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UPSC NDA Exam 2017: Eligibility, Syllabus, Preparation Tips & Books

NDA Exam 2017- Eligibility, Syllabus, Preparation Tips & Books

The National Defence Academy Entrance Exam is a national level exam. It is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The NDA exam 2017 will be organized to select eligible candidates for admission to the National Defence Academy. NDA is a joint service academy of Indian Armed Forces. Cadets of three services, i.e, Army, Navy, and Air Force are trained here before they go for training in their respective training academies.

The records show that over 20,000 students appeared for NDA Entrance Exam in 2016 in Chandigarh. However, the number of registered candidates was 4,00,813 against 375 seats at the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune.

This clearly depicts that there is tremendous competition in this field. However, with complete knowledge and right preparation, you can make your way through it.

In this article, I have discussed all that you should know if planning to appear for  NDA Entrance Exam.

UPSC NDA Exam Eligibility Criteria 2017

Candidates who fulfill the following eligibility criteria are eligible to appear for NDA Entrance Exam.

  • Nationality

A candidate must be either:

  • a citizen of India, or
  • a subject of Bhutan, or
  • a subject of Nepal, or
  • a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before the 1st January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  • a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Please note that a candidate who is not a citizen of India shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India. Certificate of eligibility will not, however, be necessary in the case of candidates who are Gorkha subjects of Nepal.

  • Age

Only male, unmarried candidates are eligible to apply for NDA Entrance Exam. He must be of 16 to 18 years of age.

The commission accepts only that date of birth that is entered in the matriculation or secondary school leaving certificate or a certificate recognised by an Indian university as equivalent to matriculation or in an extract from a register of matriculates maintained by a university. It must be certified by the proper authority of the university or in the Higher Secondary or an equivalent examination certificates. These certificates are required to be submitted only after the declaration of the result of the written part of the test.

It must be certified by the proper authority of the University or in the Higher Secondary or an equivalent examination certificates. These certificates are required to be submitted only after the declaration of the result of the written part of the test.

Candidates must undertake not to marry until they complete their full training. A candidate who marries after the date of his application though successful at this or any subsequent examination will not be selected for training. A candidate who marries during training shall be discharged and will be liable to refund all expenditure incurred on him by the Government.

  • Educational Qualification

Candidate must have cleared 12th (10+2 pattern) of school education or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board or a University.

However, for Army wing of the National Defence Academy candidates from all stream are eligible.

Whereas, for Air Force and Naval Wings of National Defence Academy candidate must have studied Physics and Mathematics in their 10+2.

  • Physical Standards

The candidate must be physically and mentally fit as per the prescribed standards of the National Defence Academy (NDA).

Candidates are also advised to rectify minor defects/ailments in order to speed up finalisation of the medical examination conducted at the Military Hospital after being recommended at the SSB.

Few of such commonly found defects/ailments are listed below:

  1. Wax (Ears)
  2. Deviated Nasal Septum
  3. Hydrocele/Phimosis
  4. Overweight/Underweight
  5. Undersized Chest
  6. Piles
  7. Gynaecomastia
  8. Tonsillitis
  9. Varicocele

Permanent body tattoos are only permitted on inner face of forearm i.e. from inside of elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of palm/back (dorsal) side of the hand.

(Tribes with tattoo marks on the face or body as per their existing custom and traditions will be permitted on a case to case basis).

The minimum acceptable height is 157 cms (162.5 cms for Air Force).

*(For Gorkhas and individuals belonging to hills of North-Eastern regions of India, Garhwal, and Kumaon, the minimum acceptable heights will be 5 cms less)

*In case of candidates from Lakshadweep, the minimum acceptable height can be reduced by 2 cms.

The height and weight standards are mentioned below:

Height & Weight Standards for NDA Exam 2017 (Air Force)

Image Source: Click here

Height & Weight Standards for NDA Exam 2017 (Army)

* Note 1: Height relaxable up to 2.5 cm. (5 cm. for Navy in case of candidates below 18 years of age) may be allowed where the Medical Board certifies that the candidate is likely to grow and come up to the required standard on completion of his training.

