CBSC UGC NET: Exam Syllabus, Pattern, Books & Preparation Tips

September 9, 2022

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

UGC NET Exam Pattern and Syllabus 2021

The University Grants Commission (UGC) organized a National Eligibility Test for candidates who pursued Post Graduation who were passionate about teaching. This CBT mode online exam is conducted by NTA (National Testing Agency) twice a year to select candidates for JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) and Assistant Professor posts in top universities/ institutions all over India. As the National Eligibility Test exams that are to be conducted in December 2020 and June 2021 are merged, the NTA announces the syllabus to remain the same. The Exam Pattern, Syllabus and other important dates for UGC NET 2021 have been released on August 10, 2021.

On this page, you will come to know these things about UGC- NET 2021.

  • Syllabus
  • Exam Pattern
  • Recommended Books
  • Tips to Prepare


The UGC- NET syllabus consists of two different papers which are conducted online for 3hours. The total time duration is divided into two sessions. The first session holds the first hour and the second session brags the remaining two hours with no intervals in between. The NTA has published the syllabus for UGC- NET 2021 officially. The First paper which is also known as the general paper which focuses on testing the candidate’s ability on General awareness. Whereas, the Second paper focuses on the selected subject of Interest by the candidates. The Syllabus consists of various topics on both papers. The General paper holds 10 topics that focus on different subtopics and the second paper holds 82 subjects in total. The UGC NET syllabus can be downloaded for both General paper and Paper- II from the NTA website.

UGC NET Syllabus for General Paper/ Paper-I

The General paper holds 10 topics based on General Awareness to test the basic qualities and knowledge of the aspirants. Five Multiple choice questions are asked on each topic of general awareness. Each topic contains several subtopics which are listed below.

Main TopicSub Topics
Research Aptitude1. Meaning, characteristics and types of Research 2· Paper, Article, Workshop, and Symposium. 3· Steps and Methods of Research 4· Ethics of Research 5· Characteristics and format of thesis writing
Teaching Aptitude1· Basic requirements of Teaching. 2· Aids of Teaching 3· Characteristics of Learners 4· Methods of Teaching 5· Evaluating systems
Reading Comprehension1· Associated Questions 2· Comprehensive Passage
Mathematical Reasoning1· Letter Series 2· Series of Numbers 3· Classifications 4· Codes 5· Relationship
Communication1· Types of Communication 2· Characteristics 3· Barriers 4·  nature of Communication 5· Effective classroom Communication
Logical Reasoning1· Analytical Reasoning 2· Types of Logical Diagrams 3· Understanding the structure of arguments 4· Venn Diagram 5· Verbal Classification 6· Analogies of Verbal 7· Distinguishing Deductive and Inductive Reasoning
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)1· Advantage and Disadvantages 2· Basics of Internet and E-mailing 3· Abbreviations and terms
Data Interpretation1· Qualitative and Quantitative Data 2· Sources, Acquisition and interpretation 3· Mapping and graphical representation of Data
Governance, Politics and Administration of Higher Education System1· Structure of the Institutions for Higher Learning and Research in India 2· Concepts, Institutions and their Interactions 3· Value education: Governance, Polity and Administration.
People and Environment4· Interaction of People on Environment 5·Energy Resources and their impact on Humans life

Syllabus for Paper-II

The second paper of UGC- NET has a total of  82 subjects which the candidates can select one subject each according to their interest. This paper has 47 technical subjects and 38 language subjects to choose from. The total number of questions asked in Paper-II is 100. Each question carries two marks and sums up a total of 200 marks. Each subject has its unique UGC NET syllabus issued by the NTA which is published on this website. The subjects that candidates can select for UGC- NET is listed below:

