SSC CGL Preparation Strategy | Subject Wise Expert Tips

SSC conducts the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) exam every year for recruiting candidates in various ministries and departments of the Government of India. The minimum qualification required to apply for the posts under SSC CGL is a Graduate Degree. Since a lot of vacancies are filled through the CGL exam conducted by SSC, the age limit and educational qualification requirement differ for each post, and to help the candidates excel in their exam this page contains in-depth SSC CGL preparation, subject-wise Strategies.

Candidates who are going to write the SSC CGL exam this year should start serious preparation from now onwards. Since CGL is a graduate-level exam, it is better not to expect very easy questions. But before we discuss the SSC CGL preparation strategy for the upcoming exam, let’s take a look at the exam structure of SSC CGL 2020.

SSC CGL Preparation

SSC CGL Preparation

SSC CGL Exam Structure 2020

Before learning about the SSC CGL preparation strategies the candidates must first have the knowledge of the SSC CGL exam pattern which, is conducted in 4 levels. The exam structure of all the 4 levels are mentioned as below:

Level of Examination Type Mode of Examination
Tier-I Objective Multiple Choice Online
Tier-II Objective Multiple Choice Online
Tier-III Descriptive Paper in English/Hindi Pen and Paper Mode(Offline)
Tier-IV Computer Proficiency Test/Skill