What is National Talent Search Exam (NTSE)?


The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) which was established by the Government of India announced a programme whose purpose was to identify and then in turn nurture the talents of a the student. This programme was announced in 1963 by the name of National Science Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) for awarding the students with scholarships while identifying the talented. Although during the beginning it was only for the students of Delhi in which as many as 10 scholarships were awarded to Class XI students. In 1964, the scheme was extended to all students of Class XI for all states and union territories within India and the number of scholarships was increased. The NTSE scholarships are awarded for pursuing education only in basic sciences up to doctoral level.

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At present the scheme covers areas like Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Management and Law. The moto of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance in the form of a monthly scholarship. The scholarship is provided up to Ph.D level for the students of Basic Sciences, Social Sciences and Commerce, whereas for professional courses like Engineering, Medicine, Management and Law the same is provided up till Post Graduation. Also the paper is undertaken for students who are studying in Class X only.


How much Scholarship is awarded and for how many students?

As per the norms the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) awards 1000 scholarships for Class X students. The scholarship is awarded to the selected scholars in the following manner:

  1. An amount of Rs 1250 per month is given to the student for Class XI and XII
  2. An amount of Rs 2000 per month is given for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students
  3. The amount of scholarship to be awarded for Ph.D is fixed in accordance with the UGC norms.


What is the selection procedure for the NTSE?

The selection procedure for the awarding of the NTSE scholarship is done in two stages. For the first stage; Stage I – the selection is made on the basis of the written examination which is conducted throughout all the states and UTs. On the basis of the result of the written exam, the candidates who clear Stage I are then subjected to another examination. This Stage II examination is conducted by NCERT.

What is the NTSE exam structure and test pattern

Exam structure

Stage I of the written examination at the State/UT level will comprise two parts- Mental Ability Test (MAT) and the Scholastic Ability Test (SAT) covering social sciences, sciences and mathematics and also includes Language Comprehensive Test.

Stage II examination at the National level comprises of Mental Ability Test (MAT), Scholastic Ability Test (SAT), covering social sciences, sciences and mathematics and also includes Language Comprehensive Test, and an Interview. Only those candidates who qualify the written examination at the National Level will be invited for interview.

Exam Pattern


Test No. Of Questions Maximum Marks Time
Mental Ability 50 50 45
Scholastic Test Language Comprehensive Test 40 40 45
Aptitude Test 90 90 90
Total 180 180 180


Test No. Of Questions Maximum Marks Time
(i) Mental Ability Test  50 50 45 minutes
(ii) Scholastic Aptitude Test
(a) Language Test 50 50 45 minutes
(b) Sciences, mathematics and Social Science 100 100 90 minutes
Total 200 200 180 minutes


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