NTSE 2020: National Talent Search Exam | State & National Level


NTSE 2020: National Talent Search Exam was started in the year 1963. SCERT of all States and Union territories will manage stage 1 of NTSE at the state level. While the Educational Survey Division of NCERT will manage the stage 2 at the national level. Only candidates who clear NTSE 2020 stage 1 will be eligible to appear for stage 2. There is no fee of any kind for appearing in the National Level Examination.

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The NTSE 2020 stage 1 will be conducted for Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands on 02 November and for all other states and UTs, it will be conducted on 03 November 2019 except West Bengal and Kerala. In West Bengal and Kerala, it will take place separately on 17 November 2019. Only students who are studying in class 10 can apply for the NTSE.  By which he/she take scholarships in science and social science up to the doctoral level as well as medicine and engineering courses up to second-degree level.

The NTSE application form 2020 for Stage 1 has been available by States/UTs. The admit card for NTSE stage 1 will be issued online in the second week of October. Read the whole article to know more about NTSE 2020 – it’s important dates, application form, eligibility criteria, result, qualifying criteria, reservation and selection criteria.

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What’s New in NTSE 2020?

In 2020, NCERT has made a few changes in the exam. It is given below:

  1. No Language Paper: There will be no language paper by 2020.
  2. New Reservation: NTSE 2020 has put on an extra reservation of 27% for OBC (Non-creamy Layer) apart from the existing 15%, 7.5% and 4% for SC, ST and Physically Handicapped. The income limit currently is 8 Lakh per annum for OBC- Non-Creamy Layer.
  3. Duration of Exam: The time duration of the exam has been increased to 4 hours from 3 hours. Time Duration for MAT and SAT is 2 hours for each.

NTSE 2020 Important Dates

NTSE 2020 Examination Important Dates
Stage I Last date for Submission of Application Form To be notified by the respective State and it may vary fro state to state
Examination in Mizoram, Meghalaya,
Nagaland and Andaman and Nicobar Islands
02 November 2019
Examination in all other States and Union Territories except above & below mentioned 9 States/UTs. 03 November 2019
Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, NCT of Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir 17 November 2019
Stage II Examination in All States and Union Territories 10 May 2020

NTSE 2020 Application Form

Application form for NTSE stage 1 2020 has been issued by State/UTs. Applicants have to fill and submit the application forms before the last date. It may be varied one state to another state. Applicants required to pay the application fee for NTSE stage 1 exam if mentioned by the state. The application form required to be submitted in the offline mode at either school or the official address of the state liaison officer. Applicants appearing for NTSE stage 2 will neither have to submit an application form to NCERT nor any fee.

Important Exam Update

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Application Fee:

The application fee may be varied one state to another state. It is not fixed across the country.

NTSE 2020 Eligibility Criteria

The NTSE 2020 eligibility criteria are mentioned below in the table. Applicant should check it before applying for the exam.

Academic Qualification Applicant must be appearing in 10th standard.
Age Limit Applicant should be under 18 years of 01 July of that year.
Type of Schooling Candidates studying under distance school or distance learning are also eligible to apply
Domicile Restrictions There is no domicile restriction.
Employment Applicant should not be employed.

National Talent Search Exam Important Instructions

  • Applicant must be appearing in class 10 exam for the first time.
  • From 2020, States are planning to make an addition to eligibility criteria on a minimum of marks scored in class 9. This will be updated here when it will be declared officially.
  • Applicants who qualify NTSE stage 1 only can apply for stage 2 national level exam.
  • Indian applicants studying aboard in Class 10 or equivalent class can directly apply for NTSE 2020 stage 2. They must score at least 60 per cent marks in class 9th.


How to Apply for National Talent Search Exam (NTSE) 2020?

The steps to apply for NTSE 2020 online is given below.

  • Students can fill the Application form offline after downloading it from the official website. Also, the applicant can access their Application form from the office of the Liaison Officer.
  • Affix the photograph and signature of the student in the provided space.
  • Applicant/student has to fill the following details in the application form in their handwriting.
  • Basic details
  • Category
  • Address
  • Educational details
  • The NTSE 2020 Application Form must be attested by the School Principal.
  • The application fee as specified by the state/UT required to be submitted by the candidates.
  • Students can submit their Application Form in the Liaison Office via post or visiting the address of liaison officer. Also, the NTSE 2020 Application Form can be submitted through to the following address of Liaison Officer concerning their State.

