UGC NET 2020 University Grant Commission - National Eligibility Test

Last Updated: 19th Dec, 2019
15th Jun 2020
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UGC NET 2018: Exam Preparation Tips

By: Anjali Hans on July 03, 2018

The National Eligibility Test (NET) is conducted twice every year for the post of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Fellowship. This test is held by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on behalf of Union Grants Commission (UGC).
This year, the NET exam will be conducted on July 8, that is, Sunday.
NET exam pattern has been revised lately. This year, only 2 papers have to be answered unlike previous years where 3 papers were conducted. The first paper is General Aptitude, which is common for all students, while the second paper is related to the particular subject you have applied for. 


UGC NET Exam Pattern


Number of Questions

Time Duration


General Aptitude


1 Hour

(9.30-10.30) A.M


Subject Paper


2 Hours

(11.00 A.M-1 P.M)


Paper 1 Topics to be covered are:

  • Teaching Aptitude
  • Research Aptitude
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Communication
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Data Interpretation
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • People and Environment
  • Higher Education System

Below are a few preparation tips which will help you do better in the exam.

Prioritize the Topics

The foremost step in the preparation of any exam is to have the syllabus right in front of you. Both the papers are of equal importance for clearing the NET exam, and therefore, the syllabus for both should be managed accordingly. With this, it will be helpful to prioritize the topics according to their relativity and level of paramountcy. Also, it gives a rough idea regarding unfamiliar and familiar areas, which will again be a beneficial factor.
Importantly, the candidates should refer to previous years' question papers in order to get familiar with the type of questions asked and from which topic(s), maximum number of questions are asked.

Time Management

The NET exam is round the corner now and students are already occupied with the preparations. It is high time to have a proper schedule, devoting equal amount of time for all the relevant topics. It is advisory to work on the difficult topics. Equal time should be devoted to Paper 1 and Paper 2.
The topics which should be allotted time daily are:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Reasoning (Number series, letter series, codes, analogical reasoning)
  • Data Interpretation
  • People and Environmental

Moreover, candidates are expected to have advanced knowledge regarding their subject, and therefore, sufficient time should be allotted accordingly for the preparation
Time management is the crucial tool during the examination. You should attempt those questions first of which you are absolutely sure. Also, the time limit should be kept in mind constantly. During the last minutes of the hour, mark answers for questions of which you were not confident at first. There is no negative marking in any of the papers and therefore, it might land you marks for a guessed or unsure answer.


Since only a few days are left for the exam, it becomes somewhere necessary to have a revision of everything that you have studied. Handwritten notes are useful while beginning to revise, as important topics are covered quickly and more efficiently.
It is beneficial in two ways:

  • It boosts up your confidence.
  • It saves time in the examination while solving questions, as the respective pattern(s) is/are already on tips.

And it is always easy to revise after every topic. In this way, a reading is done twice and better associations between the concepts in mind are built. While topics such as Mathematics, issues related to the main subject, People and Environment should be revised on a daily basis. In fact, make it a habit to revise previous days' topic while starting to prepare a new.
*Teaching and Research Aptitude should be focused more while preparing.

Practice Mock Tests

The real capability is tested through mock tests. These tests present a true picture upfront which ensures a reality check for the students. The students' strengths and weaknesses come in front of them which inhibits motivation to study and practice more.
The mock tests are available online as well as several practice books are available these days.
Advantages of Mock/ Practice Tests

  • Give a fair idea about the pattern and type of questions
  • Give a ‘real time exam' feeling.
  • Improve time management skills
  • Boost confidence level.

However, online practice tests would be of much greater use as you would not be allowed to take any breaks in between, that is, time would be clicking continuously.

Quality Learning

The syllabus of NET is undoubtedly vast, therefore, it is better to leave out unnecessary information. The load of too much information about an area of study might lead to confusion during the examination. It would definitely stress you and you have the chance of missing on actual necessary point(s) or facts, which could possible create a state of panic during the examination.
Students should therefore, focus on grasping quality knowledge rather than quantity.

A list of books is displayed below for your help:



CBSE UGC NET/SET/JRF-Paper 1: Teaching and Research Aptitude

KVS Madaan


Arihant Experts

UGC has published separate books for each subject for the preparation of Paper 2. These books consist of previous years' solved papers, other sample practice tests, along with explanation about the subjects' topics. For example:



CBSE UGC-NET LAW Previous Years  Paper I, II & III

R. Gupta

UGC-NET: Linguistics (Paper II) Exam Guide

Ringu Ann Baby

Try to not get nervous in the exam. Keep in mind, there is no negative marking. All the best! 

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