UGC-NET Psychology Examination Pattern

UGC-NET Psychology Examination Pattern

The previous article discussed about the eligibility and qualification criteria for UGC-NET Psychology exam. The current article talks about the exam pattern and the topics that are covered in each paper and module.

To read the Eligibility and Qualifying criteria click here

Mode of Examination:

The Examination shall only be conducted as Computer Based Test (CBT).

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  1. The Test will consist of two papers. Both the papers will consist of only objective type questions and will be attempted with a break of 30 minutes between them.
Paper Marks Number of Questions Pattern Duration
1. 100 50 The questions will be generic in nature, intending to assess the teaching/research aptitude of the candidate. It will primarily be designed to test reasoning ability, comprehension, divergent thinking and general awareness of the candidate. 1 hour


First shift : (9.30 am to 10.30 am)


Second shift: (2.00 pm to 3.00 pm)

2. 200 100 This will be based on the subject selected by the candidate. All the questions of Paper–II will be compulsory. 2 hours


First Shift: (11.00 am to 1.00 pm)


Second Shift: (3.30 pm to 5.30 pm)





*For each correct response the candidate will get 2 marks. There are no negative marks for incorrect response. No marks will be given for unanswered/marked for review questions.

If a question for any reason is found to be incorrect, the benefit of marks will be given to only those candidates who attempted the question.

Syllabus For Paper 1

The UGC Net syllabus paper 1 is divided into the following topics. 5 questions are asked from each topic in the paper.

-Teaching Aptitude
  • Teaching: Nature, Objectives, Characteristics and Basic Requirements
  • Learner’s Characteristics
  • Factors affecting Teaching
  • Methods of Teaching
  • Teaching Aids
  • Evaluation Systems
Research Aptitude
  • Research: Meaning, Characteristics and Types
  • Steps of Research
  • Methods of Research
  • Research Ethics
  • Paper, Articles, Workshop, Seminar, Conference, and Symposium
  • Thesis Writing: Its characteristics and format
-Reading Comprehension
  • A passage which the candidates are required to read and answer the set of questions
  • Communication: Nature, Characteristics, Types, Barriers and Effective Classroom Communication
-Reasoning (including Mathematical)
  • Number Series; Letter Series; Codes
  • Relationships; Classification
-Logical Reasoning
  • Understanding the Structure of Argument.
  • Evaluating and distinguishing Deductive and Inductive Reasoning.
  • Verbal Analogies; Word Analogy – Applied Analogy
  • Verbal Classification
  • Reasoning Logical Diagrams: Simple Diagrammatic Relationship, Multi-Diagrammatic Relationship
  • Venn diagram; Analytical Reasoning
-Data Interpretation
  • Sources, Acquisition and Interpretation of Data
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Data
  • Graphical Representation and Mapping of Data
-Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • ICT: Meaning, Advantages, Disadvantages and Uses
  • General Abbreviation and Terminology
  • Basics of Internet and E-mailing
-People and Environment
  • People and Environment Interaction
  • Sources of Pollution
  • Pollutants and their impact on Human Life, Exploitation of Natural and Energy Resources
  • Natural hazards and mitigation
Higher Education System: Governance, Polity and Administration
  • Structure of the Institutions for Higher Learning and Research in India;
  • Formal and Distance Education; Professional/Technical and General Education.
    Value Education: Governance,
  • Polity and Administration; Concept, Institutions and their Interactions.

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Syllabus for Paper 2

There is lot of confusion about syllabus of UGC NET Psychology paper 2018. The pattern of the exam has been changed from 3 papers (Paper 1, 2 & 3) to 2 Papers (Paper 1 &2). Paper 2 and 3 have been merged into one paper. According to the notification of CBSE UGC NET, all the questions of Paper-II will be compulsory, covering entire syllabus of earlier Paper II & Paper III ( including all electives without option).

