Staff Selection Commission (SSC) conducts many exams and out of them, the most popular is Combined Graduate Level (CGL). Through this examination most of the central government vacancies are filled of grade B and C. There are multiple tiers one has to pass in order to get the final selection.Checkout How to prepare for SSC CGL in this Article.

How to prepare for SSC CGL (Complete Road Map)

One can easily crack it in his/her 1st attempt if one follows the right strategy. In this article we will discuss how to crack one of the most popular competitive exams of our nation without breaking a sweat.

Previously this exam was conducted offline but since 2016 it has been conducting online.

Scheme of examination

PostTier I ExaminationTier II ExaminationTier III (descriptive)Tier IV (qualifying in nature , no marks are awarded)Total
All B and C grade posts except AAO and Statistical Investigator Grade-II200 Marks400 marks Paper-I & Paper- II100 marks   Descriptive Paper in English or Hindi (Writing of Essay/ Precis/ Letter/ Application etc.)    In the Tier-IV, Computer Proficiency Test and Data Entry Skill Test will be conducted  700
Statistical Investigator Grade-II   And   Junior Statistical Officer  200 marksPaper-I & II as above 400 marks Paper-III Statistics 200 marks(100 Questions)100 marks   Descriptive Paper in English or Hindi (Writing of Essay/ Precis/ Letter/ Application etc.)   900
Assistant Audit Officer and Assistant Accounts Officer  200 marksPaper-I & II as above 400 marks Paper-IV: General Studies (Finance and Economics) 200 marks(100 Questions)100 marks   Descriptive Paper in English or Hindi (Writing of Essay/ Precis/ Letter/ Application etc.) 900

First of all we will discuss Tier- 1, we have to do 100 questions in one hour.

SubjectsReasoningGeneral AwarenessQuantitative AptitudeEnglish LanguageTotal
Number of Questions25252525100
Maximum marks50505050200

All the Questions in Tier- 1 are multiple-choice questions (MCQ). For every correct answer, you get 2 marks and for every wrong answer, you lose 0.5 marks. There are no penalties for not attempting questions.Marks of this Tier are added to the final score of the student. It takes around a month to conduct Tier- 1, there are 3 shifts in a day means the exam is conducted 3 times by the commission in a day for different students and every shift has a different difficult section, for some reasoning will be tough and quantitative will be easy on the other hand for some quantitative will be difficult and reasoning will be easy.

So you have to be prepared for difficult questions too for every section because you can’t predict which section of yours will be easy and which is going to be difficult.So that exam does not depend on luck SSC introduced Normalization, which means the final score of the student will be adjusted according to the overall difficulty of the paper and how other students have performed in the same paper which is a good method to maintain the fairness of the selection process but it does not mean that you don’t have to do better in the difficult paper, it is a competition after all you have to perform better than others in order to get marks much higher than the cut-off, which is critical for the final selection.

How to prepare for SSC CGL

How to prepare for Reasoning section

If we take the average of all days and all shifts of previous CGL exams we can say that this section is very easy, if you are starting from ground zero it will take you around 4 months to get the gist of it but if you have prepared for other competitive exams before, you will only need a month’s practice to get good marks in this section.

So now the question arises how much practice you should do? I believe 3 hours of daily practice of this section will be more than enough to get 45+ marks and when you attempt your exam you should allot around 10 minutes to this section if it’s easy and 15 min if it is difficult in your shift, out of 1 hour.

How to prepare for General Awareness

General Awareness has two parts, one is current affairs and the other is static G.K. In the current affairs the aspirant can be asked questions based on important news,mainly focused nationally. Maximum questions will be asked from news prior to 4 months of the exam but we have seen questions can go back upto 1 year too. Under the static G.K, all predefined subjects come like History, Geography, Polity, and science.

Previously current affairs were not important in this section, static G.K was the main focus but if we see the pattern of the question from the CGL exam of 2018 and 2019, we can say that current affairs havebecome quite important. Current affairs now award you 15 to 20 marks in the exam and even the static G.K questions are prepared from the current affairs. So the key to success in this section is to prepare for current affairs and also keep an eye out for questions that can be prepared out of it for static G.K.

Now the time you should give for this section while preparing is 2 hours daily. This section is not as important as others. In your exam you should give max 5 min to this section otherwise it can create problems for other sections like quantitative aptitude.

