NDA Exam Pattern 2024, Check Marking Pattern and Stages

NDA Exam Pattern 2024 is discussed in detail in this article. Candidates must read this article to know about NDA Exam Pattern detail, NDA Marking Scheme, NDA Negative Marking and much more.

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NDA Exam pattern 2023

NDA Exam Pattern 2024: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) prescribes the NDA exam pattern to provide candidates with a clear understanding of the exam’s structure. This pattern is meticulously designed to identify and select the most qualified candidates to serve as officers in the Indian Armed Forces. The NDA exam is conducted twice a year and consists of two distinct stages: the written examination and the SSB interview.

The UPSC NDA written examination is divided into two papers: Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT). Both papers feature objective-type questions, totaling 270 questions in the entire exam. Specifically, the Mathematics paper comprises 120 questions, while the GAT paper contains 150 questions. The total marks allocated for the NDA exam is 900 marks.

To successfully clear the written examination, candidates must achieve the section-wise qualifying marks, which are set at 25 percent. This comprehensive exam pattern ensures a fair and rigorous assessment of candidates’ knowledge and aptitude, ultimately identifying those best suited for the responsibilities of officers in the armed forces.

NDA Exam Pattern

NDA Exam is conducted twice a year. When it is conducted initially in the year then it is referred to as NDA and NA – 1 and this examination conducted the second time is referred to as NDA and NA-2. NDA/NA-1 examination is conducted in April and the NDA/ NA-2 examination is conducted in the month of September. The application form for NDA – 2 is released in the month of June.

The NDA exam pattern 2024 consists of various aspects, including the exam mode, total marks allocated, exam duration, question types, and more. Familiarizing oneself with this exam pattern is essential for candidates preparing for the upcoming NDA 2024 exam, as it plays a pivotal role in achieving a favorable rank. Having a clear understanding of the NDA exam pattern is an initial and crucial step toward exam success. Looking into the details of the pattern allows candidates to grasp the complete framework of the recruitment process. This knowledge empowers candidates to plan their preparation strategies effectively and perform optimally in the exam, ultimately increasing their chances of success.

NDA Exam Pattern for Girls

After approval interim by the supreme court, the female candidates are also eligible for sitting in the NDA examination. NDA Eligibility for female candidates remains the same as for male candidates. The criteria of height, weight, and vision criteria are the same as for male candidates marital status is also included. There is quite a relaxation in height and physical requirements. The exam pattern for girls as well as boys become the exact mentioned below.

NDA Exam Pattern 2024 Overview

This NDA Examination is basically conducted in significant two steps:

  1. NDA Written Examination

Candidates can refer to the following essential highlights concerning the NDA exam pattern.

Particulars Details
Exam Mode Offline
Number of Papers GAT and Mathematics
Duration of Test GAT: 2 ½ hours Mathematics: 2 ½ hours
Exam Timing GAT: 10 am to 12.30 pm Mathematics: 2 pm to 4.30 pm
Number of Questions GAT: 150 Mathematics: 120
Language of Question Paper English and Hindi
Total Marks Written Exam: 900 (600 for GAT and 300 for Mathematics) SSB Interview: 900

Also, Read NDA Syllabus 2024

The Written Examination is basically divided into two parts, One is the Mathematics portion and another is General Ability Test.

  1. The NDA Mathematics portion consists of basic numerals which are based on the 11th and 12th-grade syllabus.
  2. And General Ability Test is Majorly divided into English and General Knowledge portion. Generally, 200 marks questions are asked from the English portion and 400 marks Questions are asked from General Ability Test. The entire paper consists of 600 marks and Marks will allot after combining Mathematics Paper as well as the General Ability paper. The combing mark is 900, in which the candidate has to score 25% marks in each subject, but for recommendation in NDA Exam 2024, the Candidate must have to clear the NDA cut-off of the Examination.
Papers Subject Maximum marks Duration
Paper 1 Mathematics 300 2 ½
Paper 2 GAT 600 2 ½
Total 900 5 hours

NDA Question Patterns: Objectives (Multiple Choice Questions- MCQ ) are generally asked.

NDA Marking Pattern: 

Sections Marks for correct answer NDA Negative Marking
GAT 4 1.33
Mathematics 2.5 0.83

Please note that there is 33.33% Negative Marking: For each wrong answer ⅓ marks assigned to the question are deducted.

Language: The Question paper (Test Booklets) of Mathematics and part B of the General Ability Test will be set bilingually in Hindi as well as English. The Exam is conducted in basically online mode.

NDA Exam Time Duration: The duration of Mathematics, as well as the general ability test, is of 2 hours and 3o minutes.

NDA GAT Exam Pattern

Candidates can refer to the table provided below in order to know the distribution of questions in the GAT paper.