For additional information, the candidates may contact at the following address: The Head Educational Survey Division, NCERT, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi-110016 NCERT Website: www.ncert.nic.in

NTSE Stage-Wise Details

SELECTION PROCEDURE: Identification of talent comprises a two-stage selection process. While the individual State/UT conducts the first stage selection, the second stage selection at the national level is carried out by the NCERT.

  • State Level Examination (Stage 1)
  • National Level Examination (Stage 2)
Exam Name NTSE stage 1 NTSE stage 2
Known as NTSE stage 1 NTSE stage 2
Conducting body States/UTs National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)
Medium of language  Asamiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu
Negative Marking No Negative Marking No Negative Marking


NTSE 2020 Admit Card

The NTSE admit card will be issued to students by the authorities as per the official schedule. The admit card will contain important details, i.e. the candidate’s name, roll number, exam date, and timing and exam centre address. Applicants must remember that they will not be permitted to enter the NTSE 2020 examination hall without the admit card of NTSE 2020.

[su_quotecite=”NTSE”url=”http://www.ncert.nic.in/programmes/talent_exam/pdf_files/Information_Brochure_2018.pdf”]Allotment of E-Admit Cards: The NCERT shall upload the E-Admit Cards for the second level examination on its website. In case there is any change of address before the National Level Examination, it shall be obligatory on the part of the candidate to communicate the same to the state examining authority, which in turn shall inform the NCERT for a change of address after the candidate has downloaded the admission letter for second-level examination. The same may be communicated to the NCERT directly.[/su_quote]

Important Instructions to download the Admit Card

  • NTSE stage 1 admit card will be provided by the school in October month. The applicant can download from the respective website of state authority. The admit card will also be sent by post to the applicant’s address.
  • In case any applicant does not receive the admit card, he or she can visit the State Liaison Officer to obtain it.
  • The NTSE Stage 2 admit card will be available on the official NCERT website 21 days before the date of the exam.
  • Candidates are advised to download their respective admit card from the official website.

Documents to carry along with NTSE Admit Card

Along with the admit card of NTSE 2020, Applicant has to bring a photo ID card. Valid photo ID in original and a photocopy of the same will be required. The applicant, otherwise, will not be allowed to enter the examination centre.

NTSE 2020 Syllabus

There is no prescribed syllabus for the NTS examination. The questions of NTSE stage 1 and 2 exams will be based on class 9 and class 10 level. Applicants can also refer to the official booklet – ‘Learn about the Test’. It contains sample papers for both the Tests- MAT and SAT. It will be available on the official website of NCERT.

Download the NTSE Information Brochure 2020 Here.

NTSE 2020 Exam Pattern

  • Applicants must refer to the NTSE 2020 exam pattern. It will make a candidate familiar concerning several questions, marking scheme, the time allotted and much more.

The states and union territories had complete autonomy to design and conduct their
written examinations. However, they were advised to follow the national pattern which
comprised MAT and SAT.

State Level Examination Pattern:

State Level Examination Pattern
State Level Examination Pattern

National Level Examination Pattern:

NTSE National Level Examination Pattern
NTSE National Level Examination Pattern

NTSE Pattern

Qualifying Marks for NTSE Stage 1 For SC/ST & PWD – 32%

For General – 40%

Eligibility Criteria for NTSE Stage 2 Candidate must qualify the NTSE Stage 1
Maximum Marks 200
No. of Questions 200
Time Durations 4 Hours
Negative Marking No Negative Marking

NTSE Written Examination Pattern

The written examination shall consist of two paper; Paper-I Mental Ability Test (MAT)
and Paper-II Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Both the tests will be administered on the same day

Papers Test No. of questions Marks Duration Timings
Paper I Mental Ability Test (MAT) 100 100 120 minutes 9:30 am to 11:30 am (till noon for visually challenged candidates)
Paper-II Scholastic Ability Test (SAT) 100 (Science40, Mathematics-20, Social Science40) 100 120 minutes 13:30 to 15:30 (till 16:00 for visually challenged candidates)


NTSE 2020 Change of Centre

Change of exam centre is entertained upon written request only in exceptional cases under special circumstances, such as the transfer of parents of candidates. Applicants have to send the written request to NCERT within 15 days of the download of the E-admit card before at least 21 days of examination.  In such cases, they can give the exam only in English medium.

