Cracking the UPSC NDA and NA Exam and Joining the National Defence Academy

National Defence Academy or NDA as it is popularly called is an institution of prime excellence and trains the selected youth of our country for the defence forces(army, airforce and navy). It is a cradle of leadership where leaders of tomorrow are trained and moulded to lead the defence forces and the nation at times of crisis be it external or internal

NDA Campus NDA is located at Khadakwasla with the nearest city being Pune. The Pune railway station is 24 km away. Map on the NDA website will give you an idea of the exact location.

Training at NDA Rigorous training is carried out at the National Defence Academy to cover both Academics as well as service training for the respective service viz army navy and airforce. The young untrained boy who comes to the academy leaves after three years as a polished, physically fit, mentally alert, morally straight man. In short he becomes a gentleman. The duration of training at NDA is three years which is broken up into six terms of six months each. At the end of the training cadets pass out of the academy and the occasion is called the passing out parade. Before the passing out parade the cadets are given a bachelors degree in Science/Arts/Computer Applications. He is thereafter put on a platform to pursue career in his respective service after a short training at the respective service academies.

How to Join NDA

The Union Public Service Commission conducts combined written entrance exam for NDA and NA twice a year. The exam is held in the months of April and August. Notification for the exam appears in all major national dailies in the month of Dec/Jan for the Apr exam and in the months of Apr/May for the Aug exam. After the notification the candidates have to fill the form which can be obtained from any major GPO. The form can also be filled online at the Union Public Service Commission website. For submitting the form online you would require a scanned photo and a copy of your signatures scanned. Prior to the examination candidates are sent admit cards indicating their examination center. The cards come a month prior to the exam and contain the roll number and exam venue. In case of non receipt of admit cards/hall ticket or any other problem, the candidates should call the Union Public Service Commission help line number given on the website. Admit cards, roll number and exam venue can be checked from the Union Public Service Commission website based on your application number(offline form submission) and registration number(online registration) Before dispatching their application form, the candidates must keep a photocopy of the same for their own records. Also receipt status of the application can be checked on the Union Public Service Commission website. All students who want to join NDA have to take the written exam. There is no short cut to this and no direct SSB. NDA should not be confused with the Technical Entry Scheme (TES) which is only for technical arms / services and there are limited vacancies. As of now Girls are not eligible to join NDA. It is for boys only… if things change at a later date the same would be updated.

Conditions of Eligibility for NDA written Exam AGE: 16 and half to 19 years. This age is calculated on the date of joining the NDA. EDUCATION: plus 2 qualified or appearing are eligible to sit for NDA written exam. For Air Force and Navy the NDA exam aspirants must have physics and mathematics as subjects. Students with arts and commerce can also apply for NDA. SEX: only male candidates can sit for the NDA written exam. Women are currently not eligible.

Scheme of Examination The NDA written exam consists of two papers, One on General Abilities and the other on Mathematics. Both the papers of the NDA written exam are held on the same day and each paper is of two and half hours each. The maths paper is for 300 marks and the General Abilities paper of the NDA written exam is of 600 marks. The level of difficulty of questions is from medium to high.

Syllabus of the Examination The exam tests the all round knowledge of the candidates in diverse fields like Maths, Polity, Economics, History, Geography, Current Affairs, General Knowledge, English, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences etc. Detailed Syllabus can be seen at the link under Useful Information.

Results of NDA Written Examination The result of NDA written exam is declared by the Union Public Service Commission three to four months after the written exam. It is available on the Union Public Service Commission website after being declared. As far as passing the exam is concerned, it is a competitive exam and there is no fixed cut off percentage for passing. Call Letters for interviews are sent to the candidates who comparatively perform better than others. For an idea on the interview questions you can see the link “Tips for Interview” under useful information. After the SSB interviews final result of candidates based on merit is prepared and displayed on the Union Public Service Commission website. Based on vacancies joining instructions are sent to candidates as per the merit list.

How to Prepare for the NDA Exam A candidate has two options to prepare. First is self-study after buying a book from the various books available in the market. The second option is to take coaching from an Academy which is regularly preparing the students for the exam. Please check the credentials of the Academy before joining as there are many operators in the market out to make a quick buck. Avoid academies offering one month coaching as syllabus is vast and cannot be digested in this short time. You may end up wasting your time and money. A time plot of two months is more practical. Coaching offers the following advantages • Coaching Institutes have prepared their own books after analysis of the exams. • Students can take advantage of the vast experience of the tutors. • Students get into a regular study cycle which is not possible in the self-study mode. • Knowledge is exchanged with other students. • Coaching Institutes put the students through regular tests on the NDA pattern. • Coaching Institutes provide mock tests at the end for the entire syllabus. • Doubts in the students mind can be cleared instantaneously • Coaching institutes provide previous question papers and answer keys.

Success Tips • Be deliberate about your preparation. Half hearted preparation will lead to half-hearted results. • Be consistent in your effort. Don’t lose focus after couple of days or weeks efforts. • Revise old question papers.

In Martial Arts, Different Schools Have Different Rules

Most forms of martial arts require a balance between the mental, physical and spiritual to reach the top. In fact, martial arts are often considered spiritual disciplines as much as they are physical ones. In Taekwondo, for instance, morality and spirituality are just as important as physicality, considering Taekwondo focuses on truth and justice rather than on power and might. When it comes to determining the appropriate level of moral and mental development required for advancement, different schools and different masters set their own unique standards.

Taekwondo Master Al Quiceno, who runs the Panthers Martial Arts school in Suffer, New York, says that every school is a little different, as they depend on the master’s requirements. In Quiceno’s case, students have to prove their responsibility by taking care of a raw egg for a week. They have to create a scrapbook that demonstrates their understanding of the history of Taekwondo, as well as other assorted techniques. But the trials don’t end there. In order to get a black belt, Quiceno’s students have to take him on at chess, as well as display their peak physical condition with a three-mile run and 1000 repetitions with a skipping rope, on top of their typical sparring sessions.

Far from being unusual, Quinceno’s standards seem to be the norm, as students at Westchester Martial Arts Academy in Eastchester, New York, have to undergo similar trials before they reach the coveted black belt. Chuck Giangreco, an instructor at Westchester Martial Arts Academy, requires his students to pass an oral exam, as well as run martial arts classes so that they can prove their communication and leadership skills. In addition to the standard martial arts routines, he also requires students to pass running, push-up and pull-up tests. According to Giangreco, achieving a black belt is akin to a form of higher education, which justifies all the extra work and additional requirements.

JoJo Guarin, a Jiu-Jitsu instructor at Gracie Barra Academy in White Plains, New York, says that mental toughness plays a big role in obtaining a black belt, but that there are other factors that are equally important. At Gracie Barra, for instance, attitude is essential to advancement. Guarin says that students who display a general bad attitude to life will not be awarded a black belt as it will reflect poorly on their instructors. So, while students may be at the peak of their physical powers, and perform equally well in a variety of cognitive tests, unless they display a positive attitude to life, they will be denied the ultimate prize in martial arts.

Bruce Lee, who is probably the most famous martial arts practitioner that the world has ever known, did not subscribe to the notion of belts, but that is not a philosophy that sits well with many modern day instructors. Giangreco feels that the belt system is extremely useful, as it keeps people striving to achieve more and constantly improve. This opinion is endorsed by Cynthia Estevez, a 17 year-old Taekwondo practitioner from Panthers Martial Arts. Estevez says, “Just being a black belt is a big deal … It’s a cool thing because it’s not something a lot of people have, so it’s special.”

Recommended site: