NEST 2020 - National Entrance Screening Test

Exam Date : June 6, 2020
Result Date : June 18, 2020

NEST is a national level entrance exam conducted by NISER Bhubaneshwar and the Center for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS), Mumbai for students aspiring to pursue a 5-year Integrated M.Sc Program in Basic Sciences and Mathematics. The full form for NEST is the National Entrance Screening Test. The NEST Exam Paper as per the framed exam pattern is an Online Computed Based Test (CBT).

NEST Application Form is generally released in January and remains open till March, moreover, a candidate can find the syllabus on the official website and prepare for the exam. To score well the best tool that anyone can use is to use previous year NEST Exam Question Papers. Additional information about the exam and latest updates are provided below.

  1. What is NEST Exam?
  2. Eligibility
  3. Exam Date
  4. Syllabus
  5. Application Form
  6. Application Process
  7. Exam Pattern
  8. Admit Card
  9. Exam Centres
  10. Results
  11. Cutoff
  12. Counselling
  13. Exam FAQs

What is NEST Exam?

The full form of NEST is the National Entrance Screening Test. It is a national level entrance test for candidates seeking admission to the 5-year Integrated MSc Program in Basic Sciences and Mathematics. There are two participating institutions in this exam. Aspirants who clear NEST 2020 Cut-off can get admission into the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar.

NEST ExamThey are also eligible for admission into Centre for Excellence in Basic Science (UM-DAE CEBS), Mumbai. NISER and UM-DAE CEBS universities are established by the Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India in 2007. The main intention of these universities is to train a candidate for scientific programmes in Atomic Energy and also to encourage participation in scientific research.

It is a national level entrance exam. The candidates can get admission to NISER, Bhubaneshwar and UM-DAE CEBS, Mumbai. It is conducted once every year by NISER, Bhubaneshwar. The question paper will be available in English and Hindi Language. The Difficulty level of the exam is perceived from moderate to difficult.

As the number of seats is less, competition is high. NISER and UM-DAE CEBS offers 5 years integrated M.Sc. programme in Biological, Chemical, Mathematical and Physical science. The final degree at CEBS is awarded by the 150-year old University of Mumbai and degree at NISER will be awarded by the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI).

NEST Exam Details
Components Details
 Name of Exam
National Entrance Screening Test(NEST)
Organizing Body NISER Bhubaneshwar and UM-DAE CBS Mumbai
Category Postgraduate/Integrated
NEST 2020 June 6, 2020 (tentative)
Timings Session 1: 9 AM to 12.30 PMSession 2: 2.30 PM to 6 PM
Exam Mode Online i.e. Computer-Based Test (CBT)
Course Offered Master of Science (M.Sc)
Official Website 



The NEST 2020 eligibility condition includes factors like educational qualification, XII passing year, age limit and Nationality. The candidates must have marks above a certain cutoff in the XII class. Also, an advantage is there for the candidates belonging to certain states. The various eligibility conditions are:

  • Educational Qualification: All test-takers should have passed 10+2 or its equivalent examination in the science domain i.e. Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics/ Biology as their mandatory subjects from a recognized board or university.
  • Passing Year: Aspirants must have passed  Class XII board examination or its equivalent in any of the years among 2017, 2018 or 2019 from any recognised Higher Secondary Education Board in India.

  • Minimum Marks: Candidates must have minimum aggregate marks of 60% in the qualifying exam (+2). For SC/ST candidates the relaxation in minimum qualifying marks is 5%.

  • Age Limit: Candidates should be born on or after 1st August 1999 to be eligible to write this exam. For students belonging to SC/ ST/ PWD category, age relaxation of 5 years is allowed.

  • Nationality: Only Indian citizens are allowed to give this exam. NRIs and PIOs cannot appear for this exam.

  • State Quota: Candidates from J & K, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana state have a quota of 15%.

