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How to Solve Ascending-Descending Questions of UGC NET Examination Conducted by NTA

What is ascending-descending questions?: In this type of questions, some clues are given regarding the order of occurrence of certain events. The candidate is required to analyse the given information, frame the right sequence and then answer the questions accordingly. In the ascending-descending questions the students require to use skill of sequencing (increasing or decreasing) in order to form an answer. These types of questions are also known as sequencing question or chronological question. Ascending means smallest number (first) to the largest number (last) or from earlier year or date to the recent year or date and descending means larger number (first) to smaller (last) or from recent years or date to earlier years or date. Again, when information is organized by the time in which each event occurred, it is called as chronological.

Why ascending-descending questions are asked?: The ascending-descending questions are asked to test whether the students know the growth and development (history) of a concept or not. It tests the student’s ability to organize or link the concept, knowledge of sequences, order of events, level of gradation, etc.

How to solve ascending-descending questions?: Kindly note that it is good to solve the question in the straight-forward ways. However, if you are having trouble in solving them in straight-forward way, the following steps will help you to solve the ascending-descending questions-

Step 1: Check what the question is asking: Kindly read the sentences and find out whether you are asked to arrange the concept in chronological order (earlier date to recent date) or ascending (earlier date to recent date) or descending (recent date to earlier date).

Step 2: Find out which event occurs first: Out of the choices that are given, find out the events that occur first. Now eliminate the answer options where that choice is not given in the first place in ascending or chronological question and not appeared in the last place in descending question.

Step 3: Find out which events occur last: Out of the choices that are given, find out the event that occurs last. Now, look into the answer options and find out where your first choice is mentioned in the first place and second choice is mentioned in the last place (in case of chronological or ascending question) and your first choice in the last place and second choice in the first place (in case of descending question).

Example 1: (The following question was asked in the UGC NET Examination 2016 July, Paper II, and Question No. 28)
Arrange the following indexing journals according to the year of their first publication:
a. Engineering Index, New York
b. Humanities Index, New York
c. Index Medicus, Bethesda
d. Agrindex, Rome
(A) d, c, a and b
(B) c, b, d and a
(C) a, c, b and d
(D) c, a, b and d

Step 1: We have to arrange the indexing journals in ascending order of the year of first publication. It means that the journal that published first should be listed first and the journal that appears last should be listed last.

Step 2: If you have studied, then you can easily find out that Index Medicus was one of the first published indexing journals. So, we will look into the answer options where the Index Medicus that is choice (c) is listed first. Now, if you will see the answer options, only the option (B) and (D) listed the Index Medicus i.e. (c) in the first instance. So, the answer might be (B) or (D).

Step 3: Now if you will go through the choices, you can find out from your knowledge that Agrindex, Rome is the last indexing journal among the others. So, "Agrindex, Rome" i.e. choice (d) is the last one. Now in the answer choices of (B) and (D), check where the choice (d) is mentioned in the last. Yes, it is answer option (D). So, the answer will be (D).

Test Your Knowledge: The benchmark test is test of evaluating yourself by going through a set of prescribed questionnaire. The aim of this benchmark test is to determine your chances of qualifying the UGC NET Examination. It will help you to know your own weak areas or question type so that you can give more emphasis on it to improve further. Now that you know how to solve ascending-descending questions try the mock test. These questions are similar to the ones that were on the UGC NET Examination test. Kindly attempt the following questions without taking help from any other sources. If you able to score 14 or more in each of the series of questions, then there are chances of qualifying the UGC NET Examination. If you get lower than what is mentioned, you have to devote more time on those types of questions. After attempting the benchmark test post your score as comment below.

Badan BarmanDr. Badan Barman at present working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, Gauhati University, Guwahati-781014, Assam, India. He is the creator of the LIS Links ( - India’s most popular social networking website for Library and Information Science professionals. He also created the Open Access Journals Search Engine (OAJSE) (, UGC NET Guide (, Assam Archive ( and LIS Study ( website.

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