How to Crack CSIR NET Life Science Paper 2023? - Know Preparation Strategy Here!

By Renuka Miglani|Updated : January 24th, 2023

How to Crack CSIR NET Life Science Paper 2023: The CSIR NET Life Science exam is conducted for students pursuing Masters's and B.Tech. degrees in various streams in the life sciences category. The exam is for the recruitment of the most eligible candidates for the junior fellowship and assistant professors throughout the country. The CSIR NET Life Sciences exam not only aims at testing the subject knowledge but also the aptitude for scientific analysis. As the syllabus of the Life Science subject is very broad, sometimes students find it very difficult to cover the whole syllabus. 

We have developed an article to help you out in this situation by providing you with a list of smart strategies that you can apply for easy preparation for the Life Science of CSIR NET. Scroll down to acknowledge all the important tips and tricks to make your preparation journey easy.

Table of Content

This is How You Can Crack CSIR-NET Life Sciences Paper 2023

CSIR NET exam is meant for all Life Science candidates, the structure of the paper and the syllabus is justified. So, keeping that point aside, one should have an effective preparation strategy in order to crack the exam. Sometimes, the Students find it difficult to understand the concepts during preparation because either they lack exposure to those concepts at their graduation level or they have to clear basics during their post-graduation. So the students always struggle in getting the concepts by studying multiple books. To overcome this, the candidates need to make sure of the level of clarity they have and make a list of those concepts that they need to brush up on again. Let's get to know some preparation strategies for the CSIR-NET life sciences paper for the academic session 2023.

Proper Planning

The CSIR NET Life Sciences exam also includes some questions about basic concepts from Physics, Chemistry, Math,s and Biological Sciences. It is expected from a candidate that a Life science graduate or postgraduate will be comfortable with biological sciences. Let's get to know some of the examples of basic concepts from Physics and Chemistry,

  • Physics is a part up to 10+2, hence students must try to get a grip on this subject very well. However, the concepts of Physics are always asked about as applications of biological sciences. Topics like Thermodynamics help students to learn Why ATP is the major source of energy in cells. Topics like Colligative Properties enable students to learn Why Plant cells contain cell walls and animal cells do not? Why Glucose cannot be stored in the cells and has to be converted into Glycogen or starch?

  • Chemistry is also a part of a 3-year graduation course and is an indispensable part of Biology as living cells obey chemical laws. It is not essential to understand the entire Chemistry but requires a good knowledge of some topics like Solutions, Acids and Bases, Electrochemistry and Chemical kinetics, etc. These topics are a part of the Intermediate also. As a researcher, you might come across work with solutions on a day-to-day basis. Knowledge of chemical bonds, energetics, and kinetics helps to comprehend Why glucose, a six-carbon molecule, has to undergo 10 reactions to produce two 3 carbon molecules? Thus concepts of Glycolysis, a part of Biochemistry, and similarly Photosynthesis, a part of plant physiology can become more clear. Atomic size and ionic mobilities will help in knowing the reason behind the high concentration of sodium (Na+) ions outside a cell whereas the concentration of potassium ions (K+) is high inside the cells. This also helps to understand why the same transporter carries 3 sodium ions outside and only two potassium ions inside. Consequently, the roots of some Biology aspects lie in Chemistry itself. After all, Chemistry is the language of Biologists.

Preparation Strategy for Life Science Topics

We have provided topic-wise preparation strategies below, follow them during your preparation.

  1. Start With the Basic Topics: Students preparing for the CSIR-NET Exam should begin their preparation by starting the topics like Cell Biology first since it is a part of the high school syllabus and a common portion in both Botany and Zoology graduation levels. Cell biology is a compulsory subject for all Life Science students, hence, it is the easiest choice to start your preparation with.

  2. Importance of the Unit Cell Biology: Cell Biology is included in the CSIR NET Life Science paper syllabus in 2 sections - Cell organization and Cell Signaling/Communication. Studying cellular organization will help in understanding the structure and function of the cells. Basic knowledge of how a Bacterial cell (Prokaryote) differs from a plant cell or animal cell is required. Students having strong concepts in cell biology will not find it difficult to study plant biochemistry/biotechnology or animal biochemistry/biotechnology. It also enables them to appreciate the basic concepts in biochemistry for example - Why Krebs Cycle occurs only in Mitochondria and not in the Cytoplasm?

