SSC CGL Tier 1 Exam Pattern with Section-wise Tips

The Staff Selection Commission conducts this SSC CGL  exam (Combined Graduate Level Examination) to recruit group B and various other gazetted and non-gazetted officers in central government offices. The response for SSC CGL in 2017 was huge and there is a good expectation that the competition will be across the country. The format of the recruitment remains the same as that of 2017.The positions are  Assistant Section Officer, Assistant Audit Officer, Divisional Accountant, Assistant Accounts Officer, Assistants Inspector Assistant/Superintendent Inspector (Central Excise), Sub-Inspector, Inspector (Preventive Officer), Inspector (Examiner), Assistant Enforcement Officer, Inspector of Posts, Jr. Statistical Officer, Auditor, Accountant/Jr Accountant, Sr. Secretariat Assistant, Tax Assistant.  The notification is published and the exam is conducted in three phases Tier I, II and III followed by Skill test/interview/computer skill test. This article provides important dates, exam pattern , selection procedure and section-wise tips. Once they are familiar with the exam details, they can start preparing with online SSC CGL mock test.

SSC CGL Important Dates:

The online registration process is yet to start from April 21, 2018.  As per the latest SSC exam calendar the dates are gives as below:

  • Online registration process to start from : April 21, 2018
  • Last date to apply: May 25, 2018
  • SSC CGL tier I Exam Date: July 25 to August 20, 2018 (CBE)
  • SSC CGL tier I Admit Card: Date TBA
  • SSC CGL tier I Result: Date TBA
  • SSC CGL tier II Exam Date: November 27, 2018 to November 30, 2018 (P-II CBE)
  • SSC CGL tier II Admit Card: Date TBA
  • SSC CGL tier II Result: Date TBA
  • SSC CGL tier III Examination: Date TBA (P-III Des)
  • Skill test/interview/computer skill test: Date TBA

*TBA – To be Announced

SSC CGL Selection Procedure:

The candidates who qualify in Tier I will be shortlisted for Tier II Exam. Tier II exam is a descriptive paper and consists of 4 papers for 800 marks. The Paper I and II will be common for all the posts, paper III is for those who applied for Junior Statistical posts and paper IV is for those who applied for Assistant Auditor Officer Post (AAO). The candidates who qualify in tier I and II will be called for Tier III exam. This is a descriptive one too and the qualifying marks are 33%. Those who qualify Tier I, II, and III will be eligible for Tier IV which is a Skill test/interview/computer skill test. The final selection will be based on the performance in Tier I, II & III which means merit-based, rank achieved and their post preferences.

SSC CGL Tier I Exam Pattern:


SSC CGL Tier I Exam is of objective type and is an online examination and the duration is of 75 minutes.  There will be a negative marking of 0.50 marks. It is conducted for 200 marks. The exam pattern is as below:

Section Examination Total Marks
A General Intelligence and Reasoning (25 Questions) 50 marks
B General Awareness (25 Questions) 50 marks
C Quantitative Aptitude (25 Questions) 50 marks
D English Comprehensive (25 Questions) 50 marks


Check Syllabus for SSC CGL Exam


Section-wise Tips:


English Language-

  • English is one of the most scoring sections of all. Some students find it easy to crack English whereas some find it difficult to do so.
  • The English section consists of 25 questions in the whole paper.
  • You need to spend some decent amount of time preparing for English.
  • Practice Reading Comprehension questions as they one of the crucial parts.
  • Go through standard books like Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis or Wren and Martin to get a good grasp of English grammar and vocabulary.
  • Inculcate the habit of reading through newspapers, magazines, good articles, etc.
  • Solve English quizzes in SSC CGL mock tests to get familiar with the exam pattern.

Important Topics-

  • Synonyms/Antonyms
  • One-word substitution
  • Idioms/Phrases
  • Spelling
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Improvement of sentences
  • Reading comprehension
  • Error Spotting, etc.

Recommended Books-

  • Competitive General English by Kiran Prakshan
  • Objective General English by S P Bakshi
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • Quick learning Objective General English by RS Aggarwal & Vikas Aggarwal
  • Perfect Competitive English by V. K. Sinha


Quantitative Aptitude-

  • This section is to test the calculation ability of a student. Students in this section are tested based on manipulation of numbers.
  • The questions asked here are of class 10th .So, moderate practice can yield you good marks in this section.
  • You need to practice variety of questions from SSC CGL previous year question papers.
  • Practice short- cut tricks to get a command over accuracy and speed.

Important Topics-

  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Profit and Loss
  • Time
  • Distance and Work
  • Profit and Loss
  • Time and Distance
  • Average
  • Alligation
  • Elementary Mensuration
  • Algebra
  • Trigonometry
  • Geometry, etc.

Recommended Books-

  • Quicker Mathematics by M. Tyra
  • “Platform Series” by Rukmini Publications
  • Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • K. Tyra for Quantitative Aptitude
  • Chapter-wise Quantitative Aptitude by Kiran Publications


Reasoning Ability-

  • This section is to test the logical skills and thinking ability.
  • The questions are of moderate- high level in terms of difficulty.
  • Practice Reasoning questions from SSC CGL mock test series and SSC CGL previous year question papers.
  • Jot down short- cut tricks and formulae, take a look every day and implement while solving. It will enhance your speed and accuracy.

Important Topics-

  • Directions
  • Blood Relations
  • Data sufficiency
  • Assumptions
  • Direction Sense
  • Analogy
  • Classification
  • Series
  • Ranking
  • Sitting Arrangement
  • Syllogism
  • Coding-Decoding
  • Statement and Conclusions, etc.

Recommended Books-

  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning (R S Aggarwal)
  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning Hindi (Kiran Publication)
  • Logical & Analytical Reasoning – English (A K Gupta)

General Awareness-

  • General Awareness for SSC CGL 2017 is the section in which candidates’ general knowledge skills are tested.
  • Go through the current affairs of last 4 months. This will help you get an idea of national and international events.
  • Practice SSC quizzes online
  • Practice short- cut tricks to get a command over accuracy and speed.

Important Topics-

  • Geography
  • History
  • Economics
  • Science and Inventions
  • Economics

Recommended Books-

  • Lucent’s general knowledge
  • Current Affairs Digest