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NDA Selection Process 2021 - Written Exam & SSB Interview

Updated On -

Feb 11, 2021

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Sudeshna Bhar

Exams Prepmaster

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts National Defence Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy (NA) to recruit candidates for Army, Navy, and Air Force wings. The exam is conducted twice a year. The NDA selection process is of two stages - a written exam and SSB Interview.

The NDA I written exam will be conducted on April 18, 2021, for 400 vacancies. Candidates successfully qualifying the written test would be shortlisted for SSB Interview. The SSB Interview is expected to be scheduled for the month of May 2021.

NDA Selection Process

NDA 2021 Selection Process Stages

The selection process of NDA 2021 involves the following stages:

  • Written Exam
  • SSB Interview
NDA Written Exam

NDA Selection Process: Written Exam

Candidates who will complete the application process completely will be able to attend the written exam. The NDA admit card for the written exam will be released on the official website. Here are the key points of the written exam:

  • The written examination is the first stage of the selection of candidates.
  • NDA 2021 is a 900 marks test further divided into two sections - Mathematics and General Ability Test.
  • The duration of the exam is 180 minutes comprising objective type questions.
  • Minimum qualifying marks are decided by the commission for participating in the selection process.
  • Qualifying candidates have to sit for the interview consisting of Psychological Aptitude Test and Intelligence or Personality test. Check NDA syllabus and exam pattern
NDA Interview

NDA Selection Process: SSB Interview

Candidates who will secure the cutoff of the written exam will be invited for the SSB interview round. Candidates in SSB Interview are assessed on Officers Officers Potentiality. Candidates who apply for Air Force need to qualify Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS).

  • The SSB Interview round comprises two separate tests – Psychological Aptitude Test and Intelligence Test.
  • The qualifying candidates have to be put to the stage for tests on the first day of reporting at Selection Centres.
  • Only those candidates who qualify at stage 1 will be called for the remaining tests.

Day-wise SSB Interview

Here is a table on day-wise events of SSB Interview:

Days Events
Day 1 Picture Perception* test and Description Test
Day 2 Psychology Tests
Day 3 Group Testing Officer’s Task
Day 4 Interview
Day 5 Conference

Note: Besides, candidates with the first choice for the Air Force, and all the SSB qualified candidates with one choice as Air Force, should separately qualify the PABT (Pilot Aptitude Test) and Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS), if fulfill the eligibility for Air Force.

NDA Final Selection

NDA Selection Process: Final Selection

  • To be accepted forArmy/Navy/Naval Academy and Air Force under NDA recruitment, candidates need to secure NDA cutoff marks separately in the written exam and SSB Interview.
  • For Air Force, candidates should separately qualify for the Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS).
  • Final selection for respective academies will be done as per vacancies subjected to their NDA eligibility, medical fitness, and merit-cum-preference of candidates.

Required Documents for NDA Selection Process

The candidates selected for the interview are required to carry and later on submit the following documents to the academy for verification. Candidates claiming admission under reserved categories should carry the relevant documents.

All the documents should be carried in original as well as photostat copies. Failure to carry any of the necessary documents could lead to the disqualification of the candidate.

  • Original 10+2 or Class 12th passing certificate or equivalent in support of educational qualification.
  • Certificate of Eligibility for a certain category of students.
  • Category or Cast certificate applicable to SC, ST, OBC, etc.
  • Identity and Address Proof(Aadhar Card/ Voter ID/ Passport/ Nivaas Pramaan Patra (Address Proof))

What after NDA Final Selection?

After passing the training, NDA training begins on the very first day of the academic year. The selected candidates for the three services viz, Army, Navy, and Air Force are given preliminary training both academic and physical for a period of 3 years at the National Defence Academy which is an Inter-Service Institution.

Air Force Cadets are given flying training for a period of 1½ years. However, at the end of one year of training, they are given provisional Commission in the rank of Flying Officer. After successful completion of further training of six months, they are granted permanent commissioned officers post.

During the training period, candidates will be initially paid a stipend of Rs. 56100/- per month (at pay matrix of level 10). After the training, the candidate will be commissioned as a Lieutenant with a pay scale of Rs. 56,100/- to Rs. 1,77, 500/- along with additional allowances.


NDA Selection Process FAQs

Ques. What are the reasons for candidate’s disqualification from the NDA exam?

