Personal KVPY SB preparation tips: Full detailed guide with strategy

Well, KVPY stands for KISHOR VAGYANIK PROTSAHAN YOJANA. I was also a KVPY aspirant who was planning to prepare for KVPY SB stream but sadly was not able to and therefore I am here to share my experience in KVPY SB stream preparation and problems which I had encountered while preparing. I will be sharing with you all the details which are needed and a complete guide that how you should prepare for it.

Short answer: To prepare for KVPY, your basics needs to be clear. KVPY tests your basic concept of science. Well, there is no defined syllabus for KVPY but the basic concept of 11th and 12th NCERT science is enough. Time management is important for syllabus completion. Read further to understand everything clearly to how to complete syllabus and manage time.

Importance of KVPY SB after 12th:

KVPY is a scholarship program. Qualifying this exam will give you a great advantage in your career after Higher Secondary Exam (HSC) basically 12th standard in India. KVPY exam gives you a bump in your life if you are willing to opt for research career fields such as Astronomy or Astrophysics.

KVPY is a national level examination conducted by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) one of the reputed university in India.

Advantages of qualifying KVPY after 12th:

So clearing a national level exam is a success in itself but there are some great advantages as well. So here are the 6 advantages of clearing KVPY examination

1. Scholarship:- Well as KVPY is a national level scholarship exam conducted by IISc. If you clear KVPY exam and want to pursue research careers such as astronomy or astrophysics. Scholarship details are shown in the below table.

DurationCourseMonthly FellowshipAnual Contigency grant
1st to 3rd yearB.Sc / B.S / B.Stat / B.Maths / Integrated M.Sc or M.S5000Rs2000Rs
1st to 2nd yearMSc / M.s / M.Stat / M.Maths7000Rs28000Rs

2. Identity Card:- Each student who will qualify KVPY will be issued an identity card through which he can get access to any national libraries or laboratories in India.

3. Admission:- A KVPY aspirant gets direct admission in India's top universities like IISc and various IISER which are some of the best universities in India.

Apart from that, on the official website of KVPY, you will find the name of all the student who had cleared this exam which is more than enough for any student by seeing their name on the official website of such a reputed organization.

Career option for a student after 12th if you qualify KVPY:

If you are willing to become a Scientist, Astronomer or an Astrophysicist then KVPY examination can be a boon to you. Here are some of the best career option a student can opt for if he qualifies KVPY.
  • Research Scientist 
  • Scientific Assistant
  • Research Analyst
  • Biostatistician
  • And you can even join a great organisation such as ISRO and NASA

Are you eligible for KVPY SB ?

Before you get ready with your notes to prepare for KVPY first check whether you are eligible for KVPY? If I talk about myself, I am not eligible for KVPY because of my carelessness and some mistakes which I had done in my HSC. So do read and check your eligibility for KVPY.

Well, you have known by now that KVPY has three streams SA, SX and SB.

SA is for class 11th student to appear whereas SX is for class 12th student and SB is for a student who is in the first year of their bachelor course in basic science such as B.SC, B.S, B.Stats and B. Maths.

If you are willing to go to SB stream then you are a first-year student and considering all the workload which I had to face, I will try to come up with the best preparation tip for KVPY. So read further.

Eligibility criteria for KVPY SB:

So here are the eligibility criteria for a student willing to go for KVPY SB stream for different categories.

CategoryAggregate percentage required in 12th (PCM/B)Percentage required in first year
General60% (Aggregate in PCM or PCB)50%
SC/St50% (Aggregate in PCM or PCB)50%
Pwd (person with disability)50% (Aggregate in PCM or PCB)50%

How to prepare for KVPY SB stream ?

Well if you are thinking to prepare for KVPY SB, then I am supposing either you are in class 12th board now or in the first year of your bachelor degree in basic science. Don't worry read further and I will clear all your query and whole detail regarding the preparation of KVPY SB stream.

So KVPY SB stream is for those who are in the first year of their basic science degree it can be B.Sc, B.Stat, B.Maths or B.S. Now being a college student is hard in India because you need to deal with lot of work at the same time and on top of that KVPY preparation can be hard.

So here is the detailed guide for you in terms of how to prepare for KVPY SB stream :)

First, understand your condition!

So before taking out your books and starting to read, it's important for you to first understand your condition and how much time is left for the exam and prepare according to it. This was one of the worst mistake done by me (yes! there are more mistakes) and it's definitely something you should avoid to achieve your target.

So if you are preparing for KVPY SB then there are two possibilities either you are in class 12th now or in the first year. So let's discuss both of the possibilities in detail.

