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    Details about NDA | CDS | SSB

    What is NDA Exam?

    The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is the conducting body of the National Defence Academy Exam (NDA Exam). The exam pattern is designed to recruit the best candidates to serve as officers in the Indian Armed Forces.

    This exam is conducted in two stages in a year. The first stage of the NDA Exam will be conducted on April 16, 2023 while the second stage will be conducted on September 3rd.

    Exam Pattern for NDA 2023

    The NDA Exam Pattern is divided into two stages:

    1. Written Examination
    2. SSB Interview (Service Selection Board)


    The written exam in itself is further divided into the following:

    1. Mathematics
    2. GAT (General Ability Test)


    The duration for both are 2 ½ hours long. The Mathematics marks is about 300  and the GAT is at 600 marks while the total marks for the SSB Interview is 900.


    The General Ability Test is divided into two:

    1. English
    2. General Awareness and General Knowledge Test


    What is CDS Exam?

    CDS stands for Combined Defence Services exam. It is a national-level examination held annually to recruit eligible young individuals for various armed forces throughout India. This exam provides individuals with a great opportunity who dream of serving the nation by part of being in the armed forces.

    UPSC CDS exam is conducted to select candidates in the following armed forces:

    1. Indian Army
    2. Indian Navy
    3. Indian Airforce
    4. Naval Academy
    5. Officers Training Academy


    Both men and women can find many opportunities through this exam. Women/girls can also apply for the CDS exam under Officer Training Academy (OTA) posts only. It is a great career path field with glory and respect. Candidates who are interested in defence should attempt the CDS 2023 and start their journey with any one of the prestigious institutions of the Indian Defence Forces.


    What is SSB Exam?

    Services Selection Board Interview (SSB Interviews), also called as “Intelligence and Personality test” is conducted by SSB Board, Ministry of Defence. Those who clear the first stage (Either CDS or NDA) have to undergo SSB interviews, spread over a period of 5 days.

    This stage comprises two sub-stages.

    STAGE – A

    Stage one selection system includes the following:-


    1. Intelligence Test (verbal and non verbal).


    1. Picture Perception and Description TestPicture is flashed for 30 seconds. The candidates have to broadly note down seven basic parameters viz number of characters, age, gender, mood, action relating to past, present and future for each character in one minute. Time for story writing is four minutes.


    1. Discussion of the picture – 30 MinutesIn this phase batch is divided into different groups. Strength of group is around 15 candidates. Each candidate narrates his individual written story verbatim. Subsequently, in Part-II all the candidates have to discuss amongst themselves and achieve a common consensus about the characters and theme of the story.

    After all candidates have undergone stage one. The results for stage one testing are declared. Recommended candidates are retained for stage-II testing and those not recommended are dispatched back.

    STAGE – B

    It comprises psychological tests, group tests, and group tasks. These three tests are conducted on three consecutive days.

    1. Psychological Tests


    Thematic Apperception Test: 12 Pictures including one blank are shown. Candidates are asked to write a story around what led to the situation? what is going on and what would be the outcome ?. Each Picture is shown for 30 seconds and candidates are asked to write it in 4 minutes. In the blank slide, they have to think a picture of their own choice and write a story around that.


    Word Association Test: In this test, a series of 60 words are shown to the candidates one after another for 15 seconds each. The candidate is required to write down the first thought or idea that comes to his mind.


    Situation Reaction Test: This test consists of 60 routine life situations regarding day to day activities. The situations are printed in a booklet and the candidate is asked to write his reactions by completing the sentences, as to how they would feel, think and act in these situations.


    Self Description Test: Candidate is asked to write five separate paragraphs on each context about the opinion of his parents/guardian, friends, teachers/superiors.

    2.  Group Tests

    GTO – Day 1 This includes the following:-


    Group Discussion: Two topics of common interest (social issues and current events) are discussed. It is an informal discussion and not a debate. Each topic is allotted 20 minutes each. No definite conclusion is required to be deduced.


    Group planning exercise: It comprises of five stages viz., explanation of the model, reading of the narrative by GTO, five minutes for self reading by candidates, 10 minutes for individual written solutions and 20 minutes for group discussion. Narration of the group solution and definite conclusion is required.


    Progressive group task: It is the first outdoor task. A set of four obstacles with progressively increasing level of difficulties are to be completed in 40 to 50 minutes. Structures, helping material and load are provided to the group.


    Group obstacle race: In this task the group is pitched against each other over a set of six obstacles with a snake like load to carry.


    Half group task: It has one obstacle similar to progressive group task with helping material and load to be carried. Group is divided into two Sub Groups and assigned the same obstacle in turn in such a way that when one group is working, the other is not allowed to watch it. Time allotted to each sub group is 15 minutes.


    Lecturette: It is an individual task and the candidate is required to give a short talk to the group. Three minutes are allowed to prepare any chosen topic from the four given in the Lecturette Cards for the talk.


    3. Group Tasks


    Individual Obstacles: A set of 10 obstacles is set to be tackled individually. Obstacles are numbered from one to ten, denoting the points each one carries. Each individual is given three minutes.


    Command Task: Each individual is nominated as commander for one task consisting of one obstacle similar to the Progressive Group Task Time given is 15 minutes.


    Final Group Task: Task consisting of one obstacle similar to the Progressive Group Task . Time given to complete this task is 15 – 20 minutes


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