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All the facts, dates and information you need, about the prestigious National Talent Search Examination.

  1. NTSE

What is NTSE?

National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a national-level scholarship program in India to identify and recognize students with high intellect and academic talent. It is one of the most prestigious exams in India with close to 50,00,000 students (a largely self-selective group of students) appearingfor this scholarship exam every year. Of these, only 1000 scholarships are awarded, out of which 775 are unreserved.

The scholarships under the present scheme are awarded to 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 fulfilment of conditions provided in the official brochure.

Can I appear for NTSE?

The eligibility criteria for NTSE 2017 is as given:

  1. All students in Class 10th are eligible to appear in this scholarship program
  2. Students from both government and private schools are eligible to register for this scholarship program
  3. A student applying for the scholarship scheme can be from any state of the country

Students registered under Open Distance Learning (ODL) will also be eligible, provided they are below 18 years of age (as on 1st July, 2017), unemployed and are appearing for the Class 10 exam for the first time.

How do I register for NTSE?

The students applying for the NTSE scholarship program must follow the given steps to register:

  1. Download application form from the official link or obtain it by contacting the State/UT Liaison Officer(LO)
  2. Register and fill in the application form
  3. Submit the duly-filled application form to the State/UT Officer after getting it signed by theSchool Principal

What are the important dates for NTSE?

The last date for submission of the application forms will be notified by the respective state and may vary from state to state.

Exam dates for NTSE 2017 - Stage 1
States Dates
Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Andaman & Nicobar Islands November 5, 2016
For Other states and UTs November 6, 2016
For Bihar & West Bengal November 13, 2016
Exam dates for NTSE 2017 - Stage 2
All states and UTs May 14, 2017
Result dates for NTSE 2017 - Stage 1
All states and UTs February to April
Result dates for NTSE 2017 - Stage 2
All states and UTs July to September

What is the syllabus for NTSE?

  • Maths
  • Science
  • Social
  1. 01. Geometry
  2. 02. Algebra
  3. 03. Mensuration
  4. 04. Number Systems
  5. 05. Profit and Loss
  1. 01. Gravity
  2. 02. Energy
  3. 03. Solids, Liquids and Gases
  4. 04. Conservation of energy
  5. 05. Nutrition
  6. 06. Natural gases
  1. 07. Solutions
  2. 08. Common Diseases
  3. 09. Properties of Chemical Elements
  1. 01. Mughal Dynasty
  2. 02. Ancient Civilisations
  3. 03. Legislative Assembly
  4. 04. Government Structure
  5. 05. Hydrosphere
  6. 06. Types of Banks
  1. 07. General Happenings
  2. 08. Political Events
  3. 09. Awards
  4. 10. Fundamental Rights
  5. 11. Type of Economics

What is the exam pattern for NTSE?

The exam is conducted in two stages and each stage consists of two tests namely the Mental Ability Test (MAT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

Mental Ability Test Items (MAT)

The type of questions asked in MAT are:

  • Analogies
  • Classification
  • Series
  • Pattern perception
  • Hidden figures
  • Coding-decoding
  • Block assembly
  • Problem solving etc.

MAT assesses the following areas:

  • Power of reasoning
  • Ability to think
  • Evaluate or discriminate

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

The type of questions asked in SAT are:

  • Matching type
  • Arrange the sequence
  • True and False statements
  • Questions based on passages

SAT assesses the following subjects:

  • Science (Physics, Chemistry and Biology)
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Political Science
  • Economics


This test contains 50 questions in English and 50 questions in Hindi. The candidate has to attempt this test in only one language i.e. either in English or in Hindi.

Stage I
Test No. of Questions Time (min) Max. Marks
MAT 50 45 50
LT 50 45 50
SAT 100 90 100
Total 200 180 200
Stage II*
Test No. of Questions Time (min) Max. Marks
MAT 50 45 50
LT 50 45 50
SAT 100 90 100
Total 200 180 200

*In Stage 2 (National Level), there will be negative marking in each paper. For each wrong answer, 1/3 marks will be deducted. No marks will be deducted for unattempted questions.

How should I prepare for NTSE?

  • Start your preparation with last year’s NTSE papers:
    • Understand the type of questions asked and your current level of preparation
    • This will help you gain a knowledge of NTSE and also give you a fair idea of your standing
  • Analyse your performance:
    • Identify your strong points and weak links
    • This will help you plan your studies
  • Make a plan:
    • Go through the subjects thoroughly
    • The allocation of time to each subject will depend upon your analysis of how weak or strong you are in a particular aspect
  • Practice, practice and practice:
    • Get exposed to more questions of mental ability
    • Solve more papers and then analyse each one in detail
    • Take the help of your peers
    • Practice and get confident of your speed, subject knowledge and accuracy

Where should I study for NTSE from?

  • Focus on NCERT books for Class 9 and Class 10
  • For MAT section: R.S Aggarwal’s handbook
  • For Mocks: Refer both Arihant and Tata McGrawHill books

For more books, click here.

When do I qualify for NTSE?

The finals results of the second stage are displayed on the website. NTSE board can publish final key/frozen key/revised key etc., as and when required.

There is a quota earmarked for all the States and Union Territories. The State quota is calculated on the basis of student enrollment at the secondary level with a minimum of 10 for UTs and 25 for states.

Qualifying marks for NTSE according to category
General category SC/ST/PH
40% in each subject 35% in each subject

The category wise cutoff for NTSE 2016 was:

Category wise Cut-off Marks
OC 117
SC 94
ST 90
MBC 100
OBM 102
OBG 110

How much scholarship do I get if I clear NTSE?

Scholarship awarded to students across their education:

  • Rs.1250/month is awarded till class 12
  • Rs.2000/month is awarded for UG and PG courses

How should I discuss my doubts of NTSE?

Any doubts you have should be addressed by your seniors, teachers or Toppr writers who have successfully cleared the NTSE exams.

Here are some links to help you crack NTSE:

You can always visit our Discuss page and ask your doubts about NTSE.

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