NEST Eligibility
Elements Details
Nationality Indian Nationals only (NRI PIO/OCI candidates not eligible)
Education 10+2 or Equivalent
Minimum Marks General Category: 60% Aggregate SC/ST Category: 55% Aggregate
Passing Year Should have passed 12th in 2017/2018 or 2020 
Age Limit Born after 1st August 1999 (5 years relaxation for SC/ST candidates)
State Quota 15 % reservation for candidates from J & K, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana 

Exam Date

The notification for the NEST 2020 exam will release after 31st of December by NISER Bhubaneshwar. NEST 2020 Exam Dates includes registration, admit card and exam date. Candidates can visit the official website to apply for the entrance test. Application Form was available from January 3, 2020 onwards.

And the last date to submit the Application Form was on March 5, 2020. The deadline for the registration window was extended to 18th March 2020. This was done because the number of candidates interested in applying for this exam is soaring. After successful submission of the Application Form, candidates can download the Admit Card from April 18, 2020 onwards.

The 2020 exam will commence on June 6, 2020, through online mode i.e. Computer-based Test (CBT). NEST 2020 result will be announced by the conducting authority on June 18, 2020. Candidates who have cleared the NEST 2020 will be called for the counselling process. NEST Counselling Process will most likely begin in July.

Exam Syllabus

The NEST Exam Syllabus consists of 5 sections that include One general section and four core sections. The general section aims at testing the aptitude of the candidate for a career in science. Questions are designed to test the candidate’s familiarity with (and not a detailed understanding) major historical milestones in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, computer science, and the environment. 

The core section Syllabus and Question Paper will include Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology of 11th and 12th grades. Candidates have the choice to attempt any three subjects out of the given four. Candidates need to focus on books from NCERT and CBSE syllabus of the 11th and 12th grades. The questions will have a moderate to an easy level of difficulty. Some questions might appear tricky but most questions are based on the fundamentals.

Application Form

 NEST 2020 Application form was available from January 3, 2020 and the last date to submit the Application Form was on March 5, 2020. While filling the Application Form, all candidates need to provide the correct educational as well as personal details along with the valid email address and phone number. 

At the time of filling the Application Form, candidates are required to upload the scanned documents like recent photograph and valid signature. All female candidates and candidates belonging to SC/ST  and PwD categories have to pay INR 600 as registration fees. All the remaining candidates have to pay INR 1200. The tentative dates for NEST 2020 registration are as follows:-

NEST 2020 Registration
Elements Elaborated Details
Application Availability  From January 3, 2020 to March 5, 2020 
 Application Mode  Only Online via Credit Card, Debit Card or Internet Banking 
Application Fee General/ OBC Candidates: INR 1200/- All Female Candidates: INR 600/- SC/ ST/ PWD candidates: INR 600/-

Application Process

The NEST Exam has mainly four stages namely Registration, Application form filling, Uploading of Documents and finally payment of fees. After that, the candidate has to take a print out of the application form. The various things which the candidate has to do in each stage are:

  • Visit the official site and register yourself by providing your name, mobile number and Email ID details.
  • Completion of the Registration process will generate a username and password.
  • Enter your login credentials and Fill the basic form that contains information about the candidate.
  • Upload your photo and signature in .jpg format.
  • Pay the application fees through debit/credit card or Internet Banking.
  • Verify all the filled up information, click on submit and take a print out of the application form.

Exam Pattern

In the NEST Exam pattern, the various details regarding the paper pattern, exam mode, duration and marking scheme are given. Students can learn about NEST Exam Pattern and strategise better.

NEST 2020 will be conducted via online mode i.e. Computer Based Test (CBT) on June 6, 2020. The question paper will be objective and will be having Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). The NEST 2020 Question paper will comprise the five sections namely: General Ability, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology. The total time given to complete the examination will be 3 hours and 30 minutes. The question paper will aggregate to 180 marks. 30 marks for the first section and 50 marks each for the other three sections used for evaluation. 

