NDA Exam: A Complete 2023 Guide!

9 minute read
NDA Exam

Do you wish to join one of the most prestigious jobs in India? Are you willing to build a career in a field where you can work towards serving the country and the people? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you can consider appearing for the NDA exam. The test provides you with an opportunity to join the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC). Now that the official notification is about to be released by UPSC in the month of January, here is a blog that will provide you with all the information pertaining to the NDA exam 2022.

NDA Exam: Latest Update 

The Supreme Court on Wednesday i.e. August 18th, 2021 allowed females to take NDA Exam (National Defence Academy to be held on September 5th, 2021. The supreme court said that the policy decision is based on “gender discrimination”. The apex court also mentioned that the admissions will be final orders of the court.

NDA Exam 2023: Overview

NDA exam, which is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) is one of the most popular government exams after 12th science. It acts as a gateway for the candidates to join the Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the National Defence Academy.  The examination is conducted twice a year in the months of April and September where the applicants are assessed in two stages namely Written test and SSB (Service Selection Board) interview. Lakhs of aspiring students take the exam every year and some thousands are shortlisted for the SSB interview round. 

NDA Exam 2023: Eligibility

The National Defence Academy exam is not applicable for female candidates and is only open to unmarried male applicants.  Listed below are category-wise eligibility criteria for taking the NDA exam. Failing to satisfy even one of the conditions can lead to disqualification of the candidate: 

(i) Nationality

  1. The candidate should be a citizen of India, or
  2. A subject of Nepal/Bhutan, or
  3. A Tibetian refugee who came to India before 1st of January, 1962 with an intention to settle in India permanently, or
  4. A candidate of Indian origin who migrated to India from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Vietnam, Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire, Malawi, Ethiopia to settle in India permanently.


  • The candidates relating to categories 2,3 and 4 can apply only if the Government of India has issued a certificate of eligibility. It is also to be noted that the eligibility certificates are not required in the case of Gorkha subjects of Nepal. 

(ii) Age, Sex and Marital Status

Only unmarried candidates, between the age of 19 and 22 years, are eligible to apply for the NDA exam. The applicants not born before 2nd July 2000 after 1st July 2003 are eligible. 


  • The date of birth should be the same as entered in the Matriculation certificate or secondary school leaving certificate/ a certificate recognized by an Indian University/ extract from Register of Matriculates maintained by the university.

(iii) Educational Qualifications

  • To join the Army Wing of NDA, the candidate must have passed 10+2 or equivalent from the recognized education board.
  • For Navy and Air Force of NDA and for the 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme at INA (Indian Naval Academy), the candidate must have passed 10+2 class or equivalent with Mathematics and Physics as core subjects from the recognized education board.


  • The candidates who are going to appear for the 12th class examination are eligible to apply provided, they submit evidence on the date designated by UPSC of passing the exam.
  • The candidates who are prohibited from holding any type of commission by the Defence Ministry are not eligible to appear for the exam.
  • Candidates who could not clear the CPSS/PABT are not eligible for Air Force.
  • The physical fitness of the candidates needs to match the set standards as per the guidelines. 

NDA Exam 2023: Admission Process

Check all the details pertaining to NDA Exam 2023 application form in the below section: 

  • The release and availability of the application form on 22nd December 2022 are for the 1st round and 18th May 2022 for the 2nd round. 
  • Candidates can apply through online mode 
  • You can withdraw your application within a certain period of time 
  • Carefully fill all the credentials as no modifications can be done after submission of the form
  • Registration will be done in two parts – Part 1 & Part 2.
  • In Part 1, candidates need to fill in their basic information and other details in the registration form 
  • In Part 2, candidates have to upload their scanned photograph and signature, make the choice of exam centre and make payment of the application fee

NDA Exam 2023: Exam Pattern

Considered as one of the most coveted exams of the country, scoring well in the paper needs a well-rooted strategy. The first step towards this is to know the NDA exam pattern in detail. Conducted in an offline mode, the paper consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQ’s). For every wrong answer, one-third or 0.33 of the marks assigned to the question will be deducted. The table given below highlights the key aspects of the test: 

