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The National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a national level scholarship program in India started in the year 1963. The purpose of the scheme is to identify talented students and nurture their talent. It covers areas like Science, Social Science, Engineering, Medicine, Management and Law. The scheme is open to students of Indian nationality. It helps students to proliferate their mental level and also helps them to sharpen their minds. It is organized by NCERT and honors talented students by providing financial assistance in the form of a monthly scholarship. For the courses in Basic Sciences, Social Sciences and Commerce, this assistance is provided up to Ph.D. level whereas for professional courses like Engineering, Medicine, Management and Law this assistance is given only up to Post Graduation.

NTSE is conducted by NCERT for the students of Class X.

Quota for State/UT will be computed proportionally on the basis of student’s enrollment in Class IX and X. The scholarships under the present scheme are awarded to the candidates for pursuing courses in sciences and social sciences up to doctoral level and in professional courses like medicine and engineering up to second-degree level subject to the fulfillment of the conditions.

The written examination for NTSE consists of two stages as Stage-I & Stage-II. Stage - I examination will be at the States/UTs level and Stage - II examination at the National level.

Stage-I examination at States/UTs level will comprise two papers namely Paper-I: Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Paper-II: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for nominating the required number of candidates for the second level test to be conducted by the NCERT.

The number of questions, maximum marks and time allotted are as follows:

Paper Test Timings No. of Questions No. of Marks Time Duration


Mental Ability Test (MAT)

09.30 am to 11.30 am



120 minutes


Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

13.30 pm to 15.30 pm
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm for visually challenged candidates

100(Science-40, Mathematics-20, Social Science-40)


120 minutes

*Scheme of Stage-I & II examination is the same. If there is any change in pattern for Stage-II examination then the same is communicated later on through NCERT website www.ncert.nic.in. Candidates are advised to keep track of updates on NCERT website.

More Information

  • The questions in MAT and SAT are multiple choice based questions.
  • Candidates are required to answer all the questions in separate Answer sheets.
  • Each question has four alternatives.
  • The candidate has to select one correct answer from the given alternatives and mark in the answer-sheet as per the instructions Each question in both the paper shall carry one mark each.
  • A student shall get one mark for correct response.
  • There is no negative marking in either of the test papers.

Part I: Mental Ability Test (MAT)

This test is given to the candidates to judge their power of reasoning, ability to think, ability to judge, evaluate or discriminate, ability to visualize in the space, spatial orientation, etc. A variety of questions, for example: Analogies, Classification, Series, Pattern perception, Hidden figures, Coding-decoding, Block assembly, Problem solving etc. are used for this purpose. There shall be 100 multiple-choice type questions in MAT paper, with four alternatives. Each question will carry one mark. Candidates are required to answer the questions on a separate OMR sheet as per instructions given in the test booklet and on the OMR sheet.

Part-II: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

The scholastic Aptitude Test will consist of 100 multiple-choice questions of one mark each. Each question shall have four alternatives, out of which only one will be the correct answer. There shall be 40 questions from Science, 40 from Social Science and 20 from Mathematics. Candidates are required to answer the questions on a separate OMR sheet to be provided at the examination centre as per instructions.