NDA – Eligibility, Syllabus, Application, Admit Card, Cut off, Results, Counselling, Answer Key, Latest Updates

National Defense Academy Exam is conducted for admission to Army, Navy and Air Force wings of NDA and Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC). It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The exam is conducted twice a year, in two stages – written exam and SSB interview. Around 4 lakh aspirants sit for the exam every year, out of which approximately 6000 are called for SSB interview. Service Selection Board or SSB is the body that schedules, organizes and conducts the interview of the candidates applying for Indian Military Forces. The interview is a five-days-long procedure which includes two stages of testing – stage I & stage II.

Before knowing about the NDA 2021 exam in detail, check out the current updates.


Latest Update

Latest: Union Minister Jitendra Singh confirmed that the postponed exam dates of UPSC Exams will be decided after assessing the COVID-19 Lockdown situation as on 3rd May 2020. NDA (II) exam notification will be posted on June 10, 2020. SSB interview and July NDA joining might get delayed too.

Mar 18, 2020

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Air Force cancelled all the SSB interviews planned from March 23rd onwards at Air Force Selection Boards till further orders.

Navy and Air Force are also expected to cancel SSB Interviews. 

Feb 28, 2020

NDA Admit Cards were to be released soon

Feb 8, 2020

Withdrawal of any online application until Feb 11th was permitted

Jan 8, 2020

UPSC NDA (1) 2020 Exam Pattern & Syllabus issued – Written Test & SSB Interview

Jan 10, 2020

UPSC NDA 1 2020 Notification came out for 418 Vacancies 

NDA aspirants were able to download previous year papers

Jan 24, 2020

UPSC NDA 2020 (1) Online registration closing date (28 Jan) was declared

Jan 28, 2020

UPSC NDA 2020 (1) Online registration had opened

NDA 2020 – Exam, Syllabus, Result & Cut off

NDA exam is conducted by UPSC and it takes place 2 times a year. The exam comprises a written test and SSB interview. The exam mode is offline and it takes 5 hours to complete the test.

Eligibility for NDA 2020 exam

  1. Candidates who were born not earlier than July 2, 2001, and not later than July 1, 2004, are eligible to apply for the NDA 1 exam.
  2. Educational qualification depends on the wing you would like to get into. For the Army wing, candidates must have passed Class 12 under 10+2 pattern of school education or equivalent from a recognised board or university. For the Air Force, Navy and Naval Academy, you must have passed Class 12 under 10+2 pattern of school education with Physics and Mathematics.

The table below shows the dates and brief details on every part of the NDA 1 exam.

Written exam 

April 19 (Scheduled exam is cancelled)

The written exam of NDA is conducted in two shifts – morning and afternoon, across 41 cities spread throughout the country. Exam has been cancelled due to #coronavirus outbreak and new dates will be notified at a later date.

Admit card 


NDA 1 admit card 2020 was to be released online on the official website. Candidates had to enter their login credentials to download the admit card. This is postponed due to coronavirus.

Declaration of written result 


The result of the written exam is declared in June. Roll number of shortlisted candidates are displayed in results. 

SSB Interview 

August- September 

SSB Interview is conducted for the shortlisted candidates of written exam in two stages. 

Final result 


NDA 1 final result is announced in November. 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak in India, exams have been cancelled to a further notice.

NDA Syllabus

Written test comprises two sections – Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). The total marks for the written exam is 900 marks and applicants who secure the minimum qualifying marks are called for an SSB interview that includes psychological aptitude and intelligence.

The table includes details on the NDA exam pattern like subjects to study, time duration, number of questions and total marks.

NDA Exam Pattern



Duration of test

GAT – 2 ½ hours
Mathematics – 2 ½ hours

Exam time

GAT – 10 am to 12.30 pm
Mathematics – 2 pm to 4.30 pm

Total No. of Questions

GAT – 150 Questions
Mathematics – 120 Questions

Question Paper Language Format

English, Hindi

Total marks

GAT – 600

Mathematics – 300

The GAT section carries 600 marks while the Mathematics section carries 300 marks. The GAT section is divided into two parts:

Part A – English

Part B – General Knowledge

The general knowledge part contains questions from Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, Current affairs.

