Every year, the University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (UGC NET) is conducted for the post of Assistant Professor and/or Junior Research Fellowship in various Indian Universities and Colleges.The exam consists of two papers, that is, Paper I and Paper II.
While candidates are given a choice to choose their subject from among the list of 101 subjects for paper II, Paper I is common and mandatory for all candidates, regardless of the subject choice for paper II. It is, therefore, equally important for a candidate to do well and clear Paper I in order to get a good score, especially if s/he wishes to qualify for JRF.
Paper I will assess the teaching and research aptitude of the candidates along with their cognitive abilities. Paper I will also test the general awareness of the candidates on various topics including the process in higher education system in India, interaction between people, environment and natural resources.
Structure/pattern of Paper I
The total duration of the exam, including both paper I and II, is 180 minutes. There will be a total of 150 questions, out of which, Paper I will be comprised of 50 questions.
For paper I, total of five questions will be set from each of the units ten given below. The format of the questions will be MCQ type and each question will carry two marks. Therefore, the total marks for Paper I is 100. Nevertheless, there will be no negative markings for wrong answers.
Syllabus for Paper I
The topics to be covered under Paper I have been grouped into the following units:
UNIT I: Teaching Aptitude
- Teaching: Concept, Objectives, Levels of teaching (Memory, Understanding and Reflective), Characteristics and basic requirements.
- Learner’s characteristics: Characteristics of adolescent and adult learners (Academic, Social, Emotional and Cognitive), Individual differences.
- Factors affecting teaching related to: Teacher, Learner, Support material, Instructional facilities, Learning environment and Institution.
- Methods of teaching in Institutions of higher learning: Teacher centred vs. Learner centred methods; Off-line vs. On-line methods (Swayam, Swayamprabha, MOOCs etc.).
- Teaching Support System: Traditional, Modern and ICT based.
- Evaluation Systems: Elements and Types of evaluation, Evaluation in Choice Based Credit System in Higher education, Computer based testing, Innovations in evaluation systems.
UNIT-II: Research Aptitude
- Research: Meaning, Types, and Characteristics, Positivism and Post- positivistic approach to research.
- Methods of Research: Experimental, Descriptive, Historical, Qualitative and Quantitative methods.
- Steps of Research.
- Thesis and Article writing: Format and styles of referencing. Application of ICT in research.
- Research ethics.
UNIT III: Comprehension
- A passage of text be given. Questions be asked from the passage to be answered.
UNIT IV: Communication
- Communication: Meaning, types and characteristics of communication.
- Effective communication: Verbal and Non-verbal, Inter-Cultural and group communications, Classroom communication.
- Barriers to effective communication.
- Mass-Media and Society.
UNIT V: Mathematical Reasoning and Aptitude
- Types of reasoning.
- Number series, Letter series, Codes and Relationships.
- Mathematical Aptitude (Fraction, Time & Distance, Ratio, Proportion and Percentage, Profit and Loss, Interest and Discounting, Averages etc.).
UNIT VI: Logical Reasoning
- Understanding the structure of arguments: argument forms, structure of categorical propositions, Mood and Figure, Formal and Informal fallacies, Uses of language, Connotations and denotations of terms, Classical square of opposition.
- Evaluating and distinguishing deductive and inductive reasoning.
- Venn diagram: Simple and multiple use for establishing validity of arguments.
- Indian Logic: Means of knowledge.
- Pramanas: Pratyaksha (Perception), Anumana (Inference), Upamana (Comparison), Shabda (Verbal testimony), Arthapatti (Implication) and Anupalabddhi (Non-apprehension).
- Structure and kinds of Anumana (inference), Vyapti (invariable relation), Hetvabhasas (fallacies of inference).
UNIT VII: Data Interpretation
- Sources, acquisition and classification of Data.
- Quantitative and Qualitative Data.
- Graphical representation (Bar-chart, Histograms, Pie-chart, Table-chart and Line-chart) and mapping of Data.
- Data Interpretation.
- Data and Governance.
UNIT VIII: Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
- ICT: General abbreviations and terminology.
- Basics of Internet, Intranet, E-mail, Audio and Video-conferencing.
- Digital initiatives in higher education.
- ICT and Governance.
UNIT IX: People, Development and Environment
- Development and environment: Millennium development and Sustainable development goals.
- Human and environment interaction: Anthropogenic activities and their impacts on environment.
- Environmental issues: Local, Regional and Global; Air pollution, Water pollution, Soil pollution, Noise pollution, Waste (solid, liquid, biomedical, hazardous, electronic), Climate change and its Socio-Economic and Political dimensions.
- Impacts of pollutants on human health.
- Natural and energy resources: Solar, Wind, Soil, Hydro, Geothermal, Biomass, Nuclear and Forests.
- Natural hazards and disasters: Mitigation strategies.
- Environmental Protection Act (1986), National Action Plan on Climate Change, International agreements/efforts -Montreal Protocol, Rio Summit, Convention on Biodiversity, Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement, International Solar Alliance.
UNIT X: Higher Education System
- Institutions of higher learning and education in ancient India.
- Evolution of higher learning and research in Post Independence India.
- Oriental, Conventional and Non-conventional learning programmes in India.
- Professional, Technical and Skill Based education.
- Value education and environmental education.
- Policies, Governance, and Administration.
Important Tips for Preparation
1.Know the syllabus: The first step in your preparation should be to look up/download the syllabus (given above) and be well versed with each and every topic under all the units for the exam.
2.Prepare your study material: There are multiple books and materials for UGC NET preparation available in the market (always go for the latest edition) which you can buy for self preparation and/or also join cheap and accessible online courses like the one offered by our website for an added help with the study plans and practice quizzes.
3.Maintain a proper study schedule: One you are familiar with the syllabus and have the study materials ready, consider the time you have before the exam and assign a particular time period to each topic depending on your strengths and weaknesses. However, keep in mind that simply preparing a study schedule will not lead you anywhere, you must regularly and sincerely follow it to achieve your target score.
4.Take multiple mock tests and practice quizzes: There are various mock tests that you can try online in order to familiarise yourself with how well versed you are with each topic and to evaluate how fruitful your preparation has been. Do practice quizzes either with the help of MCQs books available in the market or those available online such as the free quizzes on our website.
5. Solve previous years’ papers: One of the best ways that you can assess how far you’ve come along is to solve previous years’ question papers. This will not only give you a taste of what the actual exam will be like and the important topics for the exam but will also likely help you assess your weak areas that require improvements and also give you an idea of how prepared you are for the upcoming exam.
You can download and solve previous years’ question papers here.
6.Set time limits while practicing: When it comes to paper I, it is important to not only get the answer right but also to get it right speedily. One way you can add speed to your accuracy is to set time limits, just as in the real exam, while practicing. For example, don’t spend 30 minutes on one question alone simply because you have an entire day for practice; instead give each question a specific time as if you are in a real exam setting.
7.Keep a revision notebook: Make note of key terms, important events or dates as well as mathematical formulas and tricks while studying, so that you can quickly revise them later without much hassle.
UGC NET Paper I is usually considered easier to score than Paper II. Hence it is imperative that you do well in this paper, which will make all the difference in your final score…and how well you do directly depends on how well you prepare. If you were confused about how to tackle paper I and as a result, ended up reading this article, then you are in the right path. Now start your preparation!!