What to Expect in the KVPY Exam and Interview?

What is KVPY?

Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) is one of the most valuable scholarship exams of India. It is conducted and funded by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India.

The objective of KVPY is to encourage students to pursue their career in research areas of basic sciences, engineering, and medicine. Qualifying candidates are offered scholarship and contingency grants up to the pre-Ph.D. level.

This scheme was started in 1999; it is administered by the Indian Institute of Science. After qualifying KVPY Exam, you can get admission into IISc (Indian Institute of Sciences) and various IISERs (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research) branches in India.

Approximately 50,000 students appear for this examination every year. KVPY Exam is conducted to select students studying in class 11th and class 12th and undergraduates pursuing 1st Year in programs such as B.Sc./B.S./B.Stat./B.Math.

KVPY Highlights

KVPY is a national level exam conducted in the first week of November every year. KVPY application forms are released in the month of July

  • The KVPY examination can be attempted in online as well as offline mode as selected at the time of application by the candidates.
  • Language of the paper will be both English and Hindi.
  • All questions would be objective in nature.
  • The duration of KVPY Exam is 3 Hours.
  • KVPY Exam will be of 100 marks and will have 2 parts- Part I and Part II. Marking scheme for both the parts vary.
  • The students are assessed under four subjects- Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology.
  • There is one mark allotted to each correct answer in both the parts.
  • In part I, each wrong answer reduces your score by 0.25 marks and in Part II, 0.5 marks.
S.No Subject Part I Part II
1 Mathematics 15 questions – 1 mark each 5 questions – 2 marks each
2 Physics 15 questions – 1 mark each 5 questions – 2 marks each
3 Chemistry 15 questions – 1 mark each 5 questions – 2 marks each
4 Biology 15 questions – 1 mark each 5 questions – 2 marks each

  • The candidates must go through a written paper followed by an interview to qualify for this scholarship.
  • Merit will be decided based on both of the selection rounds.
  • The written exam carries 75% weightage and the interview round carries 35% weightage which will decide a candidate’s admission.
  • Interviews are conducted in the IISER nearest to your residence, or IISc Bangalore, which will be decided by the conducting body.

There are three streams under which a candidate can apply

  • SA is conducted for the students studying in class 11th.
  • SX is conducted for the students studying in class 12th.
  • SB is conducted for the students in undergraduate course.

Now, we will discuss the pattern and syllabus for each stream:

Stream Eligibility No. of Sections Paper Type Subjects No. of Questions Total Marks
SA Students in 11th Grade 2 Part 1- Objective

Part 2- Descriptive




-Biology (Mandatory in Both sections)

52 100
SX Students in 12th Grade 2 Objective -Physics


-Biology/Maths (choice)

120 120
SB Undergraduates in 1st year 2 Objective -Physics


-Biology/Maths (choice)

120 120

Stream SA
: In Part – A, correct answer gets +1 marks, and incorrect answer gets -0.25 marks; In Part – B, correct answer gets +5 marks and for incorrect answers, there is no negative marking.

Study Material: Fundamental concepts of these topics can be made clear by the text books recommended by the school. Candidates must go through previous years’ question paper and solve sample papers.

Stream SX and SB: In Part A, correct answer gets +1 marks, and incorrect answer gets -0.25; in, Part B, correct answer gets +2 marks and incorrect answer gets -0.5 marks.

Study material (Stream SB): NCERT books, previous years’ question papers and sample papers.

What to expect in KVPY interview?

The last stage to qualify the procedure of admission is the interview session of KVPY. This is the challenging and fun part of the process. The interview is conducted by a panel of qualified specialists on all subjects.

Interview Session is conducted to determine the personality of the candidates and analyze candidates’ approach on general issues and practical situations. 

Some initial questions asked by the interviewers will be related to candidate’s  introduction, hobbies, family background and favourite subjects. They may proceed to the core topics and ask particular direct and applicative questions.  Each section will be covered to test your overall knowledge. They may ask questions to check your calculating power, scientific temperament and aptitude by asking you some basic questions based on science and maths of daily life. There are a few points to keep in mind while attending the interview session-

  • Spontaneity and mind alertness
  • Core  understanding of subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics)
  • Candidate’s outlook on concepts and situations.
  • Confidence, alertness and expression

A few expected KVPY Interview Questions-

Personal questions:

1.Tell me something about yourself?

2.Tell us about your hobbies?

  1. What are your strongest points? What are your weak points?
  2. Name a few of your favourite players of National and International level in your favourite sport. The reason why he is your favourite should be based on technical reasons and not on personal likings.

5.What extra-curricular activities do you participate in apart from being good in academics?

6.If you get KVPY Scholarship, how will you utilise the money?

7.What is your daily schedule? How many hours do you dedicate to studies?

8.Which is your favourite subject?

8.Who is your favourite teacher? What subject she teaches (Expect questions related to that subject)?

9.What is your aim (Also include the explanation of reason of choosing it as your aim.)?

  1. What is your favourite topic in maths, science and social science? What all preparations you have done for the Interview?

Technical questions:

  1. What are known as suicidal bags of cell?

  2. Explain the reason why cell is called structural and functional unit of life?
  3. State various types of rocks with examples. Also explain how are they different from each other?
  4. Which plateau in India is made of sedimentary rocks?
  5. What do you mean by: Integers, rational numbers, composite numbers, prime numbers and their properties.
  6. State the process of conversion of energy from one form to another. Can heat energy be converted to electric energy?
  7. Does frequency is associated with only sound waves?
  8. Why Sky appears to be blue in day and black in night but leaves always appear to be green?
  9. How can a mixture of sand, common salt and camphor be separated?
  10. State the difference between ionosphere and troposphere? How ionosphere is related to ozone layer?

For preparation Tips and Tricks, you can refer to the below links: