NCERT National Talent Search Scholarships
Monday, January 22, 2018
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NCERT National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) : Selection Procedure

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Identification of talent comprises of a two-stage selection process. While the individual State/UT conducts the first stage selection, the second stage selection at the national level is carried out by the NCERT.

State Level Examination

Each State/UT conducts its own examination and are  required to recommend a given number of candidates for the second level test to be conducted by the NCERT. This number is based on the enrolment of States/UTs at the secondary stage. The candidates are to be recommended on the basis of merit. The written examination are conducted by SCERT (State Council of Education Research and Training).

The state level screening examination is conducted in all states/UTs on Fourth Sunday of November except in Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram where it will be conducted on fourth Saturday of November every year.

Eligibility  :All students studying in Class X in any type of recognized school including Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sainik School etc. will be eligible to appear at the State Level Examination from the State in which the school is located. However, no domicile restriction shall be imposed. The state may impose any other eligibility condition for appearing in the screening examination like any qualifying percentage of marks in the previous annual examination etc.

How to Apply: The students studying in Class X in the country should be on the look out for any advertisement in the newspapers or circular in the school by the respective Government of their State/UT for the above said examination and act as per the requirement given in the State advertisement/circular. Any other information/query about the details of the state level examination may be had from Liaison officers of the Stage agencies. The student will submit the filled in application form to the State Liaison officer through the Principal of the school before the due date as advertised/circulated by each concerned State/UT.

Medium of Examination : The medium of the test shall be as announced by the State/UT.

Fee : State may impose any fee for examination and/or for application form.

Examination : State level examination may have two parts: Part-I Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Part-II Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for nominating the required number of candidates for the second level test to be conducted by the NCERT.

Results : The State/ Union Territory will prepare a merit list of the candidates ensuring the minimum qualifying marks in both the tests separately. These marks are 40% in the case of general category candidates and 32% in the case of SC/ST candidates. The result of State Level Talent Search examination is declared by the State /UT themselves. No correspondence will be entertained by the NCERT with regard to first level examination.

The candidates having any query/ complaints/ clarification with regard to the State level examination shall have to correspond only with the State examination agencies.

National Level Examination

Eligibility : Only sponsored candidates by States/UTs on the basis of State-Level screening test shall be eligible to appear in the National-Level examination conducted by the NCERT. It is is open for students of Indian nationality whether they study in India or abroad at Class X level. 

a) Candidates Studying in India : Only the candidates selected by the States/UTs on the basis of their screening examination shall be eligible to appear in the National level examination to be conducted by the NCERT on the Second Sunday of May each year (unless otherwise notified). The NCERT will convey the roll number, the venue, the date and time for the national level examination to all such candidates directly through registered mail.

b) Candidates studying Abroad:  Students of Indian nationality studying abroad at the Class X level may also compete for Talent Search Award under the following conditions:

 •  The Indian students studying abroad in class X or equivalent class shall be exempted from the first level-screening test and shall be permitted to appear directly at the second level examination conducted by the Council. 
 •  A candidate shall be eligible to appear in the second level NTS examination only if he or she has obtained at least 60 per cent marks (in aggregate) at the previous annual examination. 
 •  A candidate will have to appear in the NTS examination at a centre in India at her/his own cost. 
 •  A candidate desiring to appear in the NTS examination may request through the Head of the Institution where he or she is studying along with an attested copy (by the Head of the Institution ) of  the mark sheet of Class IX. The request should reach the Head, Department of Educational Measurement and Evaluation, NCERT, New Delhi-110016 latest by 31st March of the concerned year. 
 •  The Council shall allot roll numbers to the eligible candidates and inform them about the date, time and the venue of examination along with other relevant instructions. 
 •  No request for change of Centre shall be entertained.
 •  A candidate shall have to attend an interview, if he/she qualifies for the same, in India at his/her own cost.
 •  If a candidate is selected, the scholarship shall be paid for pursuing studies in India only.

There is no prescribed syllabus for the NTS examination. However, the standard of items shall be conforming to the level of class X Public Examinations. 

