UGC NET exam and its pattern

This article explains the various components of UGC NET examination. It would help the aspirants to make a strategy to clear it. The distribution of marks and difficulty level of examination has also been stressed.

UGC NET is an exam that is conducted after every six months. This exam is given by candidates who want to opt Assistant Professor as their career or they want to go for PhD in premiere institution. It is considered one of the prestigious exams in India. The exam is conducted in a variety of different subjects of Arts (Hindi, English, history, geography etc.) and Science (botany, zoology, geology, computer science). Till 2014 the NET exam was conducted by UGC but after that it is being conducted by CBSE. This examination checks your knowledge in the concerned subjects and checks whether you are clear with your basics. The examination consists of three papers, all of which are objective in nature.


This paper consists of 50 questions each carrying two marks. The time duration of this paper is 75 minutes. All of these questions are compulsory in nature. This paper has questions from environment studies, research ability, analytic reasoning, comprehension, English, data interpretation, basic problems on ages, basic computer knowledge, simplification, arithmetic and some general awareness questions. This paper is same for all subjects. In addition, this is considered to be a very easy paper if you have gone through previous 5-10 year papers. I would suggest that going through the previous papers makes one acquainted with the strategy one has to adopt in order to clear the examination. It depends on the individual on which subject he wants to lay focus as candidates giving this paper may be from various fields.


This paper is used to test the subject knowledge of the individual in the subject he/she has opted. It consists of 50 questions, two marks each so the total marks 100.The questions in this section are easy to moderate. If you know your subject, you would be able to handle them. The duration of this exam is also 75 minutes. One basic observation is that unlike other exams where you have to learn and then write in exams and pass, this exam checks the knowledge you have gained in the subject from time to time. This comes with your interest in the subject.


This paper consists of 75 questions each having a weight age of 2 marks each thus amounting to total marks 150.All these questions are compulsory. The duration of the test is 150 minutes.The questions asked in this paper are moderate to difficult. According to me this is the most critical section and needs thorough study of the subject. Mostly it has been observed that candidates find difficult to get cut off marks in this paper.

Minimum 40 percent marks of the total marks (paper I, II and III) is to be scored by a general candidate. It is 35 percent for OBC, SC, ST, PWD category candidate. Six percent slot is reserved for the candidates (who have got the minimum desired percentage) for Assistant Professor only. A separate list is made for the people who qualify JRF among the top performers.

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Author: Partha K.17 Sep 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 7

A very informative and useful article on National Eligibility Test (NET). As a candidate who successfully appeared in NET twice in two different subjects, my comments and general observation are as under:-
(i) The first paper is a major hurdle for many candidates. I have seen many good and serious candidates fail miserably in first paper, because they do not give importance on General Studies during their student days. Even for preparation of NET, they study their subject very hard and neglect the first paper.
(ii) The second paper is based on the subject. But this paper contains some questions with confusing alternatives. If the examinee doesn't read the question and the alternatives very carefully, he/she may not answer it properly.
(iii) The third paper requires in-depth study of the subject and contains seventy-five questions (as mentioned by the author).
(iv) The candidates must remember that NET does not have any negative marking.
(v) Another important aspect about this examination is that the second paper of a candidate will be evaluated only if he/she qualifies the first paper. Similarly, the third paper will be evaluated only if he/she qualifies the second paper. If the candidate qualifies all three papers, then the aggregate will be calculated. If the candidate from General Category scores 50% in aggregate in addition to qualifying each paper (40% in each paper), only then he/she would qualify the NET.
(vi) The qualified candidates will receive certificate which are to be downloaded and preserved permanently.

Concluding my observation, I thank the author for this article which the NET candidates would find very useful.

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