NET - National Eligibility Test - Complete Guidelines


The National Eligibility Test (NET) is also known as UGC NET or CBSE NET. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) holds the National Eligibility Test (NET) in favor of University Grants Commission (UGC). The main purpose of conducting NET is to determine qualified candidates for college and university level lecturers and for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) for Indian nationals. Its main goal is to ensure minimum standards for the aspirants in teaching professions and research.

For the posting of both Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Assistant Professor or for only Assistant Professor in Indian universities and colleges, the National Eligibility Test is conducted twice a year. The candidates who are applying for NET should mention clearly that they are applying for both JRF & Assistant Professor both or only for Assistant Professor in the Application Form. The candidates who are selected for Junior Research Fellowship award can pursue research programmes in their postgraduate subject from IITS or other national organizations. They are also eligible for the post of Assistant Professor in Indian colleges/universities.

CBSE has announced that from 2018 onwards the UGC NET will be conducted annually. It is mainly conducted in English and Hindi. As per schedule CBSE NET will be conducted in 84 subjects at 91 selected examination centres across India. Candidates are suggested to write the UGC NET exam in their respective post graduation subject only. If their post graduation subject is not covered in UGC listed subjects, they may appear in a related subject, which is clearly specified in the official website.
UGC NET 2018 exam dates are declared. The examination for JRF and Assistant Professor Posts is scheduled to be conducted on July 8, 2018.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates should secure at least 55% marks in Master’s degree or equivalent examinations from UGC acknowledged universities/institutions. Students from various Master’s degree like computer science and electronics, electronic science, humanities (including languages) and social science etc are eligible for NET. The Other Backward Classes(OBC) belonging to non-creamy layer/Scheduled Caste(SC)/Scheduled Tribe(ST)/ persons with disability(PwD) category candidates should secure at least 50% marks in Master’s degree or equivalent examination are eligible for this test.
  • Candidates doing their Master’s degree or equivalent course or entrants who have written their final year Master’s degree examination and looking forward for their results or candidates whose examination have been delayed can apply for this test. However, such candidates are allowed temporarily and only after passing their Master's Degree OR equivalent examination with at least 55% marks and 50% marks in case of OBC falling in Non Creamy layer/SC/ST/PwD (persons with disability) category candidates, they are considered eligible for Junior Research Fellowship award and for only Assistant Professor posts. These candidates have to complete their Masters degree or equivalent examination within two years from the date of NET result with desired marks, failing which candidates will be treated as disqualified.
  • In transgender category there is a relaxation in fee, age qualifying criteria for NET (i.e. Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professor) as same as to SC/ST/PwD categories. The subject-wise cut-offs are lower than SC/ST/PwD/OBC –NCL categories in the corresponding subject.
  • The Ph.D. Degree holders will be given a relaxation of 5% marks for appearing in NET if they had completed their Master’s degree examination by 19th September 1991 (irrespective of date of declaration of result).
  • Candidates who had cleared their NET exams are also qualified for Junior Research Fellowship. As per the government of India’s reservation policy UGC allots a minimum of 27%, 15%, 7.5% and 3% of fellowships for the OBC (non-creamy layer), SC, ST and Persons with Disabilities (PwD).
  • Candidates who have cleared States Eligibility Test (SET) (before June 1, 2002) can apply for the post of Assistant Professor in colleges/universities across India on the basis of their SET score. They are exempted from UGC NET exam 2018. Candidates who have cleared States Eligibility Test after June 1, 2002 have to apply for the post of Assistant Professor only in colleges/ universities within the state where they had cleared their SET exam.
  • In UGC NET 2018 exam candidates are suggested to choose the subject equivalent to their post-graduation only. If their subject is not mentioned in the UGC subject list, they can appear in a subject relevant to their post-graduation.
  • Candidates need not send any certificates/documents or printout of their Application Form (Confirmation Page) to CBSE to hold up their eligibility .When they are detected as ineligible their application form will be cancelled by UGC/CBSE and legal action will be taken.
  • Candidates with post-graduate diploma/certificate from any Indian university/ institute or foreign degree/diploma/certificate from any foreign university/institute can also apply for UGC NET exam. But their diploma/degree/certificate should be equivalent to Master’s degree of recognized Indian universities from Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi. (
  • The candidates who had qualified only for Assistant Professor will not be examined for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).

Exemption (for candidates applying for Assistant Professor Role):

  • Candidates awarded with PhD degree in accordance with UGC regulations, 2009 are free from attaining the minimum eligibility criteria for NET/SELT/SET.
  • Candidates who passed UGC/CSIR JRF examination before 1989 are exempted from UGC NET 2018 exam.

