National Science Olympiad

What is it?
National Science Olympiad (NSO) is a competitive exam conducted for high school students once in a year. This exam is organized by Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF), an educational organization promoting academic competition and developing the competitive spirit among the students. The SOF was started by leading personalities, including academicians and scientists and it was established with the objective of boosting science, mathematics, English, computer education, General Knowledge and other professional courses.

Why NSO?
National Science Olympiad (NSO), a prominent competitive exam aims at cultivating scientific reasoning as well as logical ability among the school students. It is a well-designed test that nurtures the students’ scientific curiosity as well as learning agility and gives them a platform to excel in science. In brief, NSO exam was started to develop a scientific attitude as well as an inclination to learn science through innovative activities.

Eligibility Criteria

Age: Students of classes 1 to 12 are eligible to appear for the 1st level Olympiads.
Students who qualify for the 2nd level exam include:

(a) Class wise top 5% of students, who appeared for the 1st level exam

(b) Class wise top 25 rank holders in each state

(c) Class toppers from each school participating in this exam where at least 10 students from each class have appeared in the exam & scored 50% qualifying marks.

Remember, students from classes 1 and 2 are not required to appear for the 2nd level exam and they get their rank based on the performance in the first level exam.

How is it conducted?

National Science Olympiad (NSO) is an annual competitive examination organized by SOF for school students. It includes a definite test format and allows students to hone their interest in learning science.

Important Dates.

SOF - NSO exam –2018-19

Date 1- 1st Nov (1st Level Exam)
Date 2 - 15th Nov (1st Level Exam)
Date 3- 27th Nov ((1st Level Exam)

For 2nd Level Exam:

  • 2nd level exam will be held on 2nd / 3rd Sunday of Feb 2019.
  • 2nd level exam will be conducted for students from classes 3-12

Schools may send registrations by 30 days before the scheduled exam date.

The result of Olympiad exam is declared within 8 weeks of the examination. The results are sent to the concerned schools as well as students can collect the result from the official website.

Exam Pattern.


No. of Questions

Total Marks


Logical Reasoning


5 (1 mark per question)








25 (1 mark per question)




Achievers Section


5 (2 marks per question)





Grand Total







Each question paper is designed by including three sections:

(For Class 1 to 10)

Section-1: Logical Reasoning
Section-2: Science
Section-3: Achievers Section

(For Class 11 to 12)

Section-1: Physics/Chemistry
Section-2: Achievers Section
Section-3 : Mathematics/Biology

Things to Remember:

  • There is a separate question paper for each class.
  • The medium of the test is English.
  • CBSE, ICSE/ISC and State Board syllabi are followed for setting each question paper


The structure of the syllabus is comprehensible and the added topics are clearly mentioned, along with the number of questions and marks. Besides, total marks allotted for each topic are also mentioned in the syllabus. Find this link to get the syllabus as per the academic standard.

The questions for the level – I exam includes 60% questions from the current syllabus and 40% questions from the previous class syllabus.

Application Form

All applicants have to fill the application form within the scheduled date and time. Every year a good number of applicants appear in this competitive examination. Here, students can see the process of filling the application form. You must have to fill the application form correctly without making any mistake.

The steps to fill the Application Form:

  • Visit the official website of NSO i.e.
  • Follow the available steps to click on the application form link and open it
  • Then fill the application form carefully without making any mistake
  • Recheck your application form before clicking the submit button
  • Do not forget to take a hard copy before submitting the form

Exam Fee

For registration fees, follow this link:

Preparation Materials

Syllabus and sample question papers for preparing NSO are available here. Students must choose the learning materials as per their academic class.

Important Books

Students must learn their course books suggested by the school boards (ICSE/ CBSE/ State Board). In addition, students can follow the books available for Olympiad preparation. These include MTG class-wise books, SOF Olympiad Trainer’ Mobile Apps, OSDS (Olympiad Skill Development System), Previous Years’ Papers , Olympiads’ Books of Reasoning (for preparation for the reasoning section of Olympiads), E-Quiz and others. Students can also follow other books for improving their logical and reasoning skills.

Follow this link and get to know the relevant books, along with the syllabus and sample papers class wise.

Previous Year Papers

Get your registration done and collect the previous year question papers here.

Re. links:   - exam schedule  -for books  - Impt.  -2018-19 - sample questions - sample questions

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    Maithreyee D N
  • Fantastic going


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