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NSO 2020 Exam Registration, Key dates, Eligibility Criteria – Level 1, 2

NSO Exam Dates, Registration, Syllabus, Eligibility

National Science Olympiad (NSO) 2020 – The Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) Non-Profit Organization conducts the two-levels of the Exam. Participants of the Olympiad are ranked on the basis of marks obtained by them. The students from classes 1 & 2 are not required to take the 2nd level exam and level 2 is only conducted for students of class 3 to class 12. If you are looking for comprehensive information on NSO, then this is the right place to be. In this article, we will talk in detail about its eligibility, key dates, application procedure, results, and awards.

NSO exams Conducted annually by Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF), NSO is a scholarship exam aimed at cultivating scientific reasoning and logical ability among students studying in class 1 to class 12, through a rigorous test. SOF NSO is conducted at Levels 1 and 2. Level 1 is conducted for all students studying in classes 1 to 12 whereas those students who qualify level 1 exam (from class 3 -12), qualify to sit for the level 2 exam. 

National Science Olympiad (NSO) 2020 Exam Important Dates

National Science Olympiad (NSO) Exam Conducted by SOF Organization
National Science Olympiad (NSO) Level 1, Level 2 Examination

NSO or the National Science Olympiad is a Competitive exam conducted each year for school students. The students participating in the Olympiad are ranked on the basis of marks obtained in it. Based on these marks, the students can judge themselves within the school, at the city level, at the zonal level, and at the international level. Only the schools which have registered with the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) Organization can apply for NSO Examination. Schools have to select a convenient date for the exam and register for it 30 days prior to the date of the exam.

Students can register for the SOF NSO exam from their respective schools only. Individual registrations are not accepted. A minimum of 10 students’ need to register from each school for SOF NSO. During 2020-21, SOF exams will be conducted online at the residence of students.

National Science Olympiad (NSO) 2020-21 – Overview

Exam Conducting BoardScience Olympiad Foundation (SOF)
Exam NameNational Science Olympiad (NSO)
Frequency of exam conductionAnnually
EligibilityClass 1 to Class 12
Application fee125rs (Offline)
Exam Duration1 hour
NSO Examination DateSet-a 19th & 20th Dec, Set-B 9th & 10th Jan & Set-C 30th & 31st Jan
Mode of Exam ConductionOnline (Due to Covid Pandemic)

NSO Eligibility Criteria

NSO is Primarily for School students who want to assess their academic and scientific aptitude. NSO is mainly conducted in 2 levels – Level 1 & Level 2.

NSO Level 1 Eligibility

There no such specific criteria for level exams, this exam is mainly open to school students from class 1 to class 12. Also, in class 1and class 2 there are no criteria for minimum marks which makes Olympiad Open to all School students.

National Science Olympiad (NSO) Level 2 Eligibility

Only the students who performed well in the Level 1 exam will be shortlisted for the Level 2 exam. The following students will be eligible:

  • Top 5% of the students from each class who appeared for the Level 1 exam
  • Top 25 zone wise rank holders from each class
  • Class toppers from each participating school where at least 10 students from a class appear in the exam and score 50% qualifying marks

Note: There is no need students from class 1 to class 2 to appear Level 2 exam. they will be ranked based on their performance in Level 1 exam only.

NSO Olympiad Exam important key dates 2020-21

EventExpected dates
NSO Level 1 Exam datesSet A: 19th & 20th Dec 2020
Set B: 09th & 10th Jan 2020
Set C: 30th & 31st Jan 2020
Answer keys for Level 1February 2021
Admit card for Level 1The first week of December (Tentative)
NSO Level 2 Exam datesMarch 2021
Admit card for Level 2April 2021
Answer keys for Level 2April 2021

Benefits of National Science Olympiad (NSO)

Olympiad exams prove extremely beneficial for students. Open to class 1 to 12 students, these national or international level exams help students in a number of ways.

  • Olympiads give a boost to students’ reasoning abilities.
  • They help students assess their capabilities and have a better idea of their potential.
  • They help students understand their weaknesses which can then be worked upon.
  • Olympiads challenge students’ intellect in such a way that it promotes a deeper understanding of scientific facts.
  • They sharpen the students’ analytical skills.
  • Competing at the national or international level provides students a different level of exposure.
  • The questions asked in the Olympiad exams help students better understand the concepts that they are taught in class.

National Science Olympiad (NSO) – Awards

The top-performing students and schools will be felicitated with awards at the international and zonal level. Find the detailed description of various NSO awards for students and schools in the tables below.

Awards for students

The top-performing students and schools will be felicitated with awards at the international and zonal level. Each winner will be entitled to an award for an exam. Top performing students will receive various awards depending on the ranks they achieve. The tables below discuss the various awards for students participating in the Olympiad.

Awards for Level 2 of classes 1 and 2

International level

RankScholarshipsNo. of Awards
1stRs.50,000/- Each + Gold Medal*#+ Certificate of Outstanding Performance
2ndRs.25,000/- Each + Silver Medal*#+ Certificate of Outstanding Performance
3rdRs.10,000/- Each + Bronze Medal*#+ Certificate of Outstanding Performance

At Zonal level

RankScholarships No. of Awards
1stGifts worth Rs 1000/- Each + Gold Medal*+ Certificate of Zonal Excellence312
2ndGifts worth Rs 1000/- Each + Silver Medal*+ Certificate of Zonal Excellence312
3rdGifts worth Rs 1000/- Each + Bronze Medal*+ Certificate of Zonal Excellence312
4th to 10thGifts worth Rs 500/- Each + *Medal of Distinction + *Certificate of Distinction + **Certificate of Zonal Excellence2184
11th to 25th**Certificate of Zonal Excellence + *Medal of Distinction + *Certificate of Distinction4680
26+Merit CertificateAll

*Medal of Distinction + Certificate of Distinction will be awarded for 1st level Ranks.
**Certificate of Zonal Excellence will be awarded for final Ranks.

