JNU MA Sociology Entrance: Preparation Strategy, Question papers, Syllabus, Books

Preparation for JNU MA Sociology Entrance Exam: It is a dream for many students to get enrolled in a prestigious institute of their country to build their career, and Jawaharlal Nehru University is one such university that attracts students to seek admission and gear up their careers. But getting into JNU isn’t easy, which is why the aspirants need to be very sincere about their preparation to clear the entrance exam and get admission to the university. This article will be useful to understand how an aspirant could seek admission into JNU and what preparation strategy could help for the same.

Introduction to the  the institute

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is a world – renowned teaching and research institute located in New Delhi, India. It was established in 1969 after being passed by an act of Parliament in 1966. JNU is a visionary institute that fosters young minds that will contribute to the betterment of society in the future by providing a platform for creative minds and inquisitive thoughts to explore and experiment in the fields of academics and research. At the postgraduate level, students become one of the most important resources for the university. They are not just expected to carry on with their routine classes but are also encouraged to pursue research projects independently and publish their own papers.  Jawaharlal Nehru University is collaborating internationally with other institutes in the fields of research projects, publications, seminars, and conferences, which has been creating opportunities for the Indian students in the university to speak their minds and make their voices heard.

About the course

The Master’s degree program in Sociology at JNU offers a variety of courses for students to choose from as per their interests and preferences. The course deals with the study of sociological theories, social systems, social stratification, kinship studies, social change, studies on politics, economics, religion, sociological processes, research methodology, and other fields like sociology of gender, sociology of professions, social demography, anthropological theories, sociology of knowledge, cultural studies, ethnic minorities, Social Ecology, Indian Social Thought, Social Psychology and medical sociology, etc. These courses provide a combination of theory and methodology so that the students can grasp the reality of these fields and realize their importance, more specifically, in the context of Indian society.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in any subject to apply. To be considered for admission, candidates must score at least 55% on the qualifying exam.

Selection Criteria

Before 2022, PG student applications at JNU were accepted on the basis of merit as well as an entrance examination conducted by the university. Selection to the university’s offered courses was only confirmed if the student met the required criteria and qualifications in the entrance exam. But the admission procedure has changed since 2022, when admissions to all PG courses began to be based on Common University Entrance Test (CUET) PG scores conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The final selection will depend upon the merit list that will be released by the university on the basis of CUET PG marks.

Importance of the course

Sociology has emerged to be one of the most important and on demand discipline and it’s importance are as follows –

  • Sociology comprises of theoretical understanding as well as empirical research in order to critically analyze the components of the society and understand its significance.
  • Sociology will help the students to study, analyze and comprehend social relationships, human behaviour and every element that has been socially constructed.
  • Sociology will guide the learners to look into the roots of all the happenings in the society along with possible solutions to deal with problems.
  • MA in Sociology develops an inquisitive mind, capability of minute observation so that the perspectives of sociologically trained students differ from that of a layman, research skills, ability to analyze critically and skills to communicate.

Scope of the course

  • The scope of the course is not just limited to academics and research but the knowledge, skills and experience gained from the course could be applied to other areas as well that would sync with the career goals of the students.
  • MA in Sociology provides ample of career options like one could engage in activities like social work, NGOs etc., students can become social influencers, social scientists, counsellors, motivators, work in the healthcare sectors, law firms, child development sector, welfare organizations, business corporations, management, become a criminologist, research consultant and the opportunities are never ending.

The aforementioned areas provide lucrative pay packages to Masters students in exchange for their knowledge and skills.

Preparation strategy and tips

Sociology is all about concepts and theories that requires the students to have a good understanding on the subject. A proper plan for preparing to get into JNU is essential so that the aspirants are in track during the preparation process and remain motivated to reach out their goal. Here are a few tips to ace the preparation for entrance exam to get into a prestigious institute like JNU –

  1. Knowing and Understanding the syllabus

Here is the CUET PG Sociology syllabus

  • Basic Concepts in Sociology:
  • UNIT – I

Sociology: Definition, nature and scope; Relationship with other Social Sciences: Psychology, Anthropology, History, Economics and Political Science.

  • UNIT – II

Basic Concepts: Social Structure, Society, Social Organization, Community, Association, Norms, Values.

  • UNIT – III

Status and Role: Types of status and role and their interrelationship

  • UNIT – IV

Socialization: Meaning, types, processes and agencies. Theories of self (Freud, Cooley and Mead) Culture: Meaning, characteristics; material and non-material culture; cultural lag, Culture and civilization.

  • Social Processes and Problems:
  • UNIT – I

Social Processes: Cooperation, Accommodation, Assimilation, Competition and Conflict.

  • UNIT – II

Social Groups: Definition, characteristics, types (primary and secondary; in-group and out-group; Reference group and Peer group).

