Preparing for NTA UGC-NET 2019?

One of the most crucial exams UGC NET is around the corner and all aspirants are dreading the day as it comes closer. Here are some quick tips and tricks that will give an aspirant a quick overview of the exam.

The UGC-NET exam is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) to determine the eligibility for Assistant Professor and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) positions in Indian universities and colleges. A candidate belonging to the general category with at least 55% marks in Master’s degree (without rounding off) can apply for this exam, whereas a candidate from the reserved category needs to have at least 50% marks. Final year students can also apply.  

Key FAQ’s

Is there any age limit to take the exam?

Yes, the age limit for JRF is 30 years but there is no age limit for Assistant Professor. There are some age relaxations that can be availed by female, transgender, and reserved category candidates, but the total age relaxation should not be more than 5 years.

What is the format of this exam?

This exam consists of 2 papers. Paper I is a general exam on Teaching and Research Aptitude, which is compulsory for all the applicants irrespective of the subject of their Master’s programme. It includes 50 questions of 2 marks each. Paper-II is based on the subject of the Master’s degree of the candidate. It comprises 100 questions. Candidates get a total of 3 hours (without any break) to complete both the papers.  

Some Important Tips:

  • In the application form, there is an option whether the candidate is appearing for “Assistant Professor only” or for “both JRF and Assistant Professor”. Candidates should choose this field carefully as those who mark “Assistant Professor only” will not be considered for award of JRF.
  • The award of JRF is valid only for 3 years within which the awarded candidate has to join the Ph.D. programme for availing the benefits of JRF. 
  • There is no negative marking for wrong answers.

How to prepare for NTA UGC-NET Exam?

  • Get a copy of the syllabus of Papers I and II. Syllabus of Paper I is provided in the Oxford University Press’ book for Paper I and also in the lecture videos on the Oxford Areal App. Watch the video and analyse the syllabus.
  • Set a target score for both the papers. For this, check the previous years’ official cut-offs. Cut-offs are available subject wise and category wise. On the basis of the cut-off of your subject and category, you can set a target score.
  • Always prepare well for Paper I. Many aspirants sit for Paper I unprepared but this is not the correct approach. A good score in Paper I will give you an edge over other candidates. 
  • Prepare a list of the best books and other study materials available in the market. 
  • Analyse the previous years’ question papers to understand the trend of the questions asked. Questions from the last 16 years are covered in the Oxford book on NTA UGC-NET Paper I.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses. Try to solve 2 to 3 previous year papers and then analyse your performance. Make a list of the topics you know well and the topics you don’t know. Then plan your strategy considering the available time.
  • Practice mock tests for both the papers. Seven free mock tests are provided with our book, which can be accessed from These will help in learning time management skills so as to complete the papers on time.
  • Practise MCQs and previous year questions after preparing for each subject. 
  • Make a routine of revising whatever you learn. This will help in better retention of concepts.
  • Shortcuts and tricks are very helpful in saving time during exams. Shortcuts and tricks are provided in our book for solving questions on Comprehension, Mathematical Aptitude and Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and Data Interpretation.
  • Make a time table for studying and follow it religiously. 
  • Take short breaks in between study sessions to relax your mind. 
  • Practice comprehension questions online. This will help in saving time.
  • Have confidence in yourself and your preparation because if you have confidence, only then you will be able to achieve your goal.

What a candidate should not do?

  • Killing a lot of time on social media.
  • Wasting time in discussions about the expected cut-off.
  • Purchasing or downloading study material from all available sources. If you try to do so, you will end up with a huge pile of study material with duplicate content.
  • No revision. Students often make the mistake of not revising the study material before their exams.
  • Not practicing shortcuts/tricks and using long methods for calculations.
  • Following misleading information provided by unofficial sources.


Online Registration:

Syllabus and NET certificates:

Official Mock Test:

Good luck to those appearing for the December 2019 exam!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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