NDA Exam details

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NDA Exam Details

What is NDA Exam?

NDA stands for National Defense Academy which is the training institute for the cadets of the 3 Defence lines of India (Army, Air Force, Navy) while The whole selection Process of the NDA exam to find suitable candidates for the academy to train there and join their respective academy. Various important highlights related to NDA 1 exam 2022 is given in the table below:

NDA 1 2022 Exam Highlights

Name of the examNDA 1 2022
Conducting BodyUnion Public Service Commission
Purpose of the examinationTo find candidates to join Army, Air Force, and Navy as a Cadet or Officer Trainee
Exam FrequencyTwice a year
Exam Category12th Pass
Selection ProcessWritten exam
SSB interview
Medical checkup
Final merit
Number of applicants5-6 lakhs
Exam Center41 Test Cities across India
Official Websitehttps://www.upsc.gov.in/

NDA Eligibility Criteria

The NDA eligibility criteria are one of the main aspects to be known before applying for the exam. To move further in the recruitment process one must fulfill all the norms of eligibility requirements. The standards of NDA eligibility are defined by the officials of the National Defence Academy. Keep reading to know all about NDA eligibility requirements which include age limit, relaxation, education qualification, percentage calculation, and the number of attempts.

An applicant who is an Indian citizen can apply for the UPSC NDA 2022 examination. Otherwise, they must meet any of the Commission’s NDA nationality criteria listed below.

  1. Citizen of India
  2. A Subject of Nepal or 
  3. A subject of Bhutan, or,
  4. Tibetan refugees who came over to India before 1 Jan. 1962, with the intention of permanent settlement, can apply for the NDA exam.
  5. A person of Indian origin migrated from the following countries with the intention of permanent settlement.
    • Pakistan, Sri Lanka
    • East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire & Ethiopia, Vietnam.

NDA Nationality Note:

  • It should be clear that the applicant who belongs to categories 2,3,4, and 5 must have a Certificate of eligibility that has been issued by the Government of India.
  • Gorkha applicants who are subjects of Nepal however, do not need to produce this certificate.

NDA Age Limit Criteria

According to the eligibility criteria for the NDA age limit only unmarried male and female aspirants aged between 16.5 – 19.5 are eligible to apply. Candidates interested in applying for this exam must fall in the range mentioned below. Candidate exceeding the NDA age limit will not be considered as an eligible aspirant for the exam.

  • The age limit of NDA aspirants must be between 16.5-19.5 years. 
  • He must have not been born earlier than 02nd January 2003 and not later than 01 January 2006.

NDA Qualification: 12th Percentage & Marks

The NDA qualification required for the Army wing, Navy wing, and Air Force wing through the NDA exam is given below. Candidates who are appearing or passed in the 12th Class under the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination also fulfil NDA educational criteria.

The Army wing of NDACandidate must be appearing/passed Class 12 or equivalent examination from a recognized board
The Air Force & Naval wings of National Defence Academy (NDA) and 10+2 Cadet entry scheme at INACandidate must be appearing/cleared his class 12 or equivalent examination with Physics and Mathematics


  • Those candidates who are appearing in Class 12 or equivalent examination can also apply for the NDA exam.
  • Those candidates who are appearing in the Class 11 exam are not eligible for the NDA examination.

NDA Marital Status Eligibility

To be well versed with an exam’s eligibility criteria should be the first priority of an applicant before starting their preparation. In comparison to other bodies, NDA and its criteria differ. Marital status plays a crucial role in NDA eligibility criteria. Only unmarried male and female candidates can apply for the NDA examination. For a detailed list of rules check the list mentioned below-

  • Only unmarried male & female candidates can apply for the NDA examination. 
  • Candidates should not marry until they complete their training in the Academy. 
  • The candidate who marries during the training will be discharged and have to refund all expenditure spent on him by the government of India.

