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National Science Olympiad (NSO) Overview

By Puja RoyOctober 13, 2022
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NSO or National Science Olympiad, is an international-level school competition exam organized by the SOF (Science Olympiad Foundation) every year for the students of Classes 1 to 12. The exam aims to test students' knowledge, intelligence level & zeal in the science stream through an advanced set of conceptual-based questions based on their respective class syllabus. Students get to judge themselves academically within the school, city, zone, and above all, the international level.

National Science Olympiad Preparation Tips

Also Read: An Overview of Science Olympiad Exams

How To Prepare for NSO 2022?

The SOF NSO 2022 will be conducted on the 18th of October, the 3rd of November, and the 1st of December 2022 by the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF). Participants will be rated according to their 1st level of performance. But securing a rank on the international level where students from different schools across countries participate is not easy. A dedicated study plan and smart study approach are essential to shine in the exam.

If you are participating in the NSO this year, these following tips & tricks below will help you perform better. Take a look:

1. Follow Latest NSO Exam Syllabus & Study Accordingly

One of the very first & significant things you need to do is to go through the latest SOF NSO syllabus and prepare a suitable timetable accordingly. NSO follows an objective-type approach instead of a subjective or another type of question pattern. 

You can visit the official website of the science Olympiad foundation to learn about the latest syllabus & exam pattern. Although the syllabus of the NSO is mostly based on the school syllabus only, there are still a few topics that are based on conceptual facts & aren’t included in the school syllabus.

Here is the Section-wise Marking Scheme:



Number of Questions/Marks per Question

Total Marks

1st to 4th

Logical Reasoning






Achievers Section



Grand Total



5th to 10th

Logical Reasoning






Achievers Section



Grand Total



11th & 12th

Physics & Chemistry



Achievers Section






Grand Total



2. Know the Relevant Books

As we know the syllabus of the NSO is based on the syllabus prescribed by the CBSE, ICSE, and various state boards. So, it will be a good idea to refer to NCERT books thoroughly if you are studying on the CBSE boards. For ICSE and other state boards, refer to the school's books. Every student needs to have a great command of subjects like Science and Mathematics. Apart from them, you can refer to books available for Olympiad preparation to get good ranks in NSO.

3. Practice NSO Previous Year Papers

If you are appearing in the NSO exam, solving previous year’s question papers, sample papers or mock tests is a good idea. It will not only help you get aware of the exam pattern, & type of questions, but also make you aware of the overall time taken & speed while attempting questions. Track your time and improve your pace for attempting the paper in the given time. You can download the sample papers from the official site.

4. Learn Time-Management

Efficient time management is a key to success in any of the olympiad exams. Therefore, it is essential to start studying from the beginning of the academic sessions. Design a timetable that consists of all the important subjects & topics within the allocated time. Perform frequent study and stick to the timetable. It will help you manage your pace and complete the syllabus on time. 

Apart from the regular academic sessions, you need to dedicate time to the SOF NSO accordingly. For example, study for at least 2 hours a day.

  • Highlight the important information like formulas, facts or equations, etc.

  • Divide the subjects into main topics and prioritize them based on your expertise.

  • Prepare brief notes for a productive revision.

  • Make sticky notes for important theorems.

  • Stay frequent and be consistent.

5. Take Expert Help

Preparing for the NSO examination is much easier with professional guidance & help. You can buy the olympiad workbooks or sample model test papers from the official site of SOF or join any coaching classes online or offline. You will get a chance to interact with the experienced faculty. They will help you to clear your doubts, provide you with valuable NSO tips & tricks to save time in the exam, or inform you about the important topics & chapters to get a firm grip. 

Not only this, you will get a competitive environment to prepare better. These classes also take tests to help you measure your preparation throughout the session. Apart from that, you’ll be benefited by:

  • Online live interactive sessions

  • Quality reading material and doubt-clearing sessions

  • Class tests and additional worksheets for practice etc. 

6. Don’t Forget to Revise

One of the most essential tips to crack the NSO exam is to stick with the timetable, complete it within the deadline and revise it a couple of days before the exam day. Revision & daily practice is the most essential thing to shine in the exam. It will help you clear all your doubts, and memorize the concepts for longer. Dedicate sufficient time to your revision and practice to stay confident.

7. Stay Away From Distraction

When you are studying for the NSO exam, it can be frustrating when you don’t know the answers to some of your questions. That’s why it is advisable to make notes of the important topics you are weak in or don’t know the answers to and ask for help from your professors. Also, stay away from distractions. Here are some tips to stay motivated & focused during studies:

  • Find a suitable study spot that is peaceful & free from distractions

  • Turn off your internet access or other gadgets like mobile, tabs, etc. that may distract you.

  • Ensure sufficient lighting 

  • Perform group study 

  • Take breaks between longer study hours etc.

Final Verdict!

National Science Olympiad is one of the most renowned & prestigious olympiad exams conducted by the SOF every year. These tips will help you score well on the exam. The topper students are rewarded with cash awards, medals, gifts, certificates, etc. They also get a Student Performance Report (SPR). Participating in the olympiad exams is a big opportunity for the students to nail their science skills as well as get international-level exposure. Apply these tricks and stay positive. All the Best!

FAQs on National Science Olympiad (NSO) Overview

1. How many levels of NSO examination are there?

The SOF NSO exam is conducted in two Levels : Level 1 & Level 2. Students of Classes 1 & 2 aren’t required to appear in the Level 2 exam.

2. How many NSO mock tests should one practice to prepare for the exam?

Students are advised to attempt around 5-10 mock tests before the examination. It will help them evaluate their intelligence level and prepare well.

3. What is the NSO Olympiad syllabus?

The NSO syllabus is based on the CBSE, ICSE, and other state boards’ prescribed syllabus.

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