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How to Apply for NDA | Selection Procedure of NDA and Full Details


The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the officer defence service training institute of the Indian Armed Forces, where only male cadets were given officer’s training. But in compliance with the interim direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, now women candidates have also been allowed to take part in the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination. In NDA, cadets of the three services i.e. the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force train together before they go on to respective service academy for further pre-commission training. The NDA is located in Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharashtra. It is the first tri-service academy in the world. To now more about NDA Eligibility Criteria:

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) of India conducts NDA examination to select eligible candidates as Commissioned Officers in Indian Armed Forces. NDA selection process comprises two stages – 1. written exam and 2. Service Selection Board (SSB) interview. First, all candidates who fills NDA online registration form need to appear in the written exam. Candidates qualifying the written exam need to appear for SSB Interview for Intelligence and Personality Test.

NDA Notification – Important Dates

NDA (I) notification events NDA (I) notification dates
Notification Release Dec
Application form Release Dec
Admit Card Feb
Written exam March


NDA (II) notification events NDA (II) notification dates
Notification Release Jun
Application form Release July
Admit Card August
Written exam September

NDA Eligibility Criteria

Preparations are underway at the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla (Pune) for the induction of women cadets. Training and administrative arrangements will be made at NDA for the future women cadets. The induction of women for the three-year training course at NDA is a major step in ensuring gender equality. Now women candidates can hold a permanent commission, combat, and command roles in the defence services.

Ministry of Defence will formulate age, nature of training, intake strength, training standards, medical and physical standards for women candidates. Besides, physical infrastructure such as residential quarters for women with strict physical separation, including separate bathroom cubicles, will be constructed. Equitation, swimming, games and sports facilities will be developed for the female cadets.

NDA Eligibility Criteria: Nationality

To apply for NDA, candidates must be

  • A citizen of India or
  • A subject of Nepal or
  • A subject of Bhutan
  • A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India or
  • A person originally Indian who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and 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 that a candidate belonging to categories 2, 3, 4, and 5 must be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Indian government. Certificate of eligibility is not required for Gorkha candidates from Nepal.

NDA Eligibility Criteria: Age Limit

The age limit of candidates should be as given below.

  • For NDA 2, candidates must have born not earlier than January 2, 2002, and not later than January 1, 2005
  • For NDA 1, candidates should be born not earlier than July 2, 2001, and not later than July 1, 2004 
  • The commission will accept the date of birth that is entered into Class 10 or 12 certificates
  • Candidates need to submit these certificates after the declaration of the result of the written exam

NDA Eligibility Criteria: Educational Qualification

The educational qualification prescribed for admission to the different academies is given below. Candidates who are appearing in Class 12 or equivalent examination can apply Candidates appearing in Class 11 exam are not eligible.

  • For Army wing : Passed Class 12 or equivalent examination from a recognized boar
  • For Air Force and Naval wings and 10+2 Cadet entry scheme at INA : Passed Class 12 or equivalent examination with Physics and Mathematics

NDA Eligibility Criteria: Marital Status

Only unmarried male and female candidates can apply for the exam. Candidates should not marry until they complete their training. Candidates who marry during the training will be discharged and have to refund all expenditure spend on them by the government.

NDA Eligibility Criteria : Physical Standards

Candidates must be physically fit according to the physical standards for the NDA exam.

Height & Weight for Army and Air Force

The minimum height prescribed is 157 cms (For Air Force it is 162.5 cms). Certain exceptions are applicable for candidates based on the region from where they belong.

Height (in cms) Weight (in kgs)
16-17 years 17-18 years 18-19 years
152 42.5 44.0 45.0
155 43.5 45.3 47.0
157 45.0 47.0 48.0
160 46.0 48.0 49.0
162 48.0 50.0 51.0
165 50.0 52.0 53.0
167 51.0 53.0 54.0
170 52.5 55.0 56.0
173 54.5 57.0 58.0
175 56.0 59.0 60.0
178 58.0 61.0 62.0
180 60.0 63.0 64.5
183 62.5 65.0 66.5

For Gorkhas and candidates belonging to hills of North-Eastern areas of India, Garhwal, and Kumaon, the minimum height will be 5 cms less than the figure mentioned above. For candidates belonging to Lakshadweep, the minimum height standard is reduced by 2 cms.

