For every Indian, joining the armed forces is a matter of pride. It’s a moment that one can not simply put in words. But how does one join the Indian armed forces? A straightforward answer to the question is by clearing the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam, conducted by Union Public Services Commission (UPSC).
Clearing the NDA exam allows candidates to serve the nation by joining the Indian Air Force, Indian Army, and Indian Navy. If you’re aspiring to become a part of the armed forces, then it’s high time that you should know everything about the NDA exam.
What is NDA Exam?
UPSC conducts the NDA exam twice a year to allow 12th standard students and fresh school pass-outs to apply for a job in the Indian armed forces. It is one of the most prominent defense entrance exams that is the basis for hiring for the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force, as well as the Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC).
How is NDA Exam Conducted?
NDA is conducted in two different stages. First is the NDA written exam clearing, which ensures a seat to the interviews. While UPSC conducts the written exam, the Services Selection Board (SSB) takes care of the interview process.
Candidates need to score minimum qualifying marks to make it to the five-day SSB interview process that tests candidates’ intelligence and personality. Last year, a total of 2.4 lakh candidates had appeared for the NDA exams out of the total 5.3 lakh candidates who had registered for it.
|Exam name||National Defence Academy & Naval Academy Examination (NDA & NA)|
|Minimum Qualification||10+2 (Science Background)|
|Exam Frequency||Two times a year|
|Exam stages||Written Test + SSB Interview|
|Exam mode||Offline (Pen and Paper)|
|Exam duration||5 hours|
|Exam pattern||General Ability Test (GAT): 150 MCQsMathematics: 120 MCQs|
|Language||English and Hindi|
NDA Selection Process
NDA selection process begins with applying for the exam by filling the application form. After that, candidates will have to wait for the release of the admit cards, on which the date and center of the exam are mentioned. Following the release of admit cards, candidates sit for the written exam.
Candidates who clear the NDA written exam are called for SSB interviews that are conducted over the course of five days. Those who clear the interviews are finally admitted into their respective academy for further training before they join the armed forces. Here’s how the NDA selection process works:
Step 1: Applying for the NDA exam
At a young age, lakhs of candidates start their journey to make it to the armed forces by applying for the NDA exam. Candidates need to apply for the NDA exam online. They also need to pay a Rs 100 fee for the exam. The fee can be paid either online or offline.
Step 2: Admit Card Release
Candidates who successfully applied for the NDA exam will be able to download their admit cards just a few days before the competitive paper. On the admit card, candidates can find their roll number, date, timings, and center details of the NDA exam. Aspirants are required to download and carry a hard copy of the admit card to the exam center on the test day.
Step 3: NDA Written Exam
UPSC conducts the NDA written exam, which consists of two sections: General Ability Test (GAT) and Mathematics. Candidates can score a maximum of 900 in the five hours long written exam.
Step 4: Declaration of NDA Written Exam results
UPSC declares the result of the written exam online. Candidates can download the PDF directly from the USPC website to check if they have qualified for the exam or not. Aspirants qualifying for the written exam are called for SSB interviews by the interviewing organization.
Step 5: SSB Interview
SSB interviews are conducted in two phases. On the first day of interviews, candidates have to appear for the stage 1 test. Candidates who clear the test are asked to proceed for the Stage 2 test, while those failing it are asked to go back to their places.
Those who further qualify for the Stage 2 test are called for document screening and medical tests. After all the procedures, they are finally admitted into the respective academies, where they’ll get their training before joining the armed forces.
NDA Latest Updates
NDA (II) 2021 Exam Date
UPSC is all set to conduct the NDA (II) 2021 on November 14 at several centers located all across India. Four hundred aspiring candidates will land a job in the armed forces via the NDA (II) 2021 exam.
Previously, UPSC was planning to conduct the exam on September 5. However, the exam was postponed to November 14, owing to the COVID-19 crisis. Candidates who have successfully submitted their application forms for NDA (II) from June 9 to June 29 will be able to write the competitive exam.
|NDA (II) 2021 Important Events||Important Dates|
|Application form opening||9 June 2021|
|Last date to apply||29 June 2021|
|NDA application form for women candidates||24 September to 08 October 2021|
|Written exam||14 November 2021|
|Admit card||October 2021|
|Results||December 2021 or January 2022 (Tentative)|
|SSB Interview Dates||January 2022 to April 2022 (Tentative)|
NDA (II) 2021: Form Opens for Female Candidates For First Time
In the NDA (II) 2021, UPSC is going to allow female candidates for the first time to write the competitive exam that gives into the armed forces. The step was taken on the recent interim order of the Supreme Court that directed UPSC to allow candidature of female candidates for the NDA exam as well. Women candidates were allowed to submit their applications for NDA (II) 2021 from September 24 to October 8.
