National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS): Important Frequently Asked Questions and their Answers

Know some frequently asked questions about the NIOS board, its authenticity, learning system, admission and courses offered. To get the right answers for all these FAQs, read this article.

NIOS से जुड़े कुछ महत्वपूर्ण सवाल और उनके जवाब
NIOS से जुड़े कुछ महत्वपूर्ण सवाल और उनके जवाब

National Institute of Open Schooling popularly known as NIOS is a platform for students who want to complete their education in private mode. It is mainly about completing secondary and senior secondary education through correspondence.

NIOS offers flexibility for students for their choice of subjects and courses, learning pace, and credits transfer from CBSE, other national/state Board of School Education as well as State Open Schools.

Students often come with a few queries regarding the authenticity, learning system, admission and courses offered by NIOS. Here we are discussing some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and giving the best possible answers/suggestions for the same.

What is NIOS?

1. For whom NIOS comes as the best option to complete their school studies?

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NIOS is the best option for those candidates who could not complete their schooling due to some unavoidable reasons like financial crunch, inaccessibility to schools providing higher education; those who could not cope up with regular studies due to different reasons or others who want to give more time and attention to sports or some performing arts.

2. What is the difference between open schooling and regular schooling?


Some most significant differences between open schooling and regular schooling are:

  • Regular schooling is based on learning through a student-teacher interaction following a rigid time-table. On the other hand, open schooling is a flexible system of education that provides self learning and its evaluation to a learner according to his/her own schedule.
  • Regular schooling is more based on instruction and education services that does not focus primarily on special education, vocational/technical education whereas the open learning system is very helpful to those who want to continue their study while working in some gainful activity/programme.

How NIOS helps students who failed in Board Exams?

3. What is the difference between open schooling and distance learning?
Though the terms are often used interchangeably, there is an important difference between both. Open learning is a broader term used for any scheme of education or training that removes barriers to learning whether they are concerned with age, time or place. Distance learning, on the other hand, is one particular form of open learning in which tutors and learners are separated by geographical distance. This is sometimes called a home study or correspondence course.

4. Why is NIOS considered as the flexible system of learning?


NIOS provides its students some exceptional facilities that a regular school can not. These facilities are as follows:

  • Flexibility of choosing the course/program independent of your age
  • Flexibility of not attending classes
  • Flexibility of on demand exam, i.e., it allows you to take the exam when you are ready
  • Flexibility of time frame which allows you to complete a 1 year program even in 4-6 years.

5. How is NIOS different from other Boards?


Besides, the curriculum/syllabus of secondary or senior secondary education at NIOS is almost similar to CBSE, ICSE or other prevailing boards in India. Like other school boards, it is also recognised by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

NIOS just provides a route for completing education to those who have not been able to complete it through the regular school. The Seconday and Sr. Secondary certificate obtained from NIOS have the same recognition as certificates issued by other boards. To know some other differences which come to be the benefits of opting NIOS, click here.

6. What are the Courses offered by NIOS?


NIOS offers the following courses:-

(a)Open Basic Education (OBE) Programme, which includes following three levels courses

  • OBE 'A' Level Course -Equivalent to class III
  • OBE 'B' Level Course -Equivalent to class V
  • OBE 'C' Level Course -Equivalent to class VIII

(b) Academic Courses

  • Secondary Course-Equivalent to class X
  • Senior Secondary Course-Equivalent to class XII

(c) Vocational Education Courses

(d) Life Enrichment Programmes

7. Can a student change the subjects after taking admission in NIOS?


A student change his/her subject or can add any additional subject after getting registered for a period of five years, considering the criteria that the total number of subjects does not cross seven.  

8. What is the procedure for taking admission in NIOs?


The Admissions for NIOS are open throughout the year. The whole procedure of admission has been made online through the official website,

In case candidates have any confusion regarding the online registration, they may visit their nearest Accredited Institute (AI) or Study Centre and take their help. They may also visit their regional centres to seek any help.

9. When does NIOS conduct the Public Examinations?


NIOS conducts the Public Examinations twice in a year

  • First in the months of April-May
  • Second in the months October-November

However, candidates are also eligible to appear through On Demand Examination at secondary level and senior secondary level in those subjects only in which they have admission in NIOS. 

10. Is it necessary for a student to have a two years gap between passing of secondary and Sr. Secondary Examination?


Yes, candidates seeking admission to Senior Secondary Course must ensure a two-year gap from the year of passing the Secondary examination. If a learner does not have the requisite gap of two years, he/she can appear in maximum of four subjects only in the first year. He/she will be eligible to appear in remaining subjects only on completion of two years gap.

11. What are the mediums of studies available in NIOS?


NIOS offers the Secondary courses in English, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam and Oriya mediums. However, at Senior Secondary level, the course is offered only in English, Hindi and Urdu mediums. 

12. What is the value of NIOS Board for the entrance level exams like IIT JEE, PMT?


NIOS is recognised by the government of India which makes the certification through this board valid throughout India for registering to any competitive exam that students take after clearing their 12th.

Differences between CBSE, ICSE & NIOS Boards

13. Is NIOS valid for government jobs?


Yes, the NIOS is a government authorized board under the Ministry of Human Resource and development, government of India.  Therefore, NIOS Board is valid for any further education in all over India and is recognized for all types of government jobs also.

14. What is PCP in NIOS?


PCP stands for Personal Contact Programmes which is a well structured remedial session for learning that facilitates learners in solving their subject related problems which he/she faces during study.  PCP is organised on weekends/holidays. During these sessions, educators help students with the course work.

15. What is the importance of PCP?


PCP is important for students as it gives them opportunity to clarify their difficulties they feel while studying their course.

16. How many PCPs are compulsory to attend?


NIOS organises are 30 PCP sessions out of which 10 sessions are necessary to be attended by a student.  

17. Where are the PCP sessions conducted?


The PCP sessions are conducted at the concerned Accredited Institute (AI) or Study Centre.

18. Is there facility to change the Study Centre/A.I.?


Yes, a candidate can change the Study Centre/A.I. but the procedure for this is a little complex.  In case a candidate wants to change his/her study centre, then after giving valid reasons and submitting proper documents in support of request alongwith a fee of Rs. 300/- (Three hundred only) he/she may apply to the concerned Regional Centre, NIOS, with a Bank Draft drawn in favour of Secretary, NIOS, payable at concerned Regional Centre. The Director (SSS) will be competent authority to decide the case.

19. What are the exceptional provisions offered to the differently abled persons during examinations?


Provisions offered to differently abled persons during examinations are as follows:

  • Provision of an Amanuensis (writer).
  • Maximum one hour additional to visually impaired or differently abled persons.
  • Relaxations for candidates suffering from sudden illness/accident.
  • Separate sitting arrangement.
  • The relaxations are available in theory examination only, and not in practicals.

20. How can a differently abled person apply for relaxation/provision in exam?


The differently abled person can apply by a written request to the concerned Regional Centre along with Medical certificate indicating the nature and extent of disability from a Govt. hospital.

21. Is extra time allotted for differently abled persons?


Yes, an extra time of 20 minutes per hour is allotted to visually impaired and differently abled persons.

22. How can the candidates find their examination results?


Results are made available on NIOS website and on mobile phone through SMS as well as at the AI.

Must know differences between CBSE, ICSE & NIOS Boards

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