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SSC CGL Exam Pattern (Tier-I, II, III, IV), Exam Date, Syllabus & Preparation Tips, Cut-off

ssc cgl 2017

SSC CGL Updated Exam Pattern 2017-2018 | SSC CGL Preparation Tips | SSC CGL 2017 Exam Date | Detailed Syllabus Of SSC CGL | How To Crack SSC CGL | How To Prepare SSC CGL Examination | Previous Year Cut-off of SSC CGL | Preparation Strategy of SSC CGL Tier-1 | How to Prepare SSC CGL Tier-1 Examination | SSC CGL Tier-3 Descriptive Paper, Syllabus, Pattern, Exam Date | How to Prepare SSC CGL Descriptive Paper | SSC CGL Tier-2 Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Exam Date | How to Prepare SSC CGL Tier-2 Examination | SSC CGL 2017 Tier-4 (CPT & DEST) Pattern, Syllabus, Preparation, Exam Date | Expected Cutoff Of SSC CGL Tier-1 2017 | How to prepare SSC CGL 2018 | Tips to crack SSC CGL 2018 | Exam Pattern SSC CGL 2018 | SSC CGL 2018

Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Examination organised by Staff Selection Commission (SSC) is one of the most prestigious examinations in present time. Aspirants to come with a dream to serve the nation in government sector with a prestigious job, respect in society and healthy life style opt for SSC CGL examination.

ssc-cgl-2017 (1)

SSC conducts combined graduate level examination every year for various posts. This year SSC released online examination form on may 16, 2017. The mode of filling examination forms is only online. The CGL exam is contains various steps : like Tier-1, Tier-2, descriptive and DEST &CPT.

This article is in the interest to the candidates who are looking to compete for SSC CGL, this will satisfy all the doubts related to SSC CGL examination i.e. exam pattern, syllabus and how to prepare for various levels, etc

Exam Dates of SSC CGL 2017

  • SSC CGL Tier-1 Exam Date : 5th of August to 24th of August
  • SSC CGL Tier-2 & Tier-3 Exam Date : 27 to 30 November, 2017
  • SSC CGL Tier-4 Exam Date : February\March, 2018

About SSC CGL Examination Tier-1

Staff Selection Commission is all set to conduct tier-1 or prelim exam in month of august. Previously the dates announced by SSC were 1st august to 20 august, recently SSC re-scheduled the dates from 5th of august to 24th of august, 2017.

Tier-1 Exam Pattern:

As per the latest exam pattern tier-1 exam duration is reduced to 60 mins instead 75 mins last year. The nature of examination is objective which is purely online. Tier-1 contains 100 Question each of 2 marks, i.e. maximum marks are 200. Paper consists of four subjects with 25 questions each and maximum of 50 marks.

SUBJECTNo. of QuestionsMaximum Marks
General Intellegence & Reasoning2550
General Awareness & GK2550
Quantitative Aptitude2550
English Language & Comprehension 2550

Each subject has equal marks so candidates are advised to focus on each subject equally. There will 2 marks awarded for the every right answer, but 0.50 marks will be deducted for every wrong attempt i.e. exam has negative marking. Hence candidates are strictly advised not to attempt questions with doubt. Accuracy and speed will be the key to crack tier-1 examination.


Syllabus of Tier-1 Examination

Here we will have a detailed account of each subject and topics to focus more:

General Intelligence & Reasoning:

General Intelligence & Reasoning section is considered to be most easy and scoring section among all subjects. The questions are asked in this section are generally from analytical and verbal reasoning of easy to moderate level.

This section contains questions from topics like, analogies, similarities and differences, spatial visualization,spatial orientation, problem solving, analysis, judgement, decision making, visual memory,discrimination, observation, relationship concepts, arithmetical reasoning and figurative classification,arithmetic number series, non-verbal series, coding and decoding, statement conclusion, syllogistic reasoning etc.

Strategy to Score Good In General Intelligence & Reasoning:

This section requires concentration and good amount of practice. Full marks can be achieved in this section, it means this section helps you in getting crack tier-1 and score well. Practice previous years of questions and sample papers.

General Awareness & GK:

This sections is the most deciding section in SSc CGL examination. As difficulty level of this section varies to great extent paper by paper. And there are many students struggle with this section.

