All about NDA Exam

NDA Recruitment Exam- National Defence Academy - Navel Academy is avenue is open to relatively younger candidates with 10+2 qualifications. NDA and Naval Academy (Executive Branch) provides assured career at young age with no financial burden of four-year training in the various training academies.

The training at NDA culminates with a graduation degree from the Jawahar Lal Nehru University. Three-year training at NDA is followed up by one-year professional training at Indian Military Academy (IMA) for the Army, Naval Academy for the Indian Navy and Air Force Academy for the Air Force. All these wings of Defence Forces offer very good career opportunities blended with adventure. Besides offering one of the best pay structure in the government service, the forces also offer facilities like free rations, free medical facilities, free/concessional travel by rail during leave, provident fund, group insurance and concessional residential accommodation. Besides, defence forces also offer a good social and regimented life. Time-bound promotions, upto a particular level, for all officers and selective top promotions to the meritorious and bright officers is the hallmark of a career in the defence forces.

The Selection Process
The UPSC conducts the NDA and Naval Academy (Executive Branch) Examination twice every year usually in the months of April and September. Each examination is conducted to select 350 candidates, with 214 seats for the Army, 43 for the Navy 73 for the Air Force and 20 seats for the Executive Branch of Naval Academy. At the time of submitting the applications, the candidates are required to give their preferences for particular wings of the forces. The advertisement for September Examination usually apperars in April, every year, in all major national and regional newspapers. Similarly, the advertisement for April examination usually appears in September/October. Simultaneously the detailed advertisement also appears in the "Employment News" of the concerned week.


Only unmarried male candidates of the age group of 161/2 years to 19 years are eligible to take the examination for NDA/Naval Academy (Executive Branch). Educational qualification for Army and Air Force wing at NDA is 12th pass of 10+2 pattern or equivalent. For Naval wing of NDA and Naval Academy (Executive Branch), the educational qualification is 12th pass of 10+2 pattern with Physics and Mathematics or equivalent. The candidates appearing for the final examination of 10+2 standard are also eligible to appear.

For being eligible to appear in the examination, a candidate must be a citizen of India or a subject of Bhutan or Nepal. Tibetan refugees or persons of Indian Origin migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam, with the intention of permanently settling in India, are also eligible. However, candidates belonging to these categories shall need to obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Government of India.

A candidate seeking admission to the examination must send his application form to the UPSC on the proforma given in the advertisement for this examination. The admission to the examination is purely provisional as no certificates are required to be attached with the application.

Written Examination

The candidates are tested in two papers of 21/2 hours duration each. First paper is of "Mathematics" and carries a maximum of 600 marks. The question papers consist of objective type questions and are set in English only. There is no fixed pass percentage of marks and depending on the number of candidates appearing in the examination and their overall performance, the qualifying marks are determined.

The paper-I on Mathematics is of Matriculation Examination standard and consists questions on Arithmetic, Mensuration, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Statistics. Paper-II on General Ability consists of two parts. Part-A comprises of the test of English Language to judge the general understanding of English Language by the candidates and carries 200 marks. Part-B of Paper-II consists of General Knowledge carrying 400 marks and has six sections. The weightage given to these six sections of General Knowledge is: Physics 25% Chemistry 15%, General Science 10%, History, Freedom Movement etc 20%, Geography 20% and current Affairs 10%.

There are 40 centres of examination. The names of these centres are: Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhopal, Bombay, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar, Dispur, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kavaratti, Kohima, Lucknow, Madras, Madurai, Nagpur, Panaji, Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam.

Intelligence and Personality Test:

Just like the CDS Examination, all the candidates declared successful in the written examination are required to qualify an intelligence and personality test conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB). The intelligence tests at SSB are both oral as well as written and are designed to judge the basic intelligence of the candidates. During the four-day-personality test, the candidates are also put to Group Tests such as group discussion, group planning, outdoor group tasks etc. All these tests are aimed at judging the behaviour of the candidate in a group. In addition the personality test also requires a candidate to deliver an impromptu lecturette on the subjects of general interest as well as to clear ten obstacles in 30 seconds. This way mental calibre as well as physical robustness of the candidates is judged. The SSB interview is also blended with a series of psychological tests like Situation REaction Test (SRT) and pictures story writing. These psychological tests are aimed at judging the trait of positive outlook of the candidate. In broad terms, the intelligence and personality test is not only the test of intellectual faculties of the candidates but is also directed at judging their social traits, interest in current affairs and physical and psychological toughness which finally helps to judge their suitability for the services.

The candidates declared successful after the SSB interview are then required to undergo a comprehensive medical examination by a medical board in a local Military Hospital. To avoid the last minute disappointment the candidates are advised to get themselves medically examined as per the prescribed standards. Prescribed standards of medical fitness are given in the detailed advertisement given in the Employment News.

The Training Academies
On the basis of performance of the candidates in the written examination and the personality test, final merit list is prepared and published in all leading newspapers. The candidates, on the basis of their rank in the final merit list and preference, are asked to join at the NDA or Naval Academy (Executive Branch).

The three-year training at NDA includes the qualifying of certain physical standards, basic knowledge of three wings of the armed forces and study of academics leading to a graduation degree. In addition, basic etiquettes of the forces, discipline in the armed forces and basics of drill etc are also taught. After successful training spreading over six terms of six months each at NDA, the candidates, as per their choice, go to the Indian Military Academy for Army or to the Naval Academy for Navy or to the Air-Force Academy for Air Force for two terms of six months each. On successful completion of training at these academies, the cadets are Commissioned into the defence forces as Second Lieutenant (Army) or Acting sub-Lieutenant (Navy) or Pilot Officer (Air-Force). During the last six months of training the cadets are also entitled to the salary which is given to them in lump-sum, on commissioning.

Coaching and Preparations
Preparations for the written examination needs special attention, Mathematics paper, being theoretical in nature is comparatively easy to prepare. Paper-II (General Ability) needs special attention and preparation which consists of English and General Knowledge. Regular reading of "The Competition Master" is particularly useful for Paper-II as it effectively helps the candidates to prepare for English Language and General Knowledge. Similarly, SSB interview being different from routine interviews needs special preparations. There are certain academies, particularly those run by former officers of the defence forces, which provide useful coaching to the candidates preparing for the interview. The candidates may choose genuine academies and undergo coaching for the interview.

Further details about the examination are available in the detailed advertisment which appears in the Employment News. Information about the examination is also given in the "Candidates Information Manual" which gives details about objective-type tests. This booklet is supplied by the UPSC to all the candidates alongwith the admission certificate.

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NDA Exam Syllabus

Paper-I    Mathematics
(Maximum Marks - 300)

1 Algebra :
Concept of a 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 inequations of two variables by graphs.  Permutation and Combination.  Binomial theorem and its application.  Logarithms and their applications.

2.Matrices and Determinants:
Types of matrices, operations on matrices Determinant of a matrix, basic  properties of determinant.  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.

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 a function at a point, geometrical and physical interpreatation of a derivative - applications.  Derivatives of sum, product and quotient of functions, derivative of a function with respect of 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 equation, 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 vector, scalar product or dot product of two-vectors.  Vector product and 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, 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.


General Ability Test 
(Maximum Marks-600)

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.


NDA Entrance Exam (I) 2012 National Defence Academy

Last date for receipt of applications: 30th January, 2012

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The Union Public Service Commission will hold the examination on 15th April, 2012 for admission to the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the NDA for the 129th Course, and for the 91st Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) commencing from December 2012

Conditions of eligibility

Nationality: A candidate must 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 over to India before the 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or (v) a person of Indian origin 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 (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Govt of India. Certificate of eligibility will not, however, be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal

Age limits, sex and marital status: Only unmarried male candidates born not earlier than 2nd January, 1994 and not later than 1st July, 1996 are eligible. The date of birth accepted by the commission is that entered in the matriculation or secondary school leaving certificate or in a certificate recognised by an Indian University as equivalent to matriculation or in an extract from a register of matriculates maintained by a university which must be certified by the proper authority of the university or in the Higher Secondary or an equivalent examination certificates. These certificates are required to be submitted only after the declaration of the result of the written part of the examination. No other document relating to age like horoscopes, affidavits, birth extracts from Municipal Corporation, service records and the like will be accepted. The expression Matriculation/Higher Secondary Examination Certificate in this part of the instruction includes the alternative certificates mentioned above

Candidates appearing in the 11th class exam are not eligible for this examination

Those candidates who have yet to qualify in the 12th class or equivalent examination and are allowed to appear in the UPSC examination should note that this is only a special concession given to them. They are required to submit proof of passing the 12th class or equivalent examination by the prescribed date (i.e. 5th December, 2012) and no request for extending this date will be entertained on the grounds of late conduct of Board/University Examination, delay in declaration of results or any other ground whatsoever

Candidates who are debarred by the Ministry of Defence from holding any type of commission in the Defence Services shall not be eligible for admission to the examination and if admitted, their candidature will be cancelled

Those candidates who have failed INSB/PABT earlier are not eligible for Air Force

