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NEST Physics Preparation Tips

Last Updated - January 11, 2017

NEST Exam consists of 5 sections – General, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. Physics is one of the most important and tricky sections in NEST. NEST Physics syllabus is similar to the NCERT Higher Secondary syllabus. The Physics syllabus consists of 7 units viz. Modern Physics, General Physics, Mechanics, Sound and Mechanical Waves, Thermal Physics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Optics.

NEST Exam is conducted for admission to 5 year integrated MSc program in NISER, Bhubaneswar and UAE-CBS, University of Mumbai. NEST 2017 will be conducted on May 27, 2017 across 60 cities in the country.

NEST Physics Important Topics & Weightage

The NEST Physics syllabus is vast but to make it easy for the candidates to start their preparation without any ambiguity, here below we have listed some of the important and high weightage topics. Candidates should identify types of questions and prominent concepts usually asked from these topics.

  • Electronic Devices: 8% questions
  • Kinematics: 8% questions
  • Electrostatics: 7% questions
  • Heat and Thermodynamics: 7% questions
  • Magnetic effect of current ad magnetism: 8% questions
  • Oscillation and Waves: 10% questions
  • Atoms and Nuclei: 5% questions
  • Laws of Motion: 7% questions
  • Current electricity: 7% questions
  • Electromagnetic induction: 4% questions
  • Optics: 5% questions
  • Dual Nature of Matter and radiation: 4% questions
  • Gravitation: 3% questions
  • Electromagnetic Waves: 2% questions
  • Work, Power And Energy: 3% questions
  • Physical world and measurement: 3% questions
  • Alternating Current: 3% questions
  • Motion of System of particles and Rigid Body: 4% questions
  • Properties of Bulk Matter: 1% question
  • Behavior of Perfect gasses and kinetic theory: 1% question

NEST Syllabus

NEST Physics syllabus has total 7 units to cover and these units contains multiple chapters covering numerous topics. The whole syllabus of Physics is mentioned below.

General Physics

Units and dimensions, dimensional analysis, significant figures, measurement of length, least count, time, temperature, mass, potential difference, current and resistance, Methods of measurement (Direct, Indirect, Null), Design of some simple experiments like: determination of 'g' by simple pendulum, Searle's method to determine Young's modulus, verification of Ohm's law, specific heat of a liquid using calorimeter, Graphical representation and interpretation of data, etc.

Sound and Mechanical Waves

Resonance (qualitative understanding), longitudinal and transverse waves, superposition of waves, Plane wave motion, Progressive and stationary waves,  Beats, Speed of sound in gasses, Vibration of strings and air columns, Doppler effect.


Uniform circular motion, projectiles, relative velocity, Inertial and uniformly accelerated (linear only) frames of reference, Newton’s laws of motion, Kinetic and potential energy , Impulse, Kinematics in one and two dimensions (Cartesian coordinates only), Systems of particles, Motion of planets and satellites in circular orbits, Static and dynamic friction, Centre of mass and its motion, Centre of gravity, Law of gravitation, Centripetal acceleration and centrifugal force, Conservation of linear momentum and mechanical energy, Gravitational potential and field, Escape velocity, Acceleration due to gravity, Elastic and inelastic collisions, Work and power, Linear and circular simple harmonic motion, Stoke’s and Poiseuille’s law, Equilibrium of rigid bodies , Reynolds number , Rolling without slipping of rings, cylinders and spheres, Hooke’s law and stress – . Elastic limit, Dynamics of rigid bodies with fixed axis of rotation, Pressure in a fluid, Viscosity –Terminal velocity, Pascal’s law, Bernoulli’s theorem, equation of continuity, bulk and shear moduli, Buoyancy, Torque, Qualitative understanding of turbulence, Streamline flow.

Thermal Physics

liquids and gases, Blackbody radiation - absorptive and emissive powers, Calorimetry, latent heat, Stefan’s law , Heat conduction in one dimension, Elementary concepts of convection and radiation, Newton’s law of cooling , Ideal gas laws, Isothermal and adiabatic processes, Thermal expansion of solids, bulk modulus of gases , Equivalence of heat and work , First and second law of thermodynamics and its applications, Entropy , Kirchhoff’s law , Specific heats (CV and CP for monoatomic and diatomic gases) ,  Wien’s displacement law.

Modern physics

Binding energy and its calculation, Atomic nucleus, beta,  Alpha, and gamma radiations,  Law of radioactive decay, Characteristic and continuous X-rays, Photoelectric effect, Decay constant, Energy calculation in these processes , Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Fission and fusion processes, Half-life and mean life,  Bohr’s theory of hydrogen-like atoms, de Broglie wavelength of matter waves, Moseley’s law.

