NTSE or National Talent Search Examination is a national level exam conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for granting scholarships to the meritorious students studying in class 10th. NTSE is only held for 10th standard students and the exam is conducted in two different stages – Stage I and II.
The first stage exam is a state-level exam and is conducted by all the Indian states and UTs. On the other hand, NTSE stage II is conducted for those students who clear the first stage. As mentioned earlier, only those who qualify in NTSE stage 1 will be eligible to write the Stage II exam. This is the main criteria. Meanwhile, the objective of organizing NTSE is to award scholarships to potential candidates who are aspiring to pursue higher education in the field of Science or Social Studies. With these scholarships, students will be able to continue their education in their desired stream. NTSE scholarship will be awarded on the basis of the overall performance of students in both the stages of the examination.
NTSE Exam Question Papers PDFs
Students can download the state-wise NTSE 2020-21 exam question papers from the links given in the table below.
NTSE Exam Overview
|Exam Name||National Talent Search Examination (NTSE)|
|Conducting Body||National Council Of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)|
|Frequency of Exam||Once a year|
|Mode of Exam||Offline|
|Exam Duration||4 Hrs (2 Hrs MAT and 2 Hrs SAT)|
NTSE 2020 – 2021 Important Dates
Stage – I
|Last Date to Submit Application Form||To be notified by the State|
|Examination in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Andaman & Nicobar Islands||12th December 2020 (Saturday)|
|Examination in all other States and Union Territories||13th December 2020 (Sunday)|
Stage – II (National)
|Examination in all States and Union Territories||13th June 2021 (Sunday)|
Around 2000 scholarships are awarded for each stage of education. These stages are:
- For Class XI to Class XII, a scholarship of Rs.1250/- per month is provided.
- For Undergraduates and Postgraduates, a scholarship of Rs.2000/- per month is provided.
- For Ph.D., the scholarship amount is fixed in accordance with the UGC norms.
NTSE Exam Eligibility Criteria 2021
NCERT has defined an age limit for the students to appear for the exam. Candidates should be below the age of 18 years (as on July 1, 2020).
NTSE Eligibility for Stage 1 (State level examination)
Due to the COVID situation in the country, there is no exact date given about the registration and date of the examination but students who are pursuing their studies from schools in India are eligible to appear in the stage 1 exam. Eligibility criteria are as follows:
- The candidate must be a Class X student from any Government/ Private schools in India.
- There is no domicile restriction. The candidate can be from any State/Union Territory of India.
- The candidates studying in open or distance learning are also eligible to write NTSE 2020, provided they are less than 18 years of age, not employed and are appearing for Class X board examination for the first time.
NTSE Eligibility for Stage 2 (National level examination)
- Only the students who qualified in stage 1 (state-level examination) are eligible to appear for Stage 2 examination. The roll number, venue, date of examination details will be conveyed to the selected candidates by NCERT through its official website.
NTSE Eligibility for Students Studying Abroad
- Indian students studying abroad in Class X or equivalent are eligible to write stage 2 (second level examination) directly and are exempted from the stage 1 examination.
- The candidate must have scored 60% in the previous year’s annual examination.
- The candidate should appear for the examination in a centre in India.
- The candidates must request through the Head of the Institution where he/she is studying, along with an attested copy of Class IX mark sheet. The request should reach the Head, Department of Educational Survey Division, NCERT, New Delhi by 31 December of the concerned year.
- The selected candidate will receive the scholarship only if he/she decides to pursue studies in India.
Read More: NTSE Eligibility
NTSE Application Form
Interested students can contact the State/UT Liaison officer for procuring the NTSE application form. The completed application form should be signed by the Principal of the school well in advance before the last date of submission. No applications will be accepted after the last date for submission of the Application Form.
Different states may have different last dates for submission. Students are advised to check the dates and confirm them from the Liaison Officer of their state. The address and contact number of the Liaison Officer of the States/UTs are available (State-wise) can be viewed at NCERT’s website www.ncert.nic.in.
