What is NTSE ?

The National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a National Level scholarship program in India to identify and nurture talented students. It honours and helps talented students by providing financial assistance in the form of a monthly scholarship for the entire Academic Career. Students studying in Class X are eligible to appear for the selection process. As it is organized by an official body (NCERT), it is widely regarded as the most prestigious examination at high school level in India. For more details of NTSE, students can visit www.ncert.nic.in

There is a two-stage selection process for award of scholarship. For Stage - I, selection will be done by States/UTs through the written examination. Each State/Union Territory has been allotted a quota to recommend a specific number of candidates for the Stage - II examination, the details of which are available on NCERT website (www.ncert.nic.in). Students who qualify Stage - I will be eligible to appear for Stage - II examination conducted by NCERT.

How to Prepare for NTSE ?

Fundamental way to prepare for the National Talent Search Exam and become NTSE Scholar is by enhancing your knowledge and applications of the conceptual knowledge of the syllabus up to class X.

The most important skill for NTSE preparation is developing analytical thinking. This is a process in which the knowledge acquired, concepts learnt, misconceptions understood and fundamentals absorbed are woven together by the thinking skill to arrive at a logical and strategic solution to a given problem.

For some topics of Science and Mathematics advance in-depth applications are also required as about 15% questions in SAT paper asked are based on these applications. To cover these applications, knowledge of class XI or higher is not required. This can be done by exhaustive practice of advance problems on the syllabus of CBSE IX and X. Managing topics of Social Studies is a very important and strategic task, as in Stage – I knowledge of History, Geography and Civics up to zonal level is required, but in Stage – II students must have good knowledge of our country as a whole. Only CBSE text book will not be sufficient for preparation of stage – I, students need to refer State Board books also for regional knowledge.

Overall practice can be done by a series of MOCK Tests. Several Online and Offline MOCK Tests series are available which a student can join.

Selection procedure

    Identification of talent comprises a two-stage selection process.
  • NTSE Stage- I conducted by the State / UT (usually in November) - FOR CLASS X STUDENTS
  • NTSE Stage-II conducted at the National Level (usually in May) - FOR Stage-I Qualified Students only.

Stage-I : State level examination

The first level exam is the state level examination, which has two parts for nominating the required number of candidates for the second level test to be conducted by the DSERT.

  • Part-I: Mental Ability Test (MAT), and
  • Part-II:Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)(with questions on History, Civics, Geography, Economics, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.)

Students of any Board studying at any recognized school can participate. Those who get qualified an enter the Second Level National Exam. The results of the same will be out on March of the next year.

Stage – II : National level examination

Candidates acquiring more than the required percentage in the state level examination and standing within a specified number of top ranks (state quota) are eligible to appear for the national level examination (about top 4000 students from the entire country). The national level examination has two parts for nominating the required number of candidates for the interviews to be conducted by the NCERT in May:

  • Part-I: Ability Test (MAT)
  • Part-II:Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)(as given above)

Declaration of Results

The results of the the National Level Examination shall be out by July–August the same year. Students are divided into 4 quotas: General, SC, ST, Disabled. Around 750 students will be selected from General quota, 150 from SC, 80 from ST and around 20 from Disabled quota. The results will be displayed on the website www.ncert.nic.in mid-July or early-August.


I Level Exam

MAT The syllabi will comprise all fundamental lessons of verbal and non-verbal reasoning.
SAT The 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.

II Level Exam

MAT The syllabi will comprise all fundamental lessons of verbal and non-verbal reasoning.
SAT The Mathematics and Science questions will be asked from the chapters 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.


The students who qualify all the stages of NTSE successfully are eligible for scholarship. The amount of scholarship is Rs. 500/- per month for all the students studying in Class XI onwards(irrespective of class/course) except for Ph.D., wherein it is paid as per UGC norms . The older system of book grant has been removed. The criterion of parental income for deciding payment of scholarship has also been discontinued. Initially, there used to be a third level in the examination in which interview was supposed to be held. But in 2010 certain changes were made in the exam structure and from 2011 no interviews would be held in NTSE.