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SSC CGL 2017 Preparation Tips

Staff Selection Commission (SSC) is all set to conduct SSC CGL 2017. The tier 1 online examination is scheduled from August 1 to August 20, 2017. So, it is exactly the right time for you to start preparing for SSC CGL recruitment process. 

SSC conducts the CGL (Combined Graduate Level) exam every year for the recruitment of candidates in various Group ‘B’ and ‘C’ posts in different departments and ministries. From this year, there is a slight change in the pattern and mode of the exam. This article will provide you major information regarding SSC CGL 2017 and help you devise a strategy that shall give you the impetus required to ace this exam.

SSC CGL recruitment comprises 4 tiers. While the first two tiers are computer-based objective examinations, the third tier is descriptive pen and paper based examination to be conducted in both English and Hindi. There is an additional tier 4 consisting of DEST (Data Entry Skill Test) and CPT (Computer Proficiency Test) for selective posts. Let’s discuss the preparation strategy for all 4 tiers in detail.

How to Prepare for SSC CGL Tier 1 Exam

  • Chalk out a realistic study plan

The organization of study hours is a crucial part of exam preparation yet students often forget to devise a well-organized study schedule and end up wasting a lot of time getting overwhelmed with the extensive syllabus. It is essential to decide how much time you should devote to a particular section while preparing for SSC CGL Tier 1.

  • Check the syllabus and pattern of the exam

It is always recommended to thoroughly check the complete syllabus for the exam to know the precise break-up of various sections (given below) and the probable mark-distribution. To get an idea about SSC CGL Exam Pattern, check the table below:

Exam Pattern for SSC CGL Tier 1 Exam

General Intelligence and Reasoning2550
General Awareness2550
Quantitative Aptitude2550
English Language2550

The duration of the exam is 60 minutes (80 minutes for visually handicapped candidates or those suffering from Cerebral Palsy). No sectional time limit so you have the liberty to attempt the sections in any order.

  • Remember to time yourself while practicing: Time management is imperative for optimizing one’s productivity. For an SSC aspirant, it is a must to keep a stopwatch by their side while preparing. Track time while practicing. This also helps improve your timing and boosts your confidence just before the examination.
  • Solve last year question papers and mock question papers: Mock papers and last year papers are quite useful for effectual preparation of the exam. You get the hang of the pattern, level and time taken to solve questions, and it enhances speed and accuracy through assiduous practice.

How to Prepare General Intelligence and Reasoning for SSC CGL Tier 1

Solving General Intelligence (GI) questions can be quite tricky unless you have practiced solving them enough.

  • Solve practice papers and last year question papers.
  • Try at least 50 GI and Reasoning questions every day. This way, you would practice at least 2000 questions of GI and Reasoning if you begin your preparation two months before the exam.
  • Clear all concepts and devise your own tricks and methods to tackle this section.
  • Keep a track of your preparation by taking quizzes available on several apps. These quizzes are prepared while keeping in mind the SSC CGL Exam Pattern and the analysis of the trends witnessed in recent years.
  • Topics like puzzles, figure-based questions, analogy, coding-decoding, series, are particularly scoring. Start solving these and then, move on to more versatile questions. You will witness a significant improvement in your accuracy within a few weeks if you practice regularly.
  • Non-verbal reasoning topics like image assembling, figure-counting, etc. demand you to employ visual imagination. Do not skip or ignore these questions as they may seem time-consuming to you initially. Practicing them is the best way to make them less time-consuming.
  • While practicing, you should aim at attempting at least 15-20 questions in 20 minutes with reasonable accuracy. In the exam as well, try to complete this section in not more than 20 minutes.

How to Prepare General Awareness for SSC CGL Tier 1

General awareness (GA) is observed to be the most scoring section of the exam in the recent years.

  • If you start preparing this section thoroughly two months before the exam, it will not take you more than 10 minutes during the exam to finish this section. You can utilize the time saved here for doing calculations in Quantitative Aptitude.
  • This section mostly consists of more questions from static GK than current affairs. Thus, focus more on static GK and concurrently stay in touch with the current affairs.
  • Prepare the subjects in the order of priority mentioned here; it is in accordance with the trends observed in the last few years. Science> Polity> History> Geography> Economy> Miscellaneous
  • Static GK is related to Culture, Indian History, Economy, Geography (India + World), Polity and Environment.
  • Avoid cramming. Make notes and mind maps to remember facts, chronology of historical events and dates.
  • Try attempting at least 75 questions of GA every day in a span of 30 minutes.
  • Current Affairs App: At the time of a revision, you can go through the well-structured notes and capsules in this app which can be beneficial for exam preparation. It proffers good quality daily/weekly/monthly quizzes to the aspirants.
  • When it comes to General Awareness, revision is the key to success!

