National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) is a compulsory test for students seeking admission to 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. Both NISER and UM-DAE CEBS were set up by Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India in 2007. Their mandate is to train scientific manpower for carrying out cutting edge scientific research and for providing input to scientific programmes of Department of Atomic Energy and other applied science institutions in the country. NEST 2019 will be conducted in around 91 cities across India.


Eligibility criteria for admission as follow, Candidates must qualify all four eligibility criteria listed below:

  • Candidates in General and OBC category should be born on or after August 01,1999 . The age limit is relaxed by 5 years for SC/ ST/ Physically Disabled (PD) candidates.
  • Class XII qualifying examination should be passed in either 2017 or 2018. Candidates appearing in 2019 are also eligible. (Where only Letter Grade is given by the Board, a certificate from the Board specifying equivalent percentage marks will be required. In the absence of such a certificate the decision of the respective Admission Committees will be final.)
  • At least 60% marks in aggregate (or equivalent grade) in Class XII (or equivalent) examination from any recognized Board in India. For Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) candidates and for Persons with Disability (PD), the minimum requirement is 55%. Candidate should secure a position in the NEST merit list.


The NEST question paper has five sections. The first section, which is compulsory for all candidates, includes general questions. The next four sections includes questions on (1) Biology, (2) Chemistry, (3) Mathematics and (4) Physics. Candidates may opt to answer any three of the four sections for CEBS and all four for NISER. All sections carry equal marks (17 questions as of 2021) and has sectional cutoff. The questions are aimed at testing the Conceptual understanding and analytic ability of the candidates. The questions are of objective type with four answers given for each question, for 12 questions there may only be one relatively correct answer for each which fetches 2.5 marks. Wrong answers are awarded -1 marks. Remaining 5 questions have multiple correct options for partially correct or incorrect answers students are awarded 0 marks and for completely correct 4 marks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S)

1. why nest entrance exam is conducted ?

The NEST Exam is conducted annually to offer admission for Integrated MSc programmes in: Biology. Chemistry. Mathematics.

  • Exam Name: National Entrance Screening Test
  • Exam Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Exam Mode: Online

2. What is the purpose of NEST exam?

The National Entrance Screening Test (popularly known as NEST) is an annual college entrance examination in India, conducted for admission into the National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar (NISER) and the Center for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS), Mumbai.

3. Who should write NEST exam?

It is mandatory for all aspiring candidates to write the NEST 2021 examination. Candidates must have passed the class XII examination from any recognised Board in India in the years 2019 or 2020 or should be appearing for the same in 2021.

4. Is NEST tougher than NEET?

NEST exam is not much difficult. The level of difficulty is somewhere between Medium to difficulty . If you are clear about your 11th and 12 th standard topics then NEST exam is not a big deal for you However the exam is difficult than JEE mains and NEET exam.

5. What is the level of NEST exam?

The exam pattern includes details of exam mode, type of questions, number of questions, marking scheme, etc. NEST is conducted for admission to the candidates into 5-year integrated M.Sc. course. It is a national level entrance test.

6. How do I study for NEST?

NEST Preparation Strategy 2021

  1. Make a proper study plan.
  2. Know the exam pattern.
  3. Know the syllabus of each section.
  4. Get the books and study material.
  5. Practice mock test papers/ online mock tests.

7. Is NEST negative marking?

NEST 2021 Marking Scheme

Section 1-General Ability has no negative marking. No marks are deducted for any wrong answer. All other subject sections- Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology have negative marking.

8. What is the future of Nest exam?

Once NISER has finished with all the processes, it will start the next NEST 2022. As per some news about the NEST, the application process for the next 2022 NEST is likely to start by February 2022. As of now, NEST will happen by the 3rd week of June 2022.

9. Is niser better than IIT?

niser/iiser are better than iit if you want to persue research as your career and study pure science.

10. Is maths compulsory for nest?

The General Section (Section 1) is a compulsory section for all. Candidate can choose to attempt any three subjects out of the four subjects – Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and Biology. Only three out of the four subjects with the highest score will be considered for the merit calculation.

12. Do Nest questions repeat?

Answer. Hello, It is not necessary that previous year questions will repeat but the concepts may appear again so your main focus should be on building the basic concepts.

13. Is biology compulsory for nest?

No, biology is not compulsory for NEST exam. There are five sections in the NEST exam. The first section which is compulsory for all the candidates includes general questions. From the rest of the four sections (physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology), you can answer any three of them.

14. How many times can I attempt nest?

There is no restriction on the number of attempts for NEST 2022 examination.

15. How many marks is nest?

The total time duration is 210 minutes. Each section in NEST 2022 question paper is of 50 marks except General Aptitude that consists of 30 marks. There are 230 marks in total.

16. Which is best Iiser or niser?

NISER has good faculties in all the departments, is one of the best in physics and experimental chemistry. IISER Kolkata is good for physics, IISER Pune is good for chemistry and IISER Mohali has a lot of people doing algebra in maths. The departments are one of the best in the country.

17. Is niser exam tough?

Getting into NISER is difficult, as it is one of the most prestigious institutes that gives admission to top rankers for the integrated MSc course. Moreover, the huge number of candidates appearing for NEST makes it even harder

18. Is Nest similar to JEE?

JEE Mains and NEST are completely different exams. JEE Mains is conducted for admission to NITs, IIITs and GFTIs in addition to many other colleges that accept JEE Mains score.

19. Does NISER accept JEE mains?

And the best part is for most of them your scores in JEE Main, JEE Advanced or 12th class Board exams will be considered for admissions. Some of the top Science/Mathematics Courses after 12th Class/Intermediate are offered by the following: IISERs. NISER.

20. Is Nest Exam Conducted online or offline?