Home » Simple Ways To Maximize Your English Literature UGC-NET Preparation

Simple Ways To Maximize Your English Literature UGC-NET Preparation

After talking to over a hundred students in the last month, one thing I learned about UGC-NET English Literature aspirants is that so many students are relying on previous year’s questions and mock tests.

So now, in this post, I will only talk about PYQs rather than mock tests because the mock test questions, or the so-called marketing YouTube banners like 5000 question series or 10,000 question series do not make sense to me. They are good to get views to YouTube videos but merely contribute in student’s preparation.

There is an infinite number of works in English Literature. And you can create one million mock test questions from these countless works. So for me, mock tests rarely make any difference in the preparation.

Talking about PYQs, a student must understand that PYQs are the secondary source of information. Treating it as your primary source will put you in trouble.

At the same time, PYQs help understands the psychology of the examination. Students can use them to prepare accordingly.

But here is a catch: Students don’t know how to use PYQs. They just go on rote-learning them which is an entirely wrong way to study.

You go on rote learning the PYQs only to find your mind blank in the examination hall.

Exams are time-bound. Time creates urgency. Whatever information you memorized through rote learning will not resurface in your mind during the exams. 

Connecting The Dots

Information retained through recitation or rote learning stays in the short-term memory. So, for a few hours, your memory will be able to retain the PYQs. 

To make it a part of long-term memory, one requires deep connections between the knowledge.

Your ability to connect one concept with another will stand you apart from the herd of students. 

  • For instance, in one of my videos, we talked about the roots of Marxism to the Peasant Revolt of 1381. We found how this major event led by Wat Tyler gave the green signal to the capitalist mode of economy. 
  • Similarly, in Indian Literature, we can easily find the influence of Mahatma Gandhi on postcolonial Indian Literature. He was the first person to retaliate against the civilizing mission of Europeans in India. 

By connecting the dots, you will not only find your interest in Literature but also tend to push the information in the long-term memory. On the other hand, memorizing PYQs alone and sitting in the exam is guaranteed to fail the exam.

Importance of PYQs

As mentioned earlier, PYQs are the secondary source of great help if one knows how to use them rather than taking them as a means of rote learning.

It is important to note that topics are being repeated but not the questions. So, for example, if the PYQs are repeated in your upcoming exam, you will not find more than two or three questions from previous year. 

So its importance lies in prioritizing the subjects. For instance, British Literature, Literary Theory and Criticism will cover 50% of the questions in the exam. So mastery over these three subjects will create the difference. 

Nothing should be skipped in these three subjects. On the contrary, even the topics which have not been asked in the exams have their importance and should not be avoided.

What Is The Primary Source

If you don’t know about the important events, important authors and their works, there is no use going to PYQs. First, you need to have proper knowledge of the subject. Without knowledge, there will be a lack of confidence which ultimately becomes one of many reasons for failure.

Comprehensive knowledge should be attained through analyzing the important poems, texts and historical events. 

To crack the exam, you need to take the road less traveled. You should know what Hundred Years War, Boston Tea Party, American Civil War, Great Exhibition, etc is. 

What you don’t want to do is to find important this and important that, and make yourself believe in everything is important.

The primary source is your organized notes and study material. It’s your life-jacket for NET Exam. You have dedication, willpower, and energy, but you will be overwhelmed if you are not using it to study the right way.

Putting your energy into understanding the historical background or the life of a writer will make you eligible for understanding the Literature to the roots. 

Making Notes Is Not Enough

Now, making notes is not alone enough. In the internet age, where information is available in just one click, we have become weak in using our powers to recall. Even it’s difficult for many people to remember the phone numbers of their family members. 

You need to assume that you are not good at retaining the information. So you need to revise the material at least six to ten times before the examination date.

Some things to consider:

  • What are my weak and strong topics? 
  • How should I give more time to make the weak subject without letting strong topics go off my memory?
  • What are the subjects that I fear the most? Why haven’t I started them yet?
  • Am I giving enough time to revising the study material?

These questions allow you to take control of your revision. When you know more about your weak and strong points, you’ll also be able to prioritize your time in between what you know and what you don’t. 

How To Use PYQs?

Spare thirty minutes every day in reading the PYQs. Don’t memorize the questions. Don’t look for the important topics either. 

Simply reading and scanning the last ten-year question paper will prepare you to think like the expert sitting in the UGC panel.

If you invest thirty minutes on PYQs every day for the next three months, you will be amazed to see a great positive change in your preparation. 

All you have to do is to take printouts of the PYQs and start reading them. We provide the PYQs personally to all our students preparing for the UGC-NET examination, simultaneously helping them know the important points that many students don’t consider.

We also help them how to schedule this important activity in their timetable. To do so, we encourage our students to read the PYQs just before sleeping at night. It helps in letting the pattern and important points in the subconscious, thereby building connections in mind. 


Concluding, PYQs are the secondary source. You can keep them by your side and refer to them once in a while. However, relying only on PYQs will not work in the long term. 

The secret to cracking the exam is to learn the subject in the right order. Your notes will do the work as a primary weapon to crack the exam. You can either create the notes by yourself, or you can save your weeks and months by placing your order of our Smart Study Material. 

8 thoughts on “Simple Ways To Maximize Your English Literature UGC-NET Preparation”

  1. Excellent information sir.sir its my humble request you to make a video on paper 1st. Because now a days lots of online and offline institutes are doing marketing. Students have of confusion regarding PAPER 1.
    regards Rahul

  2. Absolutely sir. Mock test does not make any sense unless one knows the poem or the novel. It is not a bank or ssc exam.

  3. Sir good evening
    Enjoyed reading your recent post on pyq’s. You are giving us an exact approach to crack the prestigious exam ?
    You are unleashing treasures of knowledge and practical wisdom in a simple and lucid manner


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