Most of my day goes in reading a book, writing these kinds of blogs, making videos on YouTube, and resolving the doubts of the students on phone calls and WhatsApp messages.
As I stay in touch with the students personally, I hear a lot of stories of success and failures.
Students from different states and backgrounds have different stories to tell. Some of them are of joy, while many of them are about the yearnings of UGC-NET.
One of them is Shivani Juneja (name changed), who started her journey of UGC-NET in November 2017.
While talking to her over phone calls, she wanted me to share her story with the students.
Although she has qualified the UGC-NET exam several times, she is still finding her way to land a good job.
She hopes that English literature students do not go through the same mistakes after going through these priceless lessons.
Here is how her attempts of UGC-NET looks like:
- November 2017 – Failed in 1st attempt
- July 2018 – Failed in 2nd attempt
- December 2018 – Cracked UGC-NET and then gave another attempt for JRF
- June 2019 – Cracked UGC-NET; missed JRF by two percent
- December 2019 – Cracked UGC-NET; missed JRF by five percent
- September 2020 – Cracked UGC-NET; missed JRF by 0.6 percentile
I’ve talked to the students who cracked UGC-NET in the first attempt. I’ve also spoken to students appearing for English Literature UGC-NET for the seventh attempt yet have not qualified for it once.
Lessons shared by Shivani are invaluable. It takes guts to come forward and add value to the lives of others. I appreciate her contribution.
Here is what Shivani has to tell (Translated from a conversation by Nakul Grover)
1. I wish I would have taken the job opportunity when I cracked my NET exam on the first attempt rather than wasting years for JRF. Before the pandemic, there were many options, and today, I have little teaching experience which has made my situation even more difficult.
2. What JRF pays, you can earn the same money from doing a job or giving tuition to the students.
3. Time is precious than money.
4. For five years, I’ve been trying to get JRF. I wish I would have moved on.
5. Cracking NET one time and cracking NET ten times are equal. Focus on improving your academic score. There are teachers who have cracked UGC-NET 10 times, but they are earning their living from it. More NET certificates is equal to more number of admissions to their coaching. Do not get into the number game. Crack it once and for all.
6. Publish research papers, write a research proposal and try to get enrolled in PhD. NET helps in grabbing short-term opportunities, but PhD will going to help you in the long term.
7. Do not listen to your coaching classes. They want you to subscribe to their courses, which is why they encourage you to crack UGC-NET several times.
8. Start your B.Ed as soon as you complete your post-graduation. You never know what exam you crack and land a job. Side-by-side, keep up with your preparation for UGC-NET and PhD.
9. You must target UGC-NET. In preparing for UGC-NET, you will automatically develop the required knowledge to crack SET/TGT/PGT/Lecturer exams.
10. Choose a good mentor. I’m deeply influenced by a few teachers, including Nakul Sir.
11. I failed to crack the UGC-NET exam because I thought I could qualify for the exam by myself. However, it did not happen. Therefore, it would be best if you had someone to guide you. Otherwise, it’s easy to get lost.
12. Don’t keep on collecting the notes. It’s always good to study one book than to leave ten books unread.
13. Revise! Revise! Revise! Do not trust your memory. Revise your notes several times.
14. Listen to your intuition in the examination hall. The first option you pick while guessing is a call of your intuition. Do not change the option once selected.
15. Study something each day. Your happiness is linked to your achievements. So instead of wishing to crack NET-Exam, work for it.
16. When you are frustrated during your preparation, understand that it’s a part of the journey. Truth is every student goes through emotional turmoil.
17. I agree that smart work beats hard work. You are not working on your PhD thesis that you have to study everything. Choose your guide or teacher wisely. It will create a big difference.
18. If you have failed the exam, do not blame your luck. It’s the right time to change your strategies and, in some cases, change your mentor. You can add more to your notes with the help of Wikipedia and other free resources.
20. You will find questions from every subject. From British Literature, the questions will have easy to difficult questions. Easy to moderate level questions will be asked from you from the remaining subjects. Do not focus on British Literature alone. Give time to other topics.
21. At last, don’t make the same mistake of appearing for JRF for many years. Sometimes, it’s not in your hands, no matter how much knowledge you gather. Get a job, even if it’s low paying one. Build your resume and academic score card by publishing papers, attending conferences, taking courses, adding skillsets and so on.