What is NTSE Exam?

By | 12/12/2014

About what is NTSE examNational Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a scholarship programme conducted at the national level in the country by NCERT to evaluate the intellectual levels of students. It gauges the cerebral quotient of candidates in order to identify the crème de la crème. Introduced in 1963 with the objective of acknowledging intelligent students and nurturing their talent, the exam is hailed as one of the most prestigious in the country. This blog post answers the oft-asked question: ‘What is NTSE’. With the given information, students will get a clear picture of what the exam comprises and how one can ace it.

About NTSE Exam

The exam is organised exclusively for students studying in class X of any recognised board. It strives to give wings to the dreams of aspirants by providing the qualifying candidates with financial assistance in the form of a monthly scholarship. This sum is expected to help them in realising their full potential.

The exam requires students to have a conceptual understanding and basic know-how of subjects like Science, Social Science, Management, Medicine and Law. Every year, over 300,000 students appear for the NTSE exam. A total of 1,000 scholarships are granted out of which 775 are not reserved.

Given below are some more details about NTSE exam.

Selection Process

The exam is conducted in two stages. In stage-I, students are screened by states/UTs through a written examination. After cracking stage-I, candidates become eligible for stage-II of the examination which is organised by NCERT.

Paper Pattern

The National Talent Search Examination comprises two tests namely, Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). These tests consist of multiple choice questions. Students score one mark for each correct answer.

Eligibility Criteria

For appearing in the exam, it is mandatory that the students are of Indian nationality. Only class X students of a recognised board are eligible to appear for the stage-I exam organised by states/UTs.  Candidates who clear stage-I are qualified to attempt the stage-II exam, which is conducted by NCERT. Students studying overseas can appear for the NTSE second stage directly, provided that they are Indian citizens.


Both the levels of NTSE exam comprise two tests, i.e. the Mental Ability Test (MAT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). While  MAT is based on all the fundamental lessons of verbal and non-verbal reasoning, for SAT, the syllabus comprises subjects like Mathematics, Science and Social Science as per class IX and X study material.

NTSE Exam Dates


  • Stage-I is the state-level exam which is generally held in November.
    Stage-II is the national-level exam and is conducted usually in the month of May.


  • The stage-I results are generally out between February and April and this may vary from state to state.
  • The results of level-II are announced somewhere between July and August or even September of the same year on the NCERT official site.


Only those students who nail both levels of NTSE get the green signal for availing the scholarship of Rs 500 every month from class XI to Ph.D. level for courses in Basic Sciences, Social Science and Commerce. For professional courses like Engineering, Medicine, Management and Law, qualified students receive financial assistance up to the Post Graduate level. At the Ph.D. level, the scholarship is provided in accordance with the UGC norms.

The National Talent Search Examination is touted as one of the toughest exams held across India at the high-school level. Merely going through the prescribed school books is not enough to prepare for the exam. It requires students to go beyond books and explore different options to prepare thoroughly and attain an edge over competitors. The NTSE Test Series available on various e-learning portals is one such way through which candidates can ensure their success in the coveted exam.

Also Read: Tips on Exam Preparation

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