Height and Weight requirements for Navy

Height (In cms) Weight (in kgs)
16 years 18 years 20 years
152 44 45 46
155 45 46 47
157 46 47 49
160 47 48 50
162 48 50 52
165 50 52 53
167 52 53 55
170 53 55 57
173 55 57 59
175 57 59 61
178 59 61 62
180 61 63 64
183 63 65 67


Candidates who wish to be pilot need to fulfill the following requirements.

  • Leg Length: The minimum of 99 cms and maximum of 120 cms
  • Thigh Length: Maximum of 64 cms
  • Sitting Height: The minimum of 81.50 cms and maximum is 96 cms

Visual Standards

  • The distance vision (corrected) of candidates should be 6/6 in the better eye and 6/9 in the worse eye
  • Myopia should not be more than 2.5 D
  • Hyper metropia not more than 3.5 D including astigmatism
  • Air Force candidates must not wear spectacles

Candidates can check below the visual standards for Navy and Air Force.

Specification Naval Air Force
Uncorrected without glass 6/6 6/6, 6/9
Corrected with glass 6/6 6/6 (only for Hypermetropia)
Limits of Myopia -0.75 Nil
Limits of Hypermetropia +1.5 +2.00 D Sph
Limits of Colour Perception I Nil
Binocular Vision III Nil
Manifest Myopia N.A. Nil Re
Tinoscopic Myopia N.A. 0.5
Colour Vision N.A. CP-I (MLT)
Astigmatism N.A. +0.75 Cyl (within + 2.0 D.Max)

Candidates must not suffer from any of the following minor conditions.

  • Wax (Ears)
  • Deviated Nasal Septum
  • Hydrocele / Phimosis
  • Condition of Overweight / Underweight
  • Under Sized Chest
  • Piles
  • Tonsillitis
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Varicocele

Guidelines regarding Tattoos

  • Candidates must ensure that any permanent body tattoos should be present only on their inner side of forearm
  • Under no circumstances, UPSC accepts tattoos on the inside of the elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of palm/back (dorsal) side of the hand
  • Permanent body tattoos on any other part of the body are also not acceptable
  • In case a candidate belongs to a tribe where it is customary to have tattoo, acceptance will be granted considering the traditions involved

Spinal Conditions

Candidates must not have the following diseases.

  • Granulomatous disease of spine
  • Arthritis/spondylosis (Rheumatoid arthritis and allied disorders / Ankylosing spondylitis/ Osteoarthrosis, spondylosis and degenerative joint disease / Non-articular rheumatism (e.g. lesions of the rotator cuff, tennis elbow, recurrent lumbago etc.) & Miscellaneous disorders including SLE, polymyositis, vasculitis
  • Spondylolisthesis/spondylolysis
  • Compression fracture of vertebrae
  • SC Heuerman’s disease (Adolescent kyphosis)
  • Loss of cervical lordosis when associated with clinically restricted movements of cervical spine
  • Unilateral / Bilateral cervical ribs with demon stable neurological or circulatory deficit
  • Scoliosis more than 15 degree as measured by Cobb’s method
  • Degenerative Disc. disease
  • Presence of Schmorl’s nodes at more than one level
  • Atlanto-occipital and atlantoaxial anomalies
  • Hemi vertebrae and/or incomplete block (fused) vertebrae at any level in cervical, dorsal or lumbar spine and complete block (fused) vertebrae at more than one level in cervical or dorsal spine
  • Unilateral Sacralisation or lumbarisation (Complete or incomplete) at all levels and bilateral incomplete sacralisation or lumbarisation
  • Any other abnormality if so considered by the specialist

X-Ray Exam

Any of the following conditions will disqualify the candidature of candidates.

