Are you determined to excel in the National Defense Academy (NDA) examination and embark on a remarkable journey towards a career in the Indian Armed Forces?

About Examination

The National Defense Academy (NDA) examination is a prestigious national-level entrance exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for young aspirants who wish to join the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force as commissioned officers. This highly competitive exam offers a pathway to an illustrious career in the defence forces, where candidates receive comprehensive training and valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth. The NDA examination consists of a written test followed by an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).

Essential Details About NDA Examination



Conducting Authority



Indian & others

Age Limit

Upper Age – 18.7 years
Lower Age – 15.7 years

NDA Educational Qualifications

Army Wing – Pass certificate in 10+2 exam
For Air Force and Naval Wings – Passing Certification of Class 12th exam with Physics and Mathematics


Unmarried Female and Male


NDA Eligibility Criteria

1. Nationality

Candidates must fulfil these requirements to apply for the NDA:

  • A citizen of India, or
  • A subject of Nepal, or
  • A subject of Bhutan, or
  • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia, or Vietnam, with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Provided, however, that a candidate in categories 2, 3, 4, and 5 must be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Indian government. Gorkha candidates from Nepal do not need to provide a certificate of eligibility.

2. Age Limit

The age limit for candidates should be as follows.

  • Lower Age Limit- 15.7 Years
  • Upper Age Limit- 18.7 Years

3. Educational Qualification:

The educational requirements for admission to the various academies are listed below. Candidates in Class 12 or equivalent examinations are eligible to apply. Candidates taking the Class 11 exam are ineligible.

  • For the Army wing, you must have passed a Class 12 or equivalent examination from a recognised board.
  • For the Air Force and Naval wings, as well as the 10+2 Cadet entry scheme at INA: Passed a Class 12 or equivalent exam in Physics and Mathematics

4. Marital Status:

The exam is only open to unmarried male and female candidates. Candidates should not marry until their training is completed. Candidates who marry during their training will be discharged and must repay the government for all expenses incurred.

NDA Exam Pattern at Glance

Sections of The Exam

Written and Interview

No. of Papers in the Written Exam.

2 (Math and GAT)

No. of Stages in the Interview.


Duration of the Math Paper.

2 Hours 30 Minutes

Duration of the GAT Paper.

2 Hours 30 Minutes

Total Marks for the Written Exam.

900 (300 for Math, 600 for GAT)

Total Marks for the SSB Interview



Types of Questions Asked in the

Written Exam.

Objective Type (MCQs).

Mode of the Exam.

Pen and Paper-based (Offline).


NDA Exam 2023 Syllabus


The following are the broad topics for the NDA exam maths syllabus.

  • Trigonometry
  • Algebra
  • Vector Algebra
  • Analytic Geometry In Two And Three Dimensions
  • Operations on Matrices
  • Determinants
  • Differential Calculus
  • Integral Calculus
  • Probability
  • Differential Equations
  • Operations on Statistics


  • English Grammar: Vocabulary and Comprehension
  • Physics (Class 12)
  • Chemistry (Class 12)
  • General Science.
  • Indian and International History.
  • Geography.
  • Current Affairs.

NDA Selection Process & Stages

  1. NDA Written Exam
  2. NDA SSB Interview
  3. Medical Examination

NDA Written Exam

The first step in the NDA selection process is the written exam. The successful NDA recruiting registered exam applicants will receive an invitation to the SSB Interview. The following information is provided regarding the written exam:

  • Mathematics and the General Ability Test (GAT) are the two topics on the written examination.
  • The written exam has a total score of 900.
  • The test will go on for two and a half hours.
  • There will be objective-type questions on the test paper.
  • Both topics' exam questions will be written in Hindi and English.
  • The minimum NDA selection grade for each subject in the written exam is 25%.

NDA SSB Interview

Candidates who pass the NDA exam in 2021 will be invited to an SSB interview at one of several screening centres. The NDA SSB Interview is a five-day procedure done at selection facilities for the Indian Armed Forces. Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT) and Officer Intelligence Rating Test (OIR) are administered on NDA SSB Day 1. On day 1, the selection centre keeps the shortlisted candidates for the following four days. The other NDA interview process includes conferences, personal interviews, group testing officers' tasks (GTOs), and psychological tests. There is no official NDA interview round syllabus. Candidates can refer to the table below for more information.




Officer Intelligence Rating Test and Picture Perception & Discussion Test

Psychological Tests

Thematic Apperception Test Word Association Test

Group Testing Officers Task

Group Discussing Group Planning Exercise Task, Task Individuals Task Command and Group Obstacle Task

Personal Interview

Interview with officers


Interaction with the Board Members including President and GTOI


Final NDA Merit List

  • Obtaining a minimal NDA cut in 2021 to receive an SSB call letter is necessary to become familiar with the Indian Armed Forces through the NDA.
  • To apply for the Indian Air Force, candidates must pass the Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS).
  • Performance in the written exam and SSB interview will be considered when preparing the outcome of the NDA 2021 selection procedure.


FAQs( Frequently Asked Questions)


What is the selection process for the NDA examination?

The selection process for the NDA examination consists of a written examination and an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB). Candidates who qualify for the written exam are shortlisted for the SSB interview, which includes psychological tests, group tasks, and personal interviews. The final selection is based on the candidate's performance in the written exam and the interview.

What subjects are covered in the NDA written examination?

The NDA written examination consists of two papers: Mathematics and General Ability Test. The Mathematics paper tests the candidate's mathematical aptitude, while the General Ability Test covers English, General Knowledge, Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, and Current Affairs.

Is there a negative marking in the NDA examination?

Yes, there is a penalty for incorrect answers in the NDA examination. For each incorrect answer, one-third of the marks assigned to that question are deducted as a penalty.

Can female candidates apply for the NDA examination?

Currently, only unmarried male candidates are eligible to apply for the NDA examination. However, female candidates can apply for various other entry schemes in the Indian Armed Forces.

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