As far as I can recall, we have all had dreams of joining the defense forces. The uniform, the charm of the services, the lifestyle and the respect, these are a few things that have attracted every person in his childhood. Well, some go a step forward and bring their childhood dreams to life. The National Defense Academy or popularly known as the NDA is the centre and hub for all defense recruitment activities that take place in the country.

The defense forces of our country are well known all over the words. We are known to be fearless, courageous and extremely furious in our approach towards enemies. There are no doubts about the fact that we are sitting in the comfort of your homes because a few men are guarding our borders defying all odds.

We are sure a lot of you might have numerous doubts about what exam you have to clear before you proceed to the defense forces, the level and nature of the exam and lots more. Keeping your requirement in mind, Studydekho has come up with this exclusive blog that enlists and explains the most common queries that people have along with their answers.

The exam for joining the defense forces is one of the most coveted exams that exist in the country. It has always remained an honor for people to serve the country with their skills and ensure that no alien forces pose risk to the Indian citizens.

Take a look at these questions and we are sure these will help you remove most of your doubts. You can always revert back to us in case you feel a particular query remains unanswered.


Q: what is NDA?

NDA is the abbreviated form of National Defense Academy. It is a joint services academy of the nation’s armed forces. As mentioned earlier, young trainees prepare themselves for their jobs ahead before they are commissioned in their respective services. Notably, the National Defense Academy is the first service school in the entire world that imparts training for all three wings of the defense.

 Candidates wishing to join the forces need to appear for a written exam followed by a personal interview. The exam is held two times a year, in August and April respectively.

Q: where is the academy located in India?

The NDA is located at Khadakwasla, close to Pune in Maharashtra.

Q: what is the entrance exam all about and which authority is in charge of conducting it?

The UPSC or the Union Public Service Commission conducts the exam twice a year. The authority is the sole conducting forum that is charged with issuing guidelines for the selection of candidates for the training that follows. The exam is conducted in 3 stages consisting of the written examination, the SSB followed by the personal interview.

Q: what all forces are covered under the ambit of NDA?

There are 3 forces that are covered under NDA training- Indian Air Force, Indian Army and Indian Navy.

Q: what is the maximum number of times that a student can apply for the NDA exam?

The age between which a person can apply for the NDA exam is between 16.5 to 19 years. There is no maximum limit on the number of attempts. Thus, a student can apply as many times as he wants.

Q: what is the eligibility criterion for the NDA exam?

Those who have finished their high school and are unmarried are eligible to appear for the exam. However, the age as mentioned in the previous answer should be kept in mind while applying.

Q: what is the examination fee one needs to deposit?

The application fee for the examination is INR 100. However, fee exemptions and concessions are available to certain applicants such as those belonging to the reserved categories.

Q: what is the pattern of the NDA exam?

There are two papers that one needs to appear for in the exam- Maths and General Ability. Each subject is allotted a time span of 2.5 hours. While the maximum marks for the general ability paper is 600, the maximum marks for the maths paper is 300. Candidates who are able to clear the written examination are required to sit for the interview that is conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSC).

The topics included in the maths paper include matrices and determinants, algebra, trigonometry, analytical geometry, integral calculus, differential calculus, vector algebra, differential equations, probability and statistics.

The general ability paper comprises of 2 parts. The first part is the English paper which has 50 questions. The second part consists of a number of subjects such as physics, general science, chemistry, Indian history and freedom movement in India, political science and geography as well as current affairs.

One needs to be thorough with the syllabus if one wants to join the coveted course.

Q: when can an aspirant apply for the exam?

For the April exam, students can apply in December while for the August cycle, students can apply in May.

Q: what is the minimum marks one needs to score in the qualifying exam to appear for the NDA paper?

The qualifying marks vary with the category of the candidate. However, passing marks are a must for each candidate.

Q: what training is undergone by candidates after their tenure at NDA?

Once the candidate have spent 3 years at the NDA, the candidates spend another year at IMA, if they are army cadets, at the Air Force Academy in case they are Air Force cadets, and at Naval Academy in case they are Navy cadets.

Q: how many seats are available at the NDA?

The total numbers of seats vary each year. The number keeps floating between 200 and 400.

Q: is TES a better way to join the forces?

TES stands for Technical Entry Scheme. Students who have scored 75% marks in their qualifying exam with a combination of physics, chemistry and maths are eligible to sit for the exam. For those sitting for the TES exam, no written test is required and one can directly sit for the interview via SSB. Those who fit the qualifying criterion must go via this scheme since the perks and allowances in this line are surely better. Even when it comes to future prospects, the pay packages and promotions are on the higher side.

Q: does the exam require coaching for preparation?

There is no hard and fast rule regarding the same. However, we suggest that you do choose a good coaching institute to fuel your prep since the seats for the exam are limited while the competition pouring in from all over the country is immense. One cannot afford to while his time away while preparing for the exam. You can also check out previous year papers on the internet. This will help you supplement your prep.

So this was all about the most frequently asked questions about the National Defense Academy paper. You can also check our other blogs at Studydekho. Right from institutes to tips to career advice, this website has it all.

We wish you luck and hope that you make your loved ones proud by joining the defense forces.

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