The National Defence Academy or NDA is located at Khadakwasla, Pune. The NDA exam is conducted on an all India basis twice a year to recruit members into all three services – the army, navy and the air force. The written exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission) UPSC, and the interview is carried out by the (Services Selection Board) SSB. The NDA, as an establishment, is the first joint services academy, an academy that inducts personnel from all three services before they move on to their respective line of training.
NDA 2020 exam is aimed at selecting candidates to induct them into academies that train students for all three services mentioned above. The exam is conducted on two dates in 2020, ie, April 19th, 2020, and September 06th, 2020. After clearing the written exam and interview, candidates have to undergo further a medical examination round followed by the document verification process, after which the final list of selected candidates will be published. In this article, we discuss all important details related to UPSC NDA 2020 examination like eligibility criteria, exam dates, pattern, detailed syllabus, admit card, results, cut off, and preparation tips.
NDA 2020 Exam Dates
|Events||For NDA I||For NDA II|
|Commencement of Online application form||08-01- 2020||10- 06- 2020|
|Last date to submit completed application form||28- 01- 2020||30- 06- 2020|
|Admit card can be downloaded from||1st week of April 2020||4th week of August 2020|
|Actual date of exam||19 – 04- 2020||06 – 09- 2020|
|Approx. date of result announcement||July 2020||December 2020|
|Interview Date||August 2020 to September 2020||January 2021 to April 2021|
|Final result declaration||To be notified later||To be notified later|
|Commencement of classes (Approx.)||From January 2021 onwards||From July 2021 onwards|
NDA 2020 Application Form
The exact date when the application form for NDA 1 will be released is 08th January 2020. NDA 2 application form will be available from 10th June 2020 onwards. Candidates are required to apply only in the online mode. The application form consists of two parts – part 1 and part 2.
Candidates have to fill in all the correct details in the form. They also need to upload their scanned signature plus scanned photographs along with the form. After submission before the due date, candidates are requested to keep a print copy of the same for all their future references. UPSC does not require candidates to send a duplicate copy of the application form in any other mode. Also, candidates are advised not to send multiple applications for the same candidature.
Steps to fill in the online application form
- Visit the homepage of UPSC official site: https://upsc.gov.in/
- Click on the link that will provide display part 1 of the application form.
- Fill in all the personal details without any errors. Candidate name, complete address, valid email id, mobile number, and other necessary contact details need to be submitted.
- Make sure that your personal details are matched and supported by valid documents issued by the government of India.
- The email id and phone number should be valid and in –use by the candidate. This information will be used by the UPSC authorities in all future communications.
- After cross-checking the details more than once, submit part 1 of the application.
- Now enter part 2 of the application.
- Select your choice of exam center, pay the application fees.
- Make sure you have a scanned photograph in JPEG format that is less than 300 kb in size. A scanned copy of your signature should also be in JPEG format, but size should be necessarily more than 20 kb. Upload both documents.
- Carefully read the declaration part and confirm it too.
- Go through all the details once again; you will not be allowed to make any changes or modify your application form once it is submitted.
- Finally, submit the application form and make a note of the reference number for future uses.
NDA Application Fees
In the paragraph below, we explain the different application fee rates for candidates based on their category and also explain step-wise on the process of payment of application fee. The application fee can be remitted in either online or offline mode.
Different categories are entitled to different fee:
- The standard application fee for all candidates applying to the NDA exam is INR 100.
- SC/ST category candidates are exempted from paying fees.
- Eligible sons of Joint Commissioned officers (JCOs), Non Commissioned officers (NCOs), and Other Rank officers (Ors) from the Indian Army are also exempted from paying any fees.
Steps to pay the application fee for NDA 2020:
- If you pay in the online mode, on the homepage, click on the link that will allow you to pay the fee.
- You can use internet banking facilities, debit card/ credit card / other available options to remit the fee online.
- Seek acknowledgment after paying the fee online.
- In the offline mode, remit the fee in person at any of the recognized SBI branches and receive an E-challan for the same.
- Enter the E-challan number in the application form where you have provision to pay fee.