NDA Physical Test Requirements

You should go for a medical examination before submitting your application. Here are the guidelines for NDA physical test requirements:

  • The applicant must have good physical and mental health and should be free from diseases and disabilities.
  • The candidates are advised to rectify minor defects/ailments.
    Permanent body tattoos are only allowed from the wrist to the inside of the elbow and on the hand’s backside. Tattoos on any other body part are not acceptable.
    Candidates belonging to tribes who have tattoos/ marks on the face/ body as part of their custom/ traditions will be allowed on a special case basis.
  • The chest should not be less than 81cm after full expansion. The expansion of the chest after full inspiration should be more than 5cm. X-ray of the chest will be taken to examine any kind of disease.
  • Bones/Joints should not be impaired of any function. These should be developed properly.
  • The candidate should not have any history of mental breakdown/ fits.
  • Un-operated Hernia will lead to disqualification. In the case of operated Hernia, it should be operated before 1 year to the final medical examination.
  • The liver and spleen of the candidate should be of normal size.
  • The hearing should be normal. The candidate should be able to hear a whisper with each ear at a distance of 610 cms. There should not be any disease of the ear, nose, and throat.
  • Blood Pressure should be normal.
  • There should not be any functional or organic disease of the heart and blood vessels.
  • There should be no hydrocele, varicocele or piles, or any kind of skin disease.
  • Any kind of disease of the internal organs of the abdomen will lead to disqualification.
  • Examination of urine will also be done and any abnormality if found, will lead to disqualification.
  • The applicant should have a sufficient number of natural and sound teeth. There should be a minimum of 14 dental points.
  • USG abdomen examination will be performed and any congenital structural anomaly will lead to disqualification.
  • Candidate should not be of weak constitution, overweight/underweight.

NDA Height and Weight Standards

Height and weight play a major role in the eligibility criteria of NDA. The candidate who is applying for the NDA exam must be physically fit. NDA height and weight parameters are primary requirements of the candidates that are necessary to be fulfilled and no relaxation will be given on this ground except the ones mentioned by them. NDA height and weight requirements are:

NDA Height & Weight for Army and Air Force

  • The minimum height required is 157 cms ( Note for the Indian Air Force it is 162.5 cms). 
  • There are certain exceptions for candidates based on the region from where they belong.
Height (in cms)Weight (in kgs)
 16-17 years17-18 years18-19 years


For Gorkhas and the candidates belonging to hills of North-Eastern parts of India, Garhwal, and Kumaon, the minimum height requirement is 5 cms less than the figure mentioned above. There is a relaxation of 2 Cms for the Candidates belonging to Lakshadweep.

NDA Height and Weight requirements for Navy

Height (In cms)Weight (in kgs)
 16 years18 years20 years

NDA Physical Standards for Candidates to Join as a Pilot

  • Leg Length: Minimum: 99 cms and Maximum: 120 cms
  • Thigh Length: Maximum of 64 cms
  • Sitting Height: Minimum: 81.50 cms and Maximum: 96 cms

Vision Standards for NDA Exam

A selected candidate of NDA represents our country and bears plenty of duties and responsibilities. For an NDA applicant, it is crucially important to stand fit on medical requirements. One of the major important requirements is a medical test for vision standards. NDA medical test requirements for the vision are:

  • The distance vision (corrected) should be 6/6 in the better eye and 6/9 in the worse eye.
  • Myopia of more than 2.5 D is not allowed.
  • Hypermetropia more than 3.5 D including astigmatism is not allowed.
  • Candidates applying for Indian Air Force must not wear spectacles.

Below are the visual standards for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

SpecificationNavalAir Force
Uncorrected without glass6/66/6, 6/9
Corrected with glass6/66/6 (only for Hypermetropia)
Limits of Myopia-0.75Nil
Limits of Hypermetropia+1.5+2.00 D Sph
Limits of Colour PerceptionINil
Binocular VisionIIINil
Manifest MyopiaN.A.Nil Re
Tinoscopic MyopiaN.A.0.5
Colour VisionN.A.CP-I (MLT)
AstigmatismN.A.+0.75 Cyl (within + 2.0 D.Max)
Near VisionN.A.N-5 each eye

NDA Syllabus Overview

The table given below presents a brief idea of the NDA entrance exam syllabus. 

