Everything About UPSC NDA Exam (National Defence Academy) Exam from Basics – exam pattern, syllabus, job profile, career growth, number of vacancies out, starting salary, preparation strategy, best books, courses, and test series, admit card, result, previous year cut-off analysis, and duration of preparation.
|Name of Examination||UPSC NDA|
|Full-Form of NDA||National Defence Academy|
|Exam Organised Body||Union Public Service Commission|
|Salary||₹56,100 – ₹2,50,000|
|Vacancy Notification||Twice a year|
|Notification release month||December and May|
|Age Limite||16 years to 19 years|
|Selection Process||Written Examination and SSB interview|
Details of UPSC NDA Syllabus
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|⟫ All Govt Exams Notes|
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About UPSC NDA Exam
The UPSC NDA (National Defence Academy) exam is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission of India to select candidates for the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. The exam is open to unmarried male candidates who have completed their 10+2 education. The selection process involves a written exam followed by a physical fitness test, a medical examination, and a personal interview. The written exam consists of two papers – Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT) – with objective-type questions. The exam is highly competitive, with thousands of candidates appearing every year. Successful candidates undergo rigorous training at the NDA in Khadakwasla, Pune, before joining the armed forces as officers.
Number of vacancies
The number of vacancies in UPSC NDA exam can vary each year depending on the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. The vacancies are announced along with the official notification for the exam. Generally, the number of vacancies in NDA ranges from 300 to 400 in the Army, Navy, and Air Force wings of the National Defence Academy and Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) every year. For example, in NDA 1 2023, a total of 395 vacancies were announced, while in NDA 2 2022, a total of 418 vacancies were announced.
However, it is important to note that the number of vacancies is subject to change and candidates should refer to the official notification for the most accurate information.
Job Profile after Selection in UPSC NDA Exam
After successfully clearing the UPSC NDA exam, candidates join the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Khadakwasla, Pune, for a three-year training program. Upon completion of the training program, candidates are commissioned as officers in the Indian Army, Navy, or Air Force, depending on their choice and merit. The job profile of an officer in the Indian Armed Forces is multifaceted and challenging, with a range of responsibilities and duties.
As an officer, the job profile includes leading and managing a team, planning and executing missions and operations, maintaining and operating equipment, and ensuring the safety and security of the nation. Officers may also be posted to different parts of the country or abroad, based on the requirements of the service.
Overall, the job profile of an officer in the Indian Armed Forces is dynamic, rewarding, and requires a high level of dedication, courage, and commitment to serving the nation.
Posts After Selection
The UPSC NDA (National Defence Academy) exam is conducted to select candidates for the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. The following are the different posts that candidates can be commissioned into, based on their merit and choice:
- Army Officer: Candidates who choose the Army as their first choice and secure the required merit are commissioned as Army Officers.
- Navy Officer: Candidates who choose the Navy as their first choice and secure the required merit are commissioned as Navy Officers.
- Air Force Officer: Candidates who choose the Air Force as their first choice and secure the required merit are commissioned as Air Force Officers.
- General Duty Officer: Candidates who are not allotted their first choice of service but are still eligible to join the Indian Armed Forces based on their merit may be commissioned as General Duty Officers.
- Pilot Officer: Candidates who are selected for the Air Force and meet the required criteria for pilot training may be commissioned as Pilot Officers.
- Observer Officer: Candidates who are selected for the Air Force and meet the required criteria for observer training may be commissioned as Observer Officers.
