National Defense Academy (NDA) is the defense academy of our country India. It includes 3 services namely: The Army, The Navy and The Air-force. NDA conducts entrance exam every year so that youth gets the chance to enter into defense sector of India. It is a joint service academy of Indian Armed Forces, where candidates of all three services The Army, The Navy and The Air-force are trained under one roof before going to their respective service academy. NDA provides a training field for the candidate who clears NDA exam, and train them to become a rank officer in defense sector. The institute build the foundation for candidates to develop their personality and skill which will help them to focus on the work and also the institute prepare the candidates to tackle the challenges which the candidate may face in future.

About NDA Exam

UPSC conducts NDA exam twice every year. First exam is conducted in the month of April called NDA 1 and second exam is conducted in the month of August called NDA 2.

NDA exam is conducted into 2 parts:

  1. Written exam
  2. Interview

Written Exam: This exam constitutes of 2 subjects, Maths and General Ability Test. Maximum marks for Maths is 300 & General ability is 600. The exam will be based on objective type questions only. The question papers of Mathematics & General Ability Test will be set bilingually in Hindi as well as English. The time limit for each subject will be 2 and a half hours.

Interview: Qualified candidates in the written examination will be called for Interview conducted by Services selection board. For Army, Navy & 10+2 candidates, they need to undergo Intelligence Test & Personality Test, but for Air Force the candidates must attend a Pilot Aptitude Test. The Interview Consists both test namely Intelligence & Personality Test.

Intelligence and Personality Test: The Service Selection Board  procedure consists of two stage Selection process-stage I and stage II. Candidates who clears stage I are allowed to appear for stage II.

A. Stage I : Comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests are Picture Perception Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted by combining the performance in QIR Test and PP and DT.
Stage II : Comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days.
The personality of a candidate is assessed by three different evaluators: the Interviewing Officer (IO), Group Testing Officer (GTO) and the Psychologist. There are no separate weightage for each test. The marks are allotted by evaluators only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in all the test. In addition, marks for Conference are also allotted based on the initial performance of the candidate in the three techniques and decision of the Board. All these have equal weightage.
B: Air force given pilot aptitude test only once for the candidate’s .The test selected candidates will go to every subsequent Interview.


Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria for NDA exam are given below-

  1. Gender- Only male candidate can apply for NDA Entrance exam.
  2. Age- Only Unmarried Male Candidates between 16-19 years.
  3. Nationality- A candidate must be either be
    (i) A citizen of India, or
    (ii). A subject of Bhutan, or
    (iii). A subject of Nepal, or
    (iv). A Tibetan refugee who came to live in India before the 01 January , 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India,
  4. Academics- Candidate must pass 10+2 from a recognized school/board.

i). For Army Service: 12th passed from any stream.

ii). For Navy And Air-force Service: 12th passed from science stream(physics &  maths)

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

Note: A candidate who has been rusticated  from any of the training academies of Armed Forces is not eligible to apply.
Syllabus for the exam

Syllabus for the NDA exam 2018 is given below-

PAPER 1- MATHEMATICS (maximum marks 300)

  • Algebra
  • Matrix and Determinants
  • Trigonometry
  • Analytical geometry of 2 and 3 dimensions
  • Differential Calculus
  • Integral Calculus and Differential Equations
  • Vector Algebra
  • Statistics and Probability



It includes Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History Freedom Moments etc., Geography, Current Events


Exam Pattern

The UPSC NDA exam comprises of 2 stages.
I. Written Examination: There will be 2 papers which will consist of objective type questions only. The question papers of Mathematics & Part B of General Ability Test will be set bilingually in Hindi as well as English. Time duration for each paper is 2 ½ Hours. Subjects & Maximum Marks details mentioned below.

Scheme of Examination:

S. No Subjects Time Duration Maximum Marks
1 Mathematics 2 ½ Hours 300
2 General Ability Test 2 ½ Hours 600
Total 900
Interview 900

The candidates are not allowed to use calculator or mathematical or logarithmic table for answering objective type papers.

  1. Interview: Candidates who select in the written examination are called for Interview which is conducted by Service Selection Board.


The dates for exam and application form of NDA 2018 have been announced. The list of dates for all other exam related events have been provided on this table below. Check the NDA 2018 important dates below.

