How To Join Indian Army, Navy Or Air Force?

If you want a permanent job with good salary and have a desire to serve for your country, then you can give new heights to your career by join Indian military (army, navy or air force). In this article, you will come to know about the detailed description of join in Indian military and how to appear for examination for this purpose.

If you want to join any part of military (army, air force or navy) after 10+2, then you have to give NDA (National Defense Academy) examination. People willing to join military after graduation have to clear CDS (Combined Defense Services) examination. SSB (Service Selection Board) is done after passing written test. The fact to consider is that females cannot sit for NDA examination. Females can apply for Short Service Commission through CDS. Short Service Commission is for a minimum period of 10 years and maximum 15 years.

NDA (National Defense Academy)

The NDA examination after 10+2 allows you a chance to be a Commissioned Officer (gazetted officer) in the military. The NDA examination (1) to be held in April of year 2011 is announced. It will be on 17 April, 2011. For more details, visit

Age Limit:

From 16 years and 6months up to 19 years.


10+2 passed for army, air force or navy. But it must be with Physics and Maths for air force and navy.


Twice in a year (March and October).

Month of test:

April/ August

Examination subjects:

Maths, General Ability (English and General Knowledge).

Examination Format:

Two objective papers of two and a half hours each. First of Maths (300 marks), and second of General Ability (600 marks). Candidate can give examination in any language out of English or Hindi.

How to prepare for NDA?

Questions relating to Maths and general ability (English and general knowledge) are asked in NDA examination. All questions are objective and negative marking is done for wrong answers.

• Total 100 questions are asked.
• Maths syllabus includes arithmetic, mensuration, algebra, trigonometry, statistics and probability etc.
• The pattern of questions in examination will be such through which your theoretical knowledge will be tested. So clear all the concepts while doing preparations.
• Do practice of shortcuts for solving the questions in time provided.
• Questions are included from all the topics included in the syllabus. So don't miss any topic.
• Algebra and geometry and scoring. So prepare them well.
• Solve maximum number of model papers by considering the time.

General Ability
This paper is distributed in two parts- English and General knowledge. Total 150 questions are asked in it.
• Out of 600 marks, questions of 200 marks are of English.
• It includes questions based on antonym, synonym, jumble words and comprehension.
• There will be some sentences in which you have to catch grammatical mistakes. So practice for vocabulary.
• Pay more attention on reading to score more numbers in comprehension.

General Knowledge:
• Questions related to general science, history, Indian politics, geography etc.
• History questions are mostly based on recent history. So focus upon it.
• Questions based on current affairs are also asked. Prepare for current affairs of past 6 months. Read sire books, current affairs magazines and newspapers.

CDS (Combined Defense Services)

If you choose permanent commission (in this, retirement is done in the age of 60) after CDS, then you have to three examination viz. GS, Maths and English. On choosing Short Service Commission, you have to give two examination viz. General Studies and English. The examination in this year will be on 13 February, 2011.

Age Limit:

IMA: 19-24
NDA: 19-22
AFA: 19-23
OTA: 19-25


Candidate must be graduate for IMA (Indian Military Academy) and OTA (Officers Training Academy). Candidate must be B.Sc. or B.E. for Navel Academy. For air force academy, he have done B.E. or graduation (with compulsory physics and Maths in 10+2).


Twice in a year (April and September).

Month of test:

February/ September.

Examination subjects:

Maths, General Studies, English.

Examination Format:

Three objective papers of two hours each. Each paper will be of 100 marks. First paper will be of English, second of general studies and third of Maths.

How to prepare for CDS?

Examinations are of English, General Studies and Maths.

Its syllabus is similar to NDA.

General Studies:
Questions from Indian history, Indian politics, geography and economics are asked.

Questions from arithmetic, mensuration, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics and probability etc. are asked.

SSB (Service Selection Board)

It includes the process on interview. The candidates who pass written examination appear for SSB. It is of 5 days and is taken on Allahabad, Bhopal, Bangalore, Mysore, Varanasi and Dehradun centers. This test is taken in four parts: screening test, physiological test, group testing officers (GTO) test and interview.

Screening test (First day)

It has tests of two types:
• IQ test (Verbal and Non-verbal): It has questions of reasoning based upon numbers, alphabets and figures.
• Picture perception and description test/ Discussion: A picture is shown on projector in picture perception which is very blurry. Then you are provided with 30 seconds it think over it and 4 minutes to write a story based on the picture, in which you have to mention that what happened in the picture, what is happening and what will happen. A group of 10-12 people is created in description test. Each candidate is provided with 45 to 60 seconds in which he has to clear his story. Then group discussion takes place in which all people discuss the story and take out a common solution.
The result of screening test is declared within an hour. The candidates who pass it have to stop there for next 4 days and rest of the candidates are send back on the same day.

Physiological test (Second day)

It is taken in four parts:
• Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): It is known as Picture Story Writing. 10 pictures are shown, one after each, which are very blurry. Candidates are provided with 30 seconds to think and 4 minutes to write a story over it. Other than this, 11th picture is also shown which is blank. You have to write a story in it on any topic.
• Word Association Test (WAT): In this, 60 words are shown on a screen and each word appears on screen for 15 seconds. You have to make a meaningful sentence on that word within that time period. This means that you have to make 60 sentences in 15 minutes.
• Situation Reaction Test (SRT): 60 situations are provided in it. You have to provide answers to it within 30 minutes.
• Self Description test (SD): It is of 15 minutes in which you are asked questions like- what you think about yourself? What your teachers thought about you? What your friends think about you? What your parents and siblings think about you? What are your flaws and you do to remove them? Other than this, sometimes your qualities are also asked.

Group Testing Officers (GTO) test (Third and Fourth day)

It includes the following tests:
• Group Discussion: A group of 8-12 people is created. Two topics are provided on which you have to discuss. 15 minutes are allotted for one discussion.
• Lecturette: A topic related to current affairs is provided in which three minutes are allotted for thinking and speaking each.
• Group Planning Exercise: A map is shown in this test in which 2 to 3 story type situations are given. You have to write an action plan according to the situation provided in that story. 10 minutes are provided for writing and 15 minutes are provided to discuss over it.
• Progressive Group Tasks: Four tasks are included in this test for which 30-40 minutes are provided.
• Group Obstacles Race: In this, you have to complete a race. Lots of obstacles appear during the race. There is no time limit to complete the race. The race finishes as soon as you reach the target.
• Half Group Tasks: Your group is divided in half in this. Only two tasks are provided for which 20-30 minutes are allotted.
• Individual Obstacles: In this, you have to complete the task solely. You have to finish the race in three minutes.
• Command Task: In this, you are supposed to be a commander and you have to finish the task with the material provided. There is no time limit in this task.
• Final Group Task: In this, your group is again merged as one. You have to finish the provided task within 15-20 minutes.

Generally, most of the tests are taken on third day. But individuality obstacles, command task and final group task is taken on fourth day. Interview is taken on 2nd, 3rd and 4th day. final result is announced on fifth day. Passed candidates undergo from medical check up in next 2-3 days. Candidates are provided with food and shelter during SSB process. Time period of nine months takes place in the process starting from filling up the from up to joining the academy. You can join the academy after getting selected in SSB.

Some useful links:

Article by Nidhi
Nidhi is a freelance content writer with 5+ years experience. She has great passion to write on valuable topics so as to provide accurate information to her readers. She is also keen to provide employment to all Indians and so posts various job openings too in this website.

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