Defence Exams in India

The NDA exam is conducted by upsc  for admission to the Army, Navy  and Air Force wings of the NDA. This exam is a gateway for candidates looking forward to joining Defence Forces including  Army, Navy and Air Force. This is a national level exam conducted twice a year, NDA I and NDA II to help candidates make a career in Defence services. National Defence Academy & Naval Academy Examination will be a two-step process where candidates first need to take the exam and then qualify the SSB interview conducted by the service selection Board.


National Defence Academy and Naval Academy (NDA & NA) exam is held twice in a year for the students appearing in the 12th board exam or have completed the intermediate level. An offline exam is conducted followed by an SSB interview; after successfully clearing these two stages the candidates undergo a three-year course in NDA, Khadakwasala.

NDA Eligibility Criteria


To apply for NDA, candidates must be

  • A citizen of India or
  • A subject of Nepal or
  • A subject of Bhutan or
  • A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India or
  • A person originally Indian 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
  • Provided that a candidate belonging to categories 2, 3, 4, and 5 must be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Indian government. A certificate of eligibility is not required for Gorkha candidates from Nepal.
Age Limit

The age limit of candidates should be as given below:

  • The commission will accept the date of birth that is entered into Class 10 or 12 certificates
  • Candidates need to submit these certificates after the declaration of the result of the written exam
Educational Qualification
The educational qualification prescribed for admission to the Different academies are given below.
The Army wing of NDA Passed Class 12 or equivalent examination from a recognized board
The Air Force and Naval wings of NDA and 10+2 Cadet entry scheme at INA< Passed Class 12 or equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics
Important note
  • Candidates who are appearing in Class 12 or equivalent examination can apply
  • Candidates appearing in Class 11 exam are not eligible
Marital Status

Only unmarried male and female candidates can apply for the exam. Candidates should not marry until they complete their training. Candidates who marry during the training will be discharged and have to refund all expenditure spend on them by the government.

Physical Standards

Candidates must be physically fit according to the physical standards for the NDA exam.

Height & Weight for Army and Air Force

The minimum height prescribed is 157 cms (For Air Force it is 162.5 cms). Certain exceptions are applicable for candidates based on the region from where they belong.

H Height (cm)
Weight in Kg
16-17 years 17-18 years 18-19 years
152 42.5 44.0 45.0
155 43.5 45.3 47.0
157 45.0 47.0 48.0
160 46.0 48.0 49.0
162 48.0 50.0 51.0
165 50.0 52.0 53.0
167 51.0 53.0 54.0
170 52.5 55.0 56.0
173 54.5 57.0 58.0
175 56.0 59.0 60.0
178 58.0 61.0 62.0
180 60.0 63.0 64.5
183 62.5 65.0 66.5

For Gorkhas and candidates belonging to hills of North-Eastern areas of India, Garhwal, and Kumaon, the minimum height will be 5 cms less than the figure mentioned above. For candidates belonging to Lakshadweep, the minimum height standard is reduced by 2 cms.

Height and Weight requirements for Navy

H Height (cm) Weight in Kg
16 years 18 years 20 years
152 44 45 46
155 45 46 47
157 46 47 49
160 47 48 50
162 48 50 52
165 50 52 53
167 52 53 55
170 53 55 57
173 55 57 59
175 57 59 61
178 59 61 62
180 61 63 64
183 63 65 67

Candidates who wish to be pilot need to fulfil the following requirements.

  • Leg Length: The minimum of 99 cms and maximum of 120 cms
  • Thigh Length: Maximum of 64 cms
  • Sitting Height: The minimum of 81.50 cms and maximum is 96 cms

Visual Standards

  • 1. The distance vision (corrected) of candidates should be 6/6 in the better eye and 6/9 in the worse eye
  • 2. Myopia should not be more than 2.5 D
  • 3. Hyper metropia not more than 3.5 D including astigmatism
  • 4. Air Force candidates must not wear spectacles