Ans. There are many reasons. Here are two reasons why a candidate can be disqualified after being selected:

  1. If the Candidates who were admitted to an earlier course at the NDA, or to the 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme of Indian Naval Academy but were removed or turned out of the Academy due to any lack of inappropriateness, will not be admitted to the Academy.
  2. If the Candidates applying this year were previously removed or turned out of them due to medical reasons the National Defence Academy or Indian Naval Academy on medical grounds or left the above Academy voluntarily are however or were previously withdrawn from the Academy, can be taken in again provided they satisfy the medical and other prescribed conditions.

Ques. How many candidates apply for NDA Exam?

Ans. Approximately, 5 - 6 lakhs candidates apply for the NDA exam.

Ques. Is there any capping in the number of limits?

Ans. No, there is no capping in the number of limits.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.


sheetal chib
what is the minimum qualification for nda exam?
kavita rani

Hi Sheetal. As per the eligibility criteria of NDA, unmarried male candidates who have completed their Class 12 or equivalent examination can apply for the exam. NDA eligibility criteria are certain norms in terms of nationality, age limit, educational qualification and physical standards that all are mentioned here.

akanksh sinha
Hi, I am in class 12th and have cleared NDA 1, Can I appear for SSB?
arvind kumar

Hi Akanksh, you can appear provided you fufill the eligibility criteria. For details visit: NDA EXAM 

alok rajbanshi
Are NDA 1 and NDA 2 candidate both admitted to NDA together ? And what is the time required between exam and admission ?

Hello Alok,

No, in a general scenario the candidates of both these exams are admitted at different times. However, due to the prevailing pandemic, these two examinations are being conducted together, the candidates will be admitted together. Usually, there is a gap of 4-5 months between the examination and admission.

abhishek giri
I am in first month of 12th science (pcm)can I apply for pilot in indian air force .if I am qualify nda written exam in ssb interview can i allow or not because I have not 12th mark sheet and certificate
What happens after getting selected in NDA?
kavita rani

Hi Riyaz. The selected candidates for NDA will be provided preliminary training, both academic and physical, for 4 years at Indian Naval Academy. The candidates of 10+2 Cadet Entry will be provided a B. Tech Degree post completing the training successfully.

How much marks are required to be shortlisted in NDA merit list?
kavita rani

Hi Riyaz. Candidates can refer to the previous year cut-offs, but they can't predict what will happen in the future. So to be on the safer side, candidates must try to attempt at least 60 or more than 60 questions asked in maths to get more than 150 marks and in the GAT section, they must attempt 85 or 85 plus questions correctly to get 340 or more than score. Each year, almost 350–380 students get their names mentioned in NDA Final merit list.

ananya pandey
Where do the last rankers in the merit list of the NDA go if they are only fit for the army?
kavita rani

Hi Ananya. Candidates who have cleared the SSB Interview would be invited to join the Indian Army. However, sometimes due to a shortage of vacancy, last rankers are not able to join an Academy. Based on the option and availability of the vacancy, the regiment is allotted to the candidates.

rahit bhar
What are average marks of selected candidates in NDA?
kavita rani

Hi Rahit. The average marks needed to select candidates for NDA varies from 650–750 out of 1800; however, the average marks are based on so many factors like total candidates, number of vacancies, etc.

henna mitra
Should I go to NDA SSB when I know my marks in written are low and I have just cleared the cut off? Even if I get recommended can I get into merit list with such low marks in written?
kavita rani

Hi Henna. I think you must not miss any chance to give SSB interview even in case your score in the written exam is less. You must give your best and always remember that written score play only half role in making total score as the remaining half scores will be granted based on SSB interview. So even in case you have scored less in the written exam, you must appear for the interview.

kavita rani

Hi Henna. I think you must not miss any chance to give SSB interview even in case your score in the written exam is less. You must give your best and always remember that written score play only half role in making total score as the remaining half scores will be granted based on SSB interview. So even in case you have scored less in the written exam, you must appear for the interview.

rashmi gupta
What are the chances of making it to a merit list after getting a temporary rejection but clearing it later in NDA?
kavita rani

Hi Rashmi. Candidates will be able to get a joining date only in case they cleared a temporary rejection. Candidates will get their name in the merit list only in case they have done well previously.