How to Prepare for UGC NET 2023 English – Check English Preparation Strategy, Study Material

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

How to Prepare for UGC NET 2023 English: UGC NET Exam is conducted twice a year by NTA. There are ten units in Paper-1 and each unit has equal weightage in the examination. Most Important Topics in UGC NET Environment, Logical Reasoning, Teaching Aptitude, Research Aptitude, Communication, ICT, Higher Education.

UGC NET Paper 2 syllabus is very important for the aspiring candidates to go through. UGC NET Paper 2 English Syllabus consists of 10 Units with several sub units. UGC NET English elaborated syllabus is given below for candidates along with the day-to-day strategy to prepare for it. 

The strategy, study plan, syllabus, and essential books for passing the UGC NET English (Paper 2) exam will be discussed in detail in this article.

A candidate may be able to better plan for the UGC NET Exam and score higher with the help of a systematic study plan. The UGC NET study plan, compiled by our experts to assist you in your preparation, is presented to you with an appropriate strategy in mind.

  • The scope of each topic in English Literature has expanded as the syllabus has become more general rather than more specific. The current syllabus, in contrast to the previous one, does not mention specific subjects but rather general ones like drama, poetry, fiction, and so on.
  • The fact that UGC aims to test your knowledge of English literature without specifying categorized subtopics is quite intriguing. You will also need to broaden your knowledge to cover a number of new subjects, such as Cultural Studies and Research Methods and Materials in English.
  • You are not only required to have knowledge of books. However, in addition to appreciating the practical application of research and teaching, it would be best to examine the texts through the lens of societal and cultural worldviews.

Download UGC NET English Syllabus

UGC NET English Preparation-Previous Year Paper Analysis

  • UGC has only conducted the exam three times since introducing the new syllabus and exam pattern.
  • The updated syllabus reveals, among other important things, that the UGC wants to test more than just your objective knowledge. In lieu of rote learning, the questions that have been asked recently aim to evaluate your critical reasoning abilities.
  • One thing is for sure: if you have a master’s degree in the field, it is expected of you that you have developed solid critical reasoning skills to analyze a specific text, even if it is very subjective in approach.
  • Additionally, whereas previously the focus was primarily on British literature, international literature and literary theories have been significantly included. You can check the papers for December 2021 to get a better picture.

*Most of the questions were asked from the modern and contemporary authors and their works.

Download UGC NET English Previous Year Paper with Answers

Takeaways from the current trend of question papers:

  • Diversify your scope of the study.
  • Cover poems (and poets) extensively.
  • Inculcate critical reasoning and analytical skills.
  • Get through with the contemporary Literature along with the conventional English Literature texts.
  • Please acquaint yourself with the significant World Literature authors (and their works) such as American, African, French, Italian, Japanese, Latin American, Canadian, and Australian.
  • Classical Literature (fiction and non-fiction) and History of English Literature, though not separately mentioned within the syllabus, it forms a strong base for your preparation.

Strategy for UGC NET English Paper 2

We should finish what we started and not waste any more time. The best results would come from dedicating at least five hours to preparation. You are at a point in the preparatory timeline where you can familiarize yourself with all of the significant subjects, take notes, and begin several new subjects. Additionally, candidates should familiarize themselves with important time management and study resources during this phase. Let’s go over some important general guidelines that, if followed, will increase your chances of passing the UGC NET exam.

  • Learn about the UGC NET Exam pattern as well as the mode of the examination.
  • Complete the UGC NET syllabus in its entirety. Know what cannot be included. It is crucial because knowing what not to study and concentrating more on what needs to be studied is essential for passing an exam.
  • Examine the the UGC NET Previous Year Question papers. You can get an idea of the kinds of questions asked, the scope of the study, and the kinds of questions UGC typically asks from these papers.
  • Allocate time according to the topic, taking into account your interest and ability to remember information.
  • Learn about the best sources, such as books and online content.
  • Make brief, concise notes covering all relevant points for each topic. For English, you could make flow charts under each unit and list the literary eras, political, social, and religious setup, important authors, their works, and the work’s content.
  • Revisit each and every subject you’ve studied. The candidate shouldn’t revise until they’ve finished a particular topic, but they should time themselves frequently throughout your preparation.
  • Make use of practice tests to evaluate your performance and identify your limitations; Since online examinations are now the preferred method, take online practice tests.
  • Make smart plans for answering questions. When it comes to answering a lot of English-language questions, such as matching the columns or multiple choice questions, for instance, the process of elimination works very well.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget about Paper 1, as your cumulative score will determine whether or not you pass the exam.

Best Book for UGC NET English Preparation

Check Important Books for UGC NET English Paper 2 below

  • A Critical History of English Literature- David Daichi’s
  • Literary Theory- Saugata Bhaduri & Simmi Malhotra
  • World Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies – Steven Totosy, Companion to Comparative Literatures
  • Online materials
  • Literature course books.

Note- Most of the books or study materials available in the market are quite heavy on the pocket. Hence, go for smart work. Taking your syllabus as a reference, you can make notes from the material available online. The academic knowledge you already possess will also help while making notes. You could also talk to your teachers to access relevant material.

