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About CSIR NET Chemical Sciences Exam

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) conducts the National Eligibility Test (NET) for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and appointment of Lecturers (LS) in the field of Chemical Sciences. The exam is held twice a year, generally in June and December.

Exam Pattern

The exam consists of three parts viz. Part A (General Aptitude), Part B (Chemical Sciences), and Part C (Chemical Sciences). In Part A, there are 20 questions out of which 15 questions are to be attempted, and in Part B and C, there are 40 and 60 questions respectively, out of which 35 and 25 questions are to be attempted.

Part Weightage No. of Questions Maximum Questions to be Attempted Marks per correct answers Marks per wrong answers Maximum Marks

For Part A and Part B, 0.5 marks will be deducted for each incorrect answer, and for Part C, 1 mark will be deducted for each wrong response.

Syllabus for CSIR NET Chemical Sciences

To prepare for any exam, having a clear understanding of the syllabus is crucial. The syllabus for CSIR NET Chemical Sciences exam is divided into various sections, including organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, and interdisciplinary topics. Here’s the detailed syllabus of Chemical Sciences:

1. Chemical periodicity

2. Structure and bonding in homo- and heteronuclear molecules, including shapes of molecules (VSEPR Theory).

3. Concepts of acids and bases, Hard-Soft acid base concept, Non-aqueous solvents.

4. Main group elements and their compounds: Allotropy, synthesis, structure and bonding, industrial importance of the compounds.

5. Transition elements and coordination compounds: structure, bonding theories, spectral and magnetic properties, reaction mechanisms.

6. Inner transition elements: spectral and magnetic properties, redox chemistry, analytical applications.

7. Organometallic compounds: synthesis, bonding and structure, and reactivity. Organometallics in homogeneous catalysis.

8. Cages and metal clusters.

9. Analytical chemistry- separation, spectroscopic, electro- and thermoanalytical methods.

10. Bioinorganic chemistry: photosystems, porphyrins, metalloenzymes, oxygen transport, electron- transfer reactions; nitrogen fixation, metal complexes in medicine.

11. Characterisation of inorganic compounds by IR, Raman, NMR, EPR, Mössbauer, UV-vis, NQR, MS, electron spectroscopy and microscopic techniques.

12. Nuclear chemistry: nuclear reactions, fission and fusion, radio-analytical techniques and activation analysis.

  1. Basic principles of quantum mechanics: Postulates; operator algebra; exactlysolvable systems: particle-in-a-box, harmonic oscillator and the hydrogen atom, including shapes of atomic orbitals; orbital and spin angular momenta; tunneling.
  2. Approximate methods of quantum mechanics: Variational principle; perturbation theory up to second order in energy; applications.
  3. Atomic structure and spectroscopy; term symbols; many-electron systems and antisymmetry principle.
  4. Chemical bonding in diatomics; elementary concepts of MO and VB theories; Huckel theory for conjugated π-electron systems.
  5. Chemical applications of group theory; symmetry elements; point groups; character tables; selection rules.
  6. Molecular spectroscopy: Rotational and vibrational spectra of diatomic molecules; electronic spectra; IR and Raman activities – selection rules; basic principles of magnetic resonance.
  7. Chemical thermodynamics: Laws, state and path functions and their applications; thermodynamic description of various types of processes; Maxwell’s relations; spontaneity and equilibria; temperature and pressure dependence of thermodynamic quantities; Le Chatelier principle; elementary description of phase transitions; phase equilibria and phase rule; thermodynamics of ideal and non-ideal gases, and solutions.
  8. Statistical thermodynamics: Boltzmann distribution; kinetic theory of gases; partition functions and their relation to thermodynamic quantities – calculations for model systems.
  9. Electrochemistry: Nernst equation, redox systems, electrochemical cells; DebyeHuckel theory; electrolytic conductance – Kohlrausch’s law and its applications; ionic equilibria; conductometric and potentiometric titrations.
  10. Chemical kinetics: Empirical rate laws and temperature dependence; complex reactions; steady state approximation; determination of reaction mechanisms; collision and transition state theories of rate constants; unimolecular reactions; enzyme kinetics; salt effects; homogeneous catalysis; photochemical reactions.
  11. Colloids and surfaces: Stability and properties of colloids; isotherms and surface area; heterogeneous catalysis.
  12. Solid state: Crystal structures; Bragg’s law and applications; band structure of solids.
  13. Polymer chemistry: Molar masses; kinetics of polymerization.
  14. Data analysis: Mean and standard deviation; absolute and relative errors; linear regression; covariance and correlation coefficient.

1. IUPAC nomenclature of organic molecules including regio- and stereoisomers.

2. Principles of stereochemistry: Configurational and conformational isomerism in acyclic and cyclic compounds; stereogenicity, stereoselectivity, enantioselectivity, diastereoselectivity and asymmetric induction.

3. Aromaticity: Benzenoid and non-benzenoid compounds – generation and reactions.

4. Organic reactive intermediates: Generation, stability and reactivity of carbocations, carbanions, free radicals, carbenes, benzynes and nitrenes.

5. Organic reaction mechanisms involving addition, elimination and substitution reactions with electrophilic, nucleophilic or radical species. Determination of reaction pathways.

6. Common named reactions and rearrangements – applications in organic synthesis.

7. Organic transformations and reagents: Functional group interconversion including oxidations and reductions; common catalysts and reagents (organic, inorganic, organometallic and enzymatic). Chemo, regio and stereoselective transformations.

8. Concepts in organic synthesis: Retrosynthesis, disconnection, synthons, linear and convergent synthesis, umpolung of reactivity and protecting groups.

