Defence Exams 2021: Important Dates and Details and everything you need to know

Updated Tue, 29 Dec 2020 11:32 AM IST

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The level of competition in any competitive examinations is just rising every year. There are lakhs of aspirants for a handful of jobs that it takes the level of examination to an entirely greater level. Defence exams hold a definite distinction in terms of both participation as well as the laurels, if successful out of all the competitive examinations. Hence, the number of aspirants for this exam is rising gradually.  Candidates willing to appear for other Government exams can check out the given details below.

Latest Defence Exams 2021

In India, most of the defence exams are conducted by the UPSC – Union Public Service Commission. However, there are various other organisations that too conduct their own exams for various posts.


The information related to the following Defence exams are given in the article-

  1. NDA – National Defence Academy/ Naval Academy 

  2. CAPF – Central Armed Police Force

  3. CDS – Combined Defense Services

  4. AFCAT – Air Force Common Admission Test

Lets us have a close look at various Defence exams in India-

Defence Exams – Dates

National Defence Academy (NDA) Exam 2021 is a National level exam organized by Union Public Service Commission UPSC to recruit candidates in Army, Navy, and Air Force. It is conducted twice every year and the exams are NDA 1 and NDA 2. NDA conducts its exam in two stages i.e Written exam and SSB interview. The exam is conducted for admission to Army, Navy and Air Force wings of NDA and Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) and more than 4 lakh aspirants appear for NDA exam every year, out of which approximately 6000 qualified candidates are called for SSB Interview. A list of the candidates is prepared who have qualified the written exam by UPSC Hence the candidates who are in the list are called for SSB Interview for Intelligence and Personality Test.

NDA 2021 Important Details

Exam name             

National Defence Academy & Naval Academy Examination (NDA & NA)

Conducted by 


Exam level 


Exam category 

After class 12

Frequency of exam 

Twice a year

Exam stages 

Written Test and SSB Interview 

Exam mode 


Exam duration 

5 hours (Mathematics: 2 ½ hours, General Ability Test (GAT): 2 ½ hours) 

Exam syllabus 

Mathematics: Algebra, Trigonometry, Matrices and Determinants, Differential Calculus, Analytical Geometry of two and three dimensions, Vector Algebra, Statistics and Probability.

GAT: English, General Knowledge, Chemistry, Physics, General Science, Geography, Current Events etc. 

Exam pattern 

GAT: 150 objective type questions 

Mathematics: 120 objective type questions 


English and Hindi 

Exam purpose 

For admission to National Defence Academy (NDA) and Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) 

Test cities 


Exam helpdesk

011-23385271/011-23381125/011- 23098543 

Official website


NDA Important Dates 2021

The dates of NDA I and II exams had been announced through UPSC.
NDA I Exam Date 2021






The complete schedule along with other details will be released on the website.

Application form 


Commencement of registrations for the NDA exam will begin.

Last date to apply 


Candidates can submit their application forms online before the last date.

Application withdrawal

To be notified

The facility to withdraw the application form of NDA will be made available after the completion of the application process

Written exam 


The exam will be conducted in two shifts: 

  1. Morning

  2.  Afternoon 

  3. The exam will be conducted across 41 cities spread throughout the country

Admit card 

March 2021

All registered candidates will be issued admit cards for the exam that they need to carry at the exam centre.

Declaration of written result 

June 2021

The result of the written exam is declared online by UPSC and displays the roll numbers of shortlisted candidates.

SSB Interview 

July to Sept 2021

SSB Interview is conducted for the shortlisted candidates who have qualified the written exam.


NDA 2 Exam Date 2021






NDA 2 notification will be released on the website. Candidates can check for the same.

Application form 


Application forms will be made available along with the notification 

Last date to apply 


Candidates need to apply within the application deadline 

Written exam 


The written exam of NDA will be conducted in two shifts i.e morning and afternoon and comprises two papers

Admit card 

August 2021

The admit card will be issued online for registered candidates

Declaration of written result 

December 2021

The result of the written exam is declared on the official website

SSB Interview 

January 2022 to April 2022

SSB Interview is conducted in two stages and the shortlisted candidates are called for the same.