  1. Perceptual Processes
  • Approaches to the Study of Perception : Gestalt and physiological approaches.
  • Perceptual Organization : Gestalt, Figure and Ground, Laws of Organization.
  • Perceptual Constancy : Size, Shape and Brightness, Illusion; Perception of Depth and Movements.
  • Role of motivation and learning in perception.
  1. Learning Process
  • Classical conditioning : Procedure, Phenomena and related issues.
  • Instrumental learning : Phenomena, Paradigms and theoretical issues.
  • Reinforcement: Basic variables and schedules.
  • Verbal learning : Methods and materials, organizational processes.
  1. Memory and forgetting
  • Memory Processes : Encoding, Storage, Retrieval.
  • Stages of Memory : Sensory memory, Short – term Memory ( STM ) and Long – term Memory ( LTM ).
  • Episodic and Semantic memory.
  • Theories of Forgetting : Interference, decay, retrieval.
  1. Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Theories of thought processes : Associationism, Gestalt, Information processing.
  • Concept formation : Rules and strategies.
  • Reasoning : Deductive and inductive.
  • Problem – Solving : Type and strategies.
  • Role of concepts in thinking.
  1. Motivation and Emotion
  • Basic Motivational Concepts : Instincts, needs, drives, incentives, motivational cycle.
  • Approaches to the Study of Motivation : Psychoanalytical, ethological, S – R Cognitive, humanistic.
  • Biological Motives : Hunger, thirst, sleep and sex.
  • Social Motives : Achievement, affiliation, approval
  • Exploratory behaviour and curiosity
  • Physiological correlates of emotions.
  • Theories of emotions : James – Lange, Canon – Bard, Schachter and Singer.
  • Conflicts : Sources and types.
  1. Human Abilities
  • Intelligence : Biological, Social, Eco – cultural determinants.
  • Theories of intelligence : Spearman, Thurston, Guilford.
  • Individual and group differences : Extent and causes.
  • Measurement of human abilities.
  1. Personality
  • Determinants of personality : Biological and socio – cultural.
  • Approaches to the study of personality : Psychoanalytic, neo – freudian, social learning, trait and type, cognitive.
  • Personality Assessment : Psychometric and projective tests.
  • Self – Concept : Origin and development.
  1. Research Methodology
  • Research problems, hypothesis, variables and their operationalization
  • Types of psychological research.
  • Methods of Psychological Research : Experimental, Quasi – experimental, case studies, field studies and cross – cultural studies.
  • Methods of data collection : Observation, interview, questionnaire, tests and scales. Non – parametric tests
  1. Measurement and Testing
  • UGC NET Test Construction : Item writing and item analysis.
  • UGC NET Test Standardization : Reliability, validity and norms.
  • Types of Tests : Intelligence, aptitude, personality – characteristics and important examples.
  • Attitude scales and interest inventories.
  • Educational measurement and evaluation.
  1. Biological Basis of Behavior
  • Receptors, effectors and adjuster mechanisms.
  • Neural impulse : Origin, conduction and measurement.
  • Sensory system : Vision and Audition.
  • Human nervous system : Structure and functions.
UGC NET Psychology Paper III ( A ) [ Core Group ]
Unit – I
  • Signal detection theory, subliminal perception and related factors, information processing approach to perception, culture and perception, perceptual styles. Ecological perspective on perception.
Unit – II
  • Learning theories : Hull, Tolman, Skinner.
  • Cognitive approaches in learning: Latent learning, observational learning.
  • Experimental analysis of behaviour : Behaviour modification, shaping Discrimination learning.
  • Neurophysiology of learning.
Unit – III
  • Models of memory : Atkinson and Shiffrin, Craik and Lockhart, Tulving.
  • Semantic memory : Episodic, trace model and network model.
  • Long – term memory : Retrieval cues, flashbulb memory, constructive processes in memory, eyewitness testimony, autobiographical memory.
  • Biological basis of memory : The search for the engram, PET scan, and biochemical factors in memory.
  • Improving memory : Strategies.
Unit – IV
  • Cognitive Strategies : Algorhythms and heuristics.
  • Convergent and divergent thinking.
  • Decision – making; impediments to problem – solving.
  • Creative thinking and problem – solving.
  • Language and thought.
Unit – V
  • Historical antecedents of motivation from Mechanism to Cognition.
  • Cognitive bases of motivation : Intrinsic motivation, Attribution, Competence.
  • Measurement of motives : Issues and techniques.
  • Cross – cultural perspectives of motivation : Achievement, Aggression.
  • Components of Emotion : Physiological, expressive and cognitive.
  • Neural mechanism of emotion : Central and peripheral.
  • Measurent of Emotions : Physiological, expressive and cognitive measures.
  • Current theories of emotions and facial feedback hypothesis.
  • Stress and coping : Reactions to stress, outcomes of stress.
Unit – VI
  • Theories of intelligence : Cattell, Jensen, Sternberg Goleman.
  • Creativity : Views of Torrance, Getzels, Guilford.
  • Intelligence and creativity : Relationship.
  • Abilities and achievement : Concept and role of emotional intelligence.
Unit – VII
  • Clinical and growth approaches to personality.
  • Existential and humanistic theories of personality : Frankl, Rollo May, Maslow, Rogers.
  • Personality assessment : Projective, psychometric and behavioural measures.
  • Psychology of self : Western and Eastern perspectives, measurement of self.
Unit – VIII
  • Research designs : Correlational, factorial, randomized block, matched group, quasi – experimental, time series design.
  • ANOVA : Randomized and repeated.
  • Correlational analysis : Partial, multiple and regression analysis.
  • Factor analysis : Assumptions, methods, rotation and interpretation.
Unit – IX
  • Psychological scaling : Purpose and methods.
  • Sources of bias in psychological testing.
  • Ethical issues in psychological testing.
  • Application of factor analysis in standardization of tests – with Important illustrations.
Unit – X
  • Methods of Physiological psychology : Lesion and Brain Stimulation.
  • Sleep and waking : Stages of sleep, Disorders of sleep and Physiological mechanisms of sleep and waking.
  • Ingestive Behaviour : Drinking and its neural mechanism; hunger and its neural mechanism.
  • Endocrine System : Chemical and glandular.

UGC NET Psychology Paper III ( B ) [ Elective / Optional ]

Elective – I
  • Current trends in Social Psychology.
  • Social cognition.
  • Social influence.
  • Prosocial behaviour.
  • Applied social psychology : Health, Environment and Law.
Elective – II
  • Development processes : Nature, Principles and related.
  • concepts – maturity, experience factors in development : Biogenic, Psychogenic and Sociogenic.
  • Stages of Development : Theories of Development : Psychoanalytic, Behaviouristic and cognitive.
  • Various aspects of development : Sensory – motor, cognitive, language, emotional, social and moral.
Elective – III
  • Human development and individual differences.
  • Motivation and learning.
  • Factors in educational achievement.
  • Social psychology of education.
  • Teacher effectiveness.
  • Guidance in schools : Needs, organizational set up and techniques.
  • Counselling : Process and areas.
Elective – IV
  • Development of industrial and organizational psychology.
  • Selection processes in organization.
  • Organizational training.
  • Performance appraisal.
  • Motivation and work.
  • Leadership.
  • Work environment.
  • Organizational behaviour : Theories, socialization, effectiveness.
Elective – V
  • Psychopathology : Concepts, classification and causes : clinical diagnostics.
  • Common clinical disorders.
  • Mental Retardation.
  • Mental Health : Intervention models and psychotherapies.

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