Electricity and Magnetism

Electrical potential energy of a system of point charges and of electrical dipoles in a uniform electrostatic field, Coulomb’s law , Electric field lines , Flux of electric field , Electric field and potential, Gauss’s law and its application in simple cases , Series and parallel arrangements of resistances and cells, Capacitors in series and parallel , uniformly charged infinite plane sheet and uniformly charged thin spherical shell, Capacitance - Calculation of capacitance with and without dielectrics , Magnetic moment of a current loop, Energy stored in a capacitor, Electric current Biot-Savart’s law and Ampere’s law, Ohm’s law, Magnetic field near a current-carrying straight wire,  Force on a moving charge and on a current-carrying wire in a uniform magnetic field , ammeter and their conversions, voltmeter, Self and mutual inductance , Kirchhoff’s laws and simple applications: Effect of a uniform magnetic field on a current loop,   Heating effect of current , Electromagnetic induction - circuits with and A.C, Moving coil galvanometer, ammeter and their conversions , voltmeter, Lenz’s law, Faraday’s law.


Rectilinear propagation of light, Combination of mirrors and thin lenses , Thin lenses , interference limited to Young’s double-slit experiment , Wave nature of light - Huygens’s principle, Elementary idea of polarization – Brewster’s law and the law of Malus , Deviation and dispersion of light by a prism , Magnification ,Reflection and refraction at plane and spherical surfaces,  Elementary idea of diffraction – Rayleigh criterion.

NEST Preparation Tips

Physics section can often seem a daunting task for NEST aspirants. However, with a proper preparation strategy, candidates can score well in the Physics section. Here we have listed a few important tips to perform well in the Physics section.:

  • Follow the Syllabus: It is very important to go through the complete syllabus of Physics before starting the preparation and then start the preparation with the important and high weightage topics.
  • Make smart strategies: Keeping in mind the amount of time you are left with, design a smart and efficient strategy that helps you in covering all the important topics. Do not waste your time over topics of less importance because the syllabus is vast and it is not possible to master each of it, hence focus on topics that may help you to gain good marks in the test.
  • Clear Basic Concepts: Physics is all about the concept it is not possible to mug up each formula and numerical. Hence work on the concepts, it will help you in the long run and you will be able to solve any type of complex question with ease.
  • Make a Note: Make it a habit to penning down every important formula and concept, it will help at the last moment to refresh each concept before entering the examination hall.
  • Practice Mock test Paper: This is the most important practice that must be done without any failure. Practicing mock test paper or previous year’s test paper will help you to get the clear concept and structure of the question paper. It not only gives the idea about the topics that frequently appear in the paper but also helps in boosting your speed.
  • Time Management: It is the key to crack any competitive examination, hence one should learn to manage his/her time and must give time to the topics they are very confident about and avoid wasting it over topics they are not sure about.
  • Revision: This is the last phase of the preparation process but the important one. It should not be skipped else it will get difficult to recall all the concepts at the time of the examination and you will leave with confusion and ambiguity. Keep the last month for the revision.

Important Resources for NEST Physics Preparation

Candidates preparing for NEST 2017 can make use of the reference material provided below. The other key component of candidates’ preparation would be to go through the previous year question papers and NEST sample papers for practicing and identifying the pattern of questions that come in the exam.

Reference Books

Here is the list of few selected books to refer for NEST Physics section.

A collection of questions and Problems in PhysicsL.A. Sena
Concepts of PhysicsH.C. Verma
Aptitude Test Problems in PhysicsS.S Krotov
NEET - 2012 Physics Objective Question bank Chapter wise and Topic WiseDigvijay Singh
Practice Problems in Physics for Engineering and Medical Entrance ExaminationS.Mishra
Objective Physics For Medical and Engineering Entrance Exam byMahesh Jain
Text Book of PhysicsNCERT XI and XII
Elements of Dynamics Part I & II and Dynamics of a Particle and of Rigid BodiesS.L.Loney
Advanced Level PhysicsNelkon and Parker
Physics for Engineering and Medical Entrance ExaminationsAjit Singh Panwar
Concept of Competition Physics for CBSE PMTAggarwal
Problems in PhysicsA.A Pinsky

Online Resources

There are multiple options available online for the preparation of NEST 2017, candidates will get notes, online tutorials, pdf, and mock tests, etc. very easily. Here we have listed few trusted website where the candidate will get all the required resources easily.

  • Examrace:
  • JbigDeal:
  • Tcyonline:



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