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NTSE Sample Papers – Why you need to Solve them?

Before getting into the importance of solving NTSE sample papers, let us first establish some faith in why the NTSE scholarship is held so highly.

About NTSE Scholarship

Open to students studying in class X, the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a nation-wide examination held under the NTS scheme to recognise and award scholarships to eligible students. Every year, 1000 scholarships are awarded to students, to fund Ph.D. in Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages, Commerce, Vocational Studies and Fine arts. The scholarships are even effective up to second degree level for professional courses in medicines, engineering, technology, management and law.

Amount of scholarship will be:

  • Scholarship of Rs.1250 per month for class XI and XII.
  • Scholarship of Rs.2000/- per month for Undergraduates and Postgraduates students.
  • Amount of Scholarship for Ph.D. be fixed accordance with the UGC norms.

There are two stages in NTSE:

Stage I: This exam is conducted by States and Union Territories to screen the top performers among the states for the next stage which is held nation-wide.

If a student clears Stage-I NTSE, only then can the student proceed to write Stage-II NTSE.

Stage II: This exam is conducted by NCERT, and is the final round. The top 1000 students will receive scholarships.

 Eligibility Criteria

All students currently in Grade X of any recognised school can attend Stage 1 NTSE. However, State/UT can impose any eligibility criteria to appear in Stage-I. For stage-II, there is a quota for each State and Union Territory computed based on Student enrollment at secondary level. NRI Grade X students can also appear for this exam provided they secure 60% marks in their previous examination. Such students, if selected, can appear directly for Stage-II NTSE.

Seats are reserved for SC/ST and PH students, provided they score the minimum marks in these categories. The number of seats reserved is as follows:

3% PH

15% SC

7.5% ST

Exam Pattern

NTSE Sample papers Stage-I: Exam Pattern

The paper can be attended in either English or Hindi to solve the paper. Each correct answer is awarded 1 mark and there is no negative marking at this stage. The paper is divided into two parts and total duration to solve the test is 90 minutes.

Part 1 – Mental Ability test (MAT):  This paper tests your analytical and logical reasoning:  ability to think, evaluate, ability to discriminate and visualize. A total of 50 based on analogies, classifications, series, pattern perception, coding-decoding, hidden figures and problem solving etc.

Part 2 – Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): This part consists of 150 questions from Language and Science, Mathematics and Social science. This paper tests reading abilities, interpretation, evaluation and general awareness.

Test No. Of Questions Maximum Marks Time Allotted
MAT 50 Questions 50 Marks 45 minutes
SAT – Language Test 50 Questions 50 Marks 45 minutes
SAT – Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences 100 Questions 100 Marks 90 minutes

NTSE Sample Papers Stage II: Exam Pattern

The Stage-II is held at National Level by NCERT, where shortlisted students from State-level exam appear to compete for scholarship. The paper is divided into two parts like in Stage-I. However, a negative marking of 1/3 marks is applicable on every wrong answer in this stage in all. The SAT inclusive of LT is to be completed in 135 minutes.

Test No. Of Questions Maximum Marks Time Allotted
Paper I : Mental Ability Test (MAT) 50 Questions 50 Marks 45 minutes
Paper II : Language Test (LT) English/Hindi 50 Questions 50 Marks 45 minutes
Paper III : Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) 100 Questions 100 Marks 90 minutes

How to practise NTSE Sample Papers & Why are they important?

Important points before we approach the papers:

  • Keep the portion list for NTSE exam printed and ready with a highlighter.
  • Understand the Theory/Example: Often people don’t pay heed to solved examples, but most of the times the questions appear as they are in the final exams.
  • Practice in Sessions– Especially for MAT, it helps improve your speed and provides real time exam practice.
  • Practice Tests. Give as many tests as you can.
  • Be prepared for twists.

Benefits of Solving Question papers

Time Management

Time yourself while practising NTSE sample papers. This is bound to give a better idea of your time management skills.

Good revision of NCERT Questions:

The exam is dominated by NCERT questions, thus this could serve as a revision to your portions that you would anyways have to prepare for your boards.

Good Practice for Olympiads and other competitive exams

Most Olympiads share similar portions, so this serves as a pre-preparation for these exams you may not have time to otherwise dedicate for. Moreover, the practice and time you invest in studying for this exam will further aid you while preparing for competitive exams like SAT, TOEFEL, either with respects to subject knowledge or with respect to time management. It’s a win-win situation.

Gives a head start of Social Studies

All of us know how difficult it is to prepare for Social Sciences. Also, it is the subject with the highest weightage. Studying this subject will help in your boards and in NTSE exams. But questions will be related to India only.

Improve your General knowledge

NTSE phase-I usually is based a lot on facts. So, this will give the opportunity to increase your GK and come across a lot of interesting topics, encouraging you to appreciate what you study.

Strengthen your basics

This examination will test you on your knowledge about units/conversions from Physics. Questions based on Chemistry may quiz on chemicals found naturally (in plants/insects). In English, questions based on antonyms/synonyms, idioms/popular sayings/adages, phrasal verbs etc. will be prominent, thus strengthening your grammar and understanding of language.

Improve your Critical thinking skills

Exams like MAT, which also has the maximum weightage, will sharpen your problem solving skills. Solving problems, puzzles, algorithms etc. will if not give practice for competitive exams, it will definitely help in your future endeavours.


The portion is vast and covers portions from Grades 6 to Grades 10. You could refer to the mock tests and NTSE Sample Papers  provided by Toppr. Also, read NCERT textbooks for social sciences, maths and science for securing a good score.


