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National Level Science Talent Search Examination is a scholarship program in India conducted to identify and recognize students with high intellect and academic talent. It is one of the most prestigious exams in the country. Close to 10,000,000 students appear in this scholarship exam NSTSE 2018 every year, and 1000 scholarships are awarded, of which 750 are unreserved. The national-level scheme is open to students of Indian nationality.

All about NSTSE 2018

The states and the union territories have been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the first tier screening examination known as State Level Talent Search Examination. Each state and union territory selects and recommends a stipulated number (state quota) of candidates for the national level examination to be conducted for about 5000 candidates by the NCERT. The exam covers the subject areas of Science, Social Science and Mathematics with 40, 40 and 20 questions respectively.

From the year 2000, the number of scholarships offered was raised from 750 to 1000 with the provision of reservation for SC and ST candidates based on the national norms of 15% and 7.5% respectively and 3% for persons with disabilities. Moreover, starting 2006 the NSTSE examination is held at the end of Class VIII. From the year 2008, a provision of 3 per cent reservation has also been made for physically-handicapped students.

The scholarships under the present scheme are awarded to the candidates for pursuing courses in sciences and social sciences up to doctoral level and in professional courses like medicine and engineering up to second-degree level subject to the fulfillment of the conditions provided. Also, an important decision was taken in the year 2008, when NTSE was opened only to the students of class VIII as against class X. In 2012, NTSE was reopened only for class X students, as against class VIII with the award of scholarships finally determined on the basis of the candidates’ scores obtained in the two components viz. MAT and SAT in the NTS Second Level examination.

From 2019, the scholarships will be raised to 2000 and the OBC reservation of 27% will be implemented in NTSE.


Students satisfying the following criteria can participate in NTSE:

  • An Indian Citizen
  • A student studying in class 10 in a recognized school in India

Exam Pattern

First level exam for class X

  • SAT: The syllabus for Mathematics, Science and Social Science is broadly based on the prescribed respective State Board Syllabus from standard 10th class (100 questions in SAT).
  • MAT: It has 50 question of 50 marks Time allotted is 45 minutes
  • Language Test: It contains 50 questions in the English Language. State Board books cover a lot. More focus is on vocabulary, grammar, and basic understanding. Language in the first stage is of qualifying purpose (40% of maximum score) only.

Second level exam for class X

  • NCERT has announced new pattern for stage 2 exam, where each correctly answered question awards the student +1, while an incorrect answer deducts 1/3 marks.
  • PATTERN: Mental Ability test: 50 questions, 50 marks; Language test: 50 questions, 50 marks; Scholastic Aptitude test: 100 questions, 100 marks (40 questions from Science, 20 questions from Mathematics and 40 questions from Social Sciences). In SAT, the Mathematics and Science questions will be asked from the chapters in the syllabus of class 9 and 10. The Social Science questions will also be asked from the class 9 and 10 NCERT textbooks. The language test is only for qualifying purpose (40% of maximum score), its marks are not counted in the merit list.
Note for NSTSE 2018
For class I                                         For class II                                        For Class III
Total Marks: 40                               Total Marks: 50                               Total Marks: 75
Mathematics: 25                             Mathematics: 25                             Mathematics: 40
General Science: 15                      General Science: 25                      General Science: 35
(In the above results this subject marks is given in the Physics column)
For below classes Total Marks: 100
For Class IV & V For Classes VI, VII, VII, VIII, IX & X
Mathematics : 45
General Science : 45
General Questions : 10
(In the above results this subject Marks
is given in the Physics column.)
Mathematics : 25
Physics : 25
Chemistry : 20
Biology : 20
General Questions : 10
For Classes XI & XII (PCM) For Classes XI & XII (PCB)
Mathematics : 40
Physics : 25
Chemistry : 20
General Questions : 10
Biology : 40
Physics : 25
Chemistry : 20
General Questions : 10


  • The Unified Council publishes its NSTSE 2018 results usually within a month from the date of commencement. The NSTSE first-level exam for the year 2018 will be held on 24th January and 5th February 2018. The result will be declared on the 10th of March 2018 by Unified Council NSTSE.
  • Participants are required to enter their registered e-mail id and ten digits mobile number provided at the filling the NSTSE Application form.
  • Participants must then enter the 8-digit hall ticket number mentioned on the Admit card and click on ‘Search’. The NSTSE result will then be displayed on the screen.
  • The candidate is required to download the NSTSE 2018 results from the website. The result will NOT be sent via post or e-mail. The results must be kept safely for future reference.
  • Students can check their result by entering their e-mail id, mobile number, and eight digit hall ticket number. To check the NSTSE 2018 results, kindly visit the following link –

