How To Apply for NDA(1) 2024, Female/Male Eligibility, Exam Dates, Syllabus, and More


Know A Step by Step Guide On How to Join NDA after 12th

Check NDA eligibility for female/male and check the NDA (1) 2024 Age limit for female/male

How to Apply For NDA Online, Benefit, SSB Procedure, and Tips for Preparation


National Defense Academy(NDA) is the only institute in India facilitating class one gazetted rank officer at the age of 21 years

Lakhs of students across the country, like you, search on how to apply for NDA / NA exam and join this prestigious institute for either the summer or winter course.

An Ex-NDA officer can get a maximum service benefit of more than 41 years of active service with the promotion up to Chief of Defense Service.

Late General Bipin Rawat PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC(Born on 16 March 1958) was NDA’s “Sword of Honour” commissioned on 16 December 1978 is an example in the recent times of the history of the NDA.

NDA always stands tall in its activities, including physical training, mental development, and personality growth, by providing world-class training facilities like sports and extracurricular facilities provided to each cadet

general bipin rawat
Late General Bipin Rawat / ANI Photo

What is the Eligibility for NDA 2024 (1)

Candidates appearing in the 12th Class under the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination can start applying for this examination.

What is the age limit for NDA 2024(1)?

  • Unmarried Male/Female between the age of 16 ½ to 19½ yrs as on the first day of the month in which the course is due to commence (Should be Born Between 02 July 2005 to 01 July 2008, inclusive of both dates)

>> For Army Wing

  • 12th Class pass of the 10+2 School Education pattern or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board/ University/Central Board of Education.
  • Streams Allowed: Science, Humanities & Commence Students can apply
  • No cut-off percentage of marks.


Candidates who are looking to join the Indian Army should also apply through the 10+2 TES Entry

>> For AirForce Wing

  • 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent conducted by a State Education Board or a University or Central Board.
  • Streams Allowed: Science Students (With Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics)
  • No cut-off percentage of marks.

>> For Naval Wing

  • 12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent conducted by a State Education Board or a University or Central Board
  • No cut-off percentage of marks.


Looking to Join the Indian Navy after the 12th? Apply through the 10+2 Cadet Entry Scheme

indian navy

NA & NDA 2024(1) Vacancy

As NDA accommodates and trains candidates from all three armed forces (Army, Airforce, and Navy) together, there are a total of 400 vacancies available for every NDA Course, every year.

The Distribution is given below:

Army208 (including 10 for female candidates)
Navy42 (including 12 for female candidates)
AirforceFlying: 92 (including 02 for female candidates)
*GD(tech):18 (including 02 for female candidates)
**GD(Non-tech):10 (including 02 for female candidates)
Naval Academy25 (including 07 Female candidates)

*GD(Tech): Ground Duty(Technical)
** GD(Non-Tech): Ground Duty(Non-Technical)

Remember that defence force selection is based not merely on the vacancies but also due to required standards as specified by the Service Selection Board

So even if NDA & NA has 400 vacancies, only the potential future officers recommended by the Service Selection Board are entitled to join this institute.

Looking To Clear NDA On First Attempt?

Are you looking to Prepare For NDA from the comfort of your home? An initiative to help prepare boys and girls to join NDA with written and SSB coaching. Click Here To Know More Details

best nda coaching

How to Apply For NDA & NA 2024(1)

Candidates must follow the following steps while filling out the NDA application form:

1. Visit the UPSC Examination official website by clicking here.(Awaited)

2. Candidates must follow Part I & Part II registration

3. Part I will consist of details like personal & qualification details such as the candidate’s name, Aadhar number, marital status, gender, preference or branch, etc.

4. Part II will consist of points like exam centre choice, images & signature uploading, and application fee payment.

5. Photographs & signatures must be in JPG format with a size between 20 KB to 300 KB.

6. After filling in both parts, re-check & verify the given details.

7. After that, go through the declaration & tick on the “I Agree” option.

8. Now a confirmation page will appear on your computer screen

9. Take the printout of the confirmation page for future use.


Date of Notification: Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will release NDA 1 notification 2024 on December 20,2023

Submission of the application: 20 December 2023 to 09 January 2024

Date of Exam: April 21, 2024(Sunday)

how to apply for nda

NDA & NA 2024(1) Exam Dates & Commencement

The NDA & NA examination will be conducted in offline mode by the Union Public Service Commission.