CodeSubjectDurationMaximum Marks
01Mathematics 2.5 hours (150 minutes)300
02General Ability Test2.5 hours (150 minutes)600
Written Test Total

SSB Personal Interview


NDA Exam Mock Test

NDA mock exams are similar to genuine assessments, and completing them helps applicants prepare for the exam. It also aids applicants in evaluating and improving their performance. Candidates will be able to discover their strong and weak areas after taking practice examinations. As a result, applicants can focus on their areas of weakness. Mock exams also assist applicants in better managing their time throughout the exam. You can get previous year sample papers and mock tests from the UPSC official page

NDA Exam 2023: Syllabus

The written examination of the NDA exam consists of two major sections namely Mathematics and General Ability Test. Tabulated below are the topics covered under each section of the exam:

MathematicsGeneral Ability Test:
1. Algebra
2. Matrices and Determinants
3. Trigonometry
4. Analytical Geometry of 2 and 3 Dimensions
5. Differential Calculus
6. Integral Calculus and Differential Equations
7. Vector Algebra
8. Statistics and Probability
Part A: English
1. Grammar and Usage
2. Comprehension and Cohesion
3. Vocabulary

Part B: Basic General Knowledge
1. Physics
2. Chemistry
3. General Science
4. History
5. Geography
6. Current Affairs 

NDA Exam 2023: Important Dates (Tentative) 

Know here NDA Exam 2022 examination dates for several events and sessions of the entrance exam: 

Release & Availability of Application Form21st December 202217th May 2023
Last Date to Apply10th Jan 202316th June 2023
Last Date for Fees PaymentJanuary 2023June 2023
Withdraw of Application FormTo be notified
Release & Availability of Admit Card March 2023August 2023
NDA Exam 202316th April 20233rd September 2023
Declaration of ResultTo be notified To be notified
SSB InterviewTo be notified

NDA Exam 2023 Admit Card

The NDA I Admit Card is likely to be released by UPSC in the latter week of March 2022 for the test scheduled on April 10th, 2022. Candidates who want to register for the test may obtain their UPSC NDA I Admit Card by visiting the official UPSC website @upsc.gov.in and entering their registration number and password established during the UPSC NDA I 2022 Application Process.

NDA Exam 2023: Preparation Tips 

Find out below the preparation tips for the NDA exam in the given below section: 

  • Prepare a study table and follow it daily
  • Candidates must go through the complete details of the NDA exam provided online
  • Know the exam pattern and syllabus of NDA
  • Practice online and offline mock tests to analyse your exam preparation
  • Practice previous sample papers and exam papers for a better understanding of the examination pattern
  • Also, study from study materials recommended by the experts.

NDA Exam 2023 Exam Centres

During the application process, applicants were given the option of selecting their preferred cities for exam centers. The cities where the UPSC NDA I Exam will be held on April 10, 2022, are listed below.

JorhatGarwhal (Srinagar)
BhopalGautam Budh Nagar
Navi MumbaiShillong
Panaji (Goa)Shimla
Port BlairSrinagar
Prayagraj (Allahabad)Thane

NDA Exam 2023 Vacancies

A total of 400 positions for the National Defence Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy (NA) will be filled, according to the NDA I 2023 Notification, including 370 for the NDA and 30 for the NA. The table below shows the entire vacancy distribution for NDA- I 2023.

NDA- I 2022 Vacancy
Naval Defence Academy300 (Army- 208, Navy- 42, Air Force- 120)
Naval Academy (10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme)30

NDA Salary & Benefits

Candidates who graduate from the National Defense Academy as NDA officers get a good salary as well as a variety of allowances and advantages that are only available to candidates who serve in the Defense services. In the table below, you can see the in-hand NDA salary for each rank of officer:

Lieutenant56,100 – 1,77,500
Major6,94,00 – 2,07,200
Lieutenant Colonel1,21,200 – 2,12400
Colonel1,30,600-2, 15,900
Major General1,44,200-2,18,200
Lieutenant General HAG Scale1, 82, 200-2,24,100
HAG+Scale2,05,400 – 2,24,400
VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG)2,25,000/-(fixed)