Candidates can check below the visual standards for Navy and Air Force



Air Force

Uncorrected without glass 6/6 6/6, 6/9
Corrected with glass 6/6 6/6 (only for Hypermetropia)
Limits of Myopia -0.75 Nil
Limits of Hypermetropia +1.5 +2.00 D Sph
Limits of Colour Perception I Nil
Binocular Vision III Nil
Manifest Myopia N.A. Nil Re
Tinoscopic Myopia N.A. 0.5
Colour Vision N.A. CP-I (MLT)
Astigmatism N.A. +0.75 Cyl (within + 2.0 D.Max)
Near Vision N.A. N-5 each eye


Candidates must not suffer from any of the following minor conditions:

  • Wax (Ears)
  • Deviated Nasal Septum
  • Hydrocele / Phimosis
  • Condition of Overweight / Underweight
  • Under Sized Chest
  • Piles
  • Tonsillitis
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Varicocele
      Guidelines regarding Tattoos
  • Candidates must ensure that any permanent body tattoos should be present only on their inner side of forearm
  • Under no circumstances, UPSC accepts tattoos on the inside of the elbow to the wrist and on the reverse side of palm/back (dorsal) side of the hand
  • Permanent body tattoos on any other part of the body are also not acceptable
  • In case a candidate belongs to a tribe where it is customary to have tattoo, acceptance will be granted considering the traditions involved
     Spinal Conditions

Candidates must not have the following diseases:

  • Granulomatous disease of spine
  • Spondylolisthesis/spondylolysis
  • Compression fracture of vertebrae
  • SC Heuerman’s disease (Adolescent kyphosis)
  • Loss of cervical lordosis when associated with clinically restricted movements of cervical spine
  • Unilateral / Bilateral cervical ribs with demon stable neurological or circulatory deficit
  • Scoliosis more than 15 degree as measured by Cobb’s method
  • Degenerative Disc. disease
  • Presence of Schmorl’s nodes at more than one level
  • Atlanto-occipital and atlantoaxial anomalies
  • Arthritis/spondylosis (Rheumatoid arthritis and allied disorders / Ankylosing spondylitis/ Osteoarthrosis, spondylosis and degenerative joint disease / Non-articular rheumatism (e.g. lesions of the rotator cuff, tennis elbow, recurrent lumbago etc.) & Miscellaneous disorders including SLE, polymyositis, vasculitis
  • Hemi vertebrae and/or incomplete block (fused) vertebrae at any level in cervical, dorsal or lumbar spine and complete block (fused) vertebrae at more than one level in cervical or dorsal spine
  • Unilateral Sacralisation or lumbarisation (Complete or incomplete) at all levels and bilateral incomplete sacralisation or lumbarisation
  • Any other abnormality if so considered by the specialist
     X-Ray Exam

Any of the following conditions will disqualify the candidature of candidates:

  • Granulomatous disease of spine
  • Arthritis / spondylosis
  • Scoliosis more than 15 degree as measured by Cobb’s Method (10 degree for Army and Navy)
  • More than mild Kyphosis/Lordosis
  • Spondylolisthesis / Spondylosis / Spondylolysis
  • Herniated nucleus pulposes
  • Compression fracture of Vertebra
  • Sacralisation Disease
  • Cervical ribs with demonstrable neurological or Circulatory deficit
  • Presence of Schmorl’s node at more than one level
  • Atlanto-occipital and atlanto-axial anomalies
  • Incomplete Sacralisation Unilateral or Bilateral
  • Spina Bifida other than SV 1 and LV 5 if completely Sacralised
  • Any other abnormality, if so considered by specialist
     Other medical conditions
  • There should not be any symptoms of the weak constitution or bodily defects
  • Candidates must have a well-developed chest
  • The function of the bones or joints should be good
  • No history of medical breakdown or fits
  • Candidates must have normal hearing capabilities
  • No impediment of speech
  • Normal blood pressure with no signs of heart disease or blood vessel disease
  • No liver or spleen enlargement
  • No abnormalities in urine
  • No skin diseases
  • No abnormalities in USG abdomen examination
  • A sufficient number of natural and sound teeth
  • Routine ECG for Air Force candidates must fall within normal limits

     UPSC NDA Exam Centres

Candidates can check the list of NDA examination centres from the table below:

