National Eligibility Test (NET) is conducted on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC) for determining the eligibility of Assistant Professorship, Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) or both, for various universities and colleges.
UGC-NET, as it is popularly known, is conducted twice every year. However, in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the June 2020 examination got delayed and was deferred to September 2020 until November 2020 to cover all the subjects. The December 2020 cycle had to be postponed, which is now being conducted in March-April 2021.
On similar lines to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations, a candidate needs to prepare with utmost sincerity and dedication for the UGC-NET exam.
First and foremost, an individual needs to understand the pattern of the examination. UGC-NET exam is conducted in two papers Paper-1 and Paper-2. While Paper-1 includes general topics like Teaching Aptitude, Quantitative Aptitude, Polity and constitution and Environment, among others. This particular paper is deemed to be easier to crack and an individual can target scoring good marks.
On the other hand, the syllabus of Paper-2 is totally based on the syllabus of graduation and post-graduation levels. At least a dedicated preparation for about three months is required to successfully crack this exam.
UGC NET exam: Paper pattern
In Paper-1, there are 50 compulsory objective-type questions from the 10 topics an individual can choose. The most probable topics are Teaching Aptitude, Research, Polity and Constitution, General Reasoning, Information and Communication Technology, Communication, People and Environment, among others.
For Paper-2, there will be 100 objective-type questions, which will be from the syllabus of graduation and post-graduation courses respectively. For instance, if a candidate is appearing for the UGC-NET examination in the subject of commerce, then the syllabus for Paper-2 will be from the graduation (BCom) and post-graduation (MCom) courses.
Make list of important topics
Ideally, a candidate can prepare for the UGC-NET exam from reference books, mock tests and practice papers. Essentially, a UGC-NET aspirant must also make a list of important topics and practice important questions from those topics. This will help them in preparing for the exam at a faster pace.
As a study strategy, an aspirant can divide the subjects into three categories: strong, medium and weak. This way a candidate would be able to give a direction to their preparation by first starting preparation for strong subjects, followed by medium ones and in the end touch upon the weak subjects. The reason to follow this approach is that there is no sectional or subject-wise cutoff in the UGC-NET exam, a candidate should just need to focus on maximizing their score.
Divide strong, medium, and weak topics
Next, the question arises about how to divide the subjects into categories of strong, medium and weak. A simple technique to adopt is to try and take 23 mock tests prior to starting the actual preparation. Then a candidate can make a list of topics in the categories of strong, medium and weak subjects.
In the case of subjects like Psychology, which involves specialization, the UGC-NET exam has only one paper and a candidate could be posed a question from all across the subjects. So, the preparation needs to be undertaken from the perspective of the overall subject and not just one area of specialization in Psychology.
The first paper covers General Aptitude, where a candidate is posed questions related to research. A candidate needs to have a good grasp on topics of General Knowledge, their particular subject, and research as in case of some questions, a candidate would need to interpret.
Strategy for subject-specific paper
In the case of a subject-specific paper, an aspirant needs to have in-depth knowledge about the subject, which is of the graduation level. The questions posed in this case are objective types. On the other hand, in the case of assumption-based questions, which are definitely exhaustive, a candidate needs to build fast and good reading ability.
A diligent effort along with a definite study strategy can go a long way in cracking the UGC-NET examination, which is undertaken by lakhs of aspirants every year.
COURTESY- INDIA TODAY