NDA SSB Procedure And Tips

access_time 2019-07-09T07:38:59.130Z face Future Cadets NDA

Aspirants to the National Defence Academy after qualifying UPSC written examination need to undergo NDA SSB Interview round.  The final selection is based on the marks obtained in the written exam & SSB Interview. The interview involves two stages i.e. stage I and stage II that lasts for four or five days.

Check, How to join NDA?

NDA SSB Stage I (Day 1)

Day 1 is a screening test.  It consists of two parts:

Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR)

A written test which includes both verbal and non-verbal multiple-choice questions. Candidate has to answer each question in 30 seconds.

Picture Perception & Description Test (PP & DT)

A hazy or clear picture is for 30 seconds. Candidates have to write the story. It is further followed by the group discussion round. Candidates will be shortlisted based on the combined performance in both of these tests. The shortlisted candidates are called as screened in and they get new chest numbers. On getting screened in candidates have to submit their bags, mobile phones and other electronic devices. The candidates who are not shortlisted are called screened out. First time SSB appearing candidate gets a full refund of travelling expenses (both ways).

Also, read the difference between NDA and CDS examination.


It is referred to as Psychology Tests. This test consists of a set of written tests to assess the psychological suitability of a candidate. It involves:

Day 2: Thematic Apperception Test or Picture Story writing, Word Association Test, Situation Reaction Test and Self Description Test

On Day 3: Group Testing Officer Tasks that covers interactive indoor and outdoor activities as a combination of mental and physical work.

Day 4: Interview- A personal conversation with Interviewing Officers.

Day 5: Conference- Here candidates & all the SSB board member sit together. They ask a few general questions to the candidates.

Within an hour, the result will be declared after completion of the board meeting. Qualified candidates will undergo a medical test and then the final merit list will be announced.  Acquaint yourself with the Physical Standards before undergoing the medical test.

Also, read about NDA/NA (2) 2019 Important Dates.

Candidates willing to participate in NDA exam must be aware of the Physical standards as mentioned below:

Height and Weight Standards

  • The minimum height measurement as declared by UPSC is 157 cms for Army and 162.5 cms for Air Force.
  • Few exceptions are set for certain regions of the candidate.  For candidates who belong to the Gorkha tribe, minimum height standard will be 5 cms less than normal. The same applies for candidates residing in hills of North-Eastern areas of India, Garhwal and Kumaon
  • For candidates belonging to  Lakshadweep, the minimum height can be reduced by 2 cms.
  • Relaxation in height up to 2.5 cm (5 cm for Navy) may be allowed. But only at the certification made by the Medical Board.  If they state that the candidate is likely to grow and achieve the required standard on completion of his training.
  • Relaxation on merit may be given to healthy candidates with heavy bones and broad build or with a thin build.

Visual Standards

  • Myopia case-Under 2.5D.and  Hypermetropia case-Under 3.5 D including Astigmatism.
  • Candidates should have a fine binocular vision. Distance vision (corrected) – 6/6 in better eye & 6/9 in the worse eye.
  • The colour vision standard will be (CP-III) for Army candidates.
  • Candidates must be able to recognise red and green colours

NDA SSB Interview Preparation Tips

Cracking NDA interview is a long inspiring journey that requires perseverance and determination. The 5-day long procedure Tests conducted under stage I and stage II aims to assess the behaviour, mental alertness and other traits of the candidates. The assessors ensure that only capable candidates get selected. But don’t worry. Always remember even small steps taken in the right direction can bring great results.

Check Future Cadets Online Course for NDA written exam.

Here Future Cadets are providing tips to help your interview go buttery smooth:

Conduct Your SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. It refers to self- introspection. This is very important to promote your identified strengths, minimise the weaknesses, exploit opportunities and creating plans to minimize threats. This tool is best for boosting your self-image. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses enables a candidate to stand apart from the hoard of candidates. Bagging the top position is not as easy as it sounds. Do not take the SWOT analysis light. It is one of the vital components of personal progress. So, just spend 10 minutes to find out what you are good at and what you are terrible at. 

