How to Prepare for UGC NET?

How to Prepare for UGC NET?

UGC NET JRF is considered one of the top 10 most difficult exams in India. It is one of the most prominent exams for psychology aspirants across India.

This exam is conducted by UGC (University Grants Commission) through NTA (National Testing Agency) twice a year. The purpose is to find eligible candidates for JRF/ PhD and assistant professor positions.

The Difference between NET and JRF: NET is the National Eligibility Test to check eligibility for the position of Assistant Professor for universities across India. JRF- Junior Research Fellowship is the scholarship for the top scorers of NET. So the exam gives results for both NET and JRF.

Eligibility: Students who are in the final year of their Master’s in psychology or other relevant subject and those who have completed their master’s with 55% marks (50% for reserved) are eligible for NET JRF. According to NEP (National Education Policy) 2020, students who have completed four years of bachelor’s with 75% (70% for reserved) can sit for JRF (that is, they are eligible to do PhD) but not for an assistant professor position.

Who should give NET JRF Psychology?

NET JRF is the most sought path for people who want a career inclined towards academics and research. For those who aspire to be an Assistant professor or find their niche in psychological research, NET JRF is the most prominent path.

Dr. Arvind Otta, mentor for psychology students in UPS Education signified the importance of strategies while preparing for NET JRF. Here are some of his tips to ace this exam:

Paper 1 is for all the candidates irrespective of their chosen subject. It has general questions to check the diverse knowledge that an assistant professor or a research scholar should possess. 

Dr. Arvind emphasized cultivating the habit of reading newspapers from day one. Newspaper reading can help effectively with questions of Information and Communication Technology, People Development and Environment, and the Higher Education System.

He also focused on practicing, either through online sources or books to get his hands strong on areas like mathematical reasoning, comprehension, logical reasoning and data interpretation. 

Paper 2 of NET JRF is completely subject-specific. For psychology candidates, handwritten notes of the Masters can be preferred along with any suggestions by the teachers. If notes are not available, Dr. Arvind suggested some credible books that can be referred to. He specifically advised me not to change the book once chosen till the exam! For Introduction to Psychology, books like Baron, Morgan and King, Ciccarelli, and Richard Atkinson- anyone is preferable. For cognitive psychology- Robinson and Sternberg are leading books. George A. Kelly for personality and for biopsychology- Kalat is his recommendation. For a complete book List

Core concepts and theories play a crucial role in acing this exam

Dr. Arvind laid focus on topics of sensation, perception, learning, reasoning, intelligence and problem-solving. As a mentor himself, he highlighted how doubt clearance is essential for connecting concepts and theories. Along with this, what not to study is equally important. 

Once the fundamentals are clear, practice papers come into the picture. According to him, chapter-wise questions must be solved first before the mock test to grasp concepts with full clarity. PYQs (previous year’s questions) and mock tests are the next steps when the chapter-wise command is built. Dr. Otta has formulated an e-book of PYQs which is available free of cost to all the aspirants of NET JRF Psychology. Regular revision can be a game changer.

Being a mentor for numerous NET JRF aspirants, Dr. Arvind signifies the importance of a positive attitude and self-confidence in this journey of exam preparation. Staying calm can go miles to deal with exam stress. An exam as prestigious as NET JRF Psychology demands effort consistency and dedication. 

References +
  • National Testing Agency. (n.d.). National Testing Agency: Excellence in assessment.

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