The National Standard Examination in Astronomy is conducted jointly by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers and Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education. It is one of the very few prestigious competitive exams for students interested in Astronomy. NSEA is the very first stage of the International Olympiad in Astronomy and AstroPhysics IOAA. Students can register in NSEA through their respective schools. Here’s all the information on the NSEA important dates, eligibility criteria, examination pattern, application fee, selection process, etc.
There are five stages of the International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics Program. However, this year due to the prevailing pandemic situation, the authorities of IAPT and HBCSE are yet to declare the process and mode of exam for NSEA and IOAA. The other National Standard Examinations are to follow a three-staged selection process this year.
The important dates of the National Standard Examination in Astronomy are listed below for the reference of students.
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The important dates of the National Standard Examination in Astronomy are listed below for the reference of students.
Starting date of Enrollment for NSEA-2022
September 15, 2021
NSEA exam date
Sundays in January 2022
Note: Detailed information about enrollment, eligibility criteria, timetable, and enrollment fee will be announced soon.
Eligibility Criteria for NSEA
Students aspiring to take part in the National Standard Examination in Astronomy are suggested to go through the eligibility criteria for the same before they get themselves registered. The following are the NSEA eligibility criteria.
Age Requirements: Aspirants must be born between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2007, and all days inclusive.
Citizenship Requirements: They must hold or be eligible to hold Indian passports. They must be residents of India from 30 November 2019 or earlier. They must be studying in India or an Indian school system since 30 November 2019 or earlier. Also, students who are Overseas Citizens of India will not be eligible to represent our country at the International Olympiad programs. They can participate in the subsequent stages of selection.
Academic Requirements: Aspirants must not have passed or scheduled to pass the 12th Board exams before 30 November 2021. They must not start pursuing studies in a university-level institution before June 1, 2022.
They must not take NSEJS in 2021.
NSEA Question Paper Pattern
Students must go become familiar with the NSEA question paper format and prepare themselves accordingly before the exam. There are a total of 80 questions in the question paper of the National Standard Examination in Astronomy. The medium of this exam is English and objective/multiple-choice type questions are asked in NSEA. There are multiple-choice questions, having single-correct answer choices, as well as more than one correct answer choice.
Qualifying For the Second Stage
The National Standard Examination in Astronomy is the first stage of the International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Students who meet the cut-off marks criteria in the NSEA exam get qualified for the second stage of the Olympiad program. Also, students are selected for the next stage of Orientation-cum Selection camp based on the proportional representation clause.
The cut-off marks for the National Standard Examination in Astronomy are relative to the scores of the top 10 candidates. Students are required to score at least the minimum admissible scores or MAS, in NSEA to qualify for the next stage of the Olympiad program. The MAS is determined as 50 per cent of the average marks scored by the top 10 students in NSEA.
Proportional Representation Clause
Selection for the second stage of the International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics is also based on the proportional representation clause. It depends on the number of students who participated in NSEA from an exam centre in the previous year. This selection is done for each state and union territory. If there is a tie at the final position, all students contending for the tie are moved to the next stage. In general, the total number of students selected for the second stage of the Olympiad program is about 300.
Application Fee For NSEA
The NSEA application fee is available at any of the NSE centres across the country. Students are required to pay a nominal fee of 150 rupees to fill the application form for the National Standard Examination in Astronomy. The application fee is partly sent to the IAPT and partly kept by the school as their maintenance charges. The application fee is 5 USD for the students who are overseas citizens of India. It is to be hereby noted that the application fee is to be paid one time for all the stages of the selection process.
NSEA Exam Format
The medium of examination of the National Standard Examination in Astronomy is English. Students are required to have a sound knowledge of the fundamental concepts of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics when appearing in this examination. The questions asked in NSEA are provided with multiple answer choices and there is a negative marking system for incorrect answers. The NSEA exam pattern is tabulated below for the reference of students.
Features of NSEA Exam Pattern
Feature of NSEA Exam Pattern
Mode of the exam
Offline (this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, IAPT and HBCSE are yet to announce the mode of exam for NSEA.)
Medium of the exam
Total number of questions asked
Number of subjects
For every correct response: +3
For every incorrect response: -1
Selection Process From NSEA
Students are selected based on merit as well as on proportionate and minimum representation clauses. The Minimum Admissible Scores are calculated taking into account the average marks scored by the top 10 students. To be eligible for the second stage of IOAA, students must meet the MAS. Also, if seats are available then students are selected based on merit. Students meeting the cut-off marks criteria in NSEA are trained at the Orientation-cum-Selection camp in data analysis, concepts of theory, and observation in Astronomy, as well.
