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SSC CGL 2016 Tier-wise Preparation Tips

Last Updated - December 29, 2016

SSC CGL is a national level competitive exam conducted in 4 phases every year- Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4. The exam is conducted by Staff Selections Commission to offer various government jobs. It is conducted in both Online as well as Paper- Pen mode. For Tier I and Tier II, Online mode is applicable while Tier II and Tier IV exams are conducted in paper-pen mode by SSC.

Candidates will have to qualify in all the exams for the final selection. A merit list will be prepared on the basis of the performance of the candidates. There are certain provisions to break a tie (if any).

SSC CGL 2016 Tier 3

After the completion of SSC CGL Tier 2 exam, candidates will proceed to the next level i.e. SSC CGL Tier 3 exam. The tentative date for this exam is January 15, 2017. The test will be descriptive in nature for total 100 marks. The candidate will be asked to write an essay/precis/letter /Application and it is conducted just to check the writing skills of the candidate.

Since tier III is a descriptive paper that carries 100 marks, so the candidates are required to be prepared properly. Candidates will be asked to write an essay/precis/letter, given below are the guidelines to perform better in Tier 3 of SSC CGL exam:

  • Essay Writing: Essay writing is usually understood as paragraph writing by many candidates. However, it is not merely writing about the given topic. Candidates must stick to the rules of essay writing which includes developing vocabulary, preparing an argument, using quotations, etc. To produce a good essay candidates must focus on several pointers given below:
  1. Read some good essays from newspapers, books and online sources.
  2. Focus on vocabulary and grammar while practicing essay writing.
  3. Prepare your arguments on the basis of the facts and statements of reliable sources.
  • Precis Writing: In precis writing, candidates will be given a meaningful passage to re-write it in short paragraph. Candidates will be required to summarize the passage. Follow the tips given below to attempt precis writing:
  1. Highlight main points from the passage. Do not ponder over unnecessary details.
  2. Make your points preferably in coherent manner.
  3. Precis writing is done in reported speech.
  4. Avoid being opinionated. 
  • Letter Writing: Letter Writing is required at all the level in all the departments for official purposes. It is important to write a letter of professional level in this section. Here are some tips to write a good letter:
  1. Follow the proper (latest) format for writing a formal letter.
  2. Do not forget to write subject of the letter in precise and important words.
  3. Candidates must avoid any grammatical errors. Use polite language in formal letter.
  4. Practice letter writing before attempting it in the Tier 3 exam.

SSC CGL 2016 Tier 4

SSC CGL Tier 4 exam is also known as Data Entry Skill Test (DEST)/Computer Proficiency Test (CPT). This exam is qualifying in nature. The DEST test is conducted to examine typing speed of the candidates. Candidates are given 1 hour to type 2000 keys, compensatory time of 20 minutes is given for Visually Handicapped candidates.

In CPT test, candidates are judged on their ability to work with word processing, spreadsheet and slide generation.

The DEST exam is conducted for Tax Assistant post only. Candidates applying for Assistant Section Officer in CSS will have to appear for CPT exam.

SSC CGL 2016 Tier 2

SSC CGL Tier 2 exam consists of 4 papers out of which Paper 3 and Paper 4 are conducted for the candidates appearing for specified course. Paper 1 of Tier 2 exam is Quantitative Ability.

Quantitative Ability

Quantitative ability section deals with numbers therefore, candidates must be strong with numbers and their usage and application. Following are the tips to ace Quantitative Aptitude section:

  • Prepare your study plan: Quantitative Aptitude is one of the most important paper to qualify in tier 2 exam. Candidates must prepare for it strategically. It is important to form a study plan and devote equal attention to each concept covered in Paper 1.
  • Clear your basics: It will be difficult for candidates to answer the questions until they build up their basics. Candidates must focus on strengthening concepts such as arithmetic, geometry, mensuration, etc.
  • Time Management and speed: This is the most important aspect of appearing for any competitive exam. Candidate must know how to manage time and attempt questions which are comparatively easier to solve. Practicing calculations and learning short cuts helps in saving time.
  • Sample papers and mock tests: solve previous years’ sample papers and mock tests for better preparation.

English Language

Another important paper in Tier 2 SSC CGL 2016 exam is English Language. English language section comprises of 200 questions. Although it is believed to be the easiest section to score decent marks but, it is important to prepare for it wisely.

English Language section can be divided into 3 parts- Vocabulary, Grammar section and comprehension and sentence arrangements section. Here are some tips to prepare for English Language section if SSC CGL Tier 2 exam:

  • Vocabulary Section: From vocabulary section, approximately 25-30 questions are asked. To ace in this section, focus on synonyms, antonyms, idioms, phrases, etc. Try and understand the meaning of given idioms, practice constantly to attempt spelling correction.
  • Grammar section: Grammar section comprises of 115-120 questions out of total 200 questions. Grammar section is not as easy as it seems. Candidates must practice vigorously to attempt questions based on sentence correction, cloze test, speeches, etc. the only way to score well in this section is to practice.
  • Other sections: Other section comprises of almost 50 questions. This section contains Comprehension and Sentence Rearrangement. Read the passage carefully before answering the questions. Break the sentence first, then with the help of connectors, join the sentence to form meaningful sentences in sentence rearrangements.

SSC CGL 2016 Tier 1

SSC CGL Tier 1 comprises of 4 papers- Logical Reasoning, General Awareness, Numerical Aptitude and English Comprehension. Candidates must prepare with all efforts for Tier 1 exams, this also partially prepares candidates for Tier 2 exam of SSC CGL.

Given below is paper-wise description of preparation tips for SSC CGL Tier 1 exam:

  • Logical Reasoning: This is the most time consuming section of Paper 1 of SSC CGL Tier 1. Candidates must have sound judgment qualities and logical thinking abilities to attempt this paper. It is advisable for candidates to practice the concepts involved in logical reasoning section and solve sample papers for the same. Also, avoid guess work and read the question carefully before answering it.
  • General Awareness: Be thorough with the current happenings and events around the world to fetch marks in this section. Read newspapers, journals and refer to online resources to ace this section.
  • Numerical Ability: Candidates must be well versed with the formulae and concepts covered under this head. Candidates must also learn square roots and cube roots till 20.
  • English Comprehension:  Questions based on comprehension are asked to gauge your ability to understand, analyses and apply information provided in the passage. This section judges your ability to understand English and proper usage of grammar. Read newspapers and books on grammar. Make it a habit to learn new words daily.

SSC CGL 2016 Final Selection

The final selection of the candidates will be dependent on their performance in Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. If a candidate has qualified in all the three tiers, his/her name will appear in the final merit list.

The merit list will be prepared separately for each vacancy. The factors determining shortlisting of candidates are- vacancies available and total number of candidates.

SSC CGL 2016 Tie Breaker

There are times when more than one candidate secures equal marks. In such cases, a dilemma will arise regarding which candidate to place in what order. To avoid this situation, there are some rules that will come into effect for the purpose of tie breaking.

SSC CGL 2016 Tie-Breaking rules are as given below:

  • Candidate obtaining more marks in the written examination will be given preference.
  • If the tie still remains, the candidate scoring more marks in Tier II will be given preference.
  • If the tie still remains, the candidate scoring more marks in Tier I will be given preference.
  • In case there is still a tie between the candidates, older candidate will have a higher rank
  • After this, alphabetical order of the first names of the candidates decides the rank of the applicant



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