Fee: Candidates (excepting SC/ST candidates/sons of JCOs/NCOs/ORs who are exempted from payment of fee) are required to pay a fee of Rs 50/- (Rs Fifty only) either by remitting the money in any Branch of SBI by cash, or by using net banking facility of State Bank of India/State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur/Sate Bank of Hyderabad/State Bank of Mysore/State Bank of Patiala /State Bank of Travancore or by using Visa/Master Credit/Debit Card

For the applicants in whose case payments details have not been received from the bank they will be treated as fictitious payment cases and a list of all such applicants shall be made available on the commission website within two weeks after the last day of submission of online application. These applicants shall also be intimated through e-mail to submit copy of proof of their payment to the commission at the address mentioned in the e-mail. The applicant shall be required to submit the proof within 10 days from the date of such communication either by hand or by speed post to the commission. In case, no response is received from the applicants their applications shall be summarily rejected and no further correspondence shall be entertained in this regard

How to apply: Candidates are required to apply online by using the website Detailed instructions for filling up online applications are available on the abovementioned website

The applicants are advised to submit only single application; however, if due to any unavoidable situation, if he submits another/multiple applications, then he must ensure that application with the higher RID is complete in all respects like applicants’ details, examination centre, photograph, signature, fee etc. The applicants who are submitting multiple applications should note that only the applications with higher RID (Registration ID) shall be entertained by the commission and fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID

The result of the written part of the examination is likely to be declared in the month of July, 2012

All candidates called for interview must carry their original matriculation certificate or equivalent examination certificate to the service selection board (SSB). Originals will have to be produced by the candidates who qualify at the SSB interview soon after the interview. The originals will be returned after verification. Those candidates who have already passed 10+2 examination must carry their original 10+2 pass certificate or marks sheet for the SSB interview. If any of their claims is found to be incorrect they may render themselves liable to disciplinary action by the commission in terms of the following provisions

Last date for receipt of applications: The online applications can be filled upto 30th January, 2012 till 11.59 p.m. after which the link will be disabled

The Union Public Service Commission shall prepare a list of candidates who obtain the minimum qualifying marks in the written examination as fixed by the commission at their discretion. Such candidates shall appear before a Services Selection Board for Intelligence and Personality Test where candidates for the Army/Navy wings of the NDA and 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme of Indian Naval Academy will be assessed on Officers Potentiality and those for the Air Force in Pilot Aptitude Test and for Officers Potentiality. PABT applicable to candidates with Air Force as First choice would also be conducted for all SSB qualified candidates with one of the choice as Air Force subject to their eligibility and if they are so willing

Two stage selection procedure: Two-stage selection procedure based on Psychological Aptitude Test and Intelligence Test has been introduced at Selection Centers/Air Force Selection Boards. All the candidates will be put to stage one test on first day of reporting at Selection Centers/Air Force Selection Boards. Only those candidates who qualify at stage one will be admitted to the second stage/remaining tests. Those candidates who qualify stage II will be required to submit the original certificates along with one photocopy each of (I) original Matriculation pass certificate or equivalent in support of date of birth, (ii) original 10+2 pass certificate or equivalent in support of educational qualification

Date/Day of Commencement of Examination -15TH APRIL 2012

Candidates to ensure their eligibility for the examination: The candidates applying for the examination should ensure that they fulfil all eligibility conditions for admission to the examination. Their admission at all the stages of the examination will be purely provisional subject to satisfying the prescribed eligibility conditions

Mere issue of admission certificate to the candidate will not imply that his candidature has been finally cleared by the commission

Verification of eligibility conditions with reference to original documents is taken up only after the candidate has qualified for interview/personality test

How to apply: Candidates are required to apply online by using the website  Detailed instructions are available on the above mentioned website

Last date for receipt of applications: The online applications can be filled upto 30th January, 2012 till 11.59 p.m. after which the link will be disabled

Penalty for wrong answers: Candidates should note that there will be penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the objective type question papers

Facilitation counter for guidance of candidates: In case of any guidance/information/clarification regarding their applications, candidature etc candidates can contact UPSC’s facilitation counter near gate
‘C’ of its campus in person or over Tel 011-23385271/011-23381125/011-23098543 on working days between 10.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs

Centres of examination:

The examination will be held at the following centes- Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizwal, Allahabad, Bangaluru, Bareily, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cuttack, Dehradun, Delhi, Dharwad, Dispur, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kochi, Kohima, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji (Goa), Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Ranchi, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Thiruvanathapuram, Tirupati, Udaipur, Vishakhapatnam

The centres and the date of holding the examination as mentioned above are liable to be changed at the discretion of the commission. While every effort will be made to allot the candidates to the centre of their choice for examination, the commission may, at their discretion, allot a different centre to a candidate, when circumstances so warrant. Candidates admitted to the examination will be informed of the time table and place or places of examination.