Name of the ExamNational Defence Academy, NDA
Exam Conducting BodyUnion Public Service Commission, UPSC
Frequency of NDA ExamTwo times a year(NDA 1 & NDA 2)
Selection ProcessWritten Test consisting of Objective Type Questions Intelligence & Personality Test (SSB)
Mode of examOffline (Pen and Paper mode)
Total Papers in NDA ExamMathematics General Ability Test (GAT)
Total Marks for NDA ExamTotal: 900 Marks Mathematics: 300 Marks GAT: 600 Marks
Total No. of QuestionsMathematics: 120 GAT: 150
Negative MarkingMathematics: -0.83 GAT: -1.33 marks
Exam DurationMathematics: 2 Hours 30 Minutes GAT: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Official Website www.upsc.gov.in

NDA Exam Pattern : Mathematics, GAT & SSB

It is important to first get acquainted with the NDA exam pattern as per the UPSC NDA 2022 notification. As you know NDA comprises two papers, Mathematics and GAT for 200 marks and 400 marks respectively, therefore, here is the NDA exam pattern to understand the marking scheme. 

NDA Mathematics Exam Pattern

NDA Mathematics Exam Pattern
Total Marks for NDA Mathematics paper 300 Marks
Total No. of Questions120
Correct Answer 2.5 marks
Marks deducted for the wrong answer-0.83
Total duration of Mathematics Paper 2 Hours 30 Minutes

NDA GAT Exam Pattern

The NDA GAT Paper will comprise of the following subjects: 

  • English 
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • General Science
  • History, Freedom Movement, etc.
  • Geography
  • Current Affairs

Here is the NDA GAT marking scheme. 

NDA GAT Exam Pattern 
Total Marks for NDA GAT Paper600 marks
Total No. of Questions150 Questions 
Total questions in English50 Questions
Total Questions in GK 100 Questions
Total Marks for English 200 marks
Total Marks for GK400 marks
Marks for Correct Answer4 marks in each section
Marks for Incorrect Answer-1.33 marks in each section
Total Duration of GAT Paper2 Hours 30 Minutes

NDA SSB Exam Pattern

The NDA SSB/Interview is the last stage of the exam pattern for the UPSC NDA recruitment process. Candidates who will obtain the NDA Cut Off marks in the written exam will only be eligible to appear for the NDA SSB/Interview round. Given below is the table depicting the NDA SSB pattern explaining the stages in it. 

NDA SSB Interview Pattern
Stage 1Picture Perception * Description Test (PP & DT).
Stage 2Interview Group Testing Officer Tasks Psychology Tests Conference

NDA English Syllabus 

The NDA English Syllabus is given below in the table. Check the important topics for the NDA exam for English below. 

Subject Syllabus
EnglishGrammar & usage

Comprehension & cohesion

Spotting of errors

Para Jumbling

Fill in the blanks

Synonyms & Antonyms


Cloze Test

Idioms & Proverbs

Completion of Sentence & Para

Sentence Correction & Improvement

NDA GK Syllabus

The NDA GK Syllabus will cover the following subjects in it. We have given the NDA Syllabus for GK for the following subjects below. 

|| Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Geography, and Current Events ||

NDA Syllabus for Physics

The NDA Physics Syllabus is given below in the table. Check the important topics for the NDA exam for Physics below. 

