National Defence Academy : Essential And Important Insights

The National Defence Academy Exam is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the three wings namely the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.


The National Defence Academy conducts an all-India level examination twice a year to help the candidate make a career in defense services.


NDA (I & II) and NA (I &II) Exam

This exam NDA-I & NDA-II is held twice every year in the month of April and November. National Defence Academy & Naval Academy (NDA & NA) examinations are a two-stage selection process.


The candidate has to first clear the written test with minimum cut-off marks. Subsequently, they will be called for the next round. SSB Service Selection Board will conduct the second stage comprised of a personality test or interview process.


After qualifying for the SSB round the shortlisted candidate will go through the medical test and document verification. Every year approx. 4 lakh candidates apply for this examination.


Highlights Of National Defence Academy Exam

Name of the Exam NDA (I & II) and NA(I &II)
Organizing Body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam Level National
Exam Mode Paper and Pen-based( Offline)
Number of Registrations Approx. 4 Lakh
Admit Card Online
NDA & NA (I) 2020 Number of Vacancies NDA & NA (II) 2020 Number of Vacancies
National Defence Academy Army-208

Navy- 42

Air Force-120

National Defence Academy Army-208

Navy- 42

Air Force- 58

Naval Academy 50 Naval Academy 55
Total 418 Total 363
Official Website


National Defence Academy -UPSC NDA & NA Proposed Month

The UPSC generally releases the date of the NDA (I) & NA( I) and NDA (II) & NA( II)  Examinations notification in the month of January and June respectively.

Aspirants willing to appear for NDA & NA exam can apply online by visiting the official website of UPSC.


Notification Month
NDA (I) Notification January
NDA (II) Notification June
NDA (I) Exam September
NDA (II) Exam September
NDA (I) Result November
NDA (II) Result November
NDA SSB Post the result of NDA(I) & NDA (II)


National Defence Academy-Eligibility Criteria


national defence academy

1. Nationality 

  • Candidates must be a citizen of India
  • Candidates must be a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan.
  • Candidates must be Tibetan refugees who came to India before January 1, 1962, for settling permanently in India.
  • Candidates must a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Burma, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Myanmar, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Vietnam, Zaire with the motive to settle permanently in India.


2. Educational Qualification Criteria

Wing Qualification
Indian Army Appearing/Completed class 12th (10+2) or its equivalent exam from a recognized board or University
Indian Navy and Indian Air Force Appearing/Completed class 12th (10+2) or its equivalent exam from a recognized board or University with Physics and Mathematics as a compulsory subject.
Note:  Candidates who have failed the exam of INSB/PABT earlier are not eligible for the Air Force Exam.


3. Age limit, Sex & Marital Status

Exam Age Limit Sex Marital Status
NDA & NA (I) Not before July 2, 2000, and not later than July 1, 2003 Male Unmarried
NDA & NA (II) Not before January 2, 2001, and not later than January 1, 2004 Male Unmarried
Note 1: The DOB mentioned in the Matriculation/Higher Secondary Examination certificate available will be considered by the concerned authority.
Note 2: Candidates are informed not to marry-until the training is completed.


Physical Criteria :

The candidate needs to be physically and mentally fit for applying to the National Defence Academy  (NDA) and Naval Academy (NA) Examination.


Candidates are advised to get themselves medically examined before applying for this examination as many candidates fail to qualify for the medical test.


Height & Weight Standards

Height & Weight Standards-Army/Air Force Height & Weight Standards- Navy

Height in CM (without shoes)

Weight in KG Height in CM (without shoes)

Weight in KG

16-17 years 17-18 years 18-19 years 16-17 years 17-18 years 18-19 years
152 42.5 44 45 152 44 45 46
155 43.5 45.3 47 155 45 46 47
157 45 47 48 157 46 47 49
160 46.5 48 49 160 47 48 50
162 48 50 51 162 48 50 52
165 50 52 53 165 50 52 53
167 51 53 54 168 52 53 55
170 52.5 55 56 170 53 55 57
173 54 57 58 173 55 57 59
175 56 59 60 175 57 59 61
178 58 61 62 178 59 61 62
180 60 63 64.5 180 61 63 64
183 62.5 65 66.5 183 63 65 67

Special requirements of Pilot in the Air Force are mentioned below


Measurement Minimum Maximum
Leg Length 99 cm 120 cm
Thigh Length 64 cm
Sitting Height 81.50 cm 96 cm

Vision Standard

The distance vision (corrected) should be 6/6 in the better eye(6/9) in the worse eye. Myopia and hypermetropia should not be more than 2.5 D & 3.5 D respectively. The color vision standard for the army should be (CP-III). The detailed vision standard is given below :

Eyesight for Naval Candidate Eyesight for Air Force Candidate Maddox Rod Test
Uncorrected without glass 6/6 Uncorrected without glass 6/6, 6/9 At 6 Meters Exo-6 prism D
Corrected with glass 6/6 Corrected with glass 6/6 (Only for Hypermetropia) Eso-6 prism D
Limits of Myopia -0.75 Limits of Myopia NIL Hyper-1 prismD
Limits of Hypermetropia +1.5 Limits of Hypermetropia +2.00 D Sph Hypro -1 prism D
Limits of color Perception I Manifest Myopia NIL Exo-16 prism D
Binocular Vision III Tinoscopic Myopia 0.5 At 33cms Eso-6 prism D
Colour Vision CP-I (MLT) Hyper-1 prismD
Astigmatism +0.75 Cyl ( within +2.0 D.Max) Hypro -1 prism D
Near Vision N-5 each eye


Physical Conditioning

The candidate needs to be in good physical condition to meet the following routine

  • Skipping
  • Chin-ups (Min-08)
  • Push-ups & sit-ups (Min- 20 each)
  • Rope climbing 3-4 meters
  • Running 2.4 km in 15 minutes.


NDA Officer: Roles & Responsibility

The role of an NDA officer is very challenging and it demands a lot of perseverance and responsibility. NDA officer gets into the job of Defence forces like Army, Navy, and Air Force.


Career Graph of NDA /NA Officer

The highest position, a National Defence Academy officer can desire is General in Army, Admiral in Navy, and Air Chief Marshal in Air Force. The following is the career path of an NDA Officer.


The training starts in the academy, a cadet is allotted to one of the 18 Squadrons for the next three years. The Squadrons are named as Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hunter, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Panther, Quebec, and Romeo No.1, No.2, No.3, and No.4 Battalions have four squadrons each while No.5 has two squadrons. Each squadron has approximately 100-120 cadets.


Air Force Army Navy
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)
Air Marshall (AOC-in-C/VCAS) Lieutenant General (Army Commodore/VCOAS) Vice-Admiral/FCO-in-C/VCNS)
Air Marshall Lieutenant General Vice Admiral
AVM Major General Rear Admiral
Air Commodore Brigadier Captain
Group Captain Colonel Captain
Wing Commander (S) Lieutenant Colonel (S) Commander (S)
Wing Commander (TS) Lieutenant Colonel (TS) Commander (TS)
Squadron Leader Major Lieutenant Commander
Flight Lieutenant Captain Lieutenant
Flying Officer Lieutenant Sub Lieutenant


National Defence Academy Exam Pattern

UPSC conducts exams in two-level as mentioned below. The candidate who clears the written test will be called for the SSB Interview exams.

Stage 1:  NDA and NA Examination (I)
Subject Type Duration Maximum Marks Negative Marking
Mathematics Objective 2.30 hours 300 Yes
General Ability Test Objective 2.30 hours 600 Yes
Total 900
Stage 2: SSB Personality Test/Interview 900

Stage 1:  NDA and NA Examination (II)

Mathematics Objective 2.30 hours 300 Yes
General Ability Test Objective 2.30 hours 600 Yes
Total 900
Stage 2: SSB Personality Test/Interview 900

Note: Exam mode is offline. Question paper for Mathematics & General Ability Test will be in both the language that is English and Hindi


National Defence Academy focuses on getting the best resources by going through the most competitive exam and subsequently by the most rigorous training.


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