Academy for the bravehearts

NDA 2020 exam is going to be held by UPSC to select candidates for admission to training academies of the Indian Military, Navy and Air Force.

Academy for the bravehearts

Gauri Chhabra

NDA 2020 exam is going to be held by UPSC to select candidates for admission to training academies of the Indian Military, Navy and Air Force. The exam is conducted twice a year; the next year’s dates are:  April 19, 2020 and September 6, 2020. To be eligible for selection, you will have to qualify the written exam and interview following it. The last date of filing  your application is January 8, 2020 (April exam) and June 10, 2020 (September exam). 

Educational Qualification

For Air Force and Naval Wings (Cadet Entry Scheme): Applying candidates must have passed their Class X or XII exams from a recognised board or university with the main subjects of physics and mathematics. For Army Wing of National Defence Academy: Candidates must have passed their Class X and XII from a recognised board or university.

Physical Eligibility

As per the physical standards set by the commission for admission into Naval Academy Examination and National Defence Academy, applying candidates must be physically fit.

Exam pattern

Stage 1  — Written Test

There would be two papers having objective type questions carrying 900 marks. These are of 2 hours 30 min duration. The former will be based on mathematical ability and the latter will be based on General Aptitude. (Mathematics — 300; General Ability test — 600). 

33 per cent of the marks assigned to a question will be deducted for every incorrect answer.


The exam will contain various topics from mathematics, English and General Knowledge. In mathematics, you will be tested on Matrices and Determinants, Algebra, Analytical Geometry of two and three Dimensions, Trigonometry, Integral calculus, and Differential Equations, Differential Calculus, Statistics, Probability, and Vector Algebra. 

The question paper of English will be designed for testing the candidate’s understanding of English and use of words. 

The syllabus covers various aspects like Vocabulary, comprehension, Grammar and usage and cohesion in extended text to test the candidate's proficiency in English. Besides, it would test your General Knowledge on physics, chemistry, general science, social studies, geography and current events.

Stage II — Interview

The results of the written part can be declared three months from the date of examination. Candidates who are successful in qualifying the written test with the minimum qualifying marks will be considered eligible for SSB Interview round. The overall and sectional cut off marks will be published by the board after the declaration of results. Candidates must qualify for the written test in order to become eligible for further admission process.

SSB Interview is of 900 marks.

You will go through psychological tests which will include - Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT), Intelligence test and filling up of Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) forms.

The second day of the SSB interview will include the tests related to: Word Association test, situation reaction test, thematic apperception test, and self-description test.

The third day of the interview will be related to Group Discussion Test, Military Planning Exercise, Lecturettes, Intergroup Obstacle race or Snake race, Progressive Group Task, half group task, command task and personal interview for some candidates by the President. The fourth and fifth days will include tests related to Individual Obstacles, Final Group Task, Interview for remaining candidates, final board conference and announcement of results.


All the "recommended" candidates i.e. the people who are selected by the SSB are made to undergo medical testing to check for their physical fitness to become officers in their choice of service namely Army, Navy or Air Force.

Merit List

Having qualified the SSB and cleared the medicals is still no guarantee for success. A merit list is created of all such candidates and it is based on the marks scored in the written examination as well the in the SSB. Candidates higher in merit receive call letters to finally join NDA. After the written test of NDA 2020, candidates qualifying the exam successfully as per the prescribed qualifying marks will be called for the SSB interview round. The SSB interview will be conducted in various rounds in five days and all the selected candidates have to appear in all the rounds. 

NDA 2020- Highlights

  • The filling and submission of the application form can only be done in online mode.
  • Candidates having problems with the online application submission can contact the facilitation counter.
  • In case you submit multiple applications, you must make sure the application submitted later is complete in all respect as the application with the highest RID will only be considered.
  • Discrepancies in the admit card can make it invalid, and therefore, these must be corrected by communicating with the Commission.
  • Those who have resigned or withdrawn on disciplinary grounds from any of the training academies of Armed Forces are  not eligible to apply.
  • Candidates appearing for SSB interview for the first time for a particular type of Commission will be offered traveling allowance.

Sample Questions (previous year test papers)

(NDA-1, 2019)- Maths

1)A relation R is defined on the set N of natural as xRy = x2- 4xy + 3y = 0. Then which one of the following is correct? 

(a)R is reflexive and symmetric, but not transitive 

(b) R is reflexive and symmetric, but not symmetric.

(c) R is reflexive, symmetric and transitive 

(d)Ris reflexive, but neither symmetric nor transitive 

2) In a school, all the students play at least one of the three indoor games - chess, carrom and table tennis. 60 play chess, 50 play table tennis, 48 play carrom, 12 play chess and carrom, 15 play carrom and table tennis, 20 play table tennis and chess. What can be the minimum number of students in the school?

a) 123 b) 111 c) 95 d) 63

3)What can be the maximum number of students in the school? a) 111 b) 123 c) 125 d) 135

NDA- II General Ability Test, 2019:

Each item in this section has a sentence with three underlined parts labeled (a), (b) and (c). Read each sentence to find out whether there is an error in any underlined part and indicate your response in the Answer Sheet against the corresponding letter i.e., (a) or (b) or (c). If you find no error, your response should be indicated as (d). 

1. Opening his letters(a), reading them carefully and sending for his clerk(b), he dictated answers with them(c). No error. (d)

Therefore, in case you wish to serve the country by getting into the coveted  Army, Navy or the Air Force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA), gear up for the examination in 2020.


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