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Thursday, October 21, 2021

How to prepare for NDA and SSB Interview after 10th Standard

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Becoming part of the National Defence Academy (NDA) is a dream for thousands of students of India. However, note that upon completing class 10th, your subjects should be physics, chemistry and mathematics. If you do not wish to take a medical stream, even in that case mathematics will be a compulsory subject. Hence, the major focus should be on mathematics as you can’t clear the NDA written examination without scoring a minimum percentage in it.

Eligibility Criteria –

Army Wing of NDA12th pass out of 10+2 pattern of school education or any equivalent examination.
Non – Naval Wings and Air Force Wing of NDA12th pass out of 10+2 pattern of school education or any equivalent examination with Physics and Mathematics conducted by a University or State Education Board.  
Final year studentsCandidates appearing in 12th class under the 10 + 2 pattern of school education or any equivalent examination can also apply
Class 11th StudentsNot Eligible
Age Criteria16.5 – 19.5 years

SyllabusThe syllabus for the NDA exam is set by UPSC. It is required for the candidates to know the syllabus if they want to qualify for the exams and get into the Indian Defence Force. The selection process for the NDA exam is divided into two stages – Written examination and SSB interview.

Written Exam –

  • For Mathematics
  • For General Ability Test (GAT)
NDA General Ability TestSectionsMaximum Marks
Part A – English200
Part B – General AwarenessPhysics100
 History, Freedom Movement, Timeline etc.80
General Sciences40
Current Events     Total40     600

Structure for Written Exams in NDA –

NDA Written ExamsSubjectsMaximum MarksNumber of Questions
Paper 1Mathematics300120
Paper 2GAT600150
  • Marking Scheme all the written exam is  2.5 for each correct answer and -0.83 in mathematics and 4 marks are awarded for each correct answer in GAT and -1.33 for every incorrect answer.
  • The written test will consist of multiple-choice questions.
  • The syllabus is covered in 10+2 standards
  • The medium of the exam is bilingual (English & Hindi)

Preparing for NDA – Essential Tips to Crack The Exam

It is imperative to know all the important points you need to keep in mind if you wish to crack the NDA exam in your first attempt. Here are a few suggestions that will ensure your success!

  • First, make sure that you have completed the required syllabus for each section. Do not leave any section or topic if you want to make it to the interview round and get your selection.
  • Go through the exam pattern thoroughly and start solving the previous year question papers.
  • Understand the marks distribution to clear your doubts regarding cut off, wrong answers and negative marking in the exam.
  • Focus on learning shortcut tricks to deal with difficulty levels of the mathematics section.
  • Schedule your study plan smartly and give proper time to each section without a fail.
  • Study under the guidance of an expert tutor who has the right experience to guide you through the rights and wrongs of each section.
  • Work on increasing your speed so that you can learn basic time management skills. Learning the right shortcut tricks will help you to get through this. Implement your own smart strategy and practice mock test papers as much as possible.
  • For mathematics, try to complete each section within 1.25 min. for short and a minimum of 3 min. for long questions individually. Similarly, for the GK section, do not spend more than one or two minutes on each question. For English, focus on proficiency and grammatical skills to clear the NDA examination.

Preparing for the SSB Interview

Let us take a look at the procedure of SSB interview to understand the process better –

Day 1 of the Interview –

This includes the following tests:

  • Verbal, nonverbal intelligence test
  • Picture Perception Description Test (PPDT)

Day 2 of the Interview –

On the second day of the interview, you are required to clear a few more tests. These are-

  • Thematic Apperception Test
  • Word Association Test
  • Situation Reaction Test
  • Self Description Test

Day 3 of the Interview –

On the third day of the interview, you are required to participate in GTO (Group Testing Officers). This round will be composed of several tasks such as group discussion, group planning exercise, progressive group task, half group task, individual obstacle task, command task and group obstacle task.

Day 4 of the SSB interview will require you to attend a personal interview. Details of this round will be shared post-qualifying day 3 of the interview.

Day 5 of the SSB Interview includes participating in a conference, which is a complete procedure and one has to appear for these tests and activities as a part of the interview process.

Tips to crack SSB interview

People usually think that this interview is no different from the other ones. However, only a few know that the SSB interview is completely different from others as your knowledge will not be tested much. Here are a few tips that will help you as you crack this interview –

  • Never presume or try to show that you are the best or try to show that you are over smart. The officers and examiners will check if you can act accordingly.
  • Always perform video group in group activities and never take it individually.
  • Behave gently and modestly
  • Never hesitate to ask your invigilators, in case you have any problem or issue. do not discuss these problems with their other candidates, until or unless it is required to do so.


The Armed Forces Preparatory Academy (AFPA) is an institute that is dedicated to mentoring defence aspirants who have recently passed class 10th and intend to join NDA. The students are taken through a structured and integrated curriculum design to prepare them for admission into the National Defence Academy (NDA) immediately upon completing class 12th.

We at AFPA strive to support students in academics and military training with the right guidance. We have come up with the “MISSION NDA Programme with the sole mission to prepare students not only for NDA/NA/IIT/JEE (Mains) but also systematically groom them over 2 years at a transformational level for clearing the NDA Exam and SSB Interview. Therefore, our diverse and extensive training methods focus on enabling the aspirations for the written test conducted by the UPSC and cracking the SSB interview with flying colours!

We have a glorious record of enabling thousands of experience to get their selection across the country meticulously over the past few years to make sure that they join the National Defence Academy/Indian Naval Academy/Officers Training Academy as prestigious officer cadets and make their dream come true!

To join AFPA Mission NDA 2021-2023 pls visit https://afpa.in/mission-nda/ or call +918390000649 for more information.

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The Editorial Team at SSBCrack consists of professional writers, journalists and defence aspirants.
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