  • Granulomatous disease of spine.
  • Arthritis / spondylosis      
  • Scoliosis more than 15 degree as measured by Cobb’s Method (10 degree for Army and Navy).
  • More than mild Kyphosis/Lordosis
  • Spondylolisthesis / Spondylosis / Spondylolysis
  • Herniated nucleus pulposes
  • Compression fracture of Vertebra
  • Sacralisation Disease
  • Cervical ribs with demonstrable neurological or Circulatory deficit
  • Presence of Schmorl’s node at more than one level
  • Atlanto-occipital and atlanto-axial anomalies
  • Incomplete Sacralisation Unilateral or Bilateral
  • Spina Bifida other than SV 1 and LV 5 if completely Sacralised
  • Any other abnormality, if so considered by specialist

Other medical conditions 

  • There should not be any symptoms of the weak constitution or bodily defects
  • Candidates must have a well-developed chest
  • The function of the bones or joints should be good
  • No history of medical breakdown or fits
  • Candidates must have normal hearing capabilities
  • No impediment of speech
  • Normal blood pressure with no signs of heart disease or blood vessel disease
  • No liver or spleen enlargement
  • No abnormalities in urine
  • No skin diseases
  • No abnormalities in USG abdomen examination
  • A sufficient number of natural and sound teeth
  • Routine ECG for Air Force candidates must fall within normal limits

NDA Selection Process & Stages

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

1. NDA Written Exam

The written exam is the first stage of NDA selection procedure. The successful candidates of written exam of NDA recruitment will be called to appear for SSB Interview. The details regarding the written exam is given below –

  • The written exam comprises two subjects – Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT)
  • Total marks of written exam is 900
  • The test will be held for 2 ½ hours
  • The test paper will have objective type questions
  • The language of question paper for both the subjects will be set in Hindi and English
  • Candidates must at least secure 25% NDA selection marks in each subject of written exam

2. NDA SSB Interview

Candidates who clear the NDA exam 2021 will be called for SSB interview at various selection centres. NDA SSB Interview is a five-day process held at Indian Armed Force selection centres. NDA SSB day 1 comprises Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT) and Officer Intelligence Rating Test (OIR). Shortlisted candidates on day 1 are retained at the selection centre for the next four days. The further NDA interview process comprises Psychology Tests, Group Testing Officers Task (GTO), Personal Interview and Conference of NDA selection process. There is no specific syllabus of NDA for the interview round. For more details, candidates can check the table provided below.

NDA Selection Process: Stepwise Selection Process

Stages Tests
Screening Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT)Officer Intelligence Rating Test (OIR)
Psychological Tests Thematic Apperception TestWord Association TestSituation Reaction TestSelf Description Test
Group Testing Officers Task (GTO) Group DiscussionGroup Planning ExerciseProgressive Group TaskHalf Group TaskIndividual Obstacles TaskCommand TaskSnake Race and Group Obstacle Race
Personal Interview Personal Interview with Officers
Conference It comprises interaction with all board members including GTO, psychologist, board president and others

NDA SSB Selection Centres

Candidates appearing for NDA must check NDA selection centres from the table mentioned below.

List of SSB Interview Centres

Branch SSC Centres
Indian Air Force (IAF) 1 AFSB Dehradun2 AFSB Mysore3 AFSB Gandhi Nagar4 AFSB Varanasi
Indian Navy NSB Coimbatore12 SSB Bangalore33 SSB Bhopal
Indian Army Selection Center East AllahabadSelection Center Central BhopalSelection Center South Bangalore

3. NDA Medical Examination

Recommended candidates from SSB interview of NDA selection process will be called for medical examination. In SSB medical exam, candidates will be tested on various factors like height, weight, physical fitness and others. Candidates declared physically fit in all respects will be commissioned as Cadets in various academies of Indian Army Forces.

Documents Required for NDA

Candidates appearing for the NDA interview process have to carry the below-mentioned documents.

  • Original 10th pass certificate or equivalent in support of date of birth
  • Original 10+2 pass certificate or equivalent in support of educational qualification
  • Valid Photo ID proof
  • Caste certificate if belonging to SC, ST, OBC etc
  • SSB call letter

NDA Final Merit List

  • To get acquainted in Indian Armed Forces through NDA 2021 need to secure a minimum NDA cut off 2021 to get an SSB call letter.
  • Candidates appearing for Indian Air Force have to qualify Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS).
  • The final result of the NDA 2021 selection process will be prepared on the basis of performance in the written exam and SSB interview.

Reasons for candidate’s disqualification in NDA

  • Candidates previously rejected on the basis of medical standards are not allowed to attend the SSB interview of the NDA selection process.
  • Candidates who were withdrawn previously from NDA/NA on medical grounds or left the training voluntarily will be eligible for admission only if they qualify for the medical fitness test.

NDA & NA Exam Syllabus

NDA Syllabus: Union public service commission conducts National Defence Academy (NDA) & Naval Academy (NA) exam twice in a year for admission to Indian Navy, Army & Air Force Wings. Minimum Educational Qualification is 12th class pass in 10+2 pattern.  The examination conducts in 2 stages, written examination and interview.The details regarding Syllabus are as follows…

Syllabus For NDA Exam

PAPER-I: MATHEMATICS (Maximum Marks- 300)

1. ALGEBRA: Concept of set, operations on sets, Venn diagrams. De Morgan laws. Cartesian product, relation, equivalence relation. Representation of real numbers on a line.   Complex numbers – basic properties, modulus, argument, cube roots of unity. Binary system of numbers. Conversion of a number in decimal system to binary system and vice-versa. Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic progressions. Quadratic equations with real coefficients. Solution of linear in equations of two variables by graphs. Permutation and Combination. Binomial theorem and its applications. Logarithms and their Applications.

2. MATRICES AND DETERMINANTS: Types of matrices, operations on matrices.  Determinant of a matrix, basic properties of determinants. Adjoint and inverse of a square matrix, Applications – Solution of a system of linear equations in two or three unknowns by Cramer’s rule and by Matrix Method.

3. TRIGONOMETRY: Angles and their measures in degrees and in radians. Trigonometrical ratios. Trigonometric identities Sum and difference formulae. Multiple and Sub-multiple angles. Inverse trigonometric functions. Applications – Height and distance, properties of triangles.

4. ANALYTICAL GEOMETRY OF TWO AND THREE DIMENSIONS: : Rectangular  Cartesian Coordinate system. Distance formula. Equation of a line in various forms. Angle between two lines. Distance of a point from a line. Equation of a circle in standard and in general form. Standard forms of parabola, ellipse and hyperbola. Eccentricity and axis of a conic. Point in a three dimensional space, distance between two points. Direction Cosines and direction ratios. Equation of a plane and a line in various forms. Angle between two lines and angle between two planes. Equation of a sphere.

5. DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS: Concept of a real valued function – domain, range and graph of a function. Composite functions, one to one, onto and inverse functions. Notion of limit, Standard limits – examples. Continuity of functions – examples, algebraic operations on continuous functions. Derivative of function at a point, geometrical and physical interpretation of a derivative – applications. Derivatives of sum, product and quotient of functions, derivative of a function with respect to another function, derivative of a composite function. Second order derivatives. Increasing and decreasing functions. Application of derivatives in problems of maxima and minima.

6. INTEGRAL CALCULUS AND DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS: Integration as inverse of differentiation, integration by substitution and by parts, standard integrals involving algebraic expressions, trigonometric, exponential and hyperbolic functions. Evaluation of definite integrals – determination of areas of plane regions bounded by curves – applications. Definition of order and degree of a differential equation, formation of a differential equation by examples. General and particular solution of a differential equations, solution of first order and first degree differential equations of various types – examples. Application in problems of growth and decay.

