National Entrance Screening Test


The National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) is a Computer-Based Test for admission to the 5-year Integrated MSc program in basic sciences – Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics – at NISER, Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE CEBS, Mumbai.

Exam NameNational Entrance Screening Test
Also Known AsNEST
Exam CategoryUndergraduate
Exam LevelNational
Exam ModeOnline (Computer based test)
Conducted byNISER, UM-DAE CEBS

NEW: NEST 2024 will not have a separate “General” section. There will be only 4 sections of 50 marks each.

UPDATE (Dec 16, 2023): NEST 2024 Applications are expected to start in February.



  • It is a Computer Based Test (CBT) of 3 hours 30 minutes duration.
  • There will be 4 subject sections of 50 marks each containing subject-specific questions from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.
  • Each subject section has 17 questions, out of which 12 questions are single correct answer MCQs, and 5 questions are multiple correct answer MCQs.
  • For Single correct answer MCQs, each correct answer fetches 2.5 marks, while each incorrect answer has a penalty of 1 mark (-1 mark).
  • For Multiple correct answer MCQs, each correct answer fetches 4 marks, and there’s no negative marking.
  • Only the best 3 section scores will be counted for evaluation and merit list preparation.
  • The medium of the question paper will be English only.
  • NEW: NEST question paper will not have a separate “General” section.



To be Announced



  • Session 1: 09:00 am to 12:30 pm
  • Session 2: 02:30 pm to 06:00 pm


The exam will be conducted in two sessions on the same day. The candidates will be allotted the examination session at random and no requests for a choice of a session would be entertained.

The allotted examination session will be mentioned in the candidate’s Admit Card.



There is no restriction on appearing for NEST.



  • Basic: Candidate should be from regular science stream and preferably should have any combination of three subjects among Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics in classes XI and XII.
  • Exam: Candidate must secure a rank in the NEST merit list.
  • Age: Candidate should be born on or after August 1, 2004 (relaxed by 5 years for SC/ST/PD candidates).
  • Qualifying Examination: Candidate should have passed Class XII qualifying examination either in 2022 or 2023. Candidates appearing in 2024 are also eligible.
  • Marks in Qualifying Examination: Candidate must obtain a minimum of 60% marks in aggregate in Class XII (or equivalent) examination from any recognized Board in India (for SC/ST/PD, the minimum requirement is 55%).


Syllabus – Click



  • Practice sessions for the computer-based test will be available for all applicants on the application portal after online registration and complete submission of online application.
  • The mock test is for practice purpose only.



See previous year Question Papers and Answers here.


NEST 2024 Application Fee is yet to be announced. Application fee for previous year was ₹1200 (₹600 for SC/ST/PD categories and female candidates).



  • The registrations for NEST examination are expected to begin in February 2024.
  • The last date to apply is yet to be announced.



  1. Candidates must fill-up the online application form through NEST website.
  2. Register and log in to fill the personal details and educational qualifications.
  3. Upload passport-sized image and signature.
  4. Pay the application fee through Online Payment.
  5. Save application summary page for future reference.


Note: Candidates need not to send any document to the NEST office in the entire application process.


  • Candidates will be provided a facility to make corrections in their application form particulars.
  • It is a one-time facility and is extended to the candidates to avoid any hardship to them.
  • The correction window will be open for a few days after the last date of registration.




  • Candidates must choose 5 centres in order of their preference while filling-up the application form.
  • Every effort will be made to allot the candidate’s first preference.
  • The address of the test venue allotted to the applicant will be mentioned on the NEST admit card.



  • Admit Card can be downloaded from NEST website after it’s notified.
  • Candidates are required to produce the Admit Card along with an Identity Card at the test centre.
  • Address of the NEST test centre allotted to an applicant will be printed in the admit card.
  • Admit Card should be kept safely as the successful candidates have to produce it in original during admission.



  • The answer keys of Computer-based examination will be made available on the NEST website.
  • If a candidate is unsatisfied with an answer, he/she can challenge the answer keys.





  • A merit list will be prepared based on the total of three best scores from the four sections.
  • For normalization of the two sessions of the exam, percentile scores will be considered. It will be calculated on the basis of the relative performance of all the candidates in the respective session. The highest score in each session will be 100 percentile.



  • 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).
  • A candidate must clear the cutoff (SMAS) in any three subject sections for inclusion in the merit list.
  • SMAS for OBC students would be 90% of the respective SMAS of General category students.
  • SMAS for SC/ST/PwD students would be 50% of the respective SMAS of General category students.



  • In addition to Subject-wise cutoff, a candidate is required to score equal to or above a total Minimum Admissible Percentile (MAP) in order to be included in the merit list.
  • Overall Cutoff (MAP) for NEST is 90 percentile for General category, 85 percentile for OBC category and 60 percentile for SC/ST/PwD category.



  • The result for NEST will be announced as per schedule.
  • Candidates will be allotted a General Rank and a Category Rank based on their performance in NEST exam.



  • Admissions to 5-year Integrated MSc programme in basic sciences – Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics – at NISER, Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE CEBS, Mumbai will be done on the basis of NEST Merit rank.



  • Candidates must provide a correct e-mail address in the online application as the NEST office communicates with candidates through this e-mail id.
  • Candidates must reach the test venue at least 90 minutes before the examination commences.
  • Use of log tables and calculators in the examination hall is not allowed.
  • Candidates must bring their Admit Card and a photo Identity Card to the examination hall.


Start of Online applicationTBA; Expected: February 2024
Closing of Online applicationTBA
Application Correction windowTBA
Download of Admit Card beginsTBA
NEST examinationTBA
Release of Answer KeysTBA
Answer Keys Objection windowTBA
Announcement of resultsTBA


Candidates can contact NEST authorities through written communication, phone or email.

NISER Contact Information
AddressChief Coordinator, NEST 2023,
National Institute of Science Education and Research Bhubaneswar,
P.O. Jatni, Khurda – 752050, Odisha (India)
Helpline+91-7996065888, 0674-2494360


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