Extensive Analysis of UGC NET Paper Pattern

What’s new for the 2021 Exam!

Well, first thing first! What has changed from the last few exams if you compare the latest exam with the previous exams? Is there any change in the paper pattern in the paper 1 exam? or syllabus has changed?

The answer to the above phrase is YES! there is a change in pattern and syllabus!

Let’s see in details!

From December 2018 onwards, NTA or National Testing Agency will regulate UGC NET Examination & CBSE will no longer hold the National Eligibility Test. However, the responsibility of declaration of results e-certificates and any appeal in terms of information of legal challenges will remain with UGC.

As per new guideline, the examination will be conducted twice a year in December and June. 

NTA UGC NET Exam Pattern & Schedule

The computer-based exam consists of 2 papers- Paper 1 and Paper 2. Both the papers will consist of only objective type questions. There will be NO break of between them.

As you know online will consist of two papers & both the papers will consist of only objective type questions and will be held in two separate sessions for overall 3 hours:

SessionPaperNumber of QuestionsMarksDuration
FirstI501001 Hour 
SecondII1002002 Hours 
Total1503503 Hours
Schedule of Examination
Dates of Examination (Exact dates of examination/shifts will be made available
on the NTA website)
Timing of ExaminationFirst ShiftSecond Shift
03 hours without a break09.30 am- 12.30 pm02.30 pm- 5.30 pm

NTA UGC NET Exam Pattern

As per the official notification below are the details of UGC NET EXAM Pattern –

General Paper – Also known as Paper 1 –

  • Regarding Paper-I of the exam, the official website of NTA informs, “The questions will be generic, intending to assess the teaching/research aptitude of the candidate.
  • It will primarily be designed to test reasoning ability, comprehension, divergent thinking and general awareness of the candidate.”

Subject Selection – Paper 2 –

  • Regarding paper-II, the website informs, “This will be based on the subject selected by the candidate. All the questions of Paper-II will be compulsory.”

UGC NET Exam Marking scheme

The updated marking scheme of UGC NET is given below:

Type of Situation

Marks Allocated

Correct Answer+ 2 marks
Incorrect Answer0 mark
Unanswered 0 mark
  • Two marks will be awarded for each correct answer. There is no negative marking in the exam.
  • Note: If a question for any reason is found to be incorrect, the benefit of marks will be given to only those candidates who attempted the question.

UGC NET Exam Pattern for Paper I

Exam Pattern for the paper I am such that the question paper will be selected from 10 sections as mentioned below and will consist of 50 objective type compulsory questions each carrying 2 marks.  The questions are general, intended to assess the teaching/research aptitude of the candidate. It will primarily be designed to test reasoning ability, comprehension, divergent thinking and general awareness of the candidate

Unit Name(Section)QuestionsMarks
Teaching Aptitude510
Research Aptitude510
Reading Comprehension510
Reasoning (Including Math-Based)510
Logical Reasoning510
Data Interpretation510
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)510
People & Environment510
Higher Education System: Governance, Polity & Administration510

Please note the above table is for reference purposes only and there is no complete guideline on saying that there will be 5 topics from each unit. FYI- More than 5 Question was asked in Dec 2019, June 2020 Exam from research & teaching aptitude topics. in-fact more than 7 Question was asked from teaching aptitude only.

Analysis of 2020 June Exam Paper

Unit  – Topic Based on Paper 1 SyllabusAverage Number of Questions AskedDifficulty LevelRemarks
Teaching Aptitude8ModerateMore focus was given on teaching and research aptitude based question. In some session, there is more than 10 Question were asked from this area.
Research Aptitude8Moderate to DifficultNo of Question-based on research aptitude were increased significantly and some students have reported that Question was difficult.
Reading Comprehension5EasyNo Significant change.
Communication4Easy to ModerateEasy Question directly based on theory.
Reasoning (Including Math-Based)4EasyThis section of the NET exam is always easy and most of the students are comfortable to score well in this section.
Logical Reasoning5EasyEasy Question was asked. However, New Syllabus has introduced multiple new topics so better keep eye on new topics.
Data Interpretation5EasyNo Significant change.
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)5EasyNo Significant change. The focus was on basic internet & email topics.
People & Environment3ModerateLess Question was asked based on this topic.
Higher Education System: Governance, Polity & Administration3Easy to DifficultLess Question was asked based on this topic. Importance was on govt. initiative.

