NSTSE Exam Pattern

NSTSE Exam Pattern 2020

The Unified Council’s NSTSE (National Level Science Talent Search Examination) exam tests the conceptual understanding of certain subjects for students of class 1-12. The concerned subjects in this examination are Mathematics and Science.

The NSTSE exam pattern is straightforward and very easy to understand. While the division of marks changes, the total marks remain the same for classes 3-12. Students only get 60 minutes to answer all the questions in this examination, so knowing the NSTSE exam pattern will help students in managing time wisely.

The NSTSE paper pattern has been kept very simple for the young minds of class 1. Revising the concepts of Mathematics and General Science, that the students have studied in their classes, are enough to appear in the NSTSE examination.


NSTSE Pattern for Class 1

Subjects

Number of Questions

Number of Marks

General Science

25

25

Mathematics

15

15

Total

40

40


For students of class 2, the Unified Council follows the syllabus of CBSE. If you are from ICSE or some other state boards, you need not worry because the questions are very similar to your curriculum as well.


NSTSE Pattern for Class 2

Subjects

Number of Questions

Number of Marks

General Science

30

30

Mathematics

20

20

Total

50

50


The total marks for the NSTSE examination increase from class 3 and the council add a new subject to the NSTSE exam pattern 2020. From this class, 60 marks are allotted for the NSTSE exam pattern.


NSTSE Pattern for Class 3-5

Subjects

Number of Questions

Number of Marks

Critical Thinking

5

5

General Science

30

30

Mathematics

25

25

Total

60

60


Though the exam pattern remains the same, the level of difficulty for the questions increases. The question papers for classes 6 to 8 are more conceptual and practical.


NSTSE Pattern for Class 6-8

Subjects

Number of Questions

Number of Marks

Critical Thinking

5

5

Science

30

30

Mathematics

25

25

Total

60

60


The NSTSE exam pattern and stages get more difficult as the classes ascend. In the group of classes 9 and 10, Science is divided into Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. This division is done as the subjects also get divided like this in the school for classes 9 and 10.


NSTSE Pattern for Class 9-10

Subjects

Number of Questions

Number of Marks

Critical Thinking

5

5

Physics 

10

10

Chemistry

10

10

Biology

10

10

Mathematics

25

25

Total

60

60


The NSTSE exam pattern for classes 11 and 12 excludes one subject and has two separate question papers. PCM has Critical Thinking, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. On the contrary, PCB has Biology instead of Mathematics.


NSTSE Pattern for Class 11-12 (PCM & PCB)

Subjects

Number of Questions

Number of Marks

Critical Thinking

5

5

Physics 

15

15

Chemistry 

15

15

Mathematics or Biology

25

25

Total

60

60


It is clear that in the NSTSE exam pattern 2020, Science subjects carry the highest marks. Irrespective of the classes, there is a greater weightage for Science subjects. This difference in marks implies that the aspirants should focus more on the science subjects, without overlooking the other subjects.


Did you Know?

  • Students who get All India Ranks from 1-100 in the NSTSE exams will be rewarded as the  All India Achievers.

  • Around 23 cities participate in the NSTSE exams.

  • If a student gets 100% marks, he or she will get prize money of Rs. 2 lakhs.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How many Questions are There in the NSTSE Paper?

Answer: As per the NSTSE exam pattern, each question carries 1 mark. The total marks for class 1 are 40, so the number of questions is also 40. This section has 15 questions from Mathematics and 25 from General Science.


Similarly, the NSTSE question paper for grade 2 has 50 questions for 50 marks, 20 for Mathematics, and 30 for General Science. The NSTSE question papers for classes from 3-8 have 60 questions for 60 marks. There are 5 questions from Critical Thinking, 25 from Mathematics, and 30 from Science.


Classes 9 and 10 have the same marks division and subject-wise weightage. Here, Science is divided into Physics, Chemistry, and Biology with 10 questions from each. Classes 11 and 12 have PCB and PCM divisions, due to which the number of questions from Physics and Chemistry is 15, and that from Mathematics or Biology is 25.

2. Which Syllabus do NSTSE Exams Follow?

Answer: The Unified Council follows the syllabus of CBSE and the books of NCERT to set the question papers of the NSTSE exam. Though it is not entirely based on the syllabus of CBSE, 85% of the syllabus is considered when setting the question paper for the NSTSE examination.


Students from ICSE and ISC background should not have any problem answering the questions as the question papers are set in a way that suits all of them. Other State Board / Matriculation syllabi are taken under consideration as well. The questions are set in such a way that every student of the respective grade can answer.

3. Is there any Negative Marking in NSTSE?

Answer: The NSTSE exam pattern has objective-type questions that require the aspirants to use their conceptual knowledge. Every class gets a different question paper, even though their syllabi are grouped under certain categories. 


The question paper is suitable for aspirants from CBSE, ICSE, ISC, any State board, and also Matriculation syllabus. The Unified Council will award you with a separate prize if you topped the exam with marks lesser than 100%. As there is no negative marking, so attempt every question even if you do not know the answer.

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