NTSE requirements beyond curriculum

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Examinations are an integral part of the Indian educational system. Unlike western countries where education and examination is less competitive, we harbour some of the toughest exams in the world to churn out the most competitive and jubilant professionals and minds. While it is deemed as the foremost reasons that makes Indian education system obsolete, the quality of Indian workforce stands unequalled worldwide.

NTSE is one such exam that identifies the prodigal and talented students in a very young age. While half of the exam constitutes questions from class 9th and 10th syllabus, also known as SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), the remaining questions, MAT (Mental Aptitude Test) are more of a mystery for the test takers. MAT is therefore more decisive in determining the performance of applicants. This article is focused on the extra-curricular requirements for cracking the NTSE exam.

MAT consists of 50 questions each bearing 1 mark and lasts for 45 minutes. SAT further has two sections i.e. Languages test (45 minutes, 50 questions, 1 mark each) and a combined section for Science, Mathematics and Social Science (90 minutes, 100 questions, 1 mark each).

What is tested in MAT?

MAT does not have any fixed syllabus. This section aims to judge one’s reasoning power, comprehension, judgement, visualization, spatial orientation, etc. These questions are presented in the form of analogies, pattern identification, or puzzles. As these problems do not have a set procedure for solving or any rule, these test students’ dexterity and problem-solving capability.

How to crack NTSE MAT?

To excel in the Mental Aptitude Test, NTSE aspirants need to keep themselves adept to solving puzzles and visualization. Whereas many people believe that MAT performance is more determined by an applicant’s generic intelligence, many experts have the opinion that practice can provide the learner an edge to succeed.

myPAT recommends the below-mentioned tips to ensure robust preparation for NTSE MAT:

  • Previous papers: Previous year NTSE MAT question papers are available easily. Solving the same is of immense help as it gives the applicants a first-hand experience of how to attempt questions.
  • Solving puzzles: Solving puzzles and riddles like Su-Doku and Crossword are an excellent source of devoting time to problem-solving. This practice is very helpful not only in NTSE but in all the national and international competitive exams.
  • Using games on mobile phones: A lot of free puzzle games are available over the Android or iOS market which is aimed at enhancing one’s perception and infusing problem-solving deftness.
  • Practicing: While there is no set syllabus for NTSE SAT, it has been observed that the pattern of questions in most of the exams is the same. Therefore, a student can access such sample questions from any exam like CAT, GMAT or even surf such questions online.
  • Calculations: Calculations are a very easy source of accessing problems daily. So, an NTSE applicant should try to do calculations without calculators or even pen and paper.
  • Using diagrams: A lot of NTSE SAT questions are simplified when written down in the form of mindmaps for better understanding. For practicing complex questions and building problem-solving skills, an applicant should use paper and pen to understand the problem.
  • Elimination method: Many times, it happens that finding the right choice out of the four options becomes difficult. However, when the problem is solved in a reverse manner i.e. by identifying the wrong options sequentially, it becomes very easy. A student should practice the elimination method and keep it handy in NTSE as well as other exams.

As the majority of students miss out on the MAT practice, it becomes very easy to compete in this section. The above tips can be used by NTSE applicants for practicing the MAT section of NTSE.

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