Shift wise & Date wise analysis

Read details around the Shift wise & Date wise analysis for Paper 1 at – Shift wise & Date wise analysis

In the above-given article Jagran Josh Team has published detailed Exam Analysis of NTA UGC NET Dec 2018 Exam conducted online on 22nd, 21st, 20th, 19th and 18th December 2018 (Shift 1 and 2)

Analysis of last 10 Year Question papers

(Important key points based on the last 10-year exam questions)

Teaching AptitudeTeaching and aptitude topics are based on theory and this section required you to go through each keyword written in the books and syllabus
Research AptitudeImportant topics are Various research methods, differences, Methods of research; Thesis Writing and Methods
Reading Comprehension– Easy mostly based on leading newspaper editorial & magazine
Communication– Communication Topics are always easy and they are directly based on the ‘various definition & key differences’ so make sure to go through definition and key points
Reasoning (Including Math-Based)- This topic is one of the easiest section asked in paper 1 and most of the students easily score well in this. Questions are based on Fraction, Time & Distance, Ratio, Proportion and Percentage, Profit and Loss, Interest and Discounting, Averages etc.
Logical Reasoning– This section has seen the most changes in last 10 years and various twisted and mixed question were asked based on logical reasoning syllabus and also this section has changed a lot in the latest ugc net exam syllabus.
Data Interpretation –  Read more details on tips for Data Interpretation notes here.
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)- Common ICT terms and basic question based on email, internet and audio-visual aids.
People & Environment- You will always find a surprising question based on this topic. It’s advised that you should follow class 10 book to cover syllabus on these topics. No book in the market contains the required study materials.
Higher Education System: Governance, Polity & Administration – You need to follow various schemes based questions and important institution of Higher education along with apex bodies.

What’s should be your focus area

  • You need to divide the 10 section according to your self-assessments, for example, computer student feels question-based on ICT are easy and similarly, art students think about Governance, Polity & Administration; So do your self-assessment and break your units into Easy/ Medium and Hard Bucket.
  • Additionally, you will see no books in the market cover topics based on Higher Education & Environment so you need to follow external contents and read notes from other books/ Current affairs and follow office MHRD website.
  • You should keep visiting UGC  & MHRD website and go through the various case study/plan, initiatives there are many questions asked directly from there such as Initiative in higher education, NIRF etc.
  • Logical reasoning has added Indian philosophies based topics  this reacquire you to go through  key topics based on Indian logic
  • Finally; you need to keep track of time as going forward there will be no gap in the PAPER 1 & PAPER 2 examination (As per the new notification of exam)

Frequently Asked Question on NTA Exam Pattern

How many papers will you sit for during the NTA UGC NET EXAM?

After the application process is over, the candidates will sit for Paper 1 and Paper 2.

How many questions are in NTA UGC NET EXAM Paper 1?

This paper covers up to 10 topics. It is also essential to note that it contains five questions for each topic. Consequently, the paper has up to 50 questions in total.

How many questions do you handle during the NTA UGC NET EXAM Paper 2?

On the other hand, paper 2 contains 100 questions.

What is the difference between NTA UGC NET EXAM paper 1 and paper 2?

From the above frequently asked questions, it is evident that Paper 1 has 50 questions, whereas paper 1 contains 50 questions. It is also necessary to keep in mind that Paper 1 is common to all candidates. On the other hand, Paper 2 differs from one subject to the other. Last but not least, paper 1 has 100 total marks, and paper 2 has 200 marks in total.

What are the total marks of the NTA UGC NET EXAM?

Since paper 1 has 50 questions and paper 2 has 100 questions, that’s a total of 150 questions. Each question will earn you a maximum of 2 marks and a minimum of 0. Therefore, the total marks range from 0 to 300, depending on how the candidate handles the question.

What is the NTA UGC NET EXAM Pattern?

Whether you are doing paper 1 or paper 2 of the NTA UGC NET EXAM, the marking scheme is the same. If you acquire an answer right, you get an extra 2 marks per question. However, if you get it wrong, it goes without saying that you will get 0.

What is the interval between the finishing time of NTA UGC NET EXAM papers 1 and 2?

Keep in mind that there is not stop period between papers 1 and 2. On the contrary, you will do the two papers continuously.

How much time are candidates give to complete the NTA UGC NET EXAM?

As mentioned earlier, the candidates get to do both papers one after another, and you can’t keep shifting from Paper 1 to Paper 2. They will have up to 3 hours to handle the two papers. However, Examiners expect you to take an hour on paper 1 and the other two hours on paper 2.

What types of questions should one expect?

In both papers of the NTA UGC NET EXAM, the candidates get multiple-choice questions. There are four options per question, out of which only one is correct.

Are there any negative marks during the NTA UGC NET EXAM?

The answer to this frequently asked question is a no. After all, you get two marks for a correct answer and 0 if you get it wrong. For that reason, there is no possibility for negative marks. For the record, even an unanswered question will get a 0. However, you can perpetually try your luck by guessing instead of leaving a question answered.

What is the nature of NTA UGC NET EXAM questions?

Regardless of whether you are doing paper 1 or paper 2, expect the questions to be objective. Don’t expect to come across any subjective questions when doing this exam.

Are there optional questions?

None of the 50 questions in paper 1 and 100 questions in paper 2 is optional. Therefore, you have to attempt all the 150 questions.

Can I do only one of the papers?

Just like in the case of the questions, neither of the papers is optional as well. Ensure that you handle both paper 1 and paper 2 of the NTA UGC NET EXAM.

What is the exam mode?

Both paper 1 and paper 2 of the NTA UGC NET EXAM are done online.


NET exam paper 1 is easy and it helps you increase your success in the NET exam; Don’t focus only on your subject-based paper as Paper 1 is equally important and you should prepare well by given enough time to complete syllabubs.