NTSE Overview

NTSE (National Talent Search Examination) is among India’s most renowned scholarship examinations. The objective of the exam is to identify talented students across the country and reward them with scholarship programs so that they can pursue further studies. NTSE is organised and conducted by India’s National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
The students are awarded scholarships after a rigorous two-tier examination process, segmented into Stages I and II. Only students who qualify for the Stage I exam can appear in the Stage II exam. However, Indian students studying abroad are exempted from Stage I and can appear directly for the NTSE Stage II examination. So students should prepare hard and familiarise themselves with the NTSE syllabus to prepare for the exam and score good marks.
Stage I: It is conducted by various states and union territories in India. It is a state-level exam.
Stage II: It is conducted by the NCERT. This is a national-level exam.

NTSE Syllabus

The NTSE syllabus is divided into Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The NTSE-SAT syllabus includes math, science and social science, while the MAT syllabus includes verbal and non-verbal reasoning. The syllabus is same for both stages, i.e. Phase I and Phase II. It is important to note that NCERT does not prescribe any specified NTSE exam syllabus. The NTSE syllabus is wholly based on the class 10 syllabus of NCERT. Therefore, students should identify and focus on critical topics for the exam, hence must be well aware of the NTSE syllabus and exam pattern to score well.
Let us now have a look at the NTSE syllabus details.
NTSE Stage I Syllabus: Mental Ability Test (MAT)
NTSE MAT Syllabus: Verbal Reasoning
  1. Analogy
  2. Classification
  3. Puzzle Test
  4. Alphabet Test
  5. Logical Venn Diagrams
  6. Blood Relations
  7. Series
  8. Logical Sequence of Words
  9. Verification of Truth of Statement
  10. Coding-Decoding
  11. Problems on Clocks
  12. Analytical Reasoning
  13. Direction Sense Test
  14. eries Completion Test
  15. Arithmetical Reasoning Test
  16. Mathematical Operations
  17. Series completion Test
  18. Arithmetical Reasoning Test
  19. Inserting a Missing Character
NTSE MAT Syllabus: Non-Verbal Reasoning
  1. Classification
  2. Transparent Paper Folding
  3. Series
  4. Analogy
  5. Embedded Figure
  6. Dot Fixing Situation
  7. Analytical Reasoning
  8. Water Images
  9. Problems on Cubes and Dice
  10. Incomplete Figure
  11. Folding Paper Cutting
NTSE Stage II Syllabus: Scholastic Ability Test (SAT)
Physics Syllabus:
  • Magnetism and Electricity
  • Measurements
  • Motion and Force
  • Work and Energy
  • Light and Sound
  • The Universe
  • Source of Energy
Chemistry Syllabus:
  • Acid, Bases, Salt
  • Periodic Classification of Elements
  • Metals and Non-Metals
  • Structure of Atom
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Carbon and its Compounds
  • Fibres and Plastics
Biology Syllabus:
  • Air, Water, Soil
  • Micro-organisms
  • Reproduction
  • Life Processes
  • Heredity and Evolution
  • Food Production and Management
  • Diversity in Living Organisms
  • Plant and Animal Nutrition & Human Body
  • Cellular Level of Organisation
  • Some Common Diseases & Our Environment
Social Science
History Syllabus:
  • French Revolution
  • Industrial Revolution
  • British Raj
  • Mughal Empire
  • Maurya Empire
  • Early Medieval Period
  • Medieval Architecture and Culture
  • Indian Freedom Struggle
  • Early States
  • Indus Valley Civilization
  • Jainism and Buddhism
  • Conquerors from Distant Lands
  • Popular Movements and Social Reforms
  • Nationalism in Various Countries
  • Introduction and Sources of Ancient Indian History
  • Vedic Period
  • World War I and II
  • New Empires and Kingdoms
  • World History
  • UN and International Agencies
Geography Syllabus:
  • Water Resources
  • Biosphere
  • Atmosphere
  • Agriculture
  • Resources and Development
  • Diversity and Livelihood
  • Internal Structure of the Earth and Rocks
  • Maps and Globe
  • Natural Vegetation
  • Our Country - India
  • India and its Neighbors
  • Motion of the Earth
  • Climate India and World
  • Indian Physiographic Division
  • Drainage in India
  • Solar System
  • Major Domains and landforms
  • Population
Civics Syllabus:
  • Indian Constitution
  • Local and State Government
  • Judiciary
  • Indian Government
  • Arithmetic Progressions
  • Number Systems
  • Polynomials
  • Real Numbers
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Rational Numbers
  • Square Roots and Cube Roots
  • Direct and Inverse Variation
  • Mensuration
  • Percentage
  • Surface Areas and Volumes
  • Trigonometry
  • Circles Simple and Compound
  • Interest
  • Triangles
  • Arithmetic
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Linear Equations in Two Variables
  • Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Quadrilateral
  • Parallelogram

NTSE Eligibility Criteria:

As per the norms set by the CBSE, NTSE is open to all students who are of Indian nationality, irrespective of whether they are studying in India or abroad at the class X level.
  • Candidates studying in India will be selected based on their screening test, and they will be eligible for NTSE.
  • Candidates studying abroad who are of Indian nationality are also eligible. Additionally, they are exempted from the first level and can appear directly in the second-level examination.

