NDA Exam Preparation: Know Eligibility, Qualification, Salary, Preparation tips from Experts

18 Aug, 2021

NDA Exam Preparation: One constant question pops up in every student’s mind while he/she is in his ending days of school and that usual question is What next? This question dispirits almost every student once in his life. Many students have their ambitious thoughts that they would pursue after their school, and to many, the question remains the same. While the answer to the question is being decoded here. Well, each one of us, at least once in our lifetimes, would have dreamt of being a hero, saving others from evildoers, and getting applauded and awarded for the same. But every time we think of doing something like this, the thought of earning for survival comes to our minds. But, what about choosing to do such heroic deeds as our career option? And the answer is NDA. Had it been the most promising career, which comes with job security, unlike where unemployment is the next crisis after this global pandemic. 

Well NDA is the joint services academy of Indian Armed Forces.  It is an academy where cadets of the three services, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Army are trained together before they go to their respective service academy for further pre-commission training. We will further discuss some topics such as the eligibility criteria for NDA, NDA exam pattern, age limit to apply for NDA, NDA exam preparation tips and other related issues. And if you are passionate enough about this job and aim to appear for the NDA exam, this video will help you with some valuable advice from Mr Shishir Dixit. 


NDA exam Eligibility Criteria:

Some of the essential requirements to apply for NDA are listed below: 

  •  A citizen of India, or;
  •  A subject of Nepal, or;
  •  A subject of Bhutan, or;
  • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before1  January 1962, intending to settle in India permanently; or;
  • A person originally Indian who may have migrated from Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, The United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or Vietnam intending to reside in India permanently.


How to apply for NDA exam 2021:

The registration process is divided into two parts:

PART 1 of NDA Exam Application:

  • The candidate can apply for NDA exam by filling the application form which is available on the official website of UPSC, i.e. upsc.gov.in 
  • The application form first requires the candidates to carefully fill their details, including the  Name, Address, Date of Birth, Marital Status, Community, etc.  
  • After filling the above details, the candidate must choose the branch preference of Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and rate them from 1 to 4 based on his will.
  • The candidate is then required to verify all the details filled in the form as no changes can be made to the document after the final submission. After verification, the candidate is required to click on I Do Not Agree/ I Agree.
  •  After the above step, the candidate will be provided with their registration IDs.  And the same registration IDs are sent to the respective candidate’s email ID.

PART 2 of NDA Exam Application

  • Once the registration IDs are generated, the candidates must pay the final application fee, which can be delivered both through online and offline mode. 
  • The next step requires the candidate to select the examination centre.
  •  And the last step requires the candidate to upload his Photographs and Signatures as per the authority’s dimensions.


NDA Exam Pattern 2021:

The exam pattern of NDA exam is as follows:

The first exam, i.e. a written test, is an offline pen-paper based exam. The exam is an Objective type or MCQ-based exam divided into two parts, namely: Mathematics and General Ability Test. The test is of 900 marks and comprises of 270 questions overall.

NDA Age limit to Apply:

The ideal age of a candidate to appear for NDA is as prescribed by the authorities is between 16.5 years to 19 years. The Date of Birth, as mentioned on Class 10th and 12th mark sheet, will be considered by the commission.  


NDA Salary and Career growth after clearing NDA exam: 

The expected salary of an NDA officer at different ranks is mentioned in the table below:

NDA Posts or Ranks

Salary of NDA Officer( Per Month)

Stipend during the training of the candidates in IMA

INR 56,100/-


INR 56,100/- to INR 1,77,500/-


INR 61,300/- to INR 1,93,900/-


INR 69,400/- to INR 2,07,200/-

Lieutenant Colonel

INR 1,21,200/- to INR 2,12,400/-


INR 1,30,600/- to INR 2,15,900/-


INR 1,39,600/- to INR 2,17,600/-

Major General

INR 1,44,200/- to INR 2,18,200/-

Lt. General HAG Scale 

INR 1,82,200/- to INR 2,24,100/-

HAG+ Scale

INR 2,05,400/- to INR 2,24,400/-

VCOAS/ Army Cdr/ Lt Gen (NFSG)

INR  2,25,000/- Fixed


INR 2,50,000/- Fixed


The list of NDA promotions for officers in the Army, Navy and Air Force is as follows:

Minimum Service Required for Promotion

Indian Army

Indian Navy

Indian Air Force

On being Commissioned


Sub Lieutenant

Flying Officer

After two years of service



Flight Lieutenant

After six years of service


Lt Commander

Squadron Leader

13 years of service

Lieutenant Colonel


Wing Commander

On Selection

Colonel (Selection)

Captain (selection)

Group captain (Selection)

26 years of service

Colonel (Time Scale)

Captain (Time Scale)

Group captain (Time Scale)

On Selection



Air Commodore

On Selection

Major General

Real Admiral

Air Vice-Marshal

On Selection

Lieutenant General

Vice Admiral

Air Marshal

On Selection



Air Chief Marshal


NDA Exam preparation tips (How to pass NDA Exam 2021):

The tricks mentioned below will surely help you to ace your preparation for NDA exam:

  1. Smartly schedule your study plan. Having a proper study schedule s the stepping stone towards acing you NDA exam preparations. 
  2. Be clear about the topics you need to focus more on, and clear all your related doubts.
  3. Focus more on increasing General Knowledge and aking your English proficient. 
  4. Make the right choice while purchasing books, especially for your exam preparations.
  5. Solve as many as possible previous years question papers and other mock papers.


So, this ocean of information will surely help you ace your exam preparation. To gain more information about the topic, watch the video as it earns you the best advice from experts.



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