Age Limit

Junior Research Fellowship (JRF): The age limit has been extended from 28 years to 30 years. The age of candidates should not be more than 30 years as on July 1, 2018. For SC/ ST/ OBC/ PwD and women candidates five year relaxation will be given on their age limit. Relaxation will be provided to candidates who have research experience limited to the research period spent in their relevant subject of post-graduation degree. For LLM degree holders three years relaxation will be given.

No age limit for the candidates applying for Assistant Professor Jobs.

Examination Pattern

CBSE has changed the exam pattern for UGC NET July 2018 examination. It comprises of two papers held in two sessions for 300 marks with objective type questions. The candidates have to mark their answers on the optical mark reader (OMR) sheet.

Paper 1: In Paper I candidates have to attempt 50 objective type compulsory questions for 100 marks. The question paper will be in general nature to evaluate the teaching/research aptitude of the candidate. The question paper is designed to test the candidate’s skill in reasoning ability, comprehension, divergent thinking and general awareness. Each question carries 2 marks. There is no negative marking in UGC NET exam. The candidates will be given 1 hour to complete this paper.

For paper I the question paper will be divided into 10 sections such as Teaching Aptitude, Research Aptitude, Reading Comprehension, Communication, Reasoning (including Maths), Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), People & Environment, and Higher Education System: Governance, Polity & Administration. In each section five questions will be asked and 2 marks will be given for each question.

Paper 2: In Paper 2 candidates have to attempt 100 objective type compulsory questions for 200 marks. The questions will be prepared on the basis of subject selected by the student. This paper is to test their subject knowledge. Each question carries 2 marks. There is no negative marking in UGC NET exam. The candidates will be given 2 hours to complete this paper.


No. of Questions





(compulsory questions)


1 Hour (09:30 AM to 10:30 AM)



(compulsory questions)


2 Hours (11:00 AM to 1:00 PM)


University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to revise the syllabus for National Eligibility Test (NET). 25 committees have been set up by UGC to revise the syllabus for different subjects. UGC NET is conducted in 90 subjects, probably more committees will be set up to cover all the subjects.
Committees are preparing draft syllabus for different subjects and it will be sent to the council for approval. Once approved, they will take decision on when to implement the syllabus.
This decision has been taken by UGC in order to enhance teaching in different universities and colleges and also to ensure that the revised syllabus meets the current requirement of higher education. 

UGC NET Practice Questions

Get a feel of the real UGC NET exam by taking this mock test. These tests contain real questions that were asked in the previous NET exams.  


Candidates registering for UGC NET 2018 need to fill the application form in the official website of CBSE NET (

From this year, Aadhaar number is made mandatory in the application form for candidates of all states (except J&K, Assam, and Meghalaya) by CBSE. Candidates should fill their category, viz, general/OBC (non creamy layer)/SC/ST/PwD/Transgender, in the relevant column correctly. Candidates have to specify their subject, examination centre and code correctly. Clearly specify the medium of language either Hindi or English. Candidates can take a printout of the application form (confirmation page) for their own record. Candidates should make sure that they have filled all details in the application form and fulfill the eligibility conditions prescribed for the test.

Candidates should pay UGC NET 2018 application fee by selecting the appropriate mode of payment option while filling the online application form. The candidates can make UGC NET application fee payment either by debit/ credit card or through bank challan generated. Candidate should make e-challan payment in Syndicate/Canara/ICICI Bank. Candidates should check the status of payment and take a printout of the confirmation page for reference.

The correction in particulars of UGC NET application form 2018 has been provided for the candidates by CBSE. Candidates can avail this facility and do corrections within the given duration.

Candidates who are selected for Assistant Professor Post will not be considered for award of JRF. “Aspirants of NET should mention clearly that they are applying for both JRF and Eligibility for Assistant Professor or Only for Eligibility for Assistant Professor” as notified in the official CBSE website.

After UGC NET exam registrations, candidates should enter their application number and password on the official website of CBSE NET and download their UGC NET 2018 admit card. Candidates should appear for the National Eligibility Test at the allotted UGC NET 2018 exam centre along with the admit card and a photo ID proof. Admit cards will not be sent through post to the applicants, states the official website.

Application fee

For General category Rs 1000, other backward classes (non-creamy layer) Rs 500 and SC/ST/PwD/Transgender RS 250 will been charged.

Junior research fellowship

The candidates who are selected for Junior Research Fellowship award will be eligible to receive fellowship of UGC under various schemes, subject to their finding placement in universities/IITs/institutions. Three years validity period is given from the date of issue of JRF Award Letter. The candidates who have already joined M. Phil. / Ph.D., the date of commencement of fellowship shall be from the date of declaration of NET result or date of their joining, whichever is later.