The NDA & NA 2023 (2) examination will be conducted on April 21, 2024(Sunday)

The successful applicants will undergo five days of service selection board(SSB) interviews before preparing an NDA final merit list.

The 149th course NDA(Army & Air Force) & 111th Course Indian Naval Academy Course(INAC) will begin on 01 July 2025 at NDA and INA, Ezhimala.

NDA 1 2024 Official Notification (For Male & Females)

You can download and view the NDA (1) 2024 official notification for your reference.(Awaiting)

UPSC NDA/NA Exam Pattern

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

>> Paper – 1

  • Mathematics
  • 2½ Hours
  • Total Marks: 300

>> Paper – 2

  • General Ability Test
  • 2½ Hour
  • Total Marks: 600

All questions are objective, and the General Ability test can be solved in either English or Hindi.

There will also be negative marking, which is 1/3rd of the allotted marks to the problem (Maths – .83 marks & GAT – 1.32 marks)

The Syllabus of the examination is based on your 10th standard only.

The essential requirement for NDA is knowing what to study as the syllabus is pretty extensive and trying to avoid unnecessary burdens by studying from too many different sources

how to join nda

NA/ NDA Syllabus and Marks distribution

>> Paper-1 Mathematics (Code No. 1)

  • Total Questions: 120
  • Maximum marks: 300
  • For Every Right Answer: 2.5 marks allotted
  • For Every Wrong Answer: 0.83 deducted
  • Time Allotted: 150 minutes

Syllabus: Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry – 2D and 3D, Differential Calculus, Integral calculus, and Differential equations, Vector algebra, Statistics, and Probability, Circle, Sequences and series..etc.

The syllabus for mathematics is covered in NCERT books of 10th, and 11th & 12th standard.

Best Books To Refer:

To help you prepare better for your Mathematics section, you can refer to Mathematics for NDA/NA by R.S Aggarwal

>> Paper-II General Ability Test (Code No. 02) :

  • Total Questions: 150
  • Maximum marks: 600
  • For Every Right Answer: 4 marks allotted
  • For Every Wrong Answer: 1.33 deducted
  • Time Allotted: 150 minutes

The General Ability section is further divided into two parts:

Part A (English)
  • Total Questions: 50
  • Total Marks: 200
Part B (General Knowledge)
  • Total Questions: 100
  • Total Marks: 400

General Knowledge has six sections with a break-up of 400 marks as below:

  • Section for Physics: 100 marks.
  • Section for Chemistry: 60 marks.
  • Section for General Science: 40 marks.
  • Section for History, Freedom Movement (Social Studies): 80 marks.
  • Section for Geography: 80 marks.
  • Section for Current Events: 40 marks.

I know this already looks like a lot of syllabi to cover and study to pass the exam.

While a lot of candidates make the mistake of covering everything (in a short period of time), I suggest you understand the minimum criteria in the further article

Few Important Things to Remember

Sectional cutoff: One needs a minimum of 25 % in both sections of the written examination, which means a minimum of 75 marks in maths and 150 marks in the general ability Test(GAT). However, your aim is to achieve a minimum of 30-35% of both sections during the final year NDA written examination.

So if you have strong maths, which helps you score more than 60 in mathematics but lack in general ability and score less than 120, you won’t pass the exam.

So it is important to cover the subjects you are most weak in.

Overall cutoff: The overall cutoff has been varying depending on the performance of the candidates.

Scoring 380+ ensures a good chance not only in a good score in the written exam but will help you rank better in the overall merit list.


The Exam doesn’t take the overall marks if you don’t pass the first paper’s minimum criteria i.e. getting more than 60 marks in mathematics.

In most cases, if you don’t pass the first paper, UPSC won’t take the burden of going through your General Ability paper either

So practice well for your mathematics.

The details of the previous years’ cutoff marks for the NDA written examination & SSB interview are given below

ExaminationWritten Exam Cut-OffSSB Cut-Off
NDA & NA (II) 2020355719
NDA & NA (I) 2020 355723
NDA & NA (II) 2019346709
NDA & NA (I) 2019342704
NDA & NA (II) 2018325688
NDA & NA (I) 2018338705
NDA & NA (II) 2017258624
NDA & NA (I) 2017342708
NDA & NA (II) 2016229602
NDA & NA (I) 2016288656
indian military academy

Tips on How to Prepare for NDA/NA Written Exam

>> Mathematics

This test is covering all your major topics from your 10th & 11th standards(NERT).