PhysicsMatter and its properties(mass, weight, etc)and specific gravity, Archimedes principle, Motion, Velocity and Acceleration, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Force and Momentum, Force Parallelogram, Stability, and Body Equilibrium, Gravity, Elementary Work Ideas, Power and Energy.Heat effects, temperature, and heat measurement, state change, latent heat, heat transfer modes. Rectilinear light, reflection, and refraction propagation. Spherical mirrors and human eye lenses. Natural and artificial magnets, a magnet’s properties, earth as a magnet.Electricity, Ohm’s Law, conductors and non-conductors, Simple Electrical Circuits, Current Heating, Lighting and Magnetic Effects, Electrical Power Measurement, Primary and Secondary Cells, X-Ray Use.Simple Pendulum, Simple Pulleys, Telegraph, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Microscope, Mariner’s Compass.

NDA Syllabus for Chemistry

The NDA Chemistry Syllabus is given below in the table. Check the important topics for the NDA exam for Chemistry below. 

ChemistryChanges in physical and chemical conditions.Chemical Combination Law.Air and water properties.Hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide preparation and properties, oxidation, and reduction. Acids, bases, salts, etc. Carbon— various forms. Fertilizers— Artificial and Natural.Material used in the preparation of substances such as Soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Gun-Powder and Safety Matches.Basic ideas on Atom, Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights structure, Valence.

NDA General Science Syllabus

The NDA General Science Syllabus is given below in the table. Check the important topics for the NDA exam for GS below. 

General ScienceLiving and non-living differences. Life basis — cells, protoplasms, tissues.Plant and animal growth and reproduction. Human Body’s basic knowledge and its important organs.Common epidemics, causes, and prevention of them. Food — man’s energy source.Food constituents, balanced diet.Meteors and Comets Solar System, Eclipses. Eminent Scientists ‘ achievements.

NDA History Syllabus

The History syllabus for NDA is given below in the table. You should make sure to study the topics of Indian Polity and National Movement in great detail.

HistoryA comprehensive survey of Indian History, focusing on culture and civilization.Freedom movement. Indian Constitution and Administration elementary study.India’s Five Year Plans.Panchayati Raj, Community Development Co-operatives. Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, Mahatma Gandhi’s Basic Teachings, National Integration and Welfare State. Modern world forces; Renaissance, Exploration, and Discovery;American Independence War.French Revolution, Russian Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution.Impact on society of science and technology.One World Concept, UN, Panchsheel, Democracy, Socialism, and Communism.India’s role in today’s world.

NDA Syllabus for Geography

The NDA Geography Syllabus is given below in the table. Check the important topics for the NDA exam for Geography below. 

GeographyThe shape and size of the Earth. Lattitudes, Longitudes, Time Concept. Date-Line International. Earth’s movements and effects.Earth’s origin. Rocks and their classification; mechanical and chemical weathering, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Ocean Currents and Tides Atmosphere and their composition; Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure, Planetary Winds, Cyclones, and Anti-cyclones; Humidity; Condensation 23 and Precipitation; Climate Types, World’s Major Natural Regions.India’s regional geography— climate, natural vegetation.Resources for minerals and power; location and distribution of agricultural and industrial activities. Important seaports and major seaports, land, and air routes

NDA Current Affairs Syllabus 

The NDA Current Affairs Syllabus is given below in the table. You must go through the latest current affairs events of India and the world. The current affairs of the last 8 to 12 months should be studied in great detail.

Current EventsKnowledge of major events that have occurred in India over the past few years.Important exercises conducted between countries worldwide with special reference to India Current major events in the world.Latest appointments Important personalities around the world including those related to cultural and sports activities

NDA Mathematics Syllabus

You must take note that the NDA mathematics syllabus is based on the 10+2 level. Hence, you must have a good knowledge of the formulas and concepts of all the important topics. Here is the syllabus for the NDA Mathematics paper. 

