NTA UGC Net Cut Off and Qualifying Criteria Percentage | 2021 EXAM

NTA UGC NET Cut Off – How to Check, Expected, Previous Years’ Cutoffs


The UGC-NET is held twice a year to select deserving individuals for Assistant Professor and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) positions in Indian government universities and colleges.

The NTA conducts the UGC NET exam in June and December, but the UGC NET 2020 exam for the December cycle is to be held in May (postponed ). The National Testing Agency (NTA) released the UGC NET CUT Off once the result is finalised and produces merit list.

Cut-off for the UGC-NET

The National Testing Agency (NTA) determines the UGC NET cut-off score in two methods. Candidates are initially shortlisted based on qualifying marks (category-wise). Then a merit list is created based on the scored marks. Only 6% of candidates will be accepted for Assistant/Associate Professorships based on the UGC NET cut-off December 2020 cycle.

The examination authority selects a specified number of candidates with a high rank in Assistant/Associate Professorship to be awarded JRF.

To be considered for a JRF or Assistant Professorship, candidates must achieve qualifying marks in both NTA UGC NET December 2020 cycle. 

  • In Paper, I and II, the UGC NET qualifying marks for General category applicants are 40%. 
  • The qualifying scores for reserved category candidates in Paper I and II are 35%. 
  • Only those applicants whose scores meet the UGC NET cut-off in both examinations will have their results processed.

No changes were there in the Cut-off marks and it will be calculated maintaining the normalization procedure:

  • For multi-shift papers, candidates’ raw marks from multiple shifts/sessions will be translated to an NTA Score (percentile).
  • If a subject test is administered in multiple shifts, the NTA Score will be determined based on the candidate’s raw marks. The NTA Score for the Raw Marks calculated for all shifts/sessions will be merged for further processing to determine allocation.

The candidates are required to obtain minimum marks separately in Paper-I and Paper-II as given below:

Category Minimum Marks (%) to be obtained
Paper-I Paper-II
General 40 (40%) 40 (40%)
ST/SC/PWD/OBC 35 (35%) 35 (35%)

As per UGC, top 6% of the total candidates appeared in both the papers of UGC NET would be considered qualified for Assistant Professorship.

For awarding JRF, the authority selects a certain number of candidates having a high rank in the respective subjects and have applied for JRF.

The subject-wise cut-off score of UGC NET will be calculated after using the normalization procedure for exams held in multiple slots and sessions.

There is no change in process for deciding the cutoff and it will follow the same methodology.

Do you know what is the process of calculating the  NTA UGC NET cut off and minimum qualifying Criteria percentages…

The process goes through multiple steps comprises the following steps in general.

Check what is minimum NTA UGC NET Cut Off /Qualification marks to be obtained

Minimum marks to be obtained in NTA UGC NET for considering a candidate for the award of JRF and eligibility for Assistant Professor is as follows:

National Testing Agency (NTA) releases the UGC NET cut off scores of individual subjects on its website.

To qualify NTA UGC NET Cut off, the candidates are required to obtain the following minimum marks in both Paper-I and Paper-II. UGC NET Cut off qualifying criteria Step-by-Step are here:

Check UGC NET  Exam Syllabus

CategoryMinimum Marks (%) for qualified
Paper IPaper II
General40% aggregate marks in both the papers taken together
OBC (Non-creamy layer) PWD/ SC/ ST35% aggregate marks in both the papers taken together

What’s your Aggregate Score

Amongst those candidates who have obtained Minimum marks a merit list will be prepared subject-wise and category-wise using the aggregate marks of two papers secured by such candidates.

Are you in Top 6 %

The top 6% candidates (for each subject and category), from the merit list mentioned above, will be declared NET qualified for eligibility for Assistant Professor only.

Will you be on JRF List

A separate merit list for the award of JRF will be prepared from amongst the NET qualified candidates figuring in the above merit list prepared.

It may be noted that the above qualifying criteria decided by UGC/NTA are final and binding.

Procedure and Criteria for declaration of result

Step 1: The number of qualifying candidates (Eligibility for Assistant Professor) must equal 6% of the total number of candidates who appeared in both NET examinations.

Step 2: The slots will be assigned to different categories following India’s reservation policy.

Step 3: To be considered for the positions of ‘JRF and Eligibility for Assistant Professor’ and ‘Assistant Professor,’ the candidate must have taken both papers and obtained at least 40% aggregate marks in both pieces for the General (Unreserved) / General-EWS category candidates and at least 35% aggregate marks in both forms for all candidates.

Step 4: The number of candidates who will be declared qualified in any subject for a given category is calculated using the following methodology:

Example: For the Scheduled Caste (SC) group, the number of candidates to be deemed qualified for Eligibility for Assistant Professor in the subject ‘Economics’ is:

Several applicants from the SC category who scored at least 35% on both papers for the SC category in the ‘Economics’ category (x) As a result of Step II, the total number of slots for the SC category has been calculated. A total number of applicants from the SC category received at least a 35% aggregate mark in both papers put together across all subjects. The qualifying cutoff for Eligibility for Assistant Professor in ‘Economics’ for the SC category will be determined by the combined percentage of the two papers corresponding to the number of slots determined. For all categories, a similar yardstick will be used to determine subject-specific qualifying cutoffs.

Step 5: The consideration zone for JRF will consist of all applicants who applied for ‘Eligibility for JRF & Eligibility for Assistant Professor both’ out of the total number of qualifying applicants calculated in Step 4.

Step 6: The total number of examination slots available for JRFs are divided into several categories according to India’s reservation policy. The following is the mechanism for allocating JRF spaces by subject and cum category:

For the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, the number of candidates to be declared qualified for JRF and Eligibility for Assistant Professor in the subject ‘Economics’ is as follows:

Several candidates from the ST category applied for JRF and qualified for Assistant Professor Eligibility in “Economics” (x). The JRF slots available in the ST category (total) Total number of candidates from the ST category who applied for JRF and qualified for Assistant Professor Eligibility across all fields. The qualifying cutoff for JRF in ‘Economics’ for the ST category will be determined by the sum of the two paper scores corresponding to the number of JRF slots determined. For all courses and categories, the exact location approach is applied.

It should be noted that the UGC’s decision on the above qualifying conditions is final and binding. The examination results will be posted on the NTA website, ugcnet.nta.nic.in. The candidates will not be notified of their products individually.

Procedure for normalization

a) For multi-shift papers, candidates’ raw marks from multiple shifts/sessions will be transformed to an NTA Score (percentile).

b) The NTA Score adoption technique is provided on the NTA website under Normalization Process based on Percentile Score.

c) If a subject test is administered in multiple shifts, the NTA Score will be calculated based on the candidate’s raw marks. The NTA Score for the Raw Marks calculated for all shifts/sessions will be merged for further processing to determine allocation.

d) If the percentiles for the multi-shifts are dissimilar/uneven, the lowest percentile for that category will be the eligibility cutoff for all candidates (i.e., all shifts).

For example, suppose 40% of the marks in a two-shift examination equate to a Percentile score of 78 in Shift 1 and 79 in Shift 2. In that case, all individuals in the 78 percentiles (Percentile score of 100 to 78) in both shifts will be eligible for the General Category. The same idea applies if the examination is held in a more significant number of changes.

Are there any recent changes for NTA UGC NET Cut Off?

University Grants Commission wishes to clarify that earlier qualifying criterion for UGC-NET Exam involved qualifying top 15% of those candidates in each subject and category, who obtained the minimum required marks in both paper-I and paper-II according to the category of the candidates.

Subsequent to the orders of the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala, University Grants Commission had revised the procedure and criteria for qualifying candidates and as such it has been decided that more than 6% of the total candidates who appear in the UGC-NET examination will be declared qualified.

The qualifying percentage out of appeared candidates in the previous five  UGC NET examinations is given below:

Previous Examination and Qualifying percentage:

  • June 2015 UGC-NET: 4.83%
  • December 2015 UGC-NET: 4.96%
  • July 2016 UGC-NET: 4.08%
  • January 2017 UGC-NET:  3.99%
  • June 2018 UGC NET: 6.5%
  • June 2019: 8.86%
  • January 2020: 6%

Results re-evaluation/re-checking:

There will be no re-evaluation or re-verification of the results. There will be no correspondence in this regard.



