NEST 2020 Entrance Exam – Important Dates, Application Form, Syllabus & Admit Card


NEST 2020 exam postponed till 29th September 2020. The National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) is a national level entrance examination for admission to 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 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 2020 such as application process, syllabus, exam pattern, admit card, and result here in the article.

NEST 2020 Latest Update: As per the latest update, the NISER Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE CBS have decided to postpone the NEST 2020 entrance exam yet again. According to them, the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) 2020 will now be held on 29th September 2020.

Earlier, the entrance exams was scheduled to be held on 10th August 2020 – however, that plan has been put on hold and exam has been postponed until end of September.

NEST 2020 Official Notification Out –

The exam conducting authority i.e. NISER Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE CBS, has decided to postpone the NEST 2020 examination till 29th September 2020. The decision to postpone NEST Exam 2020 has been taken by the exam authority looking at the rising number of cases of Coronavirus infection in the country.

The revision in the examination schedule has also been confirmed by the exam authority, as a notification regarding the same has been published on the official website - Candidates can visit the official website to check the officially released notice.

NEST 2020 - Quick Overview

Name of the Exam

National Entrance Screening Test (NEST)

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


NEST Exam 2020 Important Dates

The NISER Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE CBS have postponed the NEST 2020 entrance exam, due to the serious situation of COVID-19 virus in India. As per the new schedule the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) 2020 will conduct on 29th September 2020. Here is the official schedule as mentioned in the official information bulletin:

NEST Exam Events

Important Dates

Online application process begins

7th January 2020

Online application process ends

14th June 2020

NEST 2020 change in exam centre choices

27th to 30th June 2020

Download admit card

September 2020

NEST 2020 exam

29th September 2020 (Officially Declared)

Exam Timings

First Session – 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Second Session – 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Announcement of result/merit list

To be announced

NEST Exam 2020 Pattern & Syllabus

The NEST 2020 question paper will comprise of 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 2020 Syllabus

The syllabus for NEST 2020 exam mainly comprises of topics from 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 detailed NEST 2020 syllabus, follow the steps:

  • Go to the NEST official website.
  • Click on ‘Syllabus-2020’ tab on the home-page.
  • The syllabus PDF will appear.
  • Download the syllabus.
  • You can take a print of the syllabus.

NEST Exam 2020 Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for appearing in the NEST 2020 exam are:

Educational Qualification

Candidates must have passed class XII or equivalent examination from science stream either in the year 2018 or 2019. Candidates who are to appear in the board examination in the year 2020 are also eligible to appear for the exam.

Candidates must have secured minimum 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 2000. Relaxation of five years will be provided in the age limit for SC/ST/PwD category candidates.

NEST Exam 2020 Application Process

The online application process for the NEST 2020 exam has started on 7th January 2020 and will continue till 14th June 2020. 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 ‘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.

Step-by-step NEST 2020 Application process (with pictures)

Other Details

NEST 2020 Number of Seats Intake

The exam is conducted 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. The number of seat intakes available at both institutes is as follows:




















5% seats in each category

5% 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 NEST exam. Candidates who have passed Class 12th from Science stream are eligible to apply for NEST exam.

NEST 2020 Admit Card

The admit cards for the NEST 2020 entrance exam will be made available on the official website in the month of September and will remain available till 29th September 2020. Candidates can download the same using their login credentials. Admit cards will not be dispatched at the applicants’ address. 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.

NEST 2020 Result

The result for NEST 2020 will be uploaded at the official website after the completion of the exam. The official dates for NEST 2020 result has not been declared yet. As per the official notification, “The final ranking of the candidates will be based on percentile scores calculated from best three subject scores and the score in general section. NISER and CEBS will publish separate merit lists.”

Successful candidates are required to participate in the counselling process for admission to M.Sc. courses.

Documents Required for NEST 2020 Counselling Process

  • NEST 2020 application form (a hardcopy of the submitted form)
  • NEST 2020 admit card
  • Mark sheet of Class X board exam (original & photocopy)
  • Mark sheet of Class XII board exam (original & photocopy)
  • Disability certificate, if applicable (original & photocopy)
  • Proof of Indian citizenship, if born outside India (original & photocopy)
  • Birth certificate/ school leaving certificate (original & photocopy)
  • Four passport size coloured photographs
  • Caste certificate, if applicable (original & photocopy)
  • Verification certificate, if applicable (original & photocopy)
  • Demand draft in favour of NISER, payable at Bhubaneswar/ Demand draft in favour of CBS, payable at Mumbai, depending on where candidates are appearing for counselling
  • In case a candidate has submitted original documents to another institute, he/ she must bring an official letter (undertaking) from that institute.
  • Non-creamy layer OBC certificate, if applicable (original & photocopy)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The NEST 2020 examination dates have been postponed once again. As per the new released schedule, the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) is going to be held on 29th September 2020. Here are the frequently asked questions related to the exam:

Q: When will be the NEST 2020 application process begin?

The NEST 2020 application process has started on 7th January 2020.

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

The last date for submitting the application forms is extended till 14th June 2020.

Q: When will be the NEST 2020 exam conducted?

The NEST 2020 exam will now be conducted on 29th September 2020 (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 2020 Admit Card?

NEST 2020 admit cards will be uploaded at the official website from the mid-week of September 2020. You can download the admit cards using your login credentials.

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

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

Q: When will be the NEST 2020 result announced?

The dates for NEST 2020 result has not been announced yet.

Q. When will be the NEST 2020 Counselling process starts?

Right after the announcement of NEST result 2020, the counselling process will commence by the exam authorities.

Q. What are the documents required to participate for NEST 2020 counselling?

In order to participate in the NEST counselling process, candidates should carry the NEST 2020 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 2020?

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.