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HOW TO PREPARE FOR SSC-CGL

The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) conducts exams for recruiting to various posts into the Central Government and its various departments. This exam is conducted at the national level. The posts include Gazetted as well non-Gazetted posts. 

SSC CGL (combined graduate level) exam is a major exam, Conducted by Staff selection Commission every year. Grade B and Grade C post in various government departments like Income Tax Inspector, Examiner, Excise Inspector, Preventive officer, CSS, CBI, CAG, etc. Opportunity is huge so as competition. Number of candidates is rising every year. More than 18 lacks aspirants are expected to write this exam in 2016. To beat the competition, you have to prepare yourself as per latest pattern.

Quantitative Aptitude (Maths):

The Mathematics section consists majorly of Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry Mensuration, Number and Trigonometry. You must give all of them special focus. This section has a weightage of 250 (50 in Tier 1 and 200 in Tier 2) out of 700 Marks. Within arithmetic, percentage, average, ratio, profit and loss, simple interest and compound interest, time and distance and time and work happen to be the key topics. Geometry and algebra are the most important among all the areas. Algebra, including simplification, series, surd and identities, is generally considered a tough area to crack. It deserves more practice as compared to other areas. However statements are very shorts, hence you cans easily increase your speed if concepts are clear. Geometry, mensuration, trigonometry are all about practicing all varieties of question in previous year.

English Language:

The English section for the SSC CGL exam can be broadly divided into 4 parts:

  1. Vocabulary: One-word substitution, idioms and phrases, synonyms and antonyms.
  2. Grammar
  3. Reading Comprehension: Small RC especially with neutral or science background.
  4. Verbal Ability: Fill in the blanks, sentence rearrangement and jumbled-up sentences.

Narration and active voice / passive voice may or may not be there in tier-I exam. You may overlook them if there is a scarcity of time. However, make sure you cover them for the tier-II exam. Quite often vocabulary-based questions from past SSC papers get repeated. So, it makes a lot of sense to go through previous year exam papers and focus specifically on these questions.  This section also has a weightage 250 out 700 marks.

Reasoning (General Intelligence):

For almost all candidates, reasoning is the most scoring section of the exam. Out here, you must focus on key areas such as: Analogy and classification, non-verbal reasoning, syllogisms, coding-decoding, blood relations, direction test and series. Within non-verbal reasoning, the major types of questions asked in the exam are:

(a) Mirror image and water image (b) paper cutting, punching and folding (c) figural series completion (d) imbedded figures. When it comes to series and finding the missing number questions, you can expect both number series and semantic series to be there in the exam. Don’t neglect statement-conclusion & statement-assumption questions from inferential reasoning. Even with limited practice, you can score 2 to 3 marks as these questions are fairly simple.

General Knowledge (GK):

Among all sections, GK has the most comprehensive syllabus and requires a lot of time for preparation. So, it is a must to understand the pattern of questions. While going through past year SSC questions papers, pay attention to the frequently asked questions from science, politics, history and geography. It is quite common for these questions to get repeated in the exam. Within GK, current affairs do not carry that much weightage. So, if you are not in a position to brush up current affairs, you need not worry too much.

You must surely focus on questions based on (a) the firsts in India (b) common chemical compounds (c) folk dances of India & traditional festivals (d) Indian constitution (e) socio-religious movements of pre-independent India (f) national income & market structure (g) important scientific phenomena (h) medieval & modern Indian history. It is overall difficult to develop a competitive edge in this section, so over emphasis on GK may not be a very good investment of the precious time left.

Apart from keeping into consideration what’s mentioned above, take at least a couple of full-length mock tests every week. This will help you locate your weaknesses and understand how to maximize your overall score.

SSC CGL 2016 Exam Pattern

SSC CGL consists of 4 stages of Tier I, Tier II, Tier III (Descriptive), Tier IV (Skills/ Proficiency Test). The first two stages are online computer based MCQ tests.

Tier I

Subjects No. of questions Marks Time Allotted
General Intelligence & Reasoning 25 50 75 minutes total
General Awareness 25 50
Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
English Language 25 50
Total 100 200  

Negative Marking = 0.5 marks

Tier II

Those who qualify in the Tier-I, have to appear for Tier-II exam. Questions are of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) type.

There are two compulsory papers – Quantitative Aptitude and English of 200 marks each. Depending on post applied for you may need to prepare for a third and fourth paper (200 marks – 2 hours) each.

Subjects No. of questions Marks Negative Marking Time Allotted
Quantitative Ability 100 200 0.50 2 hrs
English Language & Comprehension 100 200 0.50 2 hrs

As you can see, if you want to be selected for any post in SSC CGL examination, you will need to attempt 125 questions in English over the two tiers. English, therefore, has the biggest share of the SSC CGL paper. So you need to be prepared thoroughly with English.

Tier III

This will be a descriptive paper for 100 marks that you need to attempt in 60 minutes. This will be a pen and paper based test. You will be tested either on your English Language or Hindi Language skills. You will be asked questions such as Essay Writing, Letter Writing, Précis Writing and Application Writing etc.

Author: the-bankers