Admissions to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas takes place on the basis of a selection test designed and conducted by the CBSE. The test , called the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas Selection Test (JNVST) is of nonverbal nature, class neutral and so designed as to ensure that talented children from the rural areas are able to compete without facing any disadvantages. Because of the poor communication facilities in rural areas special care is taken .to ensure that children from far flung rural areas get admission forms free of cost without any problem. Sufficient publicity is done through Doordarshan, All India Radio, local newspapers, pamphlets, visits of Principals and teachers of Navodaya Vidyalayas to the local schools of the district. As a result rural areas are becoming aware of the Navodaya Vidyalaya Scheme.
To appear at the Selection Test, a candidate has to fulfill the following eligibility conditions:
- A candidate appearing for the Selection Test must be studying in Class V in a Government / Government-Aided or other recognized school or schools under Schemes of "Sarav Shiksa Abhiyan" or 'B' certificate competency course of National Institute of Open Schooling in the same district where he/she is seeking admission in the just preceding academic session for which Selection Test is conducted. Actual admission in Class VI in the session is, however, subject to the condition of having passed Class V before admission.
- A candidate seeking admission must be between the age group 9-13 years on 1st May of the year of admission for which the Selection Test is conducted. This applies to all categories of candidates including those who belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- A candidate claiming admission from rural quota must have studied and passed class III, IV & V from Government/Government Aided/recognised schools located in Rural area in the preceding three continuous academic sessions for which the Selection Test is conducted spending one full academic session in each class without any repetition of class, gap and/or break in.
- A candidate who is not promoted to Class V before November of the preceding academic year for which. the test is conducted is not eligible to apply.
- No candidate is allowed to appear in the selection test, for the second time under any circumstances.
- A candidate seeking admission under the rural quota must have studied and passed class III, IV & V from Government/Government Aided/recognized school(s) located in the rural areas.
- The above conditions are applicable to all the candidates irrespective to their caste or gender.