*Note 2: To meet the special requirement as a pilot in the Air Force the acceptable measurements of leg length, thigh length and sitting height will be as under:


The chest should be well developed. The fully expanded chest should not be less than 81 cms. The minimum range of expansion after full inspiration should be 5 cms.

For more details on the physical standards, click here.

UPSC NDA 2017 Admission Procedure

To take admission to the National Defence Academy, candidates have to clear the written exam followed by intelligence and personality test by the Services Selection Board. Only candidates who qualify in the written examination can appear for the intelligence and personality test.

Read further to know in detail about the admission procedure.

Written Test

The NDA 2017 will comprise of two papers, namely, Mathematics and General Ability. The paper will be bilingual and will contain objective type questions. The total weightage of the written exam will be 900 marks.

See the table below to know the NDA 2017 exam pattern in detail.

Subject Code Duration Maximum Marks
Mathematics 01 Two and half hours 300
General Ability 02 Two and half hours 600

There will be negative marking for each wrong answer.

The topics included in both the papers are mentioned below.

  • Mathematics

Questions in this section will be based on the following topics:

  • Algebra
  • Matrices And Determinants
  • Trigonometry
  • Analytical Geometry Of Two And Three Dimensions
  • Differential Calculus
  • Integral Calculus And Differential Equations
  • Vector Algebra
  • Statistics And Probability
  • General Ability

The general ability paper will be divided into two parts, namely, Part A and Part B.

Part A will include questions based on English. Whereas, Part B will test the general knowledge of the candidates.

Part B will be further divided into 5 sections, namely,:

  1. Physics
  2. Chemistry
  3. General Science
  4. History, Freedom Movement, etc.
  5. Geography
  6. Current Events

Please note that  out of maximum marks assigned to part ‘B’ of this paper, questions on Sections ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘F’ will carry approximately 25%, 15%, 10%, 20%, 20% and 10% weightage respectively.

Intelligence and Personality Test

Candidates who qualify the written test undergo this test. The test is organised by the Service Selection Board (SSB).  In this test, candidates for the Army/Navy wings of the NDA and 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme of Indian Naval Academy will be assessed on Officers Potentiality. Whereas, Air Force candidates will be assessed on Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS), Pilot Aptitude Test (which forms the entire PAB Test), and Officers Potentiality.

The test is further divided into two stages. Candidates who clear stage I are eligible to appear for stage II.

  • Stage I

It comprises of Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests and Picture Perception Description Test (PP&DT). The candidates will be shortlisted based on the combination of performance in OIR Test and PP&DT.

  • Stage II

It comprises of Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests, and the Conference. These tests are conducted over 4 days.

So to become an officer in the Indian Armed forces, you have to:

  • Qualify the NDA Entrance test
  • Crack the SSB interview
  • Get through the Medical Board

UPSC NDA Preparation Tips 2017

As you are eligible for this exam right after 12th, the earlier you start, the better will be your preparation.

So once you have decided to join the Indian Armed Forces, start preparing.

Follow the given NDA preparation tips:

  • Read NCERT books to clear your basics.
  • Prepare for Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry from 12th standard books.
  • Make a quick revision sheet to remember the maths tricks and formulae.
  • Focus on your speed. Do a lot of written practice to check how much questions are you able to attempt in a specified time.
  • Read the monthly magazine to enhance your GK. Also, read newspapers and watch the news on a regular basis. The candidates must be well aware of the events that took place, at least five years ago.
  • For English section focus on reading comprehension, basic grammar, and vocabulary.
  • Go through previous year papers to understand the exam format.
  • The candidates can also study from the books specified for NDA preparation to prepare themselves for the exam.

Make sure that before you start you have the right plan. Half of your preparation woes will be gone if you build the right strategy.

Best UPSC NDA Preparation Books

Below I have mentioned some of the best NDA preparation books to nail NDA 2017:

I hope this information helped you.

In case you have any doubts or suggestions feel free to share them in the comment section below.

Good Luck!  

One thought on “UPSC NDA Exam 2017: Eligibility, Syllabus, Preparation Tips & Books

  1. Really Very Nice Article
    No doubt, it is helpful.
    Best part of this article is that it covers almost all aspects of NDA exam in minimum words. I personally love all blogs related to Indian Armed Forces. This post will work as a guideline for aspirants.

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