NTSE – The National Talent Search Examination

What is it?

The National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a prestigious scholarship exam at the high school level in India. This test is conducted by NCERT (National Council of Education Research and Training) and it is divided into 2 stages which is open for class 10 students. The first stage is common for all students from all the states and union territory (total of 36 regions) and few toppers are selected for stage-2. Each state has a particular quota for selection, based on the population and enrolment ratio of 10th graders. The total scholarships are 100.


The National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), a national scholarship examination for awarding scholarships to Class 10 students across the country. It is conducted by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

Every year, NCERT screens students who are academically bright through NTSE and almost 1000 successful students are awarded scholarships in the form of a cash prize in acknowledging their intelligence and academic aptitude. The students get these scholarships for their mental and academic calibre and therefore, all the eligible class X students must register for NTSE.

The candidates who will qualify NTSE 2018 will be awarded scholarship until their Ph.D level studies or post-graduate level studies depending on their academic stream.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility criteria for Stage 1 or the State level NTSE 2018: Only class X Indian students who have secured at least 60% marks during the class IX exams from a recognized school in a state or union territory can sit for this exam. The minimum percentage belongs to SC/ST/PH students category which is 55% (5% relaxation).

Eligibility criteria for stage 2 or the national level NTSE 2018: The students who have secured at least 80% marks in the state level, can sit for the stage 2 exam (National Level). All the students who have achieved the required marks at this level automatically qualify for scholarships and these are handed over by NCERT.

How is it conducted?

The 1st stage is conducted around 1st/2nd week of November every year and it is organized by the States/UTs. Besides, stage 2 is for the National Level (only for the students who qualify stage -1) and is conducted by the NCERT.

The scholarship amount for different level of education:

Level of Education

Scholarship amount for year 2018 (in INR)

Class XI to Class XII


Undergraduate level

Rs. 2000

Postgraduate level

Rs. 2000

Ph.D. level

As per UGC norms


Important Dates:

  • This year, NTSE 2018 was conducted at the state level on November 4 and 5, 2017. 
  • NTSE stage 2 exams will be organized on May 13, 2018 across 36 states/UTs in the country.
  • The results of the NTSE stage -2 will be announced in August, 2018. NTSE stage 2 results will be announced on online portal.

Exam Pattern

The questions of the NTSE exam paper are multiple choice questions. The exam patterns for both stage 1 and stage 2 NTSE exams are same. The exam consists of three tests:

Mental Ability Test (MAT) – Measure a student’s ability of problem-solving and reasoning skills.

Language Test (LT) – Comprises questions by including the Paragraph completion, English Comprehensions, fill in the blanks, Synonyms & Antonyms and others.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) – Comprises questions from the sections, including Maths, Science, Geography, History, Political Science & Economics.




Stage 1 (State Level)

Stage 2 (National Level)

Mental Aptitude Test (MAT)

50 Questions / 45 min.

50 Questions / 45 min.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

150 Questions/ 135 min.


150 Questions/ 135 min.



The exam for NTSE stage 1 and stage 2 are based on Mental Ability Test, Scholastic Ability Test and Language Ability Test.
For more information check this link: https://byjus.com/jee/ntse-syllabus/

Application Form
To download the application form, students should check the official site in August.

Exam Fee

States and Union Territories usually notify the fee for the Stage-I examination. Before submitting the application form, applicants may find out the fees designed for Stage-I exam. However, the mode of payment from the respective State Liaison Officers (LOs) is also mentioned clearly. Besides, NCERT does not charge any fee for Stage-II exam (National Level).

Preparation Materials
Find the links below for the NTSE study materials:

Important Books

  1. NTSE Books STUDY PACKAGE FOR NTSE CLASS X (English) 1st & 2nd Edition
  2. PRACTICE PAPERS NTSE X (English) 1st Edition
  3. NTSE Explorer: MAT + SAT + New English Language Test for Class 10th (2013 – 14 Solved Paper) (English)

For more NTSE books check this site.


Previous Year Papers

For previous years question papers and answer key follow this link:



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