For students looking to become Assistant Professors of Junior Research Fellows, clearing the CSIR NET exam is a must. This is a national-level exam and is very tough to crack.

As a result, most aspiring students who want to get jobs with high pay through CSIR NET need to prepare for the exam with great dedication. Simply working hard is not the way for all students. The best way to prepare is by adopting an approach that is systematic, effective, and smart.

Generally, most students undergo coaching to crack the CSIR NET. However, many students are not comfortable with the heavy tuition fees or lack time to prepare.

So, a common question for many students is, can I clear CSIR NET without coaching? Yes, it is possible. With proper approach and hard work, it is possible to crack the CSIR NET exam in one go without any coaching.

The CSIR NET exam will be held on 29th January and 15th to 17th February 2022. So, there is very little time left. However, if a student can channel the efforts and prepare appropriately in the remaining time, they can clear the exam even without coaching.

How to Prepare for CSIR NET?

Given below are some of the best methods and tips that students can follow to prepare for the CSIR NET exam without any coaching and within the remaining period:

1. Gaining Clarity of Concepts

Since the CSIR NET exam is quite tricky to pass, the candidates should be well prepared with the concepts and basics. Here’s what the students need to understand clearly:

  • The students should know what the exam pattern is going to be like. The recent trends in which the questions appear should be checked beforehand.
  • It is also essential to understand how the time needs to be managed during the exam duration.
  • Students should also be wary of all the important dates related to the exam, the possible alternatives, and so on. The date of applications, exam, potential changes, and any other date that may release any relevant information about the exam should be noted down.

2. Memorizing the Syllabus

Students should be entirely sure of the syllabus of the CSIR NET exam. If anything is missed, these steps can be followed:

  • Check the detailed CSIR NET syllabus. It is always recommended to note down the chapters present on the syllabus, including all topics.
  • The topics should be divided in the same manner as to how the CSIR NET’s exam pattern is set.
  • If the student is going for detailed preparation, it is always wise to revise essential topics with greater effort. As a result, identifying the critical topics is very crucial for better practice in a short time.
  • Checking the previous years’ exam papers is an excellent method to identify such vital topics. Usually, questions that are repeated every year are very important.
  • Knowing the syllabus well will also make the students sure whether a topic is outside of their syllabus, as it will be utterly unknown to them.
  • It has been seen that students who know the exam syllabus by detail can speed up their preparation as the topics are already sorted within their minds.
  • For quick access, having a hardcopy and a softcopy of the CSIR NET syllabus can be helpful.

3. Making a Proper Study Plan

Having a study plan is important for adequately preparing for the CSIR NET exam. In addition, having a proper study plan will not only help to maintain a routine but will also make studying regular.

  • Time should not be wasted for finding shortcut methods.
  • Students should make a study plan that suits their routine and daily habits. Sudden changes to lifestyle for incorporating heavy study plans may not work at all.
  • It is highly recommended to participate in mock tests or self-made tests with practice question papers or previous question papers every 2-3 days.
  • Students who have more than six months can devise a study plan of 5-7 hours per day. However, a study plan of 10-12 hours per day should be devised for students with two months or less time.

4. Unique Reading Methods

The topics for CSIR NET are quite huge, and most students feel monotonous and unenthusiastic. In such cases, students can try their unique reading methods.

  • The syllabus can be divided according to easy and difficult topics to revise. However, it is advised that students cover the easy part of the syllabus first. This way, time will be saved for a huge portion of the syllabus.
  • Topics that are hard or completely unknown should only be taken after the easy part is covered.
  • When the easier topics are prepared, many references and connections towards the challenging topics will be present too. Relating to them will help in understanding the hard topics better.
  • When the primary factors and basic concepts are covered, they should first be understood from the core and then memorized. Simply memorizing them without understanding the context won’t help at all.
  • Reference books should be followed very carefully, as many potential questions are already present in these books.
  • Noting the main highlights from each topic and chapter will be helpful for successive revisions within a short time. Doing so will save a lot of time.
  • Students are advised to prepare notes in their mother tongue if they aren’t very comfortable with English notes. This is a very effective method of understanding and remembering a topic clearly.
  • Important information among the notes can be further categorized and highlighted with sticky notes.
  • For better memorization of the notes, using bulletins, flow charts, boxes, or diagrams can help.
  • If books feel too boring from constant reading, students can watch online videos of topics directly related to the exam. Visuals can be very effective for understanding and remembering topics as well.

