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

There is a two-stage selection process for award of scholarship. For Stage - I, selection will be done by States/UTs and those who qualify Stage - I will be eligible to appear for Stage - II examination conducted by NCERT.

Why should I appear in NTSE?

NTSE is one of the oldest and most prestigious scholarship exams in India. An NTSE scholar commands tremendous respect in the society. Around 1000 NTSE Scholars are finally awarded scholarships based on Stage – II.

It honours and helps talented students by providing financial assistance in the form of a monthly scholarship. 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 fulfilment of the conditions.

The Pattern of Written Examination:

The NTSE is conducted in two stages i.e. Stage I and Stage II. The NTSE paper is available in both Hindi and English medium. The students have to select any one language from both the languages. The paper is divided into two sections i.e. Mental Ability Test (MAT), and Scholastic Ability Test (SAT).

MAT (Mental Ability Tests) 100 Questions 120 Minutes
SAT (Scholastic Ability Tests) 100 Questions 120 Minutes
The paper is comprised of Objective type multiple choice questions.
The examination is conducted through the offline mode only.
For every correct answer, 1 mark will be given and there is no negative marking at stage 1 and stage 2.
Reserved category candidates have to secure 32% marks to qualify the test, whereas general category candidates have to secure 40% marks to qualify the test.
How to Apply for NTSE:

The National Council of Education Research and Training conducts the National Talent Search Examination every year for class 10th students. Given below is step by step process on how to apply for NTSE.

Required Documents for NTSE Application Form

The students must attach the following documents along with the NTSE application form:

  • Recent Coloured Photograph
  • Class 9 Mark Sheet
  • State Domicile
  • Caste Certificate
  • Disability Certificate (if applicable)

All the documents should be duly signed by the head/principal of the school.

How to Apply for NTSE Stage 1

NTSE stage-1 is a state-level examination. The state/Union Territories officials conduct NTSE stage 1 examination.

Student can obtain their application form either offline or online. The offline application form can be collected from the State Liaison officer or it could be collected from their respective schools.

Offline NTSE Application Form:-

Students must follow the following steps to fill the offline NTSE application form:-

  1. Collect the application form:- The students must collect the form from their respective state liaison officers or from their respective schools.
  2. Fill the application form:-
    • The students are expected to fill the right information in the application form.
    • All the information should be filled by the student in their own handwriting.
    • They must affix their recent photograph in the application form. (The photograph should not be older than 6 months)
    • The self-attested photograph must be attached in the given space.
  3. Payment of application fee:- The required amount has to be submitted along with the application form. (Only if required)
  4. Submission of NTSE application form:- Once all the above steps are completed students must submit the application form either to the respective state liaison officer or to the school.

The application form must be attested by the school principal before the final submission.

Online NTSE Application Form:-

Students must follow the following steps to fill the online NTSE application form.

1. Visit the official website:-

• The aspirants can download the application form from the given SCERT website (State-wise links are given below).

SN State Official Website
1. Arunachal Pradesh
2 Assam
3 Manipur
4 Meghalaya
5 Mizoram boardnews.html
6 Nagaland
7 Sikkim
8 Tripura
9 Andaman & Nicobar Islands
10 Bihar
11 Jharkhand
12 Odisha
13 West Bengal
14 Chandigarh (U.T.)
15 NCT of Delhi
16 Jammu and Kashmir
17 Haryana
18 Himachal Pradesh
19 Punjab
20 Rajasthan
21 Uttar Pradesh
22 Uttarakhand
23 Chhattisgarh
24 Daman & Diu
25 Dadra and Nagar Haveli n.aspx
26 Goa
27 Gujarat
28 Madhya Pradesh
29 Maharashtra
30 Andhra Pradesh
31 Karnataka
32 Kerala
33 Lakshadweep
34 Puducherry
35 Tamil Nadu
36 Telangana

Click on the NTSE section given on the home page to download the NTSE application form.

2. Upload all the relevant information:-
  • Students should provide the right information in the given form.
  • Upload the recent photograph and the signature’s image in the form.
3. Upload all the relevant information:-
  • Pay the applicable NTSE application fee (if applicable) through online mode.
4. Download the application form:-
  • After completing the NTSE application form students must download the form.
  • Students must take out the print out of the form.
  • Make it signed by the school principal.
  • Submit the form either to the school or it can be submitted to the state liaison officer.
How to Apply for NTSE Stage 2
  • Stage 1 qualified students can directly apply for NTSE stage 2.
  • The student does not require to register separately for stage 2.
  • The aspirants who have Indian Nationality and live abroad can directly apply for the NTSE stage 2 exam. They must secure 60% aggregate marks in their previous exams.
  • The aspirants who live abroad have to submit the NTSE stage 2 application form.
NTSE Exam Pattern
  • 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 be only the objective type of questions in both the stages of examination.

Papers Maximum Marks Number of Questions Time Allotted
MAT 100 100 120 minutes
MAT 100 100 120 minutes
SAT (Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences) 100 100 120 minutes
NTSE Exam Marking Scheme
NTSE Exam (Paper 1 & Paper 2)
Stage 1 1 Mark will be awarded for every correct answer.
No negative marking for the wrong answer.
Stage 2 1 Mark will be awarded for every correct answer.
For every wrong answer, one-third of the marks will be deducted.
No negative marking for questions left unattempted.
NTSE Reservation

1. 40% Marks in each paper for General category students.

2. 32% Marks in each paper for SC, ST & PH category students.

NTSE Exam Marking Scheme
Category Reservation
Schedule Cast 15%
Scheduled Tribe 7.5%
Person with Disability 3%
Important FAQs on NTSE 2020-21

1: How many scholarships are available for NTSE candidates?
Ans: A total of 2000 scholarships are granted under the NTSE scheme. Before 2019, 1000 scholarships were awarded to the candidates.

Q 2: How to apply for NTSE 2020?
Ans: Indian candidates can apply through their respective State Liaison officer. Candidates from abroad India need to apply through their Head of Institution.

Q 3: Should candidates from abroad need to take NTSE Stage 1?
Ans: No, they are exempted from Stage 1 and can directly take NTSE Stage 2, if their nationality is Indian.

Q 4: Can a candidate studying in class 9th appear in NTSE?
Ans: No, candidates studying only in class 10th are eligible to appear for NTSE.

Q 5: Is it possible to appear for NTSE if a candidate is reappearing for class 10th?
Ans: No, a candidate is only eligible for NTSE if they are appearing in class 10th for the first time.

Q 6: Is it necessary to apply for NTSE Stage 2 separately?
Ans: If you qualify NTSE Stage 1, you will be eligible to apply for NTSE Stage 2. It is a one-time process only.

Q 7: What is the fee for NTSE 2020 registration?
Ans: There is no fee for NTSE 2020 registration. However, for Stage 1, the state or UT may charge a registration fee.

Q 8: What is the eligibility for NTSE Stage 1?
Ans: Candidate must be in class 10th from a recognised school and should have secured at least 60% marks in their class 9th examination.