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(Notification) : IIT Madras Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination (HSEE) TEST 

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(Notification) : IIT Madras Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination (HSEE) TEST 


Qualifying Examination:

A Candidate should have appeared any one of the following qualifying examinations for the first time in either 2019 or 2020.

  • The final examination of the 10+2 system, conducted by a Central or State Board recognized by the Association of Indian Universities (
  • Intermediate or two-year Pre-University examination conducted by a Board or University recognized by the Association of Indian Universities.
  • Final examination of the two-year course of the Joint Services Wing of the National Defense Academy.
  • Senior Secondary School Examination conducted by the National Institute of Open Schooling with a minimum of five subjects.
  • Any Public School, Board or University examination in India or in a foreign country recognized as equivalent to the 10+2 system by the Association of Indian Universities.
  • H.S.C. vocational examination.
  • Class XII skill courses of CBSE.
  • General Certificate Education (GCE) examination (London, Cambridge or Sri Lanka) at the Advanced (A) level.
  • High School Certificate Examination of the Cambridge University or International Baccalaureate Diploma of the International Baccalaureate Office, Geneva. Candidates who have completed Class XII (or equivalent) examination outside India or from a Board not specified above should produce a certificate from the Association of Indian Universities to the effect that the examination they have passed is equivalent to the Class XII examination. In case the Class XII examination is not a public examination, the candidate must have passed at least one public (Board or Pre-University) examination earlier.

Percentage of Marks in Qualifying Examination:

Candidates belonging to the General, GEN-EWS and OBC-NCL category must secure a minimum of 60% aggregate marks in the qualifying examination. Candidates belonging to SC, ST and PwD categories must secure a minimum of 55% aggregate marks in the qualifying examination. Where only letter grades are mentioned in the grade sheet, the candidate should obtain a certificate from the Board specifying equivalent marks, and submit it at the time of joining. In case the candidate does not provide such a certificate, the decision of the HSEE admission committee regarding his/her eligibility shall be final. 

Date of Birth:

Candidates whose date of birth falls on or after October 01, 1995 are eligible for HSEE2020. However, in the case of SC, ST and PwD candidates, upper age limit is relaxed by 5 years, i.e., candidates belonging to SC, ST, and PwD and born on or after October 01, 1990 are eligible. The date of birth as recorded in the High School (10th std./12th Std.) first Board/ Pre-University Certificate will be taken as authentic. Candidates must produce a scanned copy of this certificate along with the completed Application Form as proof of their age and at the time of admission original certificate has to be produced failing which they will be disqualified. 

Physical Fitness:

Every qualified candidate will have to submit a Physical Fitness certificate from a registered medical practitioner in the prescribed format that will be made available along with the letter of offer of admission. Candidates will be admitted only if they are physically fit for pursuing a course of study at the Institute.

Important Notes:

  • Admission to the programme will stand cancelled, if the proof of having passed the qualifying examination, as per the eligibility criteria specified in Section 13.2, is not submitted to the Institute latest by September 30, 2020.
  • Admissions are subject to verification of facts from the original certificates/documents of the candidates. If an applicant is found ineligible at a later date even after admission, his/her admission will be cancelled. The decision of the HSEE-2020 admission committee regarding the eligibility of any applicant shall be final.
  • A candidate must satisfy all the aforesaid eligibility criteria in order to be eligible for appearing in HSEE-2020 and admission.


i. The date of the HSEE – 2020 is April 19, 2020.
ii. All applications are to be made through online mode. Visit:

iii. Examination Fee:

SC / ST / PwD

Rs. 1200/-

All Others

Rs. 2400/-

Additionally, the service charges of the Bank will be Rs. 40/-. The examination fee must be paid either through Net Banking/Credit Card/Debit Card or through the Indian Bank Challan generated during the process of application.
iv. Candidates must fulfill the eligibility criteria as given in Section 13.
v. Completed application has to be submitted online only.
vi. Candidates belonging to GEN-EWS category must upload online a scanned copy of the GEN-EWS-Undertaking (format is given in page 31). They are required to upload the valid GEN-EWS certificate (issued after April 1, 2020) by May 13, 2020.
vii. Candidates belonging to OBC-NCL category must upload online a scanned copy of the OBC-NCL-Undertaking (format is given in page 32). They are required to upload the valid OBC-NCL certificate (issued after April 1, 2020) by May 13, 2020.
viii. Check the Online/Offline payment details in the application form. 
ix. Obtain category certificate(s) as applicable, in the prescribed format(s) as given in pages 19-29.
x. Candidates are advised to check the status of their application at the HSEE website,from February 17, 2020 to March 06, 2020.
xi. The examination fee is non-refundable.
xii. For any enquiry, candidates may write to
xiii. See the last page of this brochure for other important dates.

Admission Fee :



Indian Nationals

Foreign Nationals


One Time Payment

Rs. 3,550

Rs. 18,500


Semester Fees *

Rs. 11,400

Rs. 3,07,900


Refundable Caution Deposit

Rs. 2,000

Rs. 2,000


Estt.’A’ charges

Rs. 6,000

Rs. 6,000


Gymkhana fee

Rs. 1,500

Rs. 1,500



Medical Insurance Premium

(subject to revision)


Rs. 1,600


Rs. 1,600


Refundable Hostel Deposit

Rs. 3,000

Rs. 3,000


Hostel and other fees #

Rs. 21,115

Rs. 21,115

All fees are subject to vary time to time.

*  SC/ST/PwD  students  are  exempted  from  payment  of  tuition  fees  of  Rs.3,000/- per semester irrespective of the parental income.

# Includes mess advance of Rs.19,365/- per semester.

The fee structure for subsequent semesters will be made available at the time of admission.



HSEE-2020 has two parts: Part I and Part II. Syllabus for Part 1 consists of English (25% marks of Part I), Analytical and Quantitative Ability (25% marks of Part I), and General Studies (in four sub-parts; 50% marks of Part I). Part II involves essay writing.


i. English and Comprehension skill

This section tests the candidate’s ability to understand and use standard English, and to appreciate literary language. Questions are related to the following areas:
Reading skills: Candidates will be required to read the given passage(s) that aim(s) to test their comprehension skills and answer the comprehension questions.
(Or This section tests candidates’ reading comprehension skills of a given passage.)
Grammar: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of English grammar including sentence structure and usage, the use of tenses, verb patterns, articles, and active and passive constructions etc.
Vocabulary: This section is a test of vocabulary and the ability to understand meaning,structure and collocation of words.

ii. Analytical and Quantitative Ability

This section tests the candidate’s analytical skills and quantitative abilities. Questions are related to the following areas:
Numbers, Algebra, Highest Common Factor (HCF) and Lowest Common Multiple (LCM), Calendar, Basic Statistics – Average, Ratio and proportion, Profit and Loss,Percentages, Simple and Compound Interest, Work and time, Discount, Age sums,linear equations, elementary trigonometry.
Data interpretation, Analytical reasoning, Logical reasoning, Brainteasers, and Patterns.

iii. General Studies

a) Indian Economy:
This section is intended to test the understanding of some basic economic concepts and awareness of key issues pertaining to the Indian economy with a focus on the developments after independence. The concepts and issues covered are:
Understanding the Economy: Scarcity, opportunity cost, resource allocation, economic systems and their characteristics, features of market economies, forces of demand and supply, elasticity of demand and supply.
Main Features of Indian Economy: Natural resources; human resources -population size and composition, literacy and education, occupational distribution.

Major Economic problems: Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality - concepts,measurement, trends, sectoral distribution and policies, inflation - trends, causes and remedies.

Economic Growth and Development: Meaning and measurement of economic growth,stages of development, national income concepts and trends, trends in savings and investment; human development index, national policy on education, health and health care policies. Planning in India: Five-Year Plans - objectives, priorities and problems.
Sectoral Development: agriculture – Green Revolution and technological changes,current issues and policies; industry-evolution of industrial policies in India (from 1948),strategies for industrial development, public and private sectors, small and medium industries, infrastructure, transport and communication, service sector etc.

Foreign Trade and International Economy: balance of payments, foreign exchange reserves and trade policy, I.M.F., W.T.O., international aid.
Money, Banking and Public Finance: Concepts of money and measures of money supply.

b) Indian Society and Culture:

Structure of Indian Society: Caste, Class and Tribe, Institutions of Marriage, Family and Kinship, Political institutions, Demographic Indicators and Trends.Social Change in India: Sanskritization, Modernisation, Westernization and Secularization, Social Movements and Regionalism, Panchayati Raj Institutions & Governance, Affirmative Action Programme of the Government, Commissions and Policy Interventions.
Medieval and Modern Indian History: Delhi Sultanate and Mughal era; British Raj;Uprising of 1857; (Social) Reform, and Resistance Movements; Indian National Movement and the Emergence of the Indian nation.
Indian Philosophy and Thinkers: Jainism, Buddhism, Orthodox Systems, Sikhism,Sufism, Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
Indian Traditions and Knowledge Systems: Classical dance forms, Architecture,Education, Ethics, Language and Grammar, Painting, Music, Theatre, Textiles Indian Literature, Mathematical and Medical systems.

