National Defence Academy (NDA) Tips and Interview Questions

NDA examination for recruiting into Army, Navy, and Air force wings are conducted twice a year. The National Defence Academy cadets of the three services train before going to their respective service academy for further pre-commission training. These exams for a candidate hold two stages: a written exam and an SSB interview.

As an eligibility criterion, candidates must pass Class 12 with Physics and Mathematics education.

The offline exam duration is for 5 hours where mathematics and general ability are tested with 120 and 150 objective type questions respectively. The shortlisted candidates of the written exams give the SSB interview before being selected for admission. In an SSB interview conducted in two stages, the candidates are tested based on intelligence and personality.

Tips to crack the exams:

  • Catch up with the current affairs with magazines and newspapers. Newspapers are a great source of general knowledge.

  • Do not overstress before the examination, rather trust in your own preparation and determination.

  • Solve previous years’ question papers and banks for a complete understanding of the exam pattern and time management.

  • Revise on the topics you have learned through NCERT textbooks for Mathematics, Science, and English.

SSB interviews last for 15-20 minutes during which you should be able to share your knowledge you have gained. This stage is the most important part to prepare for. Research and practice your answers for any questions as well as tricky ones that access the candidate’s knowledge. Besides, develop necessary body language, posture, and attitude. Following is the pattern generally referred to in an SSB interview.

  • Firstly, as an icebreaker, the interviewer asks basic questions related to your name, place, family, education, etc. It is always better to approach those questions honestly and optimistically.

  • Next, to test your decision making and solution finding abilities, interviewers place you under a so-called “stress testing interview” where they repeatedly question you or question you with hard and pressured situations. Along with this stress testing, they present rapid-fire questions to check your honesty and the ability to observe. Questions may relate to team building and leadership qualities as well as based on the questions from the icebreaker session.

  • Next, they present general knowledge questions such as current affairs and history to test your knowledge depth and ability to tackle problems. Here, the candidate should take time to think through and answer reasonably.

  • Lastly, basic technical questions are asked to test your practical knowledge and application.

Based on the above pattern of the interview, prepare yourself well, and think of questions that may be asked. Research before appearing for the interview. Questions can be tricky which are generally asked to test your ability to apply your knowledge and skills in real-life problems. Be thoroughly equipped with answers for any questions ranging from technical, non-academic, and academic fields.

Readiness of some Common Questions:

  1. Give a brief background about you. Honesty pays off here. Be truthful.

  2. Why do you want to join? Here, the interviewer is testing your clarity and goals.

  3. What would you do if you are not selected? The interviewer is testing your level of preparedness.

  4. Your strength and weaknesses. The interviewer wants to distinguish how much you know yourself. Answer tactfully and avoid any extremes.

  5. Your daily routine. Provide your day to day schedule and talk about your hobbies and interests.

  6. Last but not least; do you want to ask any questions? Do not decline. Ask a question related to training or life in NDA. This will show the interviewer that you are interested in and curious about joining.

Keep a clear and focused mind before giving the interview. Maintain body language and an optimistic attitude and prepare well for all possible questions that can be asked. Above all, be truthful in all your answers, even under pressure or tricky situations.

All the best!

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