The National Science Olympiad (NSO) is a science competition for students studying between grades 1 and 12. The Olympiad exam is conducted by the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF). SOF is an educational organization that is popular in spreading academic competition and aids in the development of competitive spirit among school children. NSO examination helps students to identify their interest in any particular branch of science and also guides them in pursuing their careers in that field.
Levels of NSO
There are two levels for the examination. The first is level 1 and the student who qualifies in this level will be eligible to write the level 2 examination. The two levels of the NSO olympiad exam start from grade 3. Students studying in classes 1 and 2 will have only level 1 examination and ranks are given based on their performance.
The candidates are ranked based on marks secured in the level 1 examination. After attempting the first level of the test, students can position themselves academically at four different levels – within the school, at the city level, at the state level and finally at the International level.
The exam is an objective-type test consisting of 35 multiple-choice questions for classes 1 to 4, and 50 multiple-choice questions for classes 5 to 12.
To attempt the second level of NSO examination, one must have the following eligibility criteria.
(a) The top 5% of students class-wise, who appear for the 1st level exam will qualify for the next level.
(b) The top 25 rank holders class-wise of each state.
(c) The class topper from each participating school, also a minimum of 10 students from a class must take the exam and score 50% qualifying marks.
Students belonging to classes 1 and 2 have only one level of examination. They are not required to appear for the 2nd level exam, and are ranked based on their performance in the first level exam. NSO is a single level exam.
Syllabus of NSO
The syllabus of NSO is as per the academic curriculum of CBSE, ICSE and different state boards. The NSO syllabus is covered in such a way that all the concepts and theories are covered in-depth, following the class the student is studying. Questions are asked with varied difficulty ratings and all types of questions appear in the NSO examination. The syllabus of NSO is classified into three sections.
- Section 1 comprises the Logical Reasoning section, which mainly consists of Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning questions.
- Section 2 comprises the Science section that deals with all the concepts and topics related to the grades of the students.
- Section 3 comprises the Achievers section. This section deals with Higher-Order Thinking Questions. Students must solve this section during the examination when the other two sections are completed.
Important Tips on the Syllabus
While studying for the exam, one must have a full idea about the examination, its benefits and its syllabus, as it aids in better preparation. As discussed earlier, the SOF NSO syllabus goes hand in hand with the academic curriculum. Listed below are the vital points of the syllabus.
- Questions of level-I Olympiad exams consist of 60% of questions from the current class syllabus and 40% from the previous class syllabus. For instance, the Class 9 NSO exam will have 60% questions from the Class 9 syllabus and 40% questions from the Class 8 syllabus.
- Questions of level-II Olympiad exams will be based on the current class syllabus itself.
- Questions in ACHIEVERS SECTION will be picked from the current class syllabus itself.
A Few Tricks to Crack NSO Examination
Listed below are a few tricks that will help the student to crack the examination.
- The first vital tip is to know about the exam pattern and exam syllabus before starting the preparation. This will help the student to know which part or subject must be covered first.
- Usage of appropriate and relevant books related to the examination helps the preparation to be carried out in a fixed path.
- Students must solve a few sample papers and also previous years’ papers to know the pattern of examinations, and also improve their time management skills.
- A clear analysis of the exam preparation is gained by solving these kinds of papers.
- Focus more on the subject, and solve questions related to it.
Perks of Writing NSO Examination
Every student has benefited from writing such competitive exams. Listed below are the benefits of writing the NSO olympiad exam.
- The Olympiad enhances the overall development of the student. The students will be able to answer the question, even if they are asked in a twisted manner.
- Olympiads give a spark to the students’ logical reasoning and thinking capabilities.
- These exams help students test their abilities and help to know their choice of interest.
- Students will understand their strengths and weaknesses, which indeed gives room for improvement.
- Olympiads challenge students to compete worldwide and develop the sportive spirit.
- The students will be curious to learn beyond the books prescribed by the academic curriculum
- Students will learn new methods of learning, and hence problem-solving skills are developed too.
- It is a modern way to understand the concepts better and also a platform to showcase their skills in other disciplines.
After attempting the examination the results of the NSO exam will be declared within 7 to 8 weeks of the examination. The NSO Result 2021-22 will be declared on 16 March 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions on NSO 2021
How many levels of examination are there?
What is the benefit of the NSO examination?
What is the NSO Olympiad syllabus?
What are the top books to study for the NSO?
For preparation, NCERT books/course books given by the CBSE/ICSE/state boards can be used. The following are some of the top books for NSO preparation:
1. MTG NSO Workbooks by Class (For Class 1 to 10)
2. SOF Olympiad Trainer – Apps for Mobile
3. OSDS (Olympiad Skill Development System)
4. Olympiad’s Reasoning Book (for preparation for the reasoning section of NSO).