NDA 2022: Exam Dates, Online Application & Syllabus

National Defence Academy (NDA) exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) twice every year. It plays the role of admitting candidates into the Indian army, navy and airforce and is regarded as one of the toughest competitive exams in the country. 

The most recent exam before those in 2022 will be held on 14 November 2021 at 75 centers across the country. Around 400 vacant posts will be filled through this exam. The exam was initially supposed to be held on 5 September, but was postponed by UPSC owing to the prevailing situation triggered by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On being selected, a cadet gets admitted to the NDA which is located in Khadakwasla in Pune, Maharashtra. The NDA offers a full-time, three-year residential graduate programme. Cadets are awarded a degree in B.A (Bachelor of Arts) or B.Sc (Bachelor of Science). Cadets who aspire to join the Indian Navy are awarded with a B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology) degree, although they undertake an additional year of studies.  

Beginning from cycle 2 of the 2021 NDA exam, women aspirants too can apply for the exam. The Union Government had informed the Supreme Court on 18 August 2021 about its intent to allow women to apply for the NDA exams. 

What’s New In the NDA 2022 Exam?

According to the latest updates, there are no changes expected in the syllabus or the NDA 2022 exam date. However, a major change was introduced in the eligibility criteria. From now on, women will be permitted to apply for the NDA 2022 exam after the union government’s intent before the Supreme Court. 

As is the norm, the NDA 2022 exam will be held in two stages. In the first stage of the NDA exam 2022, students are required to clear the written exam, which consists of two papers. Paper 1 shall test a student’s mathematical concepts, while paper 2 shall test their general knowledge. 

The next stage of the NDA 2022 exam requires students to appear in a personality test or an interview. This interview is conducted by the Service Selection Board (SSB). Post the personality test, aspiring cadets are expected to clear the medical test, which requires a candidate to meet the medical physical standards. 

It is important to note that failure to meet medical standards has emerged as one of the key reasons for students being rejected – despite clearing the SSB round. The medical requirements are mentioned later in this article to keep you informed. A candidate gets admitted into the defense academy only after the successful clearance of the medical test. 

NDA 2022 Exam Date Announced

Key Events for NDA 2022 NDA Exam Date 2022
NDA Exam Date 2022 Cycle 1 NDA Exam Date 2022 Cycle 2
NDA Exam 2022 Notification 22 December 2021 18 May 2021
NDA Form 2022 22 December 2021 18 May 2021
Last Date to Apply for NDA Exam 2022 11 January 2022 14 June 2022
Last Date for Fee Payment January 2022 June 2022
Application Withdrawal for NDA Exam 2022 Last Week of January/First Week of February
Admit Card Availability for NDA 2022 4th Week of March August 2022
NDA Exam Date 2022 10 April 2022 4 September 2022
Declaration of NDA Exam 2022 Result May 2022 October 2022
SSB Interview for NDA Exam 2022 July to September 2022

The NDA 2022 exam date has been announced by the UPSC. As per the issued notification, 10 April 2022 has been designated as the NDA 2022 exam date for the first session. Similarly, the second session shall be held on 4 September 2022 as per the details issued for the NDA 2022 exam date. Read on to know the details about NDA form 2022, syllabus, exam pattern, etc.

How To Fill NDA Form 2022

  • The NDA form 2022 for the first cycle will be available for the aspirants on 22 December 2021, while the form for the second cycle will be available on 18 May 2022. 
  • Candidates appearing for NDA 2022 can apply through the online mode. 
  • Students can withdraw the NDA Form 2022 during the stipulated period. 
  • The last date to fill NDA Form 2022 for cycle 1 is 11 January 2022.
  • The last date to fill NDA Form 2022 for cycle 2 is 14 June 2022. 
  • The registration process for NDA 2022 will have Parts I and II.
  • In part I of the NDA 2022 application, students are expected to fill in the basic details.
  • In part II of the NDA 2022 application, students are required to upload their scanned photographs and signature, choose the exam center, and complete the payment of the fees. 

Documents Required to Apply Online for NDA Exam 2022

  • Proof of Identity (Voter ID, Aadhar card, Pan Card, etc.)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport size photograph
  • Category certificate for those applying in the reserved category for NDA exam 2022
  • Proof of residence

NDA 2022 Eligibility Criteria

A candidate, to be eligible for the NDA 2022 exam, should be an Indian citizen. However, a subject of Nepal, Bhutan, or a refugee from Tibet who has come to India before 1 January 1962 intending to settle permanently in the country is also eligible for the said exam. 

Candidates who are foreign nationals, except for Gorkhas, will have to mandatorily produce a certificate of eligibility that has been issued by the government of India. Migrants from Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and East African countries of Zaire, Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda, or Vietnam who have arrived intending to, settle in India are also eligible.

