NEST 2021: Notification (After 31 Dec), Exam Date, Application Form

NEST 2021

NEST 2021 – Notification will be released after December 31, 2020. NISER and UM DAE CBS jointly conduct the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) 2021. It is the exam for admission to 5-year Integrated MSc Program at National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) Bhubaneswar and University of Mumbai – Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS) Mumbai. First, the application form releases at Then interested candidates who have passed class 12 with 60% (55% for SC, ST, PWD) can do registration. Then they can appear in the NEST 2021 exam, for which exam date is usually in June. NEST is an online exam of 3.5 hours. The syllabus is based on NCERT class 11, 12 science syllabus. Get here complete details and latest news of NEST 2021 including exam date, application form, registration, syllabus, exam pattern, eligibility, and more.

NEST 2021

LatestNotification, exam date of NEST 2021 will be announced after 31st December 2020.

NEST 2021 Exam Date

NEST 2021Dates
NotificationAfter 31 Dec 2020
Online application opensJan 2021
Online application closesto be announced
Option For City Preference Last Dateto be announced
Change in exam centerto be announced
Download of admit card startsto be announced
Answer Key Upload onto be announced
NEST exam dateto be announced
Result declaration onto be announced
First Counselling of NISER Bhubaneswarto be announced
First Counselling of CEBS Mumbaito be announced

NEST 2021 Application Form

To apply for NEST 2021 the students have to access the application form in the online mode only, as there are no offline application forms available. The steps to fill the online application form if NEST is given below:

Step 1: Register online using the direct link available on this page. You need to enter details like name, date of birth, phone number, email id, roll number of class 10 and gender.

Step 2: The user id and password is sent to the registered email id. The students have to login using the details.

Step 3: Login and fill the personal details, educational details and exam city preferences.

Step 4: Upload scanned images of photo and signature.

Step 5: Pay the application fee.

Application fee: For references, Check the application fee of NEST from below:

CategoryApplication fee
Male (General and OBC categories)Rs. 1200/-
Male (SC and ST categories)Rs. 600/-
Female (All categories)Rs. 600/-
Persons with Disabilities (PwD)Rs. 600/-

Documents needed to fill NEST 2021 application form:

  • Scanned images of photo and signature
  • Class 10 marksheet

Specification of the images to be uploaded:

Photojpg/jpegupto 80 KB
Signaturejpg/jpegupto 80 KB

NEST 2021 Eligibility Criteria

The candidates can check below the NEST eligibility 2021, there are 2 criteria and all of them must be fulfilled:

#1. Age:

Candidates in general and OBC: born on or after August 01, 2001
Candidates of SC/ ST/ Physically Disabled category: born on or after August 01, 1996

#2. Qualifying marks in 10+2:

  • Atleast 60% marks in 10+2 for the candidates of general category.
  • Atleast 55% marks in case of Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) candidates and for Persons with Disability (PD).

#3. Year of qualifying 10+2:

Candidates have must pass 10+2 in 2019, 2020 or 2021. The candidates currently in 10+2 can also apply.

NEST 2021 Syllabus

The candidates can check below the syllabus of NEST 2021 as prescribed by the conducting bodies for preparation:

General Section: There is no defined syllabus for this section. The questions shall be based on major historical milestones in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, computer science and environment. This section is made to test a candidate’s aptitude for a career in science.

Some type of questions that is asked in this section are:

– Mathematics up to 10th standard and application capabilities of the same to simple problems.
– General ability to comprehend qualitative and quantitative aspects of a given scientific passages.
– Interpretation graphical and/or tabular representation of information.