9. Asymmetric synthesis: Chiral auxiliaries, methods of asymmetric induction – substrate, reagent and catalyst controlled reactions; determination of enantiomeric and diastereomeric excess; enantio-discrimination. Resolution – optical and kinetic.

10. Pericyclic reactions – electrocyclisation, cycloaddition, sigmatropic rearrangements and other related concerted reactions. Principles and applications of photochemical reactions in organic chemistry.

11. Synthesis and reactivity of common heterocyclic compounds containing one or two heteroatoms (O, N, S).

12. Chemistry of natural products: Carbohydrates, proteins and peptides, fatty acids, nucleic acids, terpenes, steroids and alkaloids. Biogenesis of terpenoids and alkaloids.

13. Structure determination of organic compounds by IR, UV-Vis, 1H & 13C NMR and Mass spectroscopic techniques.

1. Chemistry in nanoscience and technology.

2. Catalysis and green chemistry.

3. Medicinal chemistry.

4. Supramolecular chemistry.

5. Environmental chemistry

Tips to Prepare for CSIR NET Chemical Sciences Exam

1. Develop a study plan: Create a study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Allocate enough time for each section and stick to the plan.

2. Understand the concepts: Having a clear understanding of the concepts is essential to crack the exam. Focus on the fundamentals and then move on to the advanced topics.

3. Practice question papers: Practice previous year’s question papers and sample papers to get a feel of the exam pattern and difficulty level.

4. Time Management: Time management is crucial for any competitive exam. Solve the questions within the stipulated time and improve your speed by practicing more. 

5. Short notes: Make short notes of the important topics, equations, and concepts. These notes will come in handy during the revision period.

6. Revision: Revision is the key to success. Revise the topics regularly and keep a tab on your progress.

7. Attempt a Mock Test Series: Joining a test series for Chemical Sciences helps to assess your preparation, increase your speed and accuracy while solving questions, and simulate the exam pattern. It also provides feedback and analysis on your performance, thereby helping you make the necessary improvements for the actual exam. The ASAP CHEMTIME test series comprises over 35+ tests covering the entire syllabus, along with doubt-solving sessions and extensive study material. By joining their test series, you can significantly improve your preparation for the CSIR NET Chemical Sciences exam and boost your chances of success.

8. Join a Coaching Institute: Joining a coaching institute for CSIR NET Chemical Sciences Exam preparation can be beneficial, as it helps students to receive a systematic study approach, guidelines from subject experts, and access to in-depth study material and mock tests. In this regard, ASAP CHEMTIME is a reliable and credible coaching institute, offering comprehensive and strategic coaching sessions. With experienced faculty members and a detailed curriculum, they provide personalized attention to every student, ensuring they achieve their full potential and successfully crack the exam. With its user-friendly interface, ASAP CHEMTIME also provides online courses, study material, and mock tests accessible from anywhere, making the preparation more convenient.

FAQs on CSIR NET Chemical Sciences

Yes. In order to be eligible to appear for the CSIR NET Chemical Sciences Exam, candidates must hold an M.Sc./BS/B-Tech or an equivalent degree in Chemistry, scoring a minimum of 55% (without any rounding off) marks, if belonging to the General (UR)/General-EWS categories, and 50% (without any rounding off) marks, if belonging to the OBC (NCL)/SC/ST, Third gender, and Persons with Disability (PwD) categories.

For example: Chemical Engineering students can apply for CSIR NET/JRF in Chemical Sciences.

The general aptitude section includes questions from logical reasoning, numerical ability, and scientific aptitude. Practice previous year’s question papers and sample papers to ace this section. You can also join a special offline / online live or recorded batch provided by ASAP CHEMTIME to ensure maximum marks.

Yes, for each incorrect answer in PART A and B, 0.5 marks will be deducted from the total score for PART C, 1 mark is deducted.

 Practice sample papers and focus on solving questions within the stipulated time. Divide the time based on the weightage of each section and allocate enough time for each question.

Yes, the candidate can apply for both JRF and LS positions in the CSIR NET Chemical Sciences exam.

As per the guidelines for CSIR NET Chemical Sciences Exam, there will be no individual cut-off marks for any of the three parts- Part A, Part B, and Part C, rather the cumulative score of all three parts will be taken into account for preparing the final merit list. Furthermore, the minimum qualifying percentage for General, EWS, and OBC categories is 33%, while for SC/ST and PwD categories, it is 25%, to be considered for both fellowship and Lectureship/Assistant Professor positions. Please note that this information is taken directly from official sources.

No, candidates are not allowed to use a calculator during the CSIR NET Chemical Sciences Exam. However, they can use rough work or a scribble pad provided to them during the exam to solve mathematical problems and take notes.

The result of the CSIR NET Chemical Sciences Exam is usually declared within one to two months after the exam date. The result is published on the official website of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Candidates who appeared for the exam can check their results on the website.

There is no restriction on the number of attempts for the CSIR NET Chemical Sciences exam. A candidate can appear for the exam as many times as they desire. However, it is important to note that candidates cannot exceed the age limit to apply for the exam to be eligible.


The upper age limit for General/ EWS category candidates is 28 years as of July 1, 2022.

The upper age limit for OBC-NCL (Non-Creamy Layer) category candidates is 31 years as of July 1, 2022.

The upper age limit SC/ ST/ PwD category candidates is 33 years as of July 1, 2022.

However, there is no upper age limit for the candidates who are applying for the LS (Lectureship).


The CSIR NET Chemical Sciences exam can be challenging, but with the right planning and strategy, you can crack it. Focus on the fundamentals, revise, and practice previous year’s question papers to ace the exam. We hope this comprehensive guide has helped you prepare for the CSIR NET Chemical Sciences exam. Good luck!

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