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NTSE 2020 - Complete details

NTSE 2020- National Talent Search Examination is a scholarship test for Class X students, conducted by NCERT. The NTSE Examination will be held in two stages, Stage I (State Level Talent Search), conducted by SCERTs while NCERT conducts the Stage II (National Level Talent Search). NTSE Stage I 2020 Notification will be issued in the last week of July 2019. NTSE 2020 (Stage 1) will be held on the first Sunday/ Saturday of November 2019 whereas Stage 2 will be held in May 2020. Only Stage 1 qualifiers will be called for the Stage 2 exam, to be held in June 2020. Students will be able to download the NTSE application forms from the first week of August 2019. Based on student’s scores in MAT, SAT and Interview, the NTSE scholarships will be distributed.

NTSE 2020 scholarships will be awarded for science and social science steams up to the doctoral level. Whereas for medicine and engineering courses, the scholarship amount can be received up to second-degree level. In 2019, the number of NTSE scholarship has been increased from 1000 to 2000.

New Changes in NTSE Scholarship

Last year, NCERT has introduced a few changes in the exam as mentioned below:

  1. No Language Paper - There will be no language paper in NTSE 2020.

  2. New Reservation - NTSE Exam has added 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 NCL.

  3. Exam Timing - The NTSE test duration has been increased to 4 hours from 3 hours. Duration for MAT and SAT is 2 hours each.

  4. Total Marks - The total marks have been increased from 150 to 200.

  5. Number of Scholarship - Increased to 2000 from 1000.

NTSE 2020 - Exam Overview

Check the highlights of the NTSE examination in the given table. Read the complete article to know about NTSE 2020 exam dates, eligibility, selection process, exam pattern and more.



NTSE 2020 Exam Dates

Aspirants can check the events and their respective NTSE 2020 dates in the given table. These dates help in completing the admission and examination processes timely.


NTSE 2020 Scholarships

The states/UTs are responsible for conducting the stage 1 screening exam, known as the State Level Talent Search Examination. Each State and Union Territory has to recommend a stipulated number (as per state quota) of candidates for the national level examination to be held by the NCERT. A total of 3000 stage 1 qualifiers will appear in NTSE Stage 2 followed by Interview. Students who qualify each stage with minimum cut off marks will be declared eligible to receive the NTSE scholarship amount.


NTSE 2020 Eligibility Criteria

Every state sets its own eligibility for NTSE stage 1 examination. However, stage 2 NTSE eligibility will be slated by NCERT. Aspirants should satisfy NTSE eligibility criteria at both stages to appear for the examination. Read below to know the NTSE eligibility criteria before filling the applications.

  • Students studying in class 10th in recognized schools are eligible to appear for NTSE 2020 stage 1 exam. There is no domicile restriction.

  • Students of an open school or distance learning program are also eligible to apply provided that their age should be less than 18 years as on July 1, 2020.

  • Candidates must be appearing in class 10 exam for the first time.

  • Some states require candidates to score minimum marks in class 9 to apply for NTSE exam 2020. This is mentioned separately by States on their official website.

  • Students who clear NTSE stage 1 only can appear for stage 2 national level exam.

  • Indian students studying abroad in Class 10 or equivalent class can directly apply for NTSE stage 2. They must obtain at least 60 per cent marks (in aggregate) in class 9th.

NTSE Reservation Criteria


Out of 4 % for physically challenged students, one per cent shall be reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities under clauses:

  1. Blindness and low vision

  2. Deaf and hard of hearing

  3. 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 amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness in the posts identified for each disability

NTSE 2020 Application Form

The NTSE stage 1 application forms will be released by SCERTs or Education departments of different States/UTs in the month of August 2019. Eligible students have to submit the filled NTSE 2020 application form before the last date as stipulated by their respective State/UTs.

Steps to Submit NTSE Application Forms

  1. Visit the official website of SCERT or State's education department

  2. Click on "NTSE" option

  3. Download the pdf file of NTSE application form

  4. Fill the details in the application correctly and affix a recent photograph.

  5. Get the application form duly signed by the Principal of the school.

  6. Send the filled NTSE 2020 application form to the State Liaison Officer before the last date.

NTSE Application Fee

The application fee may or may not be applicable. States have their own criteria for receiving the application and fee. Students will get the complete information related to the same after the official release.

NTSE 2020 Exam Pattern 

The exam pattern for both the stages of NTSE is given below. The NTSE exam pattern 2020 contains detail on the number of questions asked, marking scheme, the time allotted and much more.


NTSE Exam Pattern for Stage 1 & 2

  • The NTSE examination pattern remains the same for Stage 1 and Stage 2. However, the difficulty level of the test may vary.

  • Students need to score 32% for SC, ST and PWD category and 40% for the General category in order to qualify the exam.

  • To get shortlisted for NTSE Stage II, students have to qualify MAT & SAT separately with minimum cut off marks.

