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Tips to Solve SSC CGL Time and Work Questions

Last Updated - June 29, 2017

Time and Rate of Work related problems are one of the tricky QA problems in SSC CGL. Lately, with change in pattern of the examination the section has turned to be one of the most asked sections.

  • Questions framed are usually in the moderate-difficult level.
  • 1-2 questions based on topics related to time and rate of work are asked in SSC CGL examination every year.

Thorough concentration is needed and candidates must pay due attention to all the preparation tips and short cuts in order to perform well during the examination.


  • Questions based on time and corresponding rate of work are framed.
  • 1-2 questions may be asked from these concepts. 1 question was asked from this concept in SSC CGL 2016 Tier I.
  • These concepts are generally categorized under the moderately difficult concepts and must be learnt well in advance.  Being thorough with these concepts might give the necessary edge to candidates.

Read More About SSC CGL

Types of Questions and Important Formula

The various types of questions that can be framed from time and rate of work concepts and their corresponding formulas are given.

  1. If P1 persons can do W1 work in D1 days and P2 persons can do W2 work in D2 days then an equation can be formed as shown below.

                                  P1 * D1 * W1 = P2 * D2 * W2

  1.  If Times T1 and T2 are added to P1 and P2 groups respectively, then the equation formed will be

                                   P1 * D1 * T1 * W1 = P2 * D2 * T2 * W2

  1. Adding efficiency for both the groups E1 and E2 respectively, the equation becomes

                                  P1 * D1 * T1 * E1 * W1 = P2 * D2 * T2 * E2 * W2

  1. If A can do a piece of work in X days, B can do it in Y days,

Then A and B working together will do the same work in

 [(X*Y)/(X+Y)] days

  1. If A, B and C can do a work in X, Y and Z days respectively, then if all them work combined, the work will be finished in

[(X*Y*Z) / (XY + YZ + ZX)] days

  1. If A and B together finish a piece of work in X days and A alone does it in Y days, then B alone can complete the work in

 (X*Y) / (X-Y) days

  1. Original Number of Workers = (No. of extra workers*No. of days taken by the second group) / No. of less days
Number of days required to complete the workWork that can be done per dayEfficiency in Percent

Preparation tips

  • A good preparation strategy is required to maximize the results. Candidates must know how to distribute the practice hours to various topics and how to tackle each of the topics involved.
  • One of the most important factors when it comes to solving problems based on time and rate of work is to get the basics spot on. There can be no room for errors or misunderstandings in the fundamentals.
  • It becomes vital to understand the logic behind every formula since blindly memorizing it will not help in solving questions with an element of twist.
  • Short cuts pertaining to time and rate of work must only be used after gaining sufficient familiarity with regards to appropriate usage of  short cuts. Candidates must refrain from using short cuts if they are not too familiar or comfortable with the concept.
  • Candidates must devote adequate time to hone the skill of mental calculation as this vastly decreases the time consumed in basic arithmetic calculations involved in time and rate of work problems.  This must started a few months before the exam must not be done just a few days before the exam.
  • Candidates must familiarize themselves with the factor conversion to percentage table below for enhanced speed while performing time and rate of work related calculations.  This reduces the time consumed per question by almost a minute.

Challenges faced by students

Understanding the questions thoroughly is the trickiest part and thus possess  a challenge. Candidates must ensure they understand every bit of the question and then initiate the solution procedure.

Time wastage is one more area of concern for many students as rate of work problems tend to be misleading and hence might take up to 3 attempts if candidates are lacking in practice. Therefore practice under proper guidance is vital.

Techniques involved in time and work related problems might seem intimidating. Candidates must therefore initiate and complete learning and revision of these concepts much before the examination.

Sample Questions

A contractor undertook to finish a certain work in 124 days and employed 120 men. After 64 days, he found that he had already done 2/3 of the work. How many men can be discharged now so that the work may finish in time?
Pipe ‘A’ and ‘B’ can fill a cistern in 15 and 20 hrs respectively and pipe ‘C’ can empty it in 10 hrs. If all the three are simultaneously opened, then the time required for the cistern to be filled is ?
If two persons, with equal abilities, can do two jobs in two days, then 100 persons with equal abilities can do 100 similar jobs in
A and B together can do a piece of work in 12 days which B and C together can do in 16 days. After A has been working at it for 5 days and B for 7 days, C finishes it in 13 days. In how many days B could finish the work?
Alex can write 120 pages in 24 hrs. Amit and Bobby together can write 225 pages in 25 hrs. In what time can Bobby write 196 pages?
A and B together can complete a piece of work in 3 days. They start together. But, after 2 days, B left the work. If the work is completed after 2 more days, B alone could do the work in
If 12 men or 18 women can reap a field in 14 days, then working at the same rate, 8 men and 16 women can reap the same field in:
A can do a work in 10 days and B in 20 days. If they together work on it for 5 days, then the fraction of the work that is left is:
Raj can finish a work in 24 days, Sashi can finish the work in 9 days and Mike can finish the work in 12 days. Sashi and Mike start the work but are forced to leave after 3 days. The remaining work can be finished by Raj in?
Anil can do a job in 10 days. Babu can do the same job in 5 days. In how many days they can complete the job if they work together?
Anil and Babu can do a job in 8 days. Babu and Charan can do the same job in 12 days. Anil, Babu and Charan can do the job in 6 days. In how many days Anil and Charan can complete the job?
Ashu and Babu together can complete a task in 20 days. Babu and Charu together can complete the same task in 30 days. Ashu and Charu together can complete the same task in 30 days. What is the respective ratio of the number of days taken by Ashu when completing the same task alone to the number of days taken by Charu when completing the same task alone?

Name of the bookAuthorPublisherISBN
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive ExaminationsR.S. AggarwalS.Chand8121924987
SSC Mathematics Topic-wise Latest 32 Solved Papers (2010-2016) Disha Experts TeamDisha Publications9386323230



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