NTSE Question Paper

Applicants who are appearing in NTSE 2020 state-level exam can download the sample papers for their respective state here. The sample question papers of NTSE 2020 stage 1 are available for thorough practice. Applicants can download them and start practising. It includes sample questions and options.

Medium (Language of Question Paper): The tests will be available in the following languages: Asamiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.

NTSE 2020 Answer Key

The NTSE answer key for stage 1 will be available on the official website of the respective state’s SCERT. Applicants can check the answer key for MAT and SAT papers to crosscheck their answers. Stage 1 answer key will have the correct options as well as marking scheme for each paper.  NTSE stage 2 answer key will be available by NCERT in online mode only. Applicants can go to the official link and download the answer key after the answer key of NTSE 2020 is announced officially.

NTSE 2020 Result

NTSE stage 1 result will be announced separately by each conducting state/UT. The applicant can check their NTSE Result 2020 by login in through the official link. To check the NTSE 2020 result, applicants have to enter their registration number or roll number and date of birth. Only applicant who clear stage 1 will be eligible for appearing in NTSE stage 2 exam 2020. The result for the same will be declared on August 2020 in online mode. Qualified students will be entitled to scholarships.

NTSE Rechecking of Result

Applicants must know that there will be no request regarding re-evaluation or rechecking of result entertained. Applicants can access their scanned OMR sheets. It will be uploaded on the NCERT website along with final scoring key so that they can calculate their score.

NTSE Cut-off

To qualify NTSE 2020, Applicants required to obtain the minimum cut off marks as mentioned by the exam conducting bodies for both NTSE stage 1 and NTSE stage 2. The following is the criteria for stage 2.

  • Applicants from all Union Territories who are appearing for NTSE stage 1 need to obtain a minimum of 10 marks in each paper- MAT, SAT and LAT to appear for NTSE stage 2.
  • Applicants from all states must score at least 25 marks in each paper.

Subject-wise NTSE cutoff (Paper 1, 2 and 3)

Test Papers Maximum Marks Qualifying Percentage/Marks
General ST/SC/PH
Paper I MAT 49 40% (19.6) 35% (17.15)
Paper-II English 50 40% (20.0) 35% (17.5)
Paper-II Hindi 50 40% (20.0) 35% (17.5)
Paper III SAT 96 40% (38.4) 35% (33.6)
Total Marks 145 40% (58) 35% (50.75)

Category-wise NTSE cut-off

Categories NTSE Cut Off 2016 Maximum Marks of MAT and SAT
ST 52. 12 145
PH 53.47 145
SC 56.43 145
General 85.09 145

NTSE Scholarships

About 1000 scholarships will be granted to candidates based on the NTSE 2020 exam with reservation of 15 per cent for SC, 7.5 per cent for ST and 27 per cent for other backward classes and 4 per cent for a group of students with benchmark disabilities. Applicants can check the table below to know about scholarships that are provided to candidates in different stages of education.

Rates of Scholarship: The rates of scholarship at different stages are given as under:

S.No. Stage Rate of Scholarship
1. Higher Secondary level Rs. 1250/- p.m.
2. Graduate and Post Graduate Rs. 2000/- p.m.
3. For PhD degree (four years) As per UGC norms

NTSE 2020 Highlights

Name of Examination National Talent Search Examination
Commonly Known As NTSE 2020
Examination Level National Level
Category Class 10th level
Purpose of Exam 1000 Scholarships to pursue class 12 and higher studies in Science and Social Sciences
Mode of Examination Offline
States that accept JEE Main scores All states and union territories of India
Selection Process Entrance Exam
Duration of Exam 2 hours for each part


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