NDA-Exam Pattern


NDA Exam Pattern 2024: Know Marking Scheme, Topics & Stages


NDA Exam Pattern 2024 – The NDA Exam pattern for 2024 provides applicants with a clear concept of what to expect on their route to becoming officers in the Indian Army, Navy, or Air Force by outlining the framework of the examination, including the subjects, question types, and marking schemes. The NDA examination pattern is one of India’s most famous and difficult one. This article acts as a guide for those who want to be successful in the NDA Exam by giving the details of the NDA question paper pattern. You are suggested to check your eligibility for NDA before applying. 


NDA Exam Pattern 2024: Highlights


Exam Mode and Medium
Offline (Pen Paper Based) in English and Hindi
Number of Sections
Types of questions asked  
Objective or MCQ
Total Number of Questions
270 Questions (120 from Mathematics and 150 from GAT)
Total Marks for Entrance Test
900 Marks (300 Marks for Mathematics and 600 Marks for GAT)
Negative Marking
Yes (0.83 marks for Mathematics and 1.33 marks for GAT)
Exam duration
2.5 hours (Each Section)


NDA 2024 Exam Pattern

The NDA exam pattern consists of a written examination, followed by an interview process. The following is the exam pattern for NDA 2024 exam:-


Subject Code Duration Maximum Marks  Negative Marking 
Mathematics 01 2 hours 30 min 300 -0.83
General Ability Test  02 2 hours 30 min 600 -1.33
                                                    Total  900
SSB Test/Interview 900


  1. Written Examination:
  • The NDA 2024 written examination is divided into two papers. The subjects of NDA Exam are as follows- Mathematics (Paper-I) and General Ability Test (GAT) (Paper-II).
  • Both papers are conducted on the same day.
  • The total duration for each paper is 2.5 hours (150 minutes) with 270 questions in total being asked. 


Paper-I: Mathematics

  • The Mathematics paper is of 300 marks.
  • It covers topics like algebra, matrices, trigonometry, calculus, differential equations, vectors, statistics, and probability.
  • The questions are objective type (multiple-choice questions), with 120 questions being asked.


The following is the marks distribution of Paper-I:-


Maximum Marks
Quadratic equations
Matrices and Determinants
Complex Number


Paper-II: General Ability Test (GAT)

  • The General Ability Test is divided into two parts: Part A and Part B.
  • Part A (English): This part is of 200 marks and tests candidates’ English language skills, including grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • Part B (General Knowledge): This part is of 400 marks and covers subjects like physics, chemistry, general science, social studies, geography, and current events.
  • The questions in the GAT paper are objective type, with 150 questions being asked.


The following is the marks distribution of Paper-II:-


Sections Maximum Marks
Part A – English 200
Part B – General Knowledge Physics 100
Chemistry 60
General Science 40
History, Freedom Movement, etc. 80
Geography 80
Current Events 40
Total 600


  1. Interview Process (SSB Interview):
  • Candidates who qualify in the written examination are called for the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview process.
  • The SSB interview includes psychological tests, group tasks, and personal interviews.
  • It assesses candidates’ leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills.
  • The SSB interview process is conducted in two stages: Stage I and Stage II.


Stage I:

  • Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) Test
  • Picture Perception and Description Test (PP & DT)


Stage II:

  • Interview
  • Group Testing Officer Tasks (GTO Tasks)
  • Psychology Tests
  • Conference


  1. Final Selection:
  • The final selection is based on the candidate’s performance in both the written examination and the SSB interview.
  • Candidates who qualify in all aspects are eligible for admission to the NDA.


There is negative marking in NDA, in both the papers that the candidate sits for in the NDA exam, i.e, Mathematics and GAT. For Paper- I, Mathematics, -0.83 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer while 2.5 marks are allotted for every right answer and for Paper- II, GAT, -1.33 will be deducted for every wrong answer while 4 marks are allotted for every right answer. This is all about the NDA Marking scheme.


The papers for all subjects will consist of objective-type questions exclusively. The question papers for Mathematics and Part “B” of the General Ability Test will be provided in both Hindi and English languages when necessary. Questions related to the metric system of Weights and Measures may be included in the question papers.


Candidates must personally write their answers in the exam papers and are not allowed to use a scribe for assistance. The Commission retains the discretion to determine the qualifying marks in any or all subjects of the examination. Candidates are prohibited from using calculators or mathematical/logarithmic tables to answer objective-type papers (Test Booklets) and should not bring such aids into the Examination Hall.