This is the least time taking section, and if you achieve good marks in this section then you are ahead of the most of the candidates in terms of marks and time both.

Topics to cover : This section aims to test the general awareness and events happening around the society and environment. so students are advised to prepare  sports, History,
Culture, Geography, Economic Scene, General Polity, Indian Constitution, scientific Research etc.

Strategy to Score Good In General Awareness & GK:

Make a habit of reading a standard newspaper and focus on current affairs, sports, economics, science sector and foreign affairs. Refer a good book of history and science.

Quantitative Aptitude:

This is considered to be the most time taking section in SSC CGL exam, however question asked in this section are easy to moderate level. The level of the question are mostly up to the 10th standard, but candidate take a lot of time in this section.

this section requires speed and accuracy with numbers and this can be achieved by a lot of practice.

Topics to Cover: This section contains question from arithmetic and advance maths.

Arithmetic-  Decimal and Fractions, Relationship between numbers, Percentages, Ratio and Proportion, Square roots, Averages, Interest (Simple and Compound), Profit and Loss,Time and distance, Time and work, Use of Tables and Graphs: Histogram, Frequency polygon, Bar-diagram, Pie-chart.

Advance Maths- Trigonometry, Geometry and Algebra.

Strategy to Score Good In Quantitative Aptitude: 

This section requires a lot of practice to score good. Candidates are advised to go through basics and practice hard. Solving previous years papers will help you great as SSC repeats an ample number of questions.

  • English Language & Comprehension

This is also the less time taking and scoring section in SSC CGL examination. All you need is to command on reading and good vocabulary.

Topics to Cover: Spotting the Error, Fill in the Blanks, Mis-spelt words, Idioms & Phrases, One word substitution, Cloze Passage, Comprehension Passage, Active Passive Voice.

Strategy to Score Good In English Language & Comprehension:

Reading can be prove most useful in scoring good marks in this section. Read a standard English newspaper, it will cover all  your reading, comprehension and vocabulary part.

How to Manage Time (Tier-1)

You have got only 60 mins to solve 100 questions and have to also deal with negative marking. So it becomes very vital to manage time with covering all the sections in 60 mins. It seems to be very difficult but this not a herculean task, with ample amount of practice you can easily complete your paper in given time period.

Hence, start practicing previous year question papers with time limit. You can also purchase an online test series from any coaching center, by giving ample amount of mocks online before examination will boost your speed and confidence as well.

An pre-determined time management strategy can also help you. You can follow this:

SubjectTime Alloted
General Intellegence & Reasoning18-20 mins
General Awareness & GK 10-12 mins
Quantitative AptitudeAbout 15 mins
English Language & Comprehension 25-30 mins

This is the standard time allocation strategy, it can be vary slightly according to difficulty level of each section. But still try to follow this strategy, if you will not able to complete a section as per strategy, then leave that section there and attempt the next section.

Note: Try to avoid difficult question in Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning section, if u stuck in a question then move ahead instead of wasting your time. Also, do not waste time in thinking a lot in English and General Awareness section. And make sure that you answer correct to the best of your knowledge, avoid answering half heatedly.

Last Year Cutoff of SSC CGL Tier-1 


SSC CGL Tier-2 Exam Pattern, Syllabus

Kudos to the candidates for Qualifying for SSC CGL tier-2 examination. You all have cleared major road block and a step closer to your goal. Tier-2 examination play most important role in your selection for your dream job. As CGL tier-1 shares 200 marks, but CGL tier-2 shares 400 marks i.e. about 60% of total 700.

As we all know preliminary exam is not a chance to score high for everyone especially for those candidates who are good in maths & English but lacks in GK. Here you got the chance to score high and improve your rank.

Exam Pattern & Syllabus

Tier-2 examination is also taken through online objective mode by Staff Selection Commission. Tier-2 examination has two papers of Mathematics And English. You get 2 hours for each. Both exam conducted on same day followed by 2 hours break. You face 100 question in maths and 200 questions in English. Both paper has equal maximum marks i.e. 200 marks each. Just like tier-1, this exam also follows negative marking i.e. 25% of marks assigend for the question.

