HSEE – Your Door to IIT Madras for Humanities | Entrance Exam for Humanities and Social Sciences


Do you love humanities and have an appetite for literature? Are you looking for an exceptional education working alongside able students with advertise from expert scholars in your fields? Then IIT Madras invites you to be a part of their HSS (Humanities And Social Science) department. It offers a 5-year integrated course in the following disciplines :

  • M.A. in English Studies
  • M.A. in Developmental Studies

The admission to these programs is done wholly on the basis of HSEE (Humanities And Social Science Entrance Exam). It opens the door to one of the most reputed institutions in our country.

Humanities and Social Science Entrance Examination (HSEE)

This is a three-hour exam conducted every year by the HSS department of IIT Madras to provide admissions to these programs. The question paper is set in English and is divided into two parts.

Part I :

This part is divided into the following three sections :

  • English
  • Analytical And Quantitative Ability
  • General Studies


This section has a total of 36 questions to test the candidates’ mastery over the English language, their ability to understand and use standard English and to appreciate literature. This section covers 25% of the total marks allotted to Part I.

This section has Comprehension Questions to test the reading skills, Grammar Questions to test the candidates’ acquaintance with basic English Grammar, sentence structure and usage, verb patterns, tense, articles and active and passive voice as well as Vocabulary Questions to test their ability to understand the meaning, structure and collocation of words.

Analytical and Quantitative Ability

This section has 36 questions to test the basic analytical and quantitative skills of the candidate and covers 25% of the total marks allotted to Part I.

It has questions with regard to such topics as Numbers, Algebra, Highest Common Factor, Least Common Multiple, Calender, Basic Statistics, Average, Ratio And Proportion, Profit And Loss, Percentage, Simple And Compound Interest, Work And Time, Discount, Age Sums, Linear Equation, Elementary Trigonometry, Analytical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Brainteasers and Patterns.

General Studies

This section is sub-divided into the following four parts and covers 50% of the total marks allotted to Part I :

  • Indian Economy
  • Indian Society And Culture
  • World Affairs
  • Environment And Ecology

Indian Economy:

This section has a total of 18 questions to test the candidates’ understanding of the basic concepts of economy and has questions with regard to the key issues in Indian Economy, Main Features Of Indian Economy, Major Economic Problems, Economic Growth And Development, Sectoral Development, Foreign Trade And International Economy and Money, Banking And Public Finance.

Indian Society and Culture

This section has a total of 18 questions and deals with such topics as Structure Of Indian Society, Social Change In India, Medieval And Modern Indian History, Indian Philosophy And Thinkers and Indian Traditions And Knowledge Systems.

World Affairs

This section has a total of 18 questions and deals with such topics as Emergence Of US, USSR And UN System, Cold War And Nuclear Race, Disintegration Of Soviet Union, Decline Of Communism And Rise Of Nationalism, Arab-Israel Conflict, India And The World, China And The World, Democracy And Development, Hunger And Poverty, Human Rights, Democracy And Development and related areas.

Environment and Ecology

This section has a total of 18 questions and deals with such topics as Global Environmental Picture, Ecosystems, Pollution, Principles Of Different Forms Of Energy And Power.


This section has three essay questions each of 30 marks pertaining to Current Affairs And General Knowledge out of which the candidate has to attend one. The maximum time allotted for this section is 40 minutes. This essay can have a maximum of 500 words.

Eligibility Criteria for HSEE (Humanities and Social Science Entrance Examination)

The candidate must have passed any of the following qualifying examinations in the first attempt,  in the previous year or in the current year of appearance with a minimum of 60% marks for the General Category and OBCs. The minimum marks required for candidates belonging to  SC/ST and PwD is 55% :

  • Final examination of 10+2 system conducted by any Central or State Board recognized by the Association Of Indian Universities(AIU).
  • Intermediate or Pre-University examination conducted by a Board or University recognized by AIU.
  • 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 at least five subjects.
  • Any exam in India or a foreign country treated as equivalent to the 10+2 system by the AIU.
  • H.S.C Vocational Examination.
  • GSE Examination ( London, Cambridge or Sri Lanka) at the A level.
  • High School Certificate Examination of the Cambridge University or International Baccalaureate Diploma of the International Baccalaureate Office.

Candidates who have passed 12th grade or equivalent examination outside India or from any Board or University not mentioned above should produce a certificate from the AIU to reveal that the exam they have passed is equivalent to 12th grade examination.

It is to be noted that in case the 12th grade examination is not a public examination, the candidate must have passed any public examination earlier.

If you are really passionate about arts, try out this and expose yourself to the world of possibilities. Realize the potential of this well-ranked institution to develop your academic work. Good luck for your attempts!