SSC (Staff Selection Commission) is a Government of India organization that recruits for various ministries and departments of the Government.

Its Combined Graduate Level (CGL) exam is conducted to recruit for posts ranging from Narcotics Inspector to Income Tax Inspector to Statistical Investigator.

Here is a tentative list of vacancies to be filled through SSC CGL 2016.

CGL exam is one of the most prominent exams for government job aspirants.

Candidates having bachelor’s degree in any stream from a recognized university are eligible to appear for the exam.

The competition for the exam has always been fierce. This year, around 35 lakh candidates applied for the exam. Out of which, approximately 15 lakh actually appeared for it.  Besides, now SSC has added two more stages to the CGL exam, i.e.

Besides, now SSC has added two more stages to the CGL exam, i.e.

Tier III– Descriptive Paper in English/Hindi (writing of Essays/Precis/Letter/Application Writing, etc.)

This paper will be of a total 100 marks. The duration of the exam will be 60 minutes.

Tier IV- Data Entry Skill Test (DEST)/Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)

The elimination of the interview round has made the selection procedure fairer. It has ensured that there is no scope for corrupt practices like nepotism.

So, if you are serious about getting a government job and do not fear working hard for it, you will certainly get what you deserve.

In this article, we will talk about the SSC CGL Tier I and Tier II exams. We will cover the following two aspects of the paper:

  • Exam Pattern.
  • Resources for Exam Preparation.

Exam Pattern

Exam Pattern for SSC CGL TIER I

Subjects No. of Questions Marks Time
General Intelligence and Reasoning 25 50 Candidates will get a total of 75 minutes for the exam.

The duration will be 100 minutes for VH and candidates suffering from Cerebral Palsy
General Awareness 25 50
Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
English 25 50

You’ll Also Like: Best Resources To Crack SSC CGL Tier III & Tier IV Exam

Exam Pattern for SSC CGL Tier II

There is a total of 3 papers in TIER II exam. However, candidates need to attempt the papers according to their qualification and the post applied for:

Paper Subject Posts No. of Questions Paper Duration Marks
I Quantitative Ability For all posts except SI in CPOs 100 2 hours 200
II English Language & Comprehension For all posts 200 2 hours 200
III Commerce/Mathematics/Statistics/Economics

(For Investigator Grade-II only)

For the post of Statistical Investigator/Compiler 200 2 hours 200

Though the exam has always been a difficult one, the introduction of two additional papers, i.e. Tier III and Tier IV has made it tougher.

To sum it up, the exam demands a little more hard work now. But all the hard work will surely pay off.

For any SSC CGL aspirant, the journey starts with Tier I exam. Clearing this exam is an achievement in itself.

In this article, I’ll tell you about some of the most reliable and thorough resources to clear SSC CGL Tier I and Tier II exams.

Resources for Exam Preparation

Quantitative Aptitude

Maths and English are the subjects that can make or break your chances of clearing Tier I. These are the subjects where you need to devote the most of your time.

There are three stages while preparing for SSC CGL Tier I maths exam:

  1. Clearing the concepts.
  2. Solving advanced problems and learning the shortcuts.
  3. Practice.

Here are the best books to refer for each stage:

To clear the concepts:

  • NCERT Maths books (Class 6-12)

There are some specific chapters that you need to cover. This quora thread talks in detail about the chapters to be covered for specific topics. Like:


To Solve advanced problems and learn shortcuts:

All of these three books are helpful. Start your preparations with any of them.

To Final Practice:

Here are some good online resources:

For TIER II: You don’t need to refer to any additional Maths books for TIER II. The ones I suggested for TIER I are good enough. Just practice additional TIER II mock tests.


Even if your knowledge of English language is better than average, you will not find this section very easy.

A person with average English knowledge (without practice) can score somewhere between 20-25.

I hope you can guess the level of difficulty. But with dedicated regular practice, anyone can easily score 40-45 marks.

English section can be divided into three main categories:

  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Comprehension

Here are the resources to refer for each section:

  1. Vocabulary

For this section, you need to start reading regularly. Read novels, editorial section of newspapers like The Hindu, blogs, or anything that you like.

The book to refer:

Covering this book along with regular general reading is more than enough. 

  1. Grammar

Again, start reading………a lot. The most natural way to improve your English grammar is regular reading.

For this section, you do not need any specific book. Just follow the following tips:

  • Regularly read newspaper editorials. One a day is great for both- vocabulary and grammar.
  • Attempt short quizzes on websites like Testbook and Gradeup. These websites have quizzes that provide detailed explanation for the answers. Like the one below from Testbook:


If you regularly attempt these MCQs online or offline (mock papers), most of your concepts will be clear. Besides, it is always wise to cross check the concepts from reliable blogs like Grammarly and  Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing or by simply googling them.

  • Comprehension

Read and practice these amazing reading comprehension strategies.


TIER I resources are sufficient for TIER II English preparation. All you need is to practice additional mock tests. Some of the best resources:

This section has the vastest syllabus. It covers questions on History, Geography, Political Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Current Affairs, and all other things of General Awareness.

It is impossible to cover the entire syllabus for this subject.

So, it is wise not to spend a lot of time on this section. Just assign 30 minutes of each day to this section.

The only books you need to refer:

You can also use GK quiz apps that are specifically designed for the SSC CGL exam.

Some of the best apps:

Logical Reasoning

This is the easiest and most interesting section of the exam, only if you practice regularly.

Refer to any of the following books:

This section requires less than an hour of practice every day. You can go through any of the above books to clear the concepts. Once you have got a hold of the concepts, start solving the logical reasoning section in the mock papers. Assign 20-25 minutes for this section. Check your scores and track your progress.

You can also find online quizzes on websites like Testbook, Gradeup, and Bankersguruadda.


Here is a video featuring SSC CGL 2015 toppers- Luv Gupta (AIR 6), Dheeraj Singh Chauhan (AIR 27), and Sarang Singhal (AIR 46). In the video, the toppers have shared their experiences along with some practical and effective tips to crack SSC CGL exam.

The video is a bit long but is truly worth a watch to stir your motivation. However, if you still can’t take out the time to watch it, here, I have listed some of the key points.

  • When asked about the success mantra:
    • Singhal said it was his focus. It never bothered him how many people were going to appear for the exam or how fierce the competition was.
    • For Luv Gupta, it was optimism. He says that one should never entertain negativity.
    • Chauhan puts the credit of his success on regular and intense practice.
  • Luv Gupta asserts that with an intense 6 months preparation, SSC CGL can be easily cracked in one go.
  • He also says that you should never spend much time with General Awareness. Instead, most of your time should be devoted to English and Mathematics.
  • Dheeraj says that if one is determined, it is not difficult to crack the exam without coaching. However, one can watch online videos and tutorials to clear concepts. Watching these videos will also provide guidance and motivation.
  • The most important point all three of them agreed to: Start attempting one mock test per week from now. Also, as SSC CGL is an online exam now, it is wise to attempt only online mocks.

SSC CGL has always been the most popular choice among government job aspirants. For this reason, it has been a highly competitive exam. However, if you have access to the right resources, and you are up for all the hard work, you can kill it with a serious 5-6 months preparation.

I hope the information helped. If you have any suggestions or queries, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

Posted by Samiksha Kaintura

Loves to see the world from a modern perspective and a feminist by birth.

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