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NSEP - National Standard Examination in Physics

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NSEP - National Standard Examination in Physics

NSEP is the stepping stage for selection of aspiring and talented students in the physics Olympiad Programmed. This exam is conducted by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) at many centers all over the country. The student can move forward to other stages only after clearing this stage. Website of


Only Indian citizens born on or after January 1, 1993 and are students studying in Class XI and XII, can apply and appear for NSEA. Students who have passed Class XII are not eligible to enroll for NSEP. The student has to himself re-assure his eligibility. At any stage if the student is found to be not eligible for the exam, he/she may be disqualified from the program.


The syllabus for National Standard Examination in Physics (NSEP) is almost similar as the curriculum of senior secondary level (Class XI and Class XII) of CBSE. However, only basic guideline for the course is mentioned. No detailed syllabus is given for NSEP.

Exam Pattern and Structure

First Stage:

NSEP emphasizes comprehension of the subject, not rote memory. Its format is as follows:

There are 2 parts:

Part A of 180 marks including 50 multiple choice questions consisting of:

A1: 40 questions, each with only one of the four options correct

A2: 10 questions, each with one or more than one options correct. To get credit, all correct option (s) and no incorrect option (s) should be marked.

Part B (60 marks): 5 (or 6) questions which are problems or short-answer type. All questions carry equal marks.

Language: English (However, NSEP question papers may be available in Hindi, and some other regional languages provided there are more than 300 students for that language. Please check with IAPT.).

Second Stage:

The aim of the first stage examination is to have a wide range, then to progressively increase this reach, then to attain nationwide representation for stage II without overly compromising on merit or quality. Thus the selection to the stage II examinations i.e. the Indian National Olympiad Examinations (INOs) is based on the following structure-

  • Eligibility Clause: Any participating candidate must secure a score equal to or greater than a Minimum Admissible Score (or MAS) to be eligible for the Stage II INO exam leading to the International Olympiad. By default, the MAS for a given subject will be 40% of the maximum score in that subject.
  • Proportional Representation Clause (PRC): The number of students selected for Stage II (INO) in each subject is around 300 students. Hence, in the event of a tie at the last position in the list, all students with the same marks at this position will qualify to appear for the Stage II examinations. However, the selected students must nevertheless satisfy the eligibility clause laid out above.
  • Minimum Representation Clause (MRC): Notwithstanding the proportional representation clause as explained above, the number of students selected for INO from each State and UT must be at least 1, provided that the eligibility clause is satisfied thoroughly.
  • Merit Clause: Given the eligibility clause as stated above, it is conceivable that 300 students may not qualify for Stage II in a subject. In a case like this, the shortfall (less from 300) will be selected based purely on merit without further consideration to proportional representation and minimum representation clauses. Thus in the event of a tie at the last position in the list all students with the same marks at this position will qualify to appear for the Stage II examination.

Examination Date of 2019

Applications for NSEP begins

In September every year

National Standard Examination for Physics (for all regions)

In November

Result for shortlisted students

By December

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