PaperSUBJECTNo. of QuestionsMaximum MarksNegative for Each Wrong AnswerDuration
Paper 1Mathematics1002000.502 hours (120mins)
Paper 2English2002000.252 hours (120mins)

The difficulty level of mathematics is of 10th standard and general English has the difficulty level of 10+2 standard.

Students applied for Assistant Auditor Officer (AAO) and Statistical Investigator/ Compiler post have to attend paper 3 and paper 4 respectively. These papers conducted on the next day of tier-2.

PaperSUBJECTPOSTSNo. of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration
Paper 3StaticsStatistical Investigator/ Compiler1002002 hours (120mins)
Paper 4General Studies (Finance & Economics)Assistant Auditor Officer (AAO)1002002 hours (120mins)
  • Candidates eligible for VH category and candidates suffering from Cerebral Palsy get 2 hours 40 mins (i.e. 160 mins) to attempt each section.


  • Detailed Syllabus of paper 1 (Mathematics) 

SSC CGL Tier 2 Syllabus,MATH

The questions of this section has designed to test the ability of candidate of understanding of numbers and there use. The questions are mostly from 10th level and difficulty level is easy to moderate. The syllabus is categorized according to topics, no. of question and there difficulty level, below :

Serial No.Topic & WeightageQuestion Types

3-6 Questions

BODMAS rule, approximation, decimals, fractions, surds & indices, percentages etc.
2Number Series

0-1 Question

Complete the series, find missing term, find wrong term etc.
3Number System

6-8 Questions

Divisibility & Remainder, LCM & HCF, Multiples & Factors, Integers.

5-6 Questions

Average Weight/Height/Age/Marks.

2-4 Questions

Basic percentage problems.

4-5 Questions

Simple interest, Compound interest, Mixed interest, Installments.
7Ratio & Proportion

1-6 Questions

Simple Ratios, Compound ratios, Direct & Indirect proportions, Componendo and Dividendo .
8Time & Work

5-7 Questions

Work efficiency, Work & Wages, Pipes & Cisterns, etc.
9Time, Speed & Distance

5-6 Questions

Average / relative / uniform speed, problems on Trains, boat & train.
10Profit & Loss

10-13 Questions

Partnerships, dishonest dealing, Discount, Gains, Prices, Sales Tax, Successive selling, mixture problem etc.

12-18 Questions

Lines and angles, triangles (area, congruence, similarity), Circle (chords, segments, tangents), Quadrilateral, coordinate geometry etc

10-12 Questions

area/ volume of cylinder, cone, sphere, pyramid, parallelogram, quadrilaterals, circle etc.

8-10 Questions

Trigonometric ratios and identities, Height and distances, trigonometric function’s values Max. & Min., Measurement of angles.

5-9 Questions

Problems on identities and functions, Linear equations in One and two or more Variables.
15Mixtures & AllegationsTwo or three entities mixture problems.
16Data Interpretation

5-7 Questions

 Line graphs, Pie Charts, Tables, Bar Graphs etc.

Mostly the question ranges easy to moderate difficulty level. Basic knowledge of these topics is necessary. focus in the basics and practice a lot to increase your speed. As the questions are easy, so you have to maintain your speed as well as accuracy.

  • Detailed Syllabus of paper 2  (English  Language) 

The syllabus of General English is almost same as tier-1. The topics like Direct Indirect, Active/Passive Voice and Cloze test are added to tier-2 exam. Syllabus given by SSC :

SSC CGL Tier 2 Syllabus, english

Serial No.Topic & WeightageQuestion Types
1Sentence Improvement

10-15 Questions

You have to identify the error and replace it with suitable given option.
2Error Finding

20 Questions

A part of the given sentence may contain, you have to find the error part and answer A, B, C or D.
3Synonym / Antonym

3 Question Each

You have to mark best appropriate antonym/synonym of given word.
4Spelling Error

3 Questions

You have to detect wrongly spelt word from given options.
5Para Jumbles

20 Questions

Arranging of parts of sentence in correct manner.
6Active/Passive Voice

20 Questions

Change given sentence to active to passive or vice versa and mark appropriate option.
7Direct Indirect

25 Questions

Change given statement to direct to indirect or vice versa and mark appropriate option.

