The National Entrance Screening Test (NEST)

The National Entrance Screening Test (NEST), a compulsory test for admission to the 5-year Integrated MSc Programme in basic sciences - Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics - 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 CBS), Mumbai, two autonomous institutions established by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India, will be held from 10 am to 1 pm on 28th May, 2016 (Saturday) at Agartala, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Balangir, Balasore, Bengaluru Berhampur Bhopal Bhubaneswar Burdwan Calicut Chandigarh  Chennai Coimbatore, Cuttack, Dehradun, Delhi-East, Delhi-North, Delhi-South, Dhanbad, Dharwad, Durgapur, Ghaziabad, Guwahati, Gwalior, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Jammu, Jamshedpur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kochi, Kolkata-North, Kolkata-South, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Siliguri, Srinagar, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Tiruchirappalli, Udaipur, Varanasi, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.

Examination Structure:

The question paper will consist of 5 sections of objective, MCQ type questions carrying 50 marks in each section. Section 1 is a general section and is compulsory for all candidates. There will be no negative marking in general section. Sections 2 through 5 will contain subject specific questions from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. Candidates are permitted to attempt as many subject-sections as they wish. However, only the best three subject scores along with the score in the general section will be counted for evaluation and merit list preparation. The questions are designed to test candidates' subject comprehension and analytic ability. In the subject sections, there will be negative marking for incorrect answers. Some questions may have one or more correct answers for which marks can only be earned by marking all correct answers and no wrong answer. NEST question papers of last few years, are available at NEST 2016 website. Language of the question paper will be English only. The answers to each question are to be marked on an OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) sheet. Details regarding the way of answering on OMR sheet will be given in question paper and OMR sheet.


The detailed syllabus for NEST examination is provided in the Brochure that can be downloaded from the NEST website as well as at the website. There is no specific syllabus for the general section, that will test candidate's familiarity with, but not detailed understanding of, major historical milestones in subjects like Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Computer science and Environmental science. Questions will be designed to test analytic abilities and comprehension of scientific passages. Some of the questions in this section may require knowledge of Mathematics at Class X level.


Applicant should be from science stream, having any combination of Biology/ Chemistry/ Mathematics/ Physics at class XII. Applicant should have passed class XII examination or equivalent from any recognised Board in India in 2014 or 2015 or should be appearing in 2016. Only those securing at least 60% marks in aggregate or equivalent grade in class XII examination will be eligible for admission to NISER and CBS. However, there is no restriction on appearing for NEST. For candidates belonging to scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) and physical disabilities (PD) categories, the minimum requirement of marks is 55% in aggregate. Where only letter grades are available, a certificate from the Board specifying equivalent percentage of marks is required. In the absence of such a certificate, the decision of the Admissions Committee of the concerned Institution will be final.
General and OBC category candidates born on or after August 1, 1996 are eligible for admission to the integrated M.Sc. programme of NISER/CBS. The age limit is relaxed by 5 years for SC / ST / PD candidates. However, there is no restriction on appearing for NEST 2016.

Application Fee:

Applications can be submitted online at on or after January 4, 2016 till midnight on . The detailed online application procedure is available on the website. There is no offline application mode available for NEST 2016.
Applicant has to register at the website initially for which a valid email id is needed. Applicant should click the ‘Apply Online’ link on the NEST–2016 website to reach the online application page. Applicant has to give the name, a valid email-id and a password of choice in window. Applicant will then receive an email at the email-id provided, containing a link to confirm the registration. The application process allows multi-session data entry. One can login to the application profile as many times as one wishes, using the same login details. Page 1 of the application process asks for personal information, choice of exam centres and academic details. Candidates must choose 2 centres in order of their preference while filling up of application form. Every effort will be made to allot the centre of first preference. The address of the venue of the centre will be mentioned on the NEST admit card. Applicant should fill all other mandatory fields, save and proceed to the next page. The next page will show applicant’s newly generated application number. The application number is important for all future communications with NEST office till admissions are taken to the programme.
In page 2 of the application process one is required to upload JPG files of passport size photograph, signature and a copy of DD in case of opting for this payment option. In case of online payment, only photo and signature are to be uploaded.
Page 3 of the application process provides two possible payment options among which applicant needs to choose one. In the Online payment mode, fee can be paid using any Credit/Debit card or through Net banking without visiting any bank. After payment, a printout of the transaction receipt is to be taken and retained as a proof of payment. Applicant should provide the 10 digit alpha-numeric DU number (DUxxxxxxxx) and transaction date given on the receipt, on page 3, save and proceed to page 4. In case of payment by Demand Draft (DD), the DD has to be taken in favour of ‘NISER-NEST’, payable at Bhubaneswar. Provide all the mandatory information regarding the DD on page 3, save, and proceed to page 4.
In Page 4, all information on the application preview page has to be verified and submitted once all the mandatory fields in pages 1 through 3 are provided; including photograph & signature, a single page preview of application is generated. The page contains photograph, signature along with other important information. If applicant wants to change any information, he/she has to logout and re-login. Applicant should verify and confirm if all information on the preview page is correct and the photograph and the signature are properly visible. Once satisfied, applicant should submit the application. Once application is submitted, no further editing of information is possible. Applicant has to take printout of the application summary page. If fee has been paid by DD, applicant is required to send a printed copy of the summary page along with DD to ‘The Chief Coordinator, NEST 2016, National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) At/PO-Jatni, District- Khurda, Odisha-752050’, to reach there, latest by 15th March 2016. If fee has been paid online, applicant is not required to send any document to NEST office.

Admit card:

Admit card for NEST 2016 will be available for downloading from April 15, 2016. Admit cards will not be dispatched to any applicant. Applicants must download their admit cards from NEST website (after login). The download link will be available only till the day of examination. Safe-keeping of one copy of admit card is therefore strongly advised because the successful candidates have to produce the admit card in original during the admission.
Candidates must reach the test centre at least half an hour before the start of the examination. Candidates must bring their Admit Card and their school photo Identity Card or any photo ID issued by Government agencies to the examination hall. Candidates will not be allowed to enter the examination hall after 10.30 am. The earliest a candidate can leave the examination hall is 11.30 am, unless it becomes necessary to leave before on medical grounds. The earliest one can carry the question paper out is 12 noon. Use of log tables and calculators in the examination hall is not allowed. Candidates must bring their own pen, pencils (HB), eraser and sharpener. Exchange/sharing of these items with other candidates is strictly prohibited.

Merit list:

Merit list will be prepared based on marks obtained in the general section and in best three subject sections subject to the minimum mark stipulation for each section and total. The maximum total marks will be 200. 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 score marks equal to or more than respective SMAS in General section as well as in at least three subject sections. These subjects sections will then be counted for merit list calculation. If a candidate secures SMAS in all four subject sections, then the best three subject scores will be counted. If a candidate does not secure SMAS in the general section, he/she would not be allotted any merit rank and would not be deemed eligible for admission. SMAS for OBC students would be 90% and for SC/ST/PD students, 50% of respective SMAS for general category students. Additionally, a candidate is required to score marks equal to or above a total minimum admissible score (MAS), to get a merit rank. MAS, for NEST-2016 is 100, which is 50% of total marks. MAS for OBC students would be 90% of MAS for general category students. MAS for SC/ST/PD students would be 50% of MAS for general category students.
If total score of two or more candidates becomes equal, candidates with higher score in the general section will get a better rank. If the degeneracy persists, then 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 degeneracy still persists, the students would be given same provisional rank at the time of declaration of the result and the degeneracy would be broken by comparing class 12th marks and date of birth in that order, during admission/counselling.
The results of NEST 2016 will be announced in NEST website on For the integrated MSc programme 2016-21, the total number of seats at NISER and CBS are 132 and 47, respectively. Indian nationals belonging to SC, ST and OBC (Non Creamy Layer) are eligible for 15%, 7.5% and 27% reservation respectively. 3% of seats are reserved in every category for Person with Disabilities. Two seats in each institution are reserved for candidates from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
More details can be had from


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