NDA 2022 Age Limit, Marital Criteria

A candidate should have passed the 12th standard exam with Physics and Maths as the subjects to be eligible for NDA 2022. Additionally, 16.5 to 19.5 years are the required NDA age limit 2022 criteria to appear for the NDA Exam 2022. Thus, the NDA age limit 2022 for cycle 1 is July 2, 2004, to July 1, 2007. 

The NDA age limit 2022 for cycle 2 is January 2, 2005, to January 1, 2008. Notably, UPSC has not provided any age relaxation for aspirants belonging to the reserved category. Thus, the NDA 2022 age limit is common for every candidate irrespective of their caste categories. 

Apart from the NDA Age limit 2022 criteria, the marital status of an aspirant also has a role to play in their successful completion of the application. To be eligible for the NDA 2022 exam, a student must not be married. Additionally, they are required to stay unmarried until the completion of their training after selection in the NDA 2022 exam.

NDA Syllabus 2022

The NDA Syllabus 2022 shall comprise of two papers: Mathematics and General Ability. As per the NDA syllabus 2022, the questions asked in these NDA exam 2022 papers are expected to test the candidate’s understanding of topics and concepts based on their learning at the 10+2 level of education. 

NDA Syllabus 2022 for Mathematics will consist of topics such as Matrices and Determinants, Analytical Geometry of 2 & 3 dimensions, Integral Calculus & Differential Equations and Statistics, and Probability. NDA Syllabus 2022 for General Ability paper shall comprise of Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Geography, and Current Affairs, in addition to English as a separate section. 

NDA Exam Pattern 2022

After understanding the NDA 2022 age limit and going through the NDA syllabus 2022, let us have a look at the exam pattern set out by the UPSC. 

NDA 2020 Pattern Mathematics General Ability 
NDA 2020 Exam Duration 2 hours 30 minutes 2 hours 30 minutes
No. of Sections in Paper One Two (English & General Knowledge)
Total Questions  120 150
Total Marks in NDA 2022 300 600 (200 for English, 400 for GK)
Marking Scheme for NDA 2022 2.5 marks for the correct answer, -0.83 for incorrect answer 4 marks for the correct answer, -1.33 for incorrect answer
Medium English & Hindi English for English section, English & Hindi for GK 
Types of Questions expected in the NDA 2022 exam Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)


The questions asked in the NDA exam are multiple-choice in nature, i.e. students have to select the right answer from a list of four options mentioned. However, every wrong answer comes with a penalty. Thus, it is absolutely necessary to strategize one’s answering abilities as excessive negative answers could leave a lasting impact on their performance. Moreover, the marking scheme is different for the two papers as is seen in the table above. Students also have the option of two languages, i.e. the questions are printed in English and Hindi for paper 1, thus removing the barrier for vernacular-educated students. 

Details regarding NDA 2022 Admit Card

After understanding the NDA syllabus 2022 pattern, students must be curious to know about the admit card availability. For cycle 1 of the NDA 2022 exam, the admit card will be available on the official website in the fourth week of March. 

Similarly, the admit card of cycle 2 of the NDA 2022 exam will be provided in the month of August. The confirmed date will be available later. On receiving the admit card, the student is expected to check their name, exam center, NDA 2022 exam date, timing, etc. thoroughly. Any mistake or errors in the admit card shall be brought to the notice of the authorities immediately to avoid last-minute glitches. Additionally, students should get the admit card printed as soon as it is uploaded on the official website to avoid any last-minute glitch. 

Checklist to Start NDA 2022 Preparation

  1. Before kickstarting the preparation for the NDA 2022 exam, students should be well versed with the subjects, exam pattern, NDA syllabus 2022 details, etc. 
  2. Students should keep a printout of the syllabus with them and should stick to the topics mentioned in it. 
  3. To ensure good marks in Mathematics, aspirants should practice key topics such as algebra, trigonometry, matrices, statistics, calculus. Notably, these topics are an integral part of the NDA syllabus 2022 and can be studied better from NCERT textbooks of classes 8 to 12. 
  4. The General Ability Test i.e. paper 2 of NDA 2022 comprises several subjects like physics, chemistry, general science, history, geography, and current affairs. These topics should be read and revised frequently to have a better grasp of them. Again, the NCERT books are an excellent source of information for these topics. 
  5. Create short notes of every topic that is mentioned in the NDA 2022 syllabus. This shall help the students while revising the concepts during the final days leading to the exam. 
  6. Students should also make it a point to solve ample mock tests and previous years’ papers to assess their level of preparedness. 
  7. It is also important to have a thorough understanding of the medical standards that UPSC expects from the candidates. If a candidate suffers from minor ailments that fall under a list by the said name, they should get it rectified before appearing in the medical examination. 
  8. One should always be confident and try to converse with people. Notably, the personality test has a major role to play in a student’s ultimate selection process. Thus, students should make it a point to undergo mock interviews that are in line with SSB criteria. 