If you are in class 12th:

So if you are a class 12th student then you may have given KVPY SX or SA stream exam before or it can also be possible that, you have heard about KVPY after registration was over and you are thinking to prepare for SB stream.

So if you are in class 12th now, then approximately 6 months are left for you to prepare for your exam after boards. Don't panic now and just focus on your boards for now and make sure to score above 60% aggregate in science stream in subjects Physics, Chemistry and Maths/Biology.

Once your exam is over, now start your preparation of KVPY and revise your basic concepts. All the other details and time management tips are also mentioned in this post.

If you are in the first year of basic science:

If you are in the first year now then probably you are reading this post in your 12th vacation or after starting off your college. See college life as a student is hard to manage from attendance practical and assignments, on top of that now load of this preparation of KVPY as well.

It's hard to manage and therefore only working hard will not work and you must work smartly as well. Analyse chapter's marks, your time accordingly and define your target (marks you want to score)

I know this all analysis is a bit hard for you to do because of time issues and therefore student baba is here, I have done all the analysis for you just read this whole article. I know it a bit long but these are important as well.

Second, understand what you want to do!

Now after understanding your current condition, the second thing you need to do is you need to be aware regarding what you want to do. I know, you have different goals and some future plan regarding what you want to do in life and therefore you have chosen Bachelor degree in Basic Science.

Many of you want to do Masters in Basic Science in a particular subject such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Maths or you want to become an astronomer, astrophysicist and many more.

So you need to decide that and KVPY will give you a boost in your respective field. Here is the list of top 5 common career option a bachelor degree in basic science holder can take.

Top 5 best career option for bachelor degree in basic science holders.

  • Astronomer
  • Research Scientist
  • Astrophysicist
  • Biostatistician
  • Research analyst

Marking System in KVPY SB:

So marking schemes in KVPY SB stream is as follow:

Your paper will be divided into two parts. Part 1 consist of a total of 80 questions (20 questions from each of the 4 subjects). A candidate can appear for any three subjects in part 1 so it means 60 questions in part 1. 

Part 2 consists of 40 questions (10 questions from each of the 4 subjects) and you can appear for any two subjects so it means you have to answer 20 questions from part 2. 

In part 1: For each correct answer you will be awarded 1 mark and for each wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be cut.

In part 2: For each correct answer you will be awarded 2 marks and for each wrong answer, 0.5 marks will be cut.

Refer to the below table to understand more:-

SubjectPositive marks for each correct answerNegative marks for each wrong answer
Part 1:Physics1 marks0.25 marks
Chemistry1 marks0.25 marks
Maths1 marks0.25 marks
Biology1 marks0.25 marks
Part 2:Physics2 marks0.50 marks
Chemistry2 marks0.50 marks
Maths2 marks0.50 marks
Biology2 marks0.50 marks

Subject wise chapters to cover for KVPY SB preparation:

So now after understanding marking schemes, eligibility and all the scenarios next thing which comes in our mind is what we need to study? Which chapters to study in each subject?

Well, this was the query I was also stuck with but after some random search on google, I got a list of chapters for KVPY and this was also a mistake.

KVPY doesn't have any prescribed syllabus like other competitive exams and therefore it is a bit too hard to find out which chapters to study. KVPY tests your basic science concept and therefore it can be assumed that from 11th and 12th, NCERT chapters are most likely to come but still we can't be sure since there is no defined syllabus.

Well, there is no need to worry, here is the list of chapters from which most questions are asked from in KVPY.

Syllabus for KVPY SB  stream:

So here is the list of chapters for KVPY SB stream:

For Physics:

Physics:Electromagnetic induction and Alternating current
Electromagnetic induction
Thermal physics
Source of energy
Work,Energy and Power
Physical world and Measurment
Current Electricity
Appliaction in Daily life
Electricity and Magnetism
Magnetic Effects of Current
Laws of motion
Wave and Optics

For Chemistry:

Structure and Bonding
Periodic classification of Elements
Chemicak kinetics
Chemical Reactions
Metals and Non-Metals
Solid States
Basic Concepts of Chemistry
Dienes and Alkynes
Environmental Chemistry
Carbon Compounds
Chemical Bonding
Gases and Liquids
Classification of Elements
Periodicity in Properties
Bases and Salts
States of Matter
Isolation of Elements
Chemistry of Noble Gases
Surface Chemistry

For Maths:

Relation and Function
Vector and 3-D geometry
Evaluation of integrals
Quadratic equations
Real numbers
Vector Algebra
Analytical geometry in two dimensions
Introduction to trigonometry
Trigonometric function
Mathematical reasoning
Liner progarmming
Coordinate geometry

For Biology:

Biology:Human phsiology
Cell:structure and function
Control and coordination in animal and plants
Diversity in living organism
Biology and Human welfare
Genetics and Evolution
Our Enviornment
Plant phsiology
Ecology and Enviornment
Life process

How to manage your time for KVPY SB preparation ?