NDA 2024 Exam Pattern- Negative Marking 

There is negative marking in both the papers that the candidate sits for in the NDA exam, i.e, Mathematics and GAT. For Paper- I, Mathematics -0.83 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer and for Paper- II, GAT -1.33 will be deducted for every wrong answer. 


NDA 2024 Exam Duration

Both Paper- I and Paper-II, i.e, Mathematics and GAT are of 2 hours and 30 minutes each with no break in between both the exams. 


NDA Exam Pattern 2024 for SSB Interview

Candidates who pass the written examination are invited to appear for the SSB (Services Selection Board) interview. The SSB interview is a comprehensive assessment of the candidates’ personality, intelligence, and leadership potential.


The NDA Interview 2024 comprises a series of tests given below:- 


1. Screening
  • Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT)
  • Officer Intelligence Rating Test (OIR)
2. Psychological Tests
  • Thematic Apperception Test
  • Word Association Test
  • Situation Reaction Test
  • Self Description Test
3. Group Testing Officers Task (GTO)
  • Group Discussion
  • Group Planning Exercise
  • Progressive Group Task
  • Half Group Task
  • Individual Obstacles Task
  • Command Task
  • Snake Race and Group Obstacle Race
4. Personal Interview
Personal Interview with officers 
5. Conference
It involves interacting with every board member, including the board president, the GTO, and the psychologist.


Which Topics are Important for the NDA exam?

The NDA 2024 exam covers a wide range of subjects and topics. Here are some important topics for NDA Exam that candidates should focus on:

  1. Mathematics:
  • Algebra
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Trigonometry
  • Analytical Geometry
  • Differential Calculus
  • Integral Calculus and Differential Equations
  • Vector Algebra
  • Statistics and Probability
  1. General Ability Test:
  • English: Grammar, Vocabulary, Comprehension
  • Physics: Mechanics, Heat, Light, Sound, Electricity, Magnetism
  • Chemistry: Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry
  • General Science
  • History, Geography, and Current Events
  • Civics and Indian Constitution
  • Basic General Knowledge
  1. Psychological Tests:
  • Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT)
  • Word Association Test (WAT)
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
  1. Interview and Personality Test:
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership qualities
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Decision-making skills
  • Awareness of current affairs


NDA 2024 Qualifying Marks

Since the NDA 2024 Exam has not yet been held, we have thus provided the candidates with the NDA minimum qualifying marks of 2023 so as the candidate can get a better clarity on their preparation:-

Minimum qualifying marks for written (out of 900 marks)
Marks secured by the last candidate in the merit order (out of 1800 marks)
355 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)


NDA 2024 Cut off

Since the NDA 2024 Cut off has not yet been released. Thus, we are providing you with the cut off for the previous years so as to get a fair idea of the NDA 2024 Cut off marks:-


Written Exam
Final Marks
NDA 2 2023 (Expected)
349- 359 (With at least 25% marks in each subject)
709- 719
NDA 2 2020
NDA 1 2020
NDA 2 2019
NDA 1 2019
NDA 2 2018
NDA 1 2018
NDA 2 2017
NDA 1 2017
NDA 2 2016
NDA 1 2016
NDA 2 2015
NDA 1 2015
NDA 2 2014
NDA 1 2014
NDA 2 2013
NDA 1 2013


NDA Exam Pattern 2024 FAQs

Q What are the total marks of the NDA 2024 exam?
Ans NDA 2024 written examination will be conducted for a total of 900 marks, out of which 300 are for mathematics and 600 are for GAT. Candidates who qualify the written exam appear for the SSB interview which is conducted for 900 marks.

Q What are the total marks allotted to GAT & Mathematics?
Ans The total marks allotted to GAT is 600 whereas Mathematics will be conducted for 300 marks.

Q Are there negative marks in the NDA 2024 exam?
Ans There is negative marking in both the papers that the candidate sits for in the NDA exam, i.e, Mathematics and GAT. For Paper- I, Mathematics -0.83 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer and for Paper- II, GAT -1.33 will be deducted for every wrong answer. 

Q What is the difficulty level of mathematics in the NDA 2024 examination?
Ans Candidates are asked to take class 12th level mathematics in the NDA written examination.



In conclusion, the NDA 2024 exam pattern is designed to assess candidates’ knowledge, aptitude, and personality traits to select future leaders of the armed forces. The NDA examination consists of a written test comprising Mathematics and the General Ability Test (GAT), followed by a rigorous selection process that includes psychological tests, an interview, and a medical examination. Successful candidates are then admitted to the NDA for a three-year training program. This well-rounded selection process ensures that the candidates who make it to the NDA are not only academically capable but also possess the leadership and decision-making qualities required for a career in the armed forces.


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