  • The test duration is 120 minutes or 2 hours for each paper.

  • The test will be conducted in offline or pen and paper mode.

  • Each question carries one mark.

  • There is no negative marking.


NTSE 2020 Syllabus 

The questions of NTSE stage 1 and 2 exams are based on class 9 and class 10 level. Candidates can also refer to the official booklet - ‘Learn about the Test’ that contains sample papers for both the Tests- MAT and SAT. It is available in print as well as on the official website of NCERT.

Books for NTSE 2020 

Along with the correct syllabus and examination pattern, students should also follow the right NTSE books. The best books for NTSE preparations are NCERT. However, students can refer to the given books for detailed information

  • Study Guide for NTSE National Talent Search Examination Class 10

  • Pearson Guide to NTSE Class 10

  • Study Package for NTSE by McGraw Hill Education

How to Prepare for NTSE 2020? 


Students should prepare for NTSE Exam by adopting these preparation tips to score high in the examination. In this article, we have provided the entire details related to the NTSE 2020 examination for students convenience. Candidates should bookmark this article to stay updated with the latest information and other details. Follow the given tips to strengthen your preparation strategy

  1. Make a study schedule and stick to the same to complete the entire NTSE syllabus

  2. Create short notes of important facts and revise them on a regular interval

  3. Practice maximum numbers of previous year's question papers and sample papers to know how difficult the exam is.

  4. Take experts guidance to solve tricky questions.

  5. Refer to Topper's marks to set a goal. Without defining a target, it will be hard to achieve the same.

NTSE Question Paper

Students can download the previous year's question papers from the official website of SCERTs/ Education department. These question papers will help students to understand the difficulty level of the test and the exam pattern. Practising previous year's question papers and NTSE Sample Papers will make you ready for the D-day. It also improves the chances to get through the examination with good marks.

NTSE 2020 Admit Card

Some states released the admit card online which candidates could download. Other States provided the NTSE 2019 admit card offline. Candidates could collect the same from their respective school. The admit card of NTSE 2020 contains important information, such as the candidate’s name, roll number, exam date, and timing and exam centre address. Candidates must remember that they shall not be allowed to enter the NTSE examination hall without the admit card.

Steps to obtain NTSE Admit Card

  • Stage 1 admit card will be released in the month of October 2019. Candidates could either obtain it online or offline (depending on the state).

  • In case any candidate did not receive the admit card, he or she could visit the State Liaison Officer to obtain their admit card.

  • NCERT will release the Stage 2 admit card on its official website 21 days before the exam date.

  • Candidates are advised to download their respective hall tickets from the website.

Documents to carry along with NTSE Admit Card

Students need to carry their admit card and a Photo ID proof at the examination centre. Check the below-given list of ID proofs. Bring anyone in original and a photocopy of the same.

  • Adhaar Card

  • School Admit Card

NTSE 2020 Answer Key

The NTSE answer key for stage 1 has will be issued by different SCERTs on the respective official websites. Candidates can check the answer key for the following papers -MAT and SAT papers to verify their answers and calculate a probable score. The NTSE answer key includes the correct answers to each question and paper set. Various coaching centres also release the answer keys immediately after the exam. The answers of those keys may vary. Hence, students are suggested to check only official answer keys. NCERT will release the stage 2 answer keys for the reference of students that can be downloaded from the main website of NCERT.

NTSE Result 2020

SCERTs will announce the stage 1 result of NTSE Exam 2020. Students will be able to check their scores, name and roll number in the result file. Stage 1 result will be available online in January/ February 2020. The result will be available in the form of a merit list. Students have to check for their registration number or roll number and name in the merit list. Only candidates who qualify stage 1 can find their name listed in the pdf and will be able to appear in Stage 2 of NTSE Exam. The result of stage 2 will be announced in September 2020 in the online mode. Candidates will also be able to check the NTSE cut off along with the result.

Steps to Check NTSE Result

  • For stage I, visit the official websites of SCERTs and for stage II, go to the NCERT's official web portal.

  • Click the NTSE" section

  • A result pdf file will be available there. Students need to click the pdf file to check their MAT & SAT scores.

The result will only contain the name of selected candidates. If your name is not in the list then you have not qualified for the Interview.

Rechecking of NTSE Result

Candidates should know that no request for re-evaluation or rechecking of the result is entertained. Candidates can have access to their scanned OMR sheets, which will be uploaded on the NCERT website along with final scoring key so that they can calculate their own score.

NTSE Cutoff 2020

Every state will release its separate NTSE stage 1 cutoff. In order to qualify NTSE 2020, candidates need to obtain the minimum cutoff marks as specified by the exam conducting bodies. The cutoff announced are the minimum marks that are used to shortlist candidates for the NTSE Exam 2020 stage 2. Check the qualifying cutoff for NTSE 2020 and previous year's stage 1 & 2 cut off

Qualifying Marks for NTSE Stage 1 & 2 exam


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