Selection procedure

Identification of talent comprises a three-stage selection process. While the individual state or union territory conducts the first stage selection (usually 2nd/3rd Sunday of November)-for NTSE 2011: 21st November 2010 for most states/UTs, 20th November for some states, the second stage selection at the national level is carried out by the NCERT, usually on the second Sunday of May (9th May 2011 for NTSE 2011). This is followed by the interview of the selected 1500-1600 students.


Class VIII. Students

State level examination

The state level examination has two parts for nominating the required number of candidates for the second level test to be conducted by the NCERT.

  1. Part-I:Mental Ability Test (MAT), and
  2. Part-II: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

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 3000 students from the entire country). NCERT conducts the National Level NTS each year in the 2nd week of May. The national level examination has two parts for nominating the required number of candidates for the interviews to be conducted by the NCERT in July/August

  1. Part-I:Mental Ability Test (MAT), and
  2. Part-II: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)(with questions on history, civics, geography, rarely economics, maths, physics, chemistry and biology.)

It is usually conducted on 2nd Sunday in May. For NTSE 2011, National Level Exam will be conducted on 8th May 2011.


The Interview used to be conducted. It required confidence etc. However, there will be no interview in NTSE 2011


There is no Prescribed syllabus for the NTSE examination. However, the standard of items conforms to the level of CBSE Class 8 Public Examinations. Also, parts of classes IX and X are also included especially in Sciences and mathematics, wherein one is expected to have a sound knowledge of the things already learnt at lower classes. Since many of the things learnt at class VIII level are also included in class IX/X syllabus, therefore such concepts may be evaluated. Several guides are also published by various publishers to aid NTSE aspirants.

Scheme of Testing

The scheme of testing for second stage of NTSE is given below:

Test Duration No. of Items Maximum Marks Qualifying Marks(General) Qualifying Marks(SC/ST/PC)
Mental Ability Test (MAT) 90 minutes 100 (90 MCQ, i.e. with 4 options and 10 free response questions) 100 40 32
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) 90 minutes 100 (90 MCQs , i.e. with 4 options-35 MCQs on Science, 20 MCQs on Mathematics, 35 MCQs on Social Science, 10 free response questions on Mixed subjects) 100 40 32
Interview 15–20 minutes Not defined Not defined Not defined

Note: Qualifying marks do not imply that any student securing above the cut-off will qualify for the next level. It simply means that this is the minimum qualifying marks NCERT is looking for. Selection will depend upon the rank of the candidate.

In NTSE first stage, there are 90 questions in 90 minutes in SAT and MAT each. In first stage there is no interview. However, the patern varies from state to state.

The students who qualify all the stages of NTSE successfully are eligible for Rebate. The amount of Rebate has been enhanced to Rs. 500/- per month for all the students studying in Class VIII onwards except for Ph.D., wherein it is paid according to UGC norms. The older system of book grant has been removed. The criterion of parental income for deciding payment of Rebate has also been discontinued

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