  • Cell Biology:
  • Genetics and Evolution
  • Ecology
  • Humans and Environment
  • Biology of Animal systems: Digestive System, Circulatory System, Excretory System, Nervous System, Reproductive System
  • Developmental Biology
  • Immunology
  • Biology of Plant systems
  • Systematics


  • Measurements in chemistry
  • Mole concept
  • Gaseous and liquid states
  • Atomic structure and chemical bonding
  • Thermodynamics – Thermodynamic states
  • Chemical equilibrium
  • Electrochemistry
  • Chemical kinetics
  • Solid state
  • Solutions
  • Adsorption
  • Colloidal state
  • Classification of elements and periodicity in properties
  • Hydrogen
  • s– Block elements
  • p– Block elements
  • d–Block elements
  • f–Block elements
  • Coordination compounds
  • Metals and metallurgy
  • Basic concepts of organic chemistry
  • Reactive intermediates
  • Isomerism
  • Nomenclature
  • Alkanes
  • Alkenes and Alkynes
  • Aromatic compounds
  • Haloalkanes (Alkyl halides)
  • Haloarenes
  • Alcohols
  • Phenols
  • Ethers
  • Aldehydes and Ketones
  • Carboxylic acids
  • Amines
  • Carbohydrate
  • Amino acids and proteins
  • Polymers


  • Algebra
  • Trigonometry
  • Analytical geometry
  • Differential calculus:
  • Integral calculus:
  • Vectors


  • General Physics
  • Mechanics
  • Systems of particles
  • Law of gravitation
  • Conservation of angular momentum
  • Hooke’s law and stress
  • Pressure in a fluid. Pascal’s law
  • Sound and mechanical waves
  • Thermal physics
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Capacitance
  • Electric current
  • Biot–Savart’s law and Ampere’s law
  • Magnetic moment of a current loop
  • Electromagnetic induction
  • Optics
  • Modern physics
  • Photoelectric effect

Click here to download the detailed syllabus for NEST 2021 Exam.

NEST 2021 Exam Centre

There are the list of 90 Centres (cities and towns of India) for NEST 2021 Exam. Candidates can choose the 5 (five) centres in order of their preference at the time of filling the application form. The address of the test venue allotted to the applicant , will be mentioned on the NEST Admit Card. The list of the examination center is as given here.

Guntur [AP]Imphal [MN]
Kollam [KL]Allahabad [UP]
Jalandhar [PB]Jammu [JK]
Kurnool [AP]Shillong [ML]
Kottayam [KL]Kanpur [UP]
Mohali [PB]Srinagar [JK]
Rajahmundry [AP]Angul [OD]
Kozhikode [KL]Lucknow [UP]
Jaipur [RJ]Bokaro Steel City [JH]
Tirupathi [AP]Balasore [OD]
Malappuram [KL]Noida [UP]
Jodhpur [RJ]Dhanbad [JH]
Vijayawada [AP]Bargarh [OD]
Palakkad [KL]Varanasi [UP]
Udaipur [RJ]Jamshedpur [JH]
Visakhapatnam [AP]Baripada [OD]
Pathanamthitta [KL]Dehradun [UK]
Chennai [TN]Ranchi [JH]
Vizianagaram [AP]Berhampur-Ganjam [OD]
Thiruvananthapuram [KL]Haldwani [UK]
Coimbatore [TN]Bengaluru [KA]
Guwahati [AS]Bhubaneswar [OD]
Thrissur [KL]Roorkee [UK]
Madurai [TN]Hubballi (Hubli) [KA]
Patna [BR]Cuttack [OD]
Bhopal [MP]Asansol [WB]
Salem [TN]Mangaluru (Mangalore) [KA]
Chandigarh [CH]Dhenkanal [OD]
Gwalior [MP]Burdwan [WB]
Tiruchirappalli [TN]Mysuru (Mysore) [KA]
Bhilai Nagar [CG]Jharsuguda [OD]
Indore [MP]Durgapur [WB]
Tirunelveli [TN]Alappuzha [KL]
Raipur [CG]Khurda [OD]
Jabalpur [MP]Hooghly [WB]
Hyderabad [TS]Ernakulam [KL]
New Delhi [DL]Rayagada [OD]
Mumbai [MH]Kolkata [WB]
Karimnagar [TS]Idukki [KL]
Ahmedabad [GJ]Rourkela [OD]
Nagpur [MH]Siliguri [WB]
Warangal [TS]Kannur [KL]
Hamirpur [HP]Sambalpur [OD]
Pune [MH]Kasaragod [KL]
Agartala [TR]Bhatinda [PB]
Shimla [HP]

NEST 2021 Exam Pattern

Students can check the exam pattern of NEST 2021. The question paper and the distribution of marks in the paper are as per the pints given here.

