Tips for NET Psychology Aspirants by Saumya Mathur (Qualified NET Jan 2017)

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Heartiest Congratulations to Saumya Mathur, who cleared NET Psychology exam in Jan 2017. Here are some of the tips she would like to share with our aspirants. Wish you a great future ahead!

Examrace: How much time did you devote daily for preparation?

Saumya: I used to study for an average of 4 - 5 hours every day.

Examrace: What do you consider are the best references?

Saumya: NCERT - Grade 11,12th books for Psychology

  • Baron - General Psychology - For conceptual clarity and case studies
  • Exam race notes for Psychology - I used these in the last 2 months to revise all the relevant information.
  • Apart from this, I used to refer to credible online resources (This means - Avoid Wikipedia) , and other books to cover topics that were not covered in the books mentioned above.
  • Some examples are: Personality Theories by Hall and Lindsay; Statistics in Psychology and Education by Mangal etc.

Examrace: What should be the preparation strategy?


  • The focus should be on conceptual understanding, as Paper 2 and 3 do not merely check your retention power but focus on aspects such as critical thinking, your ability to understand and apply difficult concepts etc. There are, of course, questions that will be based on rote learning but they will be a cake walk if one focuses on understanding the concept well.
  • I used to study according to the syllabus prescribed by UGC and ensured that I read up on each topic. I used to spend around 1.5 - 2 hours every day on reading different topics and truly understanding the concepts. I also used to spend around half an hour everyday to study Research Methodology/Statistics.
  • Paper 1 also requires preparation and one should pick a book of one՚s choice to cover the syllabus prescribed. This paper is relatively simple and helps you score well. I used to spend an hour everyday on this.
  • Apart from this, solving past year papers/mock tests was a big part of my preparation. I referred to the question bank by Examrace for this purpose and used to spend an hour everyday in solving questions. This helps in two ways - one, it prepares you for the kind of questions that can be asked; two, every time you get an answer right, you get a confidence boost. This is a must for success in the exam.

Examrace: What was your score? What was the Cutoff?

Saumya: This was my first attempt at the paper and I scored 63.43 % in the exam. The cut off was 59 % (General Category) .

Examrace: How was Examrace resources beneficial for you? What all resources did you found useful?

Saumya: I referred to the Psychology notes by Examrace, the Logical reasoning and Higher Education videos on YouTube and the question bank. All of these, I believe, helped me prepare well for the exam.

Examrace: What special tips would you like to give to aspirants?


  1. Start your preparation early - This helps you to cover the syllabus over the span of a few months and you don՚t feel stressed out. Consistence is key.
  2. Spend time on understanding the concepts - This is a challenging paper so understand the concepts well. You are aiming to be a Professor - conceptual clarity now shall help you immensely when you actually start teaching your students. Rote learning is useless for this paper.
  3. Spend time solving past year papers - This really helped me. You learn a lot when you try out past year questions- even though UGC/CBSE never repeats questions in the exam, they do follow the same pattern.
  4. Figure out your own strategy for studying - Each individual is unique. I preferred to study on my own, but please go ahead and join a class if you think that might help you. Design a study plan/time table and follow it. You can also modify it as you progress- I modified mine several times. I spent the last 20 days on only revising and did not get into learning anything new.

Examrace: What strategy do you recommend for Paper 1?

Saumya: Study for it every day. Pick a good book and read it thoroughly. Teaching Aptitude, Logical reasoning, Comprehension and IT are a few areas where you can score very well. You have the liberty to leave out one topic out of the 10 mentioned in the syllabus. I left out Data interpretation as Math is not my strong area, but this is also an area which is very scoring. Pick what you love and study accordingly. You only need to do 50 out of 60 questions in Paper 1.

Examrace: What strategy do you recommend for Psychology?

Saumya: Read, understand, solve questions. You must be very through with your basics and concepts. Try not leaving out any topic - read it at least once, even if briefly - you never know what might help. A good book on General Psychology should be your Go- to book at all times.

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