A complete guide for NDA exam
A complete guide for NDA exam

NDA Exam: A Complete Guide for NDA Aspirants

If you are an NDA aspirant and surfing for a complete guide for NDA exam, then you are at the right page. Just keep scrolling for the complete guide for NDA Exam.

The National Defence Academy (NDA) which is located in Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharashtra is the world’s first training service academy. It is a collaborative service academy for the cadets of three services which are The Army, The Navy and The Air force. Here, the cadets are trained together before they join the respective academy for further training.

History of Nation Defence Academy (NDA)

Before knowing about the NDA’s examination Process, let’s jump into the NDA’s History. At the end of world war II, a committee was formed around the world and a report was proposed to the Government of India in December 1946 by Claude Auchinleck who was the Field Marshal.

After this, The Joint Service Military Academy was formed with the proposition of the committee. After all this, the Government of India decided to form its own academy in Pune (India), The National Defence Academy in January 1955.

National Defence Academy (NDA) EXAM

National Defence Academy (NDA) Exam is conducted by UPSC for the purpose of recruiting candidates for Navy, Army as well as Air Force. It is a national level exam and is said to be the most difficult exam among all the examination. This exam is conducted twice every year as NDA (1) and NDA (2).

Later, the qualified candidates are enrolled for Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy(INA) and the Air Force Academy(AFA). This was an introduction part of NDA Exam.

Eligibility for NDA Exam

These are the following criterion for NDA:

Education Qualification: It is mandatory for the candidates to qualify their 12th standard examination conducted under the State Education Board.
Age: Each year, for NDA (1) as well as NDA(2), a new age criterion is proposed which is announced on the official website upsc.gov.in

Admit Card for NDA

The NDA Admit Card for the respective exams ie NDA (1) and NDA (2) is released on the official website. The candidates can download their admit cards after the application process gets over, when notified on the official UPSC website. Candidates are not allowed to appear in the examination without the admit card because it contains important details like candidate’s name, roll number, exam timings, exam date etc. Below are the steps for downloading the admit card:

  • Step 1: Candidate must visit the official website for the process.
  • Step 2: A link will be provided for the NDA Admit Card. Click on the link.
  • Step 3: There would be a new pop up screen with the candidate’s admit card.
  • Step 4: Candidate must go through every particular detail mentioned.
  • Step 5: Candidate can now download the admit card.

Examination Pattern for NDA

The National Defence Academy Exam is considered the most difficult exam and preparation for this could also be quite challenging. But this could be done easily if candidates follow a strategy to score well by just going through the entire pattern.

Exam Duration 2hrs and 30mins 2 hrs and 30 mins
No of Sections 1 2 (English and General Knowledge)
Total no of Questions 120 150
Total Marks 300 600 [English(200)+GK(400)]
Marking Scheme 2.5 for correct and -0.83 for incorrect 4 for correct and -1.33 for incorrect
Medium English and Hindi English for the English Section. English and Hindi For GK Section.
Types of questions MCQs MCQs



This section is highly scoring but only if you know how to solve the most complicated math problem in a very minimum amount of time. The candidate should have very clear mathematics and science concepts to minimize the time consumption while working on each problem.

General ability test:

This section is divided onto two sub-parts which are:

– English: Candidate must have good English written proficiency to score well.
– General Knowledge Section: This section includes different sections:

  • Physics (100 marks)
  • Chemistry (60 marks)
  • General Science (40 marks)
  • History and Freedom Movement (80 marks)
  • Geography (80 marks)
  • Current Events (40 marks)

Syllabus for NDA Exam

The NDA Exam is distributed into two sections which are Mathematics and General Ability Test. Therefore the syllabus for both of them is also divided for both the sections:

Sections Topics
Mathematics Algebra

Matrices and Determinants


Differential Calculus

Vector Algebra

Statistics and Probability

Integral Calculus and Differential Equations

Analytical Geometry of two and three  dimensions

General Ability Test Physics


General Science


Current Affairs



Preparation Tips for NDA Exam

Scoring good in NDA Exam is a dream of every aspirant, therefore candidate must keep in mind following strategies for achieving what they want:

  • Candidate must go through the exam’s pattern and syllabus as well. With the help of which they may start their preparation.
  • Candidate must focus on each and every section and must grant preparation for every section separately.
  • For scoring good in mathematics, the candidate must clear all the 10+2 concepts for every topic mentioned in the syllabus.
  • For scoring good in GAT, the candidate must prepare for every sub-topic for GAT.
  • Solving previous year question papers would help a lot.
  • Candidate must go through mock tests to boost up the preparation.
  • Revision for every topic is mandatory.
  • Candidate should always follow a scheduled study plan.

Important Booklists for NDA Exam

Below is the list of important books to boost up your “NDA Preparation”:

Books Author’s Name
English Grammar and Composition Wren and Martin
Mathematics for NDA and NA: National Defence Academy and Naval Academy R.S Aggarwal
Quantitative aptitude for competitive examinations R.S Aggarwal
Study Package Mathematics NDA and NA Entrance Exam Arihant
NDA Mathematics Hindi RPH Editorial Board
History of Modern India Bipan Chandra
Science and Technology in India Kalpana Rajaram
Manorama Yearbook Mammen Mathew
Social Problems in India Ram Ahuja


Number of Seats

Given below are the number of seats for different academies of Indian Army:

Course Number of  Vacancies
145th National Defence Academy (Indian Army) 208
145th National Defence Academy( Indian Navy) 42
145th National Defence Academy (Indian Airforce) 120
107th Indian Naval Academy Course 48
Total 418


Finally, we hope you find all your doubts cleared regarding NDA Exam and its preparation. If you have still any doubt regarding the NDA exam, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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About Shagun Sharma

Keep your dreams alive. Achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. Gail Devers

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