So, now you know the syllabus, marking schemes and most importantly you are now clear that why you want to give KVPY and which career option you would like to have. Well! congratulations and now it's finally time to start reading and preparing but I think we are still missing one more thing before proceeding.

Yes! you are still not clear how to prepare and manage your time to prepare. How much time you need to give to each subject and we are going to discuss this and I will tell you how you should manage your time.

Well, you can easily prepare for KVPY SB in 6 months and qualify for it, but one thing you need to be clear about is you at least score marks to qualify KVPY SB. Now you might be wondering that how will I manage time to qualify for SB while my college and all the load on top of that how much marks do I need to qualify KVPY SB and what is the cutoff?

Well don't worry I am here and will tell you each and every single detail of time management and how will you clear the cutoff of KVPY SB. You know, this was the biggest mistake I did whilst I was preparing for KVPY SB, I was not able to utilize my time at full potential and therefore I know the importance of it.

I will tell you all the mistakes done by me in time management during my preparation days so you can avoid them and will also provide the guide and how you should create your time table to manage your time.

Cutoff of KVPY SB stream:

Here is the trend of the last 5 years of KVPY SB cutoff:

Here you can see that cut-off for general category students in India is high compare to other categories due to the reservation system. Around 10 marks of difference are there between the cutoff of general and SC/ST students.

Here Pwd category stands for Person with disabilities

So cut off for SC/St category is the same every year which is around 30-38 marks, whereas in a case for the general category it's around 40-50 marks.

Minimum time required to qualify KVPY exam:

So now you know you need at least around 40 marks if you are from SC/ST category and 50 marks if you are a general category (like me). Yes! we are setting our target 40 and 50 whereas cutoff was around 30 as well but I am assuming it because we can't predict cut off just like that trend can change any time so to be on the safer side I will assume you need 40 marks minimum if you are from SC/ST or PWD and 50 marks if you are fro general category.

So now you have your target set. Now you may be thinking that it's easy to score 50 marks from 100 even if you don't study but let me tell you KVPY is not easy at it seems and therefore proper time management is necessary to score 50 marks in KVPY SB stream.

Now by viewing your course and chapters, you need to cover, you need at least 6 months to properly prepare for KVPY (with your ongoing college load of the first year) this time may vary for individuals but to clear your concept clearly for each chapter of KVPY SB syllabus you need 6 months of preparation time with 3 hours of time in preparation every day.

How much time is left for you ?

Now you know that you need 6 months but the main question which now arises is how much time do you have? and what if you have less than 6 months? Well here is the detailed guide that what you need to do if you have less than 6 months and what if you have more than 6 months.

So lets first distribute it into two categories. KVPY SB stream is been given by a student of basic science first-year student so either you have passed your 12th standard from science stream or you are currently in the first year.

Let's discuss both the scenarios:

If you have passed 12th standard recently:

So if you have completed your 12th boards recently congratulations you have sufficient time to prepare for KVPY and I know it was a bit hard during your boards days to study and now when you are finally thinking to relax and enjoy I am telling you to prepare for KVPY which is tiring.

The thing is I am not telling you to study 12 or 15hrs a day, you need to study only 3 hours every day and that also not in one go. You have to decide your time slot whenever you are free and you are good to go.

We will discuss what you should manage and distribute your time and which chapter you need to read first.

If you are in the first year of college :

So if you are in the first year of your college then I know it's a bit hard to manage preparation for KVPY with your college work on top of that you have less then 6 months around 3-4 months only to prepare.

So you need to manage your time at full potential and you need at least 4 hours each day to qualify and score 50 marks in KVPY. Well, you need a proper time distribution and revise your concept of science. First thing you need is proper time distribution because it's not a good idea to study straight for 4 hours.

You need to distribute your 4 hours preparation time in 2-3 different slots of the day so that its easier to manage college workload as well.

Read further to learn how should you distribute your time properly and which are the chapter you need to give priority.

How to distribute your time to complete preparation ?

So now you know how much time is left for you to prepare and well, you may be worried that whether you will be able to complete enough syllabus to qualify for KVPY SB.

Well, as discussed above if you are the one who passed 12th board recently and you have exact 6 months left to prepare for KVPY SB which is enough and if you are the first-year student then only 4 month left which may confuse you then how should you complete preparation and how will you manage your time with college workload.