  • UNIT – III

Social Institutions: Marriage; Family; Kinship

Education, Religion and Economy: Meaning and Functions

  • UNIT – IV

Social Control: Meaning, Significance and agencies.

Social Deviance: Meaning, characteristics, forms and factors.

  • Society, Culture and Social Change:
  • UNIT – I

Societies: Types and Characteristics- Tribal, Rural, Urban, Industrial and Post-Industrial.

  • UNIT – II

Culture: Definition and Nature; Types- Material and Non- Material.

Socialization: Importance, Process and Stages.

Social Control: Types and Means

  • UNIT – III

Processes of Social Change: Characteristic Features of Industrialization, Modernization, Globalization and Secularization

  • UNIT – IV

Social Stratification: Types, theories of stratification

Social mobility and its types

  • Indian Society:
  • UNIT – I

Evolution of Indian Society: Traditional basis of Indian Society; Unity and Diversity in India; India as a Pluralistic Society.

  • UNIT – II

Caste, theories of Caste system and its Changing Dimensions in India; Dominant caste.

  • UNIT – III

Processes of Social Change in India: Sanskritization, Westernization, Modernization, Parochialization and Universalization

  • UNIT – IV

Social Issues and Problems: Gender Discrimination, Problems of Women; Problems of Dalits, OBCs and Minorities; Affirmative Actions.

  • Social Research:
  • UNIT – I

Social Research: Definition, Nature and Purpose; Steps in Social Research; Problem of Objectivity and Subjectivity in Social Research

  • UNIT – II

Research Methods: Research Designs; Social Survey; Hypothesis- Types & significance; Sampling and Sampling Procedure

  • UNIT – III

Techniques of Data Collection: Observation, Interview, Questionnaire, Schedule and Case Study; Types of Data

  • UNIT – IV

Statistical Analysis and Use of Computer in Social Research: Classification and Tabulation of Data; Measures of Central Tendency: Mean, Median and Mode; Use of Computers in Social Research.

  • Social Problems in India:
  • UNIT – I

Social Problem: Meaning and Definition; Importance of the Study of Social Problems; Sociological Perspectives on Social Problem-Anomie and suicide (Durkheim) Labeling (Becker).

  • UNIT – II

Structural Issues: Inequality of Caste, Class, Gender and Ethnicity

  • UNIT – III

Problems and Issues: Female Foeticide, Dowry, Domestic Violence, Divorce; Problems of Aged.

  • UNIT – IV

Social Disorganization: Crime, Juvenile Delinquency, Corruption, Communalism, Drug Addiction, Suicide, Nepotism, Prostitution and AIDS

Going through the syllabus is the first and most essential step in the preparation process. It will help to make further study plans and make one aware of what to study and how much to study. Understanding the syllabus is also necessary, or else one would end up studying what is not required for the examination, leading to a wastage of time that is unaffordable if one is serious about getting into JNU.

  1. Collecting materials

 The students need to keep in mind their syllabus while collecting reading materials, or else they will end up with piles of materials and lose track of what to read and where to read from. This will consume a lot of time and drain the efforts and energies of the students. Also, students should make sure that they collect reading materials from authentic sources so that they can excel in the exam.

  1. Timetable

After thoroughly going through the syllabus and collecting essential reading materials, one needs to make a timetable so that all the topics in the syllabus can be covered in time. The students should make sure that, while planning the timetable, they prioritize each and every unit and subunit and give equal attention to every part. A timetable will keep the students disciplined as well as punctual, and their study pattern will be systematic. Moreover, students will have a record of their daily progress in their preparation while following a timetable.

  1. Time management

Following a time table will not be sufficient if time is not utilized wisely. The students should understand that time is precious, especially when they are aiming for one of the most prestigious institutes. Students should divide the time they will invest in each topic after realizing their strengths and weaknesses in the areas mentioned in the syllabus. More time should be given on the topics one finds difficult to read, but the easy topics too should be given significant time.

  1. Making notes

Making notes is one of the most efficient ways to memorize whatever is studied. Reading alone is not sufficient, and there is a tendency to forget, but if notes are prepared on whatever is read, the retaining capacity is enhanced, and students could easily summarize the topics.

  1. Practice

Practice is the key to perfection. Students should solve the previous year’s questions, attempt mock tests, and other online or offline tests to test their progress and identify where they are lagging behind. Practice will bring out the mistakes that the students are making in the preparation process, and continuous practice will give them the right direction to achieve their goal.

  1. Revision

Revision is undoubtedly a very important step to cracking any exam. Reading a lot of good and authentic material is pointless if one cannot retain what they read. Revision is the only way one could retain things. Students should set aside some extra time only for revision, and that should be managed in the timetable they prepare at the initial period. For example, if a student has a 2-month preparation plan, he or she should set aside at least 15 days for revision.

Tips to ace the entrance exam

  • Give equal attention to both the papers, that is, Paper A and Paper B
  • Identify the topics that you have a lower hand in and give it some extra time.
  • Use sticky notes and paste the notes in those corners of your room that you regularly go to so that even when you are not studying you could at least randomly read a few words.
  • Use coloured pencils to highlight your notes. It enhances retaining power.
  • Contextualize whatever you read with your surroundings for a clear understanding and long term memorizing.

Recommended materials

It is expected that Part A of the CUET PG Exam 2023 will consist of 25 questions on subjects like Language Comprehension/ Verbal Ability, General Awareness, Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, etc. Some of the best books for CUET PG Part A are given below

  1. Language Comprehension/ Verbal Ability – English Grammar & Composition by Wren and Martin, Murphy’s English Grammar by Raymond Murphy
  2. Logical Reasoning and Analytical Skills – A modern approach to logical reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal, Analytical Reasoning by MK Pandey
  3. Quantitative Aptitude/ Mathematics – Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination by RS Agarwal, Quantitative aptitude for all competitive exam by Abhijeet Gupta
  4. Data Interpretation – Data interpretation by RS Agarwal, Data Interpretation by K. Kundan
  5. General Awareness – General Knowledge by Arihant
  6. Computer Knowledge – Objective Computer Awareness by Arihant.

Part B of the CUET PG Exam 2023 is expected to be consist of 75 questions on domain knowledge subjects.

The books that will cover all the topics could be listed as follows –

Analyzing Previous Year Questions

Because admission to PG courses at JNU has been through CUET since last year, i.e., 2022, there is no clear pattern for the types of questions to be asked this year. Here are a few questions from CUET PG 2022 Sociology,  that will give the aspirants an idea regarding what kind of questions they are to prepare


The process by which we learn to become members of the society, and also by learning to perform our social roles is referred to as





Answer- Socialization

QBID : 1019071

Arrange the following books in chronological sequence of their publication :

(A)Primitive Classification

(B)The Division of Labour in Society

(C)The Rules of Sociological Method


(E) The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

Answer – B-C-D-A-E

QBID :1019070

Who is the author of the book, “Capital : A Critique of Political Economy”

(1)Max Weber

(2)Karl Marx

(3)Emile Durkheim

(4)Herbert Spencer

Answer – Karl Marx

QBID : 1019069

Arrange the following options chronologically in terms of their location in various Five Year Plans :

(A) Industrial Development

(B)Green Revolution

(C)20 Point Programme


(E) Sarva Siksha Abhiyan

Answer – A-B-C-D-E

QBID : 1019065

Given below are two statements : one is labelled as Assertion A and the other is labelled as Reason R

Assertion A : Caste is a closed group.

Reason R : The caste system in India is based on endogamy.

In the light of the above statements, choose the most appropriate answer from the options given below.

(1)Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A

(2)Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A

(3)A is true but R is false

(4)A is false but R is true

Answer – (1)Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A

QBID : 1019028

Which of the following is not a part of quantitative data?

(1)Data on crime

(2)Data on suicide

(3)Case study data

(4)Census data

Answer – (3)Case study data

QBID : 1019021

Who observed that ‘the culture of a society is the way of life of its members: the collection of ideas and habits which they learn, share and transmit from generation to generation’?

(1)Ralph Linton

(2)Max Weber

(3)Emile Durkheim

(4)Clyde Kluckhohn

Answer – (1) Ralph Linton

From the above mentioned questions, one can expect questions on books and authors, questions on social policies, social processes, theories, methodology, sociological concepts, famous quotations of the sociologists and social thinkers. Questions can be put in the form of arranging events/ books chronologically, match the following, assertion – reasoning etc. To be able to answer maximum of the questions from the paper, the aspirants should have a clear understanding of Sociological theories and concepts, the life and works of Sociologists and Social Thinkers


 Because each question in the question paper is awarded 4 marks, one could not afford to leave any question unanswered. To be able to attempt the questions asked in the paper, preparation strategy needs to be strong and wise. With a good preparation plan an aspirant could get into JNU with flying colours.

Jawaharlal Nehru University( JNU ) applicant needs to give an online entrance exam, we shared 2020 to 2015 JNU Past year question papers.

1. JNU Sociology Question Paper 2020

2. JNU Sociology Question Paper 2019 ( Note: Correct Answers pdf.

3. 2018 

4. 2017

5. 2016

6. 2015

Also Read:

Share on:

I am Monsoon Rupam. I did my post graduation in Sociology from Dibrugarh University. I have a curious mind and it always excites me to find 'sociology' in everything around me. I am a keen observer and take interest in research work and analysis. Gender Studies, Social Stratification, Health are a few areas that holds my attention to work upon. Besides, I find solace in music, moon gazing, sunsets, rain and flowers.