NTSE-National Talent Search Examination

NTSE – National Talent Search Examination:

National Talent Search Examination or commonly known as NTSE is a national level scholarship program in Indian to identify and filter out most talented students in the country. It is said to be the most prestigious examinations of the country.

This scholarship program examination is conducted by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and students studying in class X are eligible for applying this examination. This exam is normally conducted November (Stage 1) and May (Stage II) every year.

Stage I is a State level examination to select candidates from a particular State or Union Territory to appear Stage – II exam whereas Stage II is a National Level examination conducted by NCERT.


  1. It identifies and honors highly talented students by providing financial assistance in the form of monthly scholarship for the higher education upto PHD level.
  2. As it is organized by the official body NCERT, it is widely recognized as a highly prestigious examination at high school level in India.
  3. Each State/Union Territory are eligible to select specified number of candidates for appearing Stage-II or final exam.
  4. Students those who clear Stage-I are eligible to take part in the Stage-II of the examination. After Stage – II exam, qualifying candidates need to attend interview before selection for scholarship eligibility.

How to prepare for NTSE Examination?

  • The most important thing in the preparation of NTSE examination is to be thorough in the fundamental concepts and applications of all major subjects up to class X.
  • Another important skill for NTSE examination is to develop analytical thinking. This is a process through which knowledge is acquired, concepts learnt, misconceptions understood and fundamentals absorbed.
  • Advance in-depth knowledge is required to solve Mathematics and science related questions. This is possible for any student by continuous hard work and practice.
  • Not only State Board / CBSE / NCERT books, students should also refer other reference  books for enhancing their knowledge.

NTSE Eligibility Criteria:

All the students studying in Class X in recognized school can apply for this exam. A student from any state of the country is eligible to register for this scholarship program. Also, the student can be from any type of eligible schools like Government or Private Schools to attend this exam.

Candidates can get the application form by contacting the State/UT officer. The completed application form must be signed by the Principal of the school and must be submitted to the respective State/UT office.

Students who have registered under Open Distance Learning (ODL) are also eligible for the scholarship programs, provided the student is below 18 years. Also, the student must not be employed and must be appearing for the class 10th examination for the first time.

NTSE Important dates:

Stage I:

  • Last date for the submission of application form: To be notified by the respective State and varies from each State.

Stage II:

  • It is a national level test. Examination in all States and Union Territories is during 1st week of May every year.


NTSE Scholarships:

Scholarships are awarded for different stages of education:

The amount of scholarship will be as under:

  1. Scholarship of Rs.1250/- per month for class XI to class XII
  2. Scholarship of Rs.2000/- per month for Undergraduate and Postgraduate studies
  3. Amount of scholarship for Ph.D are fixed for UGC norms

NTSE Reservation:

15% of the seats are allocated to the SC candidates, 7.5 % of seats belong to the ST candidates, and 3% for physically challenged group of students.

NTSE Selection Process:

Selection of candidates at Stage – I level is to be done by the State /UTs. Those who clear the Stage I examination are eligible to attend the Stage II examination which is a National level exam conducted by NCERT.

NTSE Qualifying Marks:

Qualifying marks for students from general category is 40% in each paper of Stage I. For other categories like SC, ST, PH the qualifying mark is 35% in each paper of Stage I.

How to apply for NTSE examination?

  1. Contact the State/UT Liason officer for getting the application form.
  2. The candidate must submit the application form with the appropriate application fees within the last date of application submission.
  3. The candidate must leave the 4 digit center code blank to be filled by the Liason officer of the concerned State.
  4. Fill in the application form and get signature from the principal of your school and submit it to the respective State or UT Liason officer.
  5. All queries regarding the application form must be directed to the State/Liason officer. No application form must be sent to NCERT.

Examination pattern for NTSE:

NTSE Stage I Exam Pattern:

The State level NTSE examination will consist of Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

  • Mental Ability test consist of 90 multiple choice questions from the topics such as critical reasoning, hidden figures, etc., This covers all the important fundamental chapters of Mathematics. Total duration given for this section is 90 minutes.
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) consist of 90 multiple choice question from various subjects such as Science (35 questions), Social studies (35 questions), Mathematics (20 questions) in 90 minutes.
  • Social science includes History, Geography, Civics and Economics.
  • The minimum mark which must be obtained in Stage I examination is 40% for General category and 35% for reserved category. Those students who have secured the minimum percentage are eligible to attend the next stage of the examination “Stage II” which is a national level examination.

