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Recruitment of candidates to Army, Navy and Air force wings of the National Defence Academy (NDA), is through National Defence Academy Entrance Exam which is held twice a year, generally in the month of April and September. NDA exam is conducted by the UPSC. A candidate must be an unmarried male. The course of training is for three years.  




Combined Defence Service exam is conducted by UPSC twice every year for recruitment to office cadre of the Army, Navy and Air force. CDS exam is conducted generally in the months of May and October .



Age and Marital Status


A candidate must be an unmarried male and have attained the age of 16 1/2 years and must not have attained the age 19 1/2 years on the 1st January or 1st of July of the year succeeding the year of examination.


Candidates must not marry until they complete their full training. A candidate who marries subsequent to the date of his application, though successful will not be selected for training.


A candidate who marries during training shall be discharged and will be liable to refund all expenditure incurred on him by the Government.



Educational Qualifications

(1) For Army Wing of National Defence Academy: 12th Class pass of 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination conducted by state education Board or a University.

(2) For Air Force and Naval Wings of National Defence Academy and for the 10+2 (Executive Branch) course at the Naval Academy: 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of a School Education or equivalent with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a State Education Board or a University. Candidates who are appearing in the 12th Class under the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination can also apply.



Blank application forms and other particulars are published by UPSC in leading newspapers and Employment News in the month of March and September. A candidate seeking admission must apply to The Secretary, UPSC, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi- 110069 on prescribed application form. The application forms are available on payment from any of the designated post office throughout the country.


In case of any difficulty in application forms from the designated post offices the candidates can contact the concerned post master or UPSC's "Forms Supply Monitoring Cell". Phone : 011- 23389366 Fax : 011-23387310.


More details can be obtained from the website


Plan of the Examination

The examination comprises:
(i) Written Examination 
(ii) Intelligence, obstacles and Group Tests by Services Selection Board of the candidates, who qualify the written examination. 

Examination Subjects

The subjects of the written examination, the time allowed and the maximum marks allotted to each subject will be as follows:




Max. Mark


General Ability Test (English, General Knowledge 
and Science)

21/2 hours 
21/2 hours




  • The papers in all subjects will consist of OBJECTIVE-TYPE questions only.

  • The question papers (Test Booklets) will be set in English only.

Centres of examination are

Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhopal, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar, Dispur (Guwahati), Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kavaratti (Lakshadweep), Kohima, Lucknow, Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji (Goa), Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam. The centres and the date of holding the examination are liable to be changed at the discretion of the Commission.



Those who qualify the written test, has to undergo an interview. The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate. 


Intelligence and Personality Test:

In addition to the interview, the candidates will be put to intelligence test of both verbal and non-verbal nature, designed to assess their basic intelligence. They also have to undergo group tests, such as group discussions, group-planning, outdoor group tasks and asked to give brief lecturers on specified subjects. All these tests are intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate.


Paper I



Algebra :
Concept of a set, operations on sets, Venn diagrams. De Morgan laws. Cartesian product, relation, equivalence relation.

Representation of real numbers on a line. Complex numbers - basic properties, modulus, argument, cube roots of unity. Binary system of numbers. Conversion of a number in decimal system to binary system and vice-versa. Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic progressions. Quadratic equations with real coefficients. Solution of linear inequations of two variables by graphs. Permutation and Combination. Binomial theorem and its application. Logarithms and their applications.

Matrices and Determinants:

Types of matrices, operations on matrices Determinant of a matrix, basic properties of determinant. Adjoint and inverse of a square matrix, Applications - Solution of a system of linear equations in two or three unknowns by Cramer's rule and by Matrix Method.



Angles and their measures in degrees and in radians. Trigonometrical ratios. Trigonometric identities Sum and difference formulae. Multiple and Sub-multiple angles. Inverse trigonometric functions. Applications - Height and distance, properties of triangles.


Analytical Geometry of two and three dimensions:

Rectangular Cartesian Coordinate system. Distance formula. Equation of a line in various forms. Angle between two lines. Distance of a point from a line. Equation of a circle in standard and in general form. Standard forms of parabola, ellipse and hyperbola. Eccentricity and axis of a conic.

Point in a three dimensional space, distance between two points. Direction Cosines and direction ratios. Equation of a plane and a line in various forms. Angle between two lines and angle between two planes. Equation of a sphere.


Differential Calculus:

Concept of a real valued function - domain, range and graph of a function. Composite functions, one to one, onto and inverse functions. Notion of limit, Standard limits - examples. Continuity of functions - examples, algebraic operations on continuous functions. Derivative of a function at a point, geometrical and physical interpreatation of a derivative - applications. Derivatives of sum, product and quotient of functions, derivative of a function with respect of another function, derivative of a composite function. Second order derivatives. Increasing and decreasing functions. Application of derivatives in problems of maxima and minima.


Integral Calculus and Differential equations:

Integration as inverse of differentiation, integration by substitution and by parts, standard integrals involving algebraic expressions, trigonometric, exponential and hyperbolic functions. Evaluation of definite integrals - determination of areas of plane regions bounded by curves - applications. Definition of order and degree of a differential equation, formation of a differential equation by examples. General and particular solution of a differential equation, solution of first order and first degree differential equations of various types - examples. Application in problems of growth and decay.


Vector Algebra :

Vectors in two and three dimensions, magnitude and direction of a vector. Unit and null vectors, addition of vectors, scalar multiplication of vector, scalar product or dot product of two-vectors. Vector product and cross product of two vectors. Applications-work done by a force and moment of a force, and in geometrical problems.



Statistics and Probability :-


Statistics: Classification of data, Frequency distribution, cumulative frequency distribution - examples Graphical representation - Histogram, Pie Chart, Frequency Polygon - examples. Measures of Central tendency - mean, median and mode. Variance and standard deviation - determination and comparison. Correlation and regression.


Probability : Random experiment, outcomes and associated sample space, events, mutually exclusive and exhaustive events, impossible and certain events. Union and Intersection of events. Complementary, elementary and composite events. Definition of probability - classical and statistical - examples. Elementary theorems on probability - simple problems. Conditional probability, Bayes' theorem - simple problems. Random variable as function on a sample space. Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments giving rise to Binominal distribution.

Paper II


General Ability Test


Part A -English

The question paper in English will be designed to test the candidate's understanding of English and workmanlike use of words. The syllabus covers various aspects like: Grammar and usage, vocabulary, comprehension and cohesion in extended texts to test the candidate's proficiency in English.


Part B -General Knowledge

The question paper on General Knowledge will broadly cover the subjects: Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Geography and Current Events.

The syllabus given below is designed to indicate the scope of these subjects included in the paper. The topics mentioned are not to be regarded as exhaustive and questions on topics of similar nature not specifically mentioned in the syllabus may also be asked. Candidate's answers are expected to show their knowledge and intelligent understanding of the subject. 


Section A -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: Measurements 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 Nonconductors. 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 , Lightning Conductors. Safety Fuses.


Section B -Chemistry

Physical and Chemical changes. Elements, Mixtures and Compounds, Symbols, Formulae and simple Chemical Equations. 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.
Materials used in the preparations 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.


Section C -General Science

Difference between the living and non-living. 
Basis of Life-Cells, Protoplasm's 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.


Section D -History, Freedom Movement, etc.

A broad survey of Indian History, with emphasis on Culture and Civilization.
Freedom Movement in India.

Elementary study of Indian Constitution and Administration. 
Elementary knowledge of Five-Year Plans of India. 
Panchayati Raj, Cooperatives 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.


Section E -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.


Section F -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 the cultural activities and sports.


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