5. Revision Tips

Any preparation is not complete without revision. For tough exams such as CSIR NET, proper revisions are significant. Here’s how to revise effectively:

  • Topics should not be revised like it’s the first time covered.
  • Instead, revision can be done with notes and highlighted topics to save time.
  • Revisions can be done at least once every week or regularly. However, revision should be done in small portions rather than revising the entire syllabus at last.
  • Students should retake the mock tests when revisions are going on to assess their mistakes and revise accordingly.
  • Revisions must be based on understanding the topics from their core. This will increase the depth of the topics, and help crack the exam.
  • For even better understanding, revising and following reference books is highly effective.

6. Solving Sample Papers & Previous Years’ Question Papers

To understand the usual questions asked in the CSIR NET exam, it is extremely important to have the question papers from previous years. Sample papers with possible questions covering all topics should also be solved.

  • Topics should be categorized on how frequently they have asked from previous and sample papers.
  • Many sample papers and previous years’ papers are solved. Therefore, students should solve the questions independently and then check the given answering method, which is usually optimal.
  • Solving these sample papers and previous question papers will help improve the accuracy of the answers and help build up confidence for the exam.
  • The solved papers give the best tips for any particular question. This way, students can solve tricky questions in simple methods and save time.
  • Following previous question papers, a basic idea regarding the probable type of questions coming this year is formed. Students can then prepare accordingly.
  • Question of previous years can be downloaded digitally or can be bought separately.

7. Managing time by giving Mock Tests

Giving mock tests at least once a week prepares the students well towards time management in the exam. Not only does it help the students to assess their improvement, but they will also be able to improve their response to the questions.

This can help enhance the correctly answered topics further and correct the wrongly responded to topics.

Since mock tests are the exact replicas of the original CSIR NET exam, the allotted time and exam pattern will also be the same. Students will get 3 hours, within which they need to attempt 120 different questions. On average, students will have only 1 minute and 30 seconds for attempting each question and answering it correctly.

Since the mock tests are conducted online, they can be taken anywhere. Students can also appear for these tests as many times as they like. With more attempts, students will get an idea regarding how to answer the questions managing time.

Also, the comparatively harder topics to answer in the exam can be identified and revised with greater effort.

8. Staying Motivated

It is also essential for the students to stay motivated in this time period. Losing hope before the exam can be devastating. Since the topic is quite big and the exam is tough, it is quite natural to get demotivated while preparing for the CSIR NET exam.

However, losing motivation may affect the study and hard work. Thus, students must include activities in their daily routine to stay motivated.

The best way to do so is to indulge in short breaks between study sessions, doing exercises or yoga, and staying fit. Having good health and mind is the key to remaining motivated and giving that extra effort required to crack the exam.

What to keep in mind while attempting the CSIR NET for the first time?

Most students are extremely afraid while appearing for the CSIR NET exam for the first time. However, it is essential to note that it is possible to crack the exam on the very first attempt. The main idea is to remain calm and follow the tips given below:

  • Since this exam will be conducted online, the pattern will be the same as the mock tests.
  • Gaining knowledge and managing time effectively to implement it is the key to cracking this exam. While preparing, this should be kept in mind.
  • It is essential to go to the depth of each topic. However, students need to be patient, and understanding each topic clearly may take time.
  • The concepts should be clearly understood before anything else.
  • It is also recommended to stay confident in preparation and have a positive approach towards the exam.
  • Short notes with highlights of all the essential topics should be used for the last revision. Taking too much stress, in the end, can be fatal.
  • It is also very important to retain physical health. Thus, exercising, having a proper diet, and getting adequate sleep should be maintained regularly.


So, what is the answer to the question, can I clear CSIR NET without coaching? It is a yes. Even if the time is less, the preparation method cannot contain shortcuts.

Ultimately, the students need to work hard, smart, and effectively to adequately cover the entire CSIR NET syllabus. In preparation for the exam, the ultimate aim is to understand the topics, go in-depth, manage time, and avoid common mistakes.


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