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NTSE Preparation Tips

Last Updated - December 29, 2016

NTSE or National Talent Search Examination is one of the most prominent scholarship exam at the high school level in India. The exam is held in two stages and only class X students are eligible to apply for the exam. NTSE exam is based the syllabus set by NCERT. The first stage is conducted in each state and UT across the country.

Candidates qualifying in the first stage would be selected for the National level. Around 1,200,000 to 1,400,000 candidates appear for this examination, while only around 5,000 students are selected for stage 2. Out of these 5,000, only 1,000 are selected for the scholarships. Candidates have to follow a comprehensive strategy plan to obtain a good score in the exam.

This article shares some helpful tips regarding the NTSE exam to help candidates improve their chances of selection.

NTSE Exam Pattern

NTSE consists of 2 tests: MAT (Mental Ability Test) and SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). Both tests consist of MCQs with 4 options each. Each question has only one correct answer worth 1 mark.

SAT paper is further divided into 2 parts: Language Test and a combined sectional test for Science, Mathematics, and Social Science. Given below is the paper wise distribution of questions and marks.

Mental Ability Test (MAT)505045 minutes
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): Language Test505045 minutes
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): Science, Mathematics, Social Science10010090 minutes
Total200200180 minutes (3 hrs.)

Tips to Crack NTSE 2017

The syllabus for NTSE might seem a little vast for all the aspirants to cover. However, candidates must cover all the important topics in their preparation to perform well. Here are some of the tips that might help candidates to have an edge over the other aspirants:

  • Language Test: It is advisable to pay the least amount of time to this section. Candidates should focus their attention on other topics as they only need to obtain passing marks in this section. The final merit list is calculated on the basis of other section and the score obtained in Language Test is NOT counted in Merit.
  • Mental Ability Test (MAT): The key to perform well in this section is to practice and be familiar with a wide range of questions. This section has some tricky questions and candidates must practice verbal and non-verbal questions equally.
  • Mathematics: Most of the states pick questions directly from standard books like R.S. Aggarwal. And R.D. Sharma for this section. Also, practice questions that are not covered by CBSE, but are a part of State syllabus.
  • Science: This section is quite easy for those candidates who take genuine interest in reading and understanding concepts. It is advisable to solve previous year’s papers to get an idea of what kind of questions are asked.
  • Social Science: This section can be a bit tricky to master as many candidates regard it as lengthy and boring. But since every mark counts, candidates must be thorough with their preparation. The questions asked in this section are straightforward and not twisted. Therefore, it is advisable to study the previous years’ patterns to judge which topics are important. This gives candidates to focus on less information than to skim over large portions of text.

Apart from the above mentioned topic-wise tips, here are some general tips that will benefit the candidates during their preparation:

  • Begin attempting the section that plays to your strengths. This would give you more time to solve your weaker topics.
  • Be thorough with NCERT books. The exam is not too tough and strictly follows NCERT syllabus.
  • It is advisable to study a good general awareness book for SAT to be ready for some ‘out of course’ questions
  • It is imperative to solve as many sample papers and previous years’ papers as possible. Not only will this widen the type of questions you solve, but would also give you an idea about the pattern of NTSE.
  • It is important to revise and analyze your progress regularly. This minimizes your weak spots.
  • There are no shortcuts to hard work. Practice as much as you can and eat healthy.

Important Resources for NTSE 2017

The structure of NTSE exam is based on the class X curriculum prescribed by NCERT. Therefore, NCERT textbooks are the most important resource for preparation as well as reference.

Apart from NCERT books, candidates can also use some reference books mentioned below in their preparation.

MathematicsR.S. Aggarwal8177099973
R.D. Sharma9383182946
MATA Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning - by R.S. Aggarwal8121905516
MAT and SATA Complete Study Guide NTSE (MAT + SAT) for Class 10th by Arihant Publications9350947005
NTSEA Comprehensive Manual for NTSE for Class X9789383454396



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