7. VECTOR ALGEBRA: Vectors in two and three dimensions, magnitude and direction of a vector. Unit and null vectors, addition of vectors, scalar multiplication of a vector, scalar product or dot product of two vectors. Vector product or cross product of two vectors. Applications-work done by a force and moment of a force and in geometrical problems.

8. STATISTICS AND PROBABILITY: Statistics: Classification of data, Frequency distribution, And cumulative frequency distribution – examples. Graphical representation – Histogram, Pie Chart, frequency polygon – examples. Measures of Central tendency – Mean, median and mode. Variance and standard deviation – determination and comparison. Correlation and regression. Probability: Random experiment, outcomes and associated sample space, events, mutually exclusive and exhaustive events, impossible and certain events. Union and Intersection of events. Complementary, elementary and composite events. Definition of probability – classical and statistical – examples. Elementary theorems on probability – simple problems. Conditional probability, Bayes’ theorem – simple problems. Random variable as function on a sample space. Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments giving rise to Binominal distribution.


Part ‘A’ – ENGLISH (Maximum Marks 200)

The question paper in English will be designed to test the candidate’s understanding of English and workman like use of words. The syllabus covers various aspects like: Grammar and usage, vocabulary, comprehension and cohesion in extended text to test the candidate’s proficiency in English.

Part ‘B’ – GENERAL KNOWLEDGE (Maximum Marks-400)

The question paper on General Knowledge will broadly cover the subjects: Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Geography and Current Events. The syllabus given below is designed to indicate the scope of these subjects included in this paper. The topics mentioned are not to be regarded as exhaustive and questions on topics of similar nature not specifically mentioned in the syllabus may also be asked. Candidate’s answers are expected to show their knowledge and intelligent understanding of the subject.

Section ‘A’ (Physics): Physical Properties and States of Matter, Mass, Weight, Volume, Density and Specific Gravity, Principle of Archimedes, Pressure Barometer. Motion of objects, Velocity and Acceleration, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Force and Momentum, Parallelogram of Forces, Stability and Equilibrium of bodies, Gravitation, elementary ideas of work, Power and Energy. Effects of Heat, Measurement of temperature and heat, change of State and Latent Heat, Modes of transference of Heat. Sound waves and their properties, Simple musical instruments. Rectilinear propagation of Light, Reflection and refraction. Spherical mirrors and Lenses. Human Eye. Natural and Artificial Magnets, Properties of a Magnet, Earth as a Magnet. Static and Current Electricity, conductors and Non-conductors, Ohm’s Law, Simple Electrical Circuits, Heating, Lighting and Magnetic effects of Current, Measurement of Electrical Power, Primary and Secondary Cells, Use of X-Rays. General Principles in the working of the following : Simple Pendulum, Simple Pulleys, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Telegraphs, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Microscope, Mariner’s Compass; Lightening Conductors, Safety Fuses.

Section ‘B’ (Chemistry): Physical and Chemical changes. Elements, Mixtures and Compounds, Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equations, Law of Chemical Combination (excluding problems). Properties of Air and Water. Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon dioxide, Oxidation and Reduction. Acids, bases and salts. Carbon – different forms. Fertilizers – Natural and Artificial Material used in the preparation of substances like soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches, and Gun-Powder. Elementary ideas about the Structure of Atom, Atomic, Equivalent and Molecular Weights, Valency.

Section ‘C’ (General Science): Difference between the living and non- living. Basis of Life – Cells, Protoplasm’s and Tissues. Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals. Elementary knowledge of Human Body and its important organs. Common Epidemics, their causes and prevention. Food – Source of Energy for man. Constituents of food, Balanced Diet. The Solar System – Meteors and Comets, Eclipses. Achievements of Eminent Scientists.