NTSE Stage II Exam Pattern

  • Mental Ability Test (MAT) consist of 50 multiple choice questions (50 Marks) from the topics such as critical reasoning, numerical series, pattern description, hidden figures, etc., Total duration given for this section is 45 minutes.
  • Language Comprehension Test (LCT) consists of 50 multiple choice questions (50 Marks) which must be completed in 45 minutes. This will be conducted in only two languages such as English or Hindi. Candidates will get a chance to appear in any one of the two languages.
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) consist of 100 multiple choice questions (100 Marks) from various subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Geography, History, Economics, Political science to be answered in 90 minutes.
  • SAT section consists of questions in Mathematics (30 marks), Science (35 marks), Social sciences (35 marks). Total 100 questions in 90 minutes.

Important points to be noted during the examination:

  1. Each correct question carries +1 mark whereas no negative marking in Stage I
  2. All the questions are of objective type of questions. Each consist of four multiple choice options among which the student must choose the correct answer.
  3. Those who qualify Stage I examination are eligible to attend Stage II national level examination.
  4. Those students who clear Stage II examination will face an interview with NTSE board and finally 1000 meritorious students are selected all over the country.
  5. Also remember that the questions in the Stage II (National Level) consist of negative mark of “-1/3” for each wrong answer. No negative marks for un-attempted questions.

Sample Questions for NTSE exam:

  • Mental Ability Test: (MAT):

This test is to check the candidate’s ability of reasoning, ability of thinking, creative power, numerical sense, how fast they are able to solve the mathematical problems, etc.,

variety of questions on the topics such as numerical series, Hidden figures, pattern perception, block assembly, coding and decoding, etc are covered in this examination.

Let us see few sample questions on the MAT:

  1. In a certain code, MONKEY is written as XDJMNL. How is TIGER written in that code?
  1. In a queue, rani is in 9th from the back. Seetha’s place is 8th from the front. Ramya is standing between the two. What could be the minimum number of girls standing between the queue?
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test:

This test is to check the candidate’s ability of reading and answering comprehension, creative in language sections, logical reasoning, sequencing and so on.

Few of the sample questions based on SAT:

  1. Rearrange the following words into meaningful sentences:
  • Cancer/ her/ had/ family/knew/even/Anand/but/did not/tell/he/his
  1. Find the matching word which completes the sentence:
  • Apart from _____ cough and cold, I have been remarkably healthy all my life.
  1. Odd
  2. Opportune
  3. Irregular
  4. Timely
General instructions to the students taking NTSE exam:
  1. Admit card for the NTSE examination will be sent to the chief superintendent of the examination centre after allotting the roll number for the students taking part in the examination.
  2. Candidates have to collect the admit card from the chief superintendent officer at least one week before the examination.
  3. Reach the examination hall before 10 minutes and get seated in your allotted roll number.
  4. Do not take calculator, tables book or any papers inside the examination hall.
  5. Write your roll number as per your admit card on your answer sheet and on the cover page of your question booklet.
  6. Record your answer using ball point pen only.
  7. Hand over the question booklet and answer sheet to the invigilator after the examination.

 Important chapters in all major subjects:

  • Mental Ability:

The most important topics are classification, coding-decoding, missing character, series (verbal and non verbal), and blood relations.

  • General Knowledge:

The most important topics are India, World, Abbreviations, book and Arthurs.

  • English:

Antonyms, synonyms, English Grammar, one word substitution, reading comprehension, sentence completion, and paragraph completion are the most important topics in English.

  • Mathematics:

Basic geometry, Arithmetic, Mensuration, Trignometry, number system, percentage and its application, quadratic equations, algebraic expressions, exponent, linear equation and rational numbers are the most important chapters in Mathematics.

  • Social Science:

Mughal Empire, British raj, Resources and development, Indus valley civilization, Our Country, our environment, India constitution, Indian Economics, Delhi sultanate, atmosphere, world history and natural vegetation are the important topics in Social science.

  • Science:

Some common diseases, metals and non metals, light, reproduction, carbon and its compounds, magnetism and electricity at work, work and energy, carbon and its compounds, human body and our environment are the important chapters in Science.

Results declaration:

The results of the NTSE examination shall be declared on July or August of the same year. Students are divided into four quotas such as General, SC, ST and Physically Disabled.

For General quota around 750 students are selected

For SC quota around 150 students are selected

For ST quota around 80 students are selected

For Disabled around 20 students are selected

The results will be displayed on the official site http://www.ncert.nic.in in the mid of July or in early August.

NTSE Past Exam Papers Online Practice (Stage I and II)


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