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NEST 2026: Registration, Exam Dates, Eligibility, Pattern, Syllabus, Preparation Tips

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The National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) for the year 2026 is scheduled to take place in the fourth week of June. Administered annually, NEST is a nationally recognized entrance examination conducted jointly by the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, and the University of Mumbai – Department of Atomic Energy Center for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE-CEBS). 

The primary objective of NEST is to facilitate admission to a five-year Integrated MSc programme in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. Aspiring candidates are required to complete the application process online to be eligible for the examination. 

This article presents comprehensive details regarding the NEST 2026 Exam, including information about the application process, eligibility criteria, exam pattern, and other relevant aspects.

NEST 2026 Highlights

NEST 2026 is the National Entrance Screening Test for admission to Integrated M.Sc. programs offered by NISER, Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE-CEBS, Mumbai. It is a highly competitive exam conducted annually at the national level.

Exam NameNEST 2026
Full formNational Entrance Screening Test
AuthorityNISER, Bhubaneswar and UM-DAE-CEBS, Mumbai
Courses OfferedIntegrated M.Sc. programme
Application modeOnline
Examination modeOnline
Exam FrequencyOnce a year
Exam Duration3 hours and 30 minutes
Total Marks200
Language/Medium of QuestionsEnglish
Official Websitehttps://www.nestexam.in/

NEST 2026 Exam Dates

Below are the important dates for NEST 2026 including the application start date, exam date, and result declaration date.

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    10. Jaipuria Institute of Management | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
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EventsDates 2026 (Tentative)
Online application opens3rd week of March 2026
Online application closes4th week of May 2026
Download of admit card3rd week of June 2026
Date of Examination4th week of June 2026
Announcement of result2nd week of July 2026

NEST 2026 Application Form

The NEST 2026 application process is conducted exclusively through online mode. Prospective candidates can expect the application form to be available in the third week of March 2026. Before proceeding with the application, applicants are advised to thoroughly review the eligibility criteria. 

  • The NEST 2026 application form will be available online.
  • The registration process is expected to commence in the third week of March 2026.
  • Eligibility criteria should be reviewed before proceeding with the application.
  • Enter personal, contact, and academic details accurately in the application form.
  • Upload scanned images of the photograph and signature as per the specified size and format.
  • The deadline to submit the application form is anticipated to fall in the fourth week of May 2026.
  • After submission, it’s advisable to retain a printed copy of the application for future reference.
  • Ensure all entered details are correct before final submission.
  • Seek assistance if encounter any technical issues during the application process.
  • Candidates should adhere to the prescribed deadlines to avoid last-minute hassles.

NEST 2026 Application Fee

The application fee for NEST 2026 must be paid exclusively through online mod Offline methods for fee submission will not be available. Candidates can make payments using a debit card, credit card, or net banking.

CategoryApplication Fee
Male, General and OBC categoryRs. 1400/-
SC/ ST/ Divyangjan/ Female categoryRs. 700/-

How to Fill NEST 2026 Application Form?

  • Step 1: Visit the NEST Website – Access the official website of NEST by clicking on the provided link.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the Online Application Section – Look for the “Online Application” link on the website’s homepage and click on it.
  • Step 3: Fill in Application Details – Enter all the required information in the application form, including personal details, educational qualifications, contact information, etc.
  • Step 4: Upload Scanned Images – Upload scanned copies of your recent passport-sized photograph and signature as per the specified size and format guidelines.
  • Step 5: Review Application Details – Take a moment to review all the entered details in the application form to ensure accuracy and completeness.
  • Step 6: Submit Application Fees – Proceed to submit the application fee through the available online payment options such as debit card, credit card, or net banking.
  • Step 7: Download Confirmation Page – After successful fee payment, download the confirmation page generated by the system for your records.
  • Step 8: Keep Hardcopy of Application Form – Print a hardcopy of the completed application form and the confirmation page for future reference and correspondence.

NEST 2026 Eligibility Criteria

The NEST 2026 eligibility criteria outline the requirements for candidates aiming to appear in the exam. It encompasses educational qualifications, age limits, and subject prerequisites. Understanding these criteria is crucial for prospective applicants.

