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NDA Exam Pattern 2023

Aspirants need an understanding of the NDA Exam Pattern such as realizing the subject-wise relevance of topics. The NDA 2023 paper pattern consists of two stages, which are as follows:

      Stage 1: Written Test (Mathematics and GAT)

      Stage 2: Intelligence and Personality Test (SSB)

Here candidates should find the details about the exam duration and marks in the given scheme as mentioned in the official notification:


Exam Name


No. of Questions

Maximum Marks



2 ½ hours




General Ability Test

2 ½ hours






SSB Interview






NDA Paper Pattern: Overview

They can take a quick glance at the overview of the NDA exam pattern below consisting of the number of sections, mode of the exam, paper type, etc:



Exam Mode and Medium

Offline (Pen Paper Based) in English and Hindi

Number of Sections


Question Paper Type

Objective or MCQ

Total Number of Questions

270 Questions (120 from Mathematics and 150 from GAT)

Total Marks for Entrance Test

900 Marks (300 Marks for Mathematics and 600 Marks for GAT)

Negative Marking

- 0.83 marks for Mathematics and - 1.33 marks for GAT

Exam duration

2.5 hours (Each Section)

NDA Written Exam Pattern

The NDA exam pattern for written tests consists of two subjects, Mathematics and GAT. The paper was conducted on 16 April 2023 in two shifts in written mode (pen & paper format). 

NDA Maths Exam Pattern

The Mathematics paper of NDA consists of various important topics like Matrices and Determinants, Statistics & Probability, Differential calculus, and more. The exam carries 300 marks and the maximum time allotted to attempt it is 2.5 hours.

NDA Exam Pattern for Maths

Total Marks

300 Marks

Total No. of Questions


Correct Answer

2.5 marks

Marks deducted for each wrong answer


Total duration of Mathematics Paper

2 Hours 30 Minutes

NDA GAT Marking Scheme

According to the NDA exam pattern, the General Ability Test (GAT) carries the maximum weightage in terms of marks. The NDA exam pattern for GAT has the following subjects:

      English - The candidate must be thorough with English Grammar and Usage, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Cohesion.

      General Knowledge - For this paper, the candidate must have subject knowledge of Physics, Chemistry, General Science, History, Freedom Movement, Geography, and Current Affairs.

Take a look at the table below for a detailed overview of the NDA exam pattern of GAT:


Total Questions

Total Marks


150 Questions

600 Marks


50 Questions

200 marks


100 Questions

400 marks

Marks for Correct Answer

+ 4 marks in each section

Marks for Incorrect Answer

- 1.33 marks in each section

Total Duration of GAT Paper - 2 Hours 30 Minutes

NDA Exam Pattern for SSB Interview

According to the NDA exam pattern, the last stage of the NDA Selection Process is the SSB Interview. Those who obtain the required cut-off marks in the written exam will be eligible for the interview round.

NDA Exam Pattern for SSB Interview

Stage 1

Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) through Picture Perception & Description Test (PP & DT).

Stage 2

- Interview

- Group Testing Officer Tasks

- Psychology Tests

- Conference

Some key points about the NDA paper pattern for the Interview that every candidate must know are as follows:

      The SSB Interview Stage 2 tasks are conducted over a span of 4 days.

      For assessing a candidate’s personality, a Group Testing Officer (GTO), Interviewing Officer (IO), and a Psychologist will interact with the candidate.

      All the interview tests have equal weightage in terms of determining the candidate’s final selection.

NDA Marking Scheme

Aspirants must know the maximum marks awarded for each of the papers, the marking scheme for the written exam is as follows:




Total Questions



Total Marks



Marks allotted to each correct answer



Negative marking for each incorrect response



FAQs on NDA Exam Pattern

What is the NDA exam pattern 2023?

NDA exam pattern 2023 comprises an offline pen and paper-based test which consists of objective-type questions. It is divided into 2 stages, a Written Test (Mathematics and GAT) and Intelligence and Personality Test (SSB). In the NDA paper pattern, the written test is divided into two exams of mathematics and GAT for 300 and 600 marks, respectively. SSB is the last phase in the selection process. It comprises a PP & DT test and a group discussion/interview round.

What is the NDA exam pattern for SSB?

As per the NDA exam pattern, the SSB Interview is the last stage of the exam. Candidates who will obtain the cut-off marks in the written exam will only be eligible to appear for the interview round. The NDA paper pattern for the SSB round comprises a PP & DT test and a group discussion/interview.

Are there any changes in NDA exam pattern?

No, there is no official communication from the UPSC regarding any changes in the NDA exam pattern. The exam will be held according to the usual pattern, comprising of a written test, and an interview conducted by the SSB.

What is the NDA GAT exam pattern?

The NDA GAT Paper comprises two subjects, English and General Knowledge. The NDA exam pattern for GAT is as follows:

      Candidates will have to attempt 150 questions for 4 marks each in the GAT exam.

      For every wrong answer, 1.33 marks will be deducted.

      The English Section will have 50 questions for 200 marks and the GK Section will have 100 questions for 400 marks.

      The total marks for the GAT paper would be 600.

What is the NDA exam pattern and cut off?

According to the NDA exam pattern, the candidate will have to appear for the written test and the SSB Interview. The written exam will be objective type and will assess the candidate’s mathematical, language, and General Knowledge. Only those candidates who pass the written exam with marks not less than the NDA Cut Off will be allowed to proceed to the further rounds of selection.

What is the NDA exam pattern for Maths?

The NDA exam pattern for Maths is as follows:

      Candidates will have to attempt 120 questions for a total of 300 marks.

      For every correct answer, the candidate will be awarded 2.5 marks.

      For every incorrect answer, 0.83 marks will be deducted.

      Time allotted for the maths exam would be 2.5 hours.

What is NDA negative marking for the General Ability Test?

There is a negative marking of 1.33 marks in each section of GAT based on the NDA paper pattern. So, candidates must be careful while attempting questions in the exam and avoid making wild guesses. Also, the applicant should remember that no marks will be given for an unattempted question.

How many marks do I get for a correct answer as per NDA exam pattern?

Going by the NDA exam pattern, for every correct answer in mathematics, you will get 2.5 marks. And in the GAT paper, 4 marks will be awarded for each correct response marked. There will be no marks for unattempted questions.

Is there a sectional time limit in the NDA exam pattern?

There is no sectional time limit for any paper in the NDA exam pattern 2023. You will get a total of 2 hours 30 minutes for each paper. You have to finish the exam in the set time so make sure you practice enough NDA Previous Year Papers to be quick in finishing the exam in the given time.

What is the NDA Marking Scheme?

According to the NDA marking scheme, for every wrong answer ⅓ of the marks assigned to the question will be deducted. The unattempted questions will not be given any mark. For every correct answer, you will get 2.5 and 4 marks in mathematics and GAT papers respectively.

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