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UGC NET JRF Psychology Preparation

NET - JRF Examination: An Insight into Preparation

What is the NET JRF Examination?
On behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC), the National Eligibility Test (NET) is conducted for determining the eligibility of Indian nationals for the Eligibility for Assistant Professor only or Junior Research Fellowship & Assistant Professor Both, in Indian Universities and Colleges.
The award of JRF and or Eligibility for Assistant Professor depends on the aggregate performance of the candidate in Paper-I (General Aptitude) and Paper-II (Psychology) of UGC-NET.
Who conducts it?
Till June 2018, the CBSE conducted the NET in 84 subjects at 91 selected Cities of spread across the country. From Dec 2018 onwards, the UGC- NET is being conducted by the NTA (National Testing Agency).

When and How is it conducted?
UGC-NET is conducted Online twice a year, usually in June and December. The exam is for 3 hours in Online Mode for combined (Paper I and Paper II) without a break.
Paper I Paper 2
Number of Questions
50 100
Negative Marking
0 0
General Aptitude (10 Units) Psychology (10 units)
Previous Year Questions
Available Available

Syllabus of the Exam
The NET-JRF exam has two Papers: Paper I and Paper II (the subject of your Master’s degree).
Paper I: General & Teaching Aptitude
Unit 1
Teaching Aptitude
Unit 2
Research Aptitude
Unit 3
Unit 4
Unit 5
Mathematical Reasoning & Aptitude
Unit 6
Logical Reasoning
Unit 7
Data Interpretation
Unit 8
Information & Communication Technology
Unit 9
People, Development & Environment
Unit 10
Higher Education System


Paper-II: Psychology
Unit 1
Emergence of Psychology
Unit 2
Research Methodology & Statistics
Unit 3
Psychological Testing
Unit 4
Biological Basis of Behavior
Unit 5
Attention, Perception, Learning, Memory, & Forgetting
Unit 6
Thinking, Intelligence & Creativity
Unit 7
Personality, Motivation, Emotion, Stress, & Coping
Unit 8
Social Psychology
Unit 9
Human Development & Interventions
Unit 10
Emerging Areas

What does it mean to Qualify NET Exam?
The candidates qualifying only for Assistant Professor (i.e. those who qualified NET Exam only) are not to be considered for the award of JRF. Candidates who qualify the test for eligibility for Assistant Professor are governed by the rules and regulations for recruitment of Assistant Professor of the concerned universities/colleges/state governments, as the case may be.

It means that if you have qualified NET then you are eligible for becoming the Assistant Professor but this does not mean that they will become Assistant Professor. The procedure and other eligibility requirements posted by Universities would be different for different universities. Anywhere that you fulfill the basic requirements (majorly depends on the API or the Academic Performance Index) posted by a Colleges/University then you are eligible to appear for the Interview Process. This is why NET is the National Eligibility for the Assistant Professor or Lecturer in India.

*As per the guidelines by UGC, in 2021 and forth, NET Qualified + Ph.D. degree is compulsory to become the Assistant Professor in India.

What does it mean to have JRF?
Anyone who qualifies JRF, means they have also qualified NET exam. JRF stands for Junior Research Fellowship, which is a scholarship amount given to those who qualify the JRF exam as well as enroll themselves in a Higher Education Program (such as MPhil or Ph.D.).
For the process to cash into this amount, you can contact your concerned Universities after enrolling Ph.D. or MPhil Program. (Kindly confirm with your concerned hospital or institute for JRF as some MPhil Programs might now support JRF scholarship or only has their own Scholarship amounts.)
Other than Scholarship JRF also offers many benefits. Some of them include:
  • Direct Admission into MPhil and Ph.D. Programs.
  • A stipend of Rs. 31,000/- + HRA for initial 2 years and Rs. 35,000/- + HRA for next 3 years
  • Candidates with JRF are preferred over NET candidates in Research Projects by government agencies like UGC, NCERT, DRDO, IITs, etc. and also by private universities.

Qualified the Exams means
Only Qualified for Assistant Professorship
Qualified for Assistant Professorship + JRF Scholarship Amount
NET has no Scholarship amounts.
If enrolled in Ph.D., then Government Universities offer Rs. 8000/- to 10,000/- per month Scholarship under the non-NET category (I.e. a Scholar who is not receiving any aid from anywhere else).
Rs. 31,000/- + HRA per month (for First two 2 years)
Rs. 35,000/- + HRA per month (for next 3 years)
Other Benefits
  • Direct Admission into almost in India every Ph.D. Program
  • Eligibility for some research Projects by NCERT, UGC, DRDO, etc. as Junior Research Fellow, Project Fellow, Research Fellow, Project Assistant / Associate / Manager
  • An additional benefit of Rs. 2,000/- to 3,000/- per month over non-NET qualifiers in Research Projects.
  • Direct Admission into almost every Ph.D. and MPhil Program in India
  • Eligibility for some research Projects by NCERT, UGC, DRDO, etc. as Junior Research Fellow, Project Fellow, Research Fellow, Project Assistant / Associate / Manager
  • Preferred in Research Projects over only NET qualified candidates
PSU's Job Opportunities
An enterprise owned by the state or the central government is called a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) or a public sector enterprise. The average salary for a PSU enterprise is 50,000/- to 70,000/- per month.
List of some PSU's in India:
  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited
  • National Thermal Power Corporation Limited
  • Power Grid Corporation of India Limited
  • Naval Materials Research Laboratory
  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
  • Bharat Electricals Limited
  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited
 Similar Opportunity in PSU's

Scope and Opportunities in Psychology after NET-JRF?
  • Becoming an Assistant Professor using NET qualification.
  • Taking Direct Admission into Ph.D. and MPhil Programs using NET or JRF qualification.
  • Stipend during MPhil and Ph.D. for JRF qualified candidates. (NET has no stipend but other benefits or a non-NET fellowship for Ph.D. and MPhil that can be availed via your concerned University/Institute.
  • Eligible for Research Projects by many Government Agencies like UGC, NCERT, and DRDO, and private agencies using NET and JRF qualifications.

What are the SET and CSIR-NET exam? How are they different from NET-JRF Exam?

SET or the State Eligibility Exam, in a nutshell, is the NET exam conducted by the State under their jurisdictions. The SET exam is also conducted for determining the eligibility of Indian nationals for the Eligibility for Assistant Professor only in State Universities and Colleges in India. In simpler terms, many times, institutes or States in India prefer to conduct their own exams and not rely on NET Exam scores for Assistant Professorship, these exams are called SET exams.
  • NET Exam is conducted only in English and Hindi languages whereas SET exams are conducted in English and other languages recognized by the Indian States/ Government. 
  • NET Exam is conducted twice a year whereas the SET exam is conducted only once a year.
  • The syllabus of the NET exam is given by NTA. Most of the SET exams follow the older syllabus of NET exam. The syllabus is similar or almost the same for the NET exam with some topics added or subtracted by the State or the Institute.
  • NET Candidate can apply anywhere in India for Assistant Professorship but a SET candidate can only apply for the colleges/universities under that State jurisdiction.
As of now, 15 states conduct their SET exams and other States only follow the NET exam scores for their selection criteria. ​​These states are:
  • Andhra Pradesh State Eligibility Test (APSET)
  • Assam State Level Eligibility Test (Assam SLET)
  • Chhattisgarh State Eligibility Test (CG SET)
  • Gujarat State Eligibility Test (GSET)
  • Himachal Pradesh State Eligibility Test (HP SET)
  • Jammu & Kashmir State Eligibility Test (JK SET)
  • Kerala State Eligibility Test (Kerala SET)
  • Karnataka State Eligibility Test (KSET)
  • Madhya Pradesh State Eligibility Test (MP SET)
  • Maharashtra State Eligibility Test (MH SET)
  • Tamil Nadu State Eligibility Test (TNSET)
  • Telangana State Eligibility Test (TSSET)
  • Uttarakhand State Eligibility Test (USET)
  • West Bengal State Eligibility Test (WB SET)
  • Rajasthan State Eligibility Test (RSET)

It is similar to the NTA UGC NET-JRF exam in every aspect other than the fact that it is for the Science and Technology field.

