The Indian Wire » Careers » NDA (National Defence Academy) – Eligibility, Procedure, Preparation tips

NDA (National Defence Academy) – Eligibility, Procedure, Preparation tips

Planning to join National Defence Academy? This article lists down all the required information regarding eligibility, procedure and preparation tips for the students.

The National Defense Academy (NDA) is a defense academy which trains young students to join various Indian military forces and serve the nation. Primarily, it prepares students to join Army, Navy and Air Force. The NDA campus is located in Khadakwasla, Pune. Every year thousands of students join NDA and make their dreams come true. In this article, we have listed down all the important procedures, tips and tricks, eligibility criteria for you to join NDA.


In order to join NDA, their are certain criteria that a students must follow. These are listed down here;

  • Candidate should be a boy cadet. Girls are not allowed to join NDA yet.
  • He should be a citizen of India.
  • Candidate’s age should be in the age bracket of 16 and half years and 19 and half years.
  • Candidate’s qualification should be 10+2 or any equivalent system, with physics and maths for Navy and Air Force.
  • Candidate should be unmarried.
  • Candidate should be physically fit without any deformations.


Written Test:

Applicants are required to write an entrance written exam which is conducted by UPSC, twice every year. There are over 4.5 Lakh students sit for this exam every time. Students can write this exam while pursuing 11th or 12th grade. A student can apply for the test as many times as he want unless he falls in the age bracket.

The test generally tests your abilities in Maths and General Aptitude. There are two sections conducted for written exam.

  1. Maths Sections – 300 Marks
  2. General Ability – 600 Marks.

Note: All the questions would be objective type and would carry four marks each. A students has to clear Maths sections in order to get his General Ability section corrected.



  • Algebra
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Trigonometry
  • Differentiation and Integration
  • 2D and 3D geometry
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Calculus and Differential Equations
  • Sets and Functions

Important Tip – The syllabus would cover the Maths sections of 11th and 12th grade. NCERT and some reference books are enough to clear this part.

General Aptitude:

  • English
  • General Knowledge
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • General Science
  • History and Political Science
  • Geography
  • Current Affairs

Preparation Tip – The Science section would cover the syllabus of 11th and 12th grades. For social sciences, syllabus of 8th to 10th grade CBSE, would be more than enough. It’s important to learn about dates and figures from the history books.

Out of almost 4.5 lakh applicants, only around 6000 are selected for the next round i.e. SSB.

Written Exam Centers: 

The written exam is conducted in various cities of each state in the country. Below is a table which shows the different examination centers in the country.

Agartala Ahmedabad Aizawl Allahabad Bengaluru
Bareilly 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 Thiruvananthapuram Udaipur Vishakhapatnam
Tirupati Kota

Service Selection Board (SSB): 

Cadets after clearing the written exam, have to go through the SSB process. Service selection board or SSB is basically a board of members who conduct an interview based on Personality development and Overall skills of the applicant. The interview goes on for 5-6 days and consists of various levels and events. The basic skills that are tested are speaking skills, leadership skills, team work and intelligence.

SSB process

The interview process is designed over a five-day process. On Day 1 cadets have to go through a screening test, which if cleared by the students, allows them to move to the next day. If the student fails to clear the screening test, they are asked to go back home and prepare well for next year. Day 2 is the Psychologist Tests, which consists of various psychological activities. Day 3 & 4 is the group tasks which tests your leadership skills, team work and ability to work in adverse conditions with your partners. Day 5 is the Conference when the results are announced. The personal interview will be conducted anywhere on the day 2,3 or 4 during the post lunch or evening hours.

Learn about the complete SSB day to day wise process here.


After clearing written exam and SSB interview, candidates have to clear a final round, medical test. In this, cadets are expected to be physically fit in all the aspects. Cadets have to fulfill the medical criteria decided by Defence academy. Candidates are therefore advised to get themselves medically examined before appearing for the medical round. Cadets are advised to rectify minor injuries in order to speed up the selection process.

The basic criteria that a cadet has to fulfill medically are:

  • Eye vision should be 6/6 in better eye and 6/9 in worse eye.
  • A good binocular vision for Army.
  • For navy their are certain extra measures like limits of myopia to be -0.75 and limits of hypermetropia to be +1.25.
  • No flat foot.
  • Straight Arms and shoulders.
  • No Knock knee.

There is a hieight to weight ratio that is to be followed by the applicant to get selected. We have listed that down in a table below.

Height (in cms) 

Weight (in Kgs.)

16-17 years 17-18 years 18-19 years
152 42.5 44 45
155 43.5 45.3 47
157 45 47 48
160 46.5 48 49
162 48 50 51
165 50 52 53
167 51 53 54
170 52.5 55 56
173 54.5 57 58
175 56 59 60
178 58 61 62
180 60 63 64.5
183 62.5 65 66.5

Medical process is very important for selection in Armed Forces. If you are aspiring to join armed forces, and you have some minor defects, it’s advisable that you get it corrected as soon as possible.

How to prepare for NDA exam? 

  • Read all the NCERT books for written exam. For Maths and English, you may have to refer some additional books to practice otherwise most of the concepts are simple that we study in our 11th and 12th grade.
  • Make a time table before at least two months of the written exam and devote at least half hour for all the subjects everyday.
  • For current affairs, it’s advisable that you read newspapers daily and read periodicals regularly.
  • It’s important to learn about all the dates and places from history books.
  • Try to solve previous year question papers. We have put last year question paper for you down in the article.
  • Learn various maths tricks to save yourself some time.
  • Practice essay writing and speech delivering in English.
  • Watch motivated videos to keep yourself motivated.
  • Solve aptitude problems and real life situations.
  • Buy yourself a preparation book for NDA and NA by RS Agarwal or someone.
  • Do regular exercise to keep yourself fit.
  • Get yourself medically examined to see if you stand a chance for NDA.

We have also put previous paper NDA question paper here.

NDA Mathematics Question Paper 2016


All the information listed above is taken from trusted sources over the internet. In case of any query or suggestions, feel free to write us down in comment section. the information would be updated as and when there would be any notice from the academy. We hope this article was any help to you.

About the author

Pankaj Singh

Editor. Talking about future fascinates me.

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