NEST 2021 – Application Process (Started), Eligibility, Pattern, Syllabus, Merit List, Admission


The National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) is a national level entrance examination for admission to a 5-years Integrated M.Sc. program in Basic Sciences – Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. The exam is jointly conducted by the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) Bhubaneswar and the University of Mumbai – Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS), Mumbai. Candidates interested in appearing for the exam can check the detailed information about the NEST 2021 such as application process, syllabus, exam pattern, admit card, and result here in the article.

NEST 2021 Latest Update: The National Institute of Science Education and Research has started the application process for the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) 2021 on 24th February. The last date to apply for the online exam is 15th July 2021

The entrance exam for admission to a five-year integrated MSc programme (2021-26) - NEST 2021 is scheduled to be held on 14th June 2021. The exam consists of five sections of objective type questions. Section-I is the general section of 30 marks. There will be no negative marking in the general section. Section-II to V are of 50 marks each and will contain subject-specific questions from biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

NEST 2021 Official Notification Out –

The exam conducting authority i.e. NISER Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE CEBS has released the NEST 2021 examination notification on the official website - Candidates can visit the official website to check the notice.

NEST 2021 - Quick Overview

Name of the Exam

National Entrance Screening Test (NEST 2021)

Official website

Exam conducting authority

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

Exam type

National level

Exam occurrence

Once a year

Exam mode

Online - Computer Based Test

Question Type

Multiple Type Questions (MCQs)

Exam duration

3 hours and 30 minutes

Language of question paper


Available Application Forms

NEST Exam 2021 Important Dates

The NISER Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE CBS have started the online application process for NEST 2021. Here is the schedule as mentioned in the official information bulletin:

NEST Exam Events

Important Dates

Online application process begins

24th February 2021

Online application process ends

15th July 2021

Download admit card

August 2021

NEST 2021 exam

14th August 2021

Exam Timings

First Session - 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Second Session - 2:30 PM to 6:00 PM

Announcement of result/merit list

To be announced

NEST Exam 2021 Pattern & Syllabus

The NEST 2021 question paper will comprise five sections. Each section will have Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Here are the details:


Maximum Marks

General Paper (Comprehension and Analytical Ability)












Negative Marking

In general paper, there will be negative marking.

In other sections, there will be negative marking for some questions.

Note“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 2021 Syllabus

The syllabus for NEST 2021 exam mainly comprises topics from the CBSE Science curriculum of class XI and XII.

General paper – There is no specific syllabus for this paper. The questions will test the candidates’ analytic abilities and comprehension skills for a career in science. Questions are from topics such as chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, computer science, astronomy, and environment.

Subject Papers – The syllabus for subject papers include topics from class XI and XII syllabus of CBSE and other boards’ syllabus.

For a detailed NEST 2021 syllabus, follow the steps:

  • Go to the NEST official website.
  • Click on the ‘Syllabus-2021’ tab on the home-page.
  • The syllabus PDF will appear.
  • Download the syllabus.
  • You can take a print of the syllabus.

NEST Exam 2021 Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for appearing in the NEST 2021 exam are:

Educational Qualification

Candidates must have passed class XII or equivalent examination from the science stream either in the year 2019 or 2020. Candidates who are to appear in the board examination in the year 2021 are also eligible to appear for the exam.

Candidates must have secured a minimum of 60% aggregate marks in class XII. For candidates belonging to SC/ST/PwD category, the minimum marks requirement is 55%.

Age Limit

Candidates must be born on or after 1st August 2001. Relaxation of five years will be provided in the age limit for SC/ST/PwD category candidates.

NEST Exam 2021 Application Process

The online application process for the NEST 2021 exam has started on 24th February 2021 and will continue till 15th July 2021. Candidates can submit the online application forms only through the official website. Here are the steps to be followed:

  • Go to the official website –
  • Click on the ‘APPLY ONLINE’ button on the home page.
  • Click on the ‘Get Registered’ option for new registration. If you are already registered, click on the ‘Login’ option.
  • Read the instruction, close the pop-up window and enter the details to register.
  • After successful registration, you will receive your login credentials.
  • Log in using your registration ID and password.
  • Complete the application form, provide educational details, choose for exam cities (candidates can provide five choices), upload the images of photograph and signature, and make the fee payment.
  • After fee payment, complete the application process.
  • You can take a print of the summary page generated at the end of the application process.

Application Fee

  • General and OBC category (male candidates) – ₹ 1200/-
  • SC/ST/PwD/Female candidates – ₹ 600/-
  • The application fee can be paid online using net banking/credit card/debit card.

