Navigating the IISER Aptitude Test 2023: A Comprehensive Guide


The IISER (Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research) Aptitude Test is a critical examination for students aspiring to pursue undergraduate programs in science at these prestigious institutions. As the 2023 test approaches, this comprehensive guide aims to provide a thorough understanding of the IISER Aptitude Test, offering step-by-step insights to help aspirants navigate the application process, syllabus, and preparation strategies effectively.

What are IISERs?

Just like you have IIT, the Indian institute of technology for degrees – the top engineering College in India; IITs. So, similarly, for research and basic sciences or to become a scientist you have the Indian institute of science education and research (IISER). Similar to IISc, Bangalore ( Indian institute of science), you have IISERs. There are 7 IISERs in India – IISER Pune, IISER Kolkata, IISER Mohali, IISER Bhopal, IISER Berhampur, IISER Thiruvananthapuram, IISER Tirupati.

There are other research institutes in India, for example – NISER Bhubaneswar, Centre for excellence in basic sciences (CEBS) in Mumbai, there is IACS (Indian association for the cultivation of science)  which is even older than IISc, Bangalore but people don’t know about these institutions.

There are ISI & CMI where packages are more than even many IITs. Students doing internships in ISI and CMI get 1 to 2,00,000 per month. So, you can imagine the level of these institutes in India. Therefore, these are the premier research institutes in India you can aim for if you want to pursue a career in research or you want to become a scientist.

Admission to IISERs:

Now, the IISER aptitude test is the entrance exam to get into IISERs just like for IITs we have to qualify for JEE mains and JEE advance.

To get into IISERs, there were initially 3 ways – 

  • IAT,
  • KVPY &

KVPY is now abolished so there are only 2 ways left, i.e.,

  • IAT.

IISER aptitude test fills more than 75% of the seats. If seats are not filled through JEE ADVANCE, they are filled through IAT.

All IISERs together conduct IAT and one IISER conducts the IAT test.


Eligibility Criteria:

To get into IISER, what are the eligibility criteria? 

There are majorly 3 criteria although there are many minor factors as well which you can check on the official website.

  1. For the IISER aptitude test 2023, your class 12 should be in 2023 or 2022 so you can be a maximum of a one-year dropper or your 12th should be in that year.
  2. Your percentage in class 12th ( overall percentage not just science, not just PCM or PCB). Overall in your Class 12 mark sheet, you should get
    1. for general and OBC – minimum 60%
    2. for SC/ST)PWD – minimum 55%.
  3. The 3rd criterion is simple, that is, you should have a minimum of 3 of the science subjects- physics, chemistry, biology, or math. You can also have PCMB in your Class 12.

So, these are the primary 3 eligibility criteria.

There are other minor criteria for foreign students which you can check on the official website.


Exam pattern:

The exam pattern test is very simple. There are 4 sections – physics, chemistry, math and biology. Each section has 15 questions. In each question,

  • +3 marks are awarded for a correct answer
  • -0.75 marks are deducted for incorrect answer

So, for 15 Questions in each section, you get a total of 60 questions.

  • It is a 3-hour examination.
  • So, you have to solve 60 questions in 3 hours, about 3 minutes per question.
  • The total mark is 180 marks.

Now, a lot of people are having doubts about whether there are any section-wise cut-off marks for each subject. No, there is no such thing as in the NEST examination. There are section-wise cut-off marks for NISER & CEBS but for IISERs, there is no section-wise cut-off.

Students need clarification on whether math or biology is compulsory or not. No, nothing is mandatory in IAT. You can just do math and biology or you can do physics and chemistry also. You can just do the chemistry portion and leave the examination hall. It is totally up to you.

Obviously, you won’t do that because you will not get marks. The thing is nothing is compulsory, there are no section-wise cut-off marks.

Step 1: Understanding the IISER Admission Process Before delving into the details of the aptitude test, it is essential to grasp the IISER admission process. IISERs offer admission to students based on various channels, including the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) exam, Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced), State and Central Boards (SCB) Channel, and the IISER Aptitude Test. Candidates need to identify the appropriate channel and fulfill eligibility criteria to be considered for admission.

Step 2: Eligibility Criteria for IISER Aptitude Test 2023 To appear for the IISER Aptitude Test in 2023, candidates must meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the respective IISER they are applying to. Typically, this includes specific academic qualifications, age limits, and other criteria. Aspirants should carefully review the eligibility requirements and ensure they fulfill all conditions before proceeding with the application process.

Step 3: Online Application Process The application process for the IISER Aptitude Test 2023 is conducted online. Candidates need to visit the official IISER admission portal, complete the registration, and submit the required documents. It is imperative to provide accurate information and adhere to the specified deadlines during this stage to avoid any complications in the later phases of the admission process.

Step 4: Syllabus and Exam Pattern Understanding the syllabus and exam pattern is crucial for effective preparation. The IISER Aptitude Test typically covers topics from Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology. Candidates should review the detailed syllabus provided by IISER and focus on strengthening their knowledge in these subjects. Additionally, becoming familiar with the exam pattern, including the marking scheme and duration, contributes to a strategic preparation approach.

Step 5: Preparation Strategies for IISER Aptitude Test Creating a comprehensive study plan tailored to the IISER Aptitude Test syllabus is essential. Utilize quality study materials, reference books, and online resources to reinforce concepts. Practice solving previous years’ question papers and mock tests to familiarize yourself with the exam format and enhance time management skills. Seek guidance from teachers, mentors, or coaching institutes if needed to ensure a well-rounded preparation.

Additional Information

To further assist aspirants in preparing for the IISER Aptitude Test 2023, consider the following tips and additional information:

  1. Time Management: Allocate sufficient time to each subject during the preparation phase. Focus on strengthening weak areas while ensuring a balance in covering all topics outlined in the syllabus.
  2. Regular Revision: Regular revision is crucial to retain information and enhance long-term memory. Schedule periodic revision sessions to reinforce concepts and stay well-prepared for the exam.
  3. Stay Updated on Exam Notifications: Regularly check the official IISER website for updates, notifications, and any changes in the exam schedule or pattern. Staying informed ensures candidates are well-prepared for any adjustments.
  4. Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy lifestyle during the preparation phase. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep contribute to improved concentration and overall well-being.

IISER Admissions 2023 Seat Matrix

According to the information available on the official website of the institute, there are a total of 1,808 seats available in the IISER institutes. Check the IISER seat matrix in the table below:

BS-MS Program
Number of seats
IISER Berhampur
IISER Bhopal
IISER Kolkata
IISER Mohali
IISER Tirupati
IISER Thiruvananthapuram

In conclusion

Navigating the IISER Aptitude Test 2023 requires a systematic and informed approach. By understanding the admission process, fulfilling eligibility criteria, completing the online application, familiarizing oneself with the syllabus and exam pattern, and adopting effective preparation strategies, candidates can position themselves for success in this competitive examination. Aspirants are encouraged to stay focused, stay updated, and seek support when needed to optimize their performance in the IISER Aptitude Test and secure admission to these esteemed institutions.

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