NSEP 2020 - National Standard Examination in Physics (NSEP)

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NSEP Exam - Registration, Exam Date, Syllabus, Eligibility

The National Standard Examination in Physics or the NSEP is a voluntary examination, conducted every year. The Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) conducts this exam. Thousands of students participate in it intending to qualify this examination and get an opportunity to participate in its next stages.

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.

This exam is beneficial for all those aspirants who want to pursue a career in Physics. Taking part in a competitive exam of this stature helps them evaluate themselves at an early age. By comparing themselves at a national standard, they can identify their shortcomings and rectify them.

NSEP Exam 2020

When Will NSEP 2020 Take Place?

The National Standard Examination in Physics for the year 2020 has been delayed due to the current pandemic situation. IAPT has released a statement on its official website. According to it, candidates will receive updates regarding this examination only after September 15, 2020. After discussing with the National Steering Committee and the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), IAPT will declare the new dates soon.

What is The Eligibility Criteria for NSEP Olympiad 2020?

Registration for the National Standard Examination in Physics will start once IAPT declares its new dates. However, students who wish to appear for this exam must ensure their eligibility.

The Eligibility Criteria for Aspiring Nsep 2020 Candidates Are As Follows.

  • Candidates should be citizens of India.

  • They should be residing and studying in India since November 2017 or before.

  • Applicants should be born between July 1, 2001, and June 30, 2006 (both days inclusive).

  • They should not have passed their higher secondary examinations before November 2020.

  • Candidates appearing for NSEJS in 2020 cannot register for this exam simultaneously.

NSEP Exam Pattern

Before starting to prepare for this exam, a candidate must be familiar with its pattern. 

  • In this exam, a candidate has to answer 70 questions in all.

  • The total marks for these seventy questions are 240.

  • This paper has two divisions.

  • The first part has four answer choices for each question, and only 1 choice will be correct.

  • The second part has four answer choices for each question, and there can be one to four correct answers.

 The Chart Given Below Give a Better Understanding of The NSEP Exam Pattern


Total Number of Questions 

Marks Per Question

Negative Marks Per Wrong Answer









Once candidates are aware of the pattern of this exam, they should prepare a suitable study strategy. They should first identify their strong and weak areas and plan accordingly.

Books for NSEP

The National Standard Examination in Physics assesses a candidate’s logical, analytical, and experimental skills. Before choosing relevant books, a candidate must thoroughly go through its syllabus, which includes the following topics.

  • Approximation

  • Numerical Methods

  • Oscillations and Waves

  • Dynamics

  • Mechanics

  • Electromagnetics

  • Geometry and Stereometry

  • Data Analysis

To prepare these topics, candidates should start with NCERT Physics books of class XI and class XII. These books are written in a straightforward language, and every concept is explained from the basics. Beginning with these books will enable students to get a better understanding of each topic.

However, this exam is concept-based, and to qualify in it, students must go through reference books. Some books that will help them in their preparation, are:

  • H.C. Verma’s Concept of Physics (volume 1 and 2).

  • Arihant Publication’s Indian National Physics Olympiad 2020.

  • Pearson Publication’s Pathfinder for Olympiad and JEE Advanced Physics. 

While preparing for this exam, students should also refer to the study materials available online.

Qualifying criteria and Selection criteria for INPhO

The National Standard Examination in Physics is a stepping-stone, which leads to the International Olympiad.

The NSEP selection procedure is based on the Minimum Admissible Score (MAS) and Merit Index (MI). To qualify in this exam, a candidate has to attain MAS, which is 50% or above the average of the top ten scores. However, to be eligible for the Indian National Physics Olympiad (INPhO), they have to attain MI, which is 80% or above the average of the top 10 scores.

NSEP Preparation Tips

Preparing for this exam can be beneficial for other competitive exams also. The tips below will help students in their NSEP preparation.

  • They should first check the syllabus and identify their strong and weak topics.

  • While preparing students should focus more on quality rather than quantity.

  • They should go through previous years’ papers.

  • Candidates who want to rank well should make a habit of taking regular mock tests.

  • They should revise each topic frequently.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Why Should a Student Appear For The National Standard Examination in Physics?

The National Standard Examination in Physics is a voluntary examination, which allows a student to evaluate himself or herself. Candidates appearing in this exam get an opportunity to compete on a national level. They can identify their weak areas and work on them. Moreover, this exam prepares aspirants for other competitive exams as well.

Gold medallists of this exam get an opportunity to appear for the direct interview of the Department of Atomic Energy. They do not have to sit for any entrance tests. Besides this, if a candidate after qualifying this exam decides to study B.Sc. with Physics, then he will get scholarships (maximum 10). These scholarships provide financial assistance to deserving students and encourage them to pursue higher studies.

2. How Do I Register for the National Standard Examination in Physics?

The registration process for the National Standard Examination in Physics involves a few steps. Candidates have to download a registration form from the official website of IAPT first. After this, they will have to fill their details in it. These details include a candidate’s name, address, parent’s name, preferred language, and details of their educational institute. After filling these details, they will have to sign a declaration stating their information as accurate. Finally, they have to submit this registration form along with Rs.150 to their center in-charge. This amount is non-refundable, and it is a one-time payment. Even if a candidate qualifies in the next stage, he/she does not have to pay this amount again.