Introduction: What is NTSE?
The National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is the most prestigious scholarship exam at the high school level in India. It is conducted in 2 stages and is open only to Xth graders. The first stage is conducted in each and every state and union territory (total of 36 regions) and few toppers are selected from the large pool of students to appear for stage-2. Each state has a particular quota for selection based on the population and enrolment ratio of Xth graders.
Why is NTSE the toughest scholarship test?
This is because over 12,00,000 to 14,00,000 10th graders participate in the Stage-1 exam. A meagre 4600-5200 students are selected from this huge set of students to take part in stage-2. Out of these ~5000 students , only around 1000 students become eligible for award of scholarship. This means that the final selection rate is only ~0.07% , at par with several of the most toughest competitive exams like the UPSC/NEET/JEE. This is why the NTSE scholar tag demands a lot of respect in our society.
Now moving on to the main part of the discussion.
How to Crack NTSE?
It requires two things: Dedication and smartwork. It’s never too late to start preparing as I’ve known people who have cleared it (the exam) by just preparing for a week or two.
Since the main focus of article is on how to hone up your preparation in the last few days, I wouldn’t be elaborating on building the base (which I hope the reader will do/would’ve done)
Let’s split our focus equally on all topics: MAT, Math, Science and Social.
NOTE: Do not prepare for English AT ALL. It will not help you as you just need to pass in it and the score obtained in this section is not counted for Merit.
MAT: Make sure that you’re thorough with “All types of questions” in both NON-VERBAL and VERBAL. Be careful about the tricky parts. This year in stage-2, there were a few questions from a relatively unknown topic called “Sequential Output tracing”. Very few people could do it.
Thus, it helps to know all the types of questions which can possibly be asked in the exam. Buy a standard book (a comprehensive one) and stick to it. Don’t nudge between books. That said, let’s move on to the next part,
Math: Every human’s nightmare. Isn’t it? I’d say an outright no. Especially when you have time to focus on it. Start from simple books like RD Sharma/RS Aggarwal. Master them fully. Most of the states pick up stage-1 questions directly from these books.
Also cover the topics that are not part of CBSE syllabus but part of state syllabus. For eg:- In TN syllabus, we had logarithms, matrices, 3-D geometry etc. which was not in CBSE.
Science: Science is a lovely subject, if studied properly. It does require a lot of interest on the reader’s part for the concepts to be assimilated well. To get an idea of the level of the questions, as I’ve said before solve previous year question papers and master your state syllabus.
Just to be on the safer side, read up extra stuff on some of the important chapters like – Light/Motion in physics, Basic chemistry (stoichiometry, acids bases salts, etc), and in Biology focus on Life processes. This should be more than enough.
Social: It was a harrowing experience as I didn’t like studying social one bit, but what motivated me to study Social is that I knew that every mark counts , especially in Stage-1, mainly because the cutoffs are so high (at least here in TN, they’re high). The best strategy would be to cover as many topics as possible as questions from this section are not twisted at all. Suppose you’ve completed all the topics , I’d advise you to revise the “MOST Important topics”.
By “MOST Important topics”, I mean the topics from which most of the questions have been from the previous year. While studying, I’d advise you to make legible notes , so that they can be used for last minute revision effectively.
Important Tips for NTSE
The mantra for success in NTSE as I have elaborated above is to have a good idea of the level of the exam and achieve mastery in all the topics required (by solving previous question papers mainly).
Exam related tips for NTSE Stage-1:
- Don’t panic a day before the test. Better, don’t do anything on that day. Relax. (I know saying this is easy, but doing this is tough – but let me just hope that at least a fraction of my readers follow this).
- Start from the section in which you are the strongest. You’ll automatically have more time for your weak points.
- Eat light before the exam, but please do have something nutritious and filling.
- Don’t discuss anything with your friends in the break between the two tests (MAT and SAT). Take a walk within the exam center or have a light snack instead.
All the best to all the aspirants reading this!!
May success be yours!!
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