English section only. The remaining 100 questions are related to general studies, general knowledge, and current affairs.

Let us first take an overview of the NDA English section and then discuss some important tips for scoring 170+ marks in the English section.




English (It is Part ‘A’ of GAT)


Paper 2 – General Ability Test (GAT) 


NDA Entrance Exam

Number of Questions


Maximum Marks



2 ½ Hours (It is a composite time to attempt all 150 questions in GAT including English)

Marks Per Question

4 marks for every correct answer

Negative Marking 

1.33 marks for every incorrect answer

Topics Covered  

  • Grammar and its usage
  • Spotting of Errors
  • Reading comprehension
  • Synonyms & Antonyms
  • Para Jumbling
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Cloze Test
  • Sentence Improvement
  • Completion of Sentence
  • Idioms and Phrases


What does the UPSC mention in its NDA official syllabus?

Talking specifically about the English section in the NDA official syllabus, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) mentions the following:

“The question paper in English will be designed to test the candidate’s understanding of English and workman-like use of words. The syllabus covers various aspects like Grammar and usage, vocabulary, comprehension, and cohesion in extended text to test the candidate’s proficiency in English.”

On reading, it seems complex to understand what the actual syllabus is and from which topics questions are asked in the English section. Hence, we always recommend our students to go through the previous years’ papers of NDA to get details about the important topics and the types of questions asked.

English Tips for NDA 1 2024

Understand the marking scheme first:

First of all, you should understand the marking scheme well. As we have highlighted above, for every correct answer, you will get 4 marks but for every incorrect answer, 1.33 marks will be deducted. So, use your calculations and estimate how many marks you will be scoring after attempting a specific number of questions. Although it’s not necessary, it will help you save from the consequences of negative marking.

Check NDA previous years’ question papers:

By referring to the previous years’ question papers, you can get details about the important topics from which questions are covered in the English section of NDA. It will also help you assess the difficulty level of questions and project the expected questions for your upcoming exam. Pick at least last 10 years’ question papers and note down the topics from where questions were covered.

  • You should also note important words like synonyms and antonyms, and idioms and phrases asked in the previous NDA papers. Search for additional similar words, idioms, and phrases, and start revising them. 
  • Don’t waste too much time picking a huge number of words and memorizing them; instead, practice the previously asked questions and mock tests for further improvements.
  • Make it very clear in your mind that the UPSC doesn’t ask the synonyms and antonyms directly, the questions are in the form of sentences with an underlined word. So, it becomes easy to find out the meaning of the underlined word and select its antonym or synonyms accordingly.
  • For this, you need to practice the PYQs rigorously. To check your accuracy and improve your exam preparation, attempt these previous years’ papers and check your strong and weak areas.

Special focus on spotting errors:

Spotting error-based questions are commonly asked every time in NDA. Hence, it is important to practice a handful of questions based on spotting errors to develop conceptual understanding and score well in the exam. In this part, questions are mostly covered from topics such as subject-verb agreement, usage of articles, prepositions, etc. To score well in this part, practice mock tests and see how you are performing. Also, you can attempt PYQs to check the difficulty level in spotting-error-related questions and improve your plans accordingly.

Tips for reading comprehension:

Reading comprehension is easy and most candidates mark correct options. We would again recommend you pick at least the last 10 years’ question papers and start solving questions based on reading comprehension. Now, check if you can mark the correct answers. This approach will also help you develop a plan for answering questions on this topic within the limited time.

Other important tips for scoring well in English:

Most of the questions in the English section of NDA are statement-type. It means if you have to choose the antonym of a particular word, then there is a complete sentence in which that word is underlined or highlighted. Now, even if that word is tough or you do not know the meaning, it becomes easy to draw the meaning of that word with the help of the given sentence. As a result, you can easily pick the synonym, the anatomy, or whatever is asked.

Another important point is that all the questions are multiple-choice-based. You do not have to write anything or provide any explanation to answer a question. The plus point here is that if your fundamentals are clear, you have sufficient knowledge of basic grammatical rules, and you have done enough practice through PYQs and mock tests, it will be quite easy for you to solve all the English questions in the NDA exam.

Contact Centurion Defence Academy for Complete NDA Preparation

Centurion Defence Academy is the best NDA coaching in India, providing holistic guidance and the highest selection rate. The NDA success stories of our students are available on the official YouTube channel of Centurion Defence Academy. Whether you want to inquire about the Centurion Defence Academy NDA course or if you have any other query related to your exam preparation, our team is always ready to help you achieve your defence dream. You can reach out to us at +91 9795977776 or +91 9795977779.

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