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National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a national level exam under NTS scheme in order to award scholarship to students studying in Class X.

National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a national level exam under NTS scheme in order to award scholarship to students studying in Class X. It is considered as the most prestigious and the most difficult examination at high school level in the country. The objective of NTSE is to identify and recognize students with high intellect and academic talent and help them for higher studies by providing scholarship at different stages. In general, Scholarships are awarded to PhD in science, Social Sciences, Humanities, Languages, Commerce, Vocational Studies and Fine arts. Also upto second degree level for professional courses in medicines, engineering, technology, management and law. NTSE conducted in two stages, NTSE stage-I is conducted by state and Union Territories whereas NCERT conducts stage-II examination.

NTSE conducts three papers in both stages; Mental Ability Test (MAT), Language Test and Scholastic Ability Test (SAT). Each year around 1000 scholarships are awarded.

All students studying in Class X in any recognized school is eligible to appear in Stage-I NTS exam. Furthermore, State/UT can impose any eligibility criteria to appear in Stage-I. For stage-II, there is a quota for each State and Union Territory computed based on Student enrollment at secondary level. Students with Indian Nationality studying abroad need to secure 60% marks in previous examination to apply for NTS exam. Such students, if selected, need to appear for Stage-II NTSE directly.

There will be 3 papers in both stages –

  • Mental Ability Test (MAT),
  •  Language Test and
  •  Scholastic Ability Test (SAT).

Questions are in the form of multiple choices with negative marking deducting 1/3 marks. The tests are available in Asamiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malyalam, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. However, language test is available in two languages – English & Hindi.


No. of Questions

Maximum Marks


Mental Ability Test (MAT)



(45 minutes)

Language Test



(45 minutes)

Scholastic Ability Test (SAT)


100 (90 minutes)




• Algebraic Expressions • Arithmetic • Arithmetic Progressions • Basic Geometry • Circles • Coordinate Geometry • Direct & inverse variation • Exponent • Linear Equation • Mensuration • Number System • Percentage & its Application • Playing with Numbers • Probability • Quadratic Equations • Rational Numbers • Simple interest & Compound interest • Square Root & Cube Root • Statistics • Surface Areas and Volumes • Triangles • Trigonometry


• Antonyms • English Grammar • One word substitution • Paragraph Completion • Reading Comprehension • Rearrangement of Jumbled Words • Sentence Completion • Synonyms

General Knowledge

• Abbreviations • Awards and Recognitions • Books and Authors • India • Sports • World

Mental Ability

• Alphabet and Number Test • Analogy (Non Verbal) • Analogy (Verbal) • Blood Relations • Calendar, Time and Clock • Classification • Coding-Decoding • Direction Sense • Embedded Figure • Figure Partition and Dot Situation • Mathematical Operations • Missing Character • Ranking and Arrangements • Series (Non - Verbal) • Series (Verbal) • Venn Diagrams • Water and Mirror Images • Word Problems


• Acid Bases and Salt • Air • Carbon and its Compounds • Cellular Level of Organisation • Diversity in Living Organisms • Fibres and Plastics • Food Production & Management • Heredity and Evolution • Human Body • Life Processes • Light • Magnetism & Electricity at Work • Measurement • Metals & Non Metals • Micro-organisms • Motion and Force • Our Environment • Periodic Classification of Elements • Physical and Chemical Changes • Plant and Animal Nutrition • Reproduction • Soil • Some Common Diseases • Sound • Source of Energy • Structure of Atom • The Universe • Water

Social Science

• Agriculture • Atmosphere • Biosphere • British Raj • Culture, Science and Literature • Democracy and Elections • Diversity and Livelihood • Early Medieval Period • Early States • Eighteenth Century Political Formation • French Revolution • India and its Neighbors • Indian Constitution • Indian Economics • Indian Freedom Struggle • Indus Valley Civilization • Industrial Revolution • Industries • Internal Structure of the Earth and Rocks • Introduction and Sources of Ancient Indian History • Jainism, Budhism and Conquerors from Distant Lands • Local and State Government • Major Domains and Landforms • Maps and Globe • Medieval Architecture and Culture • Motion of the Earth • Nationalism in Various Countries • Natural Vegetation • New Empires and Kingdoms • Our Country – India • Popular Movements and Social Reforms • Population • Resources and Development • Solar System • The Delhi Sultanate • The Judiciary • The Mauryas • The Mughal Empire • UN and International Agencies • Union Government • Vedic Period • Water Resources • World History

  • Candidates need to apply for NTSE Stage-I as per the advertisement or circular issued by the respective State/UT Government.
  • Applications and form fees need to be submitted to Liaison officer of State/UT as and when mentioned in the advertisement.
  • NCERT will send the examination details and roll numbers directly to the selected candidates through speed post. No separate application or fee is required NTSE Stage-II.
  • Students with Indian Nationality studying abroad need to apply through the Head of the Institution where they are presently studying. These applications need to be sent to Head Educational Survey Division, NCERT, Delhi – 16 with the attested copy of Class IX.