Negative marking will be there for certain sections of the question paper only. Candidates should note that some questions may have one or more correct answers. Hence, for such questions marks can only be earned by marking all the correct answers. The question paper will be available only in the English language. Merit list for both the institutes will be prepared with the best 3 of the subject sections (in addition to the general section). Therefore, a section with the worst score will be omitted.

NEST Exam Pattern
Components Details
Type of Exam Online i.e. Computer-Based Test (CBT)
Type of Questions Objective/ Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Medium of Exam English 
Duration 210 Minutes
Total Marks 230
Marking Scheme +1 mark for the Correct AnswerNegative marking only in Subject Sections

Admit Card

 NEST 2020 Admit Card will be available on the official website of NISER, Odisha. Applicants who have paid the Application Form fee successfully can download NEST 2020, Admit Card. Without NEST Admit Card 2020, a candidate will not be allowed inside the exam hall. Admit Card will be issued by the conducting authority on April 18, 2020. 

All the necessary details related to the exam centre like the address of the venue, exam timings will be mentioned in the admit card. It will only be available in Online mode and no hard copy will be sent through post or any other offline mode.

Exam Centres

There will be around 91 NEST Exam centres across the country. At the time of filling the application form, candidates need to select the exam centres according to their preferences. Candidates can select up to 5 different exam centres from the given list depending upon their Convenience or priority. Aspirants will be allotted any one of the exam centres among the selected centres. Candidates have to report to the exam centre before or at the reporting time given on the Admit Card. Documents that must be carried to the exam centre are:

  • NEST Admit card print out.
  • Photo ID such as Adhar, Driving License, etc.


Candidates can check their NEST 2020 Results from June 18, 2020 onwards. To check the result an aspirant needs to visit the official website. The merit list will be prepared based on the general section and the best of three scores from the core subjects. Aspirants are advised to attempt all questions for better results. The stepwise process of obtaining NEST 2020 result:

  • Visit the official website of NEST
  • Click on the Results link
  • Enter your Application number click on the submit button.
  • Download and print your NEST exam results.


A candidate must score equal to or more than the respective SMAS in the general section as well as in all four subject sections. SMAS stands for ‘Section-wise’ Minimum Admissible Score and it is equivalent to section-wise cut–off marks. For each section, “20% of the average of the best 100 scores in that section” will be considered as Section-wise Minimum Admissible Score (SMAS).

  • Relaxation of SMAS for OBC: SMAS for OBC students would be 90% of respective SMAS for general category students.

  • Relaxation of SMAS for SC/ST/PWD: SMAS for SC/ST/PWD students would be 50% of respective SMAS for general category students. Merit lists for NISER and CEBS will be prepared separately. In addition to SMAS, a candidate is required to score more than or equal to a total Overall cut-off or Minimum Admissible Percentile (MAP) to come under the merit list.

MAP for NEST 2020 is provided below:

MAP for NEST 2020


Overall Cutoff Score/MAS







The total number of seats at NISER and CEBS is 449. Here the total number of seats at NISER is 200+2(JK) and at CEBS is 45+2(JK). Candidates, based on the cutoff decided will be called for counselling which will be offline only. After verification of documents and payment of fees, the admission will be given to the candidate.

Exam Counselling

NEST 2020 Counselling is expected to be held in July. However, aspirants must wait for official notification. Counselling will be based on the merit/rank list and availability of seats. NEST 2020 Counselling will take place in two rounds. It is intended to fill the seats in the two participating institutes NISER and UM-DAE CEBS.

The number seats to be filled in NISER and CEB is different and the details of the same are given below in table form:

NEST Seat Division
Category NISER CEB
General 101 23
OBC-NCL 54 12
SC 30 7
ST 15 3
5% in each category 
Total 200 45
Supernumerary quota (J&K) 2 2
Total proposed intake 202 47

Counselling Documents

Candidates need to carry the original and a photocopy of the following documents:

  • Class 10th and 12th mark sheets
  • Passport size photographs (2)
  • Government-issued ID Proof
  • Certificate (if applicable)
  • PWD Certificate (if applicable)

How to Prepare for NEST Exam 2020?

