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National Defence Academy (NDA)

Updated: Feb 23, 2024

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is preparing to welcome new applicants through an exam scheduled to take place in April/May 2024. Individuals eager to serve the nation in a variety of areas have already begun their preparations. The competition is strong, therefore you must work extremely hard. The UPSC will conduct the exam. 


What is an NDA Exam?

UPSC administers the National Defence Academy (NDA) entrance exam. Candidates will be posted to the Air Force, Military, and Navy.


Remember that the number of openings changes each year; in 2021, it was 400, but in 2022, it dropped to 395. So, everything, including your preparation and question type, will be determined by the competition of the year.


The National Defence Academy is organized into three primary forces: the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy. The eligibility conditions vary depending on the force you choose to join. Here are all the important data about the NDA exam 2024.

NDA 2024 Eligibility Criteria

Before applying for the NDA 2024 exam, be it NDA1 or NDA2, you must know the criteria as it is more than age and educational qualifications. Starting from physical health to mental health, everything is examined in a candidate before selection. 


You would be surprised to know that there are candidates who get rejected even after passing the exams because of issues like eyesight, height, inability to handle psychological questions, etc.


Therefore, candidates should only apply after reading the eligibility criteria thoroughly.

Age:

Individuals must fall under the age group of 16.5-19.5 years. Anyone younger than 16.5 or older than 19.5 will be considered not eligible for the examination. To be specific, if you are willing to take the NDA 1 exam, you must be born between 2nd July 2004 to 1st July 2007. If you are appearing for NDA 2, your birth date must fall between 2nd Jan 2005 and 1st Jan 2008.

Nationality:

Nationality is one of the most crucial parts of NDA exam selection, the candidate must be an Indian citizen. However, other specifications are also there. They are as follows: 

  • Individuals who came to India to settle down from Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet before 1st Jan 1962 can appear for the examination.

  • Those who have migrated to India to settle down from Pakistan, Tanzania, Zaire, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Burma, Zambia, Tanzania, Zaire, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda or Vietnam can appear as well. 

  • Foreign Candidates excluding Gorkhas need an eligibility certificate issued by the Indian government to appear for the examination.

Educational Qualifications:

Any candidate who has completed his 12th board can apply. One must come from a science background willing to join the Air Force or Navy. 

Attempts:

You can take as many attempts as you want until the age of 19.5 years.

Marital Status:

The applicant should be unmarried. They can marry only after the completion of the training period.

Height:

The standard height criteria for applicants is 157 cm. For Air Force candidates, it is 162.5 cm.


However, the eligibility differs from force to force. To know more about the eligibility, click here:  https://upsc.gov.in/sites/default/files/Notif-NDA-NA-I-Exam-2023-Engl-211222.pdf

NDA Application Process for 2024

The step-by-step application is mentioned below. Following these steps will lead to smoother application submission eliminating all the mistakes. 


Registration

Once you get the notification, you can visit https://upsconline.nic.in/upsc/OTRP/index.php to register yourself. You need to create an account by giving credentials like Email or phone number and verifying both.

Filling the Form

After that, you need to fill out the application form with all the essential details like ID proof, address proof, mark sheet, sign, photograph, etc.

Always upload the documents in PDF format. 

Fee Payment

Lastly, you need to submit the fees to conclude the process.

Admit Card Collection

Once the NDA 2024 Admit card is out, you can log in to your account and collect the same. Remember, the hard copy will not be posted to you, You need to print yourself a copy out to appear for the exam.