The popular Subjects of the UGC NET exam are,

1Teaching & Research Aptitude (Paper -I)
2Development Planning/ Applied Economics/Development and Business Economics
3Political Science
11Social Work
12Defense and Strategic Studies
13Home Science
14Public Administration
15Population Studies
17Management (including Business /Marketing/ Industrial Relations and Personnel Management).
18Adult Education, Andragogy and Non-Formal Education.
19Physical Education
20Arab Culture and Islamic Studies
21Indian Culture
22Labour, Social Welfare and Human Resource Management
24Library and Information Science
25Buddhist, Jaina, Gandhian and Peace Studies
26Comparative Study of Religions
27Mass Communication and Journalism
28Performing Art – Dance/Drama/Theatre
29Museology & Conservation
32Tribal and Regional Language/Literature
33Folk Literature
34Comparative Literature
35Sanskrit traditional subjects include Jyotisha, Mimansa, Sahitya,  Puranotihasa, Agama, etc.
36Women Studies
37Visual Art (including Drawing & Painting, Sculpture Graphics, History of Art, etc.)
39Social Medicine & Community Health
40Forensic Science
41Computer Science and Applications
42Electronic Science
43Environmental Sciences
44Politics including International Relations and Studies including Defense, Strategic Studies, West Asian Studies, Soviet Studies, American Studies, etc.
46Human Rights and Duties
47Tourism Administration and Management.

The language subjects of the UGC NET exam are,

69French (French Version)
70French (English Version)

You cannot choose your mode of language for a language subject.

How to download the syllabus for UGC NET 2021?

Step1: Visit the official UGC NET website.

Step2: Now search for the Syllabus option in the menu and click it.

Step3: You can see the syllabus page loaded on your screen.

Step4: The download option for the syllabus will be shown both in English and Hindi.

Step5: Click the download button across the required subject name.

Step6: The syllabus will be downloaded to your device in PDF format.

Exam Pattern for UGC- NET 2021

The exam pattern for UGC -NET defines the time duration of the exam, the number of questions asked and further details. As we know, the UGC- NET is a Multiple choice question type examination and is a computer-based test (CBT) conducted online. According to the UGC NET exam pattern, the Exam will be conducted for 3 hours and the prior language for this exam is English and Hindi. It is divided into two sessions. The first session ends in 1 hour and the session will be held for 2 hours. The Exam pattern for UGC NET is Tabled below for easy understanding.

Time Duration for Paper- I1 Hour (60 minutes)
Time Duration for Paper- II2 hours (120 minutes)
Interval between sessionsNO
Total number of Questions in Paper-I50 questions
Total number of Questions in Paper- II100 questions
Maximum Marks in Paper- I100 marks
Maximum Marks in Paper-II200 marks
Marks for each Question2 marks
Negative mark for each QuestionNo negative marks

The timings for each session and paper is given below.

SessionsPaperExam TimeTotal marks
II9.00 AM to 10.00 AM300 marks
 II10.00 AM to 12.00 PM 
 I2.30 PM to 3.30 PM 
IIII3.30 PM to 5.30 PM 

Topics from the General awareness syllabus of General Paper carry 5 questions each. A question holds 2marks which sums up to 100 marks for the general paper alone. Every question is a multiple-choice question.

TopicsNumber of MCQs
Research Aptitude5
Teaching Aptitude5
Reading Comprehension5
Mathematical Reasoning5
Logical reasoning5
Data Interpretation5
Higher education system: Governance, politics and administration5
People and Environment5

The time duration for Visually challenged people can be compensated. The time can be extended up to 30 minutes for both papers. The visually challenged candidates can also get the service of the scribe. A valid certificate must be provided to obtain the services.

Recommended Books for Preparation of UGC- NET 2021

The Candidates who aspire to find a career in the research and lectureship field are competing for the UGC- NET. To prepare well for this examination, as a Post Graduate candidate, you can almost learn yourself with the help of well-designed books. Several numbers of Books are available for the Preparation of the UGC- NET examination. But, some books are specially designed for UGC- NET and published by renowned publications and are recommended by the government as well as the major coaching institutions. The Candidates should select the books for preparation based on the subjects they choose. He/ She should always look for the latest edition of the book they chose to prepare. The books are available for both General paper and Paper-II. We listed some quality and well-known books all over the colleges and institutions.

Books for General Awareness (Paper-I)

  • CBSE UGC NET/SET/JRF – Paper 1: Teaching and Research Aptitude by KVS Madaan
  • CBSE UGC-NET: Teaching and Research Aptitude Exam Guide (for Paper-I) (CBSE UGC (NET) JRF & Assistant Professor Exam) by Dr M.S. Ansari & RPH Editorial Board
  • UGC NET/JRF/SLET General Paper-1 Teaching & Research Aptitude by Arihant Experts
  • UGC-NET (Paper-I) 50 Practice Papers (Solved) by Ramesh Publishing House
  • UGC NET/SET (JRF & LS) 14 Years’ Solved Papers Teaching and Research Aptitude Paper-I
  • Trueman’s UGC NET/SET General Paper I by M. Gagan and Sajit Kumar
  • UGC NET/SET Paper 1 by McGraw Hill Education

Books for Paper-II

Books listed here are for some popular subjects which are selected by most of the candidates.

