About NTSE

NTSE is conducted in two stages: Stage 1 and Stage 2. Stage 1 is a state-level examination conducted by respective State/Union Territory authorities. It usually consists of two papers: Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The selected candidates from Stage 1 move on to Stage 2, which is conducted at the national level by NCERT.

Stage 2 of NTSE consists of two papers as well: MAT and SAT. The SAT paper covers subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Social Science, and English. Both stages assess students’ analytical, reasoning, and problem-solving skills.

NTSE is open to students studying in Class 10 from recognized schools in India. It provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships to the top-performing students. The scholarship amount varies for different education levels, and it continues throughout the students’ higher education.


  • Financial Assistance: NTSE offers scholarships to deserving students. The scholarships are provided throughout their academic journey, including higher education. This financial assistance helps to alleviate the financial burden on students and their families, allowing them to focus more on their studies.
  • Competitive Edge: NTSE is a highly competitive exam, and preparing for it enhances students’ problem-solving, analytical, and critical thinking skills. The rigorous preparation for NTSE gives students a competitive edge and equips them with the necessary skills for future academic and professional endeavors.
  • Exposure to a National Platform: NTSE provides an opportunity for students to compete at a national level and interact with other talented students from different states and backgrounds. This exposure broadens their horizons, encourages healthy competition, and facilitates the exchange of ideas.
  • Personal Development: NTSE preparation requires self-discipline, perseverance, and dedication. It helps students develop effective study habits, time management skills, and a strong work ethic. These qualities contribute to their overall personal and academic growth.
  • Career Opportunities: NTSE scholars are often given preference and recognition in various academic and professional settings. Many prestigious institutions and organizations consider NTSE scholars for admission, internships, research opportunities, and scholarships.


NTSE Eligibility for Stage 1 (State-level examination):

  • The candidate must be currently studying in Class X in any Government or Private school in India.
  • There are no restrictions based on domicile. Students from any State or Union Territory of India can apply.
  • Open or distance learning students can also participate if they are below 18 years of age, not employed, and appearing for the Class X board examination for the first time.

NTSE Eligibility for Stage 2 (National level examination):

  • Only students who have successfully cleared the Stage 1 (state-level examination) are eligible to appear for the Stage 2 examination.
  • The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will provide the selected candidates with the necessary details regarding the roll number, examination venue, and date through their official website.

NTSE Eligibility for Students Studying Abroad:

  • Indian students studying abroad in Class X or its equivalent are eligible to directly participate in the Stage 2 examination. They are exempted from appearing in the Stage 1 examination.
  • The candidate should have scored a minimum of 60% in the previous year’s annual examination.
  • To be eligible, the candidate must submit a request through the Head of the Institution they are studying in, along with an attested copy of their Class IX mark sheet. The request should reach the Head, Department of Educational Survey Division, NCERT, New Delhi, by 31st December of the relevant year.
  • The scholarship will be awarded to the selected candidate only if they decide to pursue further studies in India.

Application Form

  1. Obtaining the Application Form: The application form for NTSE can be obtained either online from the official website or offline from the school or the designated liaison officer of the respective state.
  2. Filling the Application Form: Candidates should fill out the offline application form in their own handwriting. They need to affix a recent photograph and provide their signature in the designated space. The details should be filled in uppercase. Personal information such as name, parents’ names, address, and educational details should be accurately provided. Candidates should also mention their preferred examination center, and the authorities will allocate the nearest center accordingly.
  3. Required Documents: Candidates must attach certain documents to the application form. This includes a photocopy of the caste certificate attested by the school principal. For online applications, candidates need to upload their photographs and signature. In the case of offline applications, candidates should affix the photograph and provide their signature on the form. Other documents may include a recent colored photograph, mark sheet for class 9, Aadhaar card, residence certificate, income certificate, caste certificate (if applicable), and disability certificate (if applicable).
  4. Submission of Application Form: Before submitting the application form, candidates should carefully review all the details entered and ensure that all the necessary documents are attached.


    • NTSE exam pattern for Stage 1 & Stage 2  is divided into two parts as SAT & MAT. 
    • There will be 100 questions each in both MAT and SAT (Science-40, Maths-20, Social science-40).

    Part 1 – Mental Ability Test (MAT)

    • This section will have questions on analytical and logical reasoning.
    • This section tests the students on their ability to solve reasoning questions, ability to think, evaluate and visualise.
    • The section consists of a total of 100 questions. 
    • The main topics from this section consist of series, pattern perception, analogies, coding-decoding, classifications, hidden figures and problem-solving, etc.

    Part 2 – Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

    • This section will have a total of 100 questions, which is further divided into  Science (40), Social Science (40) and Mathematics (20).
    • The student has to be well versed in the syllabus taught in class 9 and 10th.
    • The time allotted for the SAT section is 120 minutes.
    • The level of questions will be equivalent to class 10th or equivalent exam.

    The Exam pattern is the same for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 and there will only be objective type of questions in both the stages of examination.

Marking Scheme

In the NTSE (National Talent Search Examination) Stage 1 exam, which consists of Paper 1 and Paper 2, 1 mark is awarded for every correct answer. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers. However, it’s important to note that Stage 1 of the NTSE exam is conducted at the state level.

In Stage 2 of the NTSE exam, which is the national level examination, the marking scheme is slightly different. Again, 1 mark is awarded for every correct answer. However, for every wrong answer, one-third of the marks will be deducted as negative marking. No negative marking is applied for questions left unattempted or unanswered.

It is important for students to be cautious while attempting the questions and only answer those questions they are confident about. Guessing without certainty can result in negative marking, which can impact the overall score. Therefore, it’s advisable to focus on accuracy and attempt questions wisely to maximize the score in the NTSE examination.

Results & Rankings

The results and rankings for the NTSE (National Talent Search Examination) are determined based on the performance of the students in both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the examination.

After the completion of Stage 1, the respective state or Union Territory (UT) authorities release the results. These results include the list of students who have qualified for Stage 2 of the examination. The results are generally published on the official websites of the concerned state/UT education departments or the conducting bodies.

Once Stage 2 is conducted at the national level, the results are declared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). The final merit list is prepared based on the scores obtained by the students in Stage 2. The merit list includes the names and ranks of the top-performing students who have excelled in the examination.

The rankings in NTSE are determined by the marks obtained by the students in both stages of the examination. The students with higher scores are ranked higher in the merit list. These rankings reflect the performance and academic excellence of the students in the NTSE examination.