The competition is spreading at large, it's been hard now to crack any of the examinations in India. But hard work never goes in vain. A smart strategy may tackle down the phobia of the exam. Don't wait for opportunity, create it & be the game changer.
What is HPSET:
HPSET stands for Himachal Pradesh State Eligibility Test. Like many other states in India, Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission conducts this eligibility examination every year for the post of Assistant Professor in college cadre in Himachal Pradesh.
To be a professor, it's compulsory for all candidates. If the candidate is PhD holder, he or she may get exemption from the state commission. If not, no other option left to enter into the profession & getting admission in a research programme. Keeping in mind, a large number of students appear for this exam every year to clear the very first step of becoming an assistant professor.
Exam Preparation Strategy:
Literature, a reflection of society, is a vast stream & endless so it's been difficult to understand the methodology of the examiner of asking questions. Now I am going to give you some tips on clearing HPSET exam as per my experience here under:
1) Download the prescribed syllabus from the Himachal Pradesh Public Service commission's website & read it carefully to get an idea of what it's about. Memorize all the topics one by one.
2) English literature flowered under different ages. List out the important writers, poets, dramatists of each era starting from Geoffrey Chaucer,the father of English Literature & Language & make a comprehensive study of their notable works. Prepare notes on the important quotations of well known poets.
3) This first paper is about the Aptitude Section & consists of 60 questions out of which the aspirants can opt for 50 of their own choice. Three paragraphs are asked on comprehension, some basic questions on arithmetic & logical reasoning covering Time & Work, Profit and Loss, Average, Age Limit,Analogy,Sitting Arrangements, Triangular Counting in Figure , some questions on General Studies covering Indian Polity, Geography & Science.Two to three questions on current events of the past five months only.
In HPSET, no question is asked on research methodology but the candidates may prepare it from the UGC-NET examination point of view. This paper is designed to test the analytical ability of the candidates. That's all about the aptitude section of the paper.
4) For paper 2 & 3, the questions are asked on the subject concerned. In English Literature, read Compton Rickett for the historical background of English Literature, M. H Abraham's book on literary terms, Peter Berry for literary criticism & theory, Henry Baugh for history of English language. The questions are direct, not complicated & the exam is more simple than UGC- NET.
A critical study is done so far on important writers. The candidates can take help from the research websites- ShodhGanga & Jstor. Memorize the Nobel Prize winner’s writers & their works till date. It's difficult to read every novel within a specific time so take the help of the internet & skim the short summaries of the important works.
5) For Literary Criticism & Theory, make understanding of general terms & assumptions of Structuralism, Deconstruction, Modernism, Marxist Theory, Feminism & Post-colonialism; study Plato to T.S Eliot for literary theory. Seven to ten questions are asked from this section. These topics are very important for the third paper.
6) Reading 4 to 5 hours daily will help the candidates in clearing this particular examination. Students get enough time to cover up thrice papers. Don't try to write it down fast, it may let one choose incorrect answers. There is no negative marking. So be calm & try to attempt all questions.
Robert Frost, an American poet, in his poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" quoted some lines on encouragement:
" The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
No worries, just do hard practice & have a taste of success.