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National Talent Search Examination-A Guide

National Talent Search Examination or NTSE is a national-level examination for school students studying in class 10th. The exam is conducted by NCERT every year to find the smartest kids studying in class 10th and then provide financial support to them. Getting recognized as the nation’s talent is a moment of pride for students. However, to get that recognition and honor, students need to clear both the stages-Stage 1 and 2 of the National Talent Search Examination.

The stage-1 exam of NTSE is a state-level examination conducted by all the union territories and states. After clearing the stage-1 examination, students can appear for the stage-2 exam, which is a national-level test. Both the exams have a duration of 120 minutes, consisting of 100 questions each.

NTSE Exam Pattern


Total Marks


Paper-1 (Mental Ability Test)


Aptitude Test

Paper-2 (Scholastic Ability Test)


Science, Social Science, Mathematics

Students can appear for the test in both Hindi and English as the papers are available in a bi-lingual medium. They can choose their preferred language before applying for the exam. The exam is conducted in offline mode, and students have to select the accurate answer out of the given options. It is an MCQ-based test with one mark for every correct answer.

What is the qualification for NTSE exam?

Students willing to appear for this examination need to know what is the qualification for NTSE exam. The minimum qualifications required to appear for this test are discussed below.

  • Candidates appearing for this examination must be a student of class 10th.
  • Candidates in the general category must have scored a minimum of 60% marks in class 9th. Likewise, candidates from SC/ST/PWD categories must have scored at least 55% in aggregate.
  • Candidates must not be reappearing for class 10th.
  • Students learning through distance or open education are also eligible to apply for the National Talent Search Examination.

In addition to the eligibility criteria mentioned above, students must know that they can appear for the stage-1 examination from their respective states.

What is NTSE exam subjects?

Before starting the preparation for the exam, students need to know what is NTSE exam subjects. The exam assesses the mental ability and scholastic aptitude of students. In the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), questions are asked in subjects like mathematics, science, social science, geography, history, political science, and economics. Likewise, for the Mental Ability Test (MAT), students should focus on their problem-solving and reasoning abilities. To qualify for the exam, students from the reserved category need to secure 32% marks. However, the qualifying marks for students in the general category stand at 40%.

How to prepare for the National Talent Search Examination?

Students hoping to get their names on the national talent list must prepare well for the examination. Here are a few preparation guidelines that students can follow to pass the exam with flying colors.

  • Know the syllabus

The basic step that needs to be performed before starting any exam preparation is knowing the syllabus and topics to be covered. To know the subject-wise syllabus, students can visit the official website of NCERT. It will help them understand the topics needed to cover to pass the examination.

  • Go through the exam pattern

Acquiring information on the exam pattern is the next step required for passing the National Talent Search Examination. Students can look at the exam pattern mentioned above. They must know that to pass the exam they need to cover 100 questions in 120 minutes.

  • Focus on strengths

Every candidate has a liking for a particular subject. When preparing for NTSE, students should focus on the topics they have an interest in. They must work on improving their strengths, but in the process, they must not overlook their weak points. Maintaining a proper balance between strengths and weaknesses is vital to be competitive in the exam.

  • Work on difficult topics

In addition to working on the topics of interest, students also need to focus on complex topics. They must clear their concepts and build a strong foundation to become proficient and score maximum marks.

  • Develop a revision strategy

Revising every topic is vital to secure a place on the national talent list. Whatever topics students have covered, they need to revise them thoroughly before appearing for the test. They can set a revision routine or develop a strategy to make the most out of the revision time.

  • Take practice test

Taking a timed test will help students prepare well for the National Talent Search Examination. They can try to solve the practice sets within the time limit of 120 minutes. It will help them analyze how much time they require to approach every question.

  • Daily revisions

Studying everything at once is not the sanest thing to do during exams. Students must take time out from their everyday tasks and indulge that time in daily revisions. They must cover all the topics before exams.

  • Get access to previous year question papers

Solving previous year question papers is one of the best ways to pass any exam with good scores. It helps students understand what they can expect in the actual exam. Moreover, they can understand their mistakes and develop the correct approach to solve a question by taking hints from solved question papers.

The preparation tips mentioned above will help students secure the minimum marks needed to qualify for NTSE. To score good marks, choosing the right learning material is also required. Students can take help from the NCERT textbooks to build their concepts and prepare for the exams.

Teachmint is one of the leading education infrastructure providers in the country. With our advanced learning management system, you can improve the teaching-learning experience. Our offerings like education erp, admission management system, fee management system, and others conveniently digitize educational institutions.

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