Net life science sample papers

Strategy for CSIR - JRF / NET Exam

In this article by Grassroots we are going to discuss the test taking strategies for CSIR NET JRF Life Science Coaching exam. It has been long on the demand list from the student side for tips on this topic. So we are going to reveal it here.


If you take a quick look at the syllabus for CSIR NET JRF exam, you would notice that not only topics related to a particular stream, but whole of the life sciences has been included. Well that is unfair on the syllabus part, but yes when it is common to all life sciences candidates it does makes sense.

Try to cover almost of the entire syllabus, but it's obviously difficult, in that case you may restrict yourself to certain topics which appear interesting to you. But remember you must have knowledge of the topic to its minute levels. This will help you in clearing your interview (in selected Ph.D entrances like TIFR, IISc., ICGEB, CCMB etc). I remember when I had interview in IISC Bangalore, I was asked to choose my strongest topic & questions were asked in a brain storming forty five minute session.

Some of the topics while preparation may appear boring to you e.g. Developmental Biology & Animal Behaviour or you might not know where to study it from, in that case try to first make your other areas stronger, then only move to these topics. Don't over waste time preparing any topic, as the paper is quite balanced.


Ideally the preparation should start three and half months before exam, but that means you must stick to a particular schedule. If you are an appearing candidate I would suggest starting in the third semester itself (provided if you want to clear JRF).

Solve sample papers as much as you can, well that is a typical advice to any competition aspirant, I would suggest to get in to the details ( theory part) as soon as you come through the questions.

If you are an appearing candidate, then try to co-relate the questions from the theory part, Remember, it doesnt matter how much your university awards you, rather a JRF would REALLY MATTER, so devote as much time as possible to get in to the subjects & concepts. They emphasize concepts rather than mugging up & vomiting data. Leave the habit of flipping through books while preparing, cultivate the habit of writing/making notes as it makes one more organised for the challenge.


Again comes the question which one to stress for more, Paper 1 or 2 ? Well I would suggest you to concentrate more on paper 2 but remember passing in Paper 1 is very important, so make   sure you strike a fair balance. During exam- I would suggest not to panic, rather stick to your basics while answering, because most questions are from basics but we tend to complicate it.

Try not to solve all questions rather try to gain confidence by answering questions which you know first in case of paper 1. In paper 2 just cram through the paper what it contains and how much you know, don't panic if you don't Know, try to stick to the word limit while answering, be to the point and quote examples.

How to Avoid a Disaster?

Though we cannot say anything about the cut off marks, experience tells that one has to score well in Paper I to get JRF. At the same time leave your thoughts about the performance in the Paper I back and do well in the afternoon session with a clear and sound mind. Some may have a tendency to throw it up feeling dejected about your performance during the day. Let us wait the results to come before making disastrous assumptions to spoil your 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 based on luck feeling dejected of your performance. There is plenty of time to be prepared and perform well. And from experience, many have come out successfully even after believing that they did perform very poorly.

In examination with objective type multiple choice questions (MCQs), there is a tendency called the (Red Wire Syndrome) which means to answer all questions whether one knows the correct answer or not. If we can classify the questions into three categories, viz. 1) Sure, 2) Not So Sure and 3) Never, indicating whether one knows the correct answer, possible but some doubt still prevails and almost impossible, respectively. The (red wire syndrome) means that one will have tendency to answer all the questions, which is disastrous, just like a child who touches "red hot wire" seeing its beauty. The key to success lies in answering all the "Sure" types, and leaving out the "Never" types. 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 (atleast refer to some of the basic books). So never forget practice well using previous question papers of NET JRF to make you come out with flying colours.

After Exam

Well your work is not yet over, try to recollect  the questions and write it down, if that is not possible try to demarcate the topics which were stressed specifically, this would of immense help in case if you do not clear. Also joining a credible coaching institute could streamline you, and keep one motivated. Check the credentials of the institute and teachers before joining.