 It takes determination to see a dream come to pass. The question is not will you start, but will you finish.” – Joel Osteen
Preparing for the Exam
Key to successfully crack an exam at times does not just depend on how smart you are, or how much you studied but whether or not you are ‘good at taking tests’ or not. One of the most important keys here is to improve at taking the tests. How can we improve there? Well, there is no one way to do it but let’s experiment together on this using the following key points:
  1. Start by first answering to yourself, “Who Am I”?
Focus on your Learning Style, how is it that you study? Do you make a timetable? Or Do you make one but unable to follow one? Do you make Notes or prefer studying from Visual or Presentational aids?

Your way of studying now will help you to know what needs to be done to Ace at the exam. No exam is difficult, and never have I seen an easy one. You are unique, and so you need to study uniquely too.
  1. Know Your Exam
This means knowing the Syllabus thoroughly. If you want to study in a relatively focused way then connect with the exam first. You have to learn to befriend the exam and not compete with it.
Then, learn the basic details about the exam: marking schemes, number of questions, duration of the exams, etc.

Once you’ve been through the basics, then move towards bringing together the Previous Year Questions. If possible, you can find the Previous Year Mock Tests and attempt the, first to know where you stand. Since you are looking forward to the NET exam, that means either you had Psychology in your Bachelors and Masters or you had a different background in Bachelors but are doing Masters in Psychology. In both these cases, move forward with these Previous Year Mocks, they will help you when you will begin studying the Notes or your Study Material. These will help you to keep an eye for those concepts that you have now seen in the Previous Year papers. Also, this will help you to know which Units and what kind of topics were focused on in which year. This knowledge is bliss when attempting the exam for the first time.
  1. Anxiety and two sides of the Coin
William James (1842-1910), an American Psychologist once advised his Harvard students that an “ounce of good nervous tone is an examination is worth many pounds of … study”.
By “good nervous tone”, James was addressing the nervousness, or anxiety that an exam might provoke. Anxiety is natural and it is also natural to expect to feel less relaxed just before or during an exam. This same anxiety can also be caused during the preparation also or maybe while attempting Mock Tests, or maybe while trying to understand the Exam itself. Let me just come forth and tell you that Anxiety is natural because it is helpful. The “good nervous tone”, alert our senses, gives sharpened perception, and provide readiness for action in an alarming situation.

Therefore, it can be helpful to know what good Anxiety can do and how it is beneficial for you. Additionally, learn to combat Anxiety effectively so that instead of hindering your preparation, it helps you to stay focused, stay creative, stay on track, and in perfect sync to the duration of the Preparation.
  1. Make a Plan
Sounds cliché, I know. But here, I am not asking you to make an ideal time table and make your study plan accordingly. All I am asking you is to tackle the fear of initiating. Many times we simply procrastinate by thinking that we will begin tomorrow and that tomorrow never comes.

I usually recommend my students to simply your syllabus by separating Units/Topics that need more focus, and more study from Units that you are well versed with or have covered earlier to comes naturally to you.

This is a sample of my strategy that I provide to my students with our Study Materials.

Units that are your strength, start with their Mock Test first and then go to the theory. For Units that are challenging, begin with theory, then Take one Mock Test, then analyses, go back to the theory and re-attempt Mock Tests and post that attempt more and more Mock Tests of that Unit. It is important to know that never try to score perfectly in your Mocks. Mock Tests are a strategy tool that will help you to develop a certain state of mind for Test Taking, as well as help you to stay on track, and map your Progress. Grow by taking one step at a time.
  1. Take your time
You are unique. You have your own pace, your own growth rate. Never ask too much around as to how other’s preparation is going on or how much others have done. You have to crack the exam. Focus on yourself and Take your own Time.
Remember, there is no secret ingredient. (KungFu Panda, is the move I recommend to help you better understand this line)
  1. Study not like any student but like a Psychology student
The NET-JRF Paper 2: Psychology syllabus that you would be preparing for will have most of the applied concepts that you also apply while preparing especially the ones you will learn in Unit 5 of the syllabus. Unit 8 Social Psychology is too interesting. So, be a Psychology student preparing for an exam that will also help you to revise, and learn so many beautiful concepts. So, trust Psychology and the exam shall be cracked.


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