Other Details

NEST 2021 Number of Seats Intake

The exam is conducted to provide admission to candidates in a five-year integrated MSc programme in basic sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics) offered at both NISER and UM-DAE CEBS. The number of seat intakes available at both institutes is as follows:




















5% of seats in each category

5% of seats in each category




Scroll left or right to view full table

Admissions in both the (above-mentioning) institutes are done on the basis of a candidate’s score in the NEST exam. Candidates who have passed Class 12th from Science stream are eligible to apply for the NEST exam.

NEST 2021 Admit Card

The admit cards for the NEST 2021 entrance exam will be available on the official website of the National Institute of Science Education and Research from August 2021 onwards. Candidates can download the same using their login credentials. Admit cards will not be dispatched to the applicants’ addresses. The link to download the admit card will remain active till the exam day. It is mandatory to carry the admit card to the examination hall.

Step 1: Visit and open the official website of NEST.

Step 2: Click on the Admit Card Link provided on the home screen.

Step 3: Enter the User ID and Password in the link.

Step 4: Download the NEST 2021 admit card.

After downloading the NEST 2021 admit card, candidates need to take printouts on an A4 size sheet. Candidates are advised to keep extra copies of the admit card as it will also be required during the seat allotment and counselling process of NEST 2021.

The National Entrance Screening Test (NEST 2021) will be conducted in two sessions for the duration of three hours and thirty minutes. The NEST exam is a computer-based test. Students appearing for the exams are required to bring the NEST 2021 admit card along with the photo identity proof.

NEST 2021 Result

The National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar will announce the results of the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) 2021 on the 4th week of August 2021. The results will be declared only on the official website. Candidates awaiting the NEST 2021 result have to visit the result login page and enter their application number and password to check their qualifying status. Moreover, a merit list of NEST 2021 will also be released mentioning scores obtained by the candidates, percentile score and rank obtained.

How to Check NEST Result Online?

The results of NEST 2021 will be available on the official website only and candidates can check their qualifying status as under:

  • On the homepage of the official website -, candidates have to click on the NEST 2021 results link.
  • Enter login credentials - user ID and password
  • Click on the Login button
  • Successful candidates are required to participate in the counselling process for admission to M.Sc. courses.

NEST 2021 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) will be conducted on 14th August 2021. Here are the frequently asked questions related to the exam:

Q: When will the NEST 2021 application process begin?

NEST 2021 application process started on 24th February 2021. The last date to submit the application forms is 15th July 2021.

Q. What is the Minimum Admissible Percentile for NEST 2021?

The MAP is the cut off percentile overall obtained by the candidates in NEST 2021. The highest MAP is 100th percentile and for each category is - 95 percentile for General category, 90 percentile for OBC category and 75 percentile for SC/ ST/ Divyangjan categories.

Q. What is the percentile score in NEST 2021 results?

The merit list of NISER and CEBS will be prepared on the basis of percentile scores, which is calculated on the basis of the relative performance of all the qualified candidates in each session.

Q. What is the criteria for section-wise cut off in NEST 2021?

As per the SMAS criteria mentioned by NISER, 20% of the average of the best 100 scores for each section will be the cut off marks.

Q: What is the last date for submitting the application form?

The last date for submitting the application forms is 15th July 2021.

Q: When will be the NEST 2021 exam conducted?

The NEST 2021 exam will be conducted on 14th August 2021 (officially announced).

Q: Can candidates select the exam centres?

Yes, candidates will be provided with the option to provide preferences for five exam centres while filling the application form.

Q: How can I download the NEST 2021 Admit Card?

NEST 2021 admit cards will be uploaded on the official website from August 2021. You can download the admit cards using your login credentials.

Q: Will there be separate merit lists for NISER and CEBS?

Yes, there will be separate merit lists for both institutions.

Q: When will be the NEST 2021 result announced?

The NEST 2021 result will be announced on the 4th week of August 2021.

Q. When will the NEST 2021 Counselling process start?

Right after the announcement of NEST result 2021, the counselling process will commence by the exam authorities.

Q. What are the documents required to participate in NEST 2021 counselling?

In order to participate in the NEST counselling process, candidates should carry the NEST 2021 application form, admit card, scorecard as well as academic qualification. The document should be carried in original as well as photocopies. Moreover, the candidates should carry at least 4 passport size photographs with other necessary documents (mentioned above).

Q. What is the cut off percentile for NEST 2021?

The cut-off percentile for admission through NEST is 95 percentile for General category, 90 percentile for OBC category and 75 percentile for SC/ ST/ Divyangjan.