National Defence Academy(NDA) Exam, Eligibility, Pattern, Cut-off

National Defence Academy(NDA) Exam, Eligibility, Pattern, Cut-off

What is National Defence Academy(NDA)?

NDA(National Defence Academy) is a premier institute or training centre that trains young boys to become officers in the INDIAN DEFENCE FORCES.NDA examination is conducted by UPSC twice a year (usually in April & September).Candidates who have passed class 12th or are appearing in class 12th can fill forms & give the examination.

Eligibility Criteria For NDA Exam

Candidates seeking for applying in the NDA exam should check the eligibility criteria carefully. Below we are providing the eligibility criteria for UPSC NDA exam:

  • A candidate must be a citizen of India or a subject of Nepal or Bhutan.
  • Tibetan refugee who come over to India before 1st January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India.
  • Person of Indian origin who has migrated from Burma, Pakistan, 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.
Age Limit:
  • For NDA I, candidates must have born between 2nd July 2000 to 1st July 2003.
  • For NDA II, candidates should have born between 2nd January 2001 to 1st January 2004.
Gender & Marital Status:
  • Unmarried male candidates are eligible to apply for NDA.
  • Candidates must undertake not to marry until they finish their complete training.
Qualification Criteria:
  • For Army Wing of NDA: Candidates should have qualified 10+2 or equivalent examination from any recognized board.
  • For Air Force & Naval of NDA and 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme at the Indian Naval Academy: Candidates must have passed 10+2 or equivalent exam with physics and mathematics subjects.
  • Candidates appearing in the qualifying exam are also eligible to apply.
Physical Standards:
  • Candidates have to be physically fit as per the physical standards notified by the officials.
  • Candidate who has resigned/withdrawn on disciplinary grounds from any of the training academies of Armed Forces will not be eligible to apply.

NDA Exam Pattern 2019:-

Exam Mode and Medium Offline (Pen Paper Based) in English and Hindi
Number of sections 2
Question Paper Type Objective or MCQ
Total Number of Questions 270 Questions (120 from Mathematics and 150 from General Ability Test)
NDA 2019 Total Marks for Entrance Test 900 Marks (300 Marks for Mathematics and 600 Marks for General Ability Test)
Exam duration 2.30 hours (Each Section)
  • All the questions in the exam will be objective i.e., Multiple Choice Questions will be asked.
  • The medium of the exam will be bilingual with total 900 marks.
  • Out of 270 questions, 120 questions are from Mathematics and 150 questions from General Ability section.
  • There is provision of negative marking as per the marks allotted to questions asked.
  • The syllabus covered under NDA 2019 is of CBSE 10+2 standards.

NDA Exam Pattern for Mathematics and General Ability Test

NDA 2019 was conducted in offline mode and all the questions was of MCQ type. The exam is held in both English and Hindi language. Candidates are asked to attempt two sections- Mathematics and General Ability Test.

Other details related to exam pattern from both the sections have been tabulated below:

Subject Paper Total No of Questions Duration of Exam Maximum Marks
Mathematics 1 120 2 ½ Hours 300
General Ability Test 2 150 2 ½ Hours 600
Total 270 900

After qualifying the NDA 2019 entrance test, all candidates have to appear for NDA Interview. Details are as below:

Second Round Duration Maximum Marks
SSB Interview 4-5 days 900

NDA 2019 Marking Scheme

NDA consists of two sections- Mathematics and General ability test.

  • In Mathematics section, there will be total 120 questions of 300 marks.
  • All questions will carry 2.5 marks each, which will only be allotted for choosing the correct answer. 0.83 Marks will be deducted for each incorrect answer.
  • General ability test will comprise 600 marks; 200 marks are allotted to English and 400 marks in total are allotted to General Knowledge.
  • In this section, there will be total 150 questions, 50 from English and 100 from General Knowledge.
  • Candidates will be awarded 4 marks for each correct answer in this section.
  • A deduction of 1.33 Marks will be there for each wrong answer. There will be no mark for unanswered questions.

NDA Cut-off 2019

NDA 2019 Cut off is the minimum qualifying marks prescribed by the authority to clear entrance test of NDA 2019. The cut off will be released through online mode on the official website of UPSC. It is important for the candidates to score minimum cut off marks to be eligible for the interview round.

The cut off marks for both the rounds will be prescribed different by the authority. The cut off marks are decided on the basis of various factors. These factors are mentioned below:

  • Total number of vacancies
  • Number of candidates appeared for the exam
  • Difficulty level of examination
  • Level of competition

Previous Years NDA Cut-off:-

NDA 1 Cut off 2018 Vs 2017

Compared to 2017, NDA 1 cut off 2018 for the written exam has decreased. NDA 1 2018 cut off for written exam is 338 while in 2017 it was 342. Similarly, the final cut off has also dipped in 2018 compared to 2017. The final cut off for 2018 is 705 while it was 708 in 2017.

NDA 2 Cut off 2017 Vs 2016

NDA 2 cut off in the year 2017 for written exam was 258 while it was 229 in 2016. This means, the cut off in the year 2017 has increased by 29 marks compared in 2016. The final cut off for the year 2017 was high with 624 marks while it was 602 marks in 2016.

Previous years’ NDA Cut off for Written Exam


NDA 1 cut off

NDA 2 cut off


338 (With at least 25 % marks in each subject)


342 (With 25 % in each subject)

258 (With 25% in each subject)


288 (With 25 % in each subject)

229 (With at least 20% marks in each subject)


306 (With at least 30% marks in each Subject)

269 (With 25% in each subject)

Previous Years’ NDA Cut off for Final selection out of 1800


NDA 1 cut off

NDA 2 cut off













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