NTSE – 2019

About NTSE (National Talent Search Exam) 

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 www.ncert.nic.in

There is a two-stage selection process for award of scholarship. For Stage – I, selection will be done by States/UTs through the written examination. Each State/Union Territory has been allotted a quota to recommend a specific number of candidates for the Stage – II examination, the details of which are available on NCERT website (www.ncert.nic.in). Students who qualify Stage – I will be eligible to appear for Stage – II examination conducted by NCERT.


How to Prepare for NTSE ?

Fundamental way to prepare for the National Talent Search Exam and become NTSE Scholar is by enhancing your knowledge and applications of the conceptual knowledge of the syllabus up to class X.

The most important skill for NTSE preparation is developing analytical thinking. This is a process in which the knowledge acquired, concepts learnt, misconceptions understood and fundamentals absorbed are woven together by the thinking skill to arrive at a logical and strategic solution to a given problem.

For some topics of Science and Mathematics advance in-depth applications are also required as about 15% questions in SAT paper asked are based on these applications. To cover these applications, knowledge of class XI or higher is not required. This can be done by exhaustive practice of advance problems on the syllabus of CBSE IX and X. Managing topics of Social Studies is a very important and strategic task, as in Stage – I knowledge of History, Geography and Civics up to zonal level is required, but in Stage – II students must have good knowledge of our country as a whole. Only CBSE text book will not be sufficient for preparation of stage – I, students need to refer State Board books also for regional knowledge.

Overall practice can be done by a series of MOCK Tests. Several Online and Offline MOCK Tests series are available which a student can join.


NTSE  Eligibility

There are certain criteria laid out by CBSE that one should keep in mind before applying for the exam. NTSE Eligibility Criteria for each stage differs. The detailed criteria are provided below.

NTSE Eligibility Criteria (Stage 1)

  • Candidates must be an Indian national.
  • Class X students can also apply for Stage 1.
  • A minimum of 60% marks Class IX is required. SC, ST and PH candidates will need 55% marks in Class IX.
  • Candidate must be studying in a recognized school in their respective State or Union Territory.
  • Those who are registered in Open Distance Learning (ODL) program will also be considered eligible if they are below 18 years of age (as on July 1, 2018) and are not employed when they appear for Class X exam.

NTSE Eligibility Criteria (Stage 2)

  • Candidates will need 80% marks or above in the State level exam, to be considered eligible.
  • Every student who secures the minimum required marks in Stage II will be eligible for the scholarship program.


NTSE Reservation Criteria

  1. 15% for students belonging to SC category.
  2. 7.5% for students belonging to ST category.
  3. 4%for Physically Challenged group of students, with benchmark disabilities of which – 1% each will be reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities under clauses –
  • Blindness and low vision
  • Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy.
  • 1% for persons with benchmark disabilities under clauses
  • Autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness.
  • Multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses in the posts identified for each disabilities.


NTSE  Exam Pattern

The exam is conducted in two stages i.e. Stage 1 and Stage 2. Stage 1 examination is conducted at state level by the state authorities. Stage 2 examination is conducted at all other states and union territories. The paper is available in both the Hindi and English medium. Students need 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).

  • The examination is conducted through the offline mode only.
  • The paper is comprised of Objective type multiple choice questions.
  • 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 in each year to qualify the test, whereas general category candidates have to secure 40% marks to qualify the test.

NTSE Exam Pattern of both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 are explained below:

Section No of Questions No. of Marks Time Duration
Stage 1 MAT 100 100 120 Minutes
SAT 100 100 120 Minutes
Stage 2 MAT 100 100 120 Minutes
SAT 100 100 120 Minutes


NTSE 2019 Syllabus

  • Syllabus of NTSE is based on 10+2 curriculum of NCERT.
  • Students are advised to go through each and every topic while preparing for the exam.
  • NTSE consists of multiple choice questions which are asked from the subjects like Mathematics, Science, Social Science, English, General Knowledge and Mental Ability syllabus.
  • Following is the detailed explanation of all the topics of different subjects along with the weight-age of particular topic:


Mathematics Syllabus

NTSE Mathematics section contains around 30 questions which include the topics from class 6 to 10.

Topics Weight-age Topics Weight-age
Algebraic Expressions 5% Percentage& Its Application 8%
Arithmetic 15% Playing with Number 1%
Arithmetic Progressions 1% Probability  1%
Basic Geometry 15% Quadratic Equations 8%
Circles 1% Rational Numbers 1%
Coordinate Geometry 1% Simple & Compound Interest  2%
Direct& Inverse Variations 0% Square & Cube Roots 3%
Exponent 1% Statistics 1%
Linear Equation 3% Surface Areas and Volume 4%
Mensuration 10% Triangles 1%
Number System 9% Trigonometry 9%


Science Syllabus

In the science syllabus, topics are included from Physics, Chemistry and Biology. This section contains around 35 questions.

