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NTSE 2021 Preparation Tips

Updated On -

Jan 19, 2021

NTSE is a state-level scholarship test which is conducted for the students of Class 10th. NTSE Paper consists of two sections, the Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Ability Test (SAT).

Get FREE NTSE 2021 Mock Tests, Sectional Quiz, Previous Years Papers. Click Here

NTSE Examination is conducted by NCERT in two stages, Stage 1 exam is conducted at the state level by state authorities and Stage 2 exam is conducted at the National level by other states and Union Territories.

NTSE Exam is conducted in the offline mode which consists of Objective type Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Every correct answer in the NTSE paper will fetch you 1 mark while there is no provision of negative marking in the paper. Students from General Category are required to score 40% to qualify the test while the students belonging to reserved categories need to secure only 32% marks.

To know the NTSE Eligibility Criteria 2020, click here. 

Students are required to prepare for the examination with full dedication to clear it with flying colours. Some of the preparation tips of NTSE MAT and NTSE SAT are given below. The list of recommended books is also given below.

NTSE MAT Preparation Tips

Preparation Tips for MAT (Mental Ability Test) NTSE

Mental Ability Section of NTSE paper carries 100 questions based on Analytical Reasoning and Logical Reasoning each carrying 1 mark. The total time duration of the paper is 120 minutes, leaving 1.2 minutes to attempt one question.

  • Practice previous year papers to get a better idea of the questions and difficulty level of the paper.
  • Improve your logical reasoning.
  • Solve puzzles and riddles from time to time.

Section Wise NTSE Preparation Tips for SAT Scholastic Ability Test NTSE


The science section of NTSE Examination consists of 40 questions of 1 mark each. The syllabus for NTSE Science section consists of questions from the topics of Science Class 10th and Class 9th. Most of the questions are based on NCERT Science Books. Some of the preparation tips for Science are:

  • Pay attention to whatever is being taught in the class because the questions in the paper will come from the basics only.
  • Make sure to revise each topic after class.
  • Try to make brief notes on every topic and note down important things taught in the class.
  • Revise all the chemical equations and chemical formulae every day.
  • Practice the numerical of Physics and diagrams of Biology.


NTSE paper has a section on Mathematics comprising 20 questions where each question carries 1 mark.

  • Candidates must try to finish this section in 24 minutes, i.e., they should not spend more than 1.2 minutes on one question. This is to ensure that they have extra 4 minutes to check their answers.
  • Practice makes a man perfect. Students should solve as many previous years’ question papers to get a larger number of questions.
  • Make a formulae sheet and keep it with you every time for the time to time revision.
  • Remember each and every formula by heart. Learn all trigonometry formulae.
  • Try to solve miscellaneous questions as well.

Social Science

This section of NTSE paper contains 40 questions. Each correct answer will fetch you 1 mark.

  • Ideally, a candidate should not spend more than 1.2 minutes to solve each question which totals to 48 minutes for the whole section.
  • Students are advised to make a chronicle of all the historic events in a chart paper and paste it on your study table to make sure that you keep revising them from time to time.
  • Prepare Geography with the help of maps and diagrams.
  • Candidates must have a deep understanding of Indian Politics. Read newspaper daily to get an idea of what is going on in Indian Politics.
  • Keep revising whatever you learn so that nothing is left in the end.
Important Points

General and Important NTSE Preparation Tips

Every exam requires a certain strategy and full focus and dedication throughout the preparation. Candidates appearing for a particular examination are required to build a proper and well-structured preparation strategy that possesses proper analytical, time management and exam-taking skills to ace it. Some of the important points and tips to prepare for the NTSE examination are given below:

Analyze the Syllabus

Before beginning the preparation, it is very important to gather all the information related to the syllabus of the scholarship test. Students must completely analyze the syllabus of NTSE examination before beginning with the preparation process. Candidates are advised to visit the official website of the NTSE paper and download the complete syllabus of the paper. Students can find detailed information regarding the distribution of the topic of the mark wise and section-wise there. Aspirants must keep a copy of the syllabus handy throughout the preparation to make sure that nothing is left out and no topic is left unprepared and they do not skip any vital topic before the examination.

Solve Previous Years’ Question Papers

Students must download and solve previous years’ question papers to understand the types of questions asked in the examination. Solving previous years’ papers will help the students in analyzing the difficulty level of the paper and the paper pattern too. Also, solving the past years’ papers will keep a student in a better position to attempt the NTSE test. Candidates are advised to appear for the past years’ papers as the real test to give him/ her a proper feel of the actual day of examination.

