National Entrance Screening Test (NEST)

About NEST

National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) is conducted jointly by National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar and Mumbai University – Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS), Mumbai.

Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS), Mumbai. The exam is conducted in order to provide admission to candidates in five-year integrated MSc programme in basic sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics) offered at both NISER and UM-DAE CEBS. Seats available at both institutes are as mentioned below:

Available Seats
Category Seats at NISER Seats at CEBS
General 85 23
SC 26 27
ST 13 3
OBC 46 12

 Admissions in NISER, Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE CEBS, Mumbai are done on the basis of a candidate’s score in NEST exam. Candidates who have passed Class XII from Science stream are eligible to apply for NEST exam.

Candidates fulfilling the below-mentioned requirements meet NEST 2018 eligibility criteria:

 Candidates should pass Class XII in Science stream from a recognised board in India with at least 60% aggregate marks (55% for SC/ ST/ PwD category candidates).

 Candidates should have passed Class XII either in 2016 or 2017. Candidates appearing for their Class XII exams in 2018 are also eligible to apply.

 Candidates should have studied a combination of any three subjects among Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics in classes XI and XII.

 Age criteria: Candidates belonging to General and OBC categories should be born on or after August 1, 1998 in order to fulfill NEST eligibility criteria. Age limit relaxation of five years is given to candidates belong to SC/ ST/ PwD category.

 For OBC category candidates, the OBC (NCL) certificate should be issued on or after June 1, 2017.

Step 1: Fill NEST Application Form

For NEST 2018 registrations, candidates need to fill the application form in the online mode on the official website of the exam. After all details on NEST application form are filled, candidates need to pay the application fee. Candidates can make the payment of NEST 2018 application fee in the online(through credit/ debit card) mode.

Application Fees
Category NEST Application Fee
General/ OBC (Only Males) Rs 1,000
SC/ ST/ PwD (Only Males) Rs 500
All Females Rs 500

Candidates are not required to send any document to NEST office in the complete application process, informs the official website.

Check complete details about NEST application form.

Step 2: Download NEST Admit Card

After successful payment of application fee, candidates need to download their NEST 2018 admit card from the official website of the exam. “The admit card download link will be available only till the day of examination,” states the official website.

It may be noted that NEST admit card is a mandatory document to be carried to the exam centre.

Check complete details about NEST admit card.

Step 3: Appear for NEST

Next, candidates need to appear for the Science entrance exam at the allotted NEST exam centre. NEST 2018 exam will contain five sections carrying multiple choice questions. Candidates need to complete the exam in three hours duration.

Check NEST exam pattern.

Step 4: Check NEST Result

NEST 2018 result will be declared on the official website of the exam. NEST merit list/ result will contain the roll numbers and/or names of candidates qualifying the integrated MSc entrance exam.

Check complete details about NEST result.

Step 5: Appear for NEST Counselling

Finally, candidates need to appear for the counselling session where they will be allotted seats in their respective courses and colleges.

 NEST 2018 exam centre details are out. The Science entrance exam is scheduled to be conducted at a total of 109 centres (mentioned below) all over India.Candidates can choose five exam centres in order of preference while filling the NEST application form.


 NEST is a computer-based test that consists of five sections having multiple choice questions.

 First section of NEST 2018 is mandatory for all candidates. Out of the other four sections, candidates need to attempt any three sections. However, the official website statesCandidates are permitted to attempt as many subject–sections as they wish. Only the best three subject–scores along with the score in the general section will be counted for evaluation.

Maximum Marks
Section Subject Marks
I General 30
II Biology 50
III Chemistry 50
IV Mathematics 50
V Physics 50

 Marking Scheme: In General section there is no negative marking. However, “in the subject sections, for certain questions 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,” informs the official website.

 Syllabus for NEST 2018 General Section: There is no specific syllabus for the General section. The aim is to test candidate’s aptitude for a career in science. Questions are designed to test the candidate’s familiarity with (and not a detailed understanding of) major historical milestones in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, computer science and environment. There will be some questions designed to test the grasp of mathematics up to 10th standard and application capabilities of the same to simple problems.

 Some questions in this section aim to test the candidate’s general ability to comprehend qualitative and quantitative aspects of a given scientific passage. This is done by giving a passage on some scientific topic and questions based on the concepts elaborated in the passage will be asked. Some questions may aim to find whether the candidates can interpret graphical and \ or tabular representation of information. Biology: Cell Biology: Cell theory and cells as unit of life.

 Basic concepts of biomolecules – Proteins, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Nucleic acids. Tools and techniques of cell studies – use of microscope and calibration (microscopy), elements of microscope. Biomembranes – transport mechanism, cellular respiration. Cell organelles – structure and functions. Discovery and structure of DNA, processes of replication, transcription, genetic code and translation. Principles of the basic techniques in molecular biology. Enzymes– catalysis, kinetics, activation energy, competitive and non– competitive inhibition. Genetics and Evolution: Fundamentals of genetics and evolution.

 Evidences and theories of organic evolution. Organization of the heredity material in chromosomes. Equational division. Reduction division. Mitosis and meiosis compared and contrasted. Significance of meiosis. Mendel’s laws of inheritance. Discovery of linkage, sex–linked inheritance. Crossing– over, stage at which crossing– over occurs. Neurospora genetics. Mutation – discovery, types of Mutation and Mutations in diploids.

 Role of mutations in evolution. Elaboration of Mendel’s laws of inheritance. Monohybrid or Dihybrid crosses. Human genetics – human chromosomes, sex–determination, sex–linked inheritance. Ecology: Physical and biological factors in influencing organisms. Food chains, pyramids of numbers and biomass. Biological equilibrium. Interspecific associations. Bio–diversity. Flora and fauna. Basics of microbial systems, Ecosystems. Humans and Environment: Soil, rainfall and temperature with reference to natural resources. Our natural resources – their uses and abuses. Environmental pollution and preventive measures.

 Biodiversity and conservation. Biotechnology: Principles of recombinant DNA technology. Applications of biotechnology. Biology of Animal systems: Digestive System – Modes of nutrition. Different vitamin compounds and their deficiencies. Structure of alimentary canal and associated glands, digestive enzymes and gastrointestinal hormones. Absorption of products of digestion, peristalsis, balanced diet. Respiratory System – Gaseous exchange in animals. Structure of respiratory organs, mechanism of breathing, gaseous transport, tissue respiration.

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