Candidates should note that no request for change of centre will normally be granted. When a candidate, however, desires a change in centre from the one he had indicated in his application form for the examination, he must send a letter addressed to the secretary, UPSC, giving full justification as to why he desires a change in centre. Such requests will be considered on merits but requests received after 19th May, 2010 will not be entertained under any circumstances

Scheme of NDA Entrance Examination

1. The subjects of the written examination, the time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject will be as follows :–




Maximum Marks



2-½ Hours


General Ability Test


2-½ Hours





Total 900

2. The papers in all the subjects will consist of objective type questions only. The question papers (Test Booklets) OF MATHEMATICS AND PART "b" OF GENERAL ABILITY TESTS WILL BE SET BILINGUALLY IN HINDI AS WELL AS  English.

3. In the question papers, wherever necessary, questions involving the metric system of Weights and Measures only will be set.

4. Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write answers for them.

5. The Commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects at the examination.

6. The candidates are not permitted to use calculator or Mathematical or logirithmic table for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets). They should not therefore, bring the same inside the Examination Hall.

Announcement of the Results of NDA (I) Written Examination, Interview of qualified candidates, announcement of final results and admission to the training courses of the finally qualified candidates :

The Union Public Service Commission shall prepare a list of candidates who obtain the minimum qualifying marks in the written examination as fixed by the Commission in their discretion. Such candidates shall appear before a Services Selection Board for intelligence and Personality Test where candidates for the Army/Navy wings of the NDA and 10+2 Executive branch of Naval Academy will be assessed on officers potentiality and those for the Air Force in Pilot Aptitude Test and for officers potentiality. 

Two stage selection procedure based on Psychological Aptitude Test and Intelligence Test has been introduced at Selection Centres/Air Force Selection Boards.  All the candidates will be put to stage one test on first day of reporting at Selection Centres/Air Force Selection Boards.  Only those candidates who qualify at stage one will be admitted to the second stage/remaining tests.  Those candidates who qualify stage II will be required to submit the original Certificates along with one photocopy each of : (i) original Matriculation pass certificate or equivalent in support of date of birth; (ii) Original 10+2 pass certificate or equivalent in support of educational qualification.

Candidates who appear before the Services Selection Board and undergo the test there will do so at their own risk and will not be entitled to claim any compensation or other relief from Government in respect of any injury which they may sustain in the course of or as a result of any of the tests given to them at the Services Selection Board whether due to the negligence of any person or otherwise. Parents or guardians of the candidates will be required to sign a certificate to this effect.

To be acceptable, candidates for the Army/Navy and Naval Academy should secure the minimum qualifying marks separately in (i) Written examination and (ii) Officer potentiality test, as fixed by the Commission in their discretion, and candidates for the Air Force should secure the minimum qualifying marks separately in (i) Written examination (ii) Officer potentiality test, and (iii) Pilot Aptitude Test as fixed by the Commission in their discretion.

Subject to these conditions the qualified candidates will then be placed in the final order of merit on the basis of total marks secured by them in the Written examination, and the Services Selection Board Tests in three separate lists-one for the Army and the Navy, the second one for the Air Force and the third for the Course at the Naval Academy. The names of candidates who qualify for all the Services of NDA and the Naval Academy will appear in all the three Merit Lists. The final selection for admission to the Army and Naval Wings of the National Defence Academy will be made in order of merit upto the number of vacancies available from the merit list for the Army and Naval Wings, for the Air Force Wing from  the merit list for the Air Force; and for the Executive Branch of Naval Academy upto the number of vacancies available from the merit list for the Naval Academy, subject to medical fitness and suitability in all other respects. The candidates who are common to all the three merit lists will be considered for selection from all the three lists with reference to their order of preferences and in the event of their final selection from one list, names will be cancelled from the other lists.

N.B. : Every candidate for the Air Force is given Pilot Aptitude Test only once. The Grade secured by him at the first test will there-fore hold good for every subsequent interview he has with the  Air Force Selection Board. A candidate who fails in the first Pilot Aptitude Test cannot apply for admission to the National Defence Academy Examination for the Air Force wing or General Duties (Pilot) Branch or Naval Air Arm.

Candidates who have been given the Pilot Aptitude Test for any previous N.D.A. course should submit their application for this examination for the Air Force Wing only if they have been notified as having qualified in the Pilot Aptitude Test.

The form and manner of communication of the result of the examination to individual candidates shall be decided by the Commission at their discretion and the Commission will not enter into correspondence with them regarding the result.

Success in the examination confers no right of admission to the Academy. A candidate must satisfy the appointing authority that he is suitable in all respects for admission to the Academy.

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