Home » What Is the Difference Between the SET and NET Exams? 

What Is the Difference Between the SET and NET Exams? 

by Steven Brown
SET and NET Exam

Every year, the SET and NET exam are held to determine the candidates’ eligibility for the assistant professor or lecturer positions. But trying to choose an assistant professor or lecturer as a career, aspirants often get confused about this particular question, what is the difference between SET and NET exam?  

Read further to know what is the difference between NET and SET exam.  

While the State Eligibility Test (SET) is conducted at the state level to determine eligibility for the post of Assistant Professor in the respective state universities/colleges. The National Eligibility Test (NET) is conducted at the national level to determine the eligibility of candidates for the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) in universities and colleges in India. 

Difference Between NET and SET Exam 

The exam conducting bodies, syllabus, exam pattern, eligibility criteria, and more are some of the key differences between the NET and SET exams that you should be aware of: 

What is a NET? 

NET (National Eligibility Test) is conducted to determine the candidate’s eligibility for Assistant Professor or Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) or both at the national level by the national level. Further NET exams are conducted every year in India: 

  • UGC NET or University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test 
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) NET 
  • ICAR NET or Indian Council of Agriculture Research National Eligibility Test 

What is a SET? 

SET (State Eligibility Test) is also conducted to further determine the eligibility of the candidate for Assistant Professor or Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) or both. But it is a state-level exam conducted under the University Grant Commission (UGC) guidelines. Although, candidates can only apply for universities run by the state.  

Furthermore, here is a list of state-organized SET exams: 

Andhra Pradesh State Eligibility Test (APSET) Assam State Level Eligibility Test (Assam SLET) Chhattisgarh State Eligibility Test (CG SET) 
Gujarat State Eligibility Test (GSET) Himachal Pradesh State Eligibility Test (HP SET) Jammu & Kashmir State Eligibility Test (JK SET) 
Kerala State Eligibility Test (Kerala SET) Karnataka State Eligibility Test (KSET) Madhya Pradesh State Eligibility Test (MP SET) 
Maharashtra State Eligibility Test (MH SET)/ UNIPUNE SET Tamil Nadu State Eligibility Test (TNSET) Telangana State Eligibility Test (TSSET) 
Uttarakhand State Eligibility Test (USET) West Bengal State Eligibility Test (WB SET) Rajasthan State Eligibility Test (RSET) 

NET & SET Exam Conducting Bodies 

The NET exam and SET exam both are conducted by different bodies. The national-level bodies conduct the NET exam and the SET exam is conducted by the state-level body. Take a look at the exam conducting bodies of a few exams below: 

Exam Name Exam Level Exam Conducting Body 
UGC NET National National Testing Agency (NTA) 
CSIR NET National National Testing Agency (NTA) 
ASRB NET National Agriculture Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB) 
MH SET State Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) 
KSET State Karnataka State Eligibility Test Center, University of Mysore 
APSET State Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam 

Difference Between NET and SET Exam Syllabus 

The syllabus is the primary difference between the NET and Set exams. As stated above, the NET examination is at the national level; moreover, it is conducted at a broad level and for 82 subjects too. While the SET exam is administered at the state level, the subjects are determined by the state. 

NET is conducted on a broad scale, and only 5% of the total number of candidates appearing is estimated to clear it. The percentage of candidates clearing SET is comparatively higher than NET. 
Conducted twice a year Conducted once every year 
The qualifying candidates for NET can appeal for teaching in any college in the country. The qualified candidates can only apply to particular state-owned colleges/ universities for teaching.  
All the NET qualifying candidates are awarded Junior Fellowships Candidates are awarded Junior Fellowship if they have passed the SET and applied for the same during the application registration. 

Difference Between NET and SET Exam Pattern 

Look at the table below to see how the NET and SET exam patterns differ from each other. 

UGC NET comprises two papers (Paper 1 and Paper 2) in a single three-hour duration. CSIR NET Exam consists of three different sections (Part – A, Part – B, and Part- C) in a single paper, total duration is 3 hours. ASRB NET is conducted in a single paper that includes 150 objective type multiple-choice questions. The total time duration is 2 hours SET exams are also conducted for two papers (Paper 1 and Paper 2). It may happen in a single 3 hours duration or on the same day in two different sessions. 
Paper I carries 100 marks and Paper 2 carries 200 marks. It is conducted for a total of 200 marks. The marking scheme is different for each subject. The exam comprises 150 marks. The paper consists of 150 objective type questions with 300 marks. 
There is no negative marking. Negative marking is different for each subject. There is a negative marking for each wrong answer. There is no negative marking. 

Difference Between NET and SET Exam Eligibility Criteria 

Let’s look at the eligibility criteria for the NET exam and SET exam. There are a lot of similarities in the posts for which the eligibility test is being conducted. Let’s take a look at the basic eligibility requirements listed below. 

UGC NET Eligibility CISR NET Eligibility ASRB NET Eligibility SET Eligibility 
Master’s degree in any of the UGC NET subjects) with 55 per cent (for General Candidates) or 50 per cent (for ST/SC/PWD/OBC/ Transgenders) marks. Master’s degree with a minimum 55 per cent (for General Candidates) or 50 percent (for ST/SC/PWD/OBC/) marks from the recognized university. Master’s degree or equivalent in the same discipline for which the candidate will apply. Candidates who have secured at least 55 per cent marks in their Master’s Degree and belong to any UGC accredited. Universities/Institutions are eligible for the test. 
There is no age limit for the lectureship, while the maximum age limit for JRF is 30 years. There is no age limit for the lectureship, while the maximum age limit for JRF is 28 years. There is no age limit. There is no age limit. 

Final Words 

We hope the above information will help you understand the major differences between the NET and SET exams. 

This article has covered all the differences between the NET and SET exams. 

In case of any inquiry then get in touch with the Eduncle. We will be grateful to hear from you. 

Thank you! 

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