Planning to write NTSE this year? Go ahead and give it a shot without thinking twice. We are here to help you with the nuts and bolts of NTSE- National Talent Search Examination.

Introduction: National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is an all India level scholarship program started by NCERT in 1963. The exam was started with a purpose of screening meritorious and intellectual students. Class X students are eligible for NTSE. It is one of the most prestigious exams in India. NTSE awards the top rankers by financing their entire education through monthly scholarships.

Stages of exam: NTSE is conducted in two stages, namely Stage- I and Stage- II. On qualifying stage I, conducted usually in November, students become eligible for stage II of NTSE. Stage I is a written exam for which selection is done by states/Union Territories. Each state/Union Territory is allotted a quota to recommend a specific number of candidates for the stage – II of NTSE, which is conducted in May. In most cases, students can expect school authorities to intimate them about the dates of the said exam.

There is no negative marking for incorrect answers in stage I. However, 1/3rd of the marks are deducted for each incorrect answer in stage II. No negative marking for unanswered questions.

Reservation: Scholarships awarded to top rank holders in NTSE will be based upon caste based reservation system of the Indian Government. The table given below elucidates the percentage of scholarship reserved for different categories.

Category Percentage of scholarship reserved
General (UR) 74.50%
SC 15.00%
ST 7.50%
PWD 3.00%


Examination pattern: The examination paper of NTSE for both the stages consists of two parts each, namely,

Part 1- Mental Ability Test (MAT)

Part 2 – Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

Note- Students of any Board from any recognized school can participate in NTSE. You can visit Career Launcher’s NCERT Section to get free access to Notes, HOTS, MCQs etc. of all the chapters for classes 9th and 10th.

Syllabus: The syllabus remains the same for part 1 of both stage I and stage II of NTSE. Part 1 of both stages- MAT, tests a student’s aptitude and reasoning ability –both verbal and non-verbal.

Part 2 – SAT, stage I – Syllabus for Mathematics, Science and Social Science will be broadly based on the prescribed respective State Board Syllabus from Std 10 (or in exceptions, Std 9) textbooks only.

Part 2 – SAT, stage II – Mathematics and Science questions will be asked from chapters prescribed in the syllabus of class 9th and 10th (advanced level). Social Studies is completely based on the NCERT book for CBSE students for Class 9th and 10th.

For more information on NTSE visit http://www.ncert.nic.in/

All the best!




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