How to prepare for the Exam

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New Pattern w.e.f. June 2011

CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) for Junior Research Fellowship and Lectureship

LIFE SCIENCES

Introduction:

The National Eligibility Test (NET) is held twice in every year. This exam is organized by University Grant Commission (UGC) joint with Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).

The CSIR and UGC provide CSIR/UGC Research Fellowship to bright young men and women for training in methods of research under expert guidance of faculty members/scientists working in University Departments/ National Laboratories and Institutions in various fields of Science.

The CSIR/UGC fellowships are tenable in Universities/IITs/Post Graduate Colleges/ Govt. Research Establishments including those of the CSIR, Research & Development establishments of recognized public or private sector industrial firms and other recognized institutions. However, CSIR reserves right to determine the place best suited to provide necessary facilities in the area of science and technology in which the awardees are to specialize. The CSIR/UGC Fellowship is tenable in India. Only bonafide Indian citizen residing in India are eligible for the award of Junior Research fellowships. The program is aimed at National Science & Technology Human Resource Development.

This test also determines the eligibility of candidates (i.e. it is eligibility criteria only) for Lectureship positions in Indian Universities/Colleges. Those who qualify for JRF are eligible for Lectureship also. Some aspirants are declared successful in eligibility for Lectureship (NET) category only, based on their performance in the test. The award of CSIR/UGC Fellowship is for fixed tenure and does not imply any assurance or guarantee for subsequent employment by CSIR/UGC to the beneficiary.

If you are planning for this exam, be always in touch with the website: www.csirhrdg.res.in, this is an official website of the main authority, all the details/announcements regarding to this exams are available on this website.

Applying for NET

Online application is introduced from December 2008. You can also apply by collecting the application form from desired branches of Indian Bank or other banks specified in the advertisement. Usually the advertisement is being published in February for June examination and in August for December examination, but you are suggested to keep an eye on CSIR website: www.csirhrdg.res.in. The examinations are normally scheduled on last or second-last Sunday of the June or December of each year.

Before filling the application form read all instructions carefully and also make it point to have details of: Subject code, Specialization code, Center code, University and State codes etc., since you won’t be able to change anything later on.

Preparing for NET-LS & JRF

From June, 2011 CSIR-UGC (NET) Exam for Award of Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lecturership shall be a Single Paper. The Exam should be conducted in one session of 3 Hours. The question paper is divided in three parts.

Part-A (MCQ)   30-Marks

Part-B  (MCQ)  70-Marks

Part-C (MCQs) 100-Marks

Writing the Examination Part/ Section A & B (100 marks)

These sections of NET contain multiple choice questions you have to finish 50 out of 70 questions in 90 minutes.

A-Section contains 20 questions out of these we have to attempt 15 questions each carrying 2 marks, total Score = 30. This section comprises (MCQ’s) on General Aptitude.

B-Section is of Life Sciences, 50 MCQs are asked in examination; we have to attempt 35 questions each carrying two marks, total Score = 70. Thus, Section A (30) & B (70) scores for 100 marks.

The section-B now includes the entire Life sciences syllabus given by CSIR. In this examination pattern demanding more from the candidates. But here is more time and you can choose at your disposal, for A-section 5 question and 15 questions from B-section you can keep optional. This could be a blessing in disguise as one need not study the subject objectively and then subjectively.

First, attempt the questions that you are sure about and then attempt other. There is 0.25% negative marking, so that you should avoid questions which you cannot sure. Don’t be hurry and overlook the questions and its options, read it carefully and understand, go through all options and select the appropriate one.

With regard to the section-A (General Aptitude), apply your best logic and sense to conclude your answer. If you are not comfortable with few of these, don’t worry; put some common sense and logic to attempt the question. Let us set the target for this section as at least 10 correct answers out of 20 questions.

Syllabus for PART – A

This Part Includes: General Aptitude with emphasis on logical reasoning, graphical analysis, analytical and numerical ability, quantitative comparison, series formation, puzzles etc.

Under this section total 20 MCQs will be asked, students are expected to attempt any 15 questions.

Maximum Score = 15 × 2 = 30 marks

Section A shall contain 20 General Aptitude questions. These questions shall be common to all. A candidate shall be required to answer a maximum of 15 questions fro Part A. In case a candidate answers more than 15 questions, only the first 15 answered questions will be taken up for evaluation. All questions shall be of 2 marks each. There will be negative marking for wrong answers.

Mental Ability

Individuals differ in their styles of application of intellect. Some excel in one while others excel in other styles. The various applications of intellect are:

(a) Comprehension: This includes grasp and understanding of the given material only without going beyond the material provided. This can also be called ‘cognitive style’. Recognition of familiar objects, sounds, melodies, etc., is included here but analytical ability is not.

(b) Retention: After comprehension, some individuals are able to transfer the material into ‘retention’ and are able to recall it quickly. Recalling the right mater at the right time, with accuracy and speed, is a key to success. This is also called ‘memory ability’.