Section ‘D’ (History, Freedom Movement etc.): A broad survey of Indian History, with emphasis on Culture and Civilizations. Freedom Movement in India. Elementary study of Indian Constitution and Administration. Elementary knowledge of Five Year Plans of India. Panchayati Raj, Co-operatives and Community Development. Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, National Integration and Welfare State, Basic Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Forces shaping the modern world; Renaissance, Exploration and Discovery; War of American Independence. French Revolution, Industrial Revolution and Russian Revolution. Impact of Science and Technology on Society. Concept of one World, United Nations, Panchsheel, Democracy. Socialism and Communism. Role of India in the present world.

Section ‘E’ (Geography): The Earth, its shape and size. Latitudes and Longitudes, Concept of time. International Date Line. Movements of Earth and their effects. Origin of Earth. Rocks and their classification; Weathering – Mechanical and Chemical, Earthquakes and volcanoes. Ocean Currents and Tides Atmosphere and its composition; Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure, Planetary Winds, cyclones and Anti-cyclones; Humidity; Condensation and Precipitation; Types of Climate. Major Natural regions of the World. Regional Geography of India – Climate, Natural vegetation. Mineral and Power resources; location and distribution of agricultural and industrial activities. Important Sea ports and main sea, land and air routes of India. Main items of Imports and Exports of India.

Section ‘F’ (Current Events): Knowledge of Important events that have happened in India in the recent years. Current important world events. Prominent personalities – both Indian and International including those connected with cultural activities and sports.

NOTE : Out of maximum marks assigned to part ‘B’ of this paper, questions on Sections ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘F’ will carry approximately 25%, 15%, 10%, 20%, 20% and 10% weight ages respectively.

Best books for NDA 

Listed below are the section-wise books for NDA preparation.

Best NDA Books For English

This section of NDA exam assesses a candidate’s understanding of grammar and vocabulary. Here are the books that the students can refer to

  • Objective General English by SP Bakshi
  • Wren & Martin High School English Grammar and Composition
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman & Lewis

Best NDA Books For Physics

Questions in this section are generally asked from class 11 and 12. Usually, candidates will get questions related to electricity and mechanics. Candidates can refer to the NCERT books of class 11 and 12 and NCERT Exemplar.

Best NDA Books For Chemistry

The chemistry section comprises questions that candidates have studied in class 11 and 12. Questions are basically from Hydrogen, Oxygen, Carbon-Di-Oxide, Acid, Bases, Oxidation and Reduction, Atoms, Valence, etc. For this section too, candidates can refer to NCERT class 11 and 12 books.

Best NDA books for General Science, History, Geography

The General Science, History, and Geography section consists of topics that are related to class 9 and 10 Biology. Candidates can refer to Objective GK by Sanjiv Kumar.

Best NDA Books for Current Affairs

In NDA, current affairs are usually asked for the past six months. For this section, candidates can refer to Pratoyogita Darpan, Manorama Yearbook etc.

Best NDA books for Mathematics

The Maths paper cover topics like Integral Calculus, Differential Equations, Trigonometry, Algebra, Vector Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Analytical Geometry, Statistics & Probability. The level of questions is very basic and simple. Candidates can refer to the NCERT books of Class 11 and 12. Besides, they can refer to the following books.

Book Name Author/Publisher
Quantitative Aptitude for competitive examinations RS Aggarwal
NDA Entrance Exam ES Ramasamy
Mathematics for NDA/NA: National Defence Academy and Naval Academy RS Aggarwal

NDA Previous years’ question papers & marking scheme

It is recommended to go through the previous years’ NDA question papers. Candidates will get an idea of the type of questions asked in the exam. Multiple-choice questions are asked in the exam. The language of questions is either Hindi or English. In Mathematics, candidates will score 2.5 marks for the correct answers while 0.83 marks will be deducted for wrong answers. For a correct answer in GAT, 4 marks will be awarded to candidates while 1.33 marks will be deducted for wrong answers. 

