The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the joint defence service of the Indian Armed Forces. And the NDA exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission of India (UPSC). To join the training Institute, students have to clear the examination and excel in the interview round.
To clear the exam, being aware of the NDA Exam Pattern is crucial.
The paper pattern for the NDA exam 2021 is divided into two parts, the first is the written exam, and the second one is SSB Interview. In the written pattern, there are two sections, namely Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). A total of 900 marks are assigned to the written exam. The GAT paper is based on basic logical, general knowledge, English, and mathematics, with basic maths up to the 12th standard.
- All the Questions will be of objective type, i.e., Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) will be asked.
- Negative marking exists as per the marks allotted to questions.
- Age limit: The candidate’s age must be between 16.5 to 19.5 years to be eligible for NDA 2021
|Exam Mode||Offline (Pen Paper Based)|
|Language||Both English and Hindi|
|Question Paper Type||Objective or MCQ|
|Total Number of Questions||270 (Mathematics: 120
General Ability Test: 150)
|Total Marks for Written Test||900 (Mathematics: 300
General Ability Test: 600)
|Exam duration||2.30 hours (Each Section)|
|Frequency of Exam||Two times in a year (NDA 1 and NDA 2)|
The total duration of both the written exams is 5 hours. Candidates should have to give the test at a specific time. For the Mathematics exam, the timing is 2.5 hours and the same for the GAT paper.
Syllabus pattern for Mathematics Paper
The first step to master the NDA math’s paper candidates must be aware of the Mathematics Syllabus.
- Analytical Geometry of 2D and 3D
- Matrices and determinant
- Probability and Statistics
- Integral calculus and differential equations
- Vector Algebra
Syllabus for the GAT Paper
GAT paper will be based on general knowledge questions and communication skills, which include grammar and vocabulary. The topics include the following:
- Indian and International History
- Current Affairs
- Physics (Class 12 standard)
- Chemistry (Class 12 standard)
- English Grammar, Vocabulary, Comprehension and Cohesion
- General Science
NDA Written Exam Pattern
Mathematics: The written test includes a Mathematics paper that consists of 120 questions. Each question carries 2.5 marks for the correct answers. There will be a negative marking for each incorrect answer of 0.83 marks (one-third will be deducted). The total marks of the section are 300.
General Ability Test: 150 questions are to be answered in this test. Each one carries a total of 4 marks. One-third (1.33) marks will be deducted for the incorrect answers due to negative marking. The total marks of this section are 600.
This test is conducted in two parts – Part A for English which carries 200 marks, and Part B for General knowledge, accounting for 600 marks.
|Part A – English||200|
|Part B – General Knowledge||Physics||100|
|History, Freedom Movement, etc.||80|
Total Marking Scheme of NDA Written Test
|Total Number of Maths Questions||120|
|Each Question Carries||2.5 Marks|
|Negative Marking for Each Incorrect Maths Answers||-0.83|
|Total Number of GAT Questions||150|
|Each Question Carries||4 Marks|
|Negative Marking for Each Incorrect GAT Answers||1.33|
|Unattempted Question Will Result In||0 Marks (No Negative Marking)|
NOTE: As per the exam pattern, candidates should have to attain passing marks for both papers. In case of not attempting the GAT paper or failing to get passing marks in the maths paper, the answer sheet is not valid and is discarded. You need to be careful to give both the papers for passing this exam.
The most important part of the NDA Exam is the SSB interview. The Service Selection Board conducts the SSB interview, and after qualifying the written test, the candidates will be eligible for SSB Interview.
Examination Procedure of clearing SSB Interview is as follows:
- SSB interview Stage 1
In this stage, there are two tests:
- Officers Intelligence Rating (OIR)
- Pictures Perception and Description Test (PP and DT).
In the screening test, the board is looking for some potential candidates who reported for entry. In this screening, activities like- Verbal and Non-Verbal tests, OIR Tests, etc., are conducted. In (PPDT), there will be group discussion and story writing.
For the story, the writing candidate is given a picture for 30 seconds, and later, they need to create a story by including the visuals of that particular picture. The time allotted is 3-4 minutes to write a story. The group discussion process divides the team into subgroups, post each candidate narrates their story, followed by the group discussion on the picture among the group members.
Results of Screening
After successfully giving both tests, the candidates are gathered in one place where a result announcement will take place then selected candidates will be called one by one. Results will be declared, and those candidates who didn’t pass the test will return, and those who passed the test will move towards stage 2.
SSB Interview Stage 2
The process of clearing this stage is, Candidates will be going through different Psychological Tests. These tests are used to check the psychological condition of the candidates. And Group Testing Officers Tasks. The whole process of this stage will take up to 4 days to complete the test.
- Thematic Apperception Test [TAT]
- Word Association Test [WAT]
- Situation Reaction Test [SRT]
- Self-Description Test [ SD]
Conference & Interview
The conference is the main part of the SSB interview. It was held on the 5th day of the SSB interview in conference with all the selection board committee members, interviewing officers and GTO members to discuss the performance of individual Candidates. Candidates encounter some personal questions like experience, why would they join NDA, etc. A bunch of questions from various fields are asked to understand the perspective of Candidates. Being agile and true is the key to cracking the interview.
Tips to clear NDA written test
The NDA written test can be slightly complicated. However, the following tips can enable candidates to organise their studies to clear the exam successfully.
- NCERT and NCERT Exemplar books for physics, chemistry, and maths are the finest study material as they are evident and concise.
- Always focus on fundamentals and theory since there will be some tricky questions of maths and general aptitude.
- The most important topics to cover Mathematics include – Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Algebra, Statistics, Geometry, etc.
- For current affairs the recommended book is Pratyogita Darpan.
- Objective GK Sanjiv Kumar Lucent publication: this book will be beneficial for learning topics of geometry and history.
Tips to clear NDA Interview Round
Following the written round, the following tips can help clear the interview stage:
- Believe in yourself and be focused
- Do practice for the picture test and focus on your communication skills
- Be confident and stay calm while giving an interview
No exam is easy and requires you to put in the minimum amount of effort. However, with this information and the tips on clearing the exam, you can get an idea of what to expect in the NDA exam’s written and interview stages.