(c) Reasoning: This includes the logical application of comprehended and retained material. The ability to grasp object relations, relations of ideas, ability of analysis and synthesis, and convergent and divergent thinking are included in this area. Reasoning is a style of higher order complex mental ability.

(d) Evaluation: This means reaching an outcome, conclusion, and implication, after reasoning, analysis and logical thinking have been applied. The evaluative style helps the individual’s problem-solving ability, and insight and foresight regarding problems. This is most helpful usually while dealing with other persons and social situations like group conflicts and communal tensions.

Tips, Hints, Tricks and Shortcuts to Solve mental ability questions

  • Read every question very carefully to know clearly the logical relationships and be aware of any twist or turn which may be part of the question.
  • Preferably, read the answers (alternatives) first and then the text of the question. This technique will help you to save on time spent per question. When you read the question first then answer, you are bound to go back and read the question again.
  • Do not assume information which is not given. Remember this warning especially while tackling ‘logical reasoning��� and ‘data analysis’ questions.
  • Do not waste time in guessing because in ‘mental ability questions’ there is only clear cut answer. You can take the risk of guessing only towards the end of the paper if you are acutely short of time and more questions are left, then too, only when you are able to clearly rule out two alternatives and have to guess between similar looking answers.
  • Do not worry unnecessarily about finishing the paper. Many people may not be able to complete the paper, but your worrying about it will not only cloud your reasoning but it will also break your concentration.
  • For questions dealing with ‘logical reasoning’, ‘geometry’ and ‘data analysis’, if you are not provided with a diagram then you must draw one for yourself. Diagrams always help in clarifying questions as they help your to visualize relationships between different parts of the question or that of data analysis. Especially in ‘geometry’, if an incomplete figure is given and the question relates to the connection between complete and incomplete parts, draw the missing parts yourself and complete the figure. This will help you to reach the correct solution.
  • In questions relating to tables or graphs, be sure to read the complete table or graph along with units in which data is expressed. Remember also to express your answer clearly in the same units as given in the question.
  • In all questions, make sure that your answer makes sense. Do not avoid the obvious possibility as too simple. For all that you know, the obvious may be the most sensible answer.
  • Do not start calculating unless it is definitely required. Many a times, approximation or inference may be all that is required. Even when you have to calculate in a mathematical question, first look at the alternative answers provided and not just the numbers or data given in the question.
  • If you skip a question make sure you skip it on your answer sheet also or else your answer order will be all wrong.
  • Remember to do all questions that you know well in first attempt. To begin with, do not waste time in working out questions that you do not really know. This may lead to some such questions that you really knew very well, being sacrificed due to shortage of time at the end.

Part-B

Under this section total 50 MCQs will be asked, students are expected to attempt any 35 questions.

Maximum Score = 35 × 2 =70 marks

Part B shall have 50 questions. A candidate shall be required to answer a maximum of 35 questions. In case a candidate answers more than 35 questions, only first 35 answered questions shall be evaluated.

All questions shall be of 2 marks each. There will be negative marking for wrong answers. The entire syllabus of Life Sciences of this examination is applicable to this section.

How to Avoid a Disaster?

They say “when the going gets tough, only the tough get going”. So cover the difficult, yet important, portions of the subject to score a maximum. Prepared candidates survive in all situations and objective type questions demand good practice (unless, of course, you are a genius)!

Though we cannot say anything about the cut off marks, but you keep your target above 75% marks in overall examination. At the same time leave your thoughts about the performance in the A and B section and do well in the Section with a clear and sound mind. Some may have a tendency to give it up feeling defected about your performance during the day. Also be cool in your approach to the exam and never give up during the examination by doing things like answering all the multiple choice questions randomly base on luck, feeling defected of your performance. There is ample time to prepare and perform well. And from experience, many have come out successfully even after believing that they did perform very poorly.

Why Negative Marking?

Negative marking is incorporated in any objective type examination to invalidate the effect of gamblers. If you look at it statistically, the maximum credible score one can get is 25% or 0.25%, out of 50 having four choices each. Remember, this is the maximum and sometimes there is a remote probability that you score a cent percent. Rather, experience may tell you that you get relatively low score when you leave things to chance alone. Negative marking with 1/4th of the marks given to a correct answer tries to reduce the marks one gets by chance but the usual practice these days is to have 1/3rd of a correct answer as a negative marking. One may get negative marks as a result of the former, whereas, a more natural latter system will get ‘zero’ as minimum.

In examinations with objective type multiple choice questions (MCQ’s), there is a tendency called the ‘Red Wire Syndrome’ which means that one may answer all questions whether he or she knows the correct answer or not. If we can classify the questions into three categories, viz. 1) easy: indicating one knows the correct answer 2) fifty-fifty: possible but some doubt still prevails and 3) lucky: almost impossible. The ‘red wire syndrome’ means that one will have a tendency to answer all the questions, which is disastrous, just like a child who touches a ‘red hot wire’ seeing it as something beautiful!

