UPSC NDA – Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts National Defence Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy Examination (NA) exam. Commonly referred to as NDA, the exam is conducted twice a year. The exam is first held in April and is referred to as NDA 1 and that held in September is defined as NDA 2. For both the exams, the unmarried 10+2 qualified candidates can apply. The best part is, that if age and other factors allow the candidates who do not make it through in UPSC NDA 1 can try their luck in the second exam.

UPSC NDA (1) 2018   UPSC NDA (2) 2018   UPSC NDA (1) 2019


The NDA entrance examination comprises a written examination. Candidates who qualify the written examination will be selected for the interview and personality test conducted by Services Selection Board (SSB) commonly known as SSB. To be selected for Defence services candidate must obtain minimum qualifying marks that are fixed by the Union Public Service Commission both in written as well as in the SSB Interview/ Personality Test.

UPSC NDA I & II Exam Dates are given below.

Events NDA 1 2018 NDA 2 2018 NDA 1 2019
The Application Form is available by 15 Jan 2018 06 Jun 2018 09 Jan 2019
Last date to submit the application form 05 Feb 2018 02 Jul 2018 04 Feb 2019
NDA exam date 22 Apr 2018 09 Sep 2018 21 Apr 2019

Exam Pattern for UPSC NDA I & II

The UPSC NDA I & II exam pattern is as follows:

  • Mode of Exam: Written Test
  • Duration of the exam: The exam shall be of duration 2 ½ hours.
  • Type of Questions: There will be Objective Type MCQ questions
  • Negative Marking: There shall be negative marking for every incorrect answer.

The distribution of questions and marks in UPSC NDA is as mentioned below:

Paper Subject Maximum Marks Number of Questions
1 Mathematics 300 120
2 General Ability Test 600 150

NDA I & II Syllabus

The syllabus as per previous year’s information is as follows:

Paper 1 – Mathematics

  1. Algebra
  2. Matrices and Determinants
  3. Trigonometry
  4. Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions
  5. Differential Calculus
  6. Integral Calculus and Differential Equations
  7. Vector Algebra
  8. Statistics and Probability

Paper 2 – General Ability Test

Part A: English: The questions in this section will consist of Grammar and usage, vocabulary, comprehension and cohesion in extended text to test the candidate’s proficiency in English.

Part B: General Knowledge

This section will broadly cover subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Geography and Current Events.
For Physics

  • Physical Properties and States of Matter
  • Mass
  • Weight
  • Volume
  • Density and Specific Gravity
  • Principle of Archimedes
  • Pressure Barometer
  • Motion of objects
  • Velocity and Acceleration
  • Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Force and Momentum
  • Parallelogram of Forces
  • Stability and Equilibrium of bodies
  • Gravitation
  • Elementary ideas of work
  • Power and Energy
  • Effects of Heat
  • Measurement of Temperature and Heat
  • Change of State and Latent Heat
  • Modes of transference of Heat
  • Sound waves and their properties
  • Simple musical instruments
  • Rectilinear propagation of Light
  • Reflection and refraction
  • Spherical mirrors and Lenses
  • Human Eye
  • Natural and Artificial Magnets
  • Properties of a Magnet
  • Earth as a Magnet
  • Static and Current Electricity
  • Conductors and Non-conductors
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Simple Electrical Circuits
  • Heating, Lighting and Magnetic effects of Current
  • Measurement of Electrical Power
  • Primary and Secondary Cells
  • Use of X-Rays
  • General Principles in the working of the following: Simple Pendulum, Simple Pulleys, Siphon, Levers, Balloon, Pumps, Hydrometer, Pressure Cooker, Thermos Flask, Gramophone, Telegraphs, Telephone, Periscope, Telescope, Microscope, Mariner’s Compass; Lightning Conductors, Safety Fuses.

For Chemistry

  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Elements
  • Mixtures and Compounds
  • Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equation
  • Law of Chemical Combination (excluding problems)
  • Properties of Air and Water
  • Preparation and Properties of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide, Oxidation and Reduction. Acids, bases and salts. Carbon— different forms
  • Fertilizers—Natural and Artificial
  • Material used in the preparation of substances like Soap, Glass, Ink, Paper, Cement, Paints, Safety Matches and Gunpowder
  • Elementary ideas about the structure of Atom
  • Atomic Equivalent and Molecular Weights
  • Valency

For General Science

  • Difference between the living and non-living
  • Basis of Life—Cells, Protoplasms and Tissues
  • Growth and Reproduction in Plants and Animals
  • Elementary knowledge of Human Body and its important organs
  • Common Epidemics, their causes and prevention
  • Food—Source of Energy for man
  • Constituents of food
  • Balanced Diet
  • The Solar System—Meteors and Comets, Eclipses. Achievements of Eminent Scientists

For History, Freedom Movement etc.