20-25 Questions

Idioms & Phrases, One Word Substitution
9Cloze Test / Fill in the Blank

25-30 Questions


Fill the blanks in a sentence or passage. Requires knowledge of Grammar( tense, verb, conjunctions, preposition etc.)
10Reading Comprehension

30 Questions

Candidates have to carefully read the paragraphs and and the asked questions. Paragraph can be on any topic and short as well as long.

Topics like vocabulary, antonym/ synonym, spelling check and Sentence improvement are generally less time taking. So avoid to stay long on these topics. Save your time for active/passive, Direct/Indirect and reading Comprehension.

Time is sufficient in this section for most of the candidates, so try to maintain accuracy to score high in this section. Candidates who face problem in this section are advised to make a habit of reading. Reading is a remedy for most of the problems in English. 

Reading can be prove most useful in scoring good marks in this section. Read a standard English newspaper, it will cover all  your reading, comprehension and vocabulary part.

  • Detailed Syllabus of paper 3 (Statics)

You haveto appear for this exam only if you have applied for the post of statistical investigator or compiler. This section contains 100 Questions from the topics of graduation level. Detailed syllabus provided by SSC is as follows :

SSC CGL Tier 2 Syllabus, paper 3

SSC CGL Tier 2 Syllabus statics

  • Detailed Syllabus of paper 4 General Studies (Finance & Economics)

You have to appear for this exam if you have applied for Assistant Auditor Office (AAO) post. The paper comprises two parts: Finance & Accounts and Economics & Governance. Detailed syllabus provided by SSC is as follows :

SSC CGL Tier 2 Syllabuspaper 4

SSC CGL Tier 2 Syllabus page paper 4 full

SSC CGL Tier-2 Cut-off Marks

CategoryCut-off Marks

For DEST (All Posts)

Cut-off Marks


Cut-off Marks


Cut-off Marks

For Junior Statistical Officer



SSC CGL Tier-3 Descriptive Paper, Syllabus, Pattern, Analysis of 2016 Paper
SSC introduced a descriptive paper after tier-2 examination instead of interview from 2016. 
The exam is conducted in offline mode i.e. pen and paper mode. The Descriptive exam aims at testing your proficiency at writing.

TierMode Of ExaminationScheme of ExaminationMaximum marksTime 
3Offline, Pen and Paper ModeDescriptive paper in English/Hindi 10060 mins

(80 mins for VH candidates)

  • Candidate can attempt this paper in English/Hindi according to their convenience. 

But most importantly the exam is conducted to test your way of thinking, your views at different social, political or economical issue. A descriptive exam test your proficiency of creating ideas on different topic and how good you describe them.

It is most important to remind that tier-3 exam has minimum qualifying marks i.e. 33. If you fail to score 33 marks in this paper then your candidature will be disqualified, Despite your merit or good marks till tier-2. Now you guys can better understand the importance of tier-3 in SSC CGL.

Topics asked in SSC CGL Tier-3

The descriptive paper is of 100 marks and two question you will be asked of 50 marks each. Time allotted to to answer these questions is 60 mins. 


  • Essay – word limit 250 words, you can exceed upto 10% i.e. you can go upto 275 words to maximum.
  • Letter/Application writing – word limit 150 words,  you can exceed upto 10% i.e. you can go upto 165 words to maximum.
  • Precis 

How to Prepare SSC CGL Descriptive Paper

It means you are strictly bounded in word limit. So try to express your views laconically, in neat and clear handwriting. to express your views and complete personality in that small word limit you need to practice a lot. your thoughts must be clear to write a effective essay and Letter in given word limit.

Analysis of SSC CGL Tier-3 Descriptive Paper, 2016

Descriptive paper was first introduced in 2016. The exam held on 19 march, 2016. There were an essay and a Informal Letter were asked in exam.

Essay topic Asked in 2016

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

Letter Topic In 2016

Assuming that you are Suresh/Seema, Write a letter to your younger brother Naresh, highlighting the distinct benefits and shortcomings of Computer Based Recruitment test, and what will be the future shortfall of it.

There is no choice given to students for questions. Answer sheet of 12 pages was given to candidates, consisted of 4 columns and 14 rows. You have to strictly follow the word limits. You are allow to exceed 10% of given limit.

