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UGC NET English -Preparation tips, syllabus, books, scope and exam strategy

UGC NET English

Aspirants! Those who are having a keen interest in Literature and want to pursue their career in this field should take up UGC NET Exam. UGC NET exam is held twice a year for the post of Assistant professor and JRF (Junior research fellow). So, all the candidates passionate enough to make a career in lectureship should carefully follow this post.

Career Scope After Clearing UGC NET English

  • All the NET qualified candidates can have a bright career in the field of lectureship. Those candidates who qualified NET along with JRF can get lectureship opportunities in prestigious Indian Universities.
  • They can also go for Ph.D. program and in the field of research work.
  • Another great opportunity for NET Qualified candidates comes in private coaching institutes. Guide students to qualify UGC NET Exam.
  • Author/Writing: Qualified candidates can go for writing books in the field of their subject. Publishing houses commission authors for writing books.

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Eligibility criteria for UGC NET English exam

There is a general eligibility criterion that a candidate needs to fulfil before applying for UGC NET. Age limit, educational qualifications are few factors responsible for eligibility. Check out Eligibility criteria for UGC NET to know if you are eligible.

Candidates are requested to opt for subject from which they have completed their master’s. Thus, MA(English) or candidates having master’s in English literature can take this exam. Since there aren’t any related subject other field students cannot take up this subject for UGC NET.

Syllabus of UGC NET English Paper

  • Chaucer to Shakespeare
  • Jacobean to Restoration Periods
  • Augustan age
  • Romantic Period
  • Victorian Period
  • Modern Period
  • Contemporary period
  • American and non- British literatures
  • Literary theory and criticism
  • Rhetoric and prosody

Apart from these there are several other units. To download full syllabus in PDF visit here.

UGC NET English – Preparation tips and Books

The syllabus of UGC NET English is very vast. The first step towards preparation of any exam should be knowing the syllabus. UGC has not updated its syllabus even after the change in paper pattern. The syllabus remains the same but the question strategy is much different than few years back. With the recent changes in the handling body of UGC NET exam by NTA, the question paper level is expected to be higher than previous from this December onwards.

Unless we know the proper syllabus, we cannot prepare and for that you need to analyze last 10-15-year papers (take the papers since when paper pattern changed to objective i.e. 2004). Analyze the papers and make notes of topics asked in the exam. For English note down the list of writers and books asked in the exam from previous sessions.

Tip: Don’t go an buy a pile of scholarly books and blindly follow them. You may end up wasting your time and reading irrelevant content. The books are not going to mark important points or tell you important topics to read. It is must for aspirants of NET to join online courses and studies.

It is observed that around 80 % of the writers are the same but the question strategy, and pattern is different each year. Do not tend to do surface study but rather go in depth of each topic. The questions in NET paper has more scientific approach rather than factual theories. The Questions are based on application of theories, their significance and translative versions of those theories.

British Literature: one of the most prominent topics of NET paper. Earlier this portion consisted about 40-50% of paper. Now the syllabus from this section has been reduced and standard of questions has been raised. About 20-30% questions are still from this topic alone. Start off by reading 2-3 history books for building clear concepts.

Books: You can read Andrew Sanders (for analytical approach), Ronald Carter and John McRae.

American literature: Important topic to read in this section include all writers of after American revolution, transcendentalism, early writings, great medieval writings, post writings. Post-colonial literature is very important part of this section.

Books: Postmodern and post-colonial by Cambridge

Tip: Make your own notes and questions are asked based on order of books published, their sequel, prequel part authors, relations between authors and their writings.

Indian literature: Literature before 1947, during 1947, and after 1947. These 3 are the main components of Indian literature. Also, you need to put extra attention to postmodern, Indian women writers, Dalit writings (Selected topics only).

Books: Indian Writings by K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, Studies in Indian English literature by M. K. Naik

Literary theory & Criticism: This topic is feared by many literature students. For this part specifically, it is advised to candidates to subscribe video tutorials, online coaching notes. If you can go for Indian Writers, although Peter Barry is a very good book but it has not been written in accordance with NET Exam or Indian students therefore, it’s should be read only if you have enough time. It’s difficult to study from so many books, subscribing to various channels and courses. For better guidance join online coaching courses by experienced mentors.

World literature: Important topics to read-

  • Russian Writers
  • French Writers
  • Italian Writers
  • German Writers (German literature, German romanticism, German faith drama, German epic dramas). Most questions have been asked from this section and is considered very important from NET point of view.
  • Afro American/ African: Black feminism and slave narratives are the most important topics from this section.

Books: Theory of African literature by chidi Amuta.

Literary terms and devices: These are one of the most important section of the syllabus. There are more than 1200 literary terms. It includes culture studies, comparative studies, translation theories. Repeated questions are asked from this section so it’s better to prepare this from previous year papers.

Books: Dictionary of literary theory and terms, Terry Eagleton after theory.

Literary movement: This includes various topics but you need to do selective study from the UGC NET prospective. Pay attention to topics like war poets, absurd theories, LGBT theory, etc.

Books: Routledge History of English literature

English language teaching: Often logical questions are asked from this section.

After all this textbook reading candidates should also read about bestsellers, bookers award winners, canonical novels, criticism etc. theories such as third space, x-bar theory, generation theory.

Note: Since the syllabus of literature is vast the key here is to make your own notes, do not waste time in reading stuff that is not important from UGC’s perspective (Do detailed syllabus and paper analysis). Revision is must. Try getting standardized books from libraries instead of buying them.

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4 thoughts on “UGC NET English -Preparation tips, syllabus, books, scope and exam strategy”

  1. Sir, thanx a lot to provide such about net eng….It will be helpful for those who are running without knowing exact syllabus….

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