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About NTSE 2020 Exam 

NTSE (National Talent Search Examination) is a national level scholarship exam, started in 1963 by Government of India by the name National Science Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) to identify and award the talented students. Students who successfully qualify the exam get scholarships till doctorate level. Since beginning a number of changes have been made in the exam like the number of scholarships, exam pattern, exam name and the classes it is held for.

Now the exam is conducted in two stages where Stage I is a State/UT level exam and Stage II is a national level exam. Every year around 50 lakh candidates apply for NTSE exam out of which only 2000 students are selected for the scholarship.

NTSE 2020 Exam Highlights

Highlights of National Talent Search Examination (NTSE)
Exam Name
National Talent Search Examination (NTSE)
Official Website
Conducted by
NTSE Stage 1 is conducted by respective states/UTs
National level or NTSE stage II is conducted by NCERT
Exam Level
National Level
Conducted for
Class 10th Students
Total Scholarships
Scholarship amount
Rs. 1250 per month for Class 11-12
Rs. 2000 per month for UG and PG level
As per UGC norms for research level
Scholarship level
Up to Ph. D. level
Registration Commencement
Registration begins in August and the last date of application is notified by respective state/UT separately
Exam Mode
Offline examination
Papers Conducted
Mental Aptitude Test (MAT)
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
Test Duration
120 minutes for each paper (MAT & SAT) at each level (Total 240 minutes)
Exam Centers
For NTSE Stage I exam - In all 29 states and 7 UTs
For NTSE Stage II - 35 exam cities
Exam Helpline for NTSE Stage II examination only
Phone number - 011-26560464
E-mail -

Changes in NTSE Exam 2020

NCERT introduced a few changes in NTSE exam from 2019 onwards. Given below are the major changes:

  • There will be no language paper in NTSE 2020 exam
  • There are new reservation rules with an extra reservation of 27% for OBC (Non-creamy Layer) in addition
    to the existing 15%, 7.5% and 4% for SC, ST and physically handicapped
  • The exam will be of 4 hours with 2 hours each for MAT and SAT
  • Total marks for the exam have been increased from 150 to 200
  • The number of scholarships has been doubled with 2000 from 1000

NTSE 2020 Important Dates

Having knowledge of all the important dates is essential when preparing for any competitive exam. From the commencement of the application process to release of the admit card and announcement of result, students should mark all the important dates.

NTSE 2020 Important Dates
NTSE 2020 Events
Important Dates (Tentative)
Last submission date of NTSE 2020 Application Form
To be notified by the respective State/UT. It may vary from state to state (Last week of August tentatively)
NTSE 2020 Admit Card for Stage 1
Last week of October to the first week of November 2019
NTSE Stage 1 Exam in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Andaman & Nicobar Islands
2nd November 2019
NTSE Stage 1 Exam in all other States/UTs except West Bengal
3rd November 2019
NTSE Stage 1 Exam Date for West Bengal & Kerala
17th November 2019
Stage 2 Exam in all the States/UTs
10th May 2020
NTSE Stage II Result
June 2020

NTSE 2020 Eligibility Criteria

Meeting NTSE eligibility criteria is essential for the candidates who want to apply for the scholarship exam. Eligibility criteria is different for NTSE Stage I and NTSE Stage II exams. Given below are the conditions you need to fulfil in order to meet the eligibility criteria of NTSE. Go through the same, and apply for the exam only when you meet all the conditions.

NTSE Stage I Eligibility Criteria

  • The National Talent Search Examination is open for Class X students having Indian nationality
  • Students from both government and private schools can apply for the exam
  • Candidates studying from Open Distance Learning (ODL) are also eligible for the exam, provided they are below 18 years of age, not working and appearing for Class 10 exams for the first time
  • There is no domicile restriction for the candidates who want to apply for the exam
  • To be eligible for the National Level Talent Search Exam, the candidates need to score a minimum of 60% marks in Class IX (The pass percentage for reserved categories including SC, ST and PH is 55%)

Students studying abroad need to meet the following criteria to apply for NTSE exam 2020:

  • Indian students studying in class X will be exempted from Stage I exam and allowed to appear for the National Level exam directly
  • In order to qualify for the second level NTSE directly, the candidates need to get at least 60% aggregate marks in previous class
  • Candidates can appear for the exam only at NTSE examination centre in India at their own cost

NTSE Stage II Eligibility Criteria

  • The candidate must be an Indian National studying in India or Abroad
  • The candidate must have cleared NTSE Stage I exam with 85% marks

NTSE 2020 Application Process

Students studying in Class X need to follow the instructions given in the NTSE exam notification released by the respective Government of their State/UT.

NTSE 2020 application forms will be available both in online as well as offline format. Students can either download the form from the official website or can buy it from any book store. In addition to this, NTSE application form is also published in Newspaper.

Students need to submit a duly filled application form signed by the Principal of their school to the State Liaison Officer before the last date announced by the State/UT.

Steps to fill and submit NTSE 2020 Application Forms:

  • Visit the official website of State's education department
  • Click on 'NTSE'
  • Download the NTSE application form in PDF format
  • Fill the form and affix a recent passport size photograph
  • Get the form signed by your school's Principal
  • Submit the duly filled NTSE 2020 application form to the State Liaison Officer

For students studying abroad:

  • Candidates can request to appear for the exam through the Head of the Institution where they are studying by sending an attested copy of Class IX mark sheet. The attested mark sheet by the Head of the institution should reach at the NCERT office by 31st December of the concerned year at the below given address:
  • The Head, Department of Educational Survey Division, NCERT, New Delhi - 110016

NTSE 2020 Application Fee

  • Application fee for NTSE depends on the whole discretion of the State. States/UTs may or may not impose any fee for NTSE application form. The details of the same are given in the official notification released before the beginning of the application process for NTSE.

NTSE 2020 Exam Pattern

As per the NTSE exam pattern, there will be two tests in both the stages namely Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The objective of MAT is to check the power of reasoning, ability to think and evaluation or discrimination ability. On the other hand, the objective of SAT is to check subjective knowledge of Science, Mathematics, History, Geography, Political Science and Economics.

NTSE 2020 Exam Pattern for Stage I and Stage II

  • The test will be of 4 hours with 2 hours duration for each paper
  • The test will be conducted in offline (pen-and-paper) format
  • Every question will be of one mark
  • There is no negative marking for wrong attempt
Test Name
No. of questions
Paper I
Mental Ability Test (MAT)
120 minutes (2 Hours)
9:30 am to 11:30 am (till 12 noon for visually challenged candidates)
Paper II
Scholastic Ability Test (SAT)
100 (Science-40, Mathematics-20, Social Science-40)
120 minutes
13:30 pm to 15:30 pm (till 16:00 pm for visually challenged candidates)

NTSE 2020 Syllabus

Having knowledge of NTSE syllabus is essential to give your preparation the right direction. It helps you understand the topics covered and plan your preparation accordingly. Basically, NTSE syllabus covers questions from Class 9 and Class 10 level books. In addition to class 9 and 10 books, candidates can also refer to additional NTSE preparation books and online study material available in the form of recorded video lectures. NCERT's official website also releases sample papers for both MAT and SAT, which students can download from the official website.

NTSE 2020 Syllabus

Social Science
Mughal Dynasty
Ancient Civilisations
Verb / Adverb
Solids, Liquids and Gases
Legislative Assembly
Number Systems
Conservation of Energy
Government Structure
Profit and Loss
Introduction to Trigonometry
Natural Gases
Types of Banks
Statistics and Probability Solutions
Arithmetic Progressions
Common Diseases Political Events
Simple & Compound Interest
Properties of Chemical Elements
Sentences / Transformation of Sentences
Surface Areas and Volume
Fibres and Plastics
Fundamental Rights
Quadratic Equations
Heredity and Evolution
Type of Economics

NTSE Admit Card

Exam conducting bodies release NTSE admit card that contains details like the candidate's name, roll number, exam schedule, exam centre, reporting time etc. Depending on the State/UTs admit cards are released in online and offline formats. Find below the process to collect NTSE 2020 admit card:

Steps to Collect NTSE 2020 Admit Card

  • If NTSE Stage I admit cards are available offline, students can collect it from their respective schools
  • If candidates don't get admit cards from school or on the website, they should visit the State Liaison Officer to collect their admit card for NTSE exam
  • NTSE Stage II admit cards are released online 21 days before the exam
  • Candidates need to visit the official website to download their hall tickets

NTSE Exam Centers

Candidates need to mention their NTSE exam centre preferences while filling the application form. Based on the preferences and the availability of the centre, the exam conducting body allots a nearby examination centre for NTSE. Details like the address, reporting time etc. regarding the examination centres for NTSE 2020 will be given on the admit card, which students will be able to download from the official website of NTSE exam.

Note: Candidates cannot request for change in NTSE examination centre once its allotted.

Only special request for change in the examination centres will be entertained based on the instructions issued by NCERT. Candidates need to send a written request to NCERT prior to 21 days of the exam. Further, if they get the exam centre changed, they will be allowed to take the exam only in English medium.

NTSE Answer Key

SCERTs release answer key for NTSE exam on their respective official websites. Students can check the same to calculate their probable score by checking the correct answers for each set.

Stage II answer key for NTSE is released by NCERT that students can download from the official website.

NTSE Result

NTSE Exam 2020 result will be declared by SCERT's online in January/February 2020. The result will be available in a merit list form where students can check their scores, name and roll number. The merit list will have names of only qualified candidates. Candidates need to meet the minimum cut-off criteria to clear both NTSE Stage I and Stage II exams.

NTSE Stage II Result

  • NTSE Stage II result will be declared in September 2020 in online mode on the official website of NCERT. Stage II result also releases a cut-off which students can check with their result.

NTSE Selection Process

NTSE follows a two-step selection process to finalize the candidates for scholarship. Stage I NTSE exam is conducted by States/UTs in an offline format. Those who qualify Stage I exam are allowed to appear for Stage II exam that is a national level exam. Qualifying marks in Stage II exam for General Category are 40% in every paper while for reserved categories it is 32% in each paper.

NTSE Preparation Tips

Right preparation is essential to crack NTSE exam. Now with all the details on your fingertips, this is the time to look at some helpful NTSE preparation tips to perform well in the final exam.

Make a study plan

  • Start by making an effective plan by considering NTSE syllabus and exam pattern. It will help you get enough time to go through the syllabus and revise it regularly.

Get a strong command on basics

  • Having strong basics is the key to success in NTSE exam. Follow NCERT books of Class 9 and 10 to work on your basics.

Choose only the best learning resources

  • Students always need additional study material to strengthen their preparation. You can take help of Aakash Digital to further strengthen your preparation. It helps you in NTSE preparation by providing live online classes, recorded video lectures and online practice tests.

Revise regularly

  • Regularly revise what you have studied to reduce the burden during the final revision. With Aakash Digital, you can watch the recording of live online classes or the recorded video lectures as many times as you want to master the topics.

Regularly solve practice tests

  • Practice is the key to success. Regularly analyse and improve your performance by solving online mock tests, previous year papers, daily practice tests and AIATS provided by Aakash PracTest. Detailed solutions and modular analysis help you understand your weaknesses and work on the same.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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