If you have 6 months preparation time:

So you have enough time to prepare and 3 hours a day is enough to qualify KVPY SB. If you have 6 months then most probably you are 12th class student and just don't waste your precious vacation time, just give 3 hours every day.

Analyse, how you are spending your 24hrs, it's not necessary to give 3 hours preparation time straight divide these 3 hours in different time slot so that your revision goes along as well.

I know many of you are now ready to give 3 hours straight to prepare but I will not recommend that and this was the mistake done by me.

Giving 3 hours straight is tiring and after some days you will feel bored which will disturb your consistency.

Remember consistency is the KEY

Therefore I will recommend you to divide these 3 hours in different time slot prepare for 1 hour in the morning then 1 hour in the afternoon and 1 hour in the evening. This way you will not feel tired and your consistency is maintained.

If you have 4 months left: 

Then most probably your college has been started and you are excited about your fresher to enjoy your college life but don't forget that you have to give one of the hard competitive exams in just 4 months.

Even you don't have much time left to prepare, you need at least 6 months whereas you are left with just 4 so you need to give 4-5 hours a day in preparation of KVPY SB.

I understand it going to be a bit hard to manage with college load therefore what you can do is read important chapters first and clear your basic first. Clear your concept of high weighage chapters.

Don't study for 4 hours straight and simply just divide these 4 hours into different time slots. 

So I have provided you with a detailed analysis of important chapters from the trend of the last 3 years question paper. So that I would give you better clarity in your preparation on which chapters you need to give more focus and which chapters contain more marks and what kind of questions are asked from each chapter.

What do you need to do in your preparation time ?

Well, KVPY tests your basic concept of science and therefore you need to understand the basic reason behind a particular topic rather than just simply feeding it into your brain.

Clearance of basic concept is must, so to do that you can read the textbook (which I would recommend is best) take help of internet to learn about a particular phenomenon and practice last year's questions of KVPY.

This all you need to do in your preparation time. Don't worry important chapters and which chapters you need to prioritise are also given in this article as well.

So here is the quick summary of what you need to do: 
  1. Understand what you want to do
  2. Realise how much time is left to prepare 
  3. Distribute your time accordingly and don't study straight for 3-4 hour divide this time in different slots. 
  4. Basic needs to be clear so read the textbook and take help of internet to understand specific phenomena in your preparation time slot. 
  5. Solve last year's questions to get an idea about the type of questions asked in KVPY SB.

What to prepare for KVPY SB ?  

Now you know how you should prepare for KVPY SB and how will you manage your time if you are aiming to prepare. Now we will discuss what you need to study and which chapters you need to focus based on the last few year paper analysis.

This all data and chapter importance is based on the last few year paper analysis and trend which we usually see.

KVPY SB paper data analysis:

So I have analysed some previous year's question papers to give you an idea of difficulty level for each subject. So first we will see the difficulty level for each subject and then I will show you an analysis of each chapter and topic for each subject.


So this data is based on the analysis of some last year's KVPY SB question papers. So you can get the idea of the difficulty level of the physics section. This analysis is based on both part 1 and part 2.

By looking at the image you can say that around 50 per cent of physics section is going to be easy and around 40 per cent question will have a medium difficulty level. This chart shows that in the physics section on 10% questions will be hard. 


Well, chemistry difficulty level analysis is somewhat different from the one which we have seen in physics. Around 50 per cent of questions is of easy and the difficulty level is the same as what we have seen in physics but no questions with difficulty level medium are less compare to physics and number of difficult question is more compare to physics.


So in difficulty level analysis for maths, data does not follow the same trend as physics and chemistry. Number of easy questions are less around 10% only whereas the medium level question is more covering around 56 per cent, 

The number of difficult questions in maths is also high compared to physics and chemistry. 


Well, Biology also breaks the trend with around 80 per cent of a question with medium difficulty level whereas only 7 per cent question is around easy level following with 13 per cent of a difficult question.

So for biology, the number of questions with medium difficulty level is quite high whereas several easy questions are less more than expected and a number of difficult questions are around double compared to the number of easy questions.

List of main prioritise chapter for KVPY SB on basis of analysis:

Now you have a general idea about the difficulty level of questions for each of the four subjects. Well, I have something more for you here which is the detailed analysis of graphs for the number of questions asked from each chapter or topic from all the four different subjects.


So this is the subject wise analysis of KVPY's last 3-years question papers. In the above graph, you can see a number of questions asked from each chapter and total marks they generally contain in KVPY SB physics. You will notice that Mechanics has the highest number of questions asked and contain the highest weightage of around 18 marks.

 Whereas other topic/chapters like Simple Harmonic motion (SHM) and Friction contain 2 marks.

