NSEA 2020- National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA)


NSEA Exam- Registration, Exam Date, Syllabus, Eligibility and Other Details

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About NSEA

National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA) is an examination that is organized by the Indian Association of Physics teacher (IAPT), particularly for the students of secondary school i.e., class 12. National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA) is usually conducted in November. NSEA is the first stage based on which the selection of students for the International Astronomy Olympiad is done. Since 1987 students face the challenges of the NSEA almost every year. About 1,200 centers give a chance to almost 16000 students to appear for NSEA. It is conducted in English along with a few other Indian languages as well.

Due to Covid 19 - The usual three-stage procedure for the selection of the teams to represent India at the International Olympiad that has been followed in prior years is now being shortened to a two-stage procedure as a one-time exception only for the academic year 2020 - 21. Read more about IOQ 2020-21.

NSEA Exam 2020

NSEA is like a platform that encourages students to showcase their interests and build a stronger foundation in Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy. It supports students who desire to pursue further studies or make a career in this field. Any student wishing to enroll for the entire Astronomy and Olympiad Programme must qualify NSEA as the first step. Five stages lead to the selection of the Indian team in the International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA).

Stages In Olympiad Programmes In Astronomy

Stage I: National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA).

Stage II: Indian National Astronomy Olympiad (INAO).

Stage III: Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in astronomy.

Stage IV: Pre-departure Training Camp (PDT) for IOAA.

Stage V: International Olympiad in Astronomy and  Astrophysics (IOAA).

Stage 1 is in complete control of the Indian Association of Physics teacher (IAPT) while the rest of the stages are organized by HBCSE.

Syllabus and Pattern of Examination for NSEA

The syllabus for the National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA) resonates with the curriculum of the senior secondary level i.e., Class XI and Class XII of CBSE. No detailed syllabus is given for NSEA except for a few basic guidelines. Even in NSEA physics and mathematics steals the priority.

Question Paper

The Total Number of Questions: 80 questions.

Types of Questions: objective questions i.e., the multiple-choice questions (MCQs).

Mode of the Answer: English.

Note: For every wrong answer there is a negative marking of -1.

Distribution of Marks is as Follows:


No. of Questions

Total Marks










Grand Total



Important Dates for NSEA


Starting Date

Ending Date

Registration For Centers

1st of August,  2020

20th of August, 2020

Enrollment of the students

21st of August, 2020

15th of September, 2020

The last date for the Payment of Fees by Center -in -charge through center login

18 of September 2020

Date of examinations for juniors and seniors respectively

17th and 24th of November 2020

Display of NSEB exam marks.

18th of December 2020

Announcement of list of candidates for MI & ABOVE MAS.

22nd of December 2020

Final List of Selected Candidate for the Indian National Olympiad.

25 December 2020

Eligibility Criteria for NSEA

The students interested in appearing for NSEA must fulfill the criteria of the NSEA exam. If a student is found guilty of not fulfilling the eligibility, he will immediately be disqualified. The eligibility criteria are given below:

  1. The student must be eligible enough to hold an Indian passport.

  2. The student should be a resident of India. He must be a student in an Indian school system.

  3. The student must not have qualified or about to complete the class XII board examinations or any equivalent before the mentioned date: November 30, 2020.

  4. The student must not have started or plan to start off to the studies in a university or any equivalent institution by the date 1st June 2021

  5. The student must not have to appear for any NSEJS 2020.

Note: Any Indian student studying in class 9, 10, 11, and 12 at the time of NSEA are eligible to sit for the examination.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1) How to Apply for the Registration of NSEA Online?

Answer 1) To apply for the registration of NSEA, students must follow a few steps.

Step 1) The school must follow the link in the official website for the registration.

Step 2) The application form needs to be filled up using the KV code.

Step 3) Necessary details such as the Principal’s name and email Id, the total number of students appearing for the exam are required to be filled up in the application for the registration. 

Step 4) After clicking on “Apply”, an OTP will be sent to the Principal’s phone number. The OTP will be used for the confirmation of the registration.

Question 2) What to Study for NSEA?

Answer 2) The preparation for NSEA gives priority to physics and mathematics more than Astronomy. The topics for NSEA and INAO are different from each other in terms of the types of questions and the pattern. The questions that come for NSEA requires a lot of calculation work. Topics such as probability, gravitation, optics, mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, waves, electromagnetism are important. The questions for NSEA are not tough but time-consuming. Questions from pure astronomy is a rare case.

From INAO, the least you can expect from pure astronomy is two or three. Most of the questions are general knowledge-based. The preliminary knowledge of the astronomical phenomena and constellations are the main area of study. Studying star charts and identification of constellations and stars will definitely be helpful.

Question 3) What are Some of the Good Books to Refer to for NSEA?

Answer 3) Universe, in a nutshell, is one of the good books to refer to if you are preparing for NSEA. studying physics and maths from JEE books are also good options. Practice and solve the previous year’s question bank. Follow the topic related magazines and audio videos for general knowledge types of questions.

Question 4) How do we Get the Application Form for NSEA?

Answer 4) The application forms for the National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA) is made available through offline mode only. Students can collect the application form at any NSEA centre throughout the month of September.