  3. The right way to Learn Molecular Biology: After Cell Biology, Molecular Biology is the right option to proceed with. Molecular Biology will help in learning fundamental procedures like the structure of DNA, RNA, transcription, translation, etc., A student who is well versed in cell biology and molecular biology will easily understand the difference between B-cell and T-cell and how leucocytes differ from a lymphocyte. Thus the Immunology concepts will become easy.

  4. Biochemistry is Important: Basic Biochemistry is another important part of the CSIR-NET exam. It is very necessary that topics like amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, vitamins, and hormones are studied well. These topics don’t require much knowledge and can be learned easily. Enzymology is another crucial part that every student must learn. Topics like the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids can be difficult for students who are not specialized in Biochemistry. Therefore it is up to the individuals depending on their interest and time, whether to study these topics or not. While studying any biochemical pathway, the regulatory steps have to be focused on. However, it is essential to study energy production pathways such as Glycolysis, Kreb’s Cycle and electron transport chain, photosynthesis (PS I and PS II), C3, and C4 cycles, etc.

  5. Know About Basic Genetics: Along with Biochemistry, basic genetics forms an inevitable portion of the syllabus which is very much required. Mendelian genetics includes laws of inheritance, gene interactions, linkage and crossover, sex determination and sex-linked inheritance are important. However, for those students not specialized in genetics qualitative and human genetics can be ignored. But topics like mutations and recombination are Important.

  6. Importance of Molecular Biology: Having studied Molecular Biology and basic genetics, applications of these fields form the core of a concept like Recombinant DNA technology. Thus gene cloning, vectors, and sequencing techniques can be easily learned. After learning the techniques like PCR, applications of PCR like RAPD, AFLP, etc., become much easier.

  7. Common Topics: Simultaneously biophysical techniques, radiolabelling techniques, histochemical and immune techniques, and microscopic techniques can be learned easily. While learning these techniques, students shall focus on the principle of each technique and its applications.

  8. General Microbiology: This also forms a platform for students to know about applied biology. General microbiology which includes the structure of prokaryotic cells, growth curves, and kinetics are also essential. Fermentation technology forms an important topic to study. However, applications of microbiology like food, water, and air microbiology are optional and thus not necessary.

  9. How & Where to Learn from Subjects like System Physiology, Ecology, and Evolution are more based on theory and can be learned directly by reading standard textbooks. Ecology and Evolution have to be given a special emphasis as traditionally more questions have appeared from these areas and are not a part of a regular syllabus for many courses. Thus by following a clear strategy, one can qualify for the CSIR NET exam with ease. Early preparation right from the first year of Post-graduation or third year of B.Tech or B.Pharma., success can rest assured.


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  • There are mainly 13 Units/Topics that a candidate has to cover in the Life Science syllabus of the CSIR NET exam. The sub-topics are part of these main 13 units. Following are the names of 13 units :-

    1. Molecules and Their Interaction Relevant to Biology  
    2. Cellular Organization 
    3. Fundamental Processes
    4. Cell Communication and Cell Signaling
    5. Developmental Biology 
    6. System Physiology - Plant
    7. System Physiology - Animal
    8. Inheritance Biology
    9. Diversity of Life Forms
    10. ecological Principles
    11. Evolution and Behaviour 
    12. Applied Biology
    13. Methods in Biology 
  • There are 3 parts in the Life Science paper, Part A which is General Aptitude, common for all subjects. Part B contains 50 questions in which a candidate needs to attempt 35 questions while Part C contains 75 questions where a candidate needs to attempt 25 questions.

  • To qualify for the CSIR NET Life Science exam, you need to secure at least a minimum benchmark of 33 % for the General, EWS & OBC categories and 25 % (SC/ST and PwD categories) for both fellowship and lectureship.

  • Yes, You are eligible to apply for the Life Science paper of CSIR NET. The biotechnology field comes under the branch of Life Sciences so it is a part of Life Science subject.

  • tudents having strong concepts in cell biology will not find it difficult to study plant biochemistry/biotechnology or animal biochemistry/biotechnology. It also enables them to appreciate the basic concepts in biochemistry.

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