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A Complete Guide on NDA Exam

nda exam

**The new dates for NDA exam 2022 have been released. As per the new dates that were revised because of covid, the updated schedule is as follows:

Written NDA exam 1 = April 10 , 2022

Written NDA exam 2 = September 4, 2022

Combined exam is being held this year only

About the NDA exam

NDA exam is a two-tier national level entrance test that is held twice a year for unmarried male candidates who want to join the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. The NDA exam is the first and most prominent way to get in.

Once the NDA & NA exam is cleared, one is invited for the SSB (Services Selection Board) interview Round. Once the SSB Interview Round has been qualified and the following Medical Test has also been cleared, one is eligible for entering the NDA (National Defense Academy).

Since the exam is held twice (NDA exam 1 & NDA exam 2) every year in April and November. One can always fill up the application form for Exam (1) from January tentatively. After clearing the SSB round, you will have to go through the medical examination and document verification processes.

nda exam 2022
(Figure) NDA Exam is the Entry point to the 3 wings of the Defense forces in India

NDA Exam Application Process

Online registration will start on 30th December 2020 for NDA exam (1) 2021 and 9th June 2021 for NDA exam (2) 2021.

List of 14 Steps to fill application form

  1. Visit the official website
  2. Choose your desired exam and click on ‘Part I Registration’
  3. Fill in all the required details like your name, your gender, your date of birth, etc.
  4. Choose which branch you would prefer
  5. Verify all details you have entered till this step
  6. Select ‘I agree’ or ‘I don’t agree’
  7. If you select, ‘I agree’, an email with your registration details will be sent to your registered email ID
  8. You have to print your pay-in-slip during this part if you want to pay your application fees offline
  9. Then, take a print out by clicking the ‘Print Application Part-I’ tab
  10. Now, click the Part-II registration button to pay your application fees online
  11. Pay the application fee (details given in next section)
  12. Select the centers you prefer for the written examination from the lists of permitted exam cities
  13. The next step will be to upload your scanned photograph and signature
  14. In the last step, you will have to agree to the declaration given at the bottom of the application page and finally submit your form

Application Fees

You need to pay Rs. 100/- as application fee.

SC/ST and sons of Junior Commissioned Officers/ Non-Commissioned Officers/ Ors are exempted from this fee.

You can pay application fee either online or offline.


You can pay online

  1. Using the net banking of:
    • SBI
    • The State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur
    • State Bank of Hyderabad
    • The State Bank of Patiala
    • State Bank of Mysore
    • The State Bank of Travancore
  2. By using Visa, Master Credit/Debit card


For offline mode, you can pay the fee in any branch of SBI. If you want to pay the fee through “Pay by Cash” mode, you have to print the system generated payment receipt during Part-II registration & deposit it at any SBI branch.

Documents/ Details required for Application Process

  • Payment details
  • Details of personal credentials, qualifications, local guardian and means of communication
  • Valid email ID and a functional mobile number
  • Your scanned photograph (140 pixels in height & 110 pixels in width):
    • The photograph should be in jpg format and the size should be between 3kb to 40kb
  • As well as your scanned signature:
    • Signature should be made with a black ink pen on white paper.
    • The image of your signature should be in jpg format and meet the 110 pixels height x 140 pixels width dimensions requirements.
    • Signature image size should be within 1KB to 40kb

NDA Exam Eligibility

Follow this section to discover the criteria for NDA exam eligibility

Gender, Age and Marital Status:

Nda exam eligibility – Gender:

Only males are eligible to apply

Nda exam eligibility – Age:

Your age should be between 16.5 – 19.5 years.

For example, for the exam to be held in 2021:

You should be born between July 2, 2001, and July 1, 2004, for NDA I.

For NDA II, you should be born between 2nd January 2002 and 1st January 2005.

Nda exam eligibility – Marital Status:

You should be unmarried when you are applying.

You also cannot marry until you complete your coaching.

NDA exam eligibility – Nationality:

You must be an Indian citizen or a naturalized Nepalese/Bhutanese/Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1st January 1962 to become a permanent resident of India.

Foreign Nationals:

Foreign Nationals (barring Gorkhas) will be allowed to produce eligibility certificates issued by the Indian Government.


If you are a migrant from ISTAN/ Burma/ East African countries of Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Vietnam, Zaire, Ethiopia, OR Sri Lanka with an urge to settle in India, you are eligible for the exam.

NDA exam eligibility – Educational Qualifications:

  1. For Air Force & Naval Wings of the National Defense Academy as well as for 12th Cadet Entry Scheme at Indian Naval Academy

You must have passed class 12th standard or equivalent examination with Physics & Mathematics as compulsory subjects from any state education board or university

  • For Army Wings of National Defense Academy

You must have passed class 12th standard or equivalent examination from any State education board or university

If you are waiting to appear for your class 12th exam or equivalent, you are eligible to apply for NDA exam

NDA exam eligibility – Physical Standards:

You must be physically fit as per the guidelines set

If you have resigned or withdrawn on disciplinary grounds from any of the training academies of armed forces, you are not eligible to apply.