Name of TopicSubtopics
AlgebraSet concept, sets operations, Venn diagrams. Laws of De Morgan, Cartesian product, relationship, the relationship of equivalence.Real number representation on a line. Complex numbers— basic properties, module, argument, unity cube roots. Binary number system.Conversion to the binary system of a number in the decimal system and vice versa. Progressions in arithmetic, geometry, and harmony.Real-coefficient quadratic equations The solution of linear inequations of two variables by graphs.Permutation and Combination.Binomial theorem and its applications. Logarithms and their applications. 
Matrices and DeterminantsMatrix types, matrix operations.The determinant of a matrix, determinants ‘ properties. Application-Solution of a system of linear equations in two or three unknowns by the Cranmer’s Rule and by the Matrix method
TrigonometryAngles and their degree and measurements.Trigonometric ratios. Sum of trigonometric identities and formulas.Multiple angles and sub-multiples.Trigonometric functions & their inverse. Applications-Height and Distance, Triangle Properties.
Analytical geometry of two and three dimensionsThe Cartesian Rectangular Coordinate System.Formula of distance. Equation of a line in different shapes.Two lines of angle. A point’s distance from a line. Standard and general equation of a circle.Parabola, ellipse, and hyperbola are standard forms. A conic’s eccentricity and axis. Point the distance between two points in a three-dimensional space. Cosines of direction and ratios of direction. Two points of the equation.Cosines of direction and ratios of direction.A plane equation and a line in different forms.Two lines of the angle between two planes. Sphere’s equation.
Differential calculus Concept of a valued function–a function’s domain, range, and graph.Composite functions, one by one, on, and vice versa.Limit notion, default limits — examples.Continuity of functions— examples, continuous functional algebraic operations.Function derivative at a point, geometric and physical interpretation of an application derivative.Summary derivatives, product, and function quotient derivatives, function derivatives for another function, 20 composite function derivatives.Derivatives of the second order. Increasing and diminishing functions.Application of derivatives in maxima and minima problems.
Integral Calculus and Differential Equations Differentiation and integration, standard integrals with algebraic expressions, trigonometric, exponential, and hyperbolic functions.Definite integrals — determination of areas of curved plane regions — applications.General and particular solution of differential equations, solution of the first order, and 1st-degree differential equations of various types—examples.Application in problems of growth and decay. 
Vector Algebra2D and 3D vectors, vector magnitude, and direction.Unit and null vectors, vector adding, scalar-vector multiplication, scalar product or dot product, vector product, or cross product.Applications — work done through force and moment of force and in geometric problems.
Statistics & ProbabilityStatistics: data classification, distribution of frequencies, the cumulative distribution of frequencies — examples.Examples of graphic representation— histogram, pie chart, polygon frequency. Central tendency measurements — mean, median, and mode. Variance and deviation of standard — determination, and comparison. Correlation and regression Sample space, events, exhaustive events & mutually exclusive, impossible and certain events associated with random experiments, results and associated. Union and events intersection. Complementary, composite, and elementary events. Probability definition— classical and statistical— examples. Elementary probability theorems — simple issues.The conditional likelihood, the theorem of Bayes — simple problems.Random variable on a sample space as a function. Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments, the binomial distribution.

Best Books for NDA Exam

Best Books for English

The English section is there to test the candidates understanding of grammar and vocabulary. Following is the list of books that the candidates can refer to in order to prepare the English section of NDA:

Name of BookAuthor & PublicationRemarks
Objective General EnglishS. P. Bakshi(Arihant Publication)This book is very good to prepare for the English section for the NDA exam. Detailed notes, proper examples and exercises will help you better understand this section’s topics.
Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & CompositionS. ChandThis book will help you to understand the basic grammar rules, exceptions and applications that are quite effective.
Word Power Made EasyNorman Lewis(Goyal Publishers)For all students who are struggling with vocabulary, this book is effective.

Best Books for Physics

In the physics section generally, questions are asked from the 11th and 12th Standard which is related to electricity and mechanics. We have shared the list of books that we think might be helpful for the NDA exam.

Name of Book/SourceAuthor & PublicationRemarks
NCERT (11th n 12th)The NCERT are very clear and concise. Refer to the important topics of Motion, Electricity, Magnetism
NCERT ExemplarThis book is very effective to revise and practice important numerical and concepts.

Best Books for Chemistry

The Chemistry section consists of questions from the 11th and 12th books which are asked from topics like – hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, Acid, Bases and Salts, Oxidation and Reduction, Atoms, valence etc.

Name of Book/SourceAuthor & PublicationRemarks
NCERT (11th n 12th)Read NCERT as it is very clear and concise. Refer to important topics including Chemical Changes, Equations, Structure of Atom etc.
NCERT ExemplarThis book will help you revise important concepts.

Best books for General Science

The General Science Section in the NDA exam consists of many topics that are part of class 9th and 10th Biology.

Name of BookAuthor & PublicationRemarks
Objective GKSanjiv Kumar; Lucent PublicationYou can cover Biology in a very concise manner which is important for examination.Important topics to read are- Human Reproduction, Human Body, Plants & Animal Cell, etc.

Best Books for History, Geography

The General Science Section consists of many topics that are related to class 9th and 10th books.

Name of BookAuthor & PublicationRemarks
Objective GKSanjiv Kumar; Lucent PublicationThis Book will help you in revising important topics of the History & Geography section.

Best Books for Current Affairs

Current Affairs is a very important section of the NDA exam. Remember the past 6 months are important for the NDA exam.

Name of BookAuthor & PublicationRemarks
Pratoyogita Darpan/ Competition Success ReviewIn NDA Exam, current affairs are asked from the last six months. Should subscribe to a monthly compilation of this magazine which will help you in identifying what is important for the examination

Best Books for Mathematics

The Mathematics section essentially tests the candidate’s aptitude. Here is the list of books that the students can refer to in order to prepare for the Mathematics section of the NDA exam:

Name of BookAuthor & PublicationRemarks
National Defence Academy and Naval AcademyR S AggarwalThis book will help you in your Mathematics Preparation to get a high score on a maths paper.

NDA Salary in Hand (Rank-wise)

The NDA salary (in hand) will be shown in the NDA post and salary slip after all the required deductions. The salary structure according to the ranks are described in the tabular form as under: –

RankLevelGrade Pay
LieutenantLevel 10₹ 56,100 – 1,77,500
CaptainLevel 10 B₹ 6,13,00-1,93,900
MajorLevel 11₹ 6,94,00 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant ColonelLevel 12A₹ 1,21,200 – 2,12400
ColonelLevel 13₹ 1,30,600-2, 15,900
BrigadierLevel 13A₹ 1,39,600-2,17,600
Major GeneralLevel 14₹ 1,44,200-2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG ScaleLevel 15₹ 1, 82, 200-2,24,100
HAG+ScaleLevel 16₹ 2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG)Level 17₹ 2,25,000/-(fixed)
COASLevel 18₹ 2,50,000/-(fixed)

A. Details of MSP (Military Service Pay)

  • Officers in the rank of Lieutenant to Brigadier are also entitled to a Military Service Pay(MSP) of ₹ 15.500 p.m. (fixed).

B. Flying Allowance: 

  • The Army Aviators (Pilots) serving in the Army Aviation Corps are entitled to flying allowance at ₹ 25,000/- p.m. 

NDA Exam FAQs:

Q.1-How many papers are there for NDA entrance exam syllabus?

There are two papers according to the NDA entrance exam syllabus which are:

  • Paper 1 – Mathematics
  • Paper 2 – General Ability Test (English, Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, and Current Affairs).
Q.2-Can a female candidate apply for an NDA post?

As per the  NDA 1 exam 2022, vacancies for female candidates were available. However any update regarding will be known only after the notifications has been released 

Q.3-Is everyone eligible to apply for the NDA Exam?

You have to be between 16.5 to 19.5 years. You have to complete the 10+2 examinations. Also, you have to comply with other eligibility criteria.

Q.4-How much is the NDA salary during the training period?

NDA salary during the training period is a fixed stipend of ₹ 56,100/-

Q.5-Are there opportunities for growth and promotions after NDA Exam?

Yes, there are many lucrative growth and promotion opportunities for NDA Cadets.

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