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SSC CGL 2016 Tier 3 (Descriptive paper Analysis)

Last Updated - March 21, 2017

SSC (Staff Selection Commission) CGL (Combined Graduate Level) 2016 examination is conducted to recruit eligible candidates to multiple levels in various Ministries and Central Government Offices. This is one of the most sought after jobs in India. This examination is being conducted by the Government of India.

SSC CGL 2016 was a 3-tier examination. Tier I and Tier II were written examination in which the candidates have to answer objective multiple choice questions. Tier III was a skill proficiency test where the candidates need to prove their skill by writing an essay and letter in the prescribed format within the given word limits. There won’t be any interview in SSC CGL 2016 examination.

 SSC CGL 2016 Tier III was conducted on 19th March 2017 at 11 am. This is the first time a descriptive paper is introduced in SSC CGL examination.  In this article, we will be doing the descriptive analysis of this paper.


Questions Asked in SSC CGL 2016 Tier 3

Two questions were asked. Among them one was to write an essay and the other one was to write a letter. The questions are as given below.

Question 1: In the event of an earthquake, for your safety what you should do and what you should not do

  • This question comes under essay
  • Word limit for this question was about 250 words.
  • It carries 50 marks

Question 2:  Assuming that you are Suresh/Seema, write a letter to your younger brother Naresh, highlighting the distinct benefits and short comings of Computer Based Recruitment test

  • This question comes under letter writing
  • Word limit for this question was about 150 words.
  • It carries 50 marks

There were certain common rules for attending these two questions. They are as given below.

  • There was no choice given and you were required to give answer to both the questions.
  • Candidates have to write the examination in their own hand writing, except for those candidates who belong to VH category and who are affected with cerebral palsy.
  • Candidates who are writing the examination should bring their own pen as pens were not provided from the examination hall.
  • Candidates can use black/ blue ball-point pen for writing.
  • Candidates can’t use any kind of electronic gadgets and thus they are requested not to bring those things inside the examination hall.
  • If candidate was caught with their mobile phones or any kind of wireless communication devices, either in working or switched off mode, then their candidature will be forthwith and there is a chance that they will be debarred for a period of three years.
  • Exam was conducted for the duration of an hour.
  • Total marks which the candidates will obtain are 100 and each question carries 50 marks each.
  • Candidates were given a 12-page answer booklet.
  • In the answer booklet, each page was divided in to four columns and fourteen rows.
  • The maximum word limit for writing essay question was 250 words and for letter writing it was 150 words. The candidates are requested to follow the word limit very strictly. They can exceed only up to 10% of the total word limit. This means that in the case of essay writing they can use maximum up to 25 words extra and in case of letter writing they can exceed maximum up to 15 words extra.

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SSC CGL 2016 Tier 3 paper Analysis

Question 1: In the event of an earthquake, for your safety what you should do and what you should not do.

This was the question given for essay writing. It was pretty much a straight forward question, where you don’t need to know about a particular topic that much. There were some topics like “how globalisation effects India”, “What are the effects of new economic policies”, which needs us to know about the topic and its background very much. But here the question was so simple that it makes very easy for us to give answer to this question.

All of us are aware of earthquakes. Some of us even have experienced it while most of us knew about earthquakes from the newspapers. So, it was clear that the examiner was not looking for our knowledge in that subject. Instead, how well are we in logically thinking about the question, finding out different solutions to the question and to arrange them in a very good manner and present it in the form of an essay.

It was given that the word limit for this essay was 250 words. We can’t exceed this limit. But in extreme cases we can add up to 25 more words to this essay. More than that was not applicable and it will cause deduction of marks.

So only a good essay writer can write their views about this topic in 250 words, in which they will have to follow all the criteria needed for an essay. This means that, the essay which you have written should contain, introduction, body of the essay- where you write what you will do during the earthquake time, and the conclusion.

The headings, sub headings and other structures which you have used to make the essay in very good shape will enhance your chance in getting good marks for this “essay writing section”.

Answer booklet

The answer booklet consisted of boxes. There were 4 boxes in a row. 14 rows were there in 6 pages for writing essay. Each box was for writing one word. A time limit of 30 minutes was given to complete the answer.

Now we can have a look at the second question.

Question 2: Assuming that you are Suresh/Seema, write a letter to your younger brother Naresh, highlighting the distinct benefits and short comings of Computer Based Recruitment test

In this section, you have to write an informal letter to your brother highlighting about a particular topic given. So, if you have written by keeping three things in mind you will get good score in the examination. They are as given below.

  1. Follow the informal letter format.
  2. Highlight the points, which should include the benefits and shortcomings of Computer based test. Don’t follow to include both the sections.
  3. The word limit should be 150 words.

Points which are considered while giving marks

  • Handwriting is not a problem. Only thing is that the examiner should be able to read your answer.
  • The answer should be written neatly.
  • Exceeding word limit by less than 5 to 10 % was okay. But after that marks will be deduced.
  • Incomplete answers also cause problems.
  • There was no need that your answer should carry lots of points. Make sure that your answer carries some points with all the required formats.
  • Within a duration of 1 hour you have to divide your time for writing the essay as well as letter.  Both contain same marks but the word limit for essay was 250 while that for the letter was 150. So, if you were able to complete the letter fast you could have used that time for writing essay.
  • The structure of letter and essay will count. Even though you have used very good language and your good handwriting skills, if the letter and essay is not in their required format then you will lose marks.
  • For writing essay, you should have divided that whole section in to introduction, headings, sub headings, your views and conclusion. For every point, you can use one paragraph. You can elaborate your idea in that paragraph. The beauty of your essay lies in the construction, neatness and the relevance of points which you have added in the essay.
  • You may get lots of points for writing an essay and letter. You can spend a whole day writing answers for these questions. That’s why they have given time limit so that you can narrow down to important points and get good score.

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