How to prepare for the SSC CGL Examination?

  • utkarsh
  • Mar 05, 2021
  • 0
  • Blog, Blog English, SSC Exam,
How to prepare for the SSC CGL Examination?

The SSC CGL Examination is knocking on the door, and the students are left with very little time to prepare. You are only a few months away from the exam, and the exam stress has started o kick-in.  It’s natural to be a little nervous regarding your exam performance considering the tough competition; SSC CGL is one of the most popular exams and most significant exams conducted for graduate students in India.

The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) conducts the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam for the recruitment of Grade “B” and “C” category posts in various Government Ministries, Departments, and Offices. This exam consists of four stages or tiers; the first two tiers are considered the crucial phases of the exam and are conducted online. Tier three is a descriptive pen-paper-based test followed by tier four conducted only for selective posts and involves Data Entry Skill Test (DEST) and Computer Proficiency Test (CPT). All these tiers require a different study plan and preparation strategy, which might overwhelm the students.

Being a pioneer of SSC Online Coaching, Utkarsh has developed some practical SSC CGL preparation tips that can help the students perform well in the exam.

The foremost step while beginning with your preparations is to get a thorough knowledge of the SSC CGL exam pattern

 SSC CGL Exam Pattern. 

TierSubjectNumber of QuestionsMaximum MarksTime allowed
Tier IGeneral Intelligence and Reasoning255060 Minutes (Total)For VH/ OH (afflicted with Cerebral Palsy/ deformity in writing hand- Pl 80 Minutes
General Awareness2550
Quantitative Aptitude2550
English Comprehension2550
Tier IIPaper-I: Quantitative Abilities100200120MinutesFor VH/ OH (afflicted with Cerebral Palsy/ deformity in writing hand- 160 Minutes
Paper-II: English Language and Comprehension200200
Paper-III: Statistics100200
Paper-IV: General Studies (Finance and Economics)100200
Tier IIIDescriptive Paper in Hindi/English( Essay, Letter, applications, precis)10060 MinutesFor VH/ OH (afflicted with Cerebral Palsy/ deformity in writing hand- 80 Minutes
Tier IVComputer Proficiency Test/ Skill Test

Once you have a clear idea about the pattern, the next step is to know the exam’s important topics. You can begin your preparation with these topics as they have a much higher chance of appearing in the question paper. Once you complete these, then you can move ahead to the other topics. 

SSC CGL Important Topics

Tier I

General Intelligence and Reasoning

  • Analogies 
  • Analysis
  • Arithmetic number series 
  • Coding and decoding
  • Data sufficiency
  • Decision making 
  • Discrimination 
  •  Judgment 
  • Non-verbal series
  • Order & ranking
  • Problem-solving 
  • Reasoning analogies
  • Seating arrangements
  • Similarities and differences 
  • Space visualization 
  • Spatial orientation 
  •  Statement conclusion 
  • Syllogistic reasoning
  • Visual memory 

General Awareness

  • History
  • Culture
  • Geography
  • Economic s
  • General Policy & Scientific Research
  • Current affairs
  • Governors in India
  • Members of Parliament
  • Members of Lok Sabha
  • List of Arjuna Award Winners
  • FIFA World Cup Winners List
  • Fathers Of Various Fields

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Whole numbers, decimals, fractions and relationships between numbers, Percentage. Ratio & Proportion, Square roots, Averages, Interest, Profit and Loss, Discount, Partnership Business, Mixture and Alligation, Time and distance, Time & Work, Basic algebraic identities, geometrical problems, etc.

English Comprehension

  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • One Word Substitutions
  • Homophones, Homonyms & Homographs
  • Idioms And Phrases
  • Letter writing,  prepositions, articles conjunctions

Tier II

The important topics for Tier-II are given below:

