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NTSE Scholarship Exam

The National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), aimed at recognising talented young minds, is conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). it is one of the most sought after exams in the country, with about 3,00,000 students appearing for it every year. Students who clear all the stages of the exam are awarded scholarships.

Selection process and eligibility criteria

The NTS exam is conducted in two stages:

Stage 1:

All class 10 students from recognised schools who have scored 60% marks or more in class 9 are considered eligible for the Stage 1 examination. Students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) and students who are differently abled are eligible for the exam if they have a minimum score of 55%.

States / union territories (UTs) conduct the examination, with no domicile restriction.

Stage 2:

This is a national-level examination organised by the NCERT. Candidates will need 80% marks or above in the Stage 1 exam to be considered eligible for the national-level exam.

For Indian students studying abroad:

Indian students studying abroad can also appear for the NTSE. They can directly appear the Stage 2 examination. However, they can get scholarships only for studies in India. Visit the
NCERT websiteto know more regarding the criteria for such students.

Open distance learning (ODL) students:

ODL students appearing for the exam should be less than 18 years of age (as on July 1 of the examination year), should be appearing the class 10 examination for the first time and should not be employed.

More insights into the NTSE exam

Stage 1:

The examination contains the following two parts:
  1. Mental Ability Test (MAT): This test helps in evaluating the student's reasoning skills and their ability to judge, think, and visualise.
  2. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): This test includes questions from Civics, History, Geography, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Economics and a Language Comprehensive Test.

Stage 2:

Students who score more than the required percentage at the state-level exam (Stage 1) and secure their place within a specified number of ranks are considered eligible for the national-level or Stage 2 examination. This stage also comprises two parts:
  1. MAT: This test evaluates the student's reasoning and other skills. Questions asked mainly deal with coding-decoding, problem solving and pattern perception.
  2. SAT: The science and maths questions asked on this test are based on class 9 and 10 syllabi, while the Social Science questions are mostly based on NCERT books (CBSE) for classes 9 and 10.

Generally, multiple choice questions are asked for both MAT and SAT, with each question having four options. Candidates need to mark the correct answer on the answer sheet, according to the instructions given. One mark is awarded for every correct answer. Therefore, their total score will be the same as the number of their correct answers.

State quotas:

Every state/UT has been provided with a quota to suggest a certain number of candidates for the Stage 2 examination.

Important Dates

NTSE 2018 Application Forms Available for Stage 1
2nd week of September 2017
NTSE 2018 Stage 1 Admit Card
October 2017
NTSE 2018 Stage 1 Exam Date
04 & 05 November 2017
NTSE 2018 Stage 2 Exam Date
13 May 2018

Qualifying marks

Candidates belonging to the general category have to score 60% in each paper and candidates belonging to SC and ST and physically handicapped candidates have to score 55%, to qualify.

The language test only serves as a qualifying test and the marks obtained in this section are not considered for the final merit.


The registration fee for Stage 1 is notified by the states and UTs. Candidates can contact their respective state liaison officers (LOs) to find out about the examination fee and the mode of payment.

No fee is charged by the NCERT for the stage 2 exam.


Results for the Stage 1 examination are announced by the concerned states/UTs, while the results for the Stage 2 examination are declared by the NCERT.

Details about NTS scholarship scheme

Scholarships are provided to 1,000 students appearing in the NTSE, with the scholarship amount fixed as follows:

  1. A scholarship of Rs. 1,250/- per month for students of class 11 and 12.
  2. A scholarship of Rs. 2,000/- per month for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  3. The scholarship amount for PhD students is decided according to the UGC norms.

Furthermore, 15% scholarships are reserved for students from the SC category, 7.5% for those from the ST category, and 4% for physically challenged students. These scholarships are granted once the eligible candidates fulfil certain conditions. Please visit the NCERT website to know more.

The scholarship amount is sent directly to all awardees. Usually, it is transferred to the bank account of the awardee via e-banking. At times, where e-banking facility is unavailable, the amount is sent in the form of a bank draft.

To avail the scholarship amount, the awardees need to send the claim bill to the NCERT in a certain format. The signature of the principal/head of their respective institutions is required in the claim bill. The awardees also have to submit the mark sheets of their previous final examinations, along with the bill.

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