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NTSE Exam Pattern

Last updated date: 04th Mar 2024
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NTSE Exam Paper Pattern 2022

The NTSE is Split Into Two Parts: Stage I and Stage II. Stage I is a state-level examination conducted by different states and union territories. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) administers a national level examination for Stage I qualifiers and Indian nationals studying abroad who are not qualified to take the Stage I exam. The pattern for both the Stage I and Stage II exams is the same.

  • The NTSE Exam is a paper-and-pencil exam. Candidates must respond to questions on OMR sheets.

  • The test consists of two papers. The first document is the Mental Ability Test (MAT), and the second is the Scholastic Ability Test (SAT) (SAT).

  • The State/UT will decide the test medium for Stage 1 exams.

  • For Stage 2 tests, the applicant must state the language in which he or she wishes to take the exam on the application form. As a consequence, in the middle of the application, the applicant will be given a question booklet in that language. You won't be able to request a change of medium after you've used this option. Asamiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu are examples of exam languages.

  • Negative marking is not applicable in NTSE 2022.

NTSE Exam Pattern 2022



Total Questions

Total Marks



Selection Criteria

Paper 1




120 mins

32% SC,

ST and

PWD and

40% for


(General &


Only candidates who pass both papers individually would be eligible for merit.

The awardees will be chosen based on their overall MAT and SAT scores. 

Negative marking will not be used.

Paper 2




120 mins

Advantage of NTSE Exam

  • Clearing the NTSE offers bundles of benefits the students who qualify some of them including the following:

  • The Central Government awards scholarships to qualified students of the NTSE exam. The scholarship is worth Rs 500 per year.

  • The students who pass the NTSE Exam get preference in countries outside, as the universities and educational institutes abroad are familiar with the NTSE scholarship exam and prefer students who have cleared it. 

  • Clearing the NTSE Exam helps build confidence among the students as qualifying for a competitive examination means a lot and only 1000 qualified students are granted scholarships. As qualifying, this exam helps to instill confidence in the students who have worked hard with perseverance to crack the exam. This examination allows the students to know where they stand and helps pinpoint the areas that require improvement in the student’s ability.

  • The NTSE Exam helps the students to get admission in the top institutes of India, as some colleges have reserved seats exclusively for NTSE qualified students. 

  • The NTSE qualifiers get a competitive edge when applying for a job. As it is an added advantage for the students. Also, an NTSE scholar is given more preference in government jobs and is also widely accepted for private jobs. 

  • Another added benefit of qualifying for the NTSE Exam is that the students enjoy discounts on books and course materials at the high school level. Also, in case a student wants to apply for admission to another school, the candidate is given more preference. 

  • Considering the above advantages of clearing NTSE, to improve the student’s knowledge base and to pursue their academic career, the students are suggested to start preparing for exams and excel in their field of interest. 

FAQs on NTSE Exam Pattern

1. What is the Importance of the NTSE Exam?

The National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is an Indian scholarship program that identifies and nurtures gifted students at the national level. As a student studies for the NTSE, the methodology is designed to train the student's brain to understand in-depth applications of both Science and Mathematics concepts. When students are in class XII, this training aids them in grooming their brains for fundamental and advanced applications that are asked in engineering and medical entrance examinations. This further helps the candidates to pursue their dream careers.

2. What is the Instruction that is to be Followed for the NTSE Exam?

You must remember some essential instructions given by the NCERT before proceeding to the examination center on the NTSE exam date 2022. The following are some general guidelines:

  • Candidates' e-admit cards for the second level test will be available on the official website 21 days before the examination.

  • On the day of the national level review, candidates must paste an attested copy of their photograph in the E-admit card and send it to the Centre Superintendent.

  • The applicant should arrive at the examination center at least half an hour before the start of the examination and locate and occupy the seat with the same roll number.

  • To the review center, the applicant must bring his or her admit card as well as a valid identification card.

  • In the examination hall, no calculators of any sort, mathematical tables, physical tables, or any other kind of assisting material are permitted.

  • On the same day, the test will be held in two separate sessions.

3. What are the Minimum Marks Required by Students From Different Categories to Crack the NTSE 2022 Exam?

For the aspirants of NTSE it is important to know each and every detail related to the exam. Thus, the candidate must also know about the total number of questions, the exam pattern, syllabus, and the level of difficulty for the exam. However, the most important of all these is to understand the minimum marks requirement which will help the candidate to assess their strategy for the future.  The minimum marks needed to pass the NTSE 2022 paper are at least 40% for candidates from general and other backward groups, while the minimum marks required for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates are based on 32%.

4. Is there any negative marking for the unattempted answers in NTSE?

It is advised to the students preparing for the NTSE exam that they carefully go through the exam syllabus before proceeding to solve the papers. As it will lead them to understand the paper pattern, marks distribution, and other insights before going further. However, there is no negative marking for wrong answers and unattempted answers so the candidates need not worry about the same and try to attempt all the questions in the given duration to perform well in the exam.

5. What type of questions are asked in the NTSE exam?

For the aspirants of NTSE Stage-I, the following are the patterns and types of questions that are asked in the NTSE paper. These involve subjects like Maths, General Knowledge, Social Science, Science, amongst others.

NTSE Stage 1 Paper Pattern



Number of Questions/Maximum Marks

Paper 1 – Mental Ability Test (MAT)

Aptitude Test


Paper 2 – Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

Science, Social Science, Mathematics

100 (Science – 40, Social Science – 40, Mathematics – 20)/100