If you are a 10th standard student, National Talent Search Examination or NTSE is your chance to stand out among the masses. You may get a percentage or two more in your board exams from the rest of your class, but what if you got a chance at national recognition?
NTSE is that very opportunity. It is a nationally held exam that seeks out extraordinary students to give them recognition for their excellence. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious exams of the country, making your CV shine well before it is expected to, giving you an edge of distinction. Moreover, NTSE scholars receive a scholarship to help them throughout their student life. Some colleges such as IIIT Hyderabad also have a special quota for students that have cleared NTSE. It might even help you bag admissions in great colleges abroad, and who knows, maybe even get you a great scholarship.
Clearing such a challenging exam gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you are capable of doing anything that you set your mind to, and better than most people your age. But certain tricks may help make the process a little easy. NTSE exams don’t have a set syllabus but usually follow books designed by National Council of Educational Research and Training or NCERT.
Referring to 9th standard NCERT books as well as state board books will give you a kick start. It is widely suggested that self-study is the best option, although you may take up online courses to guide you along the way.
NTSE has two stages of examinations. The first one is Mental Aptitude Test or MAP based on a 100 mental ability questions generally taking place in November. Each is a multiple choice question with one correct answer and the score is calculated out of a 100 with 40 marks being the cut off for the general quota in both stage-I and stage-II.
Once you qualify in stage-I you give the stage-II exam or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which takes place in May. SAT is divided as: 40 science related questions, 40 social science questions and 20 mathematical questions, from subjects such as maths, physics, chemistry, biology, history, civics, geography and general knowledge. Stage-II has negative marking, and therefore needs more care.
Rigorously practicing mental ability questions as well as brushing up on general knowledge will take you far. If you pass both the exams you will be one among just 2000 other students to be called an NTSE scholar.
Preparing two months in advance for the exam is ample time to get ready if you work on timed mock tests and past papers. Keep an eye on your performance progress and give attention to the things that you find the most challenging. Just like most competitive exams, cracking NTSE is more about practice and hard work than anything else. Don’t forget to enjoy the process however. Flaunt your knowledge of fun facts to your friends and ask them to quiz you. Make learning fun, like it is supposed to be!