NDA Entrance Exam

The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the Joint Services academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where cadets of the three services, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force train together before they go on to respective service academies for further pre-commissioning training. The NDA is located in Khadakwasla, Pune, Maharashtra. It is the first tri-service academy in the world

NDA is one of the most lucrative options to pursue for someone who is passing out of 12th other than CA. These two options can give them bright careers quickly.

At the NDA academy students are endowed with preliminary training in both academics as well as physical. The training will be for duration of 3 years. This is further divided in to 6 semester comprising of 22 weeks each.

The students who successfully pass out from the DA academy are awarded with BA, B.Sc and B.Sc computers degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

After the Pre commission training at the NDA academy the students is further transferred to the respective academies. The candidates who are in the Army category will be transferred to the IMA Dehra Dun. The Naval cadets will go to the Naval Academy at Goa. The candidates who have preferred the Air Force will be shifted to the Air Force Academy at Hyderabad. The students will receive a stipend which amounts to Rs.8000 per month even while studying. After passing out from the above mentioned academy the cadets are appointed as Lieutenant, Flight Lieutenant and Sub-lieutenant in the concerning wing in the defense at a very young age with a salary of Rs. 8250 to Rs. 10,050. The cadets will also have many other perks associated with the posts.


The Sudan Block and the Ashok Stambha at the National Defence Academy

Shivaji memorial at the National Defence Academy The 17th century Maratha warrior king is considered as the Father of Indian Navy.

National Defence Academy, Sudan Block

The NDA campus is located about 17 km south-west of Pune city, north-west of Khadakwasla Lake. It spans 7,015 acres (28.39 km2) of the 8,022 acres (32.46 km2) donated by the Government of the former Bombay State. The site was chosen for being on a lake shore, the suitability of the neighbouring hilly terrain, proximity to the Arabian Sea and other military establishments, an operational air base nearby at Lohegaon as well as the salubrious climate. The existence of an old combined-forces training centre and a disused mock landing ship, HMS Angostura, on the north bank of the Khadakwasla lake which had been used to train troops for amphibious landings, lent additional leverage for the selection of the site. Aptly, NDA is also located in the hunting grounds of the legendary Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, with the Sinhagad Fort as a panoramic backdrop.

The administrative headquarters of the NDA was named the Sudan Block, in honour of the sacrifices of Indian soldiers in the Sudan theatre during the East African Campaign. It was inaugurated by then Ambassador of Sudan to India, Rahmatullah Abdulla, on 30 May 1959. The building is a 3-storey basalt and granite structure constructed with Jodhpur red sandstone. Its architecture features an exterior design comprising a blend of arches, pillars and verandahs, topped by a dome. The foyer has white Italian marble flooring and panelling on the interior walls. On the walls of the foyer hang the portraits of NDA graduates who have been honored with the highest gallantry awards, the Param Vir Chakra or the Ashoka Chakra.

Entrance Exam

The NDA exam is carried out by the UPSC every year. This exam will be held two times in a year. The candidates who get qualified in the written exam will be called in for an SSB multiple rounds of interviews. The candidates will also have to go through a psychology test and Group task which will also be carried out by the SSB.

The candidates who have opted for the Air force will also have to undergo a Pilot Aptitude Battery Test. Furthermore, the candidates will go through a physical fitness test. The candidates are strictly selected on the basis of the merit list.

Admission and NDA Selection Process

Applicants to the NDA are selected via a written exam conducted by the UPSC, followed by extensive interviews by the SSB covering general aptitude, psychological testing, team skills as well as physical and social skills, along with medical tests. Incoming classes are accepted twice a year for semesters starting in July and January. About 4,50,000 applicants sit for each written exam every year. Typically, about 6,300 of these are invited to interview. Only unmarried male candidates are eligible for NDA & NA Examination. The minimum age should be 16 and a half years and maximum age should be 19 and a half years. Applicants to join the Air Force also go through a Pilot Aptitude Battery Test. About 320 cadets are accepted to the academy each semester. About 70 cadets are accepted for the Air Force, 42 for the Navy and 208 for the Army.

Cadets who are accepted and successfully complete the program are sent to their respective training academies for one year of training before granting of commission: army cadets go to Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun, air force cadets to Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigal, Hyderabad, and naval cadets to Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala, Kerala.

Eligibility for NDA Entrance Exams

As to be eligible for the NDA army wing a candidate needs to have passed 12th class in any subject stream. For the NDA Air force wing and the Navy, each of the candidates needs to have passed 12th class in science subject with PCM subject under the state board or its equivalent. The age of the candidate must be in between 16 ½ to 19 years. Candidates must also meet the physical fitness standards as laid out by the NDA.

Application for the NDA

The application form for the NDA entrance exam is available in designated post office. Candidates can purchase this application form and fill in necessary information as required. The UPSC have constructed a computer scanable application form which the students need to fill. Along with the application form there will be an information brochure and an acknowledgement card and an envelope for returning the application form.  Correctly filled up application must arrive at The Secretary, UPSC.


The NDA offers only a full-time, residential undergraduate programme. Cadets are awarded a Baccalaureate degree (a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science) after 3 years of study. Cadets have a choice of two streams of study. The Science stream offers studies in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science. The Humanities (Liberal Arts) stream offers studies in History, Economics, Political Science, Geography and Languages.

In both streams, academic studies are split into three categories.

  • In the Compulsory Course, cadets study English, Foreign Languages (Arabic, Chinese, French or Russian), Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, History, Political Science, Economics and Geography. Note that all cadets must take basic classes in all these subjects except Foreign Languages. Cadets then take advanced classes depending on their chosen stream.
  • The Foundation Course is mandatory and comprises Military Studies and General Studies. Subjects such as Military History, Military Geography, Weapons systems and Armaments, etc. are covered in Military Studies. Subjects such as Geopolitics, Human Rights, Laws of Armed Conflict and Environmental Sciences are covered in General Studies.
  • The Optional Course focuses on subjects specific to the cadet’s chosen Service.

Cadets spend the first four semesters on the Compulsory Course and the Foundation Course. They take the Optional Course during the fifth and sixth semesters. They may transfer to other Service academies for the optional courses

Coaching centers for the NDA Exam

In India there are many coaching institution which offer training to students who wants to crack NDA exam. Some of the very famous institutions are

  • Baalnoi Academy
  • Cavalier (p) ltd, and CMI.
  • Pathshaala, Aggarwal Academia
  • Tara Institute for Armed Forces Exam,
  • Sachdeva New PT College
  •  Disha Academy etc.

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