National Level Science Talent Search Examination (NSTSE) – All you need to know

NSTSE or the National Level Science Talent Search Examination is one of the most popular exams that students take to get a measure of their academic intellect. Compared to other tests, this domestic test gives an overall idea of a student’s progress. The type of questions asked in NSTSE provides a clearer image of how well a student has understood the concepts. Detailed feedback, offered to the participating students, helps highlight the conceptual gaps developed over the years. This, in turn, pushes students towards taking immediate action for improvement. While other tests and exams judge a student based on how well he/she has memorised a particular topic, NSTSE gives importance to independent thinking and logical reasoning.

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The exam is organised each year by the Unified Council. For 20 years, NSTSE has been conducted across 16 countries making it one of the largest Olympiads. The exam is scientifically designed to provide a reliable skill-based assessment for students of various Central and State Boards. In this article, we’ll talk in depth about the various aspects of NSTSE including the benefits, key dates, application procedure, and awards etc.

NSTSE 2021 – Overview

NSTSE is an exam that challenges critical thinking and then provides detailed skill-wise feedback highlighting strengths and weaknesses. It is based upon ‘understanding and reasoning’ rather than just ‘knowing’. The table below offers an insight into the different aspects of this exam.

Sr. No. Particulars Details
1) Objective of NSTSE To measure how well a student has understood the concepts and provide detailed feedback on the same
2) Exam organiser Unified Council
3) Eligibility Class 2 to 12 students
4) Application process Online application at Unified Council
5) Exam dates December
6) Awards Up to INR 2 lakhs

NSTSE – Advantages over other tests

NSTSE is significantly different when compared with other talent exams, Olympiads, school exams or even board exams. The advantages offered by NSTSE are comparatively wholesome and more beneficial for students. Most importantly, it is a scientifically designed and skill-based test designed for Indian students. The examination offers the following advantages over other tests-

  • It is a skill-based test that provides feedback on real learning.
  • It is relevant as it actually tests what is being taught in the schools.
  • It provides a benchmark for students from all over India to help them to know where they stand.
  • The results of the exam are accessorized with detailed analysis and feedback that helps point out areas of strengths and weaknesses.
  • NSTSE is a low-cost and affordable exam that makes it accessible to all students.
  • The exam tests conceptual learning as opposed to only general skills.
  • The exam is scientifically designed and is developed in accordance with the Indian curriculum.
  • Instead of being a fact/rote-based exam, NSTSE tests a student’s skills.

These benefits make NSTSE stand out from the other similar exams and offers students a better alternative.Scholarship Registration, Get Scholarship Update

NSTSE – Benefits offered

The top performers in the NSTSE will be awarded on the national and state level. NSTSE offers awards worth INR 4 crore to deserving students. There are also numerous consolation prizes as well as prizes for the toppers of the NSTSE exam. The table below describes the awards at the National level.

National level award winners

Sr. No. Criteria Award details
1) Highest percentage of marks among all the classes (NSTSE topper) Cash prize of INR 2 lakhs
2) Top three rank holders of each class A laptop, a memento, and a medal each
3) Rank 4 to 10 holders of each class Cash prize of INR 3,000 each
4) Rank 11 to 40 holders of each class Cash prize of INR 1,000 each
5) Rank 41 to 100 holders of each class BMA’s Talent & Olympiad Exams Resource Book from M/s. Brain Mapping Academy each
6) All the rank holders from 1 to 100 Olympiad Coach Online Subscription worth INR 1,198, a Medal, and a Certificate of Appreciation each
7) All the participants Participation certificate

The NSTSE topper award worth INR 2 lakhs is awarded to the student who scores 100% marks in the NSTSE exam. In case no student is able to score the same, the student who achieves the highest percentage of marks among all the classes is awarded INR 1 Lakh. The prize money is distributed equally if more than one student scores the highest marks.

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State level award winners

Sr. No. Criteria Award details
1) Top 3 rank holders from each state Olympiad Coach Online Subscription worth INR 1,198 and a Certificate of Appreciation

The state level rank holders are declared after excluding the top 100 ranks across the country.

Consolation prize winners

Sr. No. Criteria Award details
1) Top rank holder in each class from selected cities Olympiad Coach Online Subscription worth INR 1,198 and a Certificate of Appreciation

The city-wise toppers are declared after excluding the 100 ranks across the country and state toppers.

The selected cities are-

Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhubaneswar+Cuttack, Chandigarh+Mohali+Panchkula, Chennai, Faridabad+Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Indore, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kanpur, Kota, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, Noida+Ghaziabad, Pune, Varanasi, Yamuna nagar+Karnal+Ambala+Kurukshetra, Vadodara and Visakhapatnam

NSTSE – Key dates

It’s important for all the NSTSE aspirants to be aware of the timeline concerned with the exam. The table below discusses the key dates for NSTSE.

Sr. No. Event Key dates*
1) Application deadline for NSTSE 3rd October 2021
2) Exam dates 4th December 2021
3) Admit card 13th December 2021

*The key dates mentioned above are tentative and subject to change as per the discretion of Unified Council.

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NSTSE – Steps to apply

Students can complete the registration for NSTSE online through the official portal of Unified Council. Follow the below steps to apply-

  • Visit the official page of the Unified Council. NSTSE aspirants can access the page here.
  • Read the basic instructions and click on the registration link. Access the link here.
  • Students can opt for one of the given three options depending on their preferences. Students can also opt for various online preparation packages if they wish to do so.
  • Already registered users can directly head on to the payment page after entering the mobile number.
  • After choosing the desired option, students will be redirected to the registration page.
  • On the registration page, fill in personal details, contact details, and information about the school.
  • Accept the ‘Terms & Conditions’ and click on ‘Submit’.

In case students have opted for online packages, they will be activated within 24 hours. A confirmation regarding the registration will be sent to students through SMS on their registered mobile numbers.

The registration options for aspirants will be in the following manner-

  • Option 1- Offers NSTSE registration for a fee of INR 300 + 18% GST (for class 2 to 12)
  • Option 2- Offers NSTSE registration along with online preparation packages at a discounted price of INR 700 + 18% GST (for class 2 to 10)
  • Option 3- Offers NSTSE registration along with online preparation packages at a discounted price of INR 1000 + 18% GST (for class 2 to 10)

Contact details

In case any queries still remain, students can contact the Unified Council through the following means-

Address: #16-11-16/1/B, Saleem Nagar, Farhat Hospital Road Malakpet, Hyderabad – 500036, Telangana

Phone: 040-24557708, 24545862, 66139917

Fax: 040-2454 2215


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