The key to success lies in answering all the ‘easy’ ones and leaving out the ‘lucky’ type. It is imperative to learn the art of intelligent guessing to answer the type 2. This evidently comes from one’s experience and basic knowledge of the subject. So never ever find it insulting to go back to your basics.

PART – C

This part shall contains 75 MCQs., each carrying FOUR marks, that are designed to test a candidate’s high level authentic knowledge of scientific concepts and/or application of the scientific concepts. The questions shall be of analytical nature where a candidate is expected to apply the scientific knowledge to arrive at the conclusion to the given scientific problem/question. A candidate shall be required to answer any 25 questions. The total marks allocated to this section shall be 100 out of 200.

To prepare for this section is really challenging task (But don’t worry, I am with you). And I feel it required, if every thing is simple, each candidate can qualify this exam. This section is designed to select those candidates, who really eligible for the titled exam. Please be aware you will be in a future Scientists and/or Professor in concerned Subject area, then don’t worry about how thought is the exams, you really do your excellence, I am sure you will enjoy and have to it.

Follow the syllabus thoroughly. If you are not able to finish all the content given, at least make confident that you know some of the concepts in each unit. It is always better to confer with your peers who have gone through this process, or if you wish you can join Mudra Life Sciences (www.mudralifesciences.com). Sometimes worrying to much may leads you absolute confusion. Develop genuine interest in the subject, need full absolute devotion and make available at lease 6 – 8 hours daily to prepare for this exam. Refer previous year question papers (you can freely download it from our websites) to practice before the exam.

How to prepare for this Paper?

For this paper detailed syllabus is provided under these titles:

1. MOLECULES AND THEIR INTERACTION RELEVANT TO BIOLOGY

2. CELLULAR ORGANIZATION

3. FUNDAMENTAL PROCESSES

4. CELL COMMUNICATION AND CELL SIGNALING

5. DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

6. SYSTEM PHYSIOLOGY – PLANT

7. SYSTEM PHYSIOLOGY – ANIMAL

8. INHERITANCE BIOLOGY

9. DIVERSITY OF LIFE FORMS

10. ECOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES

11. EVOLUTION AND BEHAVIOR

12. APPLIED BIOLOGY

13. METHODS IN BIOLOGY

It is important to answer to the point with all relevant points so that one gets good score for this Section. Accuracy, brevity and clarity are the scorer here. Give graphical, diagrammatical representation wherever possible. Draw well labelled figures/ diagrams wherever necessary.

This section-C is very significant, because same syllabus is also applicable for B-Section, there fore better study of these topics may give you 170 marks easily.

The best time for an aspirant to start preparation for this examination is from M. Sc. second year. Aspirants have to make a proper strategy before starting the preparation and must be under the guidance of qualified individual for the proper guidance. First of all he/she should collect the syllabus of CSIR-UGC exam and then start preparing according to the syllabus.

To prepare for this section is really challenging task (But don’t worry, I am with you). And I feel it required, if every thing is simple, each candidate can qualify this exam. This section is designed to select those candidates, who really eligible for the titled exam. Please be aware you will be in a future Scientists and/or Professor in concerned Subject area, then don’t worry about how thought is the exams, you really do your excellent, I am sure you will enjoy it.

While starting study, good source material must be in hand as a ready reference, as you know the Life Science syllabus is multidisciplinary, (here, I say it is 13 times more than your M.Sc. Specialization). Each topic specified in syllabus contains detailed topics of the title, it is impossible to depend on only one book of that title, therefore multiple books has to refer to perform complete study of that topic.

Read the content from source study material with deep interest and devotion. Give maximum stress on UNDERSTANDING than to do just it by-heart. Make habit to think and imagine with scientific aptitude on that content and create its concept in your mind, mark the key scientific terms (understand it with suitable example), and focus on statement in support of that. Don’t bother about complex Chemical structures of biomolecules, if you can recall them easily, Good!, if you can’t not bad?, but understand these structures and their significance. Divide every description of that specific content in: Structural, Functional, Significant and Extraordinary and give specific importance, note down it in your note book in short (as a running notes), it helps you to revise later on. Do the revision of that day’s study on same day. On week day (Sunday), revise all topics you covered in that week, and re-read if you not yet confirm with the concept.

If you join MUDRA LIFE SCIENCES we will share something more… i.e. How to Study more effectively in less time and we will also share our best expertise in how to score maximum… Absolute guidelines always lead the students to right path of success.

Finally I wish to quote that, “It is better to be outstanding, otherwise be prepare to stand outside”.

Thank you,

With Best Regards,

Have a Very Successful Career and Beautiful Life!…

Director,

Dr. Vijay Waghmare,

Mudra Life Sciences, Mumbai

Disclaimer: All the opinions expressed here are due to for an honest attempt to help students and promote them in this field. Students are requested to judge on their best belief and perform their studies on their own interest. Any action taken in this opinion, neither the author nor the publisher is responsible for any failure/loss / damage caused (if any).

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at director@mudralifesciences.com

 

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