How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude

This section should be the main focus of the CGL aspirant because, in addition to the 50 marks in Tier-1, it also weighs 200 marks in the Tier- 2 which will be discussing after this. This section is quite complex, you may get a very easy shift or you may get hard or you may get calculative. So to get 45+you have to do calculations fast and accurate in addition to the ability to solve questions of any type of difficulty.

In order to achieve 45+ marks, you have to know the basic formulas and lot of practice. In banks competitive exams, arithmetic questions are asked which includes chapters like profit and loss, compound interest and simple interest, time and work, time, speed and distance, number system, etc. but in SSC CGL around 50% questions come from arithmetic and the rest comes from Advance maths which includes geometry, algebra, trigonometry, co-ordinate geometry, etc.

In the arithmetic, formulas are not that much but when it comes to the advance maths there are lots of theorems and trigonometry formulas to be remembered. In the Tier- 1 you will be asked direct theorem based questions from geometry, so who remembers the theorem will be able to answer it in 5 sec, the same thing goes with trigonometry, formulas based direct question will be asked. In the crux what I am trying to say is that theorem and formulas should be on the tips of your fingers before you go for the exam.

If you are preparing from ground zero you need around 6 months of continuous effort to get the score of 45+ in the Tier-1 and if you have prepared for some other exams and knows basics of quantitative aptitude then I would say 3 to 4 months of a continuous efforts are required for the Tier- 1 and 4 to 5 hours of daily practice is required to achieve the goal of 45+ score. If this section is easy on your shift then allot it 15 to 20 mins, if it is hard then allot it 25 to 35 mins.

How to prepare for the English language

This section is also important for SSC CGL aspirant because in Tier-2 it also weighs 200 marks just like the Quant section. By the current trend of SSC CGL, the English section is coming easy on average. If you are starting from ground zero I would advise you to take a mock test of Tier- 1 and if you can score 25+ in this section out of 50 then you don’t need to worry that much because by just practicing previous year questions you can increase your score to 40+ within 3 months. If you are not able to increase the score then the same advice goes for you and for the aspirants who are not able to achieve 25+ in their 1st mock is to read a lot, read everything novels, newspapers and brush up your grammar knowledge. Also when you read, note down all the words unknown to you and revise these words periodically.

One should allot a minimum 3 hours of practice to this section daily while preparing for the exam. One should not give this section more than 10 minutes in the exam, it does not matter if it is difficult or easy. Either you know it or not as simple as that.

 The overall strategy for Tier- 1

So from the above discussion, we have learned that you have to allow each section sometime according to the difficulty of the section, but the question arises how you would know if the section is difficult or not, well this you will know by giving lots of mocks. Giving mockswill let know your strengths, your weaknesses and slowly you will start to recognize the difficulty level of each question.

Tier- 2

Now let us move on to Tier- 2, so when the process of Tier- I is completed for all, you will get your answer key within 14 days in which you can see your correct and wrong answer. Normally it takes around 2 months for the commission to declare the cut-off marks and list of students who have cleared the Tier- I, which is around 1.5 lakh every year. After the result is declared the commission normally takes Tier- 2 within 2 months.  Which gives us around 4 months for the preparation if we count from the point we have given Tier- I.How to prepare for SSC CGL.

How to Crack Any Competitive Exam

Tier- II has four papers.

Paper- I and Paper- II are compulsory for all the candidates who have cleared Tier- I.

Paper- III is compulsory for candidates who have filed for the post of Statistical Investigator Grade-II and Junior Statistical Officer. To be very clear who have filled for these post will be giving paper-I, paper-II and paper- III because paper- I and paper- II are compulsory for all no matter what post they have filled.

Paper- IVis compulsory for candidates who have filed for the post of Assistant Audit Officer/ Assistant Accounts Officer. Those who have filled for these posts will be giving paper- I, paper- II, and paper- IV.

Now we will be discussing these papers in detail.

Paper- I (100 Questions in 2 hours of Quantitative Aptitude)

Quantitative aptitude comes under paper- 1 of Tier-II and syllabus/chapters for this paper is the same as it was in Tier- I. So now you must be thinking then what is the difference?