Attempt Mock Tests

Aspirants are advised to attempt the mock tests regularly. Solving the mock tests helps the students in giving a reality check of NTSE preparation and helps them know exactly where they stand. Candidates should make it a daily routine to solve at least one mock test everyday. These mock tests are designed a bit tougher than the actual test. Solving these mock tests puts them in a better position to attempt the real exam. Apart from this, it also helps the candidates in understanding the difficulty level of the paper and time management.

Plan and Make Proper Strategy

Making a strategy and a routine and following it strictly, can help you clear the examination easily and efficiently. To excel in the examination, students are required to have a regular and rigorous practice of problems. Candidates are advised to devise a proper strategy and preparation plan according to the topics and the distribution of marks of the paper. This will help them in managing their time efficiently and come out of the paper with flying colours.

NTSE Books

Recommended Books

Selecting good books is most important. Students should make the choice of the study material wisely to clear the NTSE examination efficiently. Students must refer to the standard books as suggested by their teachers while preparing and solve each and every problem given in them. The market is flooded with unlimited preparation sources in the form of printed study material and online sources. But, it is advised to select a particular set of sources and stick to them throughout the preparation.

Section-Wise Recommended Books

A list of some of the important section-wise NTSE Books is given below:

  • Science
    • NCERT Science textbook of class IX
    • NCERT Science textbook of class X
  • Social Science
    • India and the Contemporary World 1 and 2 (NCERT)
    • Democratic Politics (NCERT Class 10)
    • Contemporary India (Class 9th and 10th)
  • Mathematics
    • NCERT Mathematics textbook of class IX
    • NCERT Mathematics textbook of class X

Some of the important books for NTSE Preparation are given below:

Books Publisher
Study Package for NTSE Class X McGraw-Hill Publications 
Practice Test Papers for NTSE Class X- 1st Edition McGraw-Hill Publications 
Pearson Guide to NTSE Class 10 (English) 1st Edition  Pearson India
Study Guide NTSE (MAT + SAT) for Class 10th 2019-2020 Arihant Experts
A Comprehensive Manual for NTSE for Class X (English) Access Publishing

To check NTSE 2020 Result, check here. 

NTSE Preparation Tips FAQs

Ques. Can the students of CLass 11th apply for NTSE Examination?

Ans: No, NTSE exam is only for 10th class students. You cannot appear for NTSE in class 11 but if you are a science student, you can prepare for the KVPY exam. This is also a scholarship exam.

Ques. Is there any negative marking in NTSE paper?

Ans: Every correct answer will fetch 1 mark while there is no negative marking for wrong attempts. The total time to answer the paper is 120 minutes for each part. Only those who clear stage-1 will be shortlisted for stage-2 exam.

Ques. How much scholarship is awarded in the NTSE Examination?

Ans: National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a national-level scholarship program in India to identify and recognize students with high intellect and academic talent. Scholarships of INR 1,250 per month are awarded for class XI to XII.

Ques. What type of questions are asked in the NTSE Examination?

Ans: The NTSE question paper is divided into two parts namely MAT and SAT both of 100 marks each. Questions are generally asked from Class 9 and 10 syllabus.

Ques. What is the difference between the question paper of NTSE Stage 1 and NTSE Stage 2?

Ans: There is not much difference in the question paper of NTSE Stage 1 and NTSE Stage 2 Examination. The syllabus and exam pattern of both papers is the same. There will be a slight difference between the difficulty level of both NTSE question papers.

Ques. How can I apply for the NTSE Examination?

Ans: The online application form for NTSE 2020 has been released on the official site of NCERT. Students of various states studying in class 10th can apply online for the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE).

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.


tanishka shah
how to crack ntse stage 1?
kavita rani

Hi Tanishka. Practice MAT on a regular basis so that you can improve your speed and accuracy. Study each topic of Social Science from NCERT books. More details related to preparation tips are mentioned here.

What is the NTSE examination date 2020 in Rajasthan?
arvind kumar

Hi Priya, december 13 2020 is the date for exam in Rajasthan. For more details visit: NTSE EXAM

Can we apply for ntse now?

Dear Anshika

Greetings from Collegedunia. Yes, you can apply for N.T.S.E. if you are appearing in the Class 10 Examination. The registration will be opened soon. For more details, kindly go through this link – NTSE Overview

shiv pratap singh
is NTSE examination available in hidi?

Hi Shiv, 

The NTSE examination can be appeared in both English and Hindi. For more details, check: NTSE examination

nargis yasmin
I have completed my diploma in civil engineering, van i apply for the exam

Hi Nargis, 

The students who have passed their 10th from a recognised board can apply for the NTSE examination. KINDLY CLICK HERE FOR MORE UPDATES: NTSE ELIGIBILITY

chaudhari roshankumar kantibhai
Can the Pg students apply in ntse exam I am 24 years old and 25 year running

Hello Roshan,

No, only the students in class 10th currently can give the NTSE.