CDS Exam Important Details

The "Combined Defence Services" (CDS) Examination is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment of candidates into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

CDS (I) 2021 Exam Date

UPSC CDS 2021 Important Dates

Release of UPSC CDS (I) 2021 Notification

28th October 2020

Start of Online Application Process

28th October 2020

Last date of Online Application Process

17th November 2020

Withdrawal of application form

24th November to 30th November 2020 

UPSC CDS 2021 Exam Date

7th February 2021

Release of UPSC CDS Admit Card

3 weeks before the exam date


CDS II 2021 Exam Date

CDS II 2021 Exam Dates

CDS II exam event

CDS 2021 Dates (Tentative)

Release of UPSC CDS (Il) 2021 Notification

August 4th 2021

Start of Online Application Process

August 4th 2021

Last date of Online Application Process

August 24th 2021

Issuing of Admit Card 2021

To be announced

Written exam 2021 

November 14th 2021

CDS II 2021 Result 

To be announced


CAPF Exam Important Details

CAPF  stands for Central Armed Police Force.  Under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs CAPF is the unified name of the 7 security forces in India. The name of the seven Security Forces are given below:

  1. CRPF - Central Reserve Police Force

  2. BSF-   Border Security Force

  3. ITBP-  Indo-Tibetian Border Police Force

  4. SSB-   Sashastra Seema Bal

  5. CISF-   Central Industrial Security Forces

  6. NSG-     National Security Guard

  7. AR-    Assam Rifles 

The responsibility of CAPF is to enable the Government of India to efficiently and effectively maintain public order, maintaining legal rules and regulations, and internal security.


Tentative Dates

Availability of online application form

April 2021, 4th week

Last date for application form submission

May 2021, 3rd week

Beginning of application withdrawal process

May 2021, last week

Closing of the application withdrawal process

June 2021, 1st week

Admit card issue date

July 2021, 3rd week

Date of exam

August 2021, 2nd week

Result declaration

To be announced

PET/ PST and medical test date

To be announced

Detailed Application Form (DAF) release date

To be announced

Last for DAF submission

To be announced

Date of interview

To be announced

Final result declaration

To be announced


AFCAT Exam Important Details

The AFCAT exam stands for the Air Force Common Admission Test which is also known as the Indian Air Force Exam. AFCAT is a competitive exam which is conducted at a national level by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in order to select officers for its various branches excluding the medical and dental branches. The exam is held in order to recruit the Commissioned Air-Force Officer for Grant of Short Service Commission (SSC) in Flying & Permanent Commission (PC)/Short Service Commission (SSC) in Ground Duty (Technical) and Ground Duty (Non-technical) Branches. All the eligible men and women can apply for IAF AFCAT 2021 from 01 December to 30 December 2020 on AFCAT official website OR .  As per AFCAT l 2021 Notification, the exam is scheduled to be held on 20 February 2021 and 21 February 2021. The candidates who are selected in AFCAT 2021 will be placed as Commissioned Officers in Flying and Ground Duty (Technical and Non-Technical) branches. 


Important Date

Commencement for Online Application

01 December 2020

Ending date for Online Application

31 December 2020

AFCAT 2021 Admit Card Date

05 February 2021

AFCAT 2021 Exam Date

20 and 21 February 2021

AFCAT 2021 Course Commencement

January 2022


Check out other details of AFCAT 2021

AFCAT 2021 Notification Details

AFCAT 2021 Exam Schedule

AFCAT 2021 Type of Commission

AFCAT 2021 Vacancy Details

AFCAT 2021 Salary

AFCAT 2021 Selection Process

AFCAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

AFCAT 2021 Admit Card

AFCAT 2021 Location

AFCAT 2021 Physical Fitness

AFCAT 2021 Training

AFCAT 2021 How to Apply

AFCAT 2021 Preparation



Defence Exams Important Dates

The exam dates for all Defence exams are announced by the conducting body through the official notification on their official website. Candidates can keep checking the website or follow Safalta for all the recent updates on the defence exam.

