NDA – in the process of Shaping a civilian to a fine Military Officer

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is a prestigious academy to train the cadet Officers of Tri services i.e Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air force. Cadets will be undergoing their pre-commission training here at NDA followed by professional training at respective academies of forces. The Academies for respective services are located at:

Indian Millitary Academy (IMA) @ Dehradun, Uttrakhand

Indian Naval Academy (INA) @ Ezhimala, Kerala

Indian Air Force Academy (AFA) @ Hyderabad.

The NDA is an iconic institution in the field of Military training and it has a responsibility to impart basic soldier traits to the officer cadet joins here in the academy.

NDA - an Iconic Institution

The NDA campus is located in Khadakwasla in Pune, Maharashtra and this campus has uniqueness in it as it is the first tri-service academy in the world. This iconic campus is located about 17 km south-west of Pune city, at Khadakwasla Lake over an area of the 8,022 acres. The site so chosen for the campus because of its close proximity to the Arabian sea, Lohegaon Air Force base in Pune, and other many Indian Army establishments at Pune.

The campus has excellent facilities for all-round training of cadet Officers which include spacious and well-maintained classrooms, well-equipped labs, swimming pools, a gymnasium, football and polo grounds, a cricket stadium and a number of squash and tennis courts.

NDA Isignia or Motto

 A cadet must be trained for a total of six terms mandatorily before passing out where each term lasts for six months. The Commandant is a three-star rank officer from the three Services in rotation and is the overall in-charge of the Academy.

NDA Administrative Block
Sudan Block at Prestigious NDA

Cadets are selected to the NDA through a rigorous procedure of examination which consists of the Written exam followed by SSB and Medical test. SSB consist of general aptitude, psychological test, teamwork, and physical skills, and same are tested by a group of experienced officers.

An officer cadet will also be awarded a 3-year full-time undergraduate degree from JNU Delhi University after completion of their three years of training. The minimum age should be 16 and a half years and the maximum age should be 19 and a half years.

NDA Examination complete Procedure

Prestigious UPSC conducts the examination of NDA to enroll youths in the National Defense Academy and provide them with a chance to serve the nation with utmost pride and valor. The Examination is conducted twice in a year and this can be a golden opportunity for you if you want to make a carrier with brilliant social status and equally well-managed facilities by government and tri-services.

NDA Exam complete Procedure

Eligibility Criteria for UPSC NDA:

Only Unmarried candidates are eligible for UPSC NDA exam with their age must not be less than 16.5 years and not more than 19.5 years. The age calculation is done from the 1st January of the year in which the candidate is eligible to apply for the exam.

There is no age relaxation for any category of the candidates irrespective of any caste that means age criteria are same for all. Unmarried candidates are allowed to sit in the examinations and further they will not be allowed to undergo for marriage, till completion of pre-commission training for 3 years at Academy.

Educational Qualification for UPSC NDA

NDA exam is conducted by UPSC after High school, and detail is as under:

For Indian Army : Candidate must be appearing or passed 10+2.

For Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and 10+2 course at Indian Naval Academy: Candidate must be appearing or passed 10+2 with Physics and Mathematics as a compulsory subject.

Examination Pattern for NDA

To successfully clear the examination procedure you have to undergo three stages of examination which are as follows:

Stage I Written exam by UPSC

Stage II Service Selection Board (SSB)

Stage III Medical test

We will discuss each if and buts about the exam in detail in this article and if at all any query left with you, can reach us anytime.

Stage I Written part of NDA Exam

Candidates are tested for total 900 marks in the written part of NDA Exam conducted by UPSC with two papers. Details are as follows:

Paper I (Math) – Total 120 questions for 300 marks and time duration is of 2.5 hours.

Paper-II (General Ability Test) Total 150 questions of 600 marks and time duration of 2.5 hours.

Part A (English) – Total 50 questions for 200 marks

Part B (General Aptitude test) – Total 100 questions for 400 marks.

The written paper consists only of Objective type questions with 1/3rd of negative marking as a penalty for each wrong answer and UPSC conducts exams for NDA twice in a year.