Topics Weight-age Topics Weight-age
Acid Bases and Salts 2% Metals & Non Metals 5%
Air 4% Micro-Organisms 3%
Carbon and its Compound 6% Motion and Force 3%
Cellular Level of Organization 4% Our Environment 5%
Diversity in Living organisms 2% Periodic Classification of Elements 2%
Fibres and Plastics 1% Reproduction 5%
Food Production & Management 1% Soil 1%
Heredity and Evolution 1% Some Common Diseases 7%
Human Body 7% Sound 2%
Life Processes 4% Sound of Energy 4%
Light 5% Structure of Atom 3%
Acid Bases and Salts 2% The Universe 1%
Magnetic & Electricity at Work 5% Water 4%
Measurement 3% Work and Energy 6


Social Science Syllabus

In this subject, topics are from History, Civics, Geography, Economics and General Awareness. This section contains around 35 questions.

Topics Weight-age Topics Weight-age
Agriculture 2% Local and State Government 1%
Atmosphere 3% Medieval Architecture and Culture 1%
Biosphere 1% Motion of the Earth 3%
British raj 5% Nationalism in Various Countries 2%
Culture, Science and Literature 1% Natural Vegetation 3%
Democracy and Elections 2% New Empires and Kingdoms 2%
Diversity and Livelihood 2% Our Country- India 4%
Early Medieval Period 3% Popular Movements and Social Reforms 2%
Early States 1% Population 1%
Eighteen Century Political Formation 1% Resources and Development 5%
French Revolution 1% Solar System 1%
India and Its Neighbours 2% The Delhi Sultanate 3%
Indian Constitution 4% The Judiciary 2%
Indian Economics 4% The Maurayas 2%
Indian Freedom Struggle 5% The Mughal Empire 5%
Indus Valley Civilization 4% UN and International Agencies 1%
Industrial Revolution 2% Union Government 2%
Industries 1% Vedic Period 2%
Internal Structure of the Earth and Rocks  2% Water Resources  2%
Introduction and Sources of Ancient Indian History 2% World History 3%
Jainism, Buddhism and Conquerors from Distant Lands 2%
Distant Lands 2%  


English Syllabus

Topics Weight-age
One Word Substitution  30%
Paragraph Completion 5%
Reading Comprehension 10%
Rearrangement of Jumbled Words 5%
Sentence Completion 10%
Synonyms 15%
Antonyms 15%
English Grammar 10%


General Knowledge Syllabus

Topics Weight-age
India 40%
World 20%
Abbreviations 10%
Awards and Recognitions 10%
Books and Authors 10%
Sports 10%


Mental Ability Syllabus

Topics Weight-age Topics Weight-age
Alphabets and Number test 1% Figure Partition and Dot Situation 1%
Analogy(Non Verbal) 5% Mathematical Operations 3%
Analogy(Verbal) 5% Missing Character 9%
Blood relations 9% Paper Folding and Cutting 2%
Calendar, Time and Clock 1% Ranking and Arrangements 7%
Classification 9% Series (Verbal) 7%
Coding-Decoding 7% Series(Non Verbal) 8%
Cube and Dice 5% Venn Diagrams 2%
Direction Sense 7% Water and Mirror Images 4%
Embedded Figure 5%


Selection procedure

Identification of talent comprises a two-stage selection process.

  • NTSE Stage- I conducted by the State / UT (usually in November) – FOR CLASS X STUDENTS
  • NTSE Stage-II conducted at the National Level (usually in May) – FOR Stage-I Qualified Students only.

Stage-I : State level examination

The first level exam is the state level examination, which has two parts for nominating the required number of candidates for the second level test to be conducted by the DSERT.

  • Part-I:Mental Ability Test (MAT), and
  • Part-II:Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)(with questions on History, Civics, Geography, Economics, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.)

Students of any Board studying at any recognized school can participate. Those who get qualified an enter the Second Level National Exam. The results of the same will be out on March of the next year.

Stage – II : National level examination

Candidates acquiring more than the required percentage in the state level examination and standing within a specified number of top ranks (state quota) are eligible to appear for the national level examination (about top 4000 students from the entire country). The national level examination has two parts for nominating the required number of candidates for the interviews to be conducted by the NCERT in May:

  • Part-I: Ability Test (MAT)
  • Part-II:Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)(as given above)


Declaration of Results

The results of the the National Level Examination shall be out by July–August the same year. Students are divided into 4 quotas: General, SC, ST, Disabled. Around 750 students will be selected from General quota, 150 from SC, 80 from ST and around 20 from Disabled quota. The results will be displayed on the website www.ncert.nic.in mid-July or early-August.



The students who qualify all the stages of NTSE successfully are eligible for scholarship. The amount of scholarship is Rs. 500/- per month for all the students studying in Class XI onwards(irrespective of class/course) except for Ph.D., wherein it is paid as per UGC norms . The older system of book grant has been removed. The criterion of parental income for deciding payment of scholarship has also been discontinued. Initially, there used to be a third level in the examination in which interview was supposed to be held. But in 2010 certain changes were made in the exam structure and from 2011 no interviews would be held in NTSE.