Unveiling the NDA Entrance Exam


The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the ultimate dream for countless young individuals aspiring to serve their nation with honor and valor. This prestigious institution is the breeding ground for future leaders of the Indian Armed Forces. The journey towards becoming an officer in the Indian Army, Navy, or Air Force begins with the NDA entrance exam. In this article, we delve into the intricate details of the NDA entrance exam, offering a comprehensive guide for aspirants and shedding light on the process that leads to a career of service and distinction.

Understanding the NDA Entrance Exam

What is the NDA?

The National Defence Academy is a world-renowned military training institution located in Khadakwasla, Pune. It plays a pivotal role in shaping the careers of cadets who aspire to serve in the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. Established in 1954, the NDA has earned a reputation for producing some of the finest officers in the armed forces.

NDA Entrance Exam: The Gateway to Glory

The NDA entrance exam is the first step in the arduous yet rewarding journey of becoming an officer in the Indian Armed Forces. It is a highly competitive examination that tests the mental and physical prowess of candidates. Successful candidates are inducted into the NDA for a three-year training program, after which they go on to their respective service academies for further specialized training.

Next NDA Exam Date 2024

NDA 1 & 2 2024 dates have been announced by UPSC. The written exam of NDA 1 2024 will be conducted on April 21, 2024. The written exam of NDA 2 2024 will be conducted on September 1, 2024. In the table below, we have provided NDA 2024 dates.

Events Dates

NDA 1 2024 exam


NDA 1 2024 notification


NDA 1 2024 application form

20-Dec-2023 to 09-Jan-2024

NDA 2 2024 exam


NDA 2 2024 notification


NDA 2 2024 application form

15-May-2024 to 04-Jun-2024


NDA Notification 2024

NDA 1 notification 2024 will be released on December 20, 2023. NDA 2 notification 2024 will be released on May 15, 2024. The notification will be released on the official website-upsc.gov.in. NDA notifications for both the exams will be released in PDF form and comprises the details related to the exam such as important dates, selection process, how to fill the application form, salary structure, eligibility, etc.

Key Details of the NDA Entrance Exam

Eligibility Criteria

Before delving into the intricacies of the examination, let’s establish the eligibility criteria for aspiring NDA cadets:

  • Age Limit: Candidates must be between 16.5 to 19.5 years of age.
  • Nationality: Indian citizens, as well as those from Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibetan refugees, are eligible.
  • Educational Qualifications: Candidates must have completed their 10+2 education or equivalent from a recognized board.

Application Process

The application process for the NDA entrance exam is conducted online through the official website. Candidates must fill out the application form, upload essential documents, and pay the requisite fee.

NDA 1 application form 2024 will be available from December 20, 2023 to January 9, 2024. NDA 2 application form 2024 will be available from May 15 to June 4, 2024. Candidates need to fill NDA application form 2024 online. The application fee is 100 whereas SC/ ST/ NCOs/ Sons of JCOs/ ORS categories are exempted free fee payment. The application fee can be paid both online and offline.The steps to fill the NDA application form are given below:

  • Visit the official website of UPSC
  • New users need to complete the OTR Process
  • The registered users can directly fill NDA application form 2024
  • Registration comprises two parts i.e. Part I & Part II
  • Part I includes candidate’s registration, choosing the preferred branch, verifying details and generation of registration ID
  • In Part II, candidates need to pay the application fees, select the exam centre, upload scanned images of photographs and signatures
  • After filling both the parts successfully, candidates can submit the NDA application form
  • Candidates should take the printout of NDA application form and fee transaction receipt

Examination Pattern

The NDA entrance exam comprises two papers:

  1. Mathematics: This paper tests the mathematical aptitude of candidates and consists of 120 questions.
  2. General Ability Test: This paper includes questions from English, General Knowledge, and Science, and consists of 150 questions.

Both papers are of 2.5 hours duration and are conducted on the same day.


The syllabus for the NDA entrance exam is vast and covers a wide range of topics. It includes mathematics, English, physics, chemistry, biology, history, geography, and current affairs.

The best books for NDA exam for different subjects are given below:

Subjects Books
  • Objective General English by SP Bakshi
  • Wren & Martin’s High School English Grammar & Composition
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
General Knowledge
  • Objective GK by Sanjay Kumar
  • Manorama Yearbook
  • Pratoyogita Darpan
Maths National Defence Academy and Naval Academy by RS Agarwal

Marking Scheme

Each paper is of 300 marks, making the total marks for the written examination 600. There is a negative marking of 0.33 marks for every incorrect answer.

Preparing for Success

Tips for Cracking the NDA Entrance Exam

  1. Regular Study Routine: Maintain a disciplined study routine to cover the extensive syllabus thoroughly.

  2. Practice Mock Tests: Solve previous years’ question papers and take mock tests to get a feel for the exam pattern.

  3. Physical Fitness: Alongside academics, focus on maintaining excellent physical fitness. The NDA emphasizes physical endurance and strength.

  4. Time Management: Allocate sufficient time to each section during the exam. Don’t spend too much time on a single question.

  5. Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated with current affairs, as they form an integral part of the General Ability Test.


The NDA entrance exam is the stepping stone to a glorious career in the Indian Armed Forces. It demands unwavering dedication, both mentally and physically, from aspirants. However, the honor and responsibility of serving the nation as an officer are unparalleled.


1. When is the NDA entrance exam conducted?

The NDA entrance exam is held twice a year, typically in April and September.

2. Can female candidates apply for the NDA entrance exam?

As of now, the NDA entrance exam is open only to male candidates.

3. What is the selection process after clearing the NDA entrance exam?

After clearing the written exam, candidates undergo an extensive interview process at the Service Selection Board (SSB). This includes psychological tests, group discussions, and personal interviews to assess their suitability for a career in the armed forces.

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