c) World Affairs:

Emergence of the US and USSR; emergence of UN system; the Cold War and nuclear race; disintegration of Soviet Union, decline of Communism and rise of nationalism;Arab-Israel conflict; India and the World; NAM and role of India; India-China and IndiaPakistan relations, China and the World, conflict and wars.Democracy and Development; Challenges to democracy; North-South divide on issues of development; UN and its various developmental and peacekeeping operations; Nuclearisation and Non-proliferation; India in SAARC and ASEAN;International terrorism, fundamentalism and the War on Terror; Indo-US relations;New centres of power in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Hunger and Poverty; Human Rights, Democracy and Development; Environmental degradation and green politics; Issues of Race, Ethnicity and Gender; Deprived Classes and minority politics; Religion in the contemporary world; Culture and Civilization; Globalization and changing economic, cultural and political landscape; Mass media and cultural change; Emergence of various popular mass movements.

d) Environment and Ecology:

Global Environmental Picture: Population Growth, Degradation of Soils, Global Atmospheric Changes, Loss of Biodiversity.
Ecosystems: Structure of Ecosystems, Biotic Structure, Categories of Organisms,Feeding and Non-feeding Relationships, Ecosystems and how they Work, Elements in Living and Non-living Systems, Energy Laws, Nutrient Cycling.

Pollution: Major forms of Pollution and their Impact, Primary and Secondary Pollutants, Control Strategies, Indoor Pollutants, Global Warming, International Treaties.
Principles of Solar Energy, Hydropower, Wind Power, Biomass Energy, Ocean Thermal Energy, Geothermal Energy, and Tidal power.


Topics for the essay writing in Part II will be based on current affairs and general knowledge.The essay should build an argument, demonstrate a clear perspective and be substantiated with examples, wherever possible.

Exam Pattern

8.1 Type of Question Paper:

HSEE-2020 is of three hours duration and has two parts. Part I consists of objective type multiple choice questions for 2½ hours duration (150 minutes), administered through computer. Part II involves essay writing for 30 minutes to be written on answer sheet distributed to the candidates at the end of Part I. One hour compensatory (extra) time will also be allowed to the candidates with 40% or more disability.

Part I covers the following topics:

(i) English and Comprehension Skill; 
(ii) Analytical and Quantitative Ability; 
(iii) General Studies covering the areas of Indian Economy, Indian Society and Culture, World Affairs ; and 
(iv) Environment and Ecology.

Part II requires the candidates to write an essay on general topic involving description, or/and reflection or/and discussion.  Negative marks may be awarded for incorrect answers in Part I.

8.2 Language of Question Paper: English.

8.3 Items Prohibited in the Examination Hall:
Electronic devices like mobile phone, calculator, iPod, iPad and headphones, etc. are NOT PERMITTED in the examination hall. Further, items such as log table, abacus, slide rule, textbooks, notebooks, and geometry box, etc. and any other means of calculation are also strictly prohibited in the examination hall.

Schedule of HSEE

The examination will be held on Sunday, April 19, 2020 between 10:00 IST and 13:00 IST in selected cities throughout India. The above date will remain unaltered even if this date is declared as a public holiday.

Reservation of Seats

Indian nationals belonging to certain categories are admitted under the seats reserved for them in accordance with the rules of the Government of India. Candidates belonging to the GEN-EWS, OBC-NCL, SC, ST and PwD categories will be declared as qualified on the basis of a relaxed criterion.

The categories and the extent of reservation are as follows:

  • General belonging to Economic Weaker Section (GEN-EWS)
  • Other Backward Classes belonging to Non-Creamy Layer (OBC-NCL)
  • Scheduled Caste (SC)
  • Scheduled Tribe (ST)
  • Persons with Disabilities (PwD)

11.1 General belonging to the Economic Weaker Section (GEN-EWS): 6% of seats are reserved for GEN-EWS. The benefit of reservation will be given only to those General category candidates who satisfy the conditions given in the OM No.20013/01/2018-BC-II dated January 17, 2019 issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. 
While submitting the completed application, the candidate must submit online a scanned copy of the GEN-EWS-Undertaking (format is given in page 31). They are required to upload the valid GEN-EWS certificate (issued after April 1, 2020) by May 13, 2020. Candidates belonging to the General are NOT entitled for reservation. Such candidates are treated as belonging to the general, i.e., unreserved category, and they will be eligible for the OPEN seats – the seats for which everyone is eligible.