4-Month Study Plan for UGC NET English Preparation 

A sound strategy and smart work are required to pass the UGC NET Exam. For passing this exam, you have to make a strategy that would work the best for you. To help you for making a strategy, we are sharing the 4-month study plan, distributed week-wise, for the upcoming UGC NTA NET English 2023 for Paper 2.


Topics that need to be covered (including Revision of that topic at the end of the week)



Sub Topics

Week 1 (Day 1-7)

General topics

  • Ancient/ Classical Drama (3 Days)
  • History of English Literature and Language (3 Days)
  • Chaucer to Shakespeare (1 Day)

Week 2 (Day 8-14)

Unit I: Drama

  • Shakespeare and his Contemporaries (3 Days)
  • Jacobean Drama (2 Day)
  • Revise what you studied so far (2 Days)

Week 3 (Day 15-21)

Unit I: Drama

  • Jacobean Drama (1 Day)
  • 17th and 18th Century Drama (2 Days)
  • The theatre from 1901–45 (2 Days)
  • Modern drama (2 Days)

Week 4 (Day 22-28)

Unit I: Drama

  • American and other Non- British Drama (3 Days)
  • Revise Unit I (4 Days)

Week 5 (Day 8-14)

Unit II: Poetry

  • Canterbury Tales (2 Days)
  • Elizabethan Poetry (3 Days)
  • Revise Poetry covered so far (2 Days)

Week 6 (Day 8-14)

Unit II: Poetry

  • Jacobean, Restoration and Augustan poetry (2 Days)
  • Romantic poetry (3 Days)
  • Solve Previous Year Papers (2 Days)

Week 7 (Day 8-14)

Unit II: Poetry

  • Romantic poetry (1 Day)
  • Victorian Poetry (4 Days)
  • Contemporary Poetry and War Poets (2 Days)

Week 8 (Day 8-14)

Unit II: Poetry

  • Modern Poetry (3 Days)
  • American and other non-British poets (3)
  • Revise Unit II (1 Day)

Week 9 (Day 8-14)

Unit- III: Fiction, short story

  • Early Novels [Thomas Moore’s Utopia, etc.] (1 Day)
  • Novels of the Romantic Period (3 Day)
  • Victorian Novels (3 Days)

Week 10 (Day 8-14)

Unit- III: Fiction, short story Unit- IV: Non-Fictional Prose

  • Victorian Novels (1 day)
  • British Short Stories (2 Days)
  • American Short Stories (2 days)
  • Unit IV (2 Days)

Week 11 (Day 8-14)

Unit- IV: Non-Fictional Prose Unit- V: Language: Basic concepts, theories, and pedagogy. English in Use.

  • Unit IV (3 Days)
  • Unit V (3 Days)
  • Solve Previous Year Papers (1 Day)

Week 12 (Day 8-14)

Unit- VI: English in India: history, evolution, and futures.

  • Unit 6 (4 days)
  • Revise Poetry (2 Days)
  • Solve Past Year Question Paper (1 Day)

Week 13 (Day 8-14)

Unit- VII: Cultural Studies

  • Unit VII (4 Days)
  • Revise Unit 3 (3 Days)

Week 14 (Day 8-14)

Unit- VIII: Literary Criticism

  • Unit VIII (5 Days)
  • Attempt Mock Tests (2 Day)

Week 15 (Day 8-14)

Unit- IX: Literary Theory post World War II

  • Unit IX (4 Days)
  • Google major contemporary writers and their works across the world (1 Day)
  • Revise Units V, VI and VII (2 Days)

Week 16 (Day 8-14)

Unit- X: Research Methods and Materials in English

  • Unit X (1 Day)
  • Revise Units VIII & IX (2 Days)
  • Revise Units I and II (2 Days)
  • Revise Units III & IV (2 Days)

This study plan, if followed thoroughly, will organize your routine and boost up your exam preparation. This is, however, a mock study plan, you can make one that suits you the best.

Hence, to score better, start your preparation now and crack UGC NET Exam 2023 with good scores.

All the best for your exams,

Short notes on Teacher Education: Meaning Nature and Scope for UGC NET Paper 2: Education

Short notes on Concept and Principles of Curriculum for UGC NET Paper 2: Education

Education in Ancient India for UGC NET

Preparation Tips for upcoming UGC NET Exam 2023

Check out the following toppers’ advice for passing the UGC NET EXAM in English literature.

  • Read the entire syllabus and exam pattern thoroughly.
  • With a schedule, begin studying for the exam.
  • Make use of the question papers and solutions from the previous year.
  • Keep doing daily revision on all of the topics.
  • Mock tests let you see how far you’ve come.
  • Carefully study and take care of your health.

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Also, Check Related Links:
UGC NET Commerce Preparation Stretagy UGC NET Education Preparation Tips
UGC NET Sociology Preparation Strategy UGC NET Hindi Literature Preparation Stretagy
UGC NET English Preparation Tips UGC NET History Preparation Tips

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Team Byju’s Exam Prep.

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