NDA Preparation Tips

NDA Preparation Tips for Paper 1: Mathematics 

In Maths, questions are asked from Integral Calculus, Differential Equations, Trigonometry, Algebra, Vector Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Analytical Geometry, Statistics & Probability. Check below the preparation tips for this section.

  • Candidates must have clarity in concepts 
  • Candidates must go back to the basics if concepts are not clear and try to solve as many mathematical problems as possible
  • For this paper, effective time management is very important, candidates need to solve all questions within the stipulated time
  • Candidates should practice previous years’ question papers

Also Read: NDA preparation tips for Maths

NDA Preparation Tips for Paper 2: GAT

GAT comprises two parts. Part A comprises questions from English while Part B consists of questions from Chemistry, General Science, History, Freedom Movement, etc., Geography, Current Events. Check the preparation tips for both parts below.

Part A: English

The English test is held for 200 marks and covers topics from vocabulary, grammar and usage, and comprehension. To prepare this section, candidates should read newspapers and magazines daily. Also, candidates should focus on basic grammar rules. While reading, if the candidates are unable to understand the meaning of certain words, then they should look into the dictionary for those words. 

Part B: General Knowledge

The GK test carries 400 marks and assesses a candidate’s understanding of Current Affairs. The test comprises questions from General Science, Indian history, Physics, Geography, Chemistry, and Current Events. Check the preparation tips for this section.

  • Follow the news updates regularly
  • Candidates must be aware of events like sports, arts, literature, etc.
  • Read about the current economic scenario, the recent and past policy, topics related to India and its neighboring countries 

Toppers Tips to prepare for NDA exam

Candidates can check below the toppers tips to crack NDA exam.

Toppers  Preparation Tips 
NDA 2019 Topper Piyush Thorve (AIR 16) Be clear with the concepts Refer to the NCERT books
Divide the portion of the syllabus and prepare study routine accordingly
Do not take stress before the exam
NDA Exam 2018 Topper, Sparsh Kankane (AIR 1) Work hard and practice a lot to secure good marks
Focus on understanding the syllabus and exam pattern
Solve the previous years’ question papers to know the type of questions asked in the exam

How to prepare for SSB Interview?

SSB Interview comprises Psychological Aptitude Test and Intelligence Test. Candidates should follow the tips below for SSB Interview.

  • Maintain health and physical strength
  • Check your diet, exercise and improve your eating routine
  • Work hard on yourself
  • Work on your English speaking skills
  • Read the newspaper on a daily basis to improve your English

NDA Cut off Dates

The table below contains the NDA 2021 dates related to the release of cut off marks.

NDA Cut off 2021 Events NDA 1 2021 NDA 2 2021
Written Exam 18-Apr-2021 05-Sept-.2021 
SSB Interview July 2021 to September 2021  January 2021 to April 2022
Release of NDA cut off marks December 2021 May 2022

NDA Expected Cutoff

Stages of exam Expected cutoff
Written exam 350-360
Final cutoff 704

Importance of Mock Test

NDA Mock test is very important to improve speed and accuracy. Candidates after completing their syllabus must appear for the mock test. It also helps candidates to know their level of preparation. They will be able to analyse their strong and weak areas. 

How is NDA Cut off calculated?

NDA cut off is calculated based on the following factors:

  • Number of test-takers
  • Total vacancies
  • Exam difficulty

NDA Cut off for written exam

The cut off of NDA for this stage is decided out of 900 marks. UPSC also decides sectional NDA cut off for the written exam. The sectional cut off is calculated on the basis of the total marks of each section. The sectional NDA cut off is different for NDA 1 and 2 exams. In 2018, the sectional NDA 1 and 2 cut-offs were 25% in each subject. In 2016, the sectional NDA 2 cut off was 20% while it was 25% for NDA 1 in the same year. 

