All you need to know about the NTSE scholarship program

Is your child in class X and planning to appear for the NTSE? Seeking a scholarship for your ward? Learn here all about NTSE or the National Talent Search Examination, the exam pattern, selection procedure and the benefits of the program to your child.


NTSE or the National Talent Search Exam is a national level exam conducted for 10th class students. The main objective of the program is to identify talented students and to nurture them through scholarships. To clear this exam, a student should have good aptitude and scholastic skills. The exam is conducted in two stages. Stage 1 of the exam is conducted at the state/UT level and stage 2 at the national level. To be eligible for stage 2, a student needs to clear the stage 1 exam. On clearing the stage 2 of the exam successfully, the students are awarded the scholarship.

Benefits of NTSE

NTSE benefits students in two ways. On qualifying stage 2 of the exam, one gets entitled to a monthly scholarship for the entire period of their study until post-graduation and even beyond. Secondly, you get recognised as an NTSE scholar, providing you with additional weightage when applying for educational courses in reputed institutes and during job searches. The scholarship grant is applicable to all courses, be it engineering, medical, pure science, commerce, humanities, social science, language or fine arts.

Number of scholarships and reservation

The total number of scholarships granted in a year is 1,000. Out of this, as per the government's reservation policy, 27 per cent of the scholarships are reserved for the OBC (non-creamy layer) category, 15 per cent for the SC and 7.5 per cent for the ST. An additional 4 per cent are reserved for the physically challenged students.

Scholarship amount

The scholarship amount is as follows.
  1. For classes XI and XII – Rs 1,250 per month
  2. For undergraduate and postgraduate courses – Rs 2,000 per month
  3. For PhD – as per norms established by UGC


  • All students studying in class X at any recognized school are eligible to appear for the exam.
  • Students of Indian nationality residing in foreign countries too may apply
  • Students studying in class X in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) programs are also eligible.
  • The student should be less than 18 years of age as on 1st July of that year.
  • He or she will be appearing for the 10th class exam for the first time.
  • The student should not be engaged in any kind of profession or job.

How to apply

The NTSE is to be applied when the student is in class X. The notification for the stage 1 exam is generally brought out by NCERT in the month of August. Advertisements are put in newspapers. The details of the exam are also published in the NCERT website Once the notifications are received, application forms duly signed by the school Principal along with the necessary fees are to be submitted to the State/UT Liaison Officer within the due date. The list of the liaison officers can be obtained from the NCERT website. Along with the name and contact details of the liaison officer, the respective state website details are also provided. Generally, the schools take up the responsibility of submitting the applications to the State Liaison Officer. The student just needs to fill up the forms.

Exam pattern

NTSE is conducted in two levels or stages. Stage 1 is the state level exam and stage 2 is conducted at the national level. The exam pattern of both the stages is the same. There are two papers in each stage, part 1 and part 2. Part 1 of the exam is also called as MAT or Mental Ability Test. Part 2 of the exam is called SAT or Scholastic Ability Test. Both the parts are objective in nature and there are 100 questions in each. The total marks of each paper is 100. There is no negative marking in any of the papers.

The paper on MAT tests your skills in logical reasoning, whereas SAT is all about academics. Questions in SAT are put up from Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Civics, Geography and Economics. The questions in SAT are taken from the syllabus of classes 9th and 10th.

The weightage of different subjects in SAT are as follows.

Math – 20
Physics – 13
Chemistry – 13
Biology – 14
History – 15
Geography – 15
Civics – 5
Economics – 5

Stage 1 – State level exam

Stage 1 of the exam is conducted by the respective state authorities. The exam is generally conducted on the first Sunday of November, all across the country. However, in Andaman & Nicobar, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland the exam is conducted on 1st Saturday of November. Admit cards are issued by your school one week prior to the exam. The exam centre and timing of the exams are printed on the admit card itself.

Generally, the timings are as follows
Paper 1 (MAT) – 0930 to 1130 hrs.
Paper 2 (SAT) – 1330 to 1530 hrs.

Stage 2 – National level exam

In stage 1, you would be competing against students from your state alone, whereas in stage 2 it is a national level competition. Stage 2 is held by NCERT at many centres across the country. The exam is generally held on 2nd Sunday of May the subsequent year. To be eligible for stage 2, one has to clear the stage 1 exam and come in the merit list. Marks obtained in the stage 1 exam are, however, not added to stage 2 marks. The pattern of the exam is similar to that of stage 1.

Cut-offs and results

The results of stage 1 exam are declared in the month of January and February. The answer keys are published in December itself and objections if any could be challenged. The answer keys and the result are published in the respective state websites. Only those clearing the cut-off for their respective category will be deemed qualified for the stage 2 exam. Students need to qualify both parts of the exam separately. The merit list and the cut-off are formed on the basis of total marks obtained in MAT and SAT.

Since the stage 2 exam is conducted in the month of May, the results get declared by August. The final results are published in the NCERT website. A total of thousand students are declared as qualified, belonging to respective categories. All the thousand will then be eligible for the scholarship from class XI onwards.

Some dos and don'ts regarding disbursement of scholarship

  • Scholarships are disbursed irrespective of the stream you join in class 11th or beyond. However, the course and the institution has to be an approved one.
  • You should have enrolled for a full-time course
  • To ensure, you regularly receive your scholarship, you will have to score 60% or more marks in aggregate, every year. You need to submit your mark sheets every academic session.
  • Scoring less than 60% marks in two subsequent years will make you ineligible for further scholarship.
  • In case you miss your studies for one academic year without any genuine reason, your scholarship will be stopped forever.
  • You should be regular in attending classes.
  • Your conduct should be good and your school or college has to certify to this effect.
  • You should not be in receipt of any stipend or wages.
  • In case you are awarded a second scholarship, you will have to choose one of the two.
  • A one-time fee waiver or any such grants will not make you ineligible for this scholarship.
  • The scholarship is meant for courses only in India. Studying abroad will make you ineligible.


For stage 1 exam, the queries are to be put up to respective State Liaison Officer and not to NCERT. One may also refer the information brochure and get the details of the exam and its scholarship.

Article by Dhruv
Dhruv is an electrical engineer by profession. Apart from liking his job, he has a special love for writing and has often dabbled in writing scripts for skits and short plays. As a Content Developer at ISC, Dhruv is having a whale of a time, showcasing his writing skills.

Follow Dhruv or read 110 articles authored by Dhruv


No responses found. Be the first to comment...

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: