The National Eligibility Test is a national level exam conducted in India by University Grants Commission (UGC). This test enables Post Graduate students to qualify for university level teaching jobs in India and also to seek admissions in PhD level programmes. The test ensures that a candidate qualifies for the minimum standards in the teaching profession and research. The test is conducted in Humanities (including languages), Social Sciences, Forensic Science, Environmental Sciences, Computer Science and Applications and Electronic Science.


Age criteria:

  • Junior Research Fellowship: Not more than 28 years as on 1 December
  • Assistant Professor: No upper age limit for Assistant Professor

Educational qualification:

  • Candidates who have secured at least 55 percent marks in their Masters degree Candidates who have appeared or will be appearing for the Masters degree final year examination

Exam held in the months of: June and December (exam is held twice a year)

Notifications announced in: For the June exam, notification will be announced in the month of March and for the December exam, it will be in the month of September

Examination pattern: Objective in nature

Preparation time: Recommended a minimum of three to six months

Career options once you clear UGC NET

  • Once you clear UGC NET, you become eligible to become a lecturer or pursue Junior Research Fellowship in distinguished universities. The vacancies are announced from time to time and you have to apply for the same.


  • Once you clear NET, you can apply for the post of a lecturer as and when the vacancies are announced by the colleges and universities. While clearing NET is a must have criteria in many colleges and universities, the final appointment will depend on how well you fare in the interview conducted by the concerned university.

Junior Research Fellowship

  • Junior Research Fellowship is for those who have their heart set on research. You become eligible for the Junior Research Fellowship if you have applied for it in your application form and you have subsequently cleared NET. Once you get selected, then you can pursue research in any prestigious university and get the tuition fees reimbursed. In some universities, the students even get direct admission into MPhil programmes.

Examination pattern

The test consists of three papers and all the three papers are objective in nature.

Paper I 100 60, out of which 50 have to be answered 1.15 hrs
Paper II 100 50 questions. All are compulsory 1.15 hrs
Paper III 150 75 questions. All are compulsory 2.30 hrs

Paper I

This paper will assess the candidates reasoning ability, comprehension, divergent thinking and general awareness. There will be 60 questions, each of two marks. The candidates have to answer 50 questions only.

Paper - II

This test will be based on the subject chosen by the candidate. There will 50 questions of two marks each. All the questions are compulsory.

Paper - III

This will consist of 150 marks and will have questions from the subject the candidate has chosen. There will 75 objective-type questions of two marks each.

Qualifying criteria and cut-off percentages for Junior Research Fellowship And eligibility for assistant Professor

The procedure and criteria for declaration of result for UGC-NET conducted on June 2016 comprises of the following steps:

Step I :

CategoryMinimum Marks (%) to be obtained
GENERAL 40 (40%) 40 (40%) 75(50%)
OBC (Non-Creamy layer)/PWD/SC/ST 35(35%) 35(35%) 60(40%)

Step II:

Amongst those candidates who have cleared step-I, a merit list was prepared subject-wise and category-wise using the aggregate marks of all the three papers secured by such candidates.

Step III:

Top 15% candidates (for each subject and category), from the merit list mentioned under step-II, have been declared qualified for eligibility for Assistant Professor only. By this method, if the number obtained is less than one, it is taken as at least one, i.e., a minimum of one candidate is qualified wherever a fraction less than one is obtained as per this methodology. However, for fractions greater than one, the figure is rounded off to the nearest whole number.