NET Exam Pattern

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NET Exam Pattern

Every year thousands of aspirants complete their PhDs and apply for very limited openings in the field of teaching. To ensure that the highly competent candidate is given the responsibility to teach, the NET exam is conducted. In this blog, we will discuss the NET exam pattern. 

Important Dates 

Categories Dates
Application Form10-Aug-2021
Last Date of Application05-Sep-2021
Last Date of Fee Payment06-Sep-2021
Application Correction Window7-Sep-2021 to 12-Sep-2021
Admit CardTo Be Announced
UGC NET ExamTo Be Announced
Provisional Answer KeyTo Be Announced
ResultTo Be Announced

What is UGC NET?

NET or National Eligibility Test is an exam that is conducted to fill the posts of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Fellow(JRF) pan-India. Administered by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the exam is conducted twice a year. Earlier, the CBSE conducted the test on behalf of UGC but after 2018, the responsibility was shifted to NTA or National Testing Agency, an autonomous body under the Government of India. Considered to be the license for teaching at the college and university level in India, the NET exam pattern is very diverse and covers 81 subjects. 

Also read: Primary Teaching courses

NET Exam Pattern

  • The NET exam is a computer-based, online test that consists of Paper-I and Paper-II. 
  • The exam for both papers is conducted on the same day without any break, in the allotted exam centres. 
  • A total of 150 questions are asked in the exam which has to be completed in 3 hours. 
  • 50 questions are asked in Paper-I, while 100 in Paper-II. 
  • The NET exam pattern consists of multiple-choice questions for which four options are given. 
  • Attempting all the questions is compulsory but there is no restriction on shifting between the two papers. 
  • For every correct answer, two marks are awarded and there is no negative marking.


The Paper-I in the NET exam is common for all subjects. It consists of 10 sections with 5 questions asked from each. This paper is highly scoring as it requires no specialization apart from the general information about current affairs and mathematical reasoning. The sections included in this paper of the NET exam pattern are listed below: 

  • Teaching Aptitude
  • Research Aptitude
  • Comprehension
  • Communication
  • Mathematical Reasoning and Aptitude
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Data Interpretation
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • People, Development and Environment
  • Higher Education System


The Paper-II of the NET exam pattern consists of questions that examine the candidate’s knowledge in their field of specialization. You can select 1 from a list of 81 subjects that are mentioned on the UGC-NET website. It is important to note that the choice of subject should be the one which was a part of your curriculum in postgraduation. The paper will have 100 compulsory, multiple-choice questions that are diverse in nature and cover the practical, theoretical and research aspects of the subject. 

NET Exam Patter: Number of Questions

Both the papers will have the following number of questions-

Paper 1

Paper 1 SectionsQuestionsMarks per Question
Teaching Aptitude510
Research Aptitude510
Reading Comprehension510
Reasoning (including Maths)510
Logical Reasoning510
Data Interpretation510
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)510
People & Environment510
Higher Education System: Governance, Polity & Administration510

Paper 2

For the 2nd paper, total number of questions will depend on the subject you have chosen.

Eligibility Criteria for UGC NET

Before understanding the NET exam pattern, it is important to understand the eligibility criteria. Given below are the important prerequisites which have to be satisfied to appear for the exam:

  • In order to appear for the test, a candidate must have scored a minimum of 55% in the post-graduation program. 
  • Those who are awaiting their final-year results are also eligible to apply. 
  • The Ph.D. degree holders who completed their Master’s exam by 19 September 1991 needs a minimum of 50% marks to appear for the exam. 
  • The award of NET or JRF to the student depends on the aggregate marks obtained in Paper-I and Paper-II. 
  • If the candidates qualify for Assistant Professor only, they are not considered for the JRF award which involves the stipend for the period of studies which is a minimum of two years. 
  • UGC has not set the upper age limit for the candidates applying for the post of Assistant Professor, however, for JRF, the candidate must not be above 30 years.

Also read: GMAT Paper Pattern 

UGC NET Syllabus

As we have understood the NET exam patter, let us now take a detiled look at the syllabus of the exam-

Paper 1

I – Teaching Aptitude

  • Factor affecting teaching: Learner, Teacher, Support material, Learning environment and institution 
  • Teaching concepts, levels of teaching, objective, characteristics, and basic requirements
  • Teaching System: ICT based, Modern and Traditional

II – Research Aptitude 

  • Steps of Research  
  • Research Ethics 
  • Methods of Research: Descriptive, Experimental, Historical, Qualitative, Quantitative methods

III – Comprehension 

A passage would be given and candidates will have to answer questions from the paragraph

VI – Communication

  • Mass-Media and society
  • Meaning, types and characteristics of communication
  • Effective communication and the barriers associated with it

V – Mathematical Reasoning and Aptitude 

  • Letter Series, Number Series, Relationships and Codes
  • Types of Reasoning
  • Mathematical Aptitude (Time & Distance questions, Fraction, Percentage and Proportion, Profit and Loss questions, Averages, Interests and Discounts, etc) 

VI – Logical Reasoning

  • Evaluating and distinguishing inductive and deductive reasoning 
  • Venn Diagram: multiple and simple uses for establishing the validity of arguments
  • Structure of categorical proposition, the structure of arguments, Informal and formal fallacies, mood and figure, connotation and denotation of terms, classical square of opposition, Use of language

VII – Data Interpretation

  • Data and Governance 
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Data
  • Graphical Representation (Bar-chart, Histograms, Table-chart, and Line-chart) and Data mapping

VIII – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) 

  • Digital initiatives in higher education
  • ICT and Governance 
  • E-mail, audio and video conferencing, intranet and basics of Internet
  • ICT: terminology and general abbreviation 

IX – People, Development, and Environment 

  • Human and environment interaction: Anthropogenic activities and their impact on the environment
  • Effects of pollutants on human health
  • Disasters and Natural hazards: mitigation and strategies 

X – Higher Education System

  • Value education and environmental education 
  • Oriental, Non-conventional and conventional learning programs in India 
  • Technical, professional and skill-based education

Paper 2

Click on the below mentioned button to check the syllabus for paper 2 for all the available subjects-

How to Prepare for UGC NET Exam?

  • Since the NET exam pattern consists of questions from an array of topics, It is advised to thoroughly go through the subject curriculum.
  • You should try to solve previous year NET exam papers and attempt as many mock tests as possible.
  • Keeping in mind the pattern, you should frame your timetable in such a way that the curriculum of both the papers is covered properly.
  • Last but not least, revising regularly will help you retain information for a longer period of time.
Courtesy: Arpita Karwa

Hopefully, this blog helped you understand the NET exam pattern in detail. Even though qualifying for this entrance exam is tough but it will open doors to many possibilities. If becoming a teacher is your dream but you lack the motivation or the guidance then the experts at Leverage Edu will lend you a helping hand in taking your career to the next level. You can also book a free 30 minutes career counselling session with our mentors who will guide you throughout the process to help you reach pinnacles. 

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