How to Prepare Quantitative Aptitude for SSC CGL Tier 1

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) is the toughest and most time-consuming segment of this exam.

  • Gain an expertise in the Quant section. For this, you can begin with the topics like percentage; profit and loss; speed, distance and time; boat and stream questions; ratio and proportion; data interpretation etc.
  • Formulate a list of all shortcuts, formulae, concepts and tips. Shortcut tricks can help you big time in Quantitative Aptitude.
  • Assess yourself with the questions in the sample papers having solutions.
  • Focus on topics like simplification, age problems, interest, percentages, ratio and proportion as they are simple and quite scoring.
  • Although topics like profit and loss, mensuration, number series, number systems, speed, and distance, etc. are scoring, they are more time-consuming.
  • While going through the previous year question papers, analyze the nature of the questions. Memorize all important formulae by heart.
  • Solve an array of questions so you are aware of your strong and weak areas.
  • It is best if you keep reviewing your strategy as per your progress.
  • Try to allot at least 2 hours every day to practice questions from QA.
  • In the exam, do not devote more than 25 minutes to this section.

How to Prepare English Section for SSC CGL Tier 1

  • The three key aspects that you need to efficiently prepare for SSC CGL Tier 1 English test are vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension.
  • Half the battle is won if you achieve proficiency in vocabulary and grammar. Apart from this, you just need to work on your ability to comprehend.
  • The pattern and questions in this exam are repeated time and again. Thus, a thorough preparation can help you wrap up this whole section in not more than 20 minutes.
  • Practice at least 2 comprehension passages each day. Go through the questions before you start reading the passage. As then, while reading the passage you will
  • know precisely what you are looking for. Sometimes, the answers to all the questions following the passage lie in the initial paragraphs.
  • Since you have to prepare for the SSC CGL Tier 1 exam, you need to read a lot. Whenever you come across a new word, look for its meaning, synonyms, and antonyms.
  • Just like vocabulary, your grammar will also get better if you read sincerely.
  • Practice around 40 questions of grammar each day.
  • Skim through the newspapers like 'The Hindu' daily.

Check SSC CGL Tier 1 Syllabus

How to Prepare for SSC CGL Tier 2 Exam

Similar to SSC CGL 2017 Tier 1 Exam, SSC CGL Tier 2 exam will be objective in nature. However, its level of difficulty is higher than that of Tier 1. It will be conducted online and the medium will be English/Hindi. It will consist of 4 papers (refer to the table below).

Exam Pattern for SSC CGL Tier 2

Quantitative Aptitude100200
English Language and Comprehension200200
General Studies (Finance and Economics)100200

How to Prepare English Language and Comprehension Paper for SSC CGL Tier 2

SSC CGL Tier 2 English Language Paper has 200 questions carrying 1 mark each. The duration of this paper is 2 hours.

  • 0.25 marks will be deducted for every incorrect answer. So if you are not confident about a particular question, it is preferable not to attempt it.
  • The pattern of this section is very similar to that of tier 1 but the level of difficulty is much higher.
  • Nearly 40- 50% of question are based on grammar. So, if you are adept in the language you will not face difficulty in attempting this paper.
  • Read newspapers with attention to detail.
  • Practice the questions given in the books on grammar and last year question papers. It will give you an edge over other students.

How to Prepare Statistics Paper for SSC CGL Tier 2 

SSC CGL Tier 2 Statistics Paper has 100 questions carrying one mark each. The duration of this paper is 2 hours. Each correct answer will fetch 2 marks while ½ a mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer.

  • SSC CGL - Statistics Tier - 2 (Paper - 3) Practice Work Book is a comprehensive book for students preparing for SSC CGL exams. It is based on the new pattern and comprises solved papers of exams held in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • Focus on important topics like skewness and kurtosis, correlation and regression, probability theory, time series analysis, sampling theory, statistical inference etc.