Estimated Dates

Availability of Application

To be updated

Last submission date of NTSE 2018 Application Form

To be notified by the respective State/UT

NTSE Stage 1 2018 admit card

October, 2017

NTSE Stage 1 2018 exam date

November, 2017

NTSE Stage 2 2018 exam

May. 2018


Q: Is there any eligibility criteria like minimum percentage in previous classes to apply for NTSE Stage 1 examination?
A: Generally there is no minimum percentage requirement. But this may depend on your State/UT. They can impose any eligibility criteria. If there is any such condition, it will be mentioned in the advertisement. Contact your liaison officer for any further information.

Q: When will NTSE Stage 1 application form available?
A: NTSE advertisement is released in the month of July-August. The notification will be available on NCERT website. You can contact your Liaison officer or your School for the availability of NTSE Stage-I application form.

Q: Where and How to fill NTSE Stage 1 Application form?
A: As per the advertisement, the NTSE Stage-I application form may or may not available online, it totally depends on your State/UT. You need to fill and submit the application form after getting signed by your school principal. After filling the NTSE stage 1 application form, don’t send it to NCERT. Submit it to your State/UT Liaison officer only.

Q: What is the fee for appearing in NTSE Stage examination?
A: For NTSE Stage-I, Different States/UTs may have different fees. It will be mentioned in the advertisement published by your State/UT. For Stage-II exam, there is no Fee charged by NCERT.

Q: When NTSE stage 1 results are declared?
A: Generally in the month of Jan/Feb, will be declared by your State/UT.

Q: Do I need to fill another form for stage 2 if I clear NTSE stage 1?
A: No. You don’t need to fill any further form. The Roll No and Exam centre of NTSE Stage-II will be sent to you via post by NCERT.

Q: What is the marking scheme and number of questions in NTSE examination?
A: For Stage-I : Depends on your State/UT.
For Stage-II : MAT - 50 questions, 45 Minutes. Language Test - 50 questions, 45 Minutes. SAT - 100 Questions, 90 Minutes.

Q: Will there be negative marking in NTSE examination?
A: For Stage-I : Depends on your State/UT.
For Stage-II : For each wrong answer 1/3 marks will be deducted.

Q: Will there be an exam rechecking facility in NTSE?
A: No. There is no provision for rechecking. You can check your OMR sheets on NCERT website when uploaded.

Q: Will I get any certificate after clearing NTSE Stage 1?
A: No you will not get any certificate for NTSE stage 1. After the results, you will receive the admit card for 2nd stage and along with that you will get one letter from state board head congratulating you for clearing Stage 1 exam.

Q: Can an ICSE student take the NTSE exam?
A: Yes.

Q: If I get the KVPY scholarship after getting the NTSE scholarship, will I have to cancel one of them?
A: Yes, you can avail only one scholarship. You'll get the NTSE stipend for two years, 11th and 12th. If you join a course in science and are availing the KVPY fellowship, you’ll stop receiving the NTSE one.
If you join IIT or some other medical/engineering colleges, you can still receive NTSE scholarship.

Q: What are the best books for NTSE (2017-18) preparation?
A: First see the past year papers of your State/UT. If the questions are from NCERT, follow class 9 and 10 ncert books. If they are from state board, follow your respective board books.

National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a scholarship program held at national level in India to select students possessing high intellect and academic talent. Students from Class X are eligible to sit for this exam. The exam involves two stages – NTSE Stage 1 and Stage 2. If you have already cleared NTSE Stage 1 then you should look forward to clear NTSE stage 2 as well. You just need to the put a bit more efforts in order to clear NTSE Stage 2. Here is how you can qualify this prestigious exam.

Develop a Plan

It is crucial to prepare a study plan before you start preparing for the exam. The first step in preparing an effective plan is to collect the entire NTSE Stage 2 syllabus. Once you have the syllabus handy, plan your schedule in a way that you are able to complete it in the days left for your exam and have at-least enough time for revision.

Prepare Notes

It is necessary to refer to different books in order to prepare thoroughly for NTSE Stage 2. Keep jotting down important points from each source you refer to and also from the notes given in your class to prepare your own notes. Make sure your notes include all the important information.

Revise Regularly

As you study chapter after chapter to cover the syllabus make sure that you revise them simultaneously. Revising the already completed chapters side by side is essential to memories them thoroughly. It is best to identify those hours of the day when you can concentrate best and devote them for revision. Refer only to your hand written notes as you sit to revise your lessons for NTSE Stage 2.

Give Mock Tests

It is not enough just to learn your lessons, you must assess how much you have learned and that can best be done by taking mock tests and solving previous years’ NTSE Stage 2papers. Giving these tests will not only help you assess your knowledge and identify the weak areas but will also give you an idea about the examination pattern and help you manage time efficiently during your exam.

Clear Your Doubts

Don’t just plainly mug up the topics make sure that all your concepts are clear. Any doubts or apprehensions you have about any topic must be clarified as soon as possible.

NTSE Stage 2 syllabus is vast and the competition is high. The key to crack this examination is to work hard, stay focused and follow the above mentioned tips.