NDA Exam Syllabus

NDA Syllabus 2020 simply comprises of Mathematics & General Ability sections.

Paper 1 is Mathematics

Paper 2 is General Ability

We shall talk about both the papers, at length, considering one sub-section of a paper at a time and their syllabi.

Syllabus of Paper 1 – Mathematics


  • Concept of A Set
  • Venn Diagrams De Morgan Laws
  • Operations on Set
  • Equivalence Relation
  • Cartesian Product Relation
  • Complex Numbers – Basic Properties
  • Representation of Real Number on a Line
  • Cube Roots of Unity
  • Modulus Argument
  • Conversion of a number in Decimal
  • Binary System of Numbers
  • Arithmetic
  • System to binary system and vice-versa
  • Quadratic Equations with Real Coefficients
  • Solution of Linear Inequations of two variables by Graph
  • Geometric & Harmonic Progression
  • Binomial theorem and its application
  • Permutation and combination
  • Logarithms and their applications

Matrices & Determinants

  • Types of Matrices
  • Operations on Matrices
  • Determinant of a Matrix
  • Adjoint & Inverse of a Square Matrix
  • Determinants: Basic Properties
  • Solutions of a system of Linear Equations by Matrix Method and Cramer’s Rule

Analytical geometry

  • Rectangular Cartesian Coordinate System
  • Equation of a line in various forms
  • The equation of  plane and a Line in various forms
  • Equations of a circle in standard and in general form
  • Angle between two lines
  • Eccentricity ad Axis of a Conic
  • Ellipse & Hyperbola
  • Direction Cosines and Direction Ratios
  • Point in a three Dimensional space, Distance between two points
  • The angle between two lines & angle between two planes
  • Distance Formula
  • The equation of a sphere


  • Angles and their Measures
  • Degrees and Radians
  • Trigonometric Ratios
  • Multiple And Sub-Multiple Angles
  • Trigonometric Identities
  • Sum And Difference Formulae
  • Properties of Triangles
  • Inverse Trigonometric Functions
  • Applications – Height And Distance

Differential Calculus:

  • Concept of a Real-Valued Function – Domain
  • Composite Functions
  • Range and Graph of a Function
  • Derivative of Function at a Point
  • Product And Quotient Of Functions
  • Derivatives Of Sum
  • Second Order Derivatives
  • Derivative Of A Function With Respect Of Another Function
  • Increasing And Decreasing Functions
  • Derivative Of A Composite Function
  • Application of Derivatives in Problems of Maxima and Minima.

Integral Calculus:

  • Integration as Inverse Differentiation
  • Standard Integrals Involving Expression of Algebric
  • Integration by parts and Substitution
  • Evaluation of definite Integrals—Determination of areas of plane regions bounded by curves.
  • Hyperbolic and Exponential Function

Differential Equations:

  • Definition Of Order And Degree Of A Differential Equation
  • General And Particular Solution Of A Differential Equation
  • Formation Of A Differential Equation
  • Application In Problems Of Growth And Decay
  • Solution Of First Order And First Degree Differential Equations Of Various Types


  • Classification of data
  • Cumulative Frequency Distribution—examples
  • Frequency distribution
  • Pie chart
  • Graphical Representation – Histogram
  • Measures of Central Tendency – Mean Median & Mode
  • Frequency Polygon – examples
  • Correlation and Regression
  • Variance & Standard Deviation Determination & Comparision


  • Random Experiment
  • Events
  • Outcomes And Associated Sample Space
  • Impossible And Certain Events
  • Mutually Exclusive And Exhaustive Events
  • Union And Intersection Of Events
  • Conditional Probability
  • Complementary, Elementary And Composite Events
  • Random Variable As Function On A Sample Space
  • Binomial Distribution
  • Bayes’ Theorem – Simple Problems
  • Examples of Random Experiments Giving Rise to Binominal Distribution

Vector Algebra:

  • Vectors In Two And Three Dimensions
  • Magnitude And Direction
  • Scalar Multiplication
  • Unit And Null Vectors Addition

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Syllabus of paper 2 – General Ability

This section will give you the details of NDA exam syllabus for the 2nd paper og General Ability questions.


  • Grammar, Usage and Vocabulary
  • Comprehension and Cohesion in Extended Text
  • Use of Words


This paper covers Chemistry, Physics, General Science, Social Studies, History, Geography & Current Affairs.