It is important to note that the commissioning of candidates into different posts is based on their merit and choice. The exact number of vacancies for each post can vary each year based on the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
Quality at Affordable Prices
Here are the approximate starting salaries of different posts in the Indian Armed Forces after selection through the UPSC NDA exam, as per the 7th Pay Commission:
- Army Officer:
- Lieutenant: Rs. 56,100 – Rs. 1,77,500
- Captain: Rs. 61,300 – Rs. 1,93,900
- Major: Rs. 69,400 – Rs. 2,07,200
- Lieutenant Colonel: Rs. 1,21,200 – Rs. 2,12,400
- Colonel: Rs. 1,30,600 – Rs. 2,15,900
- Brigadier: Rs. 1,39,600 – Rs. 2,17,600
- Major General: Rs. 1,44,200 – Rs. 2,18,200
- Lieutenant General: Rs. 1,82,200 – Rs. 2,24,100
- General: Rs. 2,25,000 (fixed)
2. Navy Officer:
- Sub Lieutenant: Rs. 56,100 – Rs. 1,77,500
- Lieutenant: Rs. 61,300 – Rs. 1,93,900
- Lieutenant Commander: Rs. 69,400 – Rs. 2,07,200
- Commander: Rs. 1,21,200 – Rs. 2,12,400
- Captain: Rs. 1,30,600 – Rs. 2,15,900
- Commodore: Rs. 1,39,600 – Rs. 2,17,600
- Rear Admiral: Rs. 1,44,200 – Rs. 2,18,200
- Vice Admiral: Rs. 1,82,200 – Rs. 2,24,100
- Admiral: Rs. 2,25,000 (fixed)
3. Air Force Officer:
- Flying Officer: Rs. 56,100 – Rs. 1,77,500
- Flight Lieutenant: Rs. 61,300 – Rs. 1,93,900
- Squadron Leader: Rs. 69,400 – Rs. 2,07,200
- Wing Commander: Rs. 1,21,200 – Rs. 2,12,400
- Group Captain: Rs. 1,30,600 – Rs. 2,15,900
- Air Commodore: Rs. 1,39,600 – Rs. 2,17,600
- Air Vice Marshal: Rs. 1,44,200 – Rs. 2,18,200
- Air Marshal: Rs. 1,82,200 – Rs. 2,24,100
- Air Chief Marshal: Rs. 2,50,000 (fixed)
It should be noted that the above figures are only approximate and subject to change based on various factors such as place of posting, allowances, promotions, and other benefits. Candidates are advised to refer to the official notification for the most accurate information.
The UPSC NDA exam is a gateway to join the Indian Armed Forces as an officer in the Army, Navy, or Air Force. The career growth of officers in the armed forces is based on various factors such as seniority, performance, and experience. Here’s a brief overview of the career growth opportunities for officers in different posts of the Indian Armed Forces:
- Army Officer:
- Lieutenant: After successful completion of training, a Lieutenant can serve for 3-4 years as a Platoon Commander before being promoted to the rank of Captain.
- Captain: A Captain can serve as a Company Commander, which involves leading a company of around 120 soldiers, for 3-4 years before being promoted to the rank of Major.
- Major: A Major can serve as a Battalion second-in-command or Adjutant for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
- Lieutenant Colonel: A Lieutenant Colonel can command a Battalion, which comprises around 800-1000 soldiers, for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Colonel.
- Colonel: A Colonel can serve as a Brigade Commander, which involves commanding a brigade of around 3000 soldiers, for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Brigadier.
- Brigadier: A Brigadier can serve as a Division Commander for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Major General.
- Major General: A Major General can serve as a Corps Commander for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General.
- Lieutenant General: A Lieutenant General can serve as an Army Commander for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of General.
- General: The Chief of Army Staff is the highest-ranking officer in the Indian Army.
2. Navy Officer:
- Sub Lieutenant: After successful completion of training, a Sub Lieutenant can serve as a Divisional Officer for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
- Lieutenant: A Lieutenant can serve as an Executive Officer of a ship or as a Squadron Operations Officer for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
- Lieutenant Commander: A Lieutenant Commander can serve as a Commanding Officer of a small ship or as a Staff Officer at Headquarters for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Commander.
- Commander: A Commander can serve as a Commanding Officer of a larger ship or as a Staff Officer at Headquarters for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Captain.
- Captain: A Captain can serve as a Fleet Commander or as a Flag Officer for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Commodore.
- Commodore: A Commodore can serve as a Naval Officer-in-Charge or as a Staff Officer at Naval Headquarters for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral.
- Rear Admiral: A Rear Admiral can serve as a Flag Officer Commanding a Naval Area or as a Flag Officer at Naval Headquarters for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral.
- Vice Admiral: A Vice Admiral can serve as the Chief of Personnel, the Chief of Materiel, or as a Fleet Commander for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Admiral.
- Admiral: The Chief of Naval Staff is the highest-ranking officer in the Indian Navy.
3. Air Force Officer:
- Flying Officer: After successful completion of training, a Flying Officer can serve as a pilot for 2-3 years before being promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
- Flight Lieutenant: A Flight Lieutenant can serve as a Squadron Pilot or as a Ground
Selection Process For UPSC NDA Examination
The selection process for the UPSC NDA examination is a two-stage process, which includes a written examination followed by an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).
Here are the details of the selection process:
- Written Examination:
The written examination is conducted by the UPSC and consists of two papers: Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT).
The Mathematics paper is of 300 marks and consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) based on topics such as algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and calculus.
b. General Ability Test (GAT):
The GAT paper is of 600 marks and consists of MCQs based on topics such as English, general knowledge, physics, chemistry, history, geography, and current affairs.