The important dates of upcoming Defence exams 2021 are as follows-

Defence Exam Date 2021

Defence Exams


Exam Dates


NDA 1 – December 30 2020

NDA 2- June 9th 2021

NDA 1 – April 18th 2021

NDA 2- September 5th 2021


CDS 1- October 28th 2020

CDS 2- To be notified

CDS 1- February 7th 2021

CDS 2- To be notified


April 15th 2021

August 8th 2021


To be notified

To be notified


Age Limit For Various Defence Exams

The age limit for different Defence exams conducted in India are different which is given below-

Defence Exam Age Limit


Minimum Age

Maximum Age


16 years

19 years


19 years

22 years – INA

23 years – AFA

24 years – IMA

25 years – OTA


20 years 

25 years


20 years

24 years – Flying Branch

26 years – Ground Duty


Education Qualification For Various Defence Exams

The minimum education qualification required to appear for the defence exam is 12th Board pass. The details for education requirements for different Defence exams is as follows-

Defence Exam Educational Qualification


Minimum Education Requirement


12th Class pass of the 10+2 pattern of School Education or equivalent examination


A Bachelor’s degree from any Government recognised University Or Deemed to be University

CDS Exam

Graduation/Bachelors from a Government recognised University


A Graduation degree from any Government recognised University

Defence Exam Syllabus & Exam Pattern

The UPSC and Air Force, reserves the right to set and make changes in the exam pattern and syllabus of CDS, NDA, CAPF and AFCAT respectively. The notification published by the conducting body mentions the Defence exam syllabus and exam pattern in detail.  Aspirants of various defence exam in India can go through the highlights of patterns and Defence exam syllabus given below-

Defence Exam Syllabus & Exam Pattern

Defence Exams

Exam Pattern



  • Written Exam ( Part I – Maths – 300 marks, Part II – GAT –  600 marks)

  • SSB Interview – Two stages – 900 Marks

Written exam – Covers subjects like Maths, English, and General knowledge 

SSB Interview- Should have good speaking and communication skills along with written skills.


  • Paper-I – Objective; 250 marks

  • Paper-II – Subjective; 200 marks

  • Physical Efficiency Test – on qualifying Paper I & II

  • Personality test/Interview – 150 marks

Paper I – General Ability and Intelligence

Paper-II – General Studies, Essay and Comprehension


  • Written Exam – (INA/IMA/AFA – 300 marks & OTA – 200 marks)

  • SSB Interview

English, General knowledge and Elementary Mathematics


  • Written test (compulsory for all branches) – 300 marks

  • EKT(Only for Technical) – 100 marks

Written test– General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability and Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test

EKT– Mechanical, Computer Science and Electrical & Electronics

Candidates can check the detailed Defence exam syllabus for different exams on the link provided below – 

NDA Syllabus
AFCAT Syllabus
CDS Syllabus
CAPF Syllabus

Defence training academies

The various Defence training academies are –

  1. Indian Military Academy (IMA) – Dehradun

  2. Indian Naval Academy (INA) – Ezhimala

  3. Air Force Academy (AFA) –  Hyderabad

  4. Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) – Chennai

Defence Exam 2021 Preparation

As the number of applicants is rising every year there is a cut-throat competition and it's important that the candidates prepare well. Smart work is more important than hard work and it's needed that the candidates plan a strategy for preparing for the Defence exam. Defence exam holds a definite distinction in terms of both participation as well as the laurels, if successful out of all the competitive based examinations. Hence, the number of aspirants for defence exam is rising gradually.

One needs to delve into 5 broad parameters to achieve the result.

  1. The very first step to achieve any dream is Planning. 

  2. Then the second step is about gaining knowledge.  

  3. The third step is to achieve analytical thinking. 

  4. The Execution of the above-mentioned objectives. 

  5. And finally, Improvisation is vital to achieving success.  

To clear any stage one needs to be determined and focused and should have a strategy to achieve it. This process needs to be followed at both stages. Clearing the online test in the very first go is crucial if one wants to clear the Defence Exam in the first attempt.

Start the Preparation at the right time for Defence Exam

  • For planning, the preparations should begin at the right time. 

  • One need to select the right sources which are reliable, trustworthy and methodically designed. It is always advisable to refer to a website which has the requisite brand value to act as a mentor.

  • It is definitely advisable to start preparing in advance if one wishes to clear the Defence Exam in the very first attempt. But don't worry, we have the best course for you.

Understanding the Defence Exam Syllabus

  • One must have a clear picture of the syllabus in mind. While the online test comprises English Language, Numerical Ability, General Awareness, Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test

  • To master the format and excel in them, one needs to imbibe the basics of the subject chosen. 

  • What can be better than having a mentor sitting at home with proven excellence upholding the brand assiduously cultivated over years of trustworthiness! 

