National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) 2023: How To Apply, Date, Eligibility, Benefits

National Talent Search Examination is conducted by National Council of Education Research and Training. NCERT first conducted the examination in the year 1963 as National Science Talent Search Examination and was limited only to basic sciences. In the year 1976, it was renamed National Talent Search Examination and was extended to cover social sciences, medicine and engineering. The aim of the examination is to identify and nurture talented students in the country.


Students who qualify the examination are eligible for scholarships. For students pursuing courses in science and social science stream, the scholarships are provided up to doctoral level. In case of students pursuing medicine or engineering, the scholarships are provided up to second degree level.

Scholarship amount is Rs 1250/- per month for Class XI and XII. For UG and PG, the scholarship amount is Rs 2000/- per month. Scholarship amount for PHD is as per UGC norms.

This year, the number of scholarships to be disbursed has been increased from 1000 to 2000.


The NTSE is held in 2 stages. The first stage examination is held at the state or UT level. The second stage examination is held at the national level.

In order to be eligible for the examination, the students need to fulfill the following eligibility criteria.

Stage 1- Student must be studying in Class X in a recognised school such as Kendriya Vidalaya, Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sainik School, public school, etc. The student would be eligible to appear for the state/UT level examination in which the school is located. There is no domicile restriction. Students studying under Open Distance Learning are also eligible provided they are less than 18 years of age, not employed and appearing for the first time in Class X. The state can specify its own eligibility conditions such as minimum percentage in the previous school examination.

Stage 2- For stage 2 examination which is the national level examination, only the students shortlisted from the stage 1 examination are eligible.

Students who are have Indian nationality but are studying in Class X in a foreign country are eligible for directly appearing in the national level examination. However, they need to fulfill the following requirements.

  • The student should have secured at least 60% marks in the final examination of Class IX.
  • The student intends to pursue higher studies in India.

How to apply

The students need to look for a notification published by the state or UT government in the newspapers or circulars issued to the schools. The application form needs to be obtained from the state liaison officer. The form needs to be correctly filled by the student and should be signed by the Principal of the school. Finally, the form needs to be submitted to the state liaison officer before the due date mentioned in the advertisement/circular. Fee may be collected by the state for the application form.

Foreign students need to make the request to appear in the examination through their heads of institutions. Marksheet of class IX attested by the head of institution also needs to be submitted along with the application form. The form needs to be submitted to the Head, Department of Educational Survey Division, NCERT.

Exam pattern

The examination comprises of Mental Aptitude Test and Scholastic Aptitude Test. The answers are marked in OMR sheets. Both MAT and SAT have 100 multiple choice questions. The marks awarded for each question is 1. The time duration for each test is 120 minutes.

The qualifying percentage for Stage 1 examination is 40% in each paper for General and OBC category and 32% in each paper for SC/ST/PH students. Students qualifying the stage 1 examination are eligible to appear for the national level examination. The final results are declared according to the performance of the students in SAT and MAT in the national level examination.

The tests are conducted in English, Assamese, Bangla, Hindi, Tamil, Odiya, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Urdu, Punjabi and Telugu.


Reservations in the second level of examination are as follows.

  • 15% for Scheduled Castes
  • 5% for Scheduled Tribes
  • 27% for Other Backward Communities
  • 10% for Economically Weaker Sections not coming under SC/ST/OBC
  • 4% for persons with physical disabilities.

Important Dates

The notification of the first stage of examination would be made by the states and union territories. The last of submitting the application form may vary from state to state.

The first stage of examination in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Island and Nagaland will be held on 2nd November 2019. The first stage of examination in West Bengal, Delhi, Bihar, J&K and Jharkhand will be held on 17th November. In the remaining states and union territories, the first stage examination will be held on 3rd November 2019.

The second stage of the examination will held on 10th May 2020 in all the states and union territories.