How to Prepare for SSC CGL Exam- Strategy, Booklist and Resources

SSC CGL Preparation Strategy

SSC CGL (Staff Selection Commission Combined Graduate Level) Exam is one of the most highly competitive exams in India. Those who clear this exam are posted in Group B and Group C posts under various ministries and autonomous agencies under the government of India. Group B and C posts are highly prestigious and have power.

Every year SSC conducts Combined Graduate Level Exam to fill up the vacancies of various departments. Year by year the level of competition has been increasing in an unexpected level. Almost 40 lakh aspirants apply for this recruitment exam. The prestige and salary which one gets in this job make this exam highly competitive.

Previously Staff Selection Commission conducted CGL exam in three stages— Tier 1, Tier 2 and interview. Presently, Only Group A posts recruited by UPSC conducts interview. SSC CGL is conducted to recruit Group B and C posts. So, the stage 3 of SSC CGL i.e. interview stage has been omitted. Now, SSC CGL is a three stage exam— Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3.

Tier 1 is the preliminary exam having 100 MCQ , each question carries 2 marks. General Awareness (25), General Intelligence (25), General English (25) and Numerical Aptitude (25). Tier 2 has four papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2 are compulsory for all candidates and Paper 3 and Paper 4 are for few selected posts. Tier 3 is in Descriptive nature (Essay and Letter Writing).

High rank in CGL exam can fulfill your dream to get your dream job. Proper preparation is the only way to achieve your goal of getting a good post through SSC CGL. There is a misconception that without good coaching cracking SSC CGL with good marks is not possible. But this is completely a wrong. If one can prepare with perfect strategy and dedication, he/she will surely get his dream job.

The foremost step of preparing for CGL exam is to know the Syllabus in minute detail and clear your concept about the type of questions asked in previous years. Studying previous years exam papers will give you the idea about what to read and from which topics are important for the exam. You can also give mock tests to know in which stage your preparation and the gaps in your preparation.

In SSC CGL exam, the marks obtained in Tier 1 exam are added to make final list. Tier 1 exam has 100 objective questions, 2 marks for each question, total 200 marks. All the sections are important, leaving one section in excuse can be the risk factor for the exam.

SSC CGL Prelims Marks Allocation

NO. of Questions Marks
General Awareness 25 50
General Intelligence 25 50
General English 25 50
Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
Total 100 200

General Awareness Preparation Strategy

As there is no sectional cut off in CGL exam, many aspirants skip General Awareness section. A good score in tier 1 exam is to secure more than 160 marks. The level of cut off in Tier 1 exam has increased in recent years. The cut off ranges between 135-140. So, General Awareness section should be given importance to secure your score. There is no specific top in General Awareness section. Questions are asked from various subjects— History, Geography, Economics, Polity, Science, Current Affairs and some miscellaneous topics like “first in India”, “capital and currency” etc.

Presently, questions asked in General Awareness are of standard type. You need to read each topic from standard textbooks to attempt 20+ questions correctly. Read NCERT books from class VI to class X. Read the books repeatedly. For History, read NCERT books of Class 6, 7 , 8 and History section of Lucent GK Book. Then Give mock tests to know the gaps. Still have gap then you can read Lucent Gk to fill the gap. For Polity, prepare from NCERT class 11 books and for Economy, class 11 and Lucent GK books are enough. For Current Affairs, read Daily updates provided by gradeup or bankersadda, read any one. For miscellaneous topics, study the previous years questions and make list of the topics from which questions are frequently asked. At the last few pages, some lists are given, you can prepare miscellaneous topics from there.

Noting down important facts from textbook is a great step to prepare for General Awareness as it will make revising easier which is one of the most crucial parts of preparation. When you are reading textbooks like NCERT books you can highlight or underline the important information that will help you to revise within short time. Revision is the most crucial part of preparation strategy. Whatever you read for the whole week, you must them at the weekend and set a plan for monthly revision, after following this revision strategy you yourself can feel the improvement.

Books Store
NCERT History- Class 6 Buy on Amazon
NCERT History- Class 7 Buy on Amazon
NCERT History- Class 8 (Part 1) Buy on Amazon
NCERT History- Class 8 (Part 2) Buy on Amazon
NCERT Geography- Class 6 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Geography- Class 7 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Geography- Class 8 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Geography- Class 9 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Geography- Class 10 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Science- Class 6 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Science- Class 7 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Science- Class 8 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Science- Class 9 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Science- Class 10 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Polity- Class 11 (Indian Constitution) Buy on Amazon
>NCERT Indian Economy- Class 11 (Indian Constitution) Buy on Amazon
SSC General Awareness – Previous Years’ Solved Papers by Pearson Buy on Amazon

Quantitative Aptitude Preparation Strategy

Quantitative Aptitude is the highly scoring section of SSC CGL Exam. Quantitative aptitude questions asked in CGL exam are not only from Arithmetic section but also from Advanced section. Advanced section includes Trigonometry, Geometry, Mensuration and Algebra. Study the previous years’ math questions to make your concept clear about the topics which you have to prepare.