- Receive an acknowledgment for paying the requisite fee.
NDA 2020 Eligibility Criteria
Here, in this section, we explain the different eligibility conditions that a candidate has to check before making an application for NDA 2020.
- Citizens of India or subjects or Bhutan/Nepal are eligible to apply.
- Tibetan refugees who have settled permanently in India since 1st January 1962 are also eligible to apply.
- Citizens of Indian origin who migrated back to India from other countries like Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zaire, Zambia, Malawi, Vietnam, and Ethiopia and have intentions of settling in India permanently can also apply.
- Only male candidates are eligible to apply for NDA 2020. Female candidates are barred from applying.
The age limitations for NDA 1 and NDA 2 are specified below:
- Candidates born between 2nd July 2001 and 1st July 2004 are eligible to apply for NDA 1.
- Candidates born between 2nd January 2002 and 1st January 2005 are eligible to apply for NDA 2.
- Only unmarried male candidates are eligible to apply.
The minimum educational qualification to be eligible for applying to the different wings of the forces is mentioned below:
- Candidates must have passed the 12th board examinations or equivalent to b eligible to apply for the armed forces.
- Candidates must have passed the 12th board examinations or equivalent with maths and physics as compulsory subjects for applying to the naval and air force wings of NDA. The same qualification applies to apply via a 10+2 cadet entry scheme for INA (Indian Naval Academy).
- Those candidates who are going to appear in the 12th board examinations in the year of application are also eligible to apply for all wings.
- Candidates need to be mentally and physically fit to be eligible for the NDA exam.
- Candidates should not be obese/ fat/ weak or malnourished.
- 157.5 cms are the minimum acceptable height. For air force applicants, 162.5 cms are the prescribed norm.
- Well developed chest with a minimum of 81 cms in case of expanded chest measurement is considered.
- Distant vision requirements of 6/6 in case of good eyesight conditions and 6/9 in case of not-so-good eyesight condition are the prescribed visual standards.
Number of attempts
- There are no limitations set on the number of attempts a candidate can make in the prescribed age limit.
NDA 2020 Admit Card
This section will explain the importance of admit cards for candidates appearing in the NDA exam. The prospective candidate is advised to check for updates on the UPSC official website to get the latest information on the admit card download link. Usually, the link to download admit card for NDA 1 and NDA 2 will be activated and available a few days before the commencement of the actual exam.
- The admit card consists of all essential details of the candidate like name, roll number, exam center, date and timings, exam center address, etc.
- It is necessary to carry the admit card to the examination hall, without which the candidate wouldn’t be allowed to take up the examination.
- Candidates are also advised to keep an extra print copy of the admit card in case the card gets stolen or lost.
How to download NDA 1 and NDA 2 Admit card/ Instructions.
- Candidates should visit the official UPSC website. Traverse to the link that will allow you to download your admit card.
- Enter these details correctly at the appropriate places – date of birth/roll number/registration id or any other necessary details as asked.
- Enter captcha code, if any.
- Once your admit card opens, check for the correctness of all details.
- In case of discrepancies, immediately contact the helpline numbers displayed on the website.
NDA Exam Pattern
The NDA exam is conducted only in the offline mode. NDA 1 exam date is on 19th April 2020, and NDA 2 exam date is on 6th September 2020. The written exam is followed by the SSB interview test.
- Objective type of questions with multiple choices of answers is asked.
- The written test is conducted for 900 marks.
- Mathematics covers 300 marks, and the general ability section covers 600 marks.
- Questions will b asked in both English and Hindi languages.
- Exam duration is a maximum of 5 hours.
- Negative marking is applicable. 1/3rd of marks allotted for a particular question is deducted for every wrong answer selected.
|Subject||Duration||Maximum Marks allotted|
|General Mathematics||2 hours and 30 minutes max.||300 marks|
|General Ability and awareness test||2 hours and 30 minutes max.||600 marks|
|Total marks allotted for written test||900 marks|
SSB Interview process
- Candidates qualifying in the written round will be further called in for the interview round.
