National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is National Level Examination conducted by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) with an aim to identify and nurture meritorious students at the secondary level by providing them with scholarships. Scholarships given by NCERT are of Rs.1250 per month till class 12th and of Rs.2000 per month till post-graduation and then scholarship amount for Ph.D. is fixed in accordance with the UGC norms to the selected students.

NTSE is conducted at two stages, stage one and stage two. Candidates qualifying stage 1, participate in stage 2 and then a list of finally chosen candidates is declared. Every year approximately 1000 students are chosen.


NCERT has divided the syllabus into three parts which are Mental Aptitude Test (MAT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and Language Test. MAT tests the level at which one learns things, understand instructions and solve problems. Mental Ability Test encloses a wide range of topics. SAT consists of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Political Science, and Economics taught till class 10th level in NCERT books.

The test is conducted on MCQ pattern in which a student is given four options for every question from which he has to choose the right answer. The students are awarded +1 for every right answer and -1/3 for every wrong answer. Duration of the exam is 180 minutes out of which 90 minutes are for SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), 45 minutes for MAT (Mental Aptitude Test) and 45 minutes for Language Test.


The students studying in class 10th in any registered school are eligible to give the exam, further state, and Union Territories can impose any eligibility criteria for stage 1. Students qualifying stage 1 are eligible for stage 2. The exam is a yearlong process and starts with NCERT giving advertisement about application process beginning. After which students can apply for giving the examination. Applications and form fees are submitted to Liaison Officer of State/UT as and when mentioned in the advertisement.

This process is generally taken care by the school of students. NCERT then sends the examination details and roll numbers directly to the selected candidates or to schools if the candidates have registered through school. Admit Cards are generally issued to students in the month of October and stage 1 of the NTSE exam takes place in the month of November. After which results of Stage 1 and list of eligible candidates for stage 2 is declared by the month of February. And then Stage 2 is conducted in the month of May.