Subject NameBooks
Economics, Development Planning, Development Studies, Econometrics, etc.Trueman’s UGC NET Economics book by Sriniwas Shirur
PhilosophyTrueman’s UGC NET Philosophy by A.M. Tripathi
SociologyS.Hussain’s Trueman’s UGC NET Sociology
PsychologyTrueman’s UGC NET Psychology published by Akhilesh Mani
EducationUGC NET Education by Trueman
CommerceTrueman’s UGC NET Commerce
Political ScienceTrueman’s UGC NET Political Science which was published by KA Babu and Sajit Kumar
HistoryPramod Singh’s Trueman’s UGC NET
Management (including Business Administration, Marketing Management/ Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Cooperative Management, etc.Trueman’s UGC NET Management published by M. Shivani
EnglishUGC NET/SET (JRF & LS) English Literature Paper II & III published by Arihant
HindiTrueman’s UGC NET Hindi Literature (Hindi Sahitya) published by Boards of Authors
Defence and Strategic StudiesCBSE presents UGC-NET Defence and Strategic Studies
Electronic ScienceCBSE UGC NET/SET ELECTRONIC SCIENCE published by Sunil Kushwaha (Author)

You can buy these books from Amazon, Flipkart, coaching institutions and local book stores.

Tips and Tricks to prepare for UGC- NET 2021

Since the UGC- NET exam is one of the toughest exams conducted by NTA for recruiting JRF and assistant Professors, only 6% of the candidates who have appeared for this exam are getting qualified. Thus the candidates must work harder with a dedication to clear this exam successfully. Here are some tips and tricks that could ease your stress of preparing for the exam.

Important Tips and Tricks

  • The aspirant should know every topic on the syllabus and analyze the difficulty level of the online Objective examination.
  • Follow a static 8hr study per day method to get a good outcome
  • Learn, prepare and revise, always remember these three steps before start studying.
  • As this exam needs some memorizing tactics, Preparing and revising topics is required. Thus, allot an hour daily to only revise the topics you have learnt.
  • Prepare a strategy based on the number of topics, sub-topics, marks allocated for each topic, etc.
  • As you can take part in the exam twice a year, you can be well prepared and derive a perfect strategy.
  • Create three ways of preparation i.e. , one-year preparation, 6-month preparation and 3 months preparation.
  • Take notes while learning a topic. This will help you to easily rehearse it later.
  • But always rely on the long time preparation, so you could clear almost in the first attempt.
  • Highlight the important points in the books you prepare.
  • Never chose another subject that is not relevant to the subject you have learnt during your post-graduation days unless you have deep knowledge of the subject you choose.
  • Divide and schedule the time for a daily basis to ensure that you follow the 8-10 hrs of study daily.
  • Be updated with current statics and news. This will help you to score in a general paper.
  • If you can’t do self-study at home, you could enroll on a coaching centre to learn the subjects in order. But remember that the preparation effort must be put in by the candidate only.
  • Always ensure to maintain good health parallel to the preparation. A good body and mindset will help you to learn deeply.

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Q.1 How to calculate the marks obtained in the UGC- NET examination?

Ans. Credit 2 marks for each correct question and sum it up

  • Do not deduct or award marks for wrong answers.

Q.2 Is Qualifying marks and cut off marks are same for the UGC NET exam?

Ans. No, The qualifying mark is the minimum mark that is to be obtained by the candidate. whereas, the cut off marks are the marks that a candidate must obtain to get selected in the UGC NET exam.

Q.3 Can I select the Exam centre I wanted for UGC- NET exam?

Ans. You can select four exam centres during registration for the UGC- NET exam. Then the NTA finalizes the exam centre. The exam centre and its location will be informed on the admit card.

Q.4 Which is better self-study or coaching centres?

Ans. If you can’t practice self-study regularly, enrolling in a coaching centre is much preferred. Else you can rely on Books, sample papers, online mock tests, etc. , for self-preparation.

Q.5 How to cancel the registration for UGC- NET exam?

Ans. You cannot cancel the registration for the UGC- NET exam and can never request a refund for the registration fee.

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