Mode of exam: Online that is in CBT mode
Type of questions: MCQs with one or more correct answers
Total marks: 230
Total number of questions: 70
Number of sections: 5
Time duration: 3 hours 30 Minutes

Marking scheme of General section (section 1): No negative marking.

Marking scheme of section 2 to 5 (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Maths): Some questions may have one or more correct answers. There is negative marking in this section for wrong answers.

Distribution of questions:


NEST 2021 Previous Year’s Question Papers

To undersatnd the exam pattern more accurately you can check the question paper of last years since 2010. Note that until 2017, NEST was held in the offline mode, it has been taken online from 2018.

YearQuestion papers
2019NEST 2019 Question Papers
2018NEST 2018 Question Papers
2017NEST 2017 Question Papers
2016NEST 2016 Question Papers
2015NEST 2015 Question Papers
2014NEST 2014 Question Papers
2013NEST 2013 Question Papers
2012NEST 2012 Question Papers
2011NEST 2011 Question Papers
2010NEST 2010 Question Papers

How to prepare for NEST 2021

To prepare for the national level exam here are a few tips that might help you:

Know the level of cometition: In NEST, the number of competition has been incresing gradually since 2017. The number of candidates appearing for the exam has gone up immensely. Thus, NEST, which was being conducted in 1 shift util 2017, is now conducted in 2 shifts. Until 2017, the exam was held across 60 exam cities, which is now 100 and more. Thus the level of competition is high in NEST.

For the general section: Go through the class 10 NCERT books and practice questions on data interpretation, graph and pie chart interpretation questions,,e tc. Since there is no negative marking in this section, try to attempt all the questions.

For the remaining 4 sections: Know this fact first:

Out of the 4 sections to make the selection list the score of best 3 sections is taken into consideration. That means you need to perform your best in at least 3 sections. The least scored section is omitted.

– Maths background students can try to score their best in P, C and M
– Biology background students must try to do their best in P, C and B

  • Now, in these sections there are negative markings, so do not take guesses.
  • Also in Physics and Chemistry section in NEST, a lot of calculative questions are asked. Thus make sure you practice more to achieve good speed and accuracy in calculations.

How to attempt the exam?

You can follow this pattern of attempting the exam to make sure that you complete the exam on time:

  • First, attempt the general section.
  • Secondly, attempt the section that you are most confident in.
  • Most of the toppers say they attempt in this series: General>>Biology or Maths>>Chemistry>>Physics

Books to prepare for NEST 2021

Here are some books that can help with NEST 2021 preparations:

Book and authorPurchase
NCERT Science Textbook for Class 10buy now
NCERT Mathematics Textbook for Class 10 buy now
Problems in general physics by I.E Irodovbuy now
Problems inorganic chemistry by Himanshu Pandeybuy now
Objective NCERT at Your Fingertips for NEETbuy now

Cutoff marks to qualify NEST 2021

The overall cutoff percentile or minimum admissible percentile (MAP) needed to get a place in the merit list for admission is:


However, to qualify the exam and get a place in the merit list for admission the students have to also secure minimum marks in each section. This is called ‘Section-wise’ Minimum Admissible Score (SMAS).

The SMAS is calculated by taking 20% of the average of the best 100 scores in that section. For example:

If the average of the best 100 scores in Chemistry section is 40 out of 50, then SMAS for chemistry section would be 40*0.20 = 8 marks. Similarly, for other sections.

Note that:

  • SMAS in general section is mandatory for entering merit list of NISER and CEBS.
  • For NISER: Candidates have to surpass the SMAS in all 4 subject sections, in addition to the general section.
  • For CEBS: Candidates have to surpass the SMAS in any 3 subject sections, in addition to the general section.

NEST 2021 Admit Card

The registered candidates are issued the admit card of NEST 2021. The admit card is issued under the login of the students and to access it the students have to use their user id and password. Only the students who carry the admit card on the exam day can enter the exam hall and appear for the exam. The allotted exam center name and address are also communicated via the admit card. The students have to be present on the exam day as per the instructions in the NEST admit card.

