NDA Exam Pattern: Exam Duration, No. of Questions,

NDA exam pattern demonstrates the way in which the questions will be asked and the exam will be conducted. NDA is considered as one of the most prestigious training academy in the country.  It is responsible for training the cadets (selected through the NDA exam) for different service wings of the Indian Armed Forces. These wings are- Indian Army, Indian Navy & Indian Air Force. Candidates aspiring for a remarkable career in armed forces must apply for the exam to be eligible for the selection.

Aspirants should know all about the exam so that they can prepare an effective strategy to crack the same. Candidates must go through the NDA exam pattern 2021 and its syllabus to get an idea of the examination. To know what the Exam Pattern actually contain, follow this article till the end.

Exam Pattern Highlights

Candidates will go through the 2 phases for selection in the NDA- Written Test, and SSB Interview. Only those candidates can move to the next phase who have cleared the previous phase. Candidates will also undergo the medical examination after the interview round for final selection. Aspirants can go through the basic details about the NDA exam pattern 2021 as given below-

  • Exam Mode: The written exam will be conducted in pen and paper based mode.
  • Duration of the Exam: 2 Hours 30 Minutes (for each paper)
  • Type of Questions: Objective (MCQs)
  • No. of Papers: Two i.e. Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT-I & GAT-II)
  • Paper Code: Mathematics (01) & GAT (02)
  • Exam language: English and Hindi
  • Negative Marking: 0.33 Marks will be deducted for every wrong answer.

Marking Scheme

Given below is the overview of the NDA exam pattern-

Subjects Maximum Marks
Mathematics 300
GAT-I (English) 200
GAT-II (General Knowledge) 400
Total Marks 900
SSB Interview 900
Grand Total 1800

Mathematics Pattern (Paper-I)

Total No. of Questions 120 Questions
Marking Scheme 2.5 marks will be awarded for every correct answer
Negative Marking 0.33 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer
Maximum Marks 300

General Ability Test (GAT) Pattern (Paper-II)

Parts English & General knowledge
Total No. of Questions 150 Questions
Marking Scheme 4 Marks will be awarded for every right answer
Negative Marking 0.33 marks will be reduced for each wrong answer
Duration 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Maximum Marks 600

SSB Test

SSB Test procedure will be carried out in two stages to access the officer like qualities and the trainability of the candidates-

Stage-I: It consists of the OIR test i.e. Officer Intelligence Rating where the picture perception and description skill of a candidate will be judged. Those who qualify this stage will be called for the stage –II process.

Stage-II: This process consists of the Interview Round, Group Testing officer’s Task, Psychology Tests, and Conference. These tests will be organized over 4 days. The details of which will be provided on the official website. To be selected in the NDA, candidates need to qualify in all the stages by securing minimum qualifying marks.

Medical Examination

The candidates short listed in the SSB Test will be called for the medical examination. Only those candidates will be selected who are declared fit by the Board of Service Medical Officer. Candidates declared unfit during the exam will be intimated about the review medical board.

Note: Candidates aspiring for selection in Air Force will undergo a computerized pilot selection system (CPSS) and Pilot Aptitude Test only once. Such candidates need to qualify the test in the very first attempt. Those who fail in the test will not be able to apply for NDA for Air Force or General Duties (Pilot) Branch or Naval Arm in future.

Instructions to fill the OMR Sheet

Candidates will be provided with an OMR answer sheet for the written exam. The OMR sheet will be in sealed form and can be open only when the invigilator announces so. Use of Pencil or Ink Pen is strictly prohibited in the exam. However, candidates can use Black Ball Pen to mark the answers in their answer sheet. The OMR sheet must be filled very carefully as in case of omission/mistake/discrepancy in filling the details will render the answer sheet liable to get rejected. Special precaution should be taken while writing the Roll Number and Test Booklet Series Code. To prevent an unfortunate incident, candidates should carefully go through the instructions printed on the OMR sheet.

For every question, candidates will be given 4 choices. Out of these four choices only one must be marked as the answer by darkening the bubble using black ball pen only. Candidates can do the rough work on the space provided in the test booklet for such purpose. They must avoid doing the rough work on the OMR Sheet. Writing anything on the OMR sheet (except the details asked in it) will render the sheet liable to rejection.

Before leaving the exam hall, candidates should make sure to hand over the OMR Answer Sheet to the invigilator and ensure his/her signature on the same. Aspirants can take the test booklet along with them.


Aspirants should prepare for the exam keeping in mind the NDA Exam Pattern 2021 and syllabus prescribed by the authority. They can take reference from the information given below for the brief syllabus –

Mathematics: Integral Calculus and Differential equations, Vector Algebra, Trigonometry, Differential Calculus,  Analytical Geometry of 2D & 3D objects, Probability, Determinant of a matrix, Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Statistics.

General Ability Test: The Part-A of this paper will compose questions from English such as- Comprehension, Synonym, Antonym, Jumble Words, Grammar, Tenses, Direct-Indirect, Active-Passive Voice etc. The Part-B will comprise of questions on General Knowledge such as- Indian History, Polity, Economics, Environment, Current Affairs, Science, Technology, Geography etc.

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1 thought on “NDA Exam Pattern: Exam Duration, No. of Questions,”

  1. Is NDA exam answer should we bubble in omr sheet or write in paper


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