  • Paper-I (Quantitative Abilities): Whole numbers, decimals, fractions and relationships between numbers, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion, Square roots, Averages, Interest, Profit and Loss, Discount, distance, surds, Graphs of Linear Equations, Complementary angles, Heights and Distances, Histogram, Frequency polygon, Bar diagram & Pie chart, etc.
  • Paper-II (English Language and Comprehension):  Spotting the error, fill in the blanks, synonyms and antonyms, spelling/ detecting misspelt words, idioms & phrases, one-word substitution, active/ passive voice of verbs, conversion into direct/ indirect narration, shuffling of sentence parts, shuffling of sentences in a passage, etc.
  • Paper-III (Statistics): This paper will have topics related to Collection and Representation of data, Skewness & kurtosis, Measures of Central Tendency, correlation & regression, Probability Theory, time series analysis, Index numbers, etc.
  • Paper-IV (General Studies-Finance and Economics):
  • Part – A- (Finance & Accounts): This paper will be for 80 marks, and it includes topics related to Rectification of Errors, Manufacturing, Trading, Profit & Loss Appropriation Accounts, Balance Sheet Distinction between Capital and Revenue Expenditure, Depreciation Accounting, Valuation of Inventories, Non-profit Organizations Accounts, Receipts and Payments and Income & Expenditure Accounts, Bills of Exchange, Self-Balancing Ledgers, etc.
  • Part -B- (Economics and Governance): This paper will be for the remaining 120 marks, and it includes topic related to Money & Banking, Economic reforms, Theory of demand and supply, Economics- Micro & macro, Market supply analysis, etc.

Tier III

This will be a subjective paper, and the candidates must prepare for applications, letters, essays, etc. The candidates can attempt this paper in both Hindi and English.

Tier IV

This tier aims to evaluate a candidate’s typing and basic computer-related skills. The “Data Entry Speed Test” Skill Test will be conducted for a passage of about 2000 (two thousand) key depressions for 15 (fifteen) minutes. The Computer Proficiency Test (CPT) will have Word Processing, Spreadsheet and Generation of Slides as the test topics.

You can only be assured of your preparation if you stick to reliable study material. With a lot of study material available in the market and on the internet, it becomes difficult to choose the right one. Many SSC CGL Online courses provide quality study material, such as Utkarsh.

We have listed a few reliable books that are easy to understand and will help you prepare well for the exam.

Best Books for SSC CGL


  • A Mirror of Common Errors- Dr Ashok Kumar Singh
  • Competitive General English Kiran Prakashan
  • From Plinth to Paramount- Neetu Singh
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension – By Arun Sharma
  • Objective English for Competitive Examinations by H M Prasad
  • Objective General English by SPBakshi (Arihant)
  • Perfect Competitive English V.K. Sinha
  • Quick Learning Objective General English by RS Aggarwal & Vikas Aggarwal
  • Wren & Martin – High School English Grammar and Composition


  • Advance Maths by Rakesh Yadav
  • Magical Book on Quicker Maths by M Tyra:
  • NCERT Maths from Grade 6 to Grade 11
  • Quantitative Aptitude by Dr R.S Agarwal is also one of the best books for SSC CGL Maths.
  • SSC Elementary and Advanced Maths BY Kiran


  • Analytical Reasoning by M.K. Pandey
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning by Arun Sharma
  • Logical and Analytical Reasoning by A.K. Gupta
  • Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by Dr R.S. Aggarwal

General Awareness

  • General Knowledge- Lucent Publication
  • Manorama Yearbook
  • NCERT Books of Class X, XII- History, Geography, Economics

Key Points to remember while preparing for SSC CGL Exam

  • Having a well-planned study routine can be very beneficial for the candidates. One must assign timeslots to every subject and also schedule the revision sessions and breaks to include discipline in your preparation.
  • Collect all the study material before beginning with your preparations to not waste your time later on searching for it. You can get a lot of quality study material online as well as offline. Choose whichever suits your personal preference. 
  • You can solve some previous year’s question papers. This will give you a solid idea about the paper pattern, syllabus, time required to solve every question, and so on. Then, make a flow chart of the concepts, your paper attempting strategy, and your study plan.  
  • Since this exam is conducted online and offline, you should practice for both of them individually. You can solve both online and offline mock tests for practice.
  • While you practice mock tests, you will be able to identify many of your strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can mold your study plan to emphasize your weak points and devise a complete SSC CGL study plan. 
  • Try to avoid random preparation. Stick to your timetable and set deadlines for each topic. This way, you will be able to cover your syllabus and also keep track of your progress. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.