- The interview process is spread over a series of 5 days.
- All candidates who have qualified in the written round have to attend all five days of interview for further processing of their candidature.
The pattern for SSB interview rounds is tabulated below:
|Interview Day||Type of Test|
|First day||Psychological tests|
|Second day||Perception tests|
|Third day||Group discussion rounds|
|Fourth and fifth days||Combined group tasks|
We present the NDA syllabus for both written rounds and personality test rounds in the following sections:
- For Mathematics – Important topics to be covered are key topics in algebra, including vector algebra, matrices, determinants, two and three-dimensional aspects of analytical geometry, trigonometry, statistics, calculus, and differential calculus and other topics.
- For general ability test – Important topics to be covered are general English usage in vocabulary and writing. Grammatical aspects, comprehension, and understanding of the language in various contexts. Current affairs, general science, and elementary knowledge in social science subjects, a good hold on general knowledge.
SSB interview round
- For the first day, picture perception and description skills, a series of intelligence testing questionnaires.
- For the second day, focus on describing self and one’s personality traits, word associations, and regressions, thematic analysis, etc.
- For the third day, personal interview round for selected few candidates directly by the honorable president of India, duty relevant command tasks, physically challenging tasks such as military drills and exercises, obstacle clearance tasks.
- For the fourth and fifth days, duty relevant tasks carried out in groups in the previous day will be allotted for each individual.
This section will inform students about the probable dates when results would be available for download on the official website.
- After the commencement of the written exam, the answer keys will be published on the website. Candidates can check their probable marks and results with the help of the answer key.
- After the publishing of answer keys, candidates can expect the formal result announcement a few days later.
- For NDA 1, results may be expected in May 2020, and for NDA 2, results may be expected by around November 2020.
- Candidates can download the pdf file displaying a list of all candidates who have qualified in the written examination.
Those candidates who are considered qualified in the written round will be eligible for the next round of SSB interview. The final list of selected candidates will be announced after the interview and personality test rounds.
NDA Cut off
- After the results are out on the official website, the authorities will publish the cut off marks considered for the respective exam.
- Cut off marks are not standard marks; they vary every time.
- Cut off marks are solely decided by UPSC authorities.
- Setting the cut off marks depends on a lot of inherent criteria like a number of applications, competition level in the exam, the toughness of the paper, etc.
NDA Preparation Tips
Different exams have different patterns and varying numbers and types of questions. So, the preparation pattern should also go in sync with the examination requirements. Here are some handy tips for the exam:
- First of all, candidates should note that under the same exam conducting authority, i.e., UPSC, every exam has its unique way of marking scheme. Examiners don’t follow a set pattern for every exam on the list. So, candidates have to acquaint themselves with the relevant marking scheme for the respective exam.
- Identify the complete syllabus for the exam. Be thorough with what you study and what needs to be studied.
- Every topic will have a bunch of key points addressed in different places in different books. To combine all those points in one place, practice the habit of preparing good notes. It becomes a handy tool for reference and revision.
- To get the actual feel of the examination, you should always refer to previous year question papers, keep the key answers handy. This will help you familiarize yourself with the pattern and type of questions asked in the paper.
- Also, take ample time out to answer a mock test series that are available online. This way, you know where you are scoring and where you are lacking.
- Enough material in the form of books, online videos, encyclopedias, and other research guides are available. Instead of piling too much material, select the best ones and only those that are required for your study purpose.
- Apart from studying, its equally important to measure your speed and accuracy levels of attempting the exam and improvise on them.
Best books for NDA
Here, we have indicated a list of reference books that are useful for the NDA exam. These are mere suggestions, and candidates are advised to refer more important books for the exam:
- NDA Pathfinder
- Mathematics for NDA and NA by R S Agarwal.
- Pearson guide for mathematics for the NDA entrance examination.
- Quantitative Aptitude series by R S Agarwal.
- NCERT Books
- A mirror of common errors by Ashok Kumar Singh.
- Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis.
- Concepts of Physics by H C Verma.
- Chemistry series by Arihant Publications.
- Indian Polity by Laxmikanth.