National Standard Examination in Chemistry (NSEP): A detailed analysis by Resonance.

NSEC – 2015

A Detailed Analysis by Resonance


On 22nd November 2015, NSEC (National Standard Examination in Chemistry) – 2015 exam was conducted by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) at many centers all over the country. NSEC is the stepping stage for selection of aspiring and talented students in the Chemistry Olympiad Program. The student can move forward to other stages only after clearing this stage.

Eligibility: Only Indian citizens born on or after July 1, 1996 and are students studying in Class XII or lower as of November 30, 2015, can apply and appear for NSEC 2015 − 2016. The student has to himself re-assure his eligibility. At any stage if the student is found to be not eligible for the exam, he/she may be disqualified from the program.

Syllabus: The syllabus for National Standard Examination in Chemistry (NSEC) is almost similar as the curriculum of senior secondary level (Class XI and Class XII) of CBSE. However, only basic guideline for the course is mentioned. No detailed syllabus is given for NSEC.

Question Paper: The medium of test was English only and it comprised of 80 objective type questions, each with only one of the four options correct with 3 marks each and -1 negative marking for incorrect answer.

Qualifying for the Second Stage: The basic objective of conducting this test is not focusing on merit but to involve as many students from the country to participate in the exam and try to show and expose their talent. Hence the selection to the stage II examinations i.e. Indian National Olympiad Examinations (INOs) is based on the following scheme.

  • Cutoff: To be eligible to get to the next level, i.e. the second stage, it is necessary that a student scores at-least a Minimum Admissible Score (MAS) which is 40% of the maximum score.
  • Proportional Representation Clause: The maximum number of students that can get to Stage II (INO) in each subject is around 300. These many students are not selected only on the merit basis but also on proportionate basis. This proportion is decided on the base of the number of candidates who appeared for NSE in the previous year from that center in each State or Union Territory (UT). In case there is a tie at the last position, then all the students competing for the last position will be eligible to move to stage II. However it’s necessary that the selected students fulfill the eligibility clause laid out above. The total number to be selected from centers in each State for each subject will be displayed on the IAPT and HBCSE website.
  • Minimum Representation Clause: Notwithstanding the proportional representation clause the number of students selected for INO from each State and UT must be at least one, provided that the eligibility clause is satisfied.
  • Merit Clause: As stated above, approximately 300 students are to be selected for second stage. If this does not happen according to MAS, then after selection as per merit, the shortfall from 300 students will be selected based purely on merit without further consideration to proportional representation and minimum representation clauses. In the event of a tie at the last position in the list all students with the same marks at this position will qualify to appear for the Stage II examination.

There will be no other criterion or provision for selection to the Indian National Olympiad Examinations (INOs). All students who qualify to appear for the INCO get a certificate of merit from IAPT.

Overall Marks Distribution

The paper pattern was same as last year. The paper had 80 questions each worth 3 marks (negative marking of 1 marks). All questions were objective type with single correct option.

SUBJECT Class 11 Class 12 Total
No of Questions Total Marks No of Questions Total Marks No of Questions Total Marks
Chemistry 36 108 44 132           80 240

Overall Difficulty Level Analysis

In this analysis we have rated every question on a scale of 1 to 3. The ratings are done by expert faculty of Resonance. The individual ratings are then averaged to calculate overall difficulty level.

  • 1: Easy
  • 2: Moderate
  • 3: Difficult
Difficulty Level Number of Questions Marks
Easy 26 78
Medium 37 111
Difficult 17 51
Grand Total 80 240
Aggregate Difficulty 1.89

Difficulty Level Analysis: No of Questions

Resonance Experts feel that the paper was slightly difficult from last year. While 78 marks can be considered easy, 111 marks were of moderate level and 51 marks were of difficult level.

Topic Wise Analysis

Unit & Topic Name No of Questions Total Marks % Weightage
Inorganic chemistry 22 66 27.50%
Chemical Bonding 1 3 1.25%
chemical bonding 3 9 3.75%
coordination compounds 5 15 6.25%
d-block 3 9 3.75%
f-block 1 3 1.25%
p-block (B &C family) 2 6 2.50%
p-block (N,O &Halogen family) 3 9 3.75%
qualitative analysis 2 6 2.50%
s-block 2 6 2.50%
Organic chemistry 27 81 33.75%
alcohols 1 3 1.25%
Aromatic compounds 4 12 5.00%
biomolecules 2 6 2.50%
Carbonyl compounds 5 15 6.25%
Carboxylic Acid and their Derivatives 4 12 5.00%
general organic chemistry 1 3 1.25%
halo alkanes 2 6 2.50%
Hydrocarbon 3 9 3.75%
IUPAC & Isomerism 4 12 5.00%
practical organic chemistry 1 3 1.25%
Physical Chemistry 31 93 38.75%
Atomic Structure & Nuclear Chemistry 5 15 6.25%
chemical equilibrium 1 3 1.25%
Chemical kinetics 2 6 2.50%
Electrochemistry 4 12 5.00%
Gaseous State 2 6 2.50%
ionic equlibrium 2 6 2.50%
Mole Concept 6 18 7.50%
solid state 3 9 3.75%
solution and colligative properties 2 6 2.50%
surface chemistry 1 3 1.25%
Thermodynamics 3 9 3.75%
Grand Total 80 240 100.00%

Expected Cutoff

To be eligible to get to the next level, i.e. the second stage, it is necessary that a student scores at-least a Minimum Admissible Score (MAS) which is 40% of the maximum score.

About Resonance

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