NTSE Syllabus, Exam Pattern 2020


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NTSE is a prestigious scholarship provided to the candidates who are academically brilliant in studies. The scholarship programme is conducted in two stages, i.e. Stage 1 and Stage 2 only for the students of Class 10. Those who are preparing for the NTSE Exam must know about the important topics. The exams are now hovering on your head, and this is the time to roll your sleeves up and study hard. On this article, the most important topics a student should prepare from each subject are mentioned so that you will get to know what and how much you have to prepare. Apart from the most critical topics, few topics are carrying the heavy weightage also mentioned on this page.

  • NTSE Paper consists of questions from Scholastic Ability Test(SAT) and Mental Ability Test(MAT)
  • There is no Language Test for NTSE
  • There is no negative marking in NTSE 2020-21

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NTSE Syllabus 2020

The questions of NTSE Examination will be asked based on the syllabus of Class 9 and 10. So the candidates preparing for the NTSE 2020 can prepare from the books of Class 9 and 10.  The Examination will Consist of Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Ability Test (SAT).

NTSE Syllabus 2020 for MAT

This test is given to the candidates to judge their power of reasoning, ability to think, ability to judge, evaluate or discriminate, the ability to visualize in the space, spatial orientation, etc. A variety of questions, for example, analogies, classification, series, pattern perception, hidden figures, coding-decoding, block assembly, problem-solving etc. are used for this purpose.

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning
  • English Language

NTSE Syllabus 2020 for SAT 

 Aptitude test will have questions from Science, Mathematics & Social Science. Further, there are 40 questions from Science, 40 question from Social Science and 20 question from Mathematics.

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Civics
  • Economics

NTSE Important Topics

All the subjects fall under the NTSE Scholarship to prepare for are essential though. Still, there are some of the topics which can be prepared keenly by the students as they are considered as the most important topics. The topics from each subject in NTSE are mentioned below

NTSE Syllabus For History: Important Topics

S. No.  Topic
1 French Revolution
2 Russian Revolution
3 Nazi and Hitler
4 Indian Nationalism
5 Indo Chinese Revolution
6 Europe Nationalism
7 World Wars
8 Enclosures in Europe


NTSE Syllabus For Geography: Important Topics

S.No. Topic
1 Climate India and World
2 Indian Physiographic Division
3 Indian Location
4 Food
5 Drainage in India
6 World Important Basins - Amazon and Mississipi
7 Maps - Physiographic Division and Drainage


NTSE Syllabus 2020 -  MAT and SAT Heavy weightage topics

 The percentages given are just approximate and it changes from year to year. The students are advised to study these topics carefully as every year a question comes from this.




Basic Geometry (15% of Mathematics Syllabus)

English Language

One word Substitution (30% of English Language Syllabus)

General Knowledge

India (40% of General Knowledge Syllabus)

Mental Ability

Classification (9% of Mental Ability Syllabus)


Some Common Diseases (7% of Science Syllabus)

Social Science

The Mughal Empire (5% of Social Science Syllabus)


NTSE Exam Pattern 2020

The Examination will Consist of Mental Ability Test (MAT) and Scholastic Ability Test (SAT). Earlier, Language Comprehensive Test was also included, however, it was removed.


Marks No. of Questions Duration

Mental Ability Test - MAT

100 100 120 minutes

Scholastic Ability Test - SAT

100 100 120 minutes


200 200 240 minutes


Qualifying Marks: Qualifying marks for candidates from the General category are 40% in each paper, and for candidates from SC, ST and PH is 32% in each paper. Candidates have to score these minimum marks in each paper to qualify.

How to Use NTSE Syllabus for studying for NTSE Exam

To prepare for any of the scholarship exams, one should be clear and attentive about the topics he/ she need to prepare. Then moving further with right preparation strategy and tips will help the candidates to achieve excellent marks in NTSE. Candidates can check NTSE Preparation Tips below. Here we are providing some useful tips to follow:

  • Routine to Study: While preparing for any of the entrance exams, following the proper study plan is a must. The students preparing for the exam should make a timetable and study accordingly
  • Go through the previous question papers: We know the syllabus, we know the crucial topics but are they enough? No, until you know the pattern of the examination. So previous year question papers and sample papers will help you to understand the pattern
  • Hard work is not necessary: Hard work is the key to success, we all have heard it right? But nowadays, smart work has been replaced by the hard work. You do not have to mug up all the things. Study what required and focused on the important topics.
  • Believe in Yourself: It is true saying that if you give up on yourself, no one is going to stand up for you. First of all, you need to believe in yourself and remember every battle first won in mind, so you also need to be mentally prepared for everything.

Important Points of NTSE Exam

  • Aptitude Test:  The aptitude test will consist of questions from History, Geography, Political Science, Economics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics.
  • Negative Marking in NTSE:  There will be No Negative Marking from 2020 and no negative marks would be awarded for unanswered questions.
  • The language of NTSE Examination: The Examination is conducted in various languages that are: Assamese, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
  • Qualifying Marks: NTSE Examination qualifying marks are 40% for the general category and 32% for the reserved categories, i.e. SC/ST/PwD. Candidates have to score these minimum marks in each paper to qualify.

Quick Links to NTSE 2020

In case of any query regarding the NTSE Syllabus 2020, you can write to us in the comment section below.

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