Previous years’ NDA Cut off for written exam

NDA (II) 2020 Cutoff

Minimum qualifying standard/marks at the written stage (out of 900 marks)  Marks secured by the last candidate in the merit order (out of 1800 marks) 
355 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)  719 


NDA (I) 2020 Cutoff

Wing Minimum qualifying standard at the written stage (out of 900) Marks secured by last recommended candidate (Final Stage) (out of 1800) 
Air Force
Naval Academy
355 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)  723 


NDA (2) 2019 Final Cut off 

Minimum qualifying standard/marks at the written stage (out of 900 marks)  Marks secured by the last candidate in the merit order (out of 1800 marks) 
346 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)  709 


NDA 2 cut off

Year NDA 2 cut off (Out of 900 marks)
2018 325 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)
2017 258 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)
2016 229 (With at least 20% marks in each subject)


NDA 1 cut off

Year NDA 1 cut off (Out of 900 marks)
2019 342 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)
2018 338 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)
2017 342 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)
2016 288 (With at least 25% marks in each Subject)

NDA Cut off 2021 for Final Selection

NDA cut off 2021 for final selection is the marks secured by the last finally recommended candidates. The cut off for this stage is decided out of 1800 marks (900 marks of written exam + 900 marks of Interview.

Previous years’ NDA Cut off for Final Selection 

NDA 1 2019 final Cut off 

Academy  NDA 1 Final Cut off 2019 (out of 1800)
Air Force 
Naval Academy


NDA 2 cut off

Year NDA 2 cut off (Out of 1800 marks)
2018 688
2017 624
2016 602


NDA 1 cut off

Year NDA 1 cut off (Out of 1800 marks)
2018 705
2017 708
2016 656

How to fill NDA Application Form

Union Public Service Commission has released NDA application form for men & women candidates. The unmarried candidates who fulfil the eligibility criteria in terms of nationality, age, marital status, educational qualification, etc. as per the notification published, can apply for the exam. The physical standards and number of vacancies for women candidates will be informed later after it is notified by the Ministry of Defence. NDA application form comprises two parts, I & II. Candidates can check below the steps to fill the application form.

  • Registration for the exam by filling the required details
  • Choosing the preferred branches
  • Verifying the details 
  • Generation of registration ID
  • Payment of application fee
  • Selecting the exam centre 
  • Uploading the signature and photograph

To Join NDA SUPER-30 Batch (For Boys and Girls), Limited 30 Seats only in a Batch.

NDA Notification FAQs

Que: When NDA 1 notification will be released?

Ans: NDA (1) notification was released in December month.

Que: When is NDA 2 recruitment notice was released?

Ans: NDA (2) notification was released in June month.

Que: Who conducts NDA recruitment?

Ans: NDA recruitment is conducted by UPSC for admission to Army, Navy and Air Force wings of National Defence Academy and Indian Naval Academy courses.

Que: How can I apply for NDA exam?

Ans: NDA application form is made available online and candidates can submit it through the official website.  

Que: In which mode NDA exam is conducted?

Ans: NDA exam is conducted in online mode. The test paper comprises two papers-Maths and GAT.

Que: What are the stages of NDA selection process?

Ans: NDA exam is conducted in two stages: written and SSB Interview.

Que: What will be the language of NDA question paper?

Ans: The question paper of NDA is set in both English and Hindi. 

Que: Is there any negative marking in NDA exam?

Ans: Yes, there is negative marking in NDA exam. For incorrect answers in GAT, 1.33 marks are deducted. For incorrect answers in Maths, 0.83 marks are deducted.   

Que: What is the duration of NDA exam?

Ans: Each paper of NDA exam -GAT and Maths will be conducted for 2 ½ hours.

Que: In how many stages SSB Interview will be held?

Ans: SSB Interview is held in two stages. Stage 1 comprises Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and Picture Perception and Description Test (PP&DT). Stage 2 comprises Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference.

Que: When the written exam of NDA was conducted?

Ans: The written exam of NDA 1 was conducted on April 18, 2021.

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