The NSEA syllabus is not specifically laid out by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers and Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education. However, the topics that are to be revised in Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy for NSEA coincide with the topics covered in the syllabus of these subjects in the 11th and 12th grades. Students can go through the NCERT textbooks for Physics and Mathematics to understand the fundamentals. Among the books commonly consulted for NSEA preparation are Universe, written by William J. Kaufmann, Roger Freedman, and Robert Geller. Also, you can refer to the book, Astronomy- Principles and Practice, written by Roy and Clarke.
NSEA Previous Year Papers
Solving and practising the NSEA previous year papers is very important before the exam. When students solve these papers, they get a thorough idea of the exam pattern. These question papers are available on Vedantu and students can download them for their practice purposes. While solving the previous year question papers of NSEA, students get to know the level of difficulty, marking scheme, and types of questions asked in the exam.
The students who will be able to clear the state-wise cut-off marks in the National Standard Examination in Astronomy will be selected for the next stage of the International Olympiad program. This year, the second stage is supposed to be an orientation cum selection camp for the National Standard Examinations. The third stage will be the training camp as a pre-departure preparation time for the students, and the final stage will be the International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The final stage is likely to be conducted online.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. What is NSEA?
Ans: NSEA is expanded as The National Standard Exam in Astronomy and it is an exam that is jointly administered by the Association of Physics Teachers of India and the Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education. It is one of the few reputable competitions for students interested in astronomy. The NSEA is the first step of the IOAA International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Students can enrol in the NSEA through their respective schools. The international Olympic program in astronomy and astrophysics has five phases. However, this year due to the outbreak of the pandemic, the relevant IAPT and HBCSE authorities have yet to announce the procedure and method of organizing the exam for the NSEA and IOAA.
2. Are calculators allowed for NSEA?
Ans:Calculators are not confined from being used in NSEA or the National Standard Examination in Astronomy. Yet, a bunch of specific rules had been advanced by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers and Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education that needs to be followed while using calculators for the test. The calculators that the candidates bring inside the exam centres are not supposed to have any special graph mode or integration mode. Another condition is that the calculators should not be outfitted with any unique equation-solver function or matrix mode. The official website of IAPT has published and uploaded a list of calculators that the candidates are permitted to use for the test alongside a list of those that are not allowed to be used for the NSEA.
3. How to download previous years question papers of NSEA?
Ans: Students are encouraged to go through and work out questions from the previous years' question papers along with other sample papers to find out about the pattern of the NSEA and what sort of questions to expect, in advance. Working out the various types of problems presented by these question papers can guarantee reliable practice which will assist candidates with creating speed and different abilities expected to crack the NSEA. Vedantuis perhaps the most confided-in platform that resorts to being of help to students who are hoping to acquire relevant resources to plan for tests like NSEA. Students can get hold of the study materials easily from Vedantu for free. By solving these papers students hoping to score well for the test will have an extra benefit compared to their competitors. Students will have a better idea of the structure of the paper and thereby will be able to move forward with the questions in a much easier manner.
4. Are the OCI Students Eligible For NSEA?
Ans:Students belonging to the OCI (overseas citizens of India) category are not entirely restricted from taking part in the National Standard Examination in Astronomy or the NSEA. This means that they are allowed to participate in the initial stage of the International Astronomy Olympiad Program followed by the subsequent stages of the exam as well. But there has been a recent ruling by the Madras High Court which produced a verdict under which it was stated that even though the students belonging to the OCI category can participate in NSEA, they cannot go on to represent the country in the Internation olympiad program.
5. How to apply for NSEA?
Ans:In contrast to most other competitive tests, the enrollment or application for the NSEA or the National Standard Examination in Astronomy is to be done in an offline manner. When the dates for enrollment are declared by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers, a list of NSE exam centres is uploaded on the IAPT official website. Students are required to check this list and find the nearest centre that is open and most easily accessible to the students. They would then have to go to the exam centres personally to get the application form and fill in every one of the necessary that is asked for. The students would then be able to submit the form with a nominal fee of Rs 150 and get a receipt affirming the enrollment of the candidate for the NSEA test.