  • A broad survey of Indian History, with emphasis on Culture and Civilisation
  • Freedom Movement in India
  • Elementary study of Indian Constitution and Administration
  • Elementary knowledge of Five Year Plans of India
  • Panchayati Raj
  • Co-operatives and Community Development
  • Bhoodan, Sarvodaya, National Integration and Welfare State
  • Basic Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Forces shaping the modern world; Renaissance
  • Exploration and Discovery; War of American Independence, French Revolution, Industrial Revolution and Russian Revolution
  • Impact of Science and Technology on Society
  • Concept of one World
  • United Nations, Panchsheel, Democracy, Socialism and Communism
  • Role of India in the present world

For Geography

  • The Earth, its shape and size
  • Latitudes and Longitudes
  • Concept of time
  • International Date Line
  • Movements of Earth and their effects
  • Origin of Earth. Rocks and their classification
  • Weathering—Mechanical and Chemical, Earthquakes and Volcanoes
  • Ocean Currents and Tides Atmosphere and its composition
  • Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure, Planetary Winds, Cyclones and Anticyclones; Humidity; Condensation and Precipitation
  • Types of Climate
  • Major Natural regions of the World
  • Regional Geography of India—Climate, Natural vegetation. Mineral and Power resources; location and distribution of agricultural and Industrial activities
  • Important Sea ports and main sea, land and air routes of India
  • Main items of Imports and Exports of India

For Current Events

  • Knowledge of Important events that have happened in India in the recent years
  • Current important world events
  • Prominent personalities—both Indian and International including those connected with cultural activities and sports

How to Prepare for UPSC NDA I & II

Candidate can check the given strategy to crack the entrance examination:

Balance the Preparation: With 2 and half months left for the exam, it is necessary that the candidate should now strategise the preparation for the exam. Most of the time is is recommended to you to focus on the areas in which you have strong understanding and can easily score good marks. The distribution of questions in each section will be easy to moderate to difficult. If you have not balanced your preparation evenly, you will end up attempting the difficult question (with less probability of getting solved) than the easy ones in some other section (with more probability of getting solved). This will result in dragging your score down.

Practice Regularly: Never start a chapter or topic with the intention to just finish it. Remember this is not a school exam but an entrance examination, in which you will be competing against lakhs of student. The objective should be to clear the concepts and gain knowledge out of it. Remember even the greatest sportsperson goes out for Net practising before every match. Not because he/she does not know how to play against the other opponent but because the practising make you alert.

Study Material: It is always advised to the candidate to study from only limited resources/ guides.

Solving the Paper: Go for the questions which you find easy to solve right away. By this you will get maximum time to focus on difficult questions. This is how you will have to manage time in the exam. Within the first 30 minutes, you should categorise the questions into the following:

Category A Category B Category C
Easy Moderate Difficult
  • Solutions are clear until the end. Most of these questions would have been answered by you so far in one go
  • You have the basic idea of solving these questions, but the end solution is not clear. Attempt these questions only after finishing all the questions in category (a)
  • You do not have any idea how to solve these questions. Do not attempt such questions as shall be negative marking, which can affect your scores drastically. Just salute these questions, and let them go

Attempt memory-based questions: The questions from Indian history, geography, current affairs, and vocabulary will be memory-based (30 questions shall be from antonyms, synonyms, and fill in the blanks, which are quite easy questions in nature). These questions shall comprise of 280–300 marks of total 900 marks. In other words, approximately one-third of the paper comprises memory-based questions.

NDA I & II Cut Off Marks

The candidates need to obtain minimum qualifying marks in order to qualify the written exam. The cut off for NDA is not yet available. However, candidate can refer to previous year data and set their goals higher than the last year.

Year Minimum qualifying standard approved at the written stage (Out of 900 marks)
2017 342 (With at least 25 % marks in each Subject)
2016 288 (With at least 25 % marks in each Subject)

Frequently Asked Questions on NDA

The most frequently asked questions have been discussed below:

Q. When will the application form be available for UPSC NDA 1?
A. The officials have not yet announced any date for commencement of the application process. The application form shall be available on the day of release of notification.

Q. I will be appearing for CBSE Class 12th exam, am I eligible to apply for NDA 1?
A. Yes, the candidates who will be appearing or who have appeared of the class 12th or equivalent exam and whose result is awaited are also eligible to apply for the exam. However, the admission of such candidate will be provisional. Such candidates will have to later submit the documents in proof of qualifying the examination.

Q. Can I appear for both the NDA 1 and NDA 2 exam?
A. Yes, you can appear for both the NDA exams.

Q. What is the number of attempts for NDA exam?
A. There is no limit on number of attempts. However, the candidate must fulfill the eligibility criteria which includes the educational qualification and age limit. Despite the unlimited number of attempts, the candidate will be restricted to apply for NDA and NA on the basis of the age.

Q. Can I change my exam center for the written test or Interview?
A. The test center once allotted to the candidate will be final. The Commission or the SSB will not entertain any such requests.

Q. I have submitted the application but I just realized that I entered my category incorrect. What should I do?
A. No request for addition/alteration in the preferences already indicated by a candidate in his application will be entertained by the Commission.

Official Website:

UPSC Recruitment Defense Services

ATSE 2019 Scholarship Worth 12 Lac for Class 4 to Class 12 Apply Now!!


  1. yes the above information which u r provide is fully understandale i know the entire process of how the pattern procedure,preparation.this would help me a;ot.thank u.

  2. sir
    please answer my question also with each subject you mean
    25%in english
    25%in physics
    25%in geography

    like this

    or acorrding to the the two part of the paper
    1. maths
    2. general ability

Leave a Reply