  • Qualification: Candidates should have qualified class 12th or equivalent from any recognized board.
  • Age limit: No age limit is specified for appearing in the NEST 2026 exam.
  • Subject: Candidates should have passed Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics in the qualifying exam.
  • Marks: Eligibility requires candidates to have scored at least 60% marks in aggregate (55% for reserved category candidates).
  • Appearing: Candidates currently in class 12th are also eligible to apply for the exam.

NEST 2026 Exam Pattern

The NEST 2026 Exam Pattern outlines the structure and format of the National Entrance Screening Test for the year 2026. It provides crucial details regarding the mode of examination, duration, marking scheme, and question types. 

  • Mode of Exam: The NEST exam will be conducted online, allowing candidates to take the test remotely.
  • Duration: Candidates will have 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete the examination.
  • Total Marks: The question paper will consist of a total of 200 marks.
  • Type of Questions: The exam will contain Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), where candidates must choose the correct option from the given choices.
  • Marking Scheme: Each correct answer will be awarded 2.5 marks, contributing to the total score.
  • Negative Marking: For each incorrect response, 1 mark will be deducted as a negative marking.

NEST 2026 Syllabus

The NEST 2026 syllabus covers a wide range of topics from various disciplines including Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, and General Aptitude. Candidates preparing for the exam need to thoroughly understand the prescribed syllabus to excel in the entrance test. 

SubjectTopics
ChemistryMole concept, Atomic Structure and Chemical bonding, Chemical kinetics, Solid state, Chemical Equilibrium, Thermodynamics, Amines, Measurement in chemistry, etc.
PhysicsUnits and dimensions, Conservation of angular momentum, Graphical representation, Interpretation of data, Design of some experience, etc.
BiologyGenetics and Evolution, Cell Biology, Human and Environment, Immunology, Digestive system, Development Biology, Systematics, Ecology, etc.
MathematicsAlgebra, Trigonometry, Analytical geometry, Integral calculus, Vectors, Logarithms, etc.

NEST 2026 Preparation Tips

Preparing for NEST 2026 requires a strategic approach to tackle its diverse syllabus. Here are some effective preparation tips to excel in the exam:

  1. Understand the Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the NEST syllabus to know what topics to focus on.
  2. Create a Study Schedule: Develop a study plan that allocates sufficient time for each subject while considering your strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Practice Regularly: Practice solving NEST previous year papers and sample papers to get acquainted with the exam pattern and improve time management skills.
  4. Strengthen Basics: Focus on strengthening your basics in subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology to solve complex problems.
  5. Refer to Standard Books: Utilize standard textbooks recommended for NEST preparation to build a strong foundation in all subjects.
  6. Take Mock Tests: Regularly take mock tests to assess your preparation level and identify areas that need improvement.
  7. Revise Regularly: Allocate time for regular revision to reinforce concepts and formulas and retain them effectively.
  8. Solve Numerical Problems: Practice solving numerical problems regularly to enhance your problem-solving skills in Physics and Mathematics.

NEST 2026 Books

Here are some recommended books to prepare for NEST 2026 covering subjects like Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. These books provide comprehensive coverage of topics relevant to the exam.

SubjectBook
PhysicsFundamentals of Physics by Halliday
Understanding Physics Series by D.C. Pandey
ChemistryInorganic Chemistry by O.P. Tandon
Chemical Calculation by R.C. Mukherjee
MathematicsHigher Algebra by Hall and Knight
NCERT Class XI & XII

NEST 2026 Exam Centre

The NEST 2026 exam will be conducted across various cities to facilitate candidates from different regions. Exam centres are strategically selected to ensure accessibility and convenience for applicants. Candidates can choose their preferred exam centre during the application process.

City
GunturTirupathi
PatnaChennai
New DelhiUdaipur
ChandigarhShimla
SuratBhatinda
RajkotBhopal
HamirpurGwalior
PuneJabalpur
ShillongAgra
MumbaiAligarh

NEST 2026 Admit Card

The NEST admit card 2026 will be available for download in the second week of June 2026. Applicants can access their hall tickets from the official website. The authority will not send admit cards individually to any candidate.

Candidates must download the admit card before the examination date. The hall ticket will include essential details such as the candidate’s name, exam venue, and date of birth, along with important instructions.

NEST 2026 Answer Key

The NEST answer key 2026 will be released through online mode. It will feature the correct answers to the questions asked in the entrance exam. Candidates can access it a few days after the exam begins.

If students are dissatisfied with the answer key, they can raise objections. The authority will then finalize the answer key after considering all objections raised by students.

NEST 2026 Result

The NEST result 2026 is expected to be declared in the second week of July 2026. Students can access their results by logging in with their User ID and Password on the official website. The result will include details such as total marks, scaled scores for each section, and percentile ranking.

The authority will not issue results offline, so students must check and download their results from the website. It’s essential for appearing candidates to keep their results safe for use during the counselling process.

NEST 2026 Merit List

The NEST merit list 2026 will be compiled considering several factors including candidates’ scores and categories. Only students whose names appear on the merit list will be eligible for the counselling process.

Final rankings will be determined based on percentile scores calculated from the best three-section scores. The authority will utilize the best three-section scores to assign ranks to applicants in the entrance exam.

NEST 2026 Cut Off

The cut-off for NEST 2026 will be announced shortly after the result declaration. It represents the minimum qualifying marks required for admission eligibility. Candidates must meet or exceed this threshold to be considered for admission. The merit list will be prepared based on these cut-off marks.

Institutions will publish both sectional and category-wise rank lists for the exam. Candidates who fail to meet the cut-off mark will not qualify for further admission processes.

NEST Seat Reservation Criteria

NEST follows specific seat reservation criteria to ensure fair representation of various categories. These reservations are based on government regulations and aim to provide equal opportunities to all candidates. Here’s an overview of the seat reservation criteria for NEST.

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    3. IIAD, Delhi | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    4. GIBS, Bangalore |  PGDM Applications Open. Package upto 15.5 LPA. Apply Now
    5. GNIOT, Greater Noida | Admissions Open for All Courses 2023. Apply Now
    6. The Design Village | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    7. IMS Ghaziabad UC Campus | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    8. KIIT School of Management | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    9. KSRM | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    10. Jaipuria Institute of Management | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    11. NIIT | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    12. MITWPU | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    13. Amrita B.Tech | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    14. KL University | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
    15. Alliance MBA | Admissions Open for All Courses 2024. Apply Now
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CategoryReservation
OBC-NCL27%
SC15%
ST7.5%
Divyangjan5%

NEST 2026 Counselling

The NEST counselling for 2026 will be conducted separately by the two participating institutions. It will consist of three rounds and will be conducted offline. There will be no joint counselling for the NEST exam; instead, NISER and UM-DAE-CEBS will conduct their counselling sessions.

Shortlisted candidates will be eligible to participate in the counselling process. Seats will be allotted for M.Sc. courses at the respective institutions. Candidates must carry the necessary documents for verification at their allotted counselling centre for admission.

Documents Required for NEST Counselling:

  • Class 10th and 12th mark sheet and certificate
  • NEST 2025 admit card
  • NEST 2025 result
  • Caste certificate
  • Valid ID proof
  • Provisional call letter
  • Passport size photograph etc.

NEST 2026 FAQ’s

What is NEST?

NEST stands for National Entrance Screening Test. It is a national-level entrance exam conducted for admission to integrated MSc programs in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.

Who conducts the NEST exam?

The NEST exam is conducted jointly by the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, and the University of Mumbai – Department of Atomic Energy Center for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE-CEBS).

What courses does NEST offer admission to?

NEST offers admission to five-year integrated MSc programs in various science disciplines such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.

When will NEST 2026 be held?

NEST 2026 is tentatively scheduled to be held in the fourth week of June 2026.

What are the eligibility criteria for NEST?

Candidates must have passed Class 12th or equivalent from a recognized board with specific subjects. They must also meet certain age and percentage criteria.

How can I apply for NEST 2026?

Interested candidates can apply for NEST 2026 through the official website by filling out the online application form.

What is the exam pattern for NEST?

The NEST exam typically consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics from Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, and General Aptitude.

When will the NEST admit card be available?

The NEST admit card is expected to be available for download from the official website in the second week of June 2026.

How can I check my NEST result?

Candidates can check their NEST results on the official website by logging in with their registration credentials.

What is the counselling process for NEST?

The counselling process for NEST involves multiple rounds conducted separately by participating institutions. Shortlisted candidates need to participate in counselling and document verification to secure admission.