All You Need To Know About Preparing For TISSNET

A year ago, I was one among the numerous aspirants of TISS National Entrance Test- TISSNET as we popularly know it. Cut to a year later, I am a part of TISS, Mumbai for their MA Human Resources Management & Labour Relations (MA HRM&LR) class of 2018-2020. This has been a great journey for me, filled with many ups and downs. It’s an experience that I would like to share with my fellow aspirants. I’d be extremely satisfied to know if the strategies that had worked for me, work for you as well.

To put things into perspective, TISSNET 2018 was my first attempt. The motivation to ace TISSNET stemmed from my desire to get a formal business education from one of India’s Best Universities.

TISSNET is the common entrance test for admission to the range of courses offered by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Before you start your preparation, here are a few things which you need to know.

The exam pattern for TISS-NET 2019 (as of now) is as follows:

General Awareness 40 marks

English Proficiency 30 marks

Maths and Logical Reasoning 30 marks

Section Topics
Logical Reasoning Number Series, Alphabet Series, Eye for detail, Statement Conclusion/Assumption/Arguments, Logical Connectivity, Linear/Circular/Family Arrangement, Venn Diagram, Puzzles, Cubes
Data Interpretation Bar graph, Tables, Pie chart, Double pie chart, Case lets, multiple graphs, Line graphs, Data comparison
Quantitative Ability Profit and Loss, Averages, Basic Geometry, Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Time –Distance & Speed, Number System,
Verbal Ability Antonyms, Analogies, Odd word out, Word substitute in a sentence, Right usage of words in fill in the blank, Right usage of word in match the following, Fill in the Blanks – Homophones, Idioms – Fill in the blank, Idioms – Match the following, Error spotting – grammar/words/ punctuation, Sentence Correction
Reading Comprehension Purpose of the passage, Strengthen and Weaken, Assumption and Supporting Statement, Flaw and Discrepancy, Inference and Conclusion Drawn, Passage based questions, Author’s Point of View, Main idea of the passage.
General Awareness Environment & ecology, Politics/History/Governance/Law, Economy/ Policy, International politics/ current events, Gender/Health/Education, Labour, Media/Literature/Art/Culture, Sports etc.

It is visible that there is no change in the syllabus of TISS-NET. It must be kept in mind that amongst all of these sections, the General Awareness section can make or break it for you. As there are 100 questions to be solved in 100 minutes, speed is of utmost importance.

One thing I’m sure everyone will rejoice about is the absence of negative marking. So summon all your lucky charms and instincts, and attempt all the questions.
Coming to the preparation:

How one can prepare for this entrance test?

So, before making any strategy it is important that one should have a detailed plan. It is rightly said that – “if we fail to plan then we are planned to fail.” The same goes for TISS-NET preparation. Let us break down the syllabus subject wise and make a detailed plan for each subject.

English Proficiency

For anyone with a reasonably good grasp over the English language, you could sail through this section rather smoothly. For those who might be facing certain difficulties in preparing for language, you can prepare by doing the following things –

Read up the commonly used Idioms on the internet

Brush up your Grammar using any basic book.

Practice Reading Comprehensions from any online source.

How did I prepare this section?

I started reading editorials & Op-Ed from renowned English newspapers. This helped me to improve my grammar & also helped me in enhancing my comprehension skills. This helped me in order to form the opinions on current affairs topics.

Maths and Logical Reasoning

For aspirants who are appearing for other competitive exams, this section requires just a little brushing up of the basic concepts of Quant and added preparation for topics like cubes, critical reasoning, non-verbal reasoning including family relations, number and alphabet series. One must have their basic concepts clear in order to score well in this section.

For aspirants preparing exclusively for TISS-NET – 

Quantitative Aptitude books by any author will be sufficient in order to do well in this exam.

Practice maximum DI & Reasoning questions on daily basis.

How did I prepare this section?

Time is the key here. This is probably the only section where one can score 100% This is the only section which will be able to give you a definite idea of whether your answers are right or wrong: the reason being that you solve them on the spot. One can solve the problem and get the correct answer using various methods, which also helps in the verification of the answer. (if time so permits!) So practice as many questions as possible. Find various methods in order to solve a single problem.

General Awareness

This is the most important section of the TISS-NET. This can be broadly divided into: STATIC & CURRENT GK

Current Affairs:

There are many renowned newspapers which give us a detailed perspective about our surroundings. Get a detailed perspective about any news which is nationally or internationally important.

Monthly and yearly compilation of important news headlines available on multiple sites on internet.

Some people recommend many magazines and short articles.

Static GK:

If you’re one of those people, who don’t really enjoy heavy readings sans illustrations, there are plenty of YouTube videos available to make learning History, Geography, Polity etc more fun.

You could also build your General Awareness by talking and discussing it with people. Discourse allows access to new information and cements the already existing knowledge in your mind.

Lastly, attempt the previous years’ question papers. This will give you a better idea about time management in the actual exam.

How did I prepare this section?

I started with the most basic books which we used to read during our school days in order to brush up most basic concepts in order to improve my static GK. I prepared exhaustive notes so that I could revise it just before the exam.

In order to improve the current Affairs, I started reading newspapers & started forming opinions on those issues. Secondly, there are good TV debates that helped me to get overall picture about any important news.

TISS-NET 2019 Strategy:

Step 1: Read the syllabus carefully and make a comprehensive plan for each section.

Step 2: Based on your strengths and weaknesses, dedicate appropriate number of hours for each section.

Step 3: Read at least two newspapers and jot down the short notes. Never miss editorials and opinion pages of those newspapers. Filter the news based on its national and international importance. Connect that news to the syllabus and key learnings theoretical concepts.

Step 4: For subjects like Mathematics and Logical Reasoning, practice is the key. Solve multiple questions using multiple methods. Focus on speed and accuracy.

Step 5: Follow TV debates (current affairs topics) on reliable news channels or YouTube.

Step 6: Careful reading of the English newspaper, listening to English news Channels in order to improve your grammar and vocabulary.

Step 7: Solve previous years’ TISS-NET papers and accordingly manage your time.

Step 8: Analyse those papers and work on the weak areas.

Step 9: Read- Understand- Practice- Analyse- Repeat.

Step10: Follow QUIZTOPIA– daily Quiz on Facebook group- TISS HRM&LR Aspirants (Official).

Step 11: Lastly don’t panic and stay calm.

All the best for TISS-NET 2019.


About the Author:

Abhay Ambekar is a B.Sc Maths Graduate pursuing first year M. A HRM & LR in Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He is a part of the Aspirants Relations Committee of 2018-19 and his hobbies include Herpetology and solving Rubik’s cube. He is also interested in mountaineering and other adventure sports.


Aspirant Relations Committee manages the entire gamut of admission related activities from aspirant mentoring to onboarding, and the induction process. The committee also manages the social media platforms for TISS Mumbai HRM & LR where it deals with public relations as well as branding related activities.


One comment

Ritwik Garg

A friend told me that the real struggle to get into TISS starts after you clear the cutoff. The GDPI sessions are too rigorous for someone who doesn’t have any work experience in the field. I don’t have any kind of work experience. Shall I have any hopes with the exam?