Syllabus for Written Exam of UPSC NDA:
  1. Paper I (Math): Numbers (Algebra), Matrices & Determinants, Analytical Geometry, Trigonometry, Differential calculus, Integral Calculus, Differential Equations, Vector Algebra, Statistics, and Probability.
  2. Paper-II (General Ability) :

Part I : General English

Part II: Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, and Freedom Movement, Geography and Current Affairs mostly from last year.

Stage II SSB (Service Selection Board)

Candidates declared qualified in the written exam by UPSC will be called for SSB interview at selected location through call letters. Call letters will be dispatched to permanent address of candidate and at the same can be downloaded online as well. SSB (Service Selection Board) consisting of 4 to 5 well experienced officers in their respective fields judge together the candidates for his overall personality and aptitude whether he is able to make it to services or not.

The SSB interview in overall have  two stages i.e. Stage I and Stage II.  The stage (I) is consisting of some small but important activities like Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) and Picture Perception & Description Test (PP & DT).  The second Stage (II) will be consisting of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference.

Minimum details regarding each and every task, you have to undergo is discussed here but these all are subjected to change for their duration, marking. Decision of the board remains final in all the cases whether you agree with or not to that decision.

a. PIQ Forms: In this form, you have to furnish all the personal details like educational background, family profile, and any other. Data furnished by you in this form is very important because sometimes questions are framed out of this data and can be asked from you in a personal interview by the board. 

b. Intelligence Test

c. Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PP & DT): In this test, you will be tasked to write a story and discuss the same in group with the officer in charge. You will be shown an image for 30 seconds and a further 3 minutes will be given to you to write a story on the same picture.

d. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): It is the same as the PP&DT test except that, here you will have to write 11 different stories on 11 different pictures with time allotted to write each story is just 4 minutes.

e. Word Association Test (WAT): It is like a psychological test and here you will be exposed to 60 words back to back for the timing of 50 seconds and you have to write the word comes in your first thought after seeing that word at the board.

f. Situation Reaction Test (SRT): You will be handed over a booklet containing some situations and you have to record and write your reaction or response for those situations.

g. Self Description Test (SD): As the name suggests, you have to describe yourself like your personal info, family, friends, and anything which you think can best describe your attitude and behavior within just 15 minutes.

h. Group Discussion: Quite easy to understand that here a topic will be given and you have to discuss the same among the group and the officer will observe and judge you accordingly based on your participation in the discussion.

I. Group Planning Exercise (Military Planning Exercise): Model of real life practical faced by someone will be given and you have to write and further discuss your planning and action for that problem.

j. Progressive Group Tasks (PGT): It is simply an Obstacle crossing with limited resources such as rope, plank, wood log, etc with the help of a group.

k. Half Group Tasks: Same as PGT but here the number of candidates is halved so you have more chance to show your caliber.

l. Individual Obstacles: Simply crossing of 10 obstacles individually.

m. Group Obstacles Race or Snake Race: It is like competition among groups and has to complete a snake-like race with some obstacle in between.

n. Command Task: You will be acting as a commander of a small group and have to clear obstacle with the help of commanding position with your subordinates in group.

o. Public Speaking: Simple public speaking for 3 minutes in front of Officers and other candidates.

Final Day: Candidates are called by SSB board members and every individual is interviewed individually and you have to face group of officers who will judge your personality based on your answers.

Stage III – Medical Test:

Successful candidates after stage II of SSB will be called for Medical Test in different Services hospitals across India. Here you will be tested for each and every part of your body medically and there are some conditions for which you are liable to be rejected while there are some conditions for which you can appeal and reappear after a correction like any dental issues, weight issues, etc.

Final Merit List:

The final merit list is prepared by UPSC only based on the marks obtained by a candidate in the written and SSB stage. Candidates are asked to fill their preference among three forces in the NDA application form itself. Successful candidates will be called to join the iconic National Defense Academy at Pune to shape them in fine Officer from a civilian.

Advertisement of NDA Exam:

Advertisement for the NDA Exam is published in all the leading national newspapers and also same will be available online on the official website of UPSC in the months of January and July. Advertisement and schedule of the exam are subjected to change without any prior notifications, so it is advised to keep visiting the website of UPSC for official notification of the exam.

Last words from our side..

 If you are choosing NDA exams that means you are going to sacrifice a lot and in turn will earn a status that no ordinary man can attain. You have to mentally and physically tough and bold as you are going to face training in extreme situations.

Good Luck …

                                Jai Hind