General Instructions

  • The candidates must carefully read the eligibility criteria and satisfy themselves regarding their eligibility for the test before filling the online application Form. 
  • Candidates should read the notifications clearly before submitting the application form. Submission of Online Application is mandatory. Hard copies of application form will not be accepted by CBSE.
  • The candidates should select any four cities for examination centre. Priority will be given to the candidates for allotting examination centre in order of the choice selected by the entrants in their application form.
  • Application Form should be filled completely as per the notification.
  • Applications Forms which are incomplete will be rejected by CBSE.
  • Any other format of online submission (including old UGC format) will not be accepted.
  • Candidates should take a printout of the application form (confirmation page) for their further reference.
  • Applicants should submit their applications before the last date and no fee will be accepted after last date of submission in any circumstances.
  • CBSE has the right to change the city of examination or date of examination without giving any reason.
  • The Admission Card will be uploaded on the website The candidates are requested to find out their venue of the test as mentioned in the Admission Card and appear in the designated examination center. Candidates with their admission card will be allowed to appear at the examination center and candidates without admission card are not allowed inside.
  • No candidate will be allowed to appear in the examination whose admission card is not issued by the Board.
  • The candidates should report at the examination center 2 hrs 30 minutes before examination and cooperate with the invigilators in frisking. Candidate will not be allowed to enter the examination center/hall after commencement of examination. No candidate will be allowed to leave the examination hall/room before 10:00 AM in the 1st session and 1:00 PM in the 2nd session.
  • The candidates are not allowed to wear any type of watch in the examination hall/room; every hall/room will have a wall clock.
  • Mobile phones, pagers, electronic devices, bits of paper, books/note books etc. are not permitted inside the Examination Hall/Room. Using calculators or log tables is not allowed inside classroom.
  • The invigilators will give the instructions to candidates in the examination hall/room. The candidates, who do not follow the instructions, will be treated as unfair means and his/her result will not be declared.
  • Candidates should not write any question from the Test Booklet on the Admission Card or on any other paper.
  • Candidates should do all rough work only in test booklet. The examinees can take the test booklet along with them.
  • Before leaving the examination hall/room the candidates have to submit their OMR Sheet of Paper I & II to the Invigilator.
  • The answer keys of all papers will be displayed on the website


UGC NET 2018 examination result will be declared by CBSE on its official website. The roll number and status (qualified for Assistant Professor only or both JRF and Assistant Professor) of candidates qualifying the National Eligibility Test will be displayed. The results will not be sent individually to the candidates. Mark sheets will not be issued by CBSE to qualified/non qualified candidates.

The candidates should have appeared in both the papers and secured at least 40% aggregate marks in both the papers taken together for General (Unreserved) category candidates and at least 35% aggregate marks in both the papers taken together for all candidates belonging to the reserved categories (viz., SC, ST, OBC (belonging to Non-Creamy Layer) & PWD) and Transgender. These candidates will be considered for ‘Both Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Eligibility for Assistant Professor’ and for ‘Eligibility for Assistant Professor Only’. Top 6% of the candidates who are selected in both the papers of NET will be qualified for Eligibility for Assistant Professor only if they have not applied for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). The qualifying criteria will be finalized by UGC CBSE Board.

Cut offs

As per the prescribed schedule CBSE will release the UGC NET exam results on its official website. Subject-wise and category-wise cutoff scores will be released for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and for Assistant Professor and for Assistant Professor Only.

Merit list will be prepared based on the aggregate scores of candidates in both the papers. Both subject wise and category wise merit list will be drawn for those candidates who meet the cut-off scores. Top 15% candidates are declared qualified for eligibility for assistant professor only. Among 15% UGC NET qualifiers separate merit list will be drawn for the JRF.

Job opportunities for NET qualified persons

The candidates who clear NET will be successfully eligible for high income jobs in public (PSUs) as reported by University grants commission (UGC) in 2013. UGC-NET scores will be used by PSUs for the recruitment process in the posts of executives in their organisations in disciplines like science (R&D), management, corporate communications, human resources, and finance. UGC takes these steps to increase the aspirants for UGC-NET examination.

The candidates who are selected for Junior Research Fellowship award can pursue research programmes in their postgraduate subject or in a related subject from IITS or other national organizations. They are also eligible for the post of Assistant Professor in Indian colleges/universities. The universities, institutions, IITs and other national organizations may select the JRF awardees for whole time research work.

For more details visit the official CBSE NET ( Website.

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