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NDA Exam Guide: All you need to know about NDA 2021 Exam

Published on 18 February 2021
7 min read 8 views
Published on 18 February 2021

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is one of the most prestigious and reputed examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This exam is conducted twice every year for individuals who want to serve the Indian Army, Navy and Airforce. There are lakhs of aspirants who aim to clear this exam in the first go but are unable to do so with the level of competition that this exam holds. Aspirants work hard for this exam by preparing through NDA courses and coaching. 

However, the amount of preparation required for this exam is quite immense as there are very few vacancies available in NDA. In this article, we will cover all about the NDA exam including NDA exam date, eligibility, syllabus, paper pattern, preparation and much more. By referring to this, candidates can get an idea about the examination which can help them prepare better for this exam. 

NDA 2021 Exam Date:

UPSC has already released the notification for the NDA 2021 Exam on their official website. Take a look at the exam dates below. 

Exam Events 

Official Dates 

Release of notification for NDA 2021


Online Application form filling


Last date to submit Online Application form


Release of Admit Card 

Candidates will be notified before the exam for the issue of admit card

Exam Date 


Result Declaration

To be announced 

SSB interview

Only shortlisted candidates will be called for the SSB interview 

NDA 2021 Paper Pattern:

Candidates must be well-aware of the NDA paper pattern for better NDA preparation. Take a look at the NDA 2021 paper pattern below. 

  1. The NDA exam will be conducted in an offline mode.
  2. There are two main papers that are conducted i.e. Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT) 
  3. The Mathematics paper comprises 300 marks while the GAT comprises 600 marks 
  4. The GAT section includes two papers i.e. Paper 1 consists of English whereas Paper 2 consists of General Knowledge. 
  5. The mode of language for the NDA paper will be English and Hindi. Candidates can answer in either of the two languages.
  6. The duration of both the papers will be 2 and half hours. 
  7. For each incorrect answer in the mathematics paper, 0.83 marks are deducted. 
  8. For each incorrect answer in the GAT paper, 1.33 marks are deducted. 
  9. Candidates should note that only those who are able to clear the NDA objective and written examination are further called for the SSB interview. 
  10. The SSB interview round holds a total of 900 marks. 

Tips to clear SSB interview

NDA 2021 Exam Syllabus:

Candidates must be familiar with the NDA syllabus to boost their NDA preparation and to be thorough with the exam. Take a look at the entire syllabus below

Mathematics- Algebra, Matrices & Determinants, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus and Differential Equation, Vector Algebra, Statistics & Probability. 

General Ability Test (English)- Candidates should focus on their vocabulary and grammar. Here candidates will be evaluated based on their proficiency in English.

General Ability Test (General Knowledge)- Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Current Events, General Science and Social Studies. 

For the complete subject-wise chapters and concepts, candidates must refer to the official website of UPSC. 

NDA 2021 Eligibility Criteria:

Take a look at the eligibility criteria for NDA 2021 below.


  1. A candidate must be a citizen of India or a subject of Nepal and Bhutan. 

  1. A Tibetan refugee who came to India before 1 January 1962 and who wishes to permanently settle in India. 

  1. A person who possesses an Indian origin and who has migrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Vietnam or Ethiopia with the intention to permanently settle in India. 

Educational Qualification: 

  1. For the post of Army Wing, candidates must be 12th passed or equivalent examination from a recognized university. 

  1. For the post of Air Force and naval wings and 10+2 Cadet entry scheme at INA, candidates must be 12th passed or equivalent exam with Physics and maths as the main subjects.


  1. To appear for the NDA exam, Candidates must be between the age of 16 to 19 years. 
  2. The officials will accept only those candidates whose dates of birth are the same as mentioned in classes 10 and 12 passing certificates. 

Marital Status: 

Male candidates should be unmarried while appearing for the exam as well as for the entire training period. 

Physical Standards:

Candidates can check the entire physical standard requirements from the official website of UPSC. Carefully observe the height, weight and other related requirements before applying for the exam. 

NDA 2021 Admit Card: 

Candidates can expect the issue of admit cards before a week of the examination. UPSC will notify the candidates before releasing the admit cards however for this they need to constantly keep a check on the official website of UPSC. 

NDA 2021 Result: 

To know the results, candidates need to check the official website of UPSC. However, candidates can expect the result within a month after giving the examination. 

NDA 2021 Vacancies: 

In total 400 vacancies are expected in NDA 2021. 

  1. Army- 208
  2. Navy- 42
  3. Air Force- 120
  4. 10+2 Cadet Entry scheme- 30

As the vacancies are fewer, candidates need a good NDA preparation strategy which we shall now discuss below. 

Preparation Strategy for NDA 2021:

Candidates join many NDA courses and take up various preparation techniques to ace this exam however there are a few tips that will help them score the best marks in NDA. Take a look at the preparation strategy below. 

First and foremost carefully observe the NDA syllabus as that will help candidates to be thorough with the exam. Read the concepts of each subject and be aware of the complete syllabus so that it will be easier to complete the studies on time. 

Make a study plan/timetable as that will be useful for planning the daily studying routine and candidates can keep a check on their daily progress. 

Refer to the study materials that are important from the exam point of view and avoid studying from too many books as that will only create confusion. Stick to NCERT books and other standard reference books if needed. 

For each subject of NDA, clear your basic concepts as without knowing the basics one cannot proceed further with difficult concepts. NCERT is the best for learning the core concepts easily. 

Read newspapers, magazines and other useful materials daily as that is very important for scoring good marks in the English paper. In addition to this, keep an eye on the current affairs regularly for the current event paper. 

Solve previous year question papers and mock tests as that will help to know the exam pattern, improve time management, and for knowing the types of questions asked in the examination. 

Lastly, if candidates wish to enroll in any NDA online coaching then they must carefully choose the coaching as any wrong decision might impact badly on their exam preparation. Check whether the coaching has experienced teachers who provide immediate guidance and feedback, Flexible options to conduct the classes, proper study materials, and affordable pricing. 

9 effective ways to prepare for NDA Exam

Study24x7 is a platform that helps aspirants prepare for their NDA exam by providing live NDA online classes to better understand the concepts. Here the educators are highly qualified and skilled who put their best efforts to make the concepts understandable to each and every student. Our platform provides detailed study materials that are in tune with the latest NDA syllabus. Candidates can get 24/7 support through chat and emails in case any doubt arises. Lastly, candidates can take the advantage of free as well as paid courses on our platform. 


NDA is one of the toughest exams to crack but with proper approach and dedication to succeed in the exam, candidates can easily score good marks. Remember to be thorough with the exam syllabus and pattern and only then proceed with the studies. Choose a reliable NDA online coaching that will help to boost the exam preparation. For more exam-related updates, candidates can check the official website of UPSC. 

Best NDA Course For You

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