Let Your Personality Shine

There is a famous saying – Beauty gets the attention and Personality gets the heart. Yes, it’s fully apt. Express your personality. Your actions, body language and answers to the questions being posed to you during an Interview reflect your personality. An appealing and pleasing personality is all about demonstrating a  fine balance between confidence, professionalism, and modesty. So groom your personality to build rapport with your interviewer. Work on the following points to develop your personality:

Body Language Tips

Maintain an open body language with an upright posture. Make eye- contact throughout the interview process. Sit comfortably and keep your shoulders relaxed.  Occasionally use hand gestures to express yourself or try resting your hands in your lap at a time. Improvise on your posture and show dignity towards the other person to earn brownie points. Do smile also as smiling once at a time also shows you’re comfortable with the flow of the interview. Maintain a fairly balanced smile – neither too timid or too exaggerating.·           

Dress Code

Dress up formally. Males can wear dark colour trousers and light colour shirt, tie or blazer with formal shoes. Females can go for any formal shirt with pants, with shoes or saree, blazer. Wear formal dress while screening test as well as during a personal interview. Thus, it is advisable that candidates should carry two sets of formal dress.

Polish Your Interaction Skills

Good communication skills can lead to intelligent conversation or a better exchange of ideas with the interview panel. Hone your interaction skills by indulging in public speaking and social interactions to overcome the hesitation of speaking with people. Try to mingle up with people from different backgrounds, attend social functions, participating in debates and group discussions.  It would help you to show your best self, be able to speak easily and confidently. 

Show a positive attitude: It’s crucial to reflect a positive attitude throughout the interview.  A positive state of mind brings happiness, optimism and enthusiasm into life. Present your qualities and flaws with an optimistic approach.  Practice 3 Cs during the interview: cool, calm, and confident to land the gig.

Personality is fundamental in leaving an everlasting impression on others.  Considering the verve of personality in your life, try to build a winning personality.

Mental Alertness

Stay focused during an interview. The interview panel sometimes poses wittiest questions to an aspirant during an interview. Such questions may sound something out of the ordinary but they are asked to check the candidate’s mental alertness. As a lot can be riding on the interview which can cause many candidates to feel anxious and nervous. Thus, the aspirants make it a conscious habit of your daily routine to stay mentally alert. Practice Visualization, also called mental rehearsal technique, while preparing for interviews. It would help to reduce stress and boost confidence. Doing exercise, meditation, spending time outdoors, good sleep, healthy eating and deep breathing also make you focused.

Listening Skills

Many of the times candidates found themselves either in the enthusiasm or anxiety of the moment. They answer the questions midway as per their preconceived notions.  Answering the questions without actually listening or understanding what is being asked gives the feeling of canned answers. So it is necessary to infuse listening skills. Listening is as important as answering questions.  Inability to pay attention may not able to generate the best response from your side. Moreover, active listening demonstrates that you are engaged in the interview. 

Give Logical Answers

The interview is not meant for checking the depth of the candidate’s knowledge but to assess the ability to answer. So instead of giving crammed typical answers, build rapport with the interviewer by offering logical and targeted problem-solving answers. The approach of answering should be based on a general understanding of the question asked. Therefore, always focus on framing answers that seem to be practical and possible solutions to the problems being asked.

Stay Updated

One of the main important components of an interview is to be aware of the latest happenings taking place around the globe. Inculcate the habit of reading newspapers, magazines stating current affairs and listen to the news. Acquaint yourself with the social, economic or political spheres to handle the queries of the subject experts from different fields.

Some Do’s and Don’ts before and during an interview:


  • Do aware of the location of the interview.
  • Wear the chest number before appearing for an interview.
  • Once you will be informed about your interview, wait for your turn in the waiting room. Maintain the decorum while waiting. 
  • Never ask from other candidates about the questions asked.  
  • Don’t enter into the interview room without seeking permission.


  • Don’t sit without taking permission. After getting permission to thank him with a  good gesture. 
  • Give Gentle smile while entering the room. 
  • Do not panic if you don’t know an answer to any of the questions.  
  • Respond accurately to the questions.
  • Don’t present long answers. 
  •  Don’t Clench fists or wave hands while answering.
  •   Be creative in the words and the ideas while answering.
  • Exhibit your original thought process and present your true self in everything.

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