So you will have topics like Integral Calculus, Differential Equations, Trigonometry, Algebra, Vector Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Analytical Geometry, Statistics & Probability

The good thing is, that mathematics is entirely based on the concept.

So if your basics are clear and straightforward, you’ll easily be able to solve most of it, and that’s all you need to qualify for NDA!

More Importantly: Practice!

Not just to solve a problem, but to improve your speed.

  • You don’t need to solve every problem thrown at you during your NDA/NA exam.
  • Don’t waste your time taking questions that are hard or take up a lot of time to solve like Co-ordinate Geometry.
  • Solve as much as you can, and stay relaxed.
  • Remember that There is a negative marking in NDA, so don’t just go attempting without thinking. Attempt only if you’re sure about it.
  • Like I said before, to prepare for this section, the first and foremost requirement is to have clarity in concepts.

    So Go back to the basics if concepts are not clear and try to solve as many sums as possible.
  • Take and try to solve mock questions from previous year’s papers or any question paper based on your mathematics topics
  • A systematic study under proper guidance or tuition is mandatory for especially non-PCM students.
  • Learning Effective Time management is the key to cracking any time-based competitive exam. The same applies here.
  • Various shortcuts and byhearting formulas are essential for getting good scores.
airforce fighter jets

>> General Ability

This section consists of two parts: English and General Knowledge

For English

The English Test covers vocabulary, grammar and usage, and comprehension.

This test evaluates the basic command a person has in the English language.

If your English is weak, there are a number of ways to improve the same:

  • Some traditional yet effective ways are reading English newspapers like Indian Express, and The Hindu Daily.

    You can refer to some of the recommended English books like Word Power Made Easy to learn new words
  • A more interesting way a lot of young defence aspirants would love is watching English movies.

    Watch English movies without subtitles. This will help you learn, and communicate better and give you more confidence in your English language
  • Lastly, you should also opt to practice mock papers for the NDA/NA English test

    As you need time management and practice on question papers will help you do well in this test.

For General Knowledge

The GK test will evaluate your general understanding and insight into the country’s current affairs and even in international places.

The test will comprise six sections: General Science, Indian History, Physics, Geography, Chemistry, and Current Events.

  • You should follow the news through newspapers, NewsTV, online, or through your smartphone for updates.
  • Be aware of the latest happenings in sports, arts, literature, and likewise.
  • Touch upon the topics like our country’s current economic scenario, recent and past policy changes, and other topics directly related to India and its neighbouring countries.
  • The NDA/NA Science section is pretty basic and even involves simple questions with one-word answers.
  • For History, Geography, Civics, and Economics, they ask questions based on what you learned in class 10th CBSE. That’s enough.

Best Books To Refer:

If you don’t want to run around looking at a lot of sources, I highly recommend you to refer to Lucents General Knowledge, Malayalam Manorama to crack your GK Test

Which Book is Best for NDA Exam?

Pathfinder NDA/NA (National Defence Academy & Naval Academy)

nda exam book

Pathfinder NDA & NA Exam Book by Arihant Publication is one of the best books if you are preparing for your NDA/NA Exam.

Read Our Short Review

Click Here to Join NDA 2023 Telegram Channel For More Updates And Preparation


Q1) Can a Girl Join NDA after the 12th?

A) Yes. Girl candidates can join NDA After the 12th from 2021 onwards. Eligible female candidates should check their age and qualification eligibility before applying

Q2) How to Join NDA after the 12th female?

A) Female candidates should check their age and qualification eligibility from the official notification published by UPSC.

All-female candidates will undergo a written test before being called for an SSB interview. Upon qualifying for the same, you can join NDA

Q3) How to Join NDA after the 10th?

A) You will not be eligible to join NDA after the 10th. The minimum qualification required for NDA is a 10+2 pass out. Make sure you have achieved the same before joining NDA.


Joining the National Defence Academy is one of the biggest dreams for any defence aspirant.

To achieve this dream, a candidate has to pass the written examination conducted by UPSC and pass the SSB interview.

The above article gives you an overview of how to apply for the exam, the syllabus, paper patterns, and an effective way to prepare for your exam.

Overall, I believe that an individual’s zeal, motivation, and sincerity to achieve this goal matter in order to become a defence service officer.

Achieving this aim is possible for those students who can organize their time in very systematic ways with available resources.

I wish you all the best!

Note – In case of changes of policy instructions on examination patterns by UPSC& Army Headquarters, the update will be given subsequently.

In case of any personal doubts, WhatsApp to 6238361956 to clarify.

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