National Achievement Survey
  • Government of India
  • Ministry of Education

FAQs - NAS 2021

An illustrative list of FAQs has been prepared for reference and clarity on various issues relating to the NAS 2021. The list has been divided into 3 sections as below:

Category A: NAS Overview (SN. 1 - 40)

Ans: NAS stands for National Achievement Survey. It is the largest, nationwide, sample-based education survey conducted across India.

Ans: To provide structured feedback on student learning levels at District, State, and national levels. These inputs are used for policy planning and designing pedagogical interventions to improve quality and ensure equity in learning.

Ans: 12th November 2021

Ans: NAS is NOT a school-based examination. It is a system-level assessment conducted on a nationally representative sample that aims to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the school education system in our country

Ans: By administering standardized survey to students and collecting information on relevant background variables such as school environment, teaching processes, and student home and background factors.

Ans: NAS does not provide individual school or student scores. It provides a summary of performance at the District, State, and National levels, with the district as the unit for reporting

Ans: No, Only the schools selected in sample can participate.

Ans: Grades 3, 5, 8 and 10

Ans: NAS is undertaken by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, Government of India

Ans: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

Ans: National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)

Ans: There are three key curricular areas in Grade 3: Language, Mathematics and Environmental Studies

Ans: There are three key curricular areas in Grade 5: Language, Mathematics and Environmental Studies

Ans: There are four curricular areas in Grade 8: Language, Mathematics, Science and Social Science,

Ans: There are five curricular areas in Grade 10: Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Science and English

Ans: It refers to the total number of test booklets and items that will be administered to each student

Ans: NAS is based on grade specific competencies and learning outcomes across the key curricular subjects in key grades

Ans: It is carefully designed by the NCERT to enhance validity, reliability and interpretability of the derived measures of student learning

Ans: In modular matrix design, each student takes a combination of only 2 subjects. A multi-subject, modular matrix design is characteristic of many large-scale assessments and is an established industry practice. Assessments like PISA, TIMSS, make effective use of modular design when two or more subjects are covered by testing programs.

Ans: 4 test booklets (all subjects included in each test booklet)

Ans: 47

Ans: 53

Ans: 4 test booklets (2 subjects in each test booklet following modular matrix design)

Ans: 60

Ans: 5 test booklets (2 subjects in each test booklet following modular matrix design)

Ans: 70

Ans: Technical note on the Assessment Framework NAS 2021 prepared by NCERT is available on under REPORTS tab in PDF form

Ans: The main objectives considered for determination of sample size include:

Measure student achievement at national level

  1. Overall national
  2. By gender
  3. By rural/ urban
  4. By social group
  5. By school management

Measure student achievement at each state level

  1. Overall state
  2. By gender within state
  3. By rural/ urban within state
  4. By social group within state
  5. By school management within state

Measure student achievement at each district level

  1. Overall district
  2. By gender within district
  3. By rural/ urban within district
  4. By social group within district
  5. By school management within district

Ans: Four frames in NAS 2021 (as per UDISE+ 2019-20 data)

Frame 1 State Government schools
Frame 2 Government Aided schools
Frame 3 Private Unaided recognized schools
Frame 4 Central Government schools

Ans: 30

Ans: All students of the section will be selected for the Survey

Ans: Field Investigators and Observers will select 30 students as per procedure defined at Step 8 para 2 of Sampling Design Note - NAS 2021 available on

Ans: Procedure as defined under step 8 para 3 of Sampling Design Note - NAS 2021 available on is to be followed.

Ans: Packets containing the Assessment Booklet will be pre-arranged as per procedure at step 9 of Sampling Design Note–NAS 2021 available on

Ans: 733 Districts (as per UDISE+ Data 2019-20)

Ans: All States and Union Territories (UTs)

Ans: 1,23,729* unique schools will be surveyed as per sampling of NAS 2021

Target Grade Number of Schools
Grade 3 29,603
Grade 5 28,656
Grade 8 46,062
Grade 10 48,564

* Unique school & School counted as one School whether it only one target Grade or many target Grades selected in sample for Survey

Ans: 38,87,759 students will be surveyed as per target grade wise details given below:

Target Grade Enrollment
Grade 3 6,55,128
Grade 5 6,46,975
Grade 8 12,04,777
Grade 10 13,80,879
Total 38,87,759

Ans: NAS Cell, Professional Exam Unit, CBSE Headquarters:

  1. +91-8368736851 (for technical queries only)
  2. +91-7827286144 (for administrative issues)
  3. +91-8178999210 (for administrative issues)

Ans: NAS Cell, Professional Exam Unit (CBSE) 2, Community Centre, Preet Vihar, CBSE, Delhi- 110092 e-mail:

Category B: Functionaries Involved in NAS - Roles and Responsibilities (SN. 41 - 58)

  1. CBSE at the National level as National Admin for Survey
  2. State Nodal Officers (SNOs) at State level (to be appointed by State/UTs)
  3. District Nodal Officers (DNOs) at District level (to be appointed by SNOs)
  4. Field Investigators at the School level (to be appointed by DNOs for their district)
  5. District Level Coordinators (DLCs) at District level (to be appointed by CBSE)
  6. Resource Centre Custodian (RCC) at District level (to be appointed by CBSE)
  7. Observers at the School level (to be appointed by DLCs for their district)
  8. Board Representative at the District level (to be appointed by CBSE)

  1. Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India – Coordination, Funding and Guidance
  2. NCERT - Assessment Developer
  3. CBSE - Assessment Administrator
  4. NIC - ICT Intervention Automation
  5. NITI AAYOG - Advisory Support
  6. UNICEF - Technical Support

  1. State Nodal Officers are senior level officer nominated by the State. They are appointed from Education Department (SCERT or Directorate) as decided by the State. They will have administrative discretion vested in them for ensuring a hassle-free conduct of survey in the State/UT.

  1. Act as a key Link for coordination between State/UT, the Ministry of Education, CBSE, NIC, 
  2. Nomination of the District Nodal Officers (DNOs) for each district in their respective State/UTs and upload the same on the NAS portal
  3. Issue instructions to DNOs & Schools to ensure support in survey
  4. Extend support (as required) to CBSE in the conduct of NAS

  1. SNOs will ensure necessary administrative approvals are in place so that the scheduled activities of NAS including the participation of the sampled schools, the students and the appointed functionaries in the survey is not hampered
  2. Also provide facilitative support as needed in the field

  1. DNOs are District Education Officers or equivalent, who would be appointed by State Nodal Officer (SNO) on the NAS portal through SNO login.

  1. Would nominate Field Investigator (FIs) required for conduct of survey in the sampled school in their District. The number of FIs to be nominated will be available on the DNO’s login on NAS portal
  2. Would issue instructions / directives relating to NAS conduct, protocols, training schedules etc., and ensure mandatory reporting for duty and attending the trainings arranged by the NAS Cell, CBSE HQ / DLC

  1. Field Investigators are nominated by the District Nodal Officer (DNO from amongst the staff of SCERT, DIETs, BRCs, CRCs, B.Ed./M.Ed. faculties, Interns

  1. FI would coordinate with the Observer / DLC for conduct of NAS as per SoP
  2. Carry out sampling of Section and Students in the assigned grade as per the procedure and complete other responsibilities in association with the Observer 
  3. Complete the Survey Questionnaires, Field Note, and Control Sheet
  4. Assisting Grade 3 and Gr 5 students for OMR of PQ filling in an interactive mode
  5. Assist Gr-3 and 5 in OMR filling of Achievement Test 

  1. To the District Nodal Officer (DNO) during the nomination stage
  2. To the District Level Coordinator (DLC) after appointment
  3. To the Observer on a week prior to NAS and also on the day of NAS reporting at the assigned sampled school
  4. FIs would also take instructions from DLC depending on the on-ground situation

Ans: District Level Coordinators are the principals of the affiliated schools with experience of handling sensitive assignments. They are appointed by the CBSE HQ.

  1. Nomination of Observers (from local schools) using DLC Login and verification
  2. Conduct of Training (Online/Offline) of FIs & Observers and others 
  3. Regular coordination with the NAS Cell, CBSE HQ
  4. Storage/Distribution of materials and collection 
  5. Operate helpdesk in their school for coordination 
  6. Ensure smooth conduct of Survey as per the SoP / Administration Manual

  1. Will coordinate with the SNO at nomination stage and during the online nomination of Field Investigator on the NAS portal
  2. DNO would also coordinate with DLC for resolving issues, if any

Ans: Observers are Vice Principals, PGT, TGT and PRT teachers from affiliated schools. They will be appointed and supervised by the District Level Coordinator

  1. Collection of Survey Materials from the Resource Centre Custodian
  2. Reporting to assigned sampled school for conduct of Survey
  3. Coordinate with the DLCs and FIs in advance prior to NAS day 
  4. Attend training / capacity building sessions as and when arranged
  5. Conduct Survey as per the SoP made available on their NAS Login

  1. To the District Level Coordinator at the nomination stage and after appointment 
  2. To the Resource Centre Custodian (RCC) on the day of NAS for collection of survey materials and report to the assigned sampled school for survey
  3. Would take instructions from the DLC at all stages

Ans: The training for the different Functionaries will be done following a blended approach (Offline and Online as feasible).


They are Board appointed officials (Officials of the Board / institutions in the central Govt./ principals of CBSE affiliated non-sample schools). They would report to the allotted district to monitor the overall functioning of the Survey Team under DLC and ensure fair conduct of NAS as well as secured movement of survey materials post NAS for the designated place. They will be appointed by the NAS Cell, CBSE HQ

Category C: Survey Tools and Administration Modalities (SN. 59 - 72)

Ans: It means the Achievement Test Booklets and Background Questionnaires as below

  1. Pupil Questionnaire (PQ) – to be filled by sampled students
  2. Teacher Questionnaire (TQ) – to be filled by subject teacher of target grade  
  3. School Questionnaire (SQ) – to be filled by school headmaster / principal  
  4. OMR Sheets inserted in the booklets 
  5. Field Notes and Control Sheet – to be filled by the FI / Observer

Ans: Yes,

Ans: Resource Center Custodian (RCC) / District Level Coordinator (DLC) / Banks

  1. OMRs Achievement test for sampled students 
  2. OMRs for PQ for sampled students 
  3. OMRs for TQ for subject teachers
  4. OMRs for SQ for school headmaster / principal

Ans: The OMRs for Grade 3 and 5 students will be filled with the assistance of Field Investigators and Observers maintaining sanctity

Ans: No. Scanning will be done centrally by the Administration Agency (CBSE) at a designated place.

Ans: No, the student will hand over the Test Booklets and the OMRs to the Field Investigator/ Observer.

Ans: Section Sampling needs to be carried out ONLY if there is more than one section for assigned Grades - that is 3,5,8 and 10 in the respective school

Ans: Student Sampling needs to be carried out ONLY if there are more than 30 students enrolled in the selected section/class.

Ans: FI/Observer would prevent such things by politely requesting. In case, unable to do so, they would make a note of such activities as Unfair Means in the Field Notes / Control Sheet and also on the NAS portal report Tab (to be provided in due coruse) in the portal

Ans: No, the students or teachers cannot take any survey material home

  1. Provide bigger room / hall for conduct of Survey following social distancing and COVID norms (sanitization and cleaning etc.)
  2. Present class register to the Survey team for sampling and survey administration
  3. Ensure discipline and a noise free atmosphere in and around the Survey Room 
  4. Arrange for a room, preferably at the ground floor keeping in view CWSN cases
  5. Arrange for scribe in consultation with Observer and Field Investigator for CWSN
  6. Provide extra time (~30 minutes) to complete survey for CWSN 
  7. Provide suitable furniture to the survey team for managing the survey affairs

Ans: Yes, all functionaries involved in NAS 2021 administration need to get vaccinated. Those nominating various functionaries, may ascertain this at the time of nomination on the NAS Portal

  1. All Functionaries would put on a mask / face shield. 
  2. Observe the required sanitization as per prevailing COVID guidelines
  3. Maintain social distancing as far as practically possible

NOTE: The exact Action Plan / Strategy and finer details for actual conduct of Survey on the day of NAS will be shared only with the Functionaries concerned at an appropriate time so as to maintain the SANCTITY of the NAS-2021. An extensive Capacity Building and Training Program is being taken up by the NAS Cell, CBSE for all the Functionaries.