NDA examination centres in india
Agartala Jorhat Ahmedabad Kochi Aizawl Kohima
Prayagraj (Allahabad) Kolkata Bengaluru Lucknow Bareilly Madurai
Bhopal Mumbai Chandigarh Nagpur Chennai Panaji (Goa)
Cuttack Patna Dehradun Port Blair Delhi Raipur
Dharwad Ranchi Dispur Sambalpur Gangtok Shillong
Hyderabad Shimla Imphal Srinagar Itanagar Thiruvananthapuram
Jaipur Tirupati Jammu Vishakhapatnam. Udaipur

NDA Exam Pattern for SSB Interview

After clearing the written exam of NDA, candidates have to appear for the SSB Interview rounds. The pattern of NDA Interview is as mentioned below:

NDA – SSB Interview Pattern
Stage 1 Screening Test Verbal and non-verbal tests.


Stage 2 Psychological Test Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Word Association Test (WAT)

Situation Reaction Test (SRT)

Self Description Test (SD)

Group Testing Officers Test GD, GPE, PGT, HGT, IOT

Command Task

Snake race/Group Obstacle Race

Individual lecture


Personal Interview & conference

Intelligence and Personality Test

The SSB procedure consists of two stages. Only those candidates who clear written exam are permitted to appear for SSB round. The details o SSB exam is given below:

NDA SSB Personality Test
Stage I Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR)

Picture Perception Description Test (PP&DT).

Stage II Interview (IO)

Group Testing Officer Tasks (GTO)

Psychology Tests (Psych)



The various tests of IO, GTO, and Psychological are designed to bring out the presence/absence of Officer Like Qualities and their trainability in a candidate. Accordingly, candidates are Recommended or Not Recommended at the SSB.

NDA Eligibility Criteria  FAQs

Ques. Can women candidates apply for NDA?

Ans. Yes, as per Supreme Court’s order, women candidates can apply for the NDA exam. Earlier, the women candidates were not allowed to appear for the exam. Women candidates will be granted permanent commission in the armed forces.

Ques. What is the minimum educational qualification required to apply for NDA exam?

Ans. Candidates applying for NDA exam must have passed or are appearing in the Class 12 exam. Candidates cannot apply for the exam after Class 11.

Ques. What is the age limit to apply for the NDA 1 exam?

Ans. For NDA 1 exam, candidates must have been born not earlier than July 2, 2003, and not later than July 1, 2006.

Ques. Is there any limit in the number of attempts in NDA exam?

Ans. No, there is no limit in the number of attempts in NDA exam. Candidates within the prescribed age limit can apply for the exam

Ques. Is Mathematics required to apply for NDA exam?

Ans. Yes, candidates applying for Air Force and Naval wings of NDA and 10+2 cadet entry scheme at INA should study Mathematics in Class 12.

Ques. Is there any minimum percentage required in Class 12 to apply for NDA exam?

Ans. No, there is no minimum percentage in Class 12 for applying to NDA exam.

Ques. What are the physical standards required for the NDA exam?

Ans. Candidates appearing in the NDA exam should be physically fit. Physical fitness is measured in terms of eyesight, height, weight, etc.

Ques. Is there any age relaxation for reserved category candidates in NDA exam?

Ans. Yes, relaxation in the age limit is provided in NDA exam to candidates belonging to reserved categories as per government rule.

Ques. I am Class 11, can I apply for NDA exam?

Ans. No, you are not eligible to appear in NDA exam. Candidates who have appeared or are appearing in Class 12 are eligible to apply for the NDA exam.

Ques. I am appearing in Class 12. Can I apply for the exam?

Ans. Yes, you can apply for NDA exam provisionally. However, you are required to provide a pass certificate of Class 12 at the time of admission.

Ques. How can I fill NDA application form?

Ans. NDA application form needs to be filled online only. The application fees can be paid both online and offline.

Ques. What is NDA eligibility criteria for women?

Ans. According to NDA eligibility criteria for female, candidates who have passed or are appearing in Class 12 can apply for the exam.

Ques. What is NDA age limit for girls?

Ans. NDA age limit for girls is between 16 and 19 years.