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  • The e-certificates of the qualifying candidates shall be available for downloading on the user profile created by the candidates while filling and submitting their online application forms.
  • The Commission shall not be responsible for any technical/typographical error of any kind for this notification. The decision of the Commission in all matters of dispute shall be final.
  • Those candidates who had not completed their Master’s degree examination at the time of UGC-NET should complete their qualifying examination with the stipulated percentage of marks within two years from the date of declaration of this result.
  • In the event of any information being found false or incorrect in the Application Form/OMR Sheet/Answer Script or detection of any ineligibility, the candidate is liable to be disqualified even after the declaration of this result.
  • UGC takes utmost care in the finalization of the result. However, if any error is detected at a later stage, UGC may rectify the result accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions Based on NTA UGC NET CUT OFF

What does the NTA UGC NET cut-off mean?

Like any other exam, the cut-off mark is the least amount of marks expected of you to be considered qualified in an exam. As long as you score marks equal to or more than the cut-off, you will be said to have qualified for the NAT UGC NET exam.

Is the NTA UGC NET CUT OFF a constant?

No, the cut-off changes every year depending on some factors. Therefore, only use the cut-off of the year you sat for the exam to determine whether you qualified to be a lecturer or not.

Do subjects have cut-offs?

Absolutely. Therefore, you need to get a certain amount of marks in that specific subject for you to qualify. It is also important to note that subject-wise cut-off differs from one subject to the other. Equally important, it changes every year too.

Does each paper have a different cut-off?

Interestingly, both Paper 1 and Paper 2 have the same cut-off.

Is the NTA UGC NET cut off the same for all candidates?

As much as both papers have the same cut-off, they can differ from one candidate to another based on the category. For instance, the general category must get at least 40% to qualify. On the other hand, the reserved categories only need to have at least 35%.

Who are the vulnerable groups as far as the UGC NET Exams are concerned?

UGC NET considers people living with disabilities, transgender, OBC, SC, and ST. They will get the lower cut-off.

Who releases the annual NTA UGC NET cut-off every year?

Initially, the people assigned that responsibility was the CBSE. However, that is no longer the case, and it is now the National Testing Agency (NTA) that releases the cut-off.

What are the factors that determine the UGC NET exam cut-off?

As mentioned earlier, the cut-off changes every year. Here is a summary of the factors that determine that mark.
• How many candidates sat for the exam?
• What was the level of difficulty of those question papers?
• How many posts are available
• What were the cut-off trends the year before?
• Marking scheme
• Reservation policies

How is the UGC NET cut-off calculated?

NTA has a structure of calculating the UGC NET exam cut-off. They follow these steps.
• Out of all the candidates who will sit for both papers, the number of them who will qualify for the exam will be 6%.
• Going by the government reservation policy, NTA will also consider the number of posts allocated to each category.
• Whether it is the assistant professor post or its Junior Research Fellowship counterpart, the required minimum marks are also considered.
• The cut-off is further based on the cut-off of specific subjects.
• Last but not least, NTA considers the available slots for the Junior Research Fellowship to be awarded to the various categories according to the government reservation policy.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for the NTA UGC EXAM?

Before you begin filling in the NTA UGC EXAM application forms, you must ensure that you are eligible. Let’s take a look at the criteria.
• You must have a master’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized university. Alternatively, the applicant can be a final-year student pursuing their post-graduating course.
• Your aggregate should not be below 55% unless you are among the vulnerable groups. If that’s the case, the aggregate should be at least 50%
• If applying for the Junior Research Fellow post, you must be 30 years below. However, the age limit doesn’t apply when it comes to the Assistant professor post.

How is the minimum qualifying marks different from the NTA UGC NET cut-off?

On one side, the minimum qualifying marks are determined way before the application process begins. It is usually declared on the notification of the UGC NET exam. On the other hand, the cut-off is usually announced after the results. It is important to note that those who qualify for the Assistant Professor and Junior Research fellow must pass the two.

What are the details to expect on the UGC NET exam cut-off list?

They include subjects, categories, marks, cut-off percentages, and total candidates.

When does NTA release the NTA UGC NET cut off?

It happens after the release of the exam results.

How do you get to know the NTA UGC NET cut-off?

It is usually easy to tell since NTA posts the cut-off list on their website. Therefore, once released, all you have to do is visit its official website to find out.

Are candidates who meet the NTA UGC NET cut off invited for a JRF interview?

No, because the list of qualified candidates is final. All that’s left is downloading the e-certificate and applying for the job separately as per your convenience.


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