How to join Indian Army, Navy, Air Force

THE warriors of the land, guardians of the sea, and air have a common background. Most of these officers have cleared the NDA exam to join the elite forces. The candidates need to first specify the choice of Academy they wish to join: either National Defence Academy or Executive Branch of Naval Academy. The candidate can then indicate his preference as per his interest viz. Army, Navy and Air Force.

The NDA Exam, conducted at 41 centres across the country, is followed by intelligence & personality test by the Services Selection Board (SSB) for the shortlisted candidates.

Eligibility: Apart from nationality, age, sex and marital status; the educational qualifications vary for each wings of the National Defence Academy (refer Table 1).

Air Force
Executive Branch of Naval Academy
Sashastra Seema Bal(SSB)
• Based on exam scheduled on 18th April 2010


Fee: Examination fee is Rs. 50 payable to the Commission through a single Central Recruitment Fee Stamp available at Post Offices. Fee is exempted for all candidates belonging to SC and ST category.

Results: The UPSC prepares a list of candidates who get the minimum qualifying marks in the written examination as fixed by the Commission. Based on their preference, the candidates are called for intelligence and personality test (that includes psychological aptitude) by the respective SSB.

Those who are shortlisted for the Air Force wing are assessed in Pilot Aptitude Test. Based on the performance at the SSB, final selection is made in order of merit subject to medical fitness and suitability.

About the Exam

Written Examination: For admission to Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the NDA and the Executive Branch of the Naval Academy, the candidates are tested in Mathematics and General Ability.

Each paper is of 2 hours and thirty minutes duration and carries 300 & 600 marks respectively.

The test papers in all subjects consist of objective type questions in Hindi and English. The UPSC has the discretion to fix qualifying marks in all the subjects in the examination.

Paper-I (Mathematics): The assessment is based on a candidate's understanding of the subject and has questions from Algebra; Matrices and Determinants;  Trigonometry; Analytical Geometry of two and three dimensions; Integral Calculus and Differential Equations; Vector Algebra and Statistics & Probability.

Paper-II (General Ability): It is divided into two parts: Part A on English and Part B on General Knowledge (GK). English paper that consists of 200 marks evaluates a candidate's understanding and proficiency of the language and the syllabus covers various aspects on grammar and usage; vocabulary; comprehension and cohesion in extended text. In GK, one is expected to know the current events and knowledge on matters of everyday observation and experience. It has six sections and includes questions on Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History of India and Freedom Movement; Geography and Current Events. The allocation of weightages in these six sections are approximately 25%, 15%, 10%, 20%, 20% and 10% respectively.

Intelligence and Personality Test: This test includes both verbal and non-verbal assessment primarily to evaluate the basic intelligence and mental calibre of a candidate. This also comprises Group tests, group discussions, group planning as also giving individual short presentation or lectures on specified subjects or topics.


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