NTSE Eligibility Criteria (Stage 1)

  • Candidate must have received at least 60% in class IX. He/she must be enrolled in a nationally recognised school in the respective state or union territory.
  • Students from the Open Distance Learning (ODL) program will also be considered and eligible if they are below 18 years of age as of 1st July of the same year the candidate appears for the examination and are not employed while appearing in class X examination.

NTSE Eligibility Criteria (Stage 2)

Only those students who manage to clear NTSE Stage I will be eligible for the NTSE Stage II exam.

NTSE Exam-Pattern:

We have established that NTSE is conducted in two phases. Stage-I is conducted separately in each state/UT. The candidates who clear the first round become eligible for the second level, i.e. national level examination.
Both the stages of the exam are conducted in two parts. The first is called Mental Ability Test (MAT), and the second is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

NTSE Stage I Exam Pattern:

Stage-I is administered at the State/UT level by the respective State/UT Administration. The candidates have a choice to solve the paper in one of two languages available: English or Hindi. Each correct answer gets them one mark, and there is no negative marking. The paper is divided into two sections:
NTSE Stage I:  Mental Ability Test (MAT)
Particulars Details
Number of Questions 100
Maximum Marks 100
Types of Questions MCQs (with four options, of which only one answer will be correct)
Marking Scheme +1 for every correct answer (no negative marking)
Duration 2 hours
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT):
Particulars Details
Number of Questions 100
Maximum Marks 100
Types of Questions MCQs (with four options, of which only one answer will be correct)
Questions Distribution Science - 40 Questions Social Science - 40 Questions Mathematics - 20 Questions
Marking Scheme +1 for every correct answer (no negative marking)
Duration 2 hours

NTSE Stage II:

Only the Stage I qualified candidates are eligible to write the Stage II scholarship exam. The MAT and the SAT are two NTSE exam papers for the Stage II Exam. There are 100 questions in both MAT & SAT(Science-40, Maths-20, Social science-40). No Negative Points for any wrong answer. Both tests are 2 hours or 120 minutes long.

NTSE Exam Dates:

State-Level Exam:

The State Level Screening Test is held on the first Sunday of November in all States/Union Territories, with the exception of Nagaland, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Meghalaya, and Mizoram, where it is conducted on the first Saturday of November every year unless special circumstances arise.
Paper Test Examination Date Timing
Paper-I Mental Ability Test (MAT)
1st Sunday of November (In all the States/UTs of the country except Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Andaman & Nicobar exams where it will be held on the 1st Saturday of November every year)
between 09.30 AM to 11.30 AM (All candidates except visually challenged candidates) between 09.30 AM to 12.00 Noon ( For only visually challenged candidates)
Paper-II Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) 1.30 PM to 3.30 PM (All candidates except visually challenged candidates 1.30 PM to 4.00 PM (Only visually challenged candidates)

National Level Examination:

The national-level examination is conducted by NCERT on the second Sunday of May every year (unless notified otherwise). NCERT informs all the eligible candidates directly through its portal www.ncert@nic.in of the venue, roll number, date and time of national level examination.
Paper Test Examination Date Timing
Paper-I Mental Ability Test (MAT)
Every year on May 2nd (in all States and UTs in the nation)
09.30 AM to 11.30 AM (All candidates Except visually challenged candidates) 09.30 AM to 12.00 Noon (Only for visually challenged candidates)
Paper-II Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) 1.30 PM to 3.30 PM (All candidates except visually challenged candidates 1.30 PM to 4.00 PM (Only visually challenged candidates)

NTSE Application Procedure:

  1. NTSE Exam is open to all the students studying in class X.
  2. The students must submit their filled application form to the State Liaison Officer duly signed by their school's Principal before the due date.
  3. The student should ensure that the application form is filled out carefully and correctly. It is of utmost importance that all the information is valid & authorised. Incorrect information or incomplete form will be ignored, and the student's admit card will not be issued, resulting in the student being unable to take the exam.
  4. There is no application form for Stage II of NTSE, it is a one-time application process, and those students who qualify the Stage I exam are eligible to apply.

NTSE Admit Card:

The state-level exam administrators will issue the NTSE stage 1 admit card on various dates, depending on the state. Some states release NTSE admit cards stage 1 online via the official website. In contrast, others distribute NTSE hall tickets through their respective schools. Students can get their respective NTSE stage 1 admit cards from their respective school authorities.
NTSE hall ticket consists of details such as exam venue, roll number, exam date, and time. The online admit card can be downloaded using the candidate’s application number and date of birth. Students must carry the NTSE hall ticket to the NTSE exam centre for verification.
The NTSE stage 2 admit card will be released two or four weeks before the exam.

NTSE Scholarships:

The scholarships rewarded in NTSE are as follows -
  1. Scholarship of Rs. 1250/- per month for classes 11 and 12.
  2. Scholarship of Rs. 2000/- per month for UG and PG.
  3. Scholarship for PhD students as per UGC norms.

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