How to Prepare NDA Exam after 12th? – Expert Preparation Tips

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 11th, 2023

We have provided you with answers to the frequently asked question, “How to Prepare NDA Exam after 12th?” India boasts one of the most massive standing armies in the entire globe. It goes without saying that to be capable of manning the borders in the extreme temperatures of Siachen Glacier or the Thar desert, the soldiers must be extraordinarily hardworking and must also undergo strenuous training regimens.

In this article, we have provided preparation tips for the students preparing for the NDA after 12th. Also, candidates can check the detailed information on NDA courses after 12th.

NDA after 12th

This training is for the soldiers who wish to join any one of the military wings of India, that is, the Army, the Air Force or the Navy, who undergo training at the National Defence Academy. This institute is situated in Pune, Maharashtra. 


Admission to this very prestigious institute is done through a two-tier entrance exam. The NDA Exam is conducted by the UPSC or the Union Public Service Commission twice a year. The two exams consist of a written test and a personality interview, generally known as the SSB. When a candidate is successful in both the written and personality test, he or she is then shortlisted as a candidate in the final merit list.

After completing three years, the candidates are awarded a Bachelor’s degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Now, the candidates choose their specialization areas like those who wish to join the army to join the India Military Academy in Dehradun, those who wish to join the Indian Air Force, join the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad and those who wish to join the Indian Navy joined the India Naval Academy in Ezhimala. 

After going through a further 1 year of specialized training, the cadets become officers who are then commissioned in the various military stations across the nation. One can assume that preparing for NDA after 12th is certainly not an easy task. However, one can certainly join this highly esteemed institute with some preparation and practice. 

Things to Remember for NDA after 12th

The first thing that all aspiring candidates must remember is that if you wish to join NDA after 12th as a Junior Cadet, you must begin your preparation as early as possible. Waiting for your Class 12th Board exams to get over to begin the preparation for the NDA entrance exam would only be foolish. So, class 12 students aiming to join NDA must commence the preparation very much on time, preferably when they are in Class 12. 

The first criteria for preparing for the entrance exam is to know the NDA Syllabus very well. This helps the candidate in having an idea about what he can expect in the exam. So, here follows the syllabus for the entrance exam for candidates who wish to join the NDA after 12th:





General Ability Test (Section 1: English)


General Ability Test (Section 1: General Knowledge)


Total Marks


SSB Interview


Grand Total


Note: The entire exam duration is 2 hours 30 minutes, and the exam is conducted through offline mode. There is a negative marking where the candidate loses 0.33 marks for every wrong answer.

How to Join NDA after 12th?

Many candidates who wish to join the Indian Defence Service spent numerous sleepless nights thinking about how to join NDA after 12th. Thus, here follows a detailed suggestion for those aspiring students:

Subject Wise Preparation Tips for NDA after 12th

Once you are well-versed with the syllabus for the NDA entrance exam, now it’s time that you gear up for subject-wise preparation. The subjects and how you need to prepare for them are as follows:

  • Mathematics:

The most feared of all the subjects for students is undoubtedly Mathematics. However, once you start preparing for the entrance exam, you will soon realise that the subject is not difficult at all. In the case of the NDA entrance exam, the candidate is required to answer 120 questions. 

The syllabus for Mathematics is mostly from the class 12 curriculum, so the students of class 12 with Mathematics as one of the subjects will find no difficulty in solving the questions. 

You can follow certain books to improve your Mathematical and numerical solving skills. 

Useful books:

1. Mathematics book by RS Aggarwal

This book is extremely popular and is very good for students who wish to know how to join NDA after completing 12th. The best thing about the book is that the ideas are explained with several examples. These examples help the candidates understand the concepts better. 

Moreover, the exercises at the end of every chapter are very vast, and they cover all aspects and all types of problems that might come. Answers are also given at the back of the book, and the book is highly genuine, which the candidate can trust.

2. Practice Sets by Manjul Tyagi and Amit Rastogi

This is yet another great book that students can use safely to prepare for NDA entrance exams. The book comes with an exhaustive number of sample papers and also has the previous years’ question papers. Some are solved, while others are unsolved. 

The desiring candidate must first solve the solved papers to gain confidence, and then he or she must go for the unsolved question papers.

  • General Ability Test:

The General Ability Paper is very vast, indeed. Here the candidate has to prepare in English as well as General Knowledge and Current Affairs. For English, there are many books in the market. However, the Objective English Book by Arihant Publishers and the English Grammar Book by Tata McGraw Hill are very good. These books have all the grammatical concepts explained with examples. 

The number of exercises is vast and extensive. Apart from these, the candidate has to be updated about the current affairs

Useful books:

The best way to be updated about current affairs is to go through the daily newspapers.

NDA SSB Preparation Tips for Class 12 Students

NDA Course After 12th (Tips for SSB) – SSB is tier 2 of the NDA entrance exam. The candidates who pass the written exam are then asked to appear for the SSB test. The SSB test has two categories of tests: the Psychological Aptitude Test and the Intelligence Test. To qualify for these tests, the candidates should focus on the development of their personalities. The test aims to assess the candidates’ essential qualities that might be required to be present as an army officer.

Tips to Prepare for NDA Medical Exam after 12th

Candidates who are successful in the SSB test are called for the Medical Exam. All candidates must correct if they have any minor defects like eye power. Stay fit and healthy by regularly exercising.

So, we hope that the tips mentioned above and suggestions will help you to prepare for one of the toughest entrance exams in the country, the NDA entrance test. All candidates must remember that preparation is the key to success in case of any kind of entrance test. Also remember that the entrance test for NDA after 12th is, after all, an entrance exam to one of the noblest and most lucrative careers in the country. So, be positive and prepare well.

Also, check:


Download the BYJU’S Exam Prep App Now

The Most Comprehensive Exam Prep App


Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium