UGC-NET/JRF Exam—preparation strategy is also in knowing what is tested

By Dr. NiteshDhawan, (Doctorate, M.Phil& NET)

National eligibility test (NET/JRF) exam conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA) on behalf of UGC is one of the most competitive exams at all India level. This year NET is being conducted in an online mode. In order to pass this exam, aspiring teacher candidates are supposed to understand its nature and then strategize accordingly.

This exam basically tests the teaching and research aptitude, logical and analytical skills, reasoning ability and general awareness. In psychological terms, it is conducted to assess the general mental ability and aptitude for teaching of aspirants.  It comprises of two papers which are objective in nature.

Paper I has 50 compulsory multiple choice questions pertaining to teaching and reasoning ability, research aptitude, comprehension, divergent thinking, general awareness, data interpretation, information, communication and technology, people, development , environment and higher education system.

Paper II comprises of 100 compulsory multiple choice questions related to candidate’s subject. The questions contain topics of graduate and postgraduate level. It is recommended to revise thoroughly all the areas of curriculum.

The overall time allotted is 3 hours and candidates have to attempt 150 questions with norestrictions to move to and fro in any of the papers. There is no negative marking and therefore candidates have the freedom to take a calculated risk.

Strategizing and Planning-: What to do?

Based upon the elements and requirements of this exam, candidates need to prepare themselves with right frame of mind. They need to work upon the above areas of general awareness, reasoning ability, and factual as well as conceptual questions related to their subject. Among these different areas, one should analyze his strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly. Usually candidates have the tendency to devote maximum time to the areas they like more and lesser time to difficult portions. Now what is required on the part of candidates is to give more time to their weak areas.

Another thing that the candidates need to keep in mind is the selection of quality study material. One should not compromise with the standard of books, notes and other content. Since there is too much of study material that is available both offline and online, therefore students must be very cautious in choosing their content. For this, the candidates can go through the advise of selected candidates and other faculty members available to them.

After the selection of quality study material, candidates must plan their schedule that includes time allocation to different subjects or papers. Since the NET exam includes both factual and conceptual multiple choice questions related to their subject they can go through the study content and make their own notes. It is important to make diary of notes separately for factual and conceptual questions so that it acts as a handy tool at the last moment before appearing in the exam. It would also gives the candidate a much needed clarity in attempting questions. At the same time it is also important to update the self prepared notes with the recent developments in their subject.

Since the NET exam has multiple choice questions the aspirants must adopt both extensive and intensive approaches in their study methods. This means that both in-depth study of the subject is required along with comprehensive knowledge about various concepts related to their discipline.

Execution-Preparation: How to do?

Study with a purpose and divide the whole syllabus into specific targets without being selective.

Make your own notes into two categories – factual and conceptual which are actually important and handy at the time of revision.

Analyze your weak areas and try to improve upon them by regular practice.

Revise and update the self made notes regularly.

Test yourself periodically on the same pattern and conditions that are expected during the exam.


Make crisp and short notes

  • Cover all the topics
  • Revise and update your notes
  • Take practice sessions and mock tests on weekly basis
  • Look out for keywords in the given question to find right answer
  • Rectify your errors by taking guidance of faculty
  • Make sure that your online system is ready and fine


  • Don’t be selective in your approach while studying
  • Don’t neglect your weak areas
  • Don’t miss your time schedule
  • Don’t get trapped in difficult questions; try to complete easier ones and then attempt the remaining questions

Above all it is suggested to prepare yourself mentally and not to take any stress or burden on yourself. The aspiring higher education professionals are supposed to be efficient in managing situations rationally through their knowledge and skills.

All the best to aspirants of UGC-NET Exam!

(Author is a Public Servant, Author & Educator based in Uttar Pradesh)