The foremost step to secure good marks is to make your basics clear. For this, NCERT is the best source. Prepare your basics for math from Class VII to Class X textbooks. Study the books for at least two times. When you are complete with your basics your can try mock tests or the daily quizzes provided by many websites like gradeup or sscadda and you will know in which position your preparation for math.

Speed with accuracy is an another important factor. To increase your speed you have practice as much as possible. You can also buy standard books providing lots of questions to practice and you can also have solution you face any problem with the questions. For Arithmetic, you can buy Arithmetic Subjective and Objective for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal and for Advanced section, SSC Elementary & Advanced Mathematics by Kiran Prakashan can be the best option. In the R S Aggarwal book there is compilation of lots of question for each topics chapter by chapter, practicing them repeatedly certainly increase your speed and accuracy. In the Kiran Prakashan book, they have collected all the advanced math questions asked in all SSC exams starting from 1999 and with solutions.

A lot of questions are asked from the advanced section. Learn the short cut methods to remember the rules like in Trigonometry, Mensuration and Algebra. You can aslo watch Youtube tutorial videos that can be so helpful.

NCERT Mathematics Textbook for Class – 8 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Mathematics Textbook for Class – 9 Buy on Amazon
NCERT Mathematics Textbook for Class – 10 Buy on Amazon
SSC Elementary & Advanced Mathematics – Kiran Prakashan Buy on Amazon

English Preparation Strategy

Those who are not from English medium back ground or not good in English can be in difficulty to score good in English section. Any candidate who is average in English can secure a good marks if he/she can prepare properly with dedication. You have to know the syllabus in detail and type of questions asked.

When you will be well knowledgeable in English grammar and vocabulary none can stop you to score good marks. But how to learn English grammar? First of all learn the basics of English grammar— use of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, prepositions and verbs. Persons and numbers of nouns, use of verbs as per the nouns. Learn the use of preposition which will help to in ‘fill in the blanks’ and ‘error spotting’ questions. Arrange a list of prepositional phrases (combined with nouns, adjectives and verbs) and read them repeatedly.

Tense is the corner-stone of English Grammar. Try to learn how tense helps in the formation of sentences and the stracture of sentences in case of different tenses. Learn how the degrees of adjective effect the formation of sentence like ‘how will be the sentence which contain great or greater or greatest’. Clear your concepts about the relationship between ‘verb’ and ‘tense’.

In the vocabulary section, questions are asked from the topics like Synonyms, Antonyms, Idioms and Phrases and Cloze test. Make the habit of reading English news and articles on daily basis and note down unknown words for revision. You can prepare vocabulary for standard book General English by R S Aggarwal or Plinth to Paramount by Nitu Singh.

Objective General English book by R.S. Aggarwal Buy on Amazon
Objective General English book by S. P. Bakshi Buy on Amazon

General Intelligence Preparation Strategy

Reasoning is such a section which can be prepared well only through practice. The more you will practice, your concepts will be clear. Solve previous years question and see the solutions if you face any problem. In case of reasoning, you should practice the questions of easier level. Then try to solve the questions of higher difficulty level. Solving tougher question will increase your confidence level.

Buy solved previous question paper book and solve maximum number of questions within less time. Managing your time is vital for attempting enough questions correctly within the alloted time.

Kiran’s SSC Reasoning Chapterwise & Typewise Solved Papers 8700+ Objective Questions Buy on Amazon


Nothing is impossible. Make NCERT books your friend and you will realize how beneficial for in the exam hall. Focus on the basics of every topic. Never addicted to the habit of practicing the topics which you are strong of and leaving those topics of which yoou are weak. This habit can mar your preparation. Never leave any read topic without revision for more than 20 days unless you will get that topic reading for the first time.

Don’t read any new topic for one month before exam, just revise those parts which you have prepared in the previous 6 months or more. Focus on your weakness, nurture the topics in you are weak and convert your weakness to your strength. Before exam maintain a routine and don’t allow your routine to mialead.

“Stop giving excuse… People give excuse to hide their weakness… Instead find your weakness and make your weakness your strength…”

Best of luck,

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Updated: December 24, 2017 — 7:46 am

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