  • The English Language comprises topics Reading Comprehension, Error Detection, Sentence Completion/ Filling in of correct word, Synonyms, Antonyms and Testing of Vocabulary, Idioms and Phrases etc.

  • Numerical Ability comprises topics  Decimal Fraction, Time and Work, Average, Profit & Loss, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion and Simple Interest, Time & Distance (Trains/Boats & Streams)

  • Reasoning Ability and Military Aptitude Test comprises Odd One Out, Analogy Venn Diagram, Pattern Completion, Dot Situation Analysis, Blood Relation, Missing Figures, Figure Classification, Coding and Decoding, Spotting the Embedded Figures, Sequencing.

One can just register on and derive the best Online guidance for Defence Exam

NDA/NA (I) 2021 Online Coaching - Target Batch

AFCAT 2021 Online Course - Video Course



Understanding the Defence Exam Pattern and design

  • Understanding the changing pattern and design of defence test papers are crucial.

  • For that, one just needs to dig out previous years’ question papers and study them thoroughly.

  • It is indeed surprising to notice a distinct pattern in terms of recurring topics and the new topics that get added to the way the question is styled. 

  • After a thorough insight on the nuances of topics covered, it is advisable to concentrate on acquiring knowledge in these fields and practice similar questions.

Stick to one course Offered for Defence Exam

  • Don’t put your legs at two different boats. Always ride on a single boat to reach your destination. 

  • It's advisable to select one set of books or guides for the subjects. 

  • Referring to too many books might lead to confusion and waste of time leaving one puzzled and disoriented. 

  • Hence it is advisable to select those modules which are comprehensive, thorough and meticulously designed to upgrade the knowledge and interest of the student.

Being Updated with Current Affairs is required to Crack Defence Exam

  • One must keep himself/herself updated with current affairs. 

  • But it is rather a tedious exercise to keep a tab of all the events occurring in a vast number of fields both nationally and internationally. 

  • Plus it is rather important to choose the impactful events which are most likely to be asked in the examination. 

Guidance from an expert team for Defence Exam

  • To solve the dilemma, the best way is to take guidance from an expert team assimilating the Current Affairs and General Knowledge at that will keep students updated on a daily basis thus helping them save time and energy. 

  • Safalta can help the examinees by providing information for the latest events on national and international Politics, Socio-economic issues, Science and Technology, Environment,  History, Geography etc.

Connect with the Subjects for Defence Exam

  • It's always advisable for the applicants to take adequate interest and connect with each subject. This will help them in remembering things easily and stick to the plan or the strategy that you have made.

  • It's natural to fizzle out sometimes and end up losing the concentration and determination that one had at the initial stages. 

  • It's at these crucial times Safalta will keep holding the hands of the students and spirits high so that one never feels low or overburdened. 

  • It’s rather imperative to persevere and follow the guide and one will be there at the top kissing your dreams. 

Defence Exam Mock Test

  • With an impeccable start to one’s endeavours, it's essential to brush up the things that one has read earlier. 

  • After all, reading and assimilating so much information and storing it in your mind is a tough task and there are chances that you might lose the track of knowledge gained.

  • Hence there are the mock tests that will help in brushing up things at certain intervals.

  • One can definitely rely on mock tests provided by Safalta as they can provide the best possible assessment. And the most important thing of these mock tests is revising from your notes, and not from your sourcebooks. 

Defence Exam Previous Year Question Papers

  • It is advisable to take mock tests as answering the previous years’ question papers give a clear insight into the type of questions framed and asked in the  Defence Exam 

  • On the other hand, it keeps one abreast with the assessment of the level of preparation. 

  • The mock tests available online by Safalta for  Defence Exam are highly useful as they are framed under the guidance offered by the experts and mentors who evaluate answer sheets objectively.

Critical thinking and problem-Solving Required Defence Exam

  • Critical thinking is of vital importance to excel in the Aptitude test, logical reasoning, mental ability, etc. requires everyday engagement and Practice.

Stay focused while Preparing Defence Exam

  • At last, staying focused throughout the preparation months is important and self-motivation is the key to achieve success. 

  • This is achieved by connecting with the subjects. 

  • Even if one feels tired and studies seem mundane, it's rather imperative to carry on with zeal till the ultimate aim is fulfilled. 

  • Just follow the above routine and keep up with guidance offered by Safalta, one can surely hope to crack the defence exam in the very first attempt.

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