Well, the difference lies in the difficulty of the questions and stamina for doing it for 2 hours. So what most people do is they underestimate the time in their 1st attempt, most people just do the practice of hard questions that’s it. The thing is that to do 100 questions of quant for a continuous 2 hours under the pressure requires stamina which is not build up easily.

This paper is the deciding factor for the final selection because it comes very tricky. I don’t want you to think it seems impossible, we had to talk about the common mistakes people do in their 1st attempt, also I wanted you to take it seriously because this is the only hard part about this exam and you have to work hard on it.How to prepare for SSC CGL.

So now the question comes how to crack it? Well, first we will build knowledge by solving as many questions possible of the previous year, you have to solve 12,000 to 18,000 questions in 3 to 4 months. Then, we will build stamina by solving questions in a time limit, we will use a stopwatch to see how many questions we can solve within a fixed time. So sometimes try to do 200 questions in 3 hours, sometimes try to do 100 Questions in 1.5 hours, do this routine for a month. After a month take your 1st mock test of quantitative aptitude, note down your score. From this point forward you keep building up your stamina by working Monday to Friday like before and on Saturday you will give one mock test, resting on Sunday. Thefinal tip is to keep finding your weakness while building your stamina and work on it. The weakness here means chapters or some type of questions you are not able to do fast or accurate.How to prepare for SSC CGL.

Paper-II (200 questions in 2 hours of English Language)

The English language comes under Paper-II of Tier-II. The preparation of this paper is not different than what I have suggested in Tier-1. Just keep reading everything and keep building your vocabulary. The final tip is to take mock every day of this paper 2 months month prior to the exam.

Paper-III (100 questions in 2 hours of Statistics)

This paper comes very easy, only basic concept questions are asked. Pick up any basic level graduate book and stick to it, one book will be enough, do not give this that much importance. Focus on quant paper more than Statistics.

Paper-IV (100 questions in 2 hours of Finance and Economics)

Questions in this paper are a little tricky which requiresa deep understanding of topics of economics. If we talk about the type of questions then 40 questions come from finance and accounting and 60 questions from economics and governance. I would recommend digging up economics ncert books of 11th and 12th and those who do not have an accounting background, I would advise you not to skip numerical questions because it can give you an understanding of rectifications. The final tip is to write down definitions of all terms of economics which you do not know like monetary policy, monopoly,etc and revise them periodically.How to prepare for SSC CGL.

Tier-III

Under the syllabus of this Tier comes writing of Essay/ Precis/ Letter/ Application etc, either in English or in Hindi, but in the CGL, only Essay and letter are coming since the beginning. So I will be precise about it because the topics come in this tier are very easy and general, anyone can write about it if one is aware of his surroundings. So prepare on most highlighted topics of current affairs or general topics like women empowerment, poverty, etc. But I won’t say this easy to those who have very little experience in writing, the main objective of this paper is to test if the student has the ability to write in a flow and professional manner. So keep this in mind and start writing daily one essay on any general topic after giving the Tier-I.

Tier-IV

After clearing the cut-off of tier-III there are two types of test will be conducted. One is CPT(Computer Proficiency Test) and second is DEST (Data Entry Skill Test), clearing these two test is not compulsory for all the post, CPT will be conducted for the post of Assistant Section Officer in CSS, MEA & AFHQ, Assistant in Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Assistant (GSI) in the Ministry of Mines, Inspector (Central Excise), Inspector (Preventive Officer) & Inspector (Examiner) in CBIC and DEST will be conducted for the post of Tax Assistants (Central Excise & Income Tax).How to prepare for SSC CGL.

The Commission will hold Computer Proficiency Test (CPT), comprising of three modules: (i) Word Processing, (ii) Spread Sheet and (iii) Generation of Slides and The “Data Entry Speed Test” Skill Test will be conducted for a passage of about 2000 (two thousand) key depressions for a duration of 15 (fifteen) minutes.

Finally in How to prepare for SSC CGL These two tests are easy but not that easy if you have not typed on pc keyboard in your life for a decent amount of time. Do not take this lightly because people also fail in it. Practice one month at least for 5 hours daily prior to the test. This test is qualifying in nature marks are not awarded for this test.

I hope this article about How to prepare for SSC CGL helped you in understanding the process of cracking the exam.

Best of luck! Or Buy It From RAY

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