# All Medals are Gold / Silver / Bronze color plated as applicable
**For classes one & two only

Awards for Level 1 performance

At Zonal level

RankScholarshipsNo. of Awards
1 to 25Medal of Distinction** + Certificate of Distinction
26+Participation Certificate

**For classes three to twelve

In case two or more students achieve the same rank, cash award will be distributed as under:

  • For up to 10 students getting the same rank, the award amount will be distributed equally. In addition, each winner will be awarded a medal (in the applicable category) and a Certificate.
  • In case 11 & more students get the same rank, in lieu of a cash award, each winner will be awarded gifts worth Rs.1,000/- each + a medal (in the applicable category) and a Certificate.

At School Level

1. Medals to School/Class Toppers

  • School “Gold Medal of Excellence” will be awarded as under:
  • For 5 to 9 registrations/class – Gold Medal of Excellence to top rank holder in class
  • For 10 to 25 registrations/class – Gold Medal of Excellence to top 3 rank holders in class

For registrations exceeding 25/class – Gold Medal of Excellence to top 10% rank holders in class

2. Student Performance Report (SPR) for each participating student SPR will be shared with students in digital format​

  • Every student who appears in SOF NSO is provided with a Student Performance Report (SPR). An SPR is a detailed analysis of how the student attempted the 1st level Olympiad exam.
  • The objective of SPR is to share with the student and her / his parents, analysis of the student’s answers. This is expected to enable the student to understand her/his strengths and areas requiring improvement in absolute terms and also on a competitive scale consisting of lacs of students of her/his class who appeared for the Olympiad.

Student Performance Report (SPR) of NSO

All the participants of the NSO receive a student performance report (SPR). It details the analysis of how the students attempted Level 1/ Level 2 examinations of Olympiad. It helps the students to understand their strengths and weaknesses. It also helps the students and their parents get an idea of their performance in the Olympiad. The SPR has Six Sections:

  • Section A – provides the student’s marks and rank achieved in School/ City/ Zone/ International Level
  • Section B- Provides a section-wise performance score of the student
  • Section C- Provides correct answers to questions asked in the Olympiad exam, the answers given by the student, and performance comparison of the student’s answers vs other students in the Zone and at the International level
  • Section D- Provides a percentage score analysis of the student with a comparison with the Class, City Zone, and International level
  • Section E- Provides a comparison of average marks analysis at the School, City Zone, and International level
  • Section F- Provides a comparison of the student’s performance in the Olympiad exams during the past 8 years

NSO Result 2020-21 For Level 1, Level 2

NSO Results are declared within 8 weeks of the examination. The results are sent to the schools concerned. They are also made available on the official website of NSO. Students can check their score using their roll number. Students must go through the syllabus of the NSO Exam and the pattern to get an insight into the NSO exam 2020.

FAQs of National Science Olympiad (NSO)

How does a student benefit from taking the Olympiad exam?

Each student is provided with a Student Performance Report (SPR). The SPR analyses the strong and weak areas of the student and also gives a detailed performance comparison of the student vis-à-vis other students at School, City, Zonal and International level. Analysis of the student’s past 10 years’ performance is also provided.

Who are eligible to sit for the Olympiads?

Students of classes 1st to 12th are eligible to appear for the 1st level Olympiads. There is no other eligibility criterion like minimum marks. Students who qualify for the 2nd level exam include.

When are the results of the Olympiads declared?

The results are usually declared within 8 weeks of the examination. The same can be found on the SOF website or can be accessed through the respective schools.

Can students take NSO in any other language too?

No. English is the only medium for the NSO exam.

I am a Class 9th student. Am I eligible for NSO?

Yes. NSO is open to students of classes 1 to 12. The exam takes place on two levels. High-performing students in the Level 1 exam are eligible for the Level 2 exam.

Can I take part in more than one Olympiad exam?

Although conducted by the same Foundation, NCO, NSO, IMO, IEO, ICO & IGKO are completely different competitions. Students can register for all the Olympiads in a year as per class eligibility.

How to Register for NSO Olympiads Exam 2020?

The students of classes 1 to 12 can apply for NSO through their respective schools. One can follow the below steps to apply-

  1. A prospectus containing the registration forms will be sent to the schools registered with SOF. Students can receive the registration forms from their respective schools.
  2. In case the school is not registered with SOF, it can still request the prospectus by contacting SOF at [email protected]
  3. Students must fill the registration forms with the required details and submit them to their respective schools.
  4. The schools must then return the duly filled registration forms to SOF before the due date.

Applicants must note that they also need to pay a registration fee for applying for NSO. The fee is in the following manner-

  • Registration fee of INR 125 (including GST) per student for schools in India
  • Registration fee of USD 9 per student for international schools
  • Schools may collect an additional amount of INR 25 (USD 1 for International schools) per student towards honorarium of in charge, remuneration to teachers to teach, guide using study material supplied by SOF, and other miscellaneous expenses.
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