NDA EXAM, 2020

National Defence Academy or NDA Exam 2020 is a national level exam organized by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to recruit candidates in Army, Navy, and Air Force. NDA Exams are conducted two times every year as NDA (1) and NDA (2).The candidates who qualify this exam are sent for training at NDA, Khadakwasla and after graduation for NDA, they are sent to the respective specialized  academies of the three forces, that is Indian Military Academy(IMA),Indian Naval Academy(INA) and the Air Force Academy(AFA).

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Latest Updates:

  • The process of the application is already over for NDA 1 2020 and the Admit Card will be released soon.
  • The latest update is that the written exam scheduled for April 19, 2020, has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, UPSC issued a notice on April 15, 2020, stating that the new dates will be announced soon after the completion of lockdown on May 3, 2020. Also, a decision on the NDA 2 Examination will be posted on June 10, 2020.
  • The exam consists of 2 sections-( 1) Mathematics and 2.General Ability Test (GAT). The total exam duration is 5 hours combined for both sections.
  • The mode of conducting the exam is offline (pen and paper-based). – check UPSC NDA 2020 Exam Pattern
  • NDA Exam Syllabus is based on CBSE 10+2 standards.
  • Candidates who successfully qualify the written test would be shortlisted for the NDA Selection Process.
  • Candidates who qualify the written test are called for an NDA SSB Interview. Considering the overall performance of the candidate final selection is done.

NDA Exam Highlights

Name of ExamCombined Defence Services
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commision
official Website upsc.gov.in
Exam Type National Level
Eligibility Criteria Unmarried Male candidates can apply
Mode of Application Online
Exam Mode Offline
Duration Mathematics: 2 hrs 30 mins General Ability Test: 2 hrs 30 mins
Number of cities for exam centres 41
Exam helpdesk 011-23385271/011-23381125/011- 23098543

NDA (I) Exam 2020 Important Dates:

Notification Issue Date January 06, 2020
Application Form Released January 08, 2020
Last Date to Submit Application Form January 28, 2020
Admit Card Issue Date Last Week of March 2020
Exam Date To be announced soon
Result Declaration Date To be announced soon

NDA (2) Exam 2020 Important Dates:

Notification Issue Date June 10, 2020
Application Form Released To be announced soon
Last Date to Submit the Application Form To be announced soon
Admit Card Issue Date To be announced soon
Exam Date To be announced soon
Result Declaration Date To be announced soon

NDA 2020: Eligibility Criteria

  • There are various factors on the basis of which the candidates’ eligibility is checked so that they can appear for the NDA exam and are eligible for the further procedure.



As per the nationality standards set by UPSC for NDA  Exam, Candidates must have:

  • Indian Citizenship or should be 
  • Subject of Bhutan 
  • Subject of Nepal 
  • Tibetan refugee who came  to India with the intention of permanently settling in India, prior to January 1, 1962, 
  • A Person of Indian Origin who has come back from Burma, Pakistan, SriLanka, and East African Countries of Uganda, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Vietnam, and Zaire with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Age Limit


  • Only unmarried male candidates, who are not born before July 2, 2000, and not after July 1, 2003, are eligible to appear for NDA I 2020.
  • Candidates should enter their Date of birth as recorded in a certificate recognized by an Indian University or Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate.
  • In short, NDA Exam 2020 the age limit should be between 16.5 years to 19.5 years.

NDA 2020: Syllabus and Exam Pattern: 

The syllabus for NDA 1 2020 written test will comprise two sections- General Ability and Mathematical Ability. The questions in NDA 1 2020 will be asked from topics and concepts of CBSE 10+2 level. The following are the topics from General Ability and Mathematical Ability sections covered as a part of the NDA 1 Exam 2020 Syllabus.


Algebra Matrices and Determinants
Trigonometry Analytical Geometry of Two and Three Dimensions
Differential Calculus Integral Calculus and Differential EquationsIntegral Calculus and Differential Equations
Vector Algebra Statistics and Probability


General Science
Current Affairs

10 Tips to Cover the Entire NDA 2020 Syllabus in 15 Days

The NDA 1 2020 exam was just approximately three weeks away and in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many things are uncertain including the pre-assigned exam dates. However, until now there is no news of the NDA 1 2020 exam being postponed and hence, without further delay, it is high time that you start studying.

A few tricks and having a proper study plan throughout the day will help you to clear the test.

