How to Prepare for UGC NET Exam


Name of the exam: UGC NET (University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test)

Age criteria:

  • Junior Research Fellowship: Not more than 28 years as on 1 December
  • Assistant Professor: No upper age limit for Assistant Professor

Educational qualification:

Candidates who have secured at least 55 percent marks in their Masters degree Candidates who have appeared or will be appearing for the Masters degree final year examination

Name of the posts:
  • Junior Research Fellowship
  • Assistant Professor

Exam held in the months of: June and December (exam is held twice a year)
Notifications announced in: For the June exam, notification will be announced in the month of March and for the December exam, it will be in the month of September
Examination pattern: Objective in nature
Preparation time: Recommended a minimum of three to six months

What is UGC NET exam?

The National Eligibility Test is a national level exam conducted in India by University Grants Commission (UGC). This test enables Post Graduate students to qualify for university level teaching jobs in India and also to seek admissions in PhD level programmes. The test ensures that a candidate qualifies for the minimum standards in the teaching profession and research. The test is conducted in Humanities (including languages), Social Sciences, Forensic Science, Environmental Sciences, Computer Science and Applications and Electronic Science.

A little bit about UGC

Set up by the Union government in 1956, the UGC is a statutory organization, which is responsible for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education. It is the body that provides recognition to universities of India and distributes the funds required by them. UGC has its headquarters in New Delhi, and six regional centres in Pune, Bhopal, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bangalore.

Career options once you clear UGC NET

Once you clear UGC NET, you become eligible to become a lecturer or pursue Junior Research Fellowship in distinguished universities. The vacancies are announced from time to time and you have to apply for the same.


Once you clear NET, you can apply for the post of a lecturer as and when the vacancies are announced by the colleges and universities. While clearing NET is a must have criteria in many colleges and universities, the final appointment will depend on how well you fare in the interview conducted by the concerned university.

Junior Research Fellowship

Junior Research Fellowship is for those who have their heart set on research. You become eligible for the Junior Research Fellowship if you have applied for it in your application form and you have subsequently cleared NET. Once you get selected, then you can pursue research in any prestigious university and get the tuition fees reimbursed. In some universities, the students even get direct admission into MPhil programmes.

Examination pattern

The test consists of three papers and all the three papers are objective in nature.

PaperMarksNumber of questionsTime
Paper I10060, out of which 50 have to be answered1.15 hrs
Paper II10050 questions. All are compulsory1.15 hrs
Paper III15075 questions. All are compulsory2.30 hrs

Paper I

This paper will assess the candidates reasoning ability, comprehension, divergent thinking and general awareness. There will be 60 questions, each of two marks. The candidates have to answer 50 questions only.

Paper - II

This test will be based on the subject chosen by the candidate. There will 50 questions of two marks each. All the questions are compulsory.

Paper - III

This will consist of 150 marks and will have questions from the subject the candidate has chosen. There will 75 objective-type questions of two marks each.

Tips to prepare for UGC NET

Preparing well in time
If you are planning to prepare for the UGC NET exam, it is advised that you begin your preparation well in time. A minimum of three to six months is absolutely essential. Create a routine that will not only focus on completing the topics but also on revising them.

Getting acquainted with the syllabus

Run through the syllabus thoroughly. It is important that you understand the syllabus completely and prepare for each topic accordingly. Do not leave out any topic.

Prioritising the subjects

Out of the three papers, two will be based on the subject of your choice, while the other will be based on General Awareness and aptitude. It is very important that you have a complete hold over your subject, as you can score well there. While focusing your attention on the subject papers, start preparing for the General Awareness test by solving sample papers.

Making personal notes

While you are preparing the subjects, keep on making notes. This is going to help you while you are revising.

Refer to past questions

Collect as many question papers of past years as possible. It is important that you refer to the question papers and solve them. This will give you an idea of what to expect in the exam and also build the confidence in you. In case you are unable to understand or solve some questions, then it is advised that you take the help of some seniors or your teachers to help you out with the same. For it is very important that you prepare and understand each and every topic to the best of your ability.

Time management

Utilise time in an efficient manner. Have a strategy in place as to how to complete all the questions within the given time. It is best if you time yourself while preparing the subjects.

Concentrate on speed as well as quality

While your aim should be on completing all the topics mentioned in the syllabus, quality must also be kept in mind. While preparing, concentrate on improving the quality of your preparation, which means you can concentrate more on zeroing down on what exactly has to be studied and how much has to be studied, and most important - have your own views about the answers. This will help a great deal, especially if you have applied for the Junior Fellow Research.

Be confident

Last but not the least, if you have decided to take NET, then also have the confidence that you will clear it. Best of luck.

Some useful links
Some useful books
  • UGC University Grants Commission NET/SET for Lectureship Exam by Sajit Kumar, M.Gagan
  • UGC University Grants Commission NET/SET for Lectureship Exam by GKP

Last Updated on : March 10, 2016

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