2. SSB Interview:
Candidates who clear the written examination are called for the SSB interview, which is conducted over a period of five days and consists of various tests to assess the candidate’s personality, leadership skills, and suitability for a career in the armed forces. The tests include:
a. Screening Test:
The screening test consists of a verbal and non-verbal intelligence test and is used to shortlist candidates for the next stage of the interview process.
b. Psychological Test:
The psychological test consists of various written tests designed to assess the candidate’s personality traits, such as problem-solving ability, social adaptability, and emotional stability.
c. Group Testing Officer (GTO) Test:
The GTO test consists of various group tasks, such as group discussion, group planning, and outdoor group tasks, which are designed to assess the candidate’s leadership qualities and ability to work in a team.
d. Personal Interview:
The personal interview is conducted by an interviewing officer to assess the candidate’s knowledge, communication skills, and suitability for a career in the armed forces.
e. Medical Examination:
Candidates who clear the SSB interview are required to undergo a medical examination to ensure that they are medically fit to join the armed forces.
Based on the candidate’s performance in the written examination and SSB interview, a final merit list is prepared, and successful candidates are offered admission to the National Defence Academy (NDA) for a three-year training programme.
Preparing for the UPSC NDA exam requires a well-planned strategy and consistent efforts.
Here are some tips for preparing for the UPSC NDA exam:
- Understand the Exam Pattern and Syllabus:
The first step to preparing for any exam is to understand its pattern and syllabus. The UPSC NDA exam consists of two papers: Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). Candidates must have a thorough understanding of the syllabus and exam pattern to prepare effectively.
- Make a Study Plan:
Make a study plan that is practical and achievable. Allocate sufficient time to each subject and topic, keeping in mind your strengths and weaknesses. Set realistic goals and stick to the schedule.
- Focus on the Basics:
Focus on building a strong foundation in the basics of mathematics and other subjects. Understand the concepts and practice problems of varying difficulty levels.
- Solve Previous Year Question Papers:
Solving previous year question papers is a crucial part of the preparation process. It helps in understanding the exam pattern, types of questions, and time management.
- Practice Time Management:
Time management is crucial for any competitive exam. Candidates must learn to manage their time effectively while solving questions. Practice solving problems within the given time limit.
- Take Mock Tests:
Taking mock tests helps in evaluating your preparation level and identifying areas of improvement. It also helps in building confidence and reducing exam stress.
- Improve General Knowledge:
The GAT paper includes questions on general knowledge, current affairs, and social studies. Candidates must stay updated with the latest news and events to score well in this section.
- Stay Healthy and Positive:
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet. Stay motivated and focused on your goal.
Remember, consistent efforts and dedication are key to cracking the UPSC NDA exam. With proper planning and execution, success is achievable.
Best Book for Preparation
Here is a list of some of the best books for UPSC NDA preparation in India:
- Pathfinder for NDA & NA Entrance Examination by Arihant Publications
- Mathematics for NDA and NA by RS Aggarwal
- NDA Entrance Exam by UPKAR Publications
- Objective General English by RS Aggarwal
- Objective General Knowledge by Lucent Publications
- Manorama Yearbook by Mammen Mathew
- NCERT books (class 9th to 12th) for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Political Science, and Economics.
These books cover the entire syllabus of the UPSC NDA exam and provide in-depth knowledge of the subjects. It is recommended to refer to these books while preparing for the exam. Candidates must also practice solving previous year question papers and take mock tests to assess their preparation level.
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Duration of Preparation
The duration of preparation for the UPSC NDA exam can vary depending on several factors such as the candidate’s prior knowledge, study habits, dedication, and consistency. However, on average, it is recommended to prepare for the exam for at least 6-8 months.
Candidates must cover the entire syllabus, revise thoroughly, and practice solving the previous year’s question papers. It is also important to take care of one’s health and maintain a positive attitude throughout the preparation period.
While some candidates may require more or less time than the average duration, it is recommended to start preparing well in advance to avoid last-minute stress and anxiety.
FAQ – UPSC NDA Exams
How to prepare for the UPSC NDA exam without coaching?
Preparing for the UPSC NDA exam without coaching can be challenging but not impossible.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for the exam without coaching:
Understand the exam pattern and syllabus thoroughly. This will help you to focus on the important topics and allocate your time and effort accordingly.
Refer to standard textbooks and study materials available online or in the market. Make sure to cover the entire syllabus, revise thoroughly and practice solving previous year question papers.
Join online study groups or forums to interact with other aspirants and clarify your doubts.
Take mock tests regularly to assess your preparation level and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Stay disciplined and consistent in your preparation and avoid distractions.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep.
Stay motivated and have a positive attitude towards your preparation.
Remember, self-study requires discipline, dedication, and hard work. If you remain focused and consistent, you can succeed in cracking the UPSC NDA exam without coaching.