(20 Questions)

•          Algebraic Expressions

•          Arithmetic

•          Arithmetic Progressions

•          Basic Geometry

•          Circles

•          Coordinate Geometry

•          Direct & inverse variation

•          Exponent

•          Linear Equation

•          Mensuration

•          Number System

•          Percentage & its Application

•          Playing with Numbers

•          Probability

•          Quadratic Equations

•          Rational Numbers

•          Simple interest & Compound interest

•          Square Root & Cube Root

•          Statistics

•          Surface Areas and Volumes

•          Triangles

•          Trigonometry

Tip: Nearly 4- 8 questions from geometry and 2-6 questions from number system.

  • Antonyms
  • English Grammar
  • One word substitution
  • Paragraph Completion
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Rearrangement of Jumbled Words
  • Sentence Completion
  • Synonyms

(Read newspapers and keep up with current trends)

  • Abbreviations
  • Awards and Recognitions
  • Books and Authors
  • India
  • Sports
  • World
Mental Ability
  • Alphabet and Number Test
  • Analogy (Non Verbal)
  • Analogy (Verbal)
  • Blood Relations
  • Calendar, Time and Clock
  • Classification
  • Coding-Decoding
  • Direction Sense
  • Embedded Figure
  • Figure Partition and Dot Situation
  • Mathematical Operations
  • Missing Character
  • Ranking and Arrangements
  • Series (Non – Verbal)
  • Series (Verbal)
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Water and Mirror Images
  • Word Problems

(35 Questions)

  • Acid Bases and Salt
  • Air
  • Carbon and its Compounds
  • Cellular Level of Organisation
  • Diversity in Living Organisms
  • Fibres and Plastics
  • Food Production & Management
  • Heredity and Evolution
  • Human Body
  • Life Processes
  • Light
  • Magnetism & Electricity at Work
  • Measurement
  • Metals & Non Metals
  • Micro-organisms
  • Motion and Force
  • Our Environment
  • Periodic Classification of Elements
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Plant and Animal Nutrition
  • Reproduction
  • Soil
  • Some Common Diseases
  • Sound
  • Source of Energy
  • Structure of Atom
  • The Universe
  • Water
  • Work and Energy
Social Science

(35 Questions)

  • Agriculture
  • Atmosphere
  • Biosphere
  • British Raj
  • Culture, Science and Literature
  • Democracy and Elections
  • Diversity and Livelihood
  • Early Medieval Period
  • Early States
  • Eighteenth Century Political Formation
  • French Revolution
  • India and its Neighbours
  • Indian Constitution
  • Indian Economics
  • Indian Freedom Struggle
  • Indus Valley Civilization
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Industries
  • Internal Structure of the Earth and Rocks
  • Introduction and Sources of Ancient Indian History
  • Jainism, Buddhism and Conquerors from Distant Lands
  • Local and State Government
  • Major Domains and Landforms
  • Maps and Globe
  • Medieval Architecture and Culture
  • Motion of the Earth
  • Nationalism in Various Countries
  • Natural Vegetation
  • New Empires and Kingdoms
  • Our Country – India
  • Popular Movements and Social Reforms
  • Population
  • Resources and Development
  • Solar System
  • The Delhi Sultanate
  • The Judiciary
  • The Mauryas
  • The Mughal Empire
  • UN and International Agencies
  • Union Government
  • Vedic Period
  • Water Resources
  • World History

Languages for tests

The tests are available in the following languages: Asamiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

However, language test is conducted in only two languages – English & Hindi.

Possible Cut off

Test Papers Maximum Marks Qualifying Marks / Percentage
ST/SC/PH General
Paper I MAT 49 35% (17.15) 40% (19.6)
Paper II English 50 35% (17.5) 40% (20.0)
Paper II Hindi 50 35% (17.5) 40% (20.0)
Paper III SAT 96  35% (33.6) 40% (38.4)
Total Marks 145 35% (50.75) 40% (58)

Important Dates

Events Estimated Dates
Availability of Application Available by July or August
Last submission date of NTSE 2018 Application Form To be notified by the respective State/UT
NTSE Stage 1 2018 admit card October, 2017
NTSE Stage 1 2018 exam date November, 2017
NTSE Stage 2 2018 exam May. 2018

How to Apply?

Stage I

Follow the instructions given in the advertisement or circular issued by the respective State/UT Government. Then, the applications and form fees need to be submitted to Liaison officer of State/UT as according to the advertisement.

Stage II

NCERT will dispatch the examination details and roll numbers directly to the selected Stage II candidates through speed post. No additional fee needs to be paid.

NRI candidates need to send their applications need to Head Educational Survey Division, NCERT, Delhi – 16 with the attested copy of Class IX, and if selected, they will appear for Stage II, without having to sit for Stage I.

Contact Details

For NTS National Level Examination Inquiry:
Phone No : 011-26560464 (Timings 2.30 PM to 4.30 PM only)
E-mail : [email protected]
For State Level NTS Examination Enquiry : Contact the Liaison Officer of your State
For NTS Scholarship disbursement Inquiry:
Phone No : 011-26562704, 011-26567401, 011-26567402(Timings 2.30 PM to 4.30 PM only)
E-mail : [email protected] Other Details

For NTS National Level Examination Inquiry:

Phone No :       011-26560464 (Timings 2.30 PM to 4.30 PM only)

E-mail :            [email protected]

For State Level NTS Examination Enquiry : Contact the Liaison Officer of your State

For NTS Scholarship disbursement Inquiry:

Phone No :       011-26562704, 011-26567401, 011-26567402(Timings 2.30 PM to 4.30 PM only)

E-mail :            [email protected]

For Nurturance programme for NTS Awardees:

E-mail :            [email protected]

For Nurturance programme for NTS Awardees:
E-mail : [email protected]

This was all on importance of NTSE sample papers and other important details. You can read more about NTSE in NTSE FAQs. If you are not convinced of importance of NTSE sample papers, you can read about why NTSE scholarship is so coveted.

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