The National Defence Academy (NDA) is the foremost defence training establishment of India which is continuously producing the warriors of the Indian Armed Forces. The NDA entrance exam is the gateway for aspirants who wish to join the prestigious defence forces of our country. It is a national-level examination conducted twice a year by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). The NDA selection process comprises a written test which is subsequently followed by a personality-cum-intelligence test called SSB Interview. The aspirants, who clear both the rounds (Written + SSB) of the selection process, have to undergo a medical fitness test and after the completion of every stage, they are finally eligible for admission to the National Defence Academy.
NDA is one of the most competitive entrance exams in our country due to the huge number of applicants for relatively fewer seats. Consequently, strategic preparation under the right mentorship becomes significant to crack the NDA exam with flying colors. Based on my experiences and interactions with the NDA recommended candidates, I have compiled a few salient tips for both NDA Written and SSB Interview. These preparation tips are very important from the examination point of view to help upcoming NDA aspirants make their dreams come true.
Preparation Tips for NDA Written Exam
Preparation Tips for SSB Interview
The NDA written exam is conducted in offline mode and it comprises only objective-type questions. Mathematics and General Ability Test (GAT) are the two important papers incorporated in the syllabus of the NDA written exam. There is also a penalty of negative marking for choosing the wrong option from the given alternatives. Following are the important preparation tips for the NDA written exam.
- Aspirants should focus on English and General Knowledge as these are the scoring areas required to crack the NDA examination. General Knowledge and English help the candidates in the GAT paper as well as during the SSB Interview. Thus, aspirants should develop a strong command of these sections by reading newspapers, current affairs, magazines, etc.
- One must understand the minimum cut-off criteria to pass the exam, even if you are weak in one subject, you can still make it to clear the exam just by securing the minimum cut-off in that subject and scoring well in the other one. The minimum cut-off criteria range between 25-30%.
- A smart study plan is necessary to have strategic preparation to concentrate on every important topic covered in the syllabus. Candidates should be proficient to manage their time efficiently to prepare for the exam in a well-organized manner.
- A thorough analysis of the complete syllabus and exam pattern is required to plan the preparation accordingly. Aspirants should start their preparation from basics like NCERTs along with considering the important topics that require more attention.
- Candidates should be very selective in choosing the right study materials, which can provide them an extensive coverage of the syllabus with accurate and updated content.
- The importance of solving previous years’ papers can’t be underrated. By attempting the previous years’ questions, the aspirants can get an idea of the exact exam pattern and the difficulty level of the questions asked in the NDA written examination.
- After having an in-depth knowledge of the important topics, candidates should make short notes in a summarised form to revise them on regular basis. Candidates should also attempt mock tests, and model papers to analyze their level of preparation and improve accordingly.
Preparation Tips for SSB Interview
- After completion of the NDA written exam, the qualified candidates are called for an Interview conducted by the members of the Services Selection Board (SSB).
- The SSB Interview involves a cluster of personality assessments, psychological tests, and the suitability of a candidate for getting inducted into the defence forces.
- The officer-like qualities ("OLQs") are the most important aspects that help the Services Selection Board to select the best suitable candidates.
- Candidates should also develop good observation skills and problem-solving approaches to tackle different situations with ease.
- The SSB is responsible to assess and recommend eligible candidates for National Defence Academy for further training and commission.
- The whole selection procedure in the SSB Interview is based on the concept of Manasa, Vacha, and Karmana, which means the active involvement of mind, speech, and actions.
- Candidates must have a good command with active participation to deal with various tasks like SRT, WAT, PGT, Final Group Task, Physical Test, and other Group Obstacles.
- Aspirants should have proficient communication skills along with having an extensive knowledge of Current Affairs to deal with relevant questions during the SSB Interview.