Marking Scheme for NDA exam


Correct answers marking

Incorrect Answer marking







There is no deduction in marks for the unanswered questions. 

SSB Interview

This interview is divided into 2 stages:

  1. Stage 1 – Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT)
  2. Stage 2 – Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference.

Stage 1 test comprises verbal and non-verbal tests (screening test) and psychological tests.

Psychological test contains the following things:

  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  • Word Association Test (WAT)
  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
  • Self Description Test (SD)

In the second stage, the applicants who pass the stage 1 test have to pass group discussion (GD) round. This round will test the following:

  1. GD
  2. GPE
  3. PGT
  4. HGT
  5. IOT
  6. Command Task
  7. Snake race/Group Obstacle Race
  8. Individual lecture
  9. FGT

After you pass both the stages, there will be a personal interview and conference before concluding the test.


NDA – Admit Card

Generally, UPSC releases admit cards in March but due to the coronavirus outbreak, the admit card date will be announced at a later date. Applicants can download NDA admit cards until the day of exam. The hard copy is not sent to candidates by post. 

Here, we have given general steps to check your admit card and download it.

Downloading the NDA 1 Exam Admit Card

  1. Firstly, visit the official website and on the home page, find the ‘E-admit card National Defence Academy examination’ link. Keep a follow up on this page once the outbreak is settled.
  2. After clicking the link, a login page will open up
  3. Select any of the given option – registration number or roll number
  4. If you choose the registration number option, you need to enter your registration number, date of birth and random image.
  5. If you select the roll number option, they you need to enter your roll number, date of birth and random image
  6. Click the ‘Submit’ button
  7. Admit card appears on the screen and one can download the admit card and take its printout.

NDA results & cut off

To check the results, follow the steps below:

  1. Applicants have to visit the website of UPSC
  2. Click the result link on the home page
  3. On the result display, you will see a list of roll numbers who have qualified in the exam for the next steps.

NDA scorecard gets ready in 15 days from the declaration of the results  This contains the following parts:

  1. Candidate’s name
  2. Roll numbers
  3. Sectional and overall scores

What is the grading system?

  1. In GAT section, candidates get 4 marks for each correct answer
  2. In the Mathematics section, candidates score 2.5 marks for each correct answer
  3. For each wrong answer, 0.33 mark is deducted

Once you have passed NDA (1) Stage 1 test, you will be invited for an SSB interview and if you pass that too, a merit list is prepared by UPSC based on total marks secured by candidates in the written exam and SSB Interview. Final admission to posts in Army, Navy and Air Force is based on the number of vacancies subject to candidates eligibility, fitness and merit preference.

Last year, the NDA (Written test and SSB interview) cut off was 704 marks which combined both. The final cut off in the written test is based on total marks of 900. Candidates who achieved a final cut off of 700 out of 1800 got allocated a post in services – Army,Navy, Air Forces, and Naval Academy.


418 vacancies have been announced for NDA recruitment in 2020. Out of the total seats, 370 will be allocated for the National Defence Academy while 48 are for Naval Academy (10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme). 


Q. Can girl candidates apply for NDA exam?

Only male candidates (unmarried) are eligible to apply for the NDA admission tests.

Q. How to apply for NDA 1 Exam?

Visit the official website, register for an account, download forms, fill up and upload your documents online to submit the application.

Q. How are the exam centres allotted to NDA candidates?

It is based on a first apply-first allot basis.

Q. When does the NDA admit card release?

Generally, admit cards are released one week prior to the exam.

Q. What are the qualifications required for the NDA exam and what’s the application fee for the test?

Aspirants should have passed class 12 exam and they will have to pay Rs. 100 for the application.

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