NTSE Registration – Application Form, Procedure and Eligibility Criteria

NTSE Registration- The National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) held by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is one of the most popular scholarship schemes awarded to meritorious and talented students in the country. The examination is held for 10th standard students in order to enable them to continue their education, achieve their aspired heights with a little additional help and also get rewarded for their brilliance. The NTSE registration starts tentatively in the second week of September every year and the examination for the first level are held by the respective state/ UT in November.

Application forms are available through both modes, i.e. online and offline modes. The stage 1 of the examination is completely under the state/UT, it is basically a stage where the state has to select the meritorious students and recommend them to NCERT for further evaluation in stage 2. It may or may not have an application fee to it. All the relevant details concerning the NTSE registration have been provided in this article for the assistance of the students, including the application process, key dates, eligibility criteria and much more.

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NTSE Registration – Application Form

Offline Mode-  As mentioned above, the stage 1 of the NTS examination is completely conducted through the respective state/UT. The application form for this stage is also distributed by them through offline mode. Though usually the schools are required to register their students for the examination, in case they don’t, the offline applications can be obtained by the students from the office of the liaison officer of their respective state/UT. The students have to submit the completed application form in every respect before the deadline to the liaison officer.

The student should make sure the application form is filled very carefully by them with all the information being valid and authorized. Any false information or incomplete form will be disregarded and the admit card of the student will not be released, eventually resulting in the student not being able to take the examination.

Online Mode – The application form can also be downloaded online by visiting the official website of NCERT. To download the application, the student has to move the cursor to “Programmes” and then choose “National Talent Search Examination” from amongst the programmes provided by NCERT.

Then the student has to click on “other details” mentioned on the top-right corner and he/she will be redirected to the page where the student can access the application form present among the various notifications released under the sub-head “Examination (NTS-1)”

The student has to get the application form signed by the principal of his/her school before submitting it. There is no application form for stage 2 of the NTSE, it’s a one-time application process and the students qualify for the next round through the examination.

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NTSE Registration – General Instructions

  • The candidate must deposit the application fee, if any, prescribed by state/ union territory with the application form.
  • Incomplete/ wrongly filled in application forms are liable to be rejected.
  • The candidate should leave the 4-digit centre code blank, to be filled by the Liaison Officer/ concerned District Officer/ Center Superintendent.
  • The candidate needs to mention the name of state/ UT, where the candidate wants to appear in the national level NTS examination, in the covering letter.
  • The application form has to be signed by the principal of the school in which the candidate is studying.

NTSE Registration – How to Apply

The procedure for NTSE registration is rather easy. The NCERT constantly releases notifications on their official website as the stages of the examination progress. The application process usually starts in the month of September every year and the admit card is available approximately 21 days prior to the examination online. However, this year, the registration process commenced from 1st October 2020.

The step-by-step application procedure has been explained below. The Indian students living abroad can also apply for the examination by just providing proof of their India citizenship. There is a separate form released for the students living abroad by the NCERT. Follow the steps given below carefully for successful submission of the application.

Step 1: Obtain the Application form

  • Look out for the notification of NTSE stage 1 by NCERT and the respective State/UT government in the newspapers and other public platforms.
  • Collect the application form from the respective office of the liaison officer of the state/UT.

Step 2: Fill the Application form

  • Go through the coding plan and information provided in the application form before filling it to avoid any confusion or mistakes.
  • Fill the application form very carefully and affix a passport-sized photograph in school uniform in it.

The following details have to be mentioned in the application form:

  1. Name of the candidate
  2. Father’s Name
  3. Mother’s Name
  4. Area of Residence (rural/urban)
  5. Date of Birth
  6. Gender, Category, Disability Status (If applicable)
  7. Postal Address and Pin Code
  8. Name and Address of the School
  9. Type of Institution
  10. Area of Institution (rural/urban)
  11. The medium of Examination (Language)
  12. Information About Family and Parents
  13. Annual Family Income
  14. Contact Details

The duly completed application form should be signed by the principal of the school and the student.