  1. For English, Maths and Science refer NCERT books from class 6-12 in these subjects. Practice the questions on a regular basis and these are easiest books to clear your conception on the subjects.

  2. For English grammar and current affairs, give at least 1 hour every day to thoroughly read through the daily newspaper. A national newspaper like “The Hindu” is the best choice for this purpose.

  3. Dedicate 2 hours everyday to solve previous year question paper, especially for the math and science sections.

  4. If you are determined about cracking this exam and getting into the army, start your preparations as early as possible. The last-minute preparation can help you revise all the important chapters, but your determination for years even before you reach the eligible age will help you ace every stage.

  5. Emphasis and keep practicing the subjects you are good at in the last moment preparation rather than starting with a completely new topic.

  6. Importantly candidates need to understand the marking scheme of the exam to systematically divide your study time for each subject. Candidates should dedicate more time to the section with higher marks.

  7. In the last 15 days before NDA 1 2020 is the best time to improve your speed and accuracy through rigorous practice. So, candidates should practice the online as well as offline mock papers.

  8. Memorize all the formulas for physics, chemistry, and math and make notes of them on a daily basis in a single notebook so that you can find them all in one place for last-minute revisions.

  9. Candidates should be emphasized on questions related to the current political scenario and historical scenario of India, as well as pay more attention to the English grammar and comprehension section.

  10. Lastly, Candidates should make sure they consistently follow a study time table for the last 15 days before the exam to avoid stress, which will further affect your performance negatively.

Downloading and Purpose of NDA 2020 Admit Card

The application process has been finished on January 28, 2020. The admit card is yet to be released on website. Moreover, this year there was a provision to withdraw your application and the last day of doing so was February 11, 2020.

NDA I 2020 Admit Card will be released by conducting the body on the official UPSC website.

  • Visit upsc.gov.in to download NDA 1 Exam Hall Ticket 2020.
  • Admit card includes the exam related details like student’s name, roll number, exam center, exam date & timing, etc.
  • candidates will not be permitted to appear in the examination without admit cards.

How to Download NDA I 2020 Admit Card

To download follow the steps given below:

  • Go to the official website of UPSC.
  • A link for NDA Exam (1) 2020 Admit Card Download will be provided, click on it.
  • You must enter the roll number/ registration number and also enter the password and captcha code.
  • The admit card will appear on the screen after you click on the submit button.
  • Check the details and download the admit card.

NDA 2020- Understanding the Exam Pattern

The NDA exam is conducted in the traditional pen and paper form and has MCQs. It’s very important that one should be careful in the GAT section, as this section includes higher negative marking. The following table below precisely gives all the information on the exam pattern. When you have a thorough understanding of the pattern, preparing for an exam at the last moment becomes easier.

Exam Pattern HighlightsPaper 1Paper 2
NDA I 2020 Mathematics General ability test
Exam Duration 2 hours and 30 minutes 2 hours and 30 minutes
No. of sections 1 2 (English and General Knowledge)
Total no. of questions 120 150
Total marks 300 600 (English (200) + GK (400))
Marking scheme 2.5 for correct and -0.83 for incorrect 4 for correct and -1.33 for incorrect
Medium English and Hindi English for English section. English and Hindi for GK section
Type of questions Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

1.The mathematics section is highly scoring if you are able to solve the problems with accuracy in minimum time. Though you are given ample time to solve the entire paper, unless you have a clear conception of math and science, each problem can be time-consuming.

2.The general knowledge section of the NDA Exam (1) 2020 includes the following topics:

  • Physics (100 marks)
  • Chemistry (60 marks)
  • General Science (40 marks)
  • History and Freedom Movement (80 marks)
  • Geography (80 marks)
  • Current Events (40 marks)
Note: The exam is majorly based on CBSE 10+2 syllabus and irrespective of the books you refer, NCERT books for every subject are the best guide. 

NDA- Cut-off Trend

UPSC NDA Exam has two-level and 900 marks are allotted to each level. The cadets are selected based on their aggregate cut-off in both levels. However, to qualify for the second level, which is the SSB interview, you have to score a minimum 25% out of 900 in the First level. At the same time, candidates must have a minimum 25% marks in each section of the papers. The average cut-off has varied from year to year and  If you note the trend since 2010, it has increased with time.

Whether the NDA cut-off will be lower than usual this year, depends on many factors like the number of candidates who appeared, the difficulty level of the paper, etc.

