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5 Little Truths To Remember While Studying English Literature

Maybe you are one of those students who have just begun the preparation of UGC-NET in English Literature.

Perhaps you are someone who has been preparing for the exam for years yet always ends up in failure and more confusion after going through the results.

In every English Literature student’s life comes a time when s/he hold the head and asks: 

  • “What’s wrong with me?” 
  • “Am I working hard enough?” 
  • “Why I forget everything I study?”

There are some little truths that every student preparing for UGC-NET or any other exam should remember. We all had confronted these truths months and years ago when we decided to prepare for competitive exams, yet we must be reminded of them every once in a while to stay motivated in the right direction. 

Here are the five truths to remember while preparing for the Net Exam. 

1. It’s Normal

  • It’s normal to forget the list of writers and their works. 
  • It’s normal to forget the characters and sometimes even the plot. 
  • It’s normal you haven’t covered the whole syllabus.

It’s normal because all students are going through the same phase. Tell me a student who says he remembers everything he studies, and I will show you a big liar behind him. 

Almost 100% of the students I talk to every day have said that they usually forget what they study. So you need to accept it’s normal if you are going through the same problem. 

What isn’t normal is that you have given up hope and quit studying the subject. Thinking you are not good enough to crack the exam is not normal. It’s rather a false belief. 

No matter how many times we go through the writers, we always forget some works, poems, quotes, and characters. 

But we should not forget cracking the exam is the only way through it.

It’s only through the UGC-NET certificate we can have some direction in English Literature. 

PhD is a long-term game. Short-term benefits and opportunities arrive after cracking the competitive exams. 

Understand that it takes time for our memory to retain the information. And it’s normal for every student to forget what he studies.

2. Changing Your Reaction

Every time you forget the concept of literary theory or criticism or you cannot recall the years of the events or chronology, you need to change your reaction to it.

Instead of self-doubt and confusion, rising above the situation helps. 

Events are not in our hands. You forget something you read last night does not mean you have to beat yourself, but it simply means you need to change how you react to it.

For instance, when I was preparing, I was always confused among the Reader Response Theorists. Almost every time I misunderstood the theorist associated with the particular thought. 

I knew it it’s a big problem, and chances were I would pick the wrong option in the exam. So I changed my reaction to “Why do I forget everything?” to “How can I remember everything?” 

In my confusion lies the answer. I brainstormed and came up with ten ideas to remember the whole reader-response theorist. Today, if you ask me about Reader-Response Criticism, even when I’m sleeping, I can place the facts and theories before you in no time. 

Events are not in our hands, but we can always choose how we react to them.

3. Uncertain Future

Uncertainties are good to help you think and get serious about your future. It is an opportunity to take a few steps back and look at the whole scenario. 

People who avoid problems never feel uncertain. It is only uncertain people who know they are in a problem and have to do something about themselves. Therefore, uncertainties should be treated as a normal event. It shows you where you are lagging and directs you to find the solution. 

Generally, uncertainty rises from insecurities and fears and can be controlled through planning ahead. 

If you are uncertain whether or not you will crack the UGC-NET exam, get yourself busy in planning.

Plan the weak topics and how you can give extra hours to make them your strength. Planning ahead of your time. Write down the subjects and topics you believe need more focus and reading.

Studying the subjects or writers you haven’t studied earlier will be rewarding to your self-confidence and will help you cope up with the uncertainties

4. The Unstable Terrain

The road to UGC-NET is not straight. It’s full of ups and downs. The oscillator of emotions will keep swinging between different emotions. Today you are happy, tomorrow nothing makes sense, and you procrastinate.

Understanding that terrain is unstable will help you get up and keep charging forward. Sometimes you hit the stone and stumble down, while other times, you will take pleasure in kicking the stones and enjoying the journey.  

The destination will always look farther unless you achieve it. So it’s better to accept the truth that the terrain is unstable, and you need to walk forward one step at a time.

Knowing what you will study today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow makes the process easier. 

Instead of finding ways to crack the UGC-NET exams, get busy in understanding one author, one book, one poem, and taking one step at a time. 

5. You Can’t Have 100% Accuracy

Many students have complained about the questions asked in the exam. They find several questions in PYQs from the topics and authors they haven’t heard about. A truth we have to keep reminding ourselves is that we don’t have to score 100/100 in the exam.

  • For General Category, getting 54-60 questions right will do the work, provided the student has scored 30+ in paper 1.
  • If you are from the reserved category, you can aim for 27/50 in paper 1 and 50/100 in paper 2. This will take you closer to cracking the exam.

100% accuracy is a myth, and there will always be many questions you have to solve with the elimination technique and intelligent guesswork. 

At last, once you read and realize these truths, the journey will become easy. To make the journey easier, the below links are suggested.

  1. This is how you should revise English Literature
  2. Previous Year Questions are a secondary source of information.
  3. Save hundreds of hours through our organized Smart Study Material on English Literature.  

11 thoughts on “5 Little Truths To Remember While Studying English Literature”

  1. This message is really helpful for all those students who are just like as me . I am one among them, I always forget what I studied but but don’t skip or never say no to study more because I know we are just human beings not just like a Robert. Sometimes we remember useless things but sometimes we forgot important topics, especially in between exam. hall’s.
    But somehow we will never give up.

    Thanks dear Sir ???❤️ I really like your thinking, you are unbelievable Sir.
    May God bless you dear Sir

  2. Sir, I am a science teacher, I have a doubt , I hope you will clarify it , what are the necessary qualities one should have to study English literature academically , and excel in this field.

  3. Thanku so much sir to clear all our doubts, fear n confusions , we feel relaxed to hear ur views stay connected ?

  4. Sir i have been following uh since last few days and reading all ur blogs.. they all are very informative for all those students in journey of ugc net… i felt like i cannot do anything .. I’ll fail to achieve my target but getting ur thoughts m improving day by day.. thnx a lot sir…


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Hi, I'm Nakul Grover.
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