NTSE Exam Pattern 2020
Maniprabha.singh, 18 Jul 2019, #NTSE

NTSE Exam Pattern 2020– Students preparing for NTSE stage 1 and stage 2 exam must be aware of NTSE 2020 paper pattern to devise a strategy for preparation. They must know that the NTSE exam pattern is same for stage 1 and stage 2 exam. However, the difficulty level of question papers varies as stage 1 is a bit easier than the stage 2 exam. So the preparation of stage 1 helps to prepare for stage 2 exam. NTSE exam pattern 2020 contains the details such as marks allocated to each section, exam mode, duration of the exam and more. National Talent Search Exam is a scholarship test, to be held in pen and paper mode. The question paper will contain 2 sections - MAT and SAT, each of 100 marks. The test duration of each paper is 120 minutes.
Candidates are advised to go through the article below thoroughly and make the best use of time and information available to perform well in the scholarship test. NTSE 2020 exam pattern helps students to create a strategy for qualifying NTSE Stage 1 2020. Similarly, the NTSE Stage 2 Exam Pattern will make candidates aware of the final round of the selection process for the scholarships.

Latest: NTSE Answer Key 2020 is available to download for stage 1 exam.

NTSE Exam Pattern 2020 (Stage 1)

NTSE 2020 examination is conducted in two stages. Stage 1 is conducted at the State/UT level by the concerned State/UT authorities. The question paper consists of two papers: MAT and SAT. The NTSE exam pattern 2020 states that the Stage 1 examination can be attempted in either Hindi or English language. Every correct answer will fetch 1 mark while there is no negative marking for wrong attempts. Check the NTSE 2020 exam pattern of both stages below

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Part 1 – Mental Ability Test (MAT)

  • MAT consists of questions based on analytical and logical reasoning.
  • Mental Ability Test evaluates the candidate’s reasoning, ability to think, ability to evaluate, ability to discriminate and visualize.
  • This section consists of a total of 100 questions.
  • The main topics of the Mental Ability Test are series, pattern perception, analogies, coding-decoding, classifications, hidden figures and problem-solving etc.
  • The test duration is 120 minutes.

Part 2 – Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

  • SAT section consists of a total of 100 questions from Science (40), Social Science (40) and Mathematics (20).
  • The section tests the candidate’s reading abilities, interpretation, evaluation and general awareness of the subjects.
  • The time allotted for the SAT section is 120 minutes.
  • The level of questions will be equivalent to class 10th or equivalent exam.

NTSE Stage 1 Exam Pattern 2020


Number of questions

Maximum marks

Duration (Minutes)





SAT – Maths, Science and Social Science




NTSE Stage 2 Exam Pattern 2020

  • The Stage 2 exam will be held at the National level by NCERT.
  • In Stage 2, only the shortlisted or qualified candidates of Stage 1 can appear to compete for the scholarship.
  • The NTSE exam pattern for Stage 2 is divided into two parts namely the Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
  • There will be 100 questions in both MAT and SAT (Science-40, Maths-20, Social science-40).
  • The duration of both the exams is 2 hours or 120 minutes each.
  • There is no negative marking.
PapersMaximum MarksNumber of QuestionsTime Allotted
MAT100100120 minutes
SAT (Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences)100100120 minutes

NTSE Marking Scheme

NCERT apply a certain marking scheme to shortlist the eligible candidates.

  • For correct answer- 01 marks will be added to the total score
  • For wrong answer- No negative marking
  • For unattempted question- No mark will be deducted for unattempted question.

Candidates have to mark a maximum number of correct answers to get good marks in NTSE Examination. Only candidates who obtain the minimum cut off marks will be able to receive the scholarship amount.

Only candidates qualifying in both the papers separately will be considered for merit. Selection of the awardees will be made on the basis of total marks scored in MAT and SAT sections

NTSE Syllabus 2020

NCERT doesn't specify NTSE syllabus for stage 1 and 2 exams. However, it is suggested to follow Class 9th & 10th syllabus of the state board or CBSE to prepare for NTSE. The syllabus consists of important topics from which questions will be asked in the examinations.

SectionsImportant Topics
NTSE MAT Syllabus

Blood Relations, Distance and Direction, Coding-Decoding, Ranking and Arrangements, Venn Diagrams, Word Problems, etc

NTSE Science Syllabus

Reproduction, Carbon & Compounds, Motion, Measurements, Force, Source of Energy, Work & Energy, Meta & Non-Metals, Acid, Base & Salt

NTSE Social Science Syllabus

French Revolutions, World War I and II, Indian Freedom Struggle, Natural Vegetation, Indus Valley Civilization, Climate, Solar System, Maps & Globe, Judiciary, Indian Constitution, Indian Government,

NTSE Mathematics Syllabus

Number Systems, Quadratic Equations, Arithmetic Progressions, Square Roots, Percentage, surface Areas, Simple & Compound Interest, Triangle, Linear Equations, etc.

How to Prepare for NTSE 2020?

To qualify the exam with good marks, one must be aware of how to prepare for the NTSE exam. Below, we have provided some easy tips and tricks-

  • Know the Pattern & Syllabus- It is imperative for a student to know which sections to prepare for NTSE exam, how much time you have to solve the papers and on which section requires more focus. Students can have answers to all asked questions if they have the complete details of exam pattern and syllabus.
  • Follow the right books- NCERT recommends to follow the CBSE class 9th & 10th books to prepare for NTSE 2020. However, to get hold on concepts of MAT, it is better to follow the right NTSE preparation books.
  • Regular Revision- Students should revise the prepared topics on a regular interval to retain the information.
  • Solve Previous Year's Papers- Students must download and practice NTSE Question Paper to know the important topics and marking scheme. Solving the previous year papers also helps students to learn time management.

NTSE Preparation Books

Students should follow the below books to get good marks in NTSE

  • Mental Ability for NTSE by Disha Experts
  • Study Package for NTSE Class X by McGraw Hill Education

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - NTSE Exam Pattern 2020

Question: What is the relaxation in time provided to Physically handicapped students?


PH candidates are provided with an extra 30 minutes to attempt NTSE exam.

Question: Is there any difference between NTSE exam pattern of stage 1 and 2?


No, there is no difference in stage 1 and stage 2 exam pattern. But, the difficulty level of questions is increased at stage 2 exam.

Question: How does NTSE exam pattern helps in preparation?


knowing exam pattern, makes students enable to decide the priority and weigtage of each section/topic, which helps students to prepare accordingly.

More like NTSE

Questions related to NTSE

Showing 1637 out of 1637 Questions

When will ntse 2021 syllabus be available? Does the syllabus change every year?

Sourandhi Saha Student Expert 8th Dec, 2019
NTSE syllabus doesn't change every year. This is so that the syllabus of NTSE is entirely based on NCERT. NTSE exam has 2 stages.
Go through the given links for more details-

When will the result of NTSE 2020 be released (TN) ?

niharika cherry 7th Dec, 2019

Hello Aspirant, the result of NTSE(National Talent search examination) result will be released in Tamil Nadu  in the fourth week of January 2020, you can visit https://school.careers360.com/articles/ntse-tamil-nadu-result for more information.

Hope this helps.

Thank you.


When will the official answer keys of ntse 2020 stage 1 uttar pradesh will be released? It is already 1 month from exam. If official answer keys are out please give me the link.

Harshita Gupta 6th Dec, 2019

All the states have released NTSE stage 1 answer keys of MAT and SAT examination. The answer keys are available for examination held on 2,3 and 17 November 2019.

The results may be declared in January/February/ March and stage 2 examination will be held in May 2020.

  • The qualifying scores for general category is:
SAT- 40%

  • For SC/ST/PH:

Check the link below to get the answer keys:


Hope this helps!

when will be the result s of Karnataka state announced

PRAKHAR SINGH 7th Dec, 2019


Karnataka SSLC Result 2020 will be available by the month of April expectedly. Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) release the SSLC Results on its official website- kseeb.kar.nic.in or karresults.nic.in . To check Karnataka SSLC Exam Result 2020 students need to enter their registration number in the space provided. To know about the important dates, steps to check the result and statistics etc follow the content given below.

Karnataka SSLC Result 2020

Karnataka Board conducted the SSLC exams in the month of March. More than 5 lakhs students have appeared for SSLC exams annually. Last year Karnataka SSLC Result was announced on April 30, at 12:45 pm. Karnataka SSLC Result 2020 is expected to be released at the same time period. Now, before you check out the detailed information first have a look at the table of important dates given below.

Karnataka SSLC Result 2020 Important Dates
Exam Dates Mar – Apr 2020
Result Declaration Apr 2020




Anyone who gave NTSE exam from Maharashtra this year? How many marks you got? What will be expected cut off by your opinion?

Halry Bhalodia 5th Dec, 2019

Though i have not given the exame but the expected cutoff for NTSE maharastra stage 1 is observed to be :

  1. General        167-175
  2. OBC              156-165
  3. SC                 140-150
  4. ST                  126-135

You can also refer previous years cutoff for the same

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