Now from the data we received above we can say that 50% of question will be easy in physics and only 10 per cent question will be difficult. So from this, you have clear data now that mechanics which contains the most number of marks will most probably have an easy or medium difficulty level of questions.
Below is the pie chat has given with a percentage of several questions asked from each topic/chapters:


Inorganic and Organic chemistry questions are most important from the above data. Around 10 marks questions are asked from Inorganic chemistry.

A number of questions and total marks they contain for each chapter is also represented by the dark blue colour.
Here is the pie chart with information on how much weightage does each chapter has in chemistry for KVPY SB stream.


Difficulty level pie charts shows us that around 10% questions will be easy whereas number of medium and difficult level questions are more compare to physics and chemistry.

From this above chart, we can derive that differential has highest weightage around 8 marks and only 6 questions will be asked from differential.

In part I, we have a choice to opt for any of the three subjects from Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology. Whereas in part II we can opt for any of the two subjects from Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology.

So maths section for KVPY SB is going to be hard compared to physics and chemistry. Below is the table provided with weightage percentage from each chapter for KVPY SB maths section:


So biology also shows us a somewhat similar trend like mathematics. In difficulty level pie chart above we have noticed that most number of a questions in biology will be of medium to difficult but easy level question are less. So most of the question from the above topic you expect to be either difficult nor medium level.

Below is the pie chart showing weighage percentage of each chapter for KVPY SB biology:


So you know now that KVPY SB stream question paper consists of two parts. Part I and Part II respectively. 

In part I, we have a choice to opt for any of the three subjects from Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology. Whereas in part II we can opt for any of the two subjects from Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology. 

It's obvious that in part 1 you will opt for physics, chemistry and either maths or biology but when it comes to solving part I select any two subjects you are comfortable with depending upon the time you have left, you need to decide which subject you should take. 

Well if you ask me, from what I see above I will recommend you to go for Physics and Chemistry in part II. You know that maths and biology have less number of easy questions compared to physics and chemistry so therefore you have an advantage selecting physics and chemistry in part II due to more number of easy questions present in physics and chemistry. 

Well, it's my recommendation but this decision varies from individual to individual. I know many of you may not like chemistry if you are from maths background don't worry even I don't like chemistry much but here we need to do smart work and not hark work. Chemistry can be clear by theoretical reading and if you focus on chemistry a little bit more you will be able to easily understand. If you like chemistry then well you are good to go. 

Apart from deciding which subject you need to go for during an exam, another important thing is how well you are prepared.

Therefore I would recommend you to solve at least last 5-years KVPY question papers to get a clear idea of what kind of questions can be asked from each topic/chapters. 

Below is the important links section, you will find a link to download last 5 years KVPY question papers for KVPY SB stream.

Important links:

So here are some of the study materials you can refer during your preparation for KVPY SB stream:

1. Last 5-year KVPY SB question papers

2. KVPY official Website

3. KVPY SB application form


So here are the details for KVPY eligibility, paper analysis and marking scheme and a proper guide on how and which subjects you need to prepare. I can expect that now you are clear why you want to give KVPY and what is the eligibility criteria for KVPY SB.

You now know how much time is necessary to prepare for KVPY SB and how should you manage your time depending upon the amount of time left. Prepare for KVPY SB according to marks distribution given for each subject and you have all the data which chapter weightage is more and what will be the difficulty level.

So best of luck for your exams. Below are the some frequently asked question which candidates have so do check them as well.

If you have any other query related to KVPY SB then comment below


1. What is the meaning of the phrase "computer-based test"?

Answer: Exams will be conducted on a computer where a candidate is provided with a portal link to give an exam.

2. What is the syllabus of KVPY SB?

Answer: There is no prescribed syllabus of KVPY but on the basis of previous paper analysis we have provided chapters and topic from where questions are asked generally.

3. Can I take a computer-based test in the Hindi language as well? 

Answer: Yes, you can take this computer-based test in Hindi as well as in English. Whichever language you are comfortable with.

4. Is it necessary to opt for all the four subject Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology in KVPY SB? 

Answer: No, your question paper consists of two parts. In part 1 you have to opt for any three subjects from four subjects whereas in part 2 you can opt for any two subjects from four subjects.

5. What if I have any other scholarship still I want to have KVPY scholarship?

Answer: KVPY doesn't allow it, candidates, to have any other scholarship and in case you already have other scholarship so in order to take KVPY scholarship you need to abandon the other one.

6. Where should I submit a KVPY application form?

Answer: Candidate can fill application form here. The application form is released in midweek of July each year so do check them during July mid-week.

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