With the admit card the candidates have to carry:

– School photo Identity
– Card or any other photo ID issued by Government agencies

NEST 2021 Result

NEST 2021 result is declared online under the login of the candidates. To check the result the students have to use their uder id and password. Apart from the result the candidates can also check the merit list for admission. The merit list has the name of the candidates who score minimum percentile in NEST and also qualify the sectional cutoff.

To prepare the NEST result the raw marks of the students are first converted to percentile score. The percentile score is calculated on the basis of the relative performance of all the candidates in the respective session. The highest score in each session is the 100th percentile.

NEST 2021 Question Paper and Answer Key

The answer key of NEST 2021 has sent to the registered email address of candidates, who appeared in exam. Information related to NEST 2021 Answer Keys is updated on the official website, The answer key is made available for all question ask in NEST Exam. On the answer key, the students can check the questions and the correct answer to the question. In case candidates have to doubt in answers, they can raise objection against it.

Therefore in NEST the candidates can check the answers to their questions with the help of the answer key and they can also raise objection before prescribed schedule. Also, the result will declare after the release of NEST answer key.

NEST 2021 Merit List

The NEST 2021 merit list is prepared separately for NISER and CEBS. The same is explained below:

Merit list preparation of NISER:

  • A candidate is required to score equal to or above a total Minimum Admissible Percentile (MAP), to get a merit rank.
  • A candidate must score equal to or more than the respective SMAS in the general section as well as in all four subject sections.
  • Score for the general section along with three best scores from the remaining subject sections is considered for the merit rank.

Merit list preparation of CEBS:

  • A candidate is required to score equal to or above a total Minimum Admissible Percentile (MAP), to get a merit rank.
  • A candidate must score equal to or more than respective SMAS in the general section as well as in any of the three subject sections.
  • Score for the general section along with three best scores from the remaining subject sections is considered for the merit rank.

Tie-breaking for merit list

In case 2 or more candidates get the same score, then the tie is resolved using the steps below:

  • Candidates with higher score in the general section get a better rank.
  • If the tie is still there, the best scores in the subject section of the two students would be compared. The student with the better score in any of the subject section would get a better rank.
  • If the tie still persists, the students would be given same provisional rank at the time of declaration of the result and the tie would be broken by comparing class 12th marks and date of birth in that order, during admission/counselling.

NEST 2021 Counselling

The counselling based on NEST 2021 result is done separately bu NISER and CEBS. The students have to appear for th counselling and admisison process that the intitutes conduct separately based on their norms and strictly based on NEST merit.

The candidates who appear for the counselling rounds have to carry necessary certificates supporting eligibility criteria have to be furnished only at the time of admission. Offer of admission is subject to verification of all original certificates at the time of admission/counselling.

The admission process in the institutes are as follows:

#1. Visit the official website of respective institutes and check the admission events.

#2. Under the tab, the candidates can check the call list for counselling based on NEST 2021 rank list.

#3. Register on the institute’s website for admission using the online form available.

#4. Report at the counselling venue with all the documents.

NEST 2021 Seat Matrix

Number of seats available at NISER and CEBS for admission in the year 2021 would be as follows.

General 10123
General – EWS006
OBC – NCL 5415
Divyangjan 5% seats in each category5% seats in each category
Total proposed intake20057

About National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER)

NISER is established by the Department of Atomic Energy. NISER offers a 5 year integrated M.Sc. programme in Biological, Chemical, Mathematical and Physical sciences. NISER functions from its own campus at Jatni. Degrees at NISER is awarded by the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), a deemed-to-be University within the Department of Atomic Energy.

About the Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (CEBS)

The Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, has an autonomous Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences in Mumbai. CEBS offers high quality teaching via post-graduate and research environment with some of the best teachers and scientists from major institutions in the city (TIFR, BARC, IIT) and the University of Mumbai and its colleges.

For References , Candidates can check the details of NEST 2020 Exam, Download Information Brochure.

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