SSC CGL 2017 Tier-4 (CPT & DEST) Pattern, Syllabus, Preparation

Tier-4 i.e. Computer Proficiency Test and Data Entry Skill Test conducted on the next day of Document verification. Tier-4 is of qualifying nature.

Document Verification 

All the candidates qualified for tier-4 are required to come for document verification. Those failing to do so will not be considered for final selection. Candidates have to bring all the original documents for the verification, as well as two self attested xerox copies of all the documents. Detailed options for the posts will be taken at the time of document verification.

Data Entry Skill Test (DEST) 

Post For Which DEST is Applicable : Data Entry Skill Test (DEST) is only necessary for the post of Tax Assistants (Central Excise 7 Income Tax).
The “Data Entry Speed” Skill Test at 2,000(two thousand) key depressions for a duration of 15 (fifteen) minutes (8,000key depressions per hour speed) will be qualifing nature.
computer will be provided by the Staff Selection Commission at the centre notified for purpose. The DEST will be held at the commission’s Regional/Sub Regional Offices or at centers decided by SSC.

  • OH candidates applying for the post of Tax Assistant in CBDT are exempted from DEST.
  • OH candidates applying for the post of Tax Assistant in CBDT are not exempted from DEST.
  • HH & VH candidates applying for the post of Tax Assistant are not exempted from DEST.

Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)

Post For Which CPT is Applicable : Computer Proficiency Test (CPT) is meant for applicants applied for the post of Assistent Section Officer Of CSS and Assistent Section Officer MEA

The Commission will held Computer proficiency Test (CPT), comprising of three modules :

  1. Test on Microsoft Word (Word Processing)
  2. Test on Microsoft Excel (Spread Sheets)
  3. Test on Microsoft Power Point (Generation of Slides)

CPT is of qualifying nature and does not envisage exemption for any category of PH candidates. 

Physical standards for the post of Inspector (Central Excise/Examiner/Preventive Officer/Inspector & Sub-Inspector in CBN)

Male Candidates :

Physical Standards

Height 157.5 cms

Chest 81 cms ( fully expanded with a minimum expanses of 5 cms).

Height relaxable by 5 cms. In case of Garwalis, Assamese, Gorkhas and members of Scheduled tribes.

Physical Test

Walking1600 meters in 15 mins.
Cycling8 kms in 30 mins.

female Candidates :

Physical Standards

Height 152 cms

Weight 48 kg

Height relaxable by 2.5 cms.

Weight by 2 kgs for gorkhas, Garwalis, Assamese and members of Scheduled Tribes.

Physical Test

Walking1 km in 20 mins
Cycling3 kms in 25 mins

Note : For the post of Central Excise, Examiner and Preventive Officer, persons with disabilities will have to meet the physical standards i.e. height, chest and weight. However, For orthopedically disabled candidates the following relaxation in physical test is allowed

  • The test of walking shall not be insisted in case of OL & OAL categories.
  • The test of cycling shall not be insisted in case of OA, OL & OAL categories.

Physical Standard for The Post Of Sub-Inspector in CBI

  • Height
    For men – 165 cms
    For women – 150cms
    Height relaxable for Hillsmen & Tribes – 5cms
  • Chest
    76 cms with expansion (There shall be no such requirement in case of female candidates)
  • Vision
    Eye-sight (with or without glasses)
    Distant vision – 6/6 in one and 6/9 in the other eye.
    near vision 0.6 in one eye and 0.8 in other eye.

Physical Standard for The Post Of Sub-Inspector in NIA (National Investigation Agency)

  • Height
    For men – 170cms
    For women – 150cms
    Height relaxable for Hillsmen & Tribes – 5cms
  • Chest
    76 cms with expansion (There shall be no such requirement in case of female candidates)
  • Vision
    Eye-sight (with or without glasses)
    Distant vision – 6/6 in one and 6/9 in the other eye.
    near vision 0.6 in one eye and 0.8 in other eye.

Note : Aspirants are advised to make sure before opting for any category of post thet they fulfill the requirements for that category. The physical measurements for candidates will be conducted by the concerned departments and only those candidates who fulfill the specified physical measurements will be eligible for the respective post. no request from aspirants for alloting for any other category/services for post will be entertained by SSC if the nominated candidates fail to meet the physical requirements.

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