National Talent Search Examination

Historical background:

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) was established by the Government of India in the year 1961. One of the important programmes initiated in the year 1963 by NCERT was to identify and nurture the talented students through National Science Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS). Upon the introduction of 10 + 2 + 3 pattern of education, the NSTS scheme also underwent a change in the year 1976. It was no longer confined to only basic sciences but was extended to social sciences, engineering and medicine as well. It was renamed as National Talent Search Scheme (NTSS) for the students of Classes X, XI and XII. Later on class VIII students were also allowed to participate. The candidates were subjected to two objective type written tests namely the Mental Ability Test (MAT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). A stipulated number of candidates qualifying these two tests were subjected to face-to-face interview.

However, during the 94th Meeting of Executive Committee of the NCERT held on 25.11.2010 it was decided that from 2012 the NTSE will again be held for class X students.


  • NTSE will be conducted for Class X students
  • The examination will consist of Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Ability Test (SAT)
  • Quota for State/UT will be computed proportionally on the basis of students enrolment in Class IX and X
  • The amount of scholarship will be Rs. 500/- per month for all the students studying in Class XI onwards (irrespective of class/course) except for Ph.D., wherein it is paid as per UGC norms.
  • 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 fulfilment of the conditions provided in this brochure.


1000 scholarships are awarded for each group of students appearing for examinations. The amount of scholarship will be Rs. 500/- per month.


15% scholarships will be reserved for students belonging to the SC category, 7.5% scholarships for students belonging to the ST category and 3% for Physically Challenged Group of Students.


There will be two-stage selection process for award of scholarship. For Stage-I, selection will be done by States/UTs through a written examination.  Students who qualify Stage I will be eligible to appear for Stage II examination conducted by NCERT.

The States/UTs will also conduct the selection test for National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme along with the Stage-I written examination for NTS.

Important dates: Tentative Dates of examination are given below:

Stage I (State Level)                                    Mid-November

Stage II (National level)                               May

Eligibility: Students of class X can appear for the examination.

Examination: The pattern of written examination will be as follows:

Stage I                               Examination at the State/UT level will comprise of two parts, namely

                                          (a) Mental Ability Test (MAT) and (b) Scholastic Ability Test (SAT) covering social sciences, sciences and mathematics.

Stage II                             Examination at the National level will comprise of (a) Mental Ability test (MAT), (b) Scholastic Ability Test (SAT) covering Social Sciences, Sciences and Mathematics.


First Level NTSE conducted by the State / UT. Most questions will be from the State Board Syllabus while fewer questions shall also come from CBSE and ICSE Syllabus. The MAT and SAT will consist of 90 questions each.  SAT will have 35-40 questions for Social Science, 35-40 for Science and 20-25 for Mathematics.

Second Level NTSE conducted at the National Level. This will include most questions as those that are taken at the CBSE and ICSE, prescribing the NCERT Syllabus.

 Further details:

For NTS National Level Examination Inquiry:

Phone No:       011-26560464 (Timings 2.30 PM to 4.30 PM only)

E-mail:             ntsexam.ncert@gov.in

For State Level NTS Examination Enquiry: Contact the Liaison Officer of your State

For NTS Scholarship Inquiry:

Phone No :      011-26562704 (Timings 2.30 PM to 4.30 PM only)

E-mail :            scholarship.nts@gov.in


For Nurturance programme for NTS Awardees:

E-mail :            nurturance.nts@gov.in


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