Before starting exam preparation, go through the entire syllabus and NEST 2020 Reference Books to get familiar with the topics and understand the depth and the difficulty level of NEST. Accordingly, make a well planned and attainable time table. Give the utmost priority to follow this self-made study plan. Also, make sure you give higher preference and more time to topics that have appeared repeatedly in the past years.

And for topics you find difficult, this will help one to score well. For revision, solve the NEST Previous Year Question Paper with fixed time and in the real exam like environment. This will bring the best in you and will make you more confident about your preparation. Attempting NEST 2020 Mock Test regularly instead of doing all of them at the end is the best strategy of mastering objective type papers like NEST.

NEST Exam Coaching Centre

The number of Coaching centres for NEST exams is less and only a few institutes are there in Delhi-

  • Target Tutorials
  • The Pathshala
  • The Study
  • The Wise Study Circle
  • Narayana IIT Academy

NEST Contact Details

Address: National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Jatni post, Khurda, Pincode - 752050, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.

Website: nest


Nest exam contact Number: +91-674-2494002/4003/4005 


Q. Is NEST application form available offline?

Ans. No, the candidate can only apply through online mode.

Q. What are the documents that should be uploaded while filling the form?

Ans. The candidates are required to upload the photograph and signature in .jpg format.

Q. How many times the NEST exam is conducted in a year?

Ans. The NEST Exam is conducted once a year in June.

Q. Can I edit the details in the application form after submission?

Ans. No, the details cannot be changed once the form is submitted.

Q. Can I pay through Demand Draft or cash?

Ans. No, the candidate can only pay through the debit/credit card or internet banking.

Q. How can I convert my CGPA into Percentage?

Ans. Every board has some guidelines associated with the CGPA, please follow that. Generally, it's done by multiplying the CGPA by 9.5.

NEST Exam News

NEST Exam admit card may release on 18th April 2020 (tentative)and this date is subject to change and as soon it is notified on the official website it will be updated here.  The candidates can download it from the official website of NEST. The exam will be conducted on 4th June 2020.

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Colleges which accept [NEST]

Want to get in ?
Bachelor of Technology [B.Tech], batch of 2022
22 Jun 2019
Eligibility Criteria and Admission Process

10+2 with PCM Group (Min. 45% for General Candidates and Min. 40% for SC, ST, OBC)

Through counselling conducted by DTE, Bhopal on the basis of JEE Main / 10+2 marks (Through online off-campus process)

Admission to all the UG and PG courses is offered on the basis of merit in ITMNEST conducted by ITM UniversityGwalior followed by counselling. Apart fromITM NEST score for B.Tech admission

Want to get in ?
Bachelor of Science [B.Sc], batch of 2017
24 Feb 2018
Eligibility Criteria and Admission Process

3 years full time or 6 years part-time The Bachelor of Science gives students a solid foundation in scientific knowledge and practice while allowing them to specialise in an area of interest. Students may follow any of the nine different majors leading to the award of a degree naming the chosen major, e.g. Bachelor of Science in Nanotechnology, Entrance exam Name of Entrance Exam Conducting Authority National Entrance Screening Test (NEST)

Want to get in ?
Bachelor of Dental Science [BDS], batch of 2015
16 Jan 2017
Eligibility Criteria and Admission Process
  • The eligibility criteria for joining Jamia Millia Islamia University is clearing the NEST exam.
  • The cut-off for the course is 165/200 marks in NEST exam.

Want to get in ?
film and television production, batch of 2020
21 Dec 2016
Eligibility Criteria and Admission Process
  • The eligibility criteria of Lovely Professional University, [LPU] Jalandhar is 50% and above in any recognized board of India.
  • I’m currently doing B.Sc. in film and television production. The procedure of admission to this course is very easy, all you have to do is just log in to the official website of LPU and select this course.
  • This university also offers you a scholarship entrance exam known as LPU nest. This helps you get a scholarship in your tuition fees.
  • According to my experience yet the department of film and television production is not so good. But you get a very good exposure in the university.
  • The teachers are very frank with the student which helps us get a good hold on subject if we pay attention.
  • The university rules are very strict which will make any person punctual and disciplined. Frankly speaking, this university is very good to do engineering and CSC.   