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

  • Preparation and Properties of Nitrogen
  • Oxidation & Reduction
  • Hydrogen, Oxygen & Carbon Di-oxide
  • Carbon – different forms
  • Material used in the preparation of substances like Glass, Soap, Paper, Ink, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches, Gunpowder
  • Physical & Chemical changes
  • Law of Chemical Combination (excluding problems)
  • Symbols, Formulas and simple Chemical Equations
  • Acids, bases and salts, Elements, Mixtures and Compounds
  • Properties of Air and Water
  • Elementary ideas about the Structure of Atom
  • Fertilizers – Natural and Artificial
  • Atomic, Equivalent and Molecular Weights, Valency

  • Achievements of Eminent Scientists
  • Basis of Life – Cells, Protoplasms and Tissues
  • Difference between the living and non-living
  • Constituents of food, Balanced Diet
  • Food – Source of Energy for man
  • Elementary knowledge of human Body and its important organs
  • Common Epidemics, their causes and prevention
  • Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals
  • The Solar System – Meteors and Comets, Eclipses.

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

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

  • Current world events
  • Necessary events of Republic of India in recent years
  • Outstanding personalities – Indian, International as well as cultural activities and sports
nda exam selection process
Figure 2: NDA Exam Selection Process

NDA Exam Selection Process

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC is the conducting body) will release a list of candidates who obtained the minimum qualifying marks in the written NDA examination.

Listed candidates will have to appear before a Services Selection Board (SSB) for Intelligence & Personality interviews where:

  • Candidates for the Army/Navy wings will be assessed on Officers Potentiality
  • Those for the Air Force will have to qualify Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS), in addition to the above

If you have Air Force as one of your choices, you would also undergo CPSS if you qualify SSB and are willing.

NDA exam selection process: Filling the application form

You are required to fill NDA application form online.
The application fee is Rs 100 which can be paid both online and offline (as explained earlier).
UPSC will release the list of rejected applicants a few days after the closure of the application process.
Besides, the examination authority will also activate the link to withdraw your NDA application form for a specified period. If you do not wish to appear for the exam, you can also withdraw your application form.
NDA exam selection process: Filling the application form

NDA exam selection process: Release of admit card

Admit cards will be released three weeks prior to the exam.

The link to download the admit card will be made available on the official portal.

You can download the admit card by logging in either with your roll number or your registration number.

Any hard copy of the admit card will not be sent to you by post.

NDA exam selection process: Written Exam

If you successfully register for the exam, you are required to appear for the written exam.

The written exam comprises 2 sections (as explained earlier) – Mathematics and General Ability Test.

The test carries a total of 900 marks.

If you obtain the minimum qualifying marks in the written exam, you will be called for the next round of SSB interviews.

Declaration of result of written exam

Result is typically declared online in 2 stages – written and final.

  1. Firstly, the result of your written exam will be declared. The result will be made available in PDF format. The list will display only roll numbers of qualified candidates.
  2. Secondly, you need to secure the cut-off percentage separately in the SSB Interview. Your marksheet will be released after the declaration of the final result.

NDA exam selection process: SSB Interview

The Interview is conducted for assessing your Intelligence as well as Personality. This is conducted in two stages.

  • If you qualify NDA exam (written), you are put to stage 1 test on the first day of reporting at Selection Centres /Air Force Selection Boards/Naval Selection Boards.
  • Once the first stage has been cleared, you are called for the second stage exam. If you qualify for the second stage, you are required to submit your birth certificate and pass certificates:

(i) Original Matriculation pass certificate or equivalent in support of DOB

(ii) Original Class 12th pass certificate or equivalent in support of educational qualification

The SSB interview will be conducted in varied rounds for a period of 5 days and all selected candidates (from written exam) need to appear in all the rounds.

On the first day, you will undergo psychological tests which will include:

  • Picture Perception
  • Description Test (PPDT)
  • Intelligence Test
  • filling of Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) forms

  • Word Association Test
  • Situation Reaction Test
  • Thematic Apperception Test
  • Self-description Test

  • Military planning Exercise
  • Lecturettes
  • Intergroup obstacle race or Snake race
  • Progressive Group Task
  • Half group task
  • Command task
  • Personal interview for some candidates by the President

  • Individual Obstacles
  • Final Group Task
  • Interview for remaining candidates

The 5th day is followed by:

  • Final board conference
  • Announcement of results

NDA exam selection process: Final Selection

If you are selected, you will finally be up for admission to Army or Navy or Air Force wings based on your performances in the written exam and SSB Interviews.

Your final allocation will be done as per the number of vacancies, subject to your eligibility, medical fitness and merit-cum-preference.


We’ve finally fulfilled our promise of presenting to you in-depth descriptions of the NDA examination progressions including application, eligibility, selection and the entire syllabus. We hope that you got some clarity and are now determined to take your aim. Although preparing for NDA already is proof enough that you have decided where you want to see yourself in the future, but, a career decision is among the most important ones in your entire life and you may want to discuss with industry experts. Know yourself in and out!

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