Candidates must note that all their queries related to the application form will be addressed only by the State Liaison Officers (LOs). They should not send their application to NCERT.
As for the application fees, the States and Union Territories will fix a certain amount and notify the candidates on how much they will need to pay. Candidates are advised to find out the fees charged for Stage-I Examination before filling and submitting their application forms. Also, check for the mode of payment for the fees from the respective State Liaison Officers (LOs). NCERT does not charge any fee for Stage-II examination.
Indian Students Studying Abroad in Class X can also fill the NTSE application form online. It will be available on the NCERT website (https://ncert.nic.in/pdf/programmes/NTSE/Examination(NTS-I)/Application_Form_2020.pdf). They can fill and send the form to Head, Department of Educational Survey Division, NCERT, New Delhi-110016 along with a photocopy of the mark sheet of the previous examination, latest by January 2021.
Application Form for students studying abroad will be uploaded on the NCERT website in the month of February 28. 2021. Announcement for students of Indian nationality studying abroad will be announced separately.
Read More: NTSE Application Form
How to fill Online NTSE Application Form 2020-21 (Stage 1)?
Some states release stage 1 NTSE 2020 application form through the official website. Students who meet the eligibility criteria can fill the NTSE stage 1 application form 2020-21 in online mode. They will have to upload documents attested by their Principal for online NTSE registration 2020-21. The steps to fill the NTSE form 2020-21 are given below.
Step-1- Visit the SCERT website of respective state/UTs or click on the relevant link from the table given above.
Step-2- Select the NTSE section available on the home page and click on the NTSE 2020-21 application form.
Step-3- Enter the details in online NTSE form 2020-21 such as student name, date of birth, gender, caste, mobile number, academic details, family income and more.
Step-4- Upload the scanned photograph, signature file and other documents as required.
Step-5- Pay the application fee (if applicable) through online mode.
Step-6- Download the filled-in NTSE application form 2020-21 and submit at the school. After reviewing the applications, the Head/ Principal of the School will send the forms to the State Liaison Officer.
NTSE Exam Pattern
- NTSE exam pattern for Stage 1 & Stage 2 is divided into two parts as SAT & MAT.
- There will be 100 questions each in both MAT and SAT (Science-40, Maths-20, Social science-40).
Part 1 – Mental Ability Test (MAT)
- This section will have questions on analytical and logical reasoning.
- This section tests the students on their ability to solve reasoning questions, ability to think, evaluate and visualise.
- The section consists of a total of 100 questions.
- The main topics from this section consist of series, pattern perception, analogies, coding-decoding, classifications, hidden figures and problem-solving, etc.
Part 2 – Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
- This section will have a total of 100 questions, which is further divided into Science (40), Social Science (40) and Mathematics (20).
- The student has to be well versed in the syllabus taught in class 9 and 10th.
- The time allotted for the SAT section is 120 minutes.
- The level of questions will be equivalent to class 10th or equivalent exam.
The Exam pattern is the same for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 and there will only be objective type of questions in both the stages of examination.
|Papers||Maximum Marks||Number of Questions||Time Allotted|
|SAT (Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences)||100||100||120 Minutes|
Read More: NTSE Exam Pattern
NTSE Exam Marking Scheme
|NTSE Exam (Paper 1 & Paper 2)|
|Stage 1||1 Mark will be awarded for every correct answer.|
|No negative marking for the wrong answer.|
|Stage 2||1 Mark will be awarded for every correct answer.|
|For every wrong answer, one-third of the marks will be deducted.|
|No negative marking for questions left unattempted.|
NTSE Exam Qualifying Marks
- 40% Marks in each paper for General category students.
- 32% Marks in each paper for SC, ST & PH category students.
|Person with Disability||3%|
Other National And International Level Olympiads
|NSTSE||National Level Science Talent Search Examination|
|KVPY||Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana|
|RMO||Regional Maths Olympiads|