Sections Maximum marks

Part A – English


Part B – General Knowledge





General Science


History, Freedom Movement, etc.




Current Events




  1. NDA SSB ( Intelligence and Personality Test)

The SSB procedure consists of two stages: the Selection process- Stage 1 and Stage 2. Only those Candidates who clear stage 1 are permitted to appear for stage 2. There are the following details about Stage 1 and Stage 2 are as follows:

  • Stage 1- Comprises Officer Intelligence Rating (ORI) tests are Picture Perception and Description Test ( PP and DT) candidates will be shortlisted based on the combination of performance in OIR Test and PP and DT.
  • Stage 2- Comprises of an Interview, Group Testing Officer Task, Psychology Test, and the Conference, These tests are conducted over 4 days.

The personality of a candidate is assessed by three assessors viz. The Interviewing Officer (IO), the Group Testing Officer (GTO), and the Psychologist. There is no separate weightage for each test. The marks are allotted by assessors only after taking into consideration the performance of the candidate holistically in all the tests. In addition, marks for the Conference are also allotted based on the initial performance of the candidate on the three techniques and the decision of the Board. All these have equal weightage.

Note: Non-maths background candidates can not apply for Air Force and Navy wing. To apply in these branches, Candidates must have Physics and Maths as major subjects in 12th standard. Non-Maths background students can only apply for the Army wing which has eligibility of 12th standard or equivalent.

Stage Tests Total Marks
Stage 1

Stage 2

Screening Test

Psychological Test

Group Testing Officer Tasks

Personal Interview


900 Marks

Also, Check NDA Admit Card 2024

Tips for Non-Maths Background Students for NDA Examination

  • Start with the basics

First of all, the Candidate should have to build their base and then go to high-grade questions. If the basics are clear it will be pretty much helpful for the candidates to understand the syllabus properly.

  • Complete NCERT First

The class 11th and 12th NCERT are very beneficial from the NDA Examination point of View. If a candidate wants to crack this examination then he must go through the NCERTs. It basically helps you to strengthen the concepts and build confidence.

  • Questions Practice is compulsory

Regularly solving certain questions or solving previous year’s questions will undoubtedly improve your speed and accuracy. Without solving the questions you will not be able to understand the concept properly.

  • Analyzing problems and weaker areas

Analyze your own mistakes and investigate your weaker areas where you need more practice. Work on the mistakes that will help you during Exam time.

  • Consistency and proper guidance

Consistency plays a very important role while preparing for any competitive Exam. A proper timetable and regular study definitely help in cracking the examination, without a proper timetable candidates cannot perform up to the mark in the Examination. Also, Proper guidance and a good strategy will help in accomplishing the goal. Candidates should analyze the previous year’s question paper and study accordingly.

NDA Exam Pattern 2024 FAQs

Q1. What is the Exam Pattern of the NDA Examination?

The NDA examination is held in two parts: Written Examination and SSB. The written examination consists of two papers one is mathematics of 300 marks and General Ability Test (GAT) of 600 marks.

Q2. How Many Hours is NDA Exam?

Ans. Overall candidates have to sit for 5 Hours for the Examination. The NDA Examination is conducted in two shifts. NDA mathematics paper is 2 hours and 30 minutes. General ability test is conducted for the duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Q3. Is this Necessary to pass Each subject in NDA Examination?

Ans. Yes, for Qualifying NDA Examination, the candidate must have to qualify in all. subjects. At least 25% marks are required in every subject to qualifying the NDA Written examination.

Q4. What are the Highest Marks in the NDA?

Ans. The Highest score in NDA was 1116 out of 1800 in 900 from the written examination and 900 from the marks interview conducted. After qualifying both written and Interviews. In the written examination 322 marks are considered the average mark.

Q5. What is the NDA pass rate?

Q5. Candidate needs to score at least 25% minimum marks to qualify for NDA written Examination. Those who will score more than the cut-off and the minimum marks are called for an interview.

Q6. Is 100 a good Score in NDA?

Ans. 100 marks are not enough to be recommended in NDA. Candidates need to qualify for their cut-off for getting the selection for NDA.

Q7. Is NDA Maths Easy?

Ans.The Maths of NDA is based upon 11th and 12 equivalents. This Exam becomes pretty much easier for student Non-Medical students because they already had studied earlier. So, it is not as hard to crack.

Q8. Is Qualifying for NDA easy?

Ans. The NDA Written Exam is easy to crack if you had studied properly. All those candidates who study properly and consistently can easily qualify for the examination.

Q9. What is the Lowest Score in NDA?

Ans. The minimum qualifying mark for that examination is 25%. For qualifying this prestigious examination at least 25 % marks is compulsory.

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