How to Prepare General Studies (Finance and Economics) Paper for SSC CGL Tier 2

With the introduction of the new post of Assistant Audit Officer (AAO), Paper 4 has been added to CGL Tier 2. The duration of this paper is 120 minutes. It will consist of 100 questions of 2 marks each. 0.5 mark will be deducted for an incorrect answer.

  • This paper does not involve the application of formulae and tricks or cramming vocabulary which takes a lot of time. It is easy to learn and score in Economics and Finance with accuracy.
  • Prepare thoroughly definitions and concepts pertaining to Indian and world economies. It takes hardly 2-3 seconds to answer questions based on them.
  • Candidates should have the knowledge of basic topics of class XI and XII like national income and aggregates, foreign exchange demand, supply, economic development, the balance of payment and national and international financial institutions.
  • This paper holds maximum weightage in general awareness section. About 3-5 questions are asked from this section.
  • Here are the topics you should cover at any cost as it is observed that approximately 7-10 questions are based on them in SSC exam:
  1. Five Year Plans
  2. Indian Tax Structure
  3. Money and Banking
  4. Economic Terms
  5. Economic Reforms in India

How to Prepare SSC CGL Tier 3 Descriptive Paper

SSC CGL Tier 3 is a newly added tier in lieu of the interview conducted for various posts till last year. It is also aimed at assessing candidates’ ability to manage official communication and correspondence. Candidates have to write an Essay/Precis/Letter /Application Writing in the examination. Check the pattern below to understand the nature and scoring scheme of tier 3.

SSC CGL Tier 3 Exam Pattern

SSC has introduced a new paper i.e. Tier 3 in place of the personal interview round recently. The majority of students are oblivious to its pattern and confused as to how to prepare for it. Here is all the pertinent information.

SSC CGL Tier 3 exam is conducted in pen and paper mode. It is a 100-mark Descriptive paper in English/Hindi (writing essays/precis/letter/applications etc.). The time allotted to this paper is 60 minutes (80 minutes for visually handicapped candidates and those suffering from Cerebral Palsy).

This exam is qualifying in nature and marks are included in the preparation of the final merit. The paper is bilingual i.e. you can choose to write answers either in Hindi or English Language.

Read More About SSC CGL Tier 3 Exam Pattern

Tips to Prepare for SSC CGL Tier 3

  • This paper is introduced to assess the writing skills of candidates. The best strategy for this paper is to practice. The more you write, the better you get.
  • Good content and the ability to provide a proper structure to content are significant to write an essay or letter. If you practice, then both these skills can be improved over the time.
  • There will be essay/letter/ application/precise writing in the exam. So, practice writing essay as it will build your confidence.
  • Read the newspaper every day to comprehend the efficacious way of writing and be aware of latest crucial happenings. Analyze how the paragraphs are connected to each other and the approach the editor has taken.
  • Read the editorial of an established newspaper and try to contrive your own arguments pertaining to the topics.
  • Buy a good book which contains a number of essays as it will provide you good content on important topics and enhance your vocabulary.

How to Prepare SSC CGL Tier 4 Exam

SSC CGL Tier 4 exam is held after the declaration of the Tier 2 result of the Combined Graduate Level Exam (CGL). Candidates who successfully qualify the Tier 2 exam are eligible for Tier 4 exam.

It comprises two types of tests i.e Computer Proficiency Test (CPT) and Data Entry Speed Test (DEST). The objective is to test your ability to do basic tasks such as type correctly at a reasonable speed and your knowledge of fundamental office software tools like Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)

CPT includes the following three modules:

  1. Word Processing: You will be given an English passage; 2000 key depressions have to be made in 15 minutes. This is not an exigent task if you practice typing daily.
  2. Spread Sheet: In this module, the students will be asked to perform basic mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division on Microsoft Excel sheet. For this, they should well-versed with the basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel.
  3. Generation of slides: The students will be asked to create slides on Microsoft Powerpoint. To do well, it is must to have an understanding of header, footer, inserting date and time and foundational skills of Microsoft Powerpoint.

Data Entry Speed Test (DEST)

DEST consists of only a typing test wherein the students have to make 2000 key depressions in 15 minutes. It is a speed test that can be cleared without a hitch with regular practice.

Hope we have provided you with enough points to get through this tough task in a segueing manner. However, if there is still some ambiguity, then let us know in the comments section below.

Collegedunia wishes you the best!



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