NEST Exam Pattern 2020

Nupur Kaushik Updated On: 27 Dec, 2019 12:31 IST

Want updates on NEST

NEST 2020 Exam Pattern

NEST 2020 exam pattern has been decided by NISER (short for National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar) and UM–DAE CEBS (short for University of Mumbai – Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai). NEST 2020 examination is organized in online (Computer-Based) mode in two sessions. To appear for NEST, candidates must first successfully apply for it. After successfully applying for NEST, candidates will have to go through the exam pattern of NEST 2020.

The exam pattern of NEST 2020 comprises of the type of questions that will be asked in the entrance exam, marking scheme, duration of the test. Understanding the exam pattern will help in better exam preparation. Through the NEST 2020 exam pattern, candidates can get a fair idea about the overall format of the exam. To crack the exam, it must be well versed with the NEST Syllabus.

The NEST 2020 question paper contains five sections of objective type questions. Questions of NEST 2020 will be based on the 10 + 2 standard curriculum. The language of the NEST 2020 Question Paper is in English only. Section 1 is the general section and Sections 2 will contain subject-specific questions from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. It is in the interest of the aspirants to attempt all sections. Only the highest score of the three sections (in addition to the general section) are considered for merit calculation and the section with the worst score is omitted. To attempt all the sections will increase their chances of a better total score.

The total time duration is 210 minutes. Each section in NEST 2020 question paper is of 50 marks except General Aptitude that consists of 30 marks. There are 230 marks in total. Check out the highlights of NEST 2019 exam pattern for detailed information!

Note: Section 1 of General Aptitude is mandatory for all the applicants.

Highlights of NEST 2020 Exam Pattern



Examination Mode

Online Mode

Medium of the exam


Nature of Questions paper

Multiple Choice Questions (objective type)

Total No. of Sections


Name of the Sections

Section 1: General Ability,

Section 2: Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and Biology

Sectional Marks

Section I - 30 Marks

Section II-V - 50 Marks

Total Marks


Total Time

Three and a half hours (210 Minutes)

Marking Scheme

No negative marking will be applied for Section I

Section-Wise Division of NEST 2020 Question Paper


Total Marks


General Aptitude


3 and half hours











NEST 2020 Marking Scheme

The NEST 2020 Marking Scheme will help candidates in understanding the weightage of marks per question and total marks, the marks deducted for every incorrect answer. The total marks for the exam are 230. The marking scheme of NEST 2020 differs according to the sections.

  • There is no negative marking for Section 1 i.e  General section. It means no marks are deducted for any wrong answer.

  • All other sections including Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology have negative marking.

  • According to the NEST 2020 exam pattern, there may be one or more correct answers in some questions, for which marks can only be earned by marking all the correct answers and no wrong answer.

Want to know which colleges you can apply to with your NEST score ?

Get Free Counselling