SETs or State Eligibility Test are tests conducted by states for assessing the eligibility of aspirants to work as assistant professors and/or junior research fellows in government-run colleges as a faculty member. They are different from NET (National Eligibility Tests) in a way that NET is valid in the whole of India whereas the SET exam is for a state. Also, NET is held twice a year while SET is conducted once in a year. Various states organize SET exams like KSET in Karnataka, Kerala SET in Kerela, etc.
Most of the State Eligibility tests are held in 2 phases:
- Paper 1: Consisting of General Knowledge, reasoning, and aptitude questions.
- Paper 2: This tests the subject knowledge of the candidate.
Why Eligibility tests?
Quality is what we desired in every field of life. Quality in education is necessary since low-quality education will lead to unemployable graduates and efficiency in every walk of life will be reduced. Therefore, the National Eligibility Test is done to assess an aspirant’s quality for teaching higher education. State Eligibility Tests like KSET are conducted at the state level to hire faculty for government colleges in that state. You might ask, why conduct SET when NET is already there? The major reason for it is that NET is conducted only in 2 languages, Hindi, and English, while SET is also conducted in regional languages. Also, SET might include subjects that are not there in NET.
Which States Conduct SET exams?
If a state wishes to conduct its own State Eligibility Test (SET), it must obtain accreditation from the University Grants Commission (UGC). SET is like the exam pattern of the National Eligibility Test (NET). States that hold their SET exams are:
- Maharashtra & Goa
- Tamil Nadu
- Madhya Pradesh
- Andhra Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh
- Jammu & Kashmir
- West Bengal
- NE-SLET (Which includes all North Eastern states and Sikkim)
Scope of NET and SET:
Clearing NET or SET enables a candidate for 2 positions:
- Lectureship Eligibility: SET qualified candidates are eligible for appointment to the post of lecturer only in the universities/colleges belonging to the state from where they have passed the SET examination whereas NET qualified candidates are eligible to apply for the post of lecturer in all Indian universities/Institutes/colleges.
- Junior Research Fellowship or JRF: The candidates who have qualified the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) Examination of UGC NET are also eligible for the post of the lectureship.
While eligibility might differ for different regions, given below is the basic minimum criteria for SET examinations:
Candidates must possess a master’s degree in the specific subject they want to give SET in with at least 50% aggregate marks or equivalent grade. Aspirants should have a B.Ed degree in any discipline from any university in that state. Check eligibility criteria for a SET before applying.
How to Prepare for SET:
To succeed in SET exams like any other exam, you need to be well-versed with the exam pattern (previous year papers and syllabus will help). Managing time is also necessary to succeed. Working on your weaknesses while chiselling your strengths can help you to succeed. For paper 1, you can use books used to prepare for Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude. For paper 2, thorough subject knowledge is required. NCERT books of class 9th to 12th are also very beneficial. Studying and solving mock and previous years’ papers is a must.
The Current Scenario:
Like most exams and events that have been postponed recently due to the coronavirus outbreak, most SET exams, like Kerala SET (which was scheduled to be held on 29th March but has been postponed), have been postponed. Revised dates for examinations will be announced after the lockdown is over as per government directives. While you are at home for the quarantine, working on SET preparation can be a good idea since examinations have been postponed, not cancelled. Teaching jobs will not be affected by the economic slowdown that will result from the pandemic as more people will want a degree to up their employability statistics. Due to this outbreak, Exams like KSET (scheduled to be held on 12th April) have been postponed. So even if you did not get a chance to prepare for SET earlier, now is the time, use it judiciously.