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Eligibility Requirements for the NDA Entrance Exam

Instructor: Bill Sands
Candidates who wish to take the NDA Entrance Exam required for admission to India's military academies must meet a handful of qualifications. Learn more about these requirements and see if you're eligible to take the exam.

NDA Entrance Exam Eligibility

The National Defence Academy (NDA) Entrance Exam comes with a rigorous set of civil, academic and physical eligibility requirements. In order to sit for the exam, prospective candidates must satisfy each of the requirements listed below.

#1: Citizenship

First and foremost, your citizenship status must be in order. Candidates are required to be either:

  • An Indian citizen;
  • A subject of Bhutan or Nepal;
  • A Tibetan refugee who arrived in India in 1961 or earlier; or
  • A migrant of Indian origin relocating from one of the following countries: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zaire, Vietnam or Burma. Returning immigrants must be planning on making their stay in India permanent.

#2: Gender & Marital Status

As of this time, the NDA is only considering applications from male candidates who are unmarried.

#3: Age

The NDA Entrance Exam is designed for students between the ages of 16 and 19. As of this writing, the NDA is only accepting applications from candidates born between July 2, 1998 and July 1, 2001.

#4: Education

Depending on which branch you wish to join, the educational qualifications will differ. Candidates for the army, air force and naval wings, as well as the Indian Naval Academy, will be required to pass 12th class of the 10+2 pattern. Additional requirements for prospective air force and naval cadets include coursework in physics and math.

Students who are currently enrolled in the 12th class are also eligible to apply, although their status is dependent on their ability to pass the final class. Students who do not meet these qualifications may still be eligible if they possess equivalent accomplishments, but these cases are considered exceptional and, therefore, extremely rare.

#5: Physical Fitness

In addition to having proper citizenship and education, prospective test takers will also need to meet the physical requirements as laid out by the NDA guidelines. Candidates must have an acceptable height-weight ratio, and they will need to pass vision and hearing tests in order to remain eligible. The Medical Board will conduct a physical, and any one of the following items is grounds for dismissal:

  • Overweight/underweight
  • Diagnosed with any disease/defect that may interfere with performance
  • Evidence of a 'weak constitution'
  • Tattoos or other permanent markings (the only exception being on the inner part of the forearm)
  • Past history of mental illness

Preparing for the NDA Entrance Exam

If you satisfy all of the requirements above, congratulations! You are eligible to take the entrance exam. Now it's time to start studying.

If you need help getting ready, this NDA Exam Study Guide includes multiple chapters that cover all major topics on the test via short, self-paced video lessons. Each one concludes with a brief quiz you can use to assess your grasp of the material before moving on to the next lesson or chapter. Chapter topics include:

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