NDA 2022 Results

The NDA Exam 2022 result for the cycle 1 written exam will be announced in the month of May. Similarly, the NDA Exam 2022 result for the cycle 2 written exam will be announced in the month of October. After clearing the written segment, students will be informed about the second phase of the NDA 2022 exam date i.e. the SSB interview round. The interviews will be held tentatively between the months of July and September. 

NDA Answer Key 2022

The answer keys may or may not be provided by UPSC after the completion of the NDA exam 2022. In the event that the answer key is provided, aspirants can check their performance and can then decide on the future course of action. If the answer key suggests that a candidate is performing well, then they should start preparing for the SSB around even before the announcement of the results. Also, many a time, the answer keys are issued by several coaching institutes. Stay tuned with Toppr for the same. 

NDA Cut Off 2022

The official cutoff will not be available until the declaration of results for the NDA exam 2022. But students can get an idea through the previous years’ cut-off marks for the current attempt. Notably, students are called up for the SSB interview based on the aggregate score in both the tiers of the NDA exam 2022. 

Still, a candidate has to secure a minimum of 25% marks in each section of the two papers, as well as cumulatively in both papers. The average cutoff for NDA has varied. But it has always increased constantly since 2010. Meanwhile, Toppr has provided the most recent exam cut-off for students to have a decent insight on. The final cutoff for the two papers for the NDA exam 2021 was 355 out of 900 marks. About 723 students qualified in the first cycle of the NDA exam last year. 

NDA Reservation Criteria 2022 

There exists no caste-based reservation system in the NDA 2022 exam. This is averse to the caste-based criteria that exist in other exams conducted by the UPSC, including the Civil Services exam. The government’s recently introduced Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota that seeks to grant up to 10%  reservation for candidates belonging to low-income families is also not applicable in the NDA exam.

Physical Guidelines For Admission into NDA

Every candidate seeking admission into the NDA needs to be physically and mentally fit according to the standards set out by the UPSC. Several candidates are rejected at the medical examination stage due to a failure in meeting the medical guidelines. Therefore, they are advised to undergo a thorough medical check before filling in the NDA form 2022 to avoid any last-minute disappointment. 

Candidates are also advised to rectify minor defects or ailments to speed up the process of medical examination that is conducted at the Military Hospital after the recommendation of SSB. 

A few of the minor ailments are listed down:

  • Wax (ears)
  • Piles
  • Varicocele
  • Deviated Nasal Septum
  • Hydrocele/Phimosis
  • Overweight/Underweight 
  • Undersized Chest
  • Gynaecomastia
  • Tonsillitis

Key Medical Standards for NDA 2022 Selection

A candidate must be in good physical and mental health to be deemed ‘Medically fit’. Moreover, they should be free from any disease/syndrome/disability that has the potential to interfere with

the efficient performance of military duties during service. The candidate also needs to be free from conditions that require frequent access to medical facilities and use of aid/drugs.

  • Absolutely no evidence of any weak constitution, imperfect development of any system, no congenital deformities, disease, syndrome or malformation.
  • No swelling, including tumor, cyst, swollen lymph node, cyst anywhere in the body. No sinus or fistulae anywhere in the body.
  • No hernia in any part of the body.
  • No hyper/hypopigmentation, disease, syndrome, or disability of the skin. 
  • No scars that have the potential to impair functioning or lead to significant disfigurement. 
  • No arterio-venous malformation in the body anywhere.
  • No head or face malformation including asymmetry, deformity from fracture, or depression of the bones of the skull. 
  • No scars that are indicative of old operative interference and malformation like sinuses and fistulae etc. 

More details about the medical standards can be viewed in the NDA notification that is released by the UPSC. 

Frequently Asked Questions  

Can women fill the NDA form 2022?

  • Yes, as per the latest interim order by the Supreme Court, women are eligible to apply for the NDA 2022 exam. Earlier, only men could compete for admissions into the NDA. But the norm is all set to undergo a massive change.

What is the NDA 2022 age limit?

  • 16.5 to 19.5 years is the NDA Age Limit 2022 criteria for the NDA Exam 2022. Thus, the NDA age limit 2022 for cycle 1 is July 2, 2004, to July 1, 2007. The NDA age limit 2022 for cycle 2 is January 2, 2005, to January 1, 2008.

Does the NDA 2022 age limit criteria differ for men and women?

  • No, the NDA 2022 age limit criteria do not differ for men and women.

Can the NDA exam date 2022 change?

  • UPSC usually releases a calendar for every exam that it conducts. Any unavoidable circumstance being an exception, the NDA exam date 2022 is not subject to undergo any change. 

Is there any limit on the number of attempts?

  • No, there is no limit on the number of attempts for the NDA exam. However, aspirants should strictly abide by the NDA 2022 age limit criteria.
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