(Info) National Defence Academy (N.D.A.) Exam

Recruitment of candidates to Army, Navy and Air force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA), is through National Defence Academy Entrance Exam which is held twice a year, generally in the month of April and September. NDA exam is conducted by the UPSC. A candidate must be an unmarried male. The course of training is for three years.

The candidate is required to give his preference for the service he wishes to join, however the final decision also depends on the rank he secures in the merit list. The candidate should first decide their preference for the two academies i.e. National Defence Academy and Naval Academy (Executive Branch) . If a candidate opts for NDA as his first choice, he has to then give his preferences for the three wings of the NDA i.e. Army, Navy, Air force, followed by his preference for Naval Academy. Alternatively, if he gives his first preference for Naval Academy, he has to follow it with his preference for the three wings of the NDA.


Age and marital status

A candidate must be an unmarried male and have attained the age of 16 1/2 years and must not have attained the age 19 years on the 1st January or 1st of July of the year succeeding the year of examination.
Candidates must not marry until they complete their full training. A candidate who marries subsequent to the date of his application, though successful will not be selected for training.
A candidate who marries during training shall be discharged and will be liable to refund all expenditure incurred on him by the Government.

Educational Qualifications

  1. For Army Wing of National Defence Academy: 12th Class pass of 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board or a University.
  2. (2) For Air Force and Naval Wings of National Defence Academy and for the 10+2 (Executive Branch) course at the Naval Academy: 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of a School Education or equivalent with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a State Education Board or a University. Candidates who are appearing in the 12th Class under the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination can also apply.


Blank application forms and other particulars are published by UPSC in leading newspapers and Employment News in the month of March and September. A candidate seeking admission must apply to The Secretary, UPSC, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi- 110069 on prescribed application form. The application forms are available on payment from any of the designated post office throughout the country.

In case of any difficulty in application forms from the designated post offices the candidates can contact the concerned post master or UPSC's "Forms Supply Monitoring Cell". Phone : 011- 23389366 Fax : 011-23387310.


Plan of the Examination

The examination comprises:
(i) Written Examination
(ii) Intelligence, obstacles and Group Tests by Services Selection Board of the candidates, who qualify the written examination.

Examination Subjects

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



Max. Marks


General Ability Test (English, General Knowledge and Science)

21/2 hours
21/2 hours
  • The papers in all subjects will consist of OBJECTIVE-TYPE questions only.

  • The question papers (Test Booklets) will be set in English only.

Centres of examination are

Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhopal, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar, Dispur (Guwahati), Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kavaratti (Lakshadweep), Kohima, Lucknow, Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji (Goa), Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam. The centres and the date of holding the examination are liable to be changed at the discretion of the Commission.


Those who qualify the written test, has to undergo an interview. The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate.

Intelligence and Personality Test:

In addition to the interview, the candidates will be put to intelligence test of both verbal and non-verbal nature, designed to assess their basic intelligence. They also have to undergo group tests, such as group discussions, group-planning, outdoor group tasks and asked to give brief lecturers on specified subjects. All these tests are intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate.


Syllabus of NDA Exam

Paper I



Number Systems-Natural numbers, Integers, Rational and Real numbers. Fundamental operations-addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots, decimal fractions.

Unitary method-time and distance, time and work. Percentage-applications to simple and compound interest, profit and loss, ratio and proportion, variation.

Elementary Number Theory, Division algorithm Prime and composite numbers. Tests of divisibility by 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 11. Multiples and factors. Factorization Theorem. H.C.F. and L.C.M. Euclidean algorithm. Logarithms to base 10, laws of logarithms.


Areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, triangle and circles. Area of figures, which can be split up into these figures (Field Book). Surface area and volume of cuboids, lateral surface and volume of right circular cones and cylinders. Surface area and volume of spheres.


Basic Operations, simple factors, Remainder Theorem, H.C.F., L.C.M. of polynomials. Solutions of quadratic equations, relation between its roots and coefficients (only real roots to be considered). Simultaneous linear equations to two unknown analytical and graphical solutions.

Practical problems leading to two simultaneous linear equations in two variables or quadratic equations in one variable and their solutions. Set language and set notation. Rational expression and conditional identities. Law of indices.


Lines and angles. Plane and plane figure. Theorems on

  1. Properties of angles at a point
  2. Parallel lines
  3. Sides and angles of a triangle
  4. Congruency of triangles
  5. Similar triangles
  6. Concurrence of medians and altitudes
  7. Properties of angles, sides and diagonals of a parallelogram, rectangle and square
  8. Circles and their properties including tangents and normals
  9. 9. Loci.

Trigonometry :

Sine x, Cosine x, Tangent x when 0° < x < 90°
Value of sin x, cos x and tan x for x = 0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°. Simple trigonometric identities.
Use of trigonometrical tables.
Simple cases of heights and distances.


Collection and tabulation of statistical data. Graphical representation, frequency polygons, histograms, bar charts, pie charts, etc. Calculation of mean of raw and grouped data.

Paper II

General Ability Test

Part A -English

The question paper in English will be designed to test the candidate's understanding of English and workmanlike use of words. The syllabus covers various aspects like: Grammar and usage, vocabulary, comprehension and cohesion in extended texts to test the candidate's proficiency in English.

Part B -General Knowledge

The question paper on General Knowledge will broadly cover the subjects: Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Geography and Current Events.

The syllabus given below is designed to indicate the scope of these subjects included in the paper. The topics mentioned are not to be regarded as exhaustive and questions on topics of similar nature not specifically mentioned in the syllabus may also be asked. Candidate's answers are expected to show their knowledge and intelligent understanding of the subject.

Section A -Physics

Physical Properties and States of Matter. Mass Weight, Volume, Density and Specific Gravity, Principle of Archimedes, Pressure Barometer,

Motion of Objects: Velocity and Acceleration. Newton's Laws of Motion. Force and Momentum. Parallelogram of Forces. Stability and Equilibrium of bodies. Gravitation, elementary ideas of Work, Power and Energy.

Effects of Heat: Measurements of Temperature and Heat, change of State, and Latent Heat. Modes of transference of Heat.

Sound waves and their properties. Simple musical instruments.

Rectilinear propagation of Light. Reflection and refraction.

Spherical mirrors and lenses. Human Eye.

Natural and Artificial Magnets : Properties of a Magnet, Earth as a Magnet.

Static and Current Electricity: Conductors and Nonconductors. Ohm's Law. Simple Electrical Circuits. Heating, Lighting and Magnetic effects of Current. Measurement of Electrical Power. Primary and Secondary Cells. Use of X-rays.

General Principles in the working of the following: Simple Pendulum, Simple Pulleys, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Telegraphs, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Microscope, Mariner's Compass, Lightning Conductors. Safety Fuses.

Section B -Chemistry

Physical and Chemical changes. Elements, Mixtures and Compounds, Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equations. Law of Chemical Combination [excluding problems). Properties of Air and Water.

Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon dioxide, Oxidation and Reduction.

Acids, Bases and Salts.
Carbon-different forms. Fertilizers-Natural and Artificial.
Materials used in the preparations of substances like Soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches and Gunpowder.

Elementary ideas about the Structure of Atom. Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights. Valency.

Section C -General Science

Difference between the living and non-living.

Basis of Life-Cells, Protoplasm's and Tissues.

Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals.

Elementary knowledge of human body and its important organs. Common Epidemics, their causes and prevention.

Food-Source of energy for man. Constituents of food Balanced diet.

The Solar System-Meteors and Comets, Eclipses.

Achievements of Eminent Scientists.

Section D -History, Freedom Movement, etc.

A broad survey of Indian History, with emphasis on Culture and Civilization.
Freedom Movement in India.

Elementary study of Indian Constitution and Administration.
Elementary knowledge of Five-Year Plans of India.
Panchayati Raj, Cooperatives and Community Development.
Bhoodan. Sarvodaya. National Integration and Welfare State.
Basic Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

Forces shaping the modern world: Renaissance, Exploration and Discovery. War of American Independence. French Revolution, Industrial Revolution and Russian Revolution. Impact of Science and Technology on Society. Concept of One World, United Nations, Panchsheel, Democracy. Socialism and Communism. Role of India in the Present world.

Section E -Geography

The Earth, its shape and size. Latitudes and Longitudes. Concept of Time. International Date Line. Movements of Earth and their effects.

Origin of Earth. Rocks and their classification. Weathering Mechanical and Chemical. Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Ocean Currents and Tides.

Atmosphere and its composition; Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure; Planetary Winds; Cyclones and Anticyclones; Humidity, Condensation and Precipitation: Types of Climate. Major Natural regions of the World.

Regional Geography of India-Climate, Natural vegetation. Mineral and Power resources; location and distribution of agricultural and industrial activities.
Important Sea Ports and main sea, land and air routes of India. Main items of Imports and Exports of India.

Section F -Current Events Knowledge of important events that have happened in India in the recent years. Current important world events. Prominent personalities-both Indian and International, including those connected with the cultural activities and sports.