Note: Candidates should mention their categories as some seats in the NTSE are reserved for certain categories. The students should also attach their caste certificate along with the application before submitting it. The reservation details are mentioned below:

  • 15% seats for Scheduled Caste (SC) students
  • 5% seats for Scheduled Tribe (ST) students
  • 27% seats for Other Backward Class (OBC) students (non-creamy layer)
  • 4% seats for Physically Challenged students

Step 3: Payment of Application Fee (If applicable)

  • While applying for stage 1 there may be an application fee levied by the respective State or the Union Territory. The student should get the information about the fee charged and the mode of payment of the fee from the state liaison officer of the state or the UT.

Step 4: Submit the NTSE Application Form

  • The students have to submit the application form in some cases to the NCERT but usually at the state liaison’s office of the state/UT.
  • The students should make sure that the application form is properly filled with the right details and the necessary documents (if applicable) are attached to the application.

The list of Liaison Officers 2020-21 can be accessed at the official website.

NTSE Registration – Eligibility Criteria

Apart from the fact that the student should be in class 10 and should be an Indian citizen, there are other eligibility criteria that need to be fulfilled by the students appearing for NTSE registration. These conditions may vary at both the stages of examination. Though there may be an application fee for stage 1, no fee is imposed by NCERT for stage 2. The key eligibility criteria for both the stages of the examination have been mentioned in detail below.

Eligibility criteria for stage – 1

  • The students of class 10th studying in any recognized school will be eligible to take the examination at the state level from the state in which the school is located.
  • They must have scored at least 55% marks in the annual qualifying examination of class 9th before appearing in the selection test for the award of the scholarship (Relaxable by 5% for SC/ST).
  • The student should be below 18 years of age (as on 1st July of the particular year).
  • The student should not be employed and should be appearing in class 10th for the first time.
  • The state may impose any other eligibility condition for the students at their discretion.

Eligibility criteria for the stage – 2 for students studying in India

  • Only candidates selected by the state/ UT on the basis of their examination are eligible for the NTSE stage 2 examination.
  • They must obtain at least 40% marks (for students belonging to General/ OBC category) in each paper. (Note: For students belonging to SC/ST/PH category, the minimum percentage of marks should be 32%).

Eligibility criteria for the stage – 2 for Indian students studying abroad

Indian students studying in 10th standard abroad are also eligible to compete at the national level of the examination. The following conditions should be met by them in order to take the examination:

  • The candidate should be in the 10th standard
  • The candidate should be an Indian citizen and shall provide proof of citizenship.
  • The candidate should have scored at least 60% marks in the last annual examinations.

Note: The candidate has to come to India and take the examination at the allotted centre at his/her own cost.

NTSE Registration – Key Dates 

Every year, the dates for NTSE registration and the NTS examination are held in the months of September and November. The exact dates may vary. For the academic year 2021-22, the key dates for the National Talent Search Examination have been mentioned in the table below. The students can go through them and prepare themselves accordingly.

Important dates for the academic year 2020-21



NTSE Application Form Release for Stage 1

1st October 2020
Last Date for Submission of Application Form

November 2020

NTSE Stage 1 Admit Card Release

3rd December 2020
NTSE Stage 1 Exam Date

12th December 2020 – for Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands

13th December 2020 – for all states/UTs

27th December 2020 – for Jammu & Kashmir (2021)

24th January 2021 – for Bihar Kerala, & Karnataka

21st February 2021 – HP and Telangana

NTSE Stage 1 Result

Between February and May 2021*
NTSE Stage 2 Admit Card Release

May 2021*

NTSE Stage 2 Exam Date

13th June 2021 (tentative)
NTSE Stage 2 Result

To Be Announced

*Exact dates to be announced soon

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NTSE Registration – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is a photograph needed while NTSE registration?

Yes, a recent passport-sized photograph of the candidate in the school uniform is required to be attached in the application form.

Q. Where should a student reach out in case of queries?

The students can reach out to NCERT through the helpline numbers- 011-26560464/ 26592181

Q. Why should I apply for NTS examination?

NTS examination is one of the most prestigious and popular examinations for assessing talent in the country. Its aim is to identify talented and meritorious students and provide them with financial assistance for higher education through scholarships.

Q. When is the deadline for submission of the application form?

Stage 1 of the examination is conducted under the respective state/UT of the candidate and the dates may vary accordingly. The last date of submission of the application form will be notified by the state/UT.

Q. How do I identify the “Centre Code” in the application form?

The candidate has to leave the 4-digit centre code blank to be filled by the liaison officer/ concerned district officer/ Center Superintendent.


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