UPSC NDA 2016: Eligibility, Exam Pattern, Selection Procedure


UPSC NDA 2016: The Union Public Service Commission conducts the entrance examination for National Defence Academy. This is a National Level Entrance Examination for candidates who wish to join the Indian Defence Services, which are, Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and the Naval Academy (NA). Keeping in mind the NDA Notification 2016, we will provide detailed information regarding UPSC NDA NA 1 Eligibility Criteria, Selection Procedure, Exam Pattern and Syllabus. But first, let us answer a few basic questions regarding NDA Recruitment 2016.


What is National Defence Academy?

The National Defence Academy, more populary known as NDA, is a joint service academy of the Indian Armed Forces, where cadets from all the three sectors i.e. the Army, the Navy and the Air Force train together before they go on to for the  pre-commissioning training in their respective service academies.


What is the Selection Procedure for NDA Recruitment 2016?

The applicants who fulfil the eligibility criteria for NDA (I) have to appear for written examination first, followed by the SSB Interview. You need to perform well in written examination in order to advance to the interview round. The examination is conducted by UPSC, which is followed by extensive rounds of interviews covering general aptitude, psychological tests, and team skills as well as physical and social skills. The final merit list is prepared after document verification and medical process approval.

Hence, the process of qualifying in NDA NA 1 is not an easy task. You need to perform better at each level in order to outrank others. Near about 3.2 Lakh candidates sit for each written exam (NDA I and NDA II). But, owing to the insanely tough competition, around 9,000 of these get invited for the SSB Interview. Applicants who apply for the Indian Air Force also go through a Pilot Aptitude Battery Test.

Cadets who are accepted and successfully complete the program are sent to their respective training academies for one year of training before granting of commission.

  • Army cadets go to IMA at Dehradun
  • Air Force cadets to AFA at Dundigal, Hyderabad.
  • Naval cadets to INA, Ezhimala, Kerala.

Note: A cadet can only decline a commission in case of a serious permanent medical condition caused during the programme.


How many times is NDA Exam conducted in 1 Year? 

UPSC conducts NDA Recruitment Examination 2 times every year. For 2016 Recruitment, the incoming batches are accepted twice a year for semesters starting in July and January. The first exam is NDA NA (I) and the second one is NDA NA (II).

 NDA NA Exam (1) 2016

 NDA NA Exam (2) 2016

  • Date of Notification: 2 January 2016
  • Last date for filled application Forms: 29 January 2016
  • Date of exam: 17 April 2016
  • Date of Notification: 18 June 2016
  • Last date for filled application Forms: 15 July 2016
  • Date of exam: 18 September 2016


What are the total vacancies for NDA NA Recruitment 2016? 

For the upcomong NDA NA (1) Exam, these are vacancies for Army, Navy, Air Force and Naval Academy.

National Defence Academy (NDA): The total number of vacancies for NDA (I) is 320.

  • Indian Army – 208
  • Indian Navy – 42
  • Indian Air Force – 70

Naval Academy: The total number of vacancies for NA (I) is 55. 

The candidates who qualify in the Naval Academy Recruitment Procedure will be enrolled in the Bachelors of Engineering and Technology Course (B. Tech) and would be given an opportunity to join Executive and Technical Branches of the Navy after completion of their 4 year degree.

We hope these were the most common set of doubts which first time applicants had. Now, let us understand the UPSC NDA Eligibility Criteria for NDA NA (I) Examination.


UPSC NDA Eligibility Criteria 2016

The candidates who are appearing for UPSC NDA 2016 Examination are advised to check all the details related to nationality, educational qualification and physical standards.


As per UPSC NDA 2016 Notification, the eligibility criteria regarding candidate’s nationality dictates the following criteria.

  • A citizen of India, or
  • A subject of Bhutan, or
  • A subject of Nepal, or
  • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before the 01 January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Only unmarried candidates are allowed to write the NDA NA (I) Recruitment Exam 2016.

Educational Qualifications

For UPSC NDA Recruitment 2016, the minimum educational qualification for Army, Navy and Air Force is as follows.

  • Indian Army: The candidates must be 12th Standard qualified of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination conducted by a State Education Board or a University.
  • Navy, Air Force and the Indian Naval Academy: The candidates must be 12th Standard qualified of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a State Education Board or a University.

Note: Candidates who are appearing in the 12th Class under the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination can also apply for this examination.

UPSC NDA Exam Pattern 2016

The UPSC NDA (I) Exam consists of two papers – Mathematics and General Ability Test. Both test papers are of objective pattern with single correct option.


Number of Questions



Paper I: Mathematics 120 2.5 Hours 300
Paper II: English & General Ability 150 2.5 Hours 600
Total 270 5 Hours 900

Paper 1: Mathematics

The total marks for this paper is 300. A total time of 2.5 hours (150 minutes) is allotted to solve 120 questions. The level of difficulty of questions asked in mathematics paper is elementary and the syllabus is school-level. The following marking scheme is followed in UPSC NDA Paper 1.

  • For every correct answer, 2.5 marks are rewarded.
  • For every incorrect answer, 0.83 marks are deducted.
  • No marks are rewarded or deducted in case of unanswered questions.

Paper 2: English & General Ability

The second paper is divided into 2 sections.

 Name of the Section   Number of Questions  Marks
 Section A: English  50  200
 Section B: General Ability  100  400

The total marks for Paper II are 300. The candidates have 2.5 hours (150 minutes) to solve 150 questions, 50 on English and 100 on General Ability. The marking scheme for Paper II is as follows.

  • For every correct answer, 4 marks are rewarded.
  • For every incorrect answer, 1.33 marks are deducted.
  • No marks are rewarded or deducted in case of unanswered questions.

Once you are well acquainted with the exam pattern for UPSC NDA 2016, it is time to head on to the exam syllabus for Paper 1 and Paper 2.


UPSC NDA Exam Syllabus 2016

The National Defence Academy and UPSC is quite precise when it comes to exam syllabus. Please go through the exam syllabus for Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Paper I: Mathematics

  • Algebra
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Trigonometry
  • Analytical Geometry of two and three dimensions
  • Differential Calculus
  • Integral Calculus and Differential Equations
  • Vector Algebra
  • Statistics and Probability

Paper II: English & General Ability

By comparison, English Syllabus for UPSC NDA 2016 is quite limited. The General Ability Portion will require a little extra time to cover.

Section A: English

The question paper in English is designed to test the candidate’s understanding of the English language and workman like use of words. The syllabus covers various broad topics, like

  • Grammar and Application
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension and Cohesion

Section B: General Ability 

The question paper on General Knowledge broadly covers the following subjects.

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • General Science
  • History and the Movement of Freedom
  • Geography
  • Current Affairs

We hope candidates are able to understand the importance of UPSC NDA Examination. Apart from earning the golden opportunity of serving your country, you get to learn the values of discipline, team work, camaraderie and the will to go beyond your limit.

We will be updating more article every week to assist NDA aspirants with their preparation. Let us know your doubts and queries in the comments section below.


  1. For a student aspiring for Indian army through NDA, should he pass 10+2 with science subjects, or student with commerce subjects in 10+2 are also eligible>

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