NSO Exam 2020 - The National Science Olympiad (NSO)

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NSO Exam - Registration, Exam Date, Syllabus, Exam Pattern, Result and Other Details

The first round of NSO Exam 2020 will be conducted on Thursday 17th Dec 2020, Thursday 7th Jan 2021 and Thursday 28th Jan 2021 at participating schools during the school hours. Considering the worldwide pandemic the dates of the second round of NSO will be announced separately. Schools are authorized to select any one date for administering the NSO exam and the entire school would need to conduct the examination on one chosen date. Remember that there will be separate question papers for the different dates. The NSO registration form will be dispatched to participating schools.

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NSO Exam Student Registration

Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) conducts NSO Exam for students studying in Class 1 to Class 12. SOF NSO exam registration 2020 culminates 30 days before the NSO exam date 2020. NSO exam paper will be conducted at two levels –Level 1 and level 2.

All About NSO Exam Information 2020

Full Name

National Science Olympiad

NSO Governing Body

Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF)

NSO Frequency of Conduct

Once a year

NSO Language Medium


NSO 2020 Mode of Application


NSO 2020 Mode of Examination


NSO 2020 Question Type

Multiple Choice Questions

NSO 2020 Syllabus

Prescribed by the CBSE, ICSE, ISC and State board

NSO 2020 Exam Duration

60minutes (during school hours)

NSO 2020 Application Fee

125 Rs [Offline] {SC, ST, OBC, General}

NSO Exam Upcoming Dates and Important Events

With the latest announcement of NSO 2020 Exam Date, there have been several revisions in the dates and events. Check the table for complete updates.

Set A - 19th & 20th Dec 2020(Online Mode).

Set B - 9th & 10th Jan 2021 (Online Mode).

Set C - 30th & 31st Jan 2021(Online Mode).

The important information about NSO exam is mentioned below in the table for the quick reference of the applicants:

NSO 2020 Entrance Exam Pattern

Class I to IV


No. of Questions

Marks Per Question




Logical reasoning










Class V to X 





Logical reasoning










Class XI to XII

Physics and Chemistry



Mathematics / biology



Achievers section







NOTE: The details of the NSO 2020 syllabus will be updated on the SOF official website for the reference of the applicants. The NSO 2020 Exam paper duration applicants will remain 60 minutes and no extra time will be given to solve the paper.

NSO 2020 Exam Syllabus

You might be surprised to know that the popularity of SOF conducted competitive exams is in its relevance to specific class and course curriculum. The exam syllabus pattern is designed considering the class-wise module. To know the complete NSO 2020 course syllabus, refer to below information.

Section – 1: Includes questions on Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

Section – 2: Conservation of Plants and Animals, Coal and Petroleum, Combustion and Flame, Crop Production and Management, Chemical Effects of Electric Current, Cell Reproduction and Endocrine System, Friction, Force Microorganisms, Metals and Non-metals, Pollution of Air and Water and Pressure, Sound, Synthetic Fibers and Plastics, Some Natural Phenomena, Light, Stars and the Solar System.

Section – 3: Higher Order Thinking Questions - as per Section – 2.




Objective Questions

Level 1

60% from the current class syllabus and 40% from the previous class syllabus

Objective Questions

Level 2

Current class syllabus only

Note: Questions in ACHIEVERS SECTION in both the levels will be from current class syllabus only.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is NSO?

National Science Olympiad (NSO) is an annual scholarship exam that tests students’ scientific reasoning and logical ability. Students could apply only through their respective schools. About 10 lacs students register for NSO every year. National Science Olympiad (NSO) is a competitive exam organized by Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF), conducted each year for school students. This exam works towards cultivating scientific ability and logical reasoning among the students through a diligent test. The Foundation first and foremost conceives the scientific novelty and vitality in young students through competitive exams.

2. My Daughter is Studying in Class 5. Is She Eligible to Register for the NSO 2020 Exam?

As per the NSO 2020 exam eligibility criteria,

For NSO Level 1 Eligibility Criteria

  • Students studying in classes 1 to 12 from any board or government-aided institution qualify to apply for NSO 2020 exam paper through their respective years.

  • No minimum marks is ‘NOT’ a prerequisite for NSO 2020 application

For NSO Level 2 Eligibility Criteria

Candidates who stand eligible for the 2nd level NSO exam include:

  • Class-wise top 5% of students, who enroll for the 1st level exam

  • State/Zone-wise and class-wise top 25 rank holders

  •  Class toppers from each school & scores 50% qualifying marks.

  • Candidates with highest marks (in case of section-wise registration), regardless of the section will qualify for the 2nd level.

  • For section-wise NSO 2020 registrations, the winner(s) of the gold medal may not compulsorily qualify for the 2nd level.

  • Students from classes 1 and 2 are not needed to appear for the 2nd level NSO exam and are ranked on the basis of their performance in the 1st level.

Note: a student can enroll for the NSO exam once a year. At least 10 students from each school must register for NSO exam 2020.

3. What is the Use of NSO Answer Key?

SOF NSO will release the NSO answer keys for all three sets on its official website. The organizing authority let out the NSO answer keys usually 3-4 weeks after the exam is conducted. Students can check the NSO answer keys 2020 and arrive at a likely score.

4. What About the NSO Cut Off 2020?

Students can compare their calculated score with the cutoff to understand whether the candidate will be entitled for the Level 2 exam or not.