11.2 Other Backward Classes belonging to the Non-Creamy Layer (OBC-NCL): 27% of seats are reserved for OBC - NCL. The backward class should be in the updated central list of OBCs ( Candidates belonging to the creamy layer of OBC are NOT entitled for reservation. Such candidates are treated as belonging to the general, i.e., unreserved category, and they will be eligible for the OPEN seats – the seats for which everyone is eligible. While submitting the completed application, the candidate must submit online a
scanned copy of the OBC-NCL-Undertaking (format is given in page 32). They are required to upload the valid OBC-NCL certificate (issued after April 1, 2020) by May 13, 2020.

11.3 Scheduled Caste (SC)/ Scheduled Tribe (ST): 15% seats are reserved for SC and 7.5% seats for are reserved for ST. The benefit of reservation will be given only to those castes and tribes that are mentioned in the respective lists of corresponding states published by the Government of India ( and While submitting the completed application, the candidate must submit online a
scanned copy of the certificate (see FORM-SC/ST, given in page 22, for the format and details), failing which the candidate will be considered as a general category candidate. If selected, the candidate must produce the original certificate at the time of admission, failing which he/she will be treated as a general category candidate. 

11.4 Persons with Disabilities (PwD): 5% of seats are reserved in every category, i.e.,GE, GEN-EWS, OBC-NCL, SC and ST. Benefit would be given to those who have SEVERE dyslexia or at least 40% impairment irrespective of the type of disability i.e., locomotor, visual. Leprosy-cured candidates who are otherwise fit to pursue the course are also included in this sub-category. While submitting the completed application, the candidate must submit online a scanned copy of the certificate issued by a district medical board/competent authority in the prescribed format (choose the appropriate form: FORMPwD(II)/FORM-PwD(III)/FORM-PwD(IV)/FORM-DYSLEXIC-1/FORM-DYSLEXIC-2 given in pages 23-29). If selected, the candidate must produce the original certificate at the time of admission, failing which the offer of admission will be cancelled. PwD candidates using the services of a scribe / without scribe will get compensatory time of 50 minutes in Part I and 10 minutes in Part II. To avail the compensatory time (with scribe / without scribe), the candidate must submit a request letter (template is given in Page No. 30, FORM-SCRIBE/COMPENSATORY TIME) to the Chairman, HSEE-2020 along with a copy of the PwD certificate (before the deadline for the online registration). If it is found that a candidate has used the services of a scribe / compensatory time, and consequently one extra hour, but does not possess the extent of disability that warrants the use of a scribe, he/she will be excluded from the process of evaluation, ranking and admission. If the candidate has already been admitted, his/her admission will be cancelled.

11.5 Dereservation: Unfilled seats reserved under GEN-EWS and OBC-NCL category will be de-reserved to OPEN category seats. However, seats remaining vacant under the SC and ST categories shall NOT be de-reserved to any category. The reservation for PwD candidates is horizontal and hence, unfilled seats will be dereserved to the respective categories i.e., unfilled SC-PwD seats will be converted to the SC category seats and so on.
The category chosen by a candidate at the time of registration for HSEE-2020 will be final and requests for change of category will NOT be entertained.

11.6 Foreign Nationals: Admission to the M.A. program for all foreign nationals will be made through HSEE-2020 only. Foreign nationals are outside the ambit of reservation of seats under the GEN-EWS, OBC-NCL, SC, ST and PwD categories as specified herein.

Important Dates



Online Application and Payment of Examination Fee -  Starts

Payment Option A:

Net Banking / Credit Card / Debit Card – Starts

Payment Option B:

Indian Bank Challan - Starts


December 11, 2019

Last Date for submission of online application


1)  January 22, 2020

2)  January 23, 2020

1)  for payment made by Option A - Ends

2)  for payment made by Option B (step -2 must have been completed by January 22, 2020) - Ends

Application Status can be Checked from the HSEE website by

Candidates – Starts

February 17, 2020

Application Status can be Checked from the HSEE website by

Candidates – Ends

March 06, 2020

Admit Card can be Downloaded from the HSEE Website by

Candidates – Starts

March 18, 2020

Admit card can be downloaded from the HSEE Website by

Candidates - Ends

April 19, 2020

Examination Date for HSEE-2020

April 19, 2020

Declaration of Result on HSEE Website

May 15, 2020

Offer letter  can be downloaded from the HSEE website by

Successful Candidates – Starts

May 16, 2020

Click here to Download official Notification

Click here to Apply online

Courtesy: IIT MADRAS

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