NDA Selection Process 2023

The UPSC administers the NDA exam in two stages: a written exam and an SSB interview. For NDA 1, the first step is a written test, which will be held on April 11, 2022. Those who pass this round will be invited to the SSB interview. Check out the steps of the NDA selection procedure, which are outlined below:

Written Exam

The NDA written test, which is conducted in an offline format, is the first part of the selection process. Candidates who achieve the minimum qualifying scores will be invited to participate in the next round of selection.

SSB Interview

The selection procedure has progressed to the second round. The purpose of the SSB Interview is to examine a candidate’s intelligence and personality. The first round of the SSB Interview is done by the Centres/Air Force Selection Boards/Naval Selection Boards, while the second round is conducted by the Centers/Air Force Selection Boards/Naval Selection Boards. Only those who pass the first round of interviews will be invited to the second round.

Medical Examination

This is a step of qualification. Candidates who wish to join the Indian armed services must be medically fit and pass this step of the selection process.

Final Merit List

The results of the written exam and the SSB interview are combined to create the final merit list. The ultimate distribution will be determined by the number of openings available, eligibility criteria met medical fitness, and merit-cum-preferences.

NDA Exam Cut-Off 2023

After the final result is announced, the cutoff for the written test and final selection are announced. For the written test, the NDA Cut Off marks will be determined out of 900. The final cutoff values are based on the marks earned by the last recommended applicants out of a total of 1800 points (900 marks of written exam and 900 marks of SSB Interview). For each topic, a minimum qualifying mark of 25% is required. Candidates may see the previous year’s NDA Exam cut-off marks in the table below.

NDA (II) 2020 Cutoff

StageCut off
At the written stage, there is a minimum qualifying criterion (out of 900)355
Marks earned by the final applicant recommended (Final Stage) (out of 1800)719

NDA (I) 2020 Cut Off

StageCut off
At the written stage, there is a minimum qualifying criterion (out of 900)723
Marks earned by the final applicant recommended (Final Stage) (out of 1800)355

NDA Result 2023

After the NDA-I 2023 Exam, the written exam results will be revealed roughly a month later, along with the names of individuals who have been shortlisted for the interview process. After the SSB Interview process, the commission will release the merit list of applicants selected for admission to the Army, Navy, and Air Force wings of the NDA, as well as the Indian Naval Academy Courses (INAC) of the NDA for the 149th Course and the 111th Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC).


Can I appear for both NDA I and NDA II sessions?

Yes, you are allowed to appear for both sessions only if you meet the eligibility norms. 

Can females apply for NDA Exam?

Yes, females can now apply for the NDA exam 2021 to be held on Sep 5, 2021.

Is it possible to register through offline mode?

No, you can only apply via online mode. 

Can married males apply for NDA Exam? 

No, a candidate who is married is not eligible to apply for NDA Exam.

I don’t have Physics and Mathematics as a subject in my 12th standard, can I still apply for the NDA Exam?

Yes, you can apply for only the Army wing in the NDA exam. 


To stay updated for the NDA exam 2022, it is advised to visit the official website of UPSC on a regular basis. 

Hopefully, with this blog, you are now familiar with the key elements of the NDA exam. If the question of what to study after 12th bothers you or you want to prepare for other competitive exams then you can reach out to the study abroad experts at Leverage Edu. The experts will help you select the right career path using our revolutionary AI tool. You can also book a 30 minutes free career counselling to get your career-related queries answered within minutes. Hurry up, book your slot now!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *



    1. Hi Nitesh,
      We are delighted that you have found our content helpful and interesting. We always try our level best to provide relatable and helpful content to our readers. Here are some other NDA specific blogs that will help you out with your exam:

    1. Hello,

      The minimum academic eligibility for the NDA exam is 10+2 education and a maximum of 18.7 years of age. The NDA exam is going to be conducted by UPSC in April 2022 and the registration closes on 11th January 2022.