UPSC Announces NDA (I) & (II) 2022 Exam Dates
UPSC has announced the calendar for the exams that it’s going to conduct next year. NDA (I) 2022 and NDA (II) 2022 exams will be conducted on April 10, 2022, and September 4, 2022, per the latest UPSC Calendar 2022.
NDA (II) 2021 Exam Pattern
Candidates are planning to write the NDA (II) 2021 should know the exam pattern by heart. If you’re still confused about the pattern, then here’s a glimpse:
|NDA (II) 2021 Exam Pattern Particulars||NDA (II) 2021 Exam Pattern Details|
|Exam mode||Offline (Pen and Paper)|
|Exam duration||5 hours|
|Exam Sections||General Ability Test (GAT) and Mathematics|
|Total number of questions||150 in GAT and 120 in Mathematics|
|Total number of hours||5 hours: 2.5 hours for GAT and 2.5 hours for Mathematics|
|Maximum marks||900: 600 in GAT and 300 in Mathematics|
NDA (II) 2021 Exam Syllabus
NDA (II) 2021 Exam consists of two sections: General Ability Test (GAT) and Mathematics. For most students, the GAT section is quite easier than the mathematics one as it asks numerical from really tough topics.
NDA (II) 2021 Mathematics Syllabus
Candidates need to prepare topics such as algebra, trigonometry, analytical geometry of two and three dimensions, matrices and determinants, differential calculus, vector algebra, stats, and probability, among others, for the NDA (II) 2021 Mathematics section.
NDA (II) 2021 General Ability Test Syllabus
In the General Ability Test (GAT) section, questions are asked from general knowledge, static knowledge, and current affairs. Candidates need to be well versed with the things happening around them to prepare well for the GAT section.
NDA (II) 2021 Vacancies
UPSC is hiring for 400 posts through the NDA (II) 2021 exam. Here’s a breakup of the NDA (II) 2021 vacancies based on the armed services:
|Academy||NDA (I) & (II) Vacancies 2021|
|Air Force (NDA)||120 (including 28 for ground Duties)|
|Naval Academy (10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme)||30|
NDA Preparation Strategy
Candidates aspiring to crack the NDA exam need to prepare for the written exam and interview separately. Their first focus should be on qualifying for the written exam. Here are some other preparation strategies that NDA aspirants can follow:
1. Clear Concepts First
For the Mathematics section in the NDA exam, candidates need to clear their basic concepts first. For that, they can pick the course books from 8th to 12th. Even for the GAT section, candidates shouldn’t hesitate in clearing their doubts from books of previous classes because it’s really important to get the basics right!
Want to Ace NDA Exam 2021 with an Effective Strategies? Check Out 20 tips that can help you revise 15 hours of study material in 1 hour!
2. Practice, Practice and More Practice!
Once your concepts are crystal clear, then all you need to do is practice and more practice. Taking on questions helps candidates understand how to use the concepts that they had studied earlier.
3. Attempt Mock Tests
Be it any exam, candidates should always attempt mock tests to check how their preparations are going. Mock papers clearly reflect weak and strong areas of the candidates, often acting as a mirror.
4. Revise Everything
Since the GAT section asks questions from subjects ranging from chemistry to current affairs, candidates should always keep on revising things that they study on a daily basis.
NDA Exam: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can women candidates write the NDA exam?
Answer: From NDA (II) 2021, women candidates are allowed to appear for the competitive exam to get entry to the Indian armed forces.
2. When will UPSC release NDA (II) admit cards?
Answer: UPSC is expected to release the admit cards for the NDA (II) written exam in the last week of October.
3. What will be the difficulty level of the NDA (II) 2021 exam?
Answer: Predicting the difficulty level of the NDA (II) 2021 exam is tough right now. However, going by past papers, the exam is expected to be of easy to moderate level difficulty.
4. Is the NDA exam different from CDS?
Answer: Yes, the NDA exam is for candidates who have just passed their schools, while the CDS exam is for fresh college graduates. However, both the exams are similar in many ways as they are conducted to hire for similar positions in the Indian armed forces.
5. What are the two sections in the NDA exam?
Answer: The two sections in the NDA exam are Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT) that has questions from English and General Knowledge.
6 . Do candidates need to score minimum qualifying marks in Class 12th to appear for the NDA exam?
Answer: No, candidates don’t need to score minimum qualifying marks in Class 12th to appear for the NDA exam. However, passing the 12th class is a must for all candidates.
Feel free to leave a comment on what are your best ways to prepare and ace the NDA Exams with flying colors!