Important Event Dates (NDA 2024)

Before candidates appear for the exam, there is a process that needs to be followed. Moreover, this process follows a schedule and one needs to follow the same to complete the process successfully. The dates are as follows: 

NDA 1 Schedule:

Date

Events

20th Dec 2023

First Notification Release

20th Dec 2023 to 9th Jan 2024

Application Submission

2nd Week of Jan 2024

Payment Deadline

January 10 to 16, 2024

Correction Window Dates

4th Week of Jan 2024

Admit Card Release

21st April 2024

NDA 1 Exam Date

May 2024

Result Announcement/Interview Call

NDA 2 Schedule:

Dates

Events

15th May 2024

First Notification Release

15th May to 4th June

Application Submission

2nd Week of June

Payment Deadline

2nd Week of June

OTR Details Corrections

4th of Aug

Admit Card Release

1st Sep

NDA 2 Exam Date

Sep and Oct 2024

Result Announcement/Interview Call

Fee Structure

The general and OBC category students have to pay 100 rs. Others don’t have to pay any fees.

Exam Pattern (NDA 2024)

The NDA exam happens in 2 papers. The first one is Maths and the second one is the GAT which means General Ability Test. Here are the marks and topic divisions for you for better understanding.

Written Test Pattern:

Exam Mode: Offline (Pen-Paper Based)

Duration: 2.5 hours per paper

Paper Names: GAT and Maths

Number of Questions: Maths - 150, GAT - 120

Total Marks: 900

Marks Division: Maths - 300, GAT - 600

Question Type: MCQ

Marking System: Negative marking for wrong answers

Last Year Cut-Off: 25-30%

SSB Interview Pattern:

  • Officer Intelligence Rating Test

  • Picture Perception and Discussion Test

  • Psychological Test

  • Thematic Apperception Test

  • Word Association Test

  • Situation Reaction Test

  • Self Description Test

  • Group Test 1 (Gropu discussion, group planning exercise, progressive group task, half group task, group obstacle race)

  • Group Test 2 (Lecturette, Command Task, Final Group Task)

  • Personal Interview

  • Conference

Detailed Marks Division of GAT:

Section

Sub-Section

Marks

English

Null

200





General Knowledge

Physics

100

Chemistry

60

History

80

Geography

80

General Science

40

Current Affairs

40

NDA Exam Syllabus for 2024

The syllabus covers all the basic Math and General knowledge questions. The detailed syllabus will be uploaded by UPSC. However, it does not change each year. So, you can refer to the 2023 syllabus as of now. You need to click on the link mentioned above in the eligibility section to get the same. 

NDA 2024 Exam Centers

  • Vishakhapatnam

  • Gautam Buddh Nagar

  • Navi Mumbai

  • Warangal

  • Panaji (Goa)

  • Agra

  • Gorakhpur

  • Patna

  • Ajmer

  • Gurgaon

  • Agartala

  • Ghaziabad

  • Port Blair

  • Prayagraj (Allahabad)

  • Aizawl

  • Hyderabad

  • Puducherry

  • Aligarh

  • Imphal

  • Pune

  • Ahmedabad

  • Gwalior

  • Almora (Uttarakhand)

  • Indore

  • Jabalpur

  • Ranchi

  • Bengaluru

  • Jaipur

  • Sambalpur

  • Bareilly

  • Jammu

  • Raipur

  • Andhra Pradesh

  • Itanagar

  • Rajkot

  • Aurangabad

  • Shillong

  • Bhopal

  • Jodhpur

  • Shimla

  • Bilaspur

  • Jorhat

  • Ludhiana

  • Udaipur

  • Dispur

  • Madurai

  • Srinagar

  • Chennai

  • Kohima

  • Srinagar (Uttarakhand)

  • Coimbatore

  • Kolkata

  • Thane

  • Cuttack

  • Calicut

  • Siligudi

  • Chandigarh

  • Kochi

  • Thiruvananthapuram

  • Dehradun

  • Leh

  • Tiruchirapalli

  • Delhi

  • Lucknow

  • Tirupati

  • Dharwad

  • Varanasi

  • Faridabad

  • Mumbai

  • Vellore

  • Gangtok

  • Mysore

  • Vijayawada

  • Gaya

  • Nagpur

NDA 2023 Cut-Off

NDA  CUT-OFF FOR WRITTEN EXAMS:

Year

NDA (I) EXAM

NDA (II) EXAM

NDA 2022

360

355

NDA 2021

343

355

NDA 2020

355

355

NDA 2019

342

346

NDA 2018

338

325

NDA 2017

342

258


NDA CUT-OFF FOR FINAL SELECTIONS

The final selection cutoff for the NDA exam is made out of 1800 marks.

Year

NDA (I) FINAL CUTOFF

NDA (II) FINAL CUTOFF

NDA 2021

709

NDA 2020

726

719

NDA 2019

709

704

NDA 2018

705

688

NDA 2017

708

624

NDA 2016

656

602

NDA 2015

674

637

NDA 2024 Response Sheet

The NDA 2024 response sheet helps candidates to know the right answers to the questions and calculate how many questions they have done right leading to predicting the marks. However, students can go through the unofficial answer sheets as the official one can take longer to be released.

NDA Answer Key Challenge 2024

NDA candidates can only challenge the answer key of the group C examination. To do the same, they need to log in to the official site and challenge the answer key by providing proof that justifies their answers by giving a certain amount of fee.

How Many Students Appeared for the NDA Exam in 2023?

If you talk about 2021, around 5,75,854 people applied for the NDA exams, and the vacancies that year were only 400. In 2023, More than 6 lakh candidates took the NDA examination for 395 vacancies. 

NDA 2023 Toppers List

  • Shubham Parmar

  • Nikhil Tiwari

  • Anurag Sangwan

  • Yashika

  • Ashim Das

  • Amandeep Singh

  • Aryan Thakur

  • Neehal Sunil Mehroliya

  • Ujjawal Ranjan

  • Arjit SinghChinmay Anand

  • Prince Thory

  • Abhishek Singh Bhadouria

  • Nakshatra Kanchan

  • Anagh Bisht

  • Raghav Gupta

  • Aditya Gupta

  • Gaurav Yadav

  • Uttam Sharma

  • Arpan Saini

  • Shivraj Singh Pachhai

  • Ishan Tripathi

  • Devansh Sharma

  • Bhavika


NDA 2024 Preparation Strategy

To prepare effectively for the NDA exam 2024, you need a valuable and effective study plan. See, preparing for an exam conducted by UPSC is not a joke. The candidates need to be very specific about their priorities. Every second counts but that does not mean you will study 24 hours, but yes, you should learn 24 hours. Below-mentioned steps will help you:


  • Start by Analyzing the Syllabus. The more you analyze, the better preparation strategy you can create. By analyzing the syllabus you can shortlist the chapters you have good command over and which chapters you need to work hard on. This way, you can save a lot of time.

  • After that, solve previous years’ question papers. This is one of the most effective ways of scoring high as you are making yourself aware of question patterns, chapters that are being focused, etc. 

  • After you complete the syllabus, you immediately start giving mock tests. You can find them in any study app. Mock tests are the game changers for your preparation. You can not only solve more and more questions but also learn how to manage your time and complete the exam paper efficiently. 

  • Lastly, keep revising your chapters. You will be learning and keep forgetting. Therefore, revision is significant for not forgetting anything at the last minute. 

  • You can read books like NCERT 11 and 12th, Wren & Martin English, Objective GK by Shashi Kumar, Pratiyogita Darpan, etc. 


Remember not to limit yourself to books, You can watch lectures, clear concepts through YouTube videos, read the newspapers, etc. 

Is a Coaching Institute Needed for NDA Preparation?

Well, it depends on whether you have your concepts clear or not. If you have clear concepts, you can crack the examination without coaching. But getting coaching is always better because you will get guidance and some special updates from teachers. 


Moreover, you get exposure to premium quality mock tests. Apart from that, premium coaching Institutes can also prepare you for the SSB round to test your different abilities. 


You can find the best Institutes in your city on the right side list. From Pune to Gurugram, we have it all. 



A small tip from StudyDekho would be to self-study. Watch the interviews, lectures, and everything that adds something more than what you learn in your coaching institute. 


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