Want to get in ?
Integrated M.Sc, batch of 2017
15 Sep 2016
Eligibility Criteria and Admission Process
  • There is an all India exam for admission to our college UM-DAE Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences which goes by the name NEST. One has to qualify this exam and counselling is performed according to the rank. Eligibility criteria is 12th pass with 80% marks for general and lower for reserved categories.
  • The entrance exam NEST is national Entrance Screening Test, organized in June each year.
  • The typical rank cutoff for general is AIR 200, OBC,SC,ST max cutoff rank is 4000

Discussion Forum

What is the mode of Exam NEST 2018?

What is the mode of Exam NEST 2018- Online or Offline?

Asked By: abhishek kumar,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Abhishek,

NEST 2018 Exam will be only Online (computer-based exam). Check before applying for this exam whether you satisfy the HITSEEE Eligibility Criteria.

Good Luck!

How many colleges are affiliated to NEST?

How many colleges are affiliated to NEST? Which are those colleges?

Asked By: astha rao,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Astha,

2 colleges are affiliated to NEST 2018. These are:-

  • National Institute of Science Education and Research(NISER), Bhubaneshwar
  • University of Mumbai-Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai.

Good Luck!

Can I apply for NEST 2018 after completing my B.Sc?

Can I apply for NEST 2018 after completing my B.Sc?

Asked By: aditya,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Aditya,

You are eligible for the NEST 2018.

Chek more about NEST eligibility on the official website.

Can I get admission in Hyderabad University through NEST score?

Can I get admission in Hyderabad University through NEST score?

Asked By: alice,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Alice,

NEST 2018 scores are accepted in Hyderabad University.

Click here to know about the colleges that accept the NEST score.

Good Luck!!

Hi, I am Soma Do I need to send the hard copies of the application summary to NEST office?

Hi, I am Soma Do I need to send the hard copies of the application summary to NEST office?

Asked By: Soma,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Soma,

NO. The entire application process is paperless.

Good Luck

Hi, I am Sahil Can I pay the application fee using DD or cash?

Hi, I am Sahil Can I pay the application fee using DD or cash?

Asked By: Sahil,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Hi Sahil,

No. The only option for payment is online. it could be either net banking, credit card or debit card.

Good Luck

Cleared 12th in 2016 with PCB. Eligible for NEST or not?

I have passed my 12th in 2016 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology subject with no Maths. So can I apply for NEST 2017? Is Math required in 12th NEST?

Asked By: Yash Raj,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

Yes, you are eligible for NEST 2017, provided, you clear the other Eligibility Criteria as well.

If you are a candidate from the Reservation Criteria for NEST like SC, ST, and PD (Physically Disabled) applicants are given a relaxation of five years in the above age limit as well.

Editing the NEST application form

How to edit my NEST application form?

Asked By: Sachin Sugu,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

The NEST office immediately receives all your data as per the application form.

You are not allowed to edit any further information on the application form.

Conducting Body of NEST

Who is in charge of conducting NEST?

Asked By: Hirani Karen,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

The National Entrance Screening Test or commonly known as NEST is conducted to gain admissions in the following institutes:

  • National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar

  • University of Mumbai - Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CBS), Mumbai

These institutes also serve their purpose as the conducting bodies to the exam.


Is there any scholarship available for the candidates?

Asked By: Harshita Dhajnai,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

The candidates applying for NEST will be admitted to 5-year Integrated MSc programme at NISER and CBS are eligible for INSPIRE by Govt. of India. They will be eligible for a scholarship of Rs 5,000/- per month. If the candidates participating in summer projects, a sum of Rs 20,000/- will be given every year.