NDA stands for National Defence Academy. It is the Joint Services academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where trainees of the three services namely; the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are given training before they join pre-commissioning training in their relevant service academies. The NDA is located at Khadakwasla near Pune, Maharashtra. It is the first Defence academy in the world to train the cadets for all the three services of Armed forces.

NDA offers a DREAM CAREER for those who have a passion to serve the nation. It is more of selfless services to be rendered than to just earn money.

NDA written entrance examination is conducted by UPSC twice in a year. Notifications are usually out in the month of December or January and one in the month of May or June. The exam is held in the months of April and September respectively.

Eligibility Criteria for NDA

  1. Educational Qualifications:

For Army Wing of National Defence Academy :—12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board or a University.

For Air Force and Naval Wings of National Defence Academy and for the 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme at the Indian Naval Academy :—12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a State Education Board or a University.

Candidates who are appearing in the 12th Class under the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination can also apply for this examination.

  1. Age Limit::Should be between 16 ½ to 19 ½ Years.
  2. Marital Status: Unmarried
  3. Application Date: As per UPSC notification

NDA EXAM PATTERN: NDA Question paper pattern has two papers Mathematics and General ability. Each paper has time duration of 2.30 hours. Mathematics paper has 120 questions of 300 marks, and General ability paper has 150 questions of 600 marks.

Exam pattern of NDA is given below:

I Maths 2.30 hours 120 300
II General Ability 2:30 hours 150 600
  Total    270 900
  SSB Interview   900  

To know more about the NDA Exam pattern one can visit the official website www.nda.nic.in


Subjects Total Marks Marks for Correct Answer Marks for Incorrect Answer
Mathematics 200 2.5 -0.83
English 400 4 -1.33
General Knoweldge 600 4 -1.33

The above table of exam pattern for NDA is applicable for commerce students, biology students, arts students. They can apply for Indian Army wings through NDA and they will only appear in General Ability paper i.e. paper with General Knowledge and English section in NDA Exam. Those who have PCM i.e. PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY AND MATHS IN 12TH STD. can apply for all wings. For officer’s level posts one should be a graduate.



Those who qualify NDA written exam should log on to www.joinindianarmy.nic.inwww.joinindiannavy.gov.in

www.careerairforce.nic.in., to check the date and center for SSB interview.

SSB i.e. Service Selection Board will conduct interview of the successful candidates. The SSB process comprises of two-stages for Selection by the name stage I and stage II.  The applicants who qualify stage 1 are allowed to appear in stage II.

The Selection Process for NDA Exam is as follows:

(a) Stage I comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests which includes Picture Observation and Description Test (PP&DT). The applicants will be given the combination of execution in OIR Test and PP&DT.

(b) Stage II has an Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted for more than four days. The topics to be studied for these tests can be referred on the site www.joinindianarmy.nic.in.

These tests are accessed by The Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Clinician.

SSB Interview : After clearing the written test, candidates have to go through the SSB Interview. The interview process will have total 900 marks.

 Complete SSB interview goes on five  days.

  Day wise SSB interview following:

  • First Day

The first day of SSB interview only psychological tests are conducted. These are conducted during the first day.

  1. Intelligence Test
  2. Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT)
  3. Filling up of Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) forms
  • Second Day
  1. Word Association Test (WAT)
  2. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  3. Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
  4. Self Description Test
  • Third Day
  1. Group Discussion test(GD)
  2. Military Planning Exercise (MPE)
  3. Lecturettes
  4. Progressive Group Task (PGT)
  5. Intergroup Obstacle race or Snake race
  6. Half Group Task
  7. Command Task
  8. Personal interview for some of the candidates by president
  • Fourth Day 
  1. Final Group Task (FGT)
  2. Individual Obstacles
  3. Interview for remaining candidates
  • Fifth Day

On fifth day conference is conducted and the results are announced by SSB board officials. These the following event on fifth day of SSB interview.

  1. Conference
  2. Announcement of recommended candidates

NDA Syllabus

This comprises of Mathematics, General Knowledge and English Language.

Mathematics General Knowledge English Language
Algebra Physics Reading Comprehension
Matrices & Determinants Chemistry Vocabulary
Analytical Geometry General Science Grammar & Usage
Trigonometry Social Studies Cohesion
Integral Calculus Geography  
Differential Calculus Current Events  
Probability and Statistics.    
Vector Algebra    

NDA Exam Preparation

NDA exam preparation must be done in a systematic manner, with latest exam pattern in mind. Since the syllabus covers a lot of topics, it is important to choose the right study material so that you can understand the concepts and practice a wide variety of questions as well. Apart from self study you can join any Coaching and Ofline Test Series for better exam preparation.

NDA Official Notification

These are the important criteria which a candidate must fulfill in order to be eligible for the NDA. The parameters are given below:

1. Citizenship:

  • Candidate must either be Indian citizen
  • Citizen of Bhutan
  • Citizen of Nepal

2. Age Limit: Minimum 16.5 years Maximum 19 years.

3. Educational Qualification: The educational qualifications varies according to the post is listed below:

Army wing of National Defence Academy: 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of school education or equivalent examination conducted by a state education board or a university.

Air Force and Naval Wing of National Defence Academy and 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme At the Indian Naval Academy: 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of school education or equivalent with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a state education board or a university.

4. Physical Standards:

  • Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination
  • A candidate who has resigned or withdrawn on disciplinary grounds from any of the training academies of Armed Forces is not eligible to apply.

Visual standards

  • The distance vision (corrected) should be 6/6 in better eye and 6/9 in the worse eye. Myopia should not be more than 2.5 D and hypermetropia not more than 3.5 D including Astigmatism. Internal examination of the eye will be done using the ophthalmoscope to rule out any disease of the eye.
  • A candidate must have good binocular vision. The colour vision standard will be (CP-III)  for Army. A candidate should be able to recognise red and green colours. Candidates will be required to give certificates that neither he nor any member of his family has suffered from congenital night blindness.
  • Candidates who have undergone or have the evidence of having undergone Radial Keratotomy, to improve the visual acuity will be permanently rejected for all the Services. Candidates who have undergone Laser Surgery for correction of the refractive error are also not acceptable to defence services.

Vision standard for naval candidates

  • Uncorrected without glass 6/6,  6/9
  • Corrected with glass 6/6, 6/6
  • Limits of Myopia –0.75
  • Limits of Hypermetropia +1.5
  • Binocular Vision III
  • Limits of colour perception I
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