If something is valuable, it won’t be easily achievable. One needs to work hard to get what one deserves. No doubt, NTSE is a complex examination, given the cut-throat competition existing among the students.

Are you competitive enough to sit for NTSE? If you want to judge your capabilities and dream big, NTSE is a milestone. It will push your limits and make sure you get your dream career.

Are you confused about exam patterns, questions, and other related questions regarding NTSE? Get all the answers here!

What Is NTSE?

Boasting a long history of 55 years, NTSE, or National Talent Search Examination, is a national-level scholarship program by the Government of India. National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) organizes this exam for 10th-standard students. Like all national-level scholarship examinations, the scheme is to identify and encourage worthy students and enhance their skills, logical reasoning, and mental ability. NTSE offers 1000+ scholarships to these students to allow them to pursue courses in the stream of science and social science for up to doctoral-level studies. 

Indian states and UTs conduct the first stage of the examination. Students qualifying for stage 1 will be eligible for stage 2.

NTSE Eligibility Criteria:

Since the examination has two stages, each stage has different eligibility criteria. 


Eligibility Criteria For Regular students:

  1. The candidate must be below 18 years of age.
  2. The candidate must be pursuing class 10 from any government or private school located in India.
  3. Minimum required marks to sit for this examination is 60% for the general category and 55% for SC/ST/OBC in their 9th class.
  4. The student must not be repeating Class 10th.

Eligibility Criteria For Students Studying Abroad:

  1. Candidate must be Indian National.
  2. A candidate must score 60% in the previous examination.
  3. They will be eligible for the scholarship only if the candidate decides to pursue their studies in India.


  1. Minimum of 80% marks on state board required to sit for NTSE stage 2.
  2. Students in the general category must score 40%, and SC/ST/OBC must score 35% on each NTSE paper.

Examination Pattern:

NTSE is a paper-and-pencil examination, and the students have to mark the OMR sheets to respond to the questions. No negative marking is applicable. The time duration for each test is 120 minutes. 


STAGE 1: (State Level)

  1. Part 1: Mental Ability Test (MAT), the aptitude test out of 100.
  2. Part 2: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) comprises Science(out of 40), Social Science(out of 40), and Mathematics(out of 20).

STAGE 2: (National Level)

Students qualifying for Stage 1 will be eligible for Stage 2. The exam pattern remains the same, but the level of questions increases.

  1. Part 1: MAT
  2. Part 2: SAT( same as Stage 1)

How To Apply For NTSE?

Check the newspapers or circulars for state-level notification. Contact your respective State Liaison Officer and fill out the application form. Get it signed by School Principal and send it to the State Liaison Officer with the application fee. Though NCERT does not charge any application fee for the Stage 2 examination, the States and the UTs may notify the fee requirements.


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How To Prepare For NTSE?

There’s a saying, “Knowledge is power.” To prepare for NTSE, you need to enhance your knowledge and be thorough with concepts. Developing analytical thinking power is mandatory to arrive at a logical and strategic solution to a given problem. One needs to have a conceptual knowledge of the syllabus up to class X. When you prepare for NTSE, you can grip on the misconceptions understood and fundamentals absorbed.

In-depth knowledge of Science and Mathematics is a requisite as 15% of questions are about applications. Similarly, managing the vast syllabus of Social science are equally important and requires strategy. Only CBSE textbooks will not be sufficient. One needs to refer to the regional state board books. 

Good planning will ace your preparation and ascertain that you get significant time to revise both your weak and strong areas. 

After finishing your syllabus at a specified time limit, solve the previous year’s papers to understand the exam pattern. Practicing will help you gain confidence and ace your speed and accuracy. It will help you track your performance and recognize your key strengths and weaknesses. 

NTSE Reservation Criteria:

Scheduled Caste candidates- 15%

Scheduled Tribe candidates- 7.5%

Physically Challenged Group-4%

8 AMAZING Benefits Of Cracking NTSE:

Earning the title of an NTSE scholar is a matter of great pride. Along with the attractive scholarship, you get the benefits of being an NTSE Scholar throughout your life.

  1. An NTSE scholar gets a monthly scholarship of Rs 1250 for pursuing science, social science, humanities, languages, fine arts, commerce, or vocational studies in classes XI and XII.
  2. The scholarship amount is Rs 2000 for undergraduate courses.
  3. Some colleges in India have exclusively reserved seats for NTSE scholars. Hence, you get direct admission without any entrance examinations.
  4. NTSE scholars have a plus point over others if they want to study in a foreign country. Those who wish to apply for US Scholarships get additional marks for being an NTSE scholar. 
  5. IIIT-Delhi adds up to 3.5 bonus points while considering admission into their institute.
  6. Most recognized coaching centers that prepare for JEE, medical, etc., offer free admission and up to 50% off on study materials.
  7. NTSE scholars get discounts on books and course material to help them study well and build a base for a bright future.  
  8. Having an NTSE scholar title on your CV gives you an extra edge over others.


About 3,00,000 students take the examination all over the country. Being among the 2,000 qualifying students is a matter of pride. NTSE gives you a lot of advantages in several stages of your life. Cracking this prestigious examination is difficult but possible. So gather your confidence, gulp down your doubts, ace yourself for NTSE and see how your academic career changes before you! We, here at SciAstra, will make sure that you get the best knowledge from our highly-knowledgeable mentors. We guide students through their journey to the best career availabilities. Explore the possibilities and get the best of yourself. 

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