NDA 2018  Dates

Events NDA (I) NDA(II)
Release of Application Form January 10, 2018 June 6, 2018
Release of Application form January 10, 2018 June 6, 2018
Last date for online registration February 5, 2018 (6:00 P.M) July 7, 2018 (6:00 P.M)
Closure application editing window February 5, 2018 July 7, 2018
Payment of Application Fees (Online) February 5, 2018 (6:00 P.M) July 7, 2018 (6:00 P.M)
Payment of Application Fees (Offline) February 4, 2018 (11:59 P.M) July 6, 2018 (11:59 P.M)
Availability Date for Admit Card Third week of March, 2018 Second week of August, 2018
Written Examination Date April 20, 2018 September 9, 2018
Written Examination Result Date June, 2018 October, 2018
Interview Call Letter and allotment of SSB Centres Dates September/October To be notified
Final Merit List Declaration Date To be notified To be notified




Preparing for Paper 1: Mathematics

Mathematics will include topics like Integral Calculus, Differential Equations, Trigonometry, Algebra, Vector Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Analytical Geometry, Statistics & Probability etc.

To cover up this you will have to:

  1. Have clarity in concepts. The questions will be based on conceptual basis. Clear your basics by solving as many sums as possible.
  2. Learn effective time management, wherein you solve all the questions within the given period of time. There would be 200 questions to be solved within 120 minutes, so you will get less than a minute to solve each question. Here, emphasizing on mental mathematics may be a good idea where you learn to solve the questions mentally most of the time.

Preparing for Paper 2: General Ability

General Ability is further divided into:

Part A: English(200 marks)

The English test covers topics like vocabulary, grammar and usage and comprehension. To prepare for this test:

  1. Read English newspaper daily, learn new words
  2. Go back to basic grammar and learn the rules thoroughly. Try to solve as many English tests as possible. English tests available online, you should solve as many as possible.

Part B: General Knowledge (400 marks)

The GK test will check the candidates general understanding and his knowledge of Current Affairs within the country as well as outside. The test will comprise six sections: General Science, Indian history, Physics, Geography, Chemistry and Current Events. To prepare for this test:

  1. Check the news updates regularly, be aware of the latest happenings in the field of sports, arts, literature etc.
  2. Read about the current economic scenario in the country, the recent and past policy changes and also go through the topics that are directly related to India and its neighbouring countries.


Preparing for Intelligence and Personality test

  1. Focus on developing your personality. The test usually evaluates the candidates for officer-like qualities, which includes sense of responsibility, reacting to situations, social adaptability, team work, etc.
  2. You can start practicing psychological tests that enable you to know yourself. The better you know yourself, the better you will groom yourself to develop officer-like qualities.


Time Table for study

For better preparation, you must have a smart study plan which will lead you to manage your time and NDA syllabus efficiently. Your preparation schedule must be well-organized so that you are able to score good marks.

Clear Your Basics First

It is necessary to analysis your syllabus and mark the topics that require more hardwork. Start preparing those topics from their basics. If your basics are clear then only you are able to solve the high level questions easily.

Emphasis on General Knowledge and English Subject

Proficiency in English and knowledge of G.K. is required for clearing the NDA examination. Your English is not only tested in written test but if there is fluency in your English, then it may leave the good impression on selectors also at the time of interview. Interviewer will mostly ask questions based on G.K. and logical reasoning. Make sure you are good at it.

Maintain health and fitness

Candidates who are preparing for NDA exams should maintain their health and fitness. During the physical test the candidate undergoes a very strict training so the candidate must be physically fit. For that the candidate should avoid junk and oily food, he should exercise daily for about 2-3 hours and he should have a proper health diet. Candidate should focus on his core strength and stamina.

Time Management

Time Management is very important while preparing for any exam. Candidate should allot proper time for each subject. Suppose a candidate finds difficulty in any subject then he should give more time to that specific subject. If a candidate is willing to study 6 hours daily then he should put more emphasis on Mathematics in comparison to general knowledge as the syllabus of Mathematics is vast. 6 hours of daily study will help the candidate to complete the syllabus on time and also candidate will get lots of time to revise the portion.



Karmanevadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachina
(Your duty is action with no eye on the fruits it will bring)

“The safety, honor & welfare of your country comes first, always & every time. The honor, welfare & comfort of the men you command, come next. Your own ease, comfort & safety come last, always & every time.”.


With this thought we wish each and every candidate all the best for their exam We hope the above details and tips would help you get through the NDA examination. For any other details or query, you can contact us directly.

All the best!




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