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NTSE Exam full form is National Talent Search Examination, a two-phase examination that identifies students with high intellectual academic talent. Conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), NTSE is a national-level program. The first phase of the exam takes place at the state level and those who make it through the first phase can appear for the national level second phase. Do note that only 10th standard students are eligible for NTSE.

Benefits of NTSE
Students performing well in NTSE can secure a scholarship from the 10th to graduation level, which is indeed of great help. However, in addition to the scholarship, the prestigious recognition of cracking NTSE with a good score is of great value too. Needless to say, NTSE is an extremely coveted exam for students who have good academic merit and are capable of doing well.

Why should you clear NTSE?

As mentioned previously, the Central Government awards scholarships to students performing well in NTSE. Not too long ago, the government also increased the scholarship amount to INR 1250 per month for class XI and XII students, and INR 2000 for those studying at an undergraduate level or above. This is especially beneficial for good students who would like to keep pursuing their studies, but are in a financially challenging position.

Higher studies
One of the key advantages of getting a prestigious rank in a widely recognized exam such as this one is that it allows you to join reputed institutes. Here are a few academic institutes where you can have an advantage while taking admission:
  1. IIIT-Delhi (Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology): IIIT Delhi offers NTSE scholars a bonus of 6 marks in addition to their JEE score during admission. IIIT Delhi is extremely renowned, and in fact, one of the top IT institutes in India.
  2. Nanyang Technological University of Singapore: By getting a good rank in NTSE, one would enjoy distinguished preference while applying to Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. This university is ranked as Asia’s 1st and World’s 11th.
  3. National University of Singapore: Currently ranked 15th in the world, the National University of Singapore (NUS), gives preference to applicants who have done well in NTSE.
  4. IIIT-Hyderabad: While IIIT-Hyderabad takes admissions through JEE (Main), they also offer 15 exclusive seats for NTSE / KVPY / Olympiad scholars. If you manage to secure one of these seats, you wouldn’t even have to appear for JEE (Main) to take admission here.
Hence, clearing NTSE with a good ranking would open up amazing academic opportunities for you. It would be much easier for you to get into highly coveted institutes.

Other career advantages
Besides enjoying priority status while applying to the institutes mentioned above, clearing NTSE would also benefit your career in several other ways. These include:
  1. NDA (for defence services): In the final stage of SSB (Selection Service Board) interviews while applying for NDA, NTSE scholars enjoy special preference. NDA is likely the only government institution where reservation is inapplicable, thus granting higher significance to talent.
  2. Better CV: The NTSE certification acts as a recommendation from the Government of India. It would greatly improve your CV, giving you a major advantage in interviews. Even for the extremely difficult UPSC examinations, this would be helpful.
  3. Overseas studies: If you plan to pursue your studies abroad, being an NTSE scholar would give you an edge. After you make it through SAT and GRE, it is much easier for you to get into leading American institutes if you are an NTSE scholar.
Hence, investing some time and effort into cracking NTSE gives you a huge advantage in your career, both academically and in terms of job opportunities.

Who is eligible for NTSE?
Anybody who is less than 18 years of age and fulfills the given eligibility criteria can appear for the exam. Check it out to see if you are eligible for the exam:

Stage I (State level):
  • Only Indian students are eligible to appear for NTSE.
  • You may appear for the NTSE only if you are currently studying in class X.
  • General category candidates must have a score of 60% in their previous academic year (Class IX). For SC, ST and PH, the score must be at least 55%.
  • You must be a student in a recognized school, in the State or Union Territory where you are appearing for NTSE.

Stage II (NCERT level):
  • You would be eligible for stage II only if your state recommends you, based on your score in Stage I.
  • Securing the bare minimum marks in stage II would render you eligible for the scholarship program.
  • If eligible, you would have to register for the scholarship program. NCERT would scrutinize all the applications and select only the eligible candidates for the examination.

What is the NTSE paper pattern like?
As described earlier, this examination takes place in two phases, one at a state level and the other at a national level. Here is all you need to know about the question patterns:
  • All the questions are MCQ-based. You would have to fill up the answers in an OMR sheet.
  • In each phase, you would have to solve two papers: A MAT (Mental Ability Test) paper and an SAT (Scholastic Ability Test) paper.
  • Both the papers consist of 100 questions, and you have two hours to solve them each.

The MAT paper consists of questions centered around verbal and nonverbal reasoning. As for the SAT paper, you would find 40 questions from science, 20 from mathematics and 40 from social science.

For phase I, studying for the state-level syllabus in your respective state would suffice. However, you should prepare for a national-level syllabus if you become eligible for stage 2. Make sure to cover every topic thoroughly, for this exam is extremely hard and competitive. Hopefully, this guide has answered all or most of the questions you may have had regarding NTSE.

Note :
  • Please contact your school or Lakshya Institute for dates of admission form and exams.
  • Lakshya institute has a well established methodology for NTSE training. Click here to find out more.

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