  • When more than one student gets an equal top score, priority for awarding ranks will be according to marks acquired in the following specified order of subjects – Mathematics (Biology for PCB group), Physics, Chemistry, Biology and General Questions.
  • Any student who appears for the NSTSE exam gets a participation certificate and Student’s Performance Report.
  • The list of NSTSE 2018 Toppers and top 100 winners can be found on the official website.
  • State wise list will be declared after excluding the top 100 ranks across the country.


The NSTSE 2018 Updated Answer key for the exam (from Class 1 to Class 12) with the Paper code UN423 can be found on the given link –


The students who will qualify the second stage of the exam will be eligible for the scholarship. Following are the rewards given to the students –

  • The amount of scholarship has been enhanced to Rs.1250 per month for class XI and XII and Rs.2000 per month for students studying undergraduate and above. The scholarship is provided immediately after the result. In case students do not receive the letter from NCERT after 5 weeks of the declaration of the result, they should contact NCERT for updates. The scholarship is expected to increase up to 4000-5000 in the next few years. It was increased to Rs.1250 and Rs.2000 as per the orders in July 2014. There are no restrictions on parental income, government school, domicile etc. In case the student moves abroad for studies, the scholarship will no longer be provided.

Specific Prizes for National Achievers

  • NSTSE Topper is awarded  2,00,000 cash prize. The student who achieves the highest percentage of marks among all the classes is declared as NSTSE Topper.
  • The top 3 rankers of each class are awarded a Tablet PC + a Memento + a Medal, each
  • The next 22rankers in each class (Ranks 4 to 25) of each class are awarded a cash prize of  1000 each.
  • Rankers 26 to 100 of each class are awarded BMA’s Talent & Olympiad Exams Resource Book from M/s. Brain Mapping Academy, each.
  • All the rankers (1 to 100) will each be awarded Britannica Concise Encyclopedia and Planet Earth(2 CD Pack) worth Rs. 1690, a Medal and a Certificate of Appreciation.
  • Participation certificates are offered to all students who appear for the examination.

Specific Prizes for State Toppers

  • Top 3 rankers from each State (minimum of 10,000 students in a particular State) are awarded a special award for encouragement. He/she is awarded a Britannica Concise Encyclopaedia and Planet Earth (2 CD Pack) worth Rs. 1690 and a Certificate of Appreciation.
  • State-wise ranks are declared after excluding the top 100 ranks across the country.

Specific Consolation Prizes

  • Top ranker in each class from selected cities* are awarded a Britannica Concise Encyclopedia and Planet Earth (2 CD Pack) worth Rs. 1690 and a Certificate of Appreciation.

List of Selected Cities:

Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhubaneswar+Cuttack, Chandigarh+Mohali+Panchkula, Chennai, Faridabad+ Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Indore, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kanpur, Kota, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, Noida+Ghaziabad, Pune, Varanasi, Yamuna nagar+Karnal+Ambala+Kurukshetra, Vadodara and Visakhapatnam.

Note: City-wise topper is declared after the 100 ranks across the country and state toppers.

City Rank (for every Class) is declared for classes having a minimum of 500 students in a particular city.

All National, State & City Rankers of Classes 1 to 9 will each be awarded a voucher worth Rs. 400 from – India’s first scientifically designed portal for Olympiad & Talent exams preparation.

NSTSE Topper: A student of any class who achieves 100% marks is awarded prize money of Rs. 2 Lakh. If no student achieves the same, then the student who achieves the highest percentage of marks among all the classes, is awarded Rs. 1 Lakh. If more than one student achieves the same, the prize money will be distributed equally among them. Each topper will get either this prize or the regular prize.

NSTSE is a diagnostic test which helps students improve their overall learning ability and educational performance. Unlike other tests which may only find out how much a student knows or has memorized, NSTSE measures how well a student has understood the concepts and provides a detailed feedback on the same, to help him/her improve. Thus NSTSE helps each student to know early, whether he/she has properly understood a concept so that immediate action can be taken to correct the aberration and pave a path for improvement. Give your child a chance to be a topper and let him have the badge for his lifetime.

For more information on various competitive exams click here!

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