NDA SSB VS CDS SSB: Know Similarity & Key Differences Here

By Dhruv Kumar|Updated : May 12th, 2022

NDA SSB vs CDS SSB: Every year, lakhs of students appear for NDA and CDS written examinations. Out of them, only a few thousand are selected for the SSB Interview. Most of the time, students are not fully aware of the SSB interview process. This leads to failure as one may be intelligent in academics, but do not have required personality traits like Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Presence of mind, and confidence, which can only be gained through practice.

Table of Content

What is SSB Interview?

Service Selection Board (SSB) Interview is a process to filter out the candidates who fit best for the job. SSB does not mean that those candidates who are not recommended are a failure in life, but it only means that they are not fit to be an Officer or do not have Officers-like qualities.

SSB Interview is conducted for both NDA and CDS entries, the main difference in the level of expectations from a candidate. Let's discuss what are some similarities and differences between the NDA SSB Interview and the CDS SSB Interview.

Similarity & Differences Between NDA & CDS Entry

For beginners, let’s go through the basic difference and similarities between the NDA & CDS exam –





16.5-19.5 Years

19-25 Years


Both Men & Women can Apply

Men & Women both can Apply

Educational Qualification

The candidate should have a 10+2 Certificate

Candidate should be Graduate

Scheme of Examination

Written exam + SSB interview

Written exam + SSB interview

Frequency of the Exam

Conducted Twice a Year

Conducted Twice a Year

Training Centres

National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune

Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala

Indian Air Force Academy, Hyderabad

Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun for Army Cadets

Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala for Navy Cadets

Indian Air Force Academy, Hyderabad for Air Force Officers

Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai

Degrees awarded

Army Cadets – B.Sc./ B.Sc. (Computer)/BA / B.Tech degree

Naval Cadets – B.Tech degree

Air Force Cadets – B.Tech degree

Army Cadets in IMA – PG Diploma in ‘Military and Defence Management

OTA Chennai – Post Graduate Diploma in Defence Management and Strategic Studies


The rank assigned after the training completes



Chances of Selection in NDA and CDSE SSB Interview

Frankly speaking, the chances of selection in NDA are far more robust than that of the CDSE. There are two major reasons for that:

1. The rejection levels are high in CDSE because according to SSB, the graduate-level entries can only be recommended if the candidate is perfect in all sense.

The SSB expects that the candidate taken through the CDSE examination should in a tailor-made officer material already and in the 5-6 day interview, they just look for all such traits in his/her personality. As the scope of correction is very less after the selection, so they do not take any chance while selecting the CDSE candidates. 

If any NDA candidate shows a little spark, the chances of selection become high. It is because a young person is trainable if he has good qualities if not the exceptional ones. But a person nearly steeping in adulthood is difficult to be trained to change his traits. 

2. The vacancies in CDSE are very less compared to NDA. This difference in the selection ratio is also a major counting factor. In the CDS SSB batch, in one batch of 100 persons, on average, only 2-5 are selected. 

Though the value is not fixed, generally, it is so. There may be a chance that more candidates are selected or no candidate is selected at all.

Join NDA online classes to prepare for NDA exam & SSB Interview at BYJU'S Exam Prep. NDA online course offers video lectures, interactive classes, live doubt sessions, free mock tests, quizzes, PDFs, etc.

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Difference between NDA and CDS SSB Interview FAQ's

  • The SSB interview process of both NDA and CDS is the same. Chances of selection through NDA entry are higher because a young person is trainable if he has good qualities if not the exceptional ones. But a person nearly steeping in adulthood is difficult to be trained to change his traits. 

  • If we compare both entries written examinations. CDS written is easier then NDA written examination . But as in case of SSB the recommendation of candidates is tougher in CDS as compared to NDA.

  • Both male and female candidates can apply for CDS and NDA category. The age criteria for NDA entry is 16.5-19.5 and 19-25 for CDS entry.

  • You are given a rank of cadet when you qualify for NDA or CDS. After the completion of training you are given the rank of Lieutenant in Army and respective ranks in other forces.

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