NDA- National Defence Academy

NDA stands for National Defence Academy, the training institute for the cadets of the 3 defence lines of India (Army, Air Force, and Navy). At the same time, the NDA exam is the whole selection process to find suitable candidates for the academy to train there and join their respective academies. This exam is conducted twice a year and contains a written test and an interview. Candidates who are willing to apply for it must read this post thoroughly and keep a note of the upcoming NDA exam 2023 events.

NDA: Exam Eligibility

There is a set eligibility criterion for the candidates to appear for the NDA exam as prescribed by the UPSC on their official website. The eligibility criteria are split into three parameters: Age limit, Educational Qualification, and Physical standards. Below you can go through the detailed eligibility norms of the NDA exam as prescribed by the concerned authorities.

NDA: Qualification

Candidates must have the requisite qualification to take the NDA exam and proceed further in the recruitment process. The details of the educational qualifications required by the candidates are illustrated here in the table.

Academy Educational Qualification
NDA Course (Indian Army) 12th Class pass of the 10 + 2 School Education pattern or equivalent exam performed by the State Education Board or University.
NDA Course (Indian Navy & Indian Air Force) & 107th and 108th INAC Course 12th Pass of the 10 + 2 School Education pattern or equivalent to Physics and Mathematics by a State Education Board or a University.

Note: Candidates appearing in the 12th Class under the 10+2 School Education or equivalent examination can also apply for this examination.

NDA: Physical Standards

The candidates must fit the prescribed physical eligibility, such as height and vision standards. The candidates must satisfy the stated NDA exam eligibility criteria mentioned here. The different physical standards for NDA are as follows:

Category Minimum NDA Height for Male Candidates
Tribals from Ladakh Region 155 cm
Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep, and Minicoy Islands 155 cm
Gorkhas, Nepali, Assamese, Garhwali, Kumaoni, and Uttarakhand 152 cm
Bhutan, Sikkim & North East Region 152 cm

NDA: Age Limit 2023

The aspirants must fit into the prescribed NDA Age Limit to be able to take the exam and grab the desired post. The age limit criteria for the NDA exam for different courses is between 16.5 to 19.5 years.

NDA: Exam Pattern

The exam pattern of NDA is divided into three papers: Mathematics, General Ability Test, and SSB Interview. The complete details of the paper pattern for the NDA exam have been elaborated herewith. Candidates must be enriched with all the exam parameters to step up to the next level of the selection process. Note the essential subjects, duration, and maximum marks allotted to each subject as per the NDA Exam Pattern in the table below.

Code Exam Name Duration No. of Questions Maximum Marks
1 Mathematics 2 ½ hours 120 300
2 General Ability Test 2 ½ hours 50 200
100 400
3 SSB Interview - 50 900
Total 1800

NDA: Exam Syllabus

Get the complete overview of the NDA Syllabus here for Mathematics, General Awareness, and English. Candidates must first clear the written test for which they need to know the latest syllabus, which comprises different subjects like Mathematics, English, General Science, etc. The candidates must be thoroughly conversant with the NDA exam syllabus to prepare for the exam and improve their performance.

Please check out the complete subject-wise syllabus as discussed below:

Paper Topics
Mathematics Calculus, Vector Algebra, Statistics & Probability, Venn diagram, Complex numbers, Height and Distance, Parabola, Ellipse, and Hyperbola, etc.
English Fill in the blanks, Synonyms & Antonyms, Vocabulary, Cloze Test, Idioms & Proverbs, Sentence Correction & Improvement, etc.
General Awareness/Knowledge Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History Freedom Movement, Geography, Current Events, etc.

Note: Out of the total marks assigned to the General Knowledge of General Mental Ability paper, questions on physics, chemistry, science, history, geography & current events will carry approximately 25%, 15%, 10%, 20%, 20%, and 10% weightage respectively.

NDA: Selection Process

UPSC conducts the NDA exam in two stages: a written test and an SSB Interview. The first stage is the written exam, in which candidates must perform competently to proceed further with the selection process. Candidates who clear this stage will be called for SSB Interview. Check out the NDA Selection Process and its stages which are discussed below:

  • Pen & Paper Test (written exam): The written exam is the first stage of selection and is conducted in an offline mode. The candidates obtaining the minimum qualifying marks will then be eligible to appear in the following selection round.
  • SSB Interview: This is the second NDA 2023 selection process stage. The SSB Interview tests are conducted for the Intelligence and Personality Test of the candidate. The SSB Interview is also held at 2 stages, where 1st round is taken by the Centres/Air Force Selection Boards/Naval Selection Boards. Candidates cracking the 1st round only are eligible to appear in the 2nd interview round.
  • Medical Examination: This stage is of qualifying in nature. Candidates who want to be a part of Indian forces should be medically fit and prepare for this selection stage.
  • Final Merit List: The final merit list is prepared based on marks scored in the written exam and SSB Interview. The final allocation will be based on the availability of vacancies, fulfilling eligibility criteria, medical fitness, and merit-cum-preferences.