When you are preparing for the upcoming NDA Exams, keeping the cut-off trend in mind helps you to make a good plan for the study.

YearNDA(I) (Max Marks:900)NDA(II) (Max Marks:900)
2010 263 193
2011 290 253
2012 333 322
2013 337 313
2014 348 368
2015 306 (With at least 30% marks in each Subject) Marks secured by the last finally recommended candidate (out of 1800 marks) 674 269 (With at least 25% marks in each subject) Marks secured by the last recommended candidate (Out of 1800 marks) 637
2016 288 (With at least 25 % marks in each Subject) Marks secured by the last finally recommended candidate (Out of 1800 marks) 656 315
2017 342(With at least 25 % marks in each Subject) Marks secured by the last finally recommended candidate (Out of 1800 marks) 708 _
2018 338 (with at least 25% in each subject) 325 (with at least 25% in each subject)
2019 342 (with at least 25% marks in each subject) _
2020 (expected) 338-342- For Tier-1 700-720- Overall expected cut-off out of 1800 _

Important Guidelines  for NDA (1) 2020 Exam day

The following are guidelines and factors you should remember before the exam to avoid disqualification or being denied entrance in your examination center:

  • Carry the NDA Admit Card positively along with a valid ID-proof, without which you are liable to be denied admission at the exam center.
  • The clipboard is allowed and you will also need to carry black ballpoint pens for marking the answer.
  • Sheets for rough work will be provided in the exam hall, so no need to carry any kind of paper in exam hall.
  • Any kind of notes, books, geometrical drawing instruments, stencils, test booklets, and gadgets like calculators, mobiles are not allowed in the exam hall.
  • The surveillance is very strict, if anyone is caught for resorting to any unfair means, strict actions are taken which may even include a ban from appearing in the exam in the future.

NDA 2020 Vacancy

There are a total of 418 vacancies for NDA (1) exam 2020 qualifiers in different branches and departments of the Indian Army.

CourseNumber of Vacancies
145th National Defence Academy (Indian Army) 208
145th National Defence Academy (Indian Navy) 42
145th National Defence Academy (Indian Air Force) 120
107th Indian Naval Academy Course 48
Total 418

The competition is very high with an average of 4,00,000 students applying every year and vacancies being approximately 400-450. Even though in an average 5000-6000 qualify first level of the exam, eventually only as many as are required according to the vacancies get selected. Besides the last-minute preparation for the level 1 test, to qualify you must also start with preparing physically and intellectually for level-2. The selection process of NDA (1) 2020​

Selection process of NDA (1) 2020

NDA SSB Interview

The selection process in the National Defense Academy is divided into two-stages.
Stage-1 is the written examination i.e. NDA (1) Exam 2020 test and stage-2 is the SSB interview.

  • The complete recruitment process is judged on the basis of marks scored out of 900 collectively in both the stages.
  • After the declaration of Results for NDA I 2020, qualified candidates will have to register themselves at joinindianarmy.nic.in within two weeks.
  • Allotment of centers and dates will then be informed to candidates by sending E-mail on the registered email ID.
  • SSB Interview has two stages- Stage 1 includes OIR and PPDT and
    Stage 2 includes Interview, Group Tasks, Psychology Test, and Conference
  • After completion of stage-2, a final merit list is generated by the UPSC which gives the final recruited candidates.


NDA I 2020 Document Verification

After a personal interview (PI) round the eligible candidates will have to appear for the verification round. The candidates qualified must bring the required original documents along with 1 set of Photostat of the required documents at Services Selection Center (SSC).

Below is the list of required original documents to be carried for the NDA I 2020 Document Verification:

  • Qualification Certificate
  • Proof of Identity ( Voter ID, Aadhar Card, Pan card, etc.)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport Size Photographs
  • Category certificate for the Reserved category candidates
  • Proof of Residence

Medical examination

Medical examination is done after the Selection process. The selected candidates will be referred to the Board of Service Medical officers by the SSB for medical examination. Candidates shall be eligible for recruitment if and only if they are found to be medically fit by the medical officers.

Recommendation of Books for NDA Exam :

Here are some recommended E-books which candidates should follow.

English Crack the code, English. by Anjali Dhage
Mathematics Cracking the Code, Mathematics by Krisna
Geography Learn Geography Fundamentals, by Ashish Wankhade

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