Scheme of Testing : The scheme of testing is under three section Mental Ability Test (MAT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and Interview 

Test Duration No. of Items Maximum Marks Qualifying Marks
Gen. Category SC/ST Category
Mental Ability Test (MAT) 90 minutes 100 100 40 32
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) 90 minutes 100 100 40 32
Interview 15-20 minutes   25 No qualifying marks

Written Examination : The written examination shall consist of Part-I MAT and Part-II SAT. Both the tests will be administered separately with a short interval in between.

a)  Mental Ability Test (MAT) : There shall be 100 multiple-choice type items, with five alternatives. Each item will carry one mark. Candidates are required to answer the items on a separate answer sheet as per instructions given both in the test booklet and on the answer sheet.

b) Scholastic Aptitude Test : The Scholastic Aptitude Test will consist of 100 multiple-choice items of one mark each. Each item shall have four alternatives, out of which only one will be the correct answer. There shall be 40 items from Sciences, 40 from Social Sciences and 20 from Mathematics. In Science, there will be items from Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Similarly, in Social Sciences there will be items from History, Geography and Civics. The items in Mathematics will cover Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Trigonometry, Statistics and Menstruation. Candidates are required to answer the items on a separate answer sheet to be provided at the examination centre as per instructions.

Important Note: -The question booklets of both the tests (Mental Ability Test and Scholastic Aptitude Test) are official documents. The candidate will be required to return them along with the answer-sheets at the end of the examination. These booklets will not be given to anybody even after the examination is over and will be returned to the NCERT.

Medium : The medium of examination shall be English or Regional Languages as provided in the Constitution of  India.  The language, in which a candidate desires to take the test, has to be mentioned in the application form filled for the state level examination. Accordingly, the question booklet in that language shall be made available to the candidate at the centre. After exercising this option, no request for the change of medium will be entertained.

Allotment of Roll Numbers: The NCERT shall convey the roll numbers to the candidates for the second level examination directly. In case there is any change of address prior to the National level examination, it shall be obligatory on the part of the candidate to communicate the same to the state examining authority, which in turn shall inform the NCERT.  In case there is any change of address after the candidate has received the admission letter for second level examination the same may be communicated to the NCERT directly.

Venue, Date and Time of the Test : The admission letter shall have all the information about the venue, the roll number, the date and time of the test.

Submission of Photograph :The admission letter issued to the candidate shall contain Admission Card to be filled in by the candidate. She/he shall have to attach an attested passport size photograph at the appropriate place in the Admission Card. This form shall have to be submitted to the Centre Superintendent on the day of the National level examination.
The Centre Superintendent, at his or her own discretion in special cases, may admit a candidate without photograph. However, a candidate shall have to submit an attested photograph to the Centre Superintendent immediately after the examination, which he shall forward to the NCERT.

Centre of Examination : Normally the candidates belonging to a particular state shall be allotted the centre in the same state. There is only one centre in each state for the National level examination.

The conduct of examination at the centers shall be done under the supervision of the Centre Superintendent appointed by the NCERT in consultation with the Government of the State/UT. An independent observer for each centre is also appointed by the NCERT

Change of Centre : Only in exceptional cases under special circumstances, like the transfer of the parents of the candidates, the centre of examination may be changed on a written request received by the NCERT within 15 days of the issue of the Admission Card. However, it may be noted that in such cases only the English medium test booklet shall be provided to the candidate at the changed centre.

Conduct of Examination : The Centre Superintendent shall conduct the examination on the date and time of examination as announced by the NCERT. He/she will follow instructions for the conduct of the examination as supplied by the NCERT. For various eventualities like the late coming, malpractice, use of helper (in case of blind or sick candidates) and in respect of other cases not covered by the instruction from NCERT, the Centre Superintendent shall follow the rules prevalent for the Board Examination of the State concerned.

Marking : Each item in both the tests shall carry one mark each. A candidate shall get one mark for correct response. There will be no negative marking in either of the tests. Nevertheless, candidates are advised not to resort to blind guessing, which may not be of any help to them.

Processing of Result : The scoring of the answer-sheets for both the MAT and the SAT shall be done through the computer. All possible precautions are taken and necessary checks applied while processing the result to  ensure zero error results.


A stipulated number of candidates, on the basis of the merit, shall be called for interview. Normally the interview shall be held during the months of  July and August. Only those candidates who shall be found eligible for interview shall be informed through registered letters about a fortnight in advance at the address given in the Admission Card, by the candidate at the time of National level written examination. NCERT shall not be held responsible for non-receipt of the letter due to postal delay or otherwise.

Place of Interview : Interviews are arranged at various places in the country depending on the number of candidates found eligible from different regions.

Travelling Allowance: The candidates shall be paid second class rail fare to and fro for attending the interview. In no case the Air Fare will be paid.

Declaration of Result : The final award shall be declared on the basis of both the National level written examination and the interview. Only the selected candidates shall be informed by registered letters. Marks obtained by the candidates in written Examination or interview shall not be disclosed.

Rechecking : Since the NCERT applies rigorous checks and counterchecks before the declaration of result, no request for re-evaluation or re-checking of scripts will be entertained.


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