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Examination Scheme

About NDA Exam

National Defence Academy Exam 2021 is a national level exam organized by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) to recruit candidates in Army, Navy, and Air Force. It is conducted twice every year as NDA (1) and NDA (2).

Qualified candidates are sent for training at NDA, Khadakwasla and once they graduate from NDA, they are sent to the respective specialized academies of the three forces, namely, Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy(INA) and the Air Force Academy(AFA).?

NDA Exam Important Dates

NDA Important Dates 2021 

Important Dates for NDA Exam



Salient Features 



NDA  notification is available in PDF format. 

Application form 


Application forms were made available along with the notification 

Last date to apply 


Candidates could apply within the application deadline 

Application withdrawal facility


NDA () Application withdrawal facility has been started. 


The application withdrawal facility of NDA (2) had closed.

Written exam 


The written exam of NDA will be conducted in two shifts and comprises two papers. 

Admit card 


NDA  admit card 2020 will be released online for registered candidates. 

Declaration of written result 


The result of the written exam is declared on the official website in PDF form

SSB Interview 


SSB Interview is conducted in two stages. 

Final result 


NDA  final result is announced in May.




Important Dates for NDA 2021



Dates 2021 (Tentative)



Release of Notification

2nd week of January 2021

2nd week of June 2021

Availability of Application Form

2nd week of January 2021

2nd week of June 2021

Last date to apply

4th week of January 2021

Last week of June 2021

Availability of Admit card

March 2021

August 2021

NDA 2021 Exam

3rd week of April 2021

1st week of September 2021

Declaration of Result

May 2021

November 202

NDA Slelction Process

NDA 2021 : Selection Process

NDA SSB Interview

The selection process in the National Defense Academy is a two-stage process. Stage-1 is the written examination i.e. NDA 2021 test and the stage-2 is the SSB interview stage

  • The complete recruitment process in the NDAs judged on the basis of marks scored out of 900 collectively in both the stages of recruitment.
  • After the declaration of NDA 2021 Results, qualified candidates will have to register themselves at within two weeks.
  • Allotment of selection centres and dates will then be notified on the registered email ID.
  • SSB Interview comprises two stages- Stage 1 (OIR and PPDT) and Stage 2- (Interview, Group Tasks, Psychology Test, and Conference).
  • After stage-2 is completed, a final merit list is generated by the UPSC which gives the final recruited candidates. 

NDA 2021 Document Verification

After a personal interview round the eligible candidates will have to appear for the verification round. The qualified candidates must bring the required original documents along with 1 set of Photostat of the required documents at Services Selection Centre (SSC).

Below is the set of required original documents to be carried for the NDA 2021 Document Verification:

  • Qualification Certificate
  • Proof of Identity (Pan card, Voter ID, Aadhar Card, etc.)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport Size Photographs
  • Category certificate for the Reserved category candidates
  • Proof of Residence

Medical examination

A medical examination is a final round in the Selection process. The candidates will be referred to the Board of Service Medical officers by the SSB for medical examination. Candidates shall be deemed eligible for recruitment if and only if they are found to be medically fit by the medical officers.

NDA Exam Centres

NDA Exam Centres

The aspirants should present to the Exam Centres of the cities, where the offline test will be conducted. The examination authority allocates the exam centre to the aspirants. However, the aspirants need to enter their preferable cities while they fill the application form. On the other hand, the Commission can also cancel or add the exam centres. Read the following content to know about the available NDA Exam centres:




                                 State/Union Territory








Uttar Pradesh




Uttar Pradesh


Madhya Pradesh

NDA Exam Important Guidelines

NDA 2021 Exam day : Important Guidelines to remember

The following are important guidelines and factors you should remember before the exam to avoid disqualification or being denied entrance in your examination centre:

  • Carry the NDA Admit Card positively along with a valid ID-proof, without which you are liable to be denied admission at the exam centre.
  • The clipboard is allowed and you will also need to carry black ballpoint pens for marking the answer.
  • Sheets for doing any rough work is provided at the exam hall and need not be carried.
  • Any kind of books, notes, gadgets like calculators, mobile, geometrical drawing instruments, stencils, test booklet is not allowed.
  • The vigilance is very strict and if caught for resorting to any unfair means, strict actions are taken which can even include a ban from appearing in the exam in the future.
NDA Exam Pattern

UPSC NDA Exam Pattern


The NDA exam is conducted in the conventional pen and paper form and has multiple-choice questions. Especially in the GAT section, one has to be careful as there is a higher negative marking. The following table precisely gives all the necessary information on the exam pattern. When you have a thorough understanding of the pattern, preparing for it at the last moment becomes easier.

Exam Pattern Highlights

NDA I 2021


General ability test

Exam Duration

2 hours and 30 minutes

2 hours and 30 minutes

No. of sections


2 (English and General Knowledge)

Total no. of questions



Total marks


600 (English (200) + GK (400))

Marking scheme

2.5 for correct and -0.83 for incorrect

4 for correct and -1.33 for incorrect


English and Hindi

English for the English section. English and Hindi for GK section

Type of questions

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

The mathematics section is highly scoring if you are adept at solving the problems with accuracy in minimum time. Though you are given ample time to solve the entire paper, unless you have a clear conception of math and science, each problem can be time-consuming.

The general knowledge section of the NDA 2021 consists of the following topics:

  • Physics (100 marks)
  • Chemistry (60 marks)
  • General Science (40 marks)
  • History and Freedom Movement (80 marks)
  • Geography (80 marks)
  • Current Events (40 marks)

Do note: The exam is majorly based on CBSE 10+2 syllabus and irrespective of the books you refer, NCERT books for every subject is the best guide. 

NDA Cut off Trends

NDA Exam - Cut-off Trend

UPSC NDA is a two-tier exam and 900 marks are allotted to each tier. The cadets are selected based on their aggregate cut-off in both tiers. However, to qualify for the second tier, which is the SSB interview, you have to score a minimum of 25% out of 900 in the First Tier. At the same time, you must have a minimum of 25% in each section of the papers. The average cut-off has varied over the years and if you note the trend since 2010, it has increased with time.

Whether the NDA cut-off will be lower than usual this year, depends on many factors like the difficulty level of the paper, number of candidates who appeared, etc. 

When you are preparing for the upcoming test, keeping the cut-off trend in mind helps you to make a study plan.


NDA(I) (Max Marks:900)

NDA(II) (Max Marks:900)

















306 (With at least 30% marks in each Subject) Marks secured by the last finally recommended candidate (out of 1800 marks) 674

269 (With at least 25% marks in each subject) Marks secured by the last recommended candidate (Out of 1800 marks) 637


288 (With at least 25 % marks in each Subject) Marks secured by the last finally recommended candidate (Out of 1800 marks) 656



342(With at least 25 % marks in each Subject) Marks secured by the last finally recommended candidate (Out of 1800 marks) 708


338 (with at least 25% in each subject)

325 (with at least 25% in each subject)


342 (with at least 25% marks in each subject)


2020 (expected)

338-342- For Tier-1 700-720- Overall expected cut-off out of 1800


NDA Exam Eligibility criteria

NDA 2021 : Eligibility Criteria

Educational qualification: It is different for different academies. Therefore, the aspirants should check the educational qualification 

Navy, Air Force, and Naval Academy of NDA: The aspirants should qualify their class 12 or HSC exam under 10+2 exam pattern, which should be conducted by State Education Board or University.

Age Limit: For NDA (II), the aspirants should not be born before 2 January 2002, and not after 1 January 2005. On the other hand, if the aspirants have not born after 1 July 2004 and not before 2 July 200, are also eligible to appear for NDA (I) exam. This birth date is examined according to Matricular or Secondary School Leaving Certificate or should be recognized by the Indian University. 

Army Wing of NDA: The candidates should pass the exam of class 12 or HSC under 10+2 pattern from any school education Board or from equivalent University. 

Nationality: The aspirants should be belonging from India/ or need to subject to Bhutan/ subject to Nepal or Tibetan Refugee (Who have come to India before Jan 1, 1962, and who are living in India permanently). On the other hand, the migrated aspirants from Sri Lanka, Burma, Pakistan, and from Eastern African Countries like Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaire, Malawi, Vietnam, or from Ethiopia, who have come for the settlement to India, can also apply for the entrance test. 

Foreign Nationals: If the foreign nationals (irrespective of Gorkhas’ aspirants) want to apply for the exam, they need to issue an eligibility certificate from Govt. of India. 

NDA Exam Admit Card

NDA 2021 Admit Card

The application process for NDA I and NDA II will be started online by the second week of January 2021 and by the second week of June 2021 respectively. The aspirants will need to pay Rs. 100 as application fee. On the other hand, the applicants of SC/ST/ORS/NCOs/Sons of JCOs will not need to pay any application fee. To pay the application fee, the candidates should pay it through credit card/debit card/net banking or through SBI bank Challan process.. 

The conducting body will release the NDA 2021 Admit Card on the official UPSC website.

  • Visit to download NDA Hall Ticket 2021.
  • Admit card bear the exam related details like student’s name, roll number, exam centre, exam date & timing, etc.
  • Without admit cards, candidates will not be permitted to appear in the examination.


How to Download NDA I 2021 Admit Card

To download follow the steps given below:

  • Go to the official website of UPSC.
  • A link for NDA I 2021 Admit Card Download will be provided, click on it.
  • You must enter the registration number/ roll number along with the password and captcha code.
  • Click on submit, the admit card will appear on the screen.
  • Check all the details carefully and download multiple copies of it.
NDA Exam Vacancies

NDA 2020 Vacancy

There are a total of 418 vacancies for NDA 1 2020 qualifiers in different departments and branches of the Indian Army.


Number of Vacancies

145th National Defence Academy (Indian Army)


145th National Defence Academy (Indian Navy)


145th National Defence Academy (Indian Air Force)


107th Indian Naval Academy Course 




The competition is extremely high with an average of 4,00,000 students applying every year and vacancies being approximately 400-450. Even though in an average 5000-6000 qualify tier-1 exam, eventually only as many as are required according to the vacancies get selected. Besides the last-minute preparation for the Tier-1 test, to qualify you must also start with preparing physically and intellectually for Tier-2.

NDA Exam Syllabus

NDA Exam Syllabus

The syllabus for NDA 2021 written test will comprise two sections- Mathematical Ability and General Ability. The questions in NDA 2021 will be asked from topics and concepts of 10+2 level. The following are the topics from Mathematical Ability and General Ability sections covered as a part of the NDA 2021 Syllabus.

NDA Syllabus for Mathematical Ability

NDA Syllabus for Mathematics


Matrices and Determinants


Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions 

Differential Calculus

Integral Calculus and Differential Equations

Vector Algebra

Statistics and Probability

NDA Syllabus for General Ability Topics from the English and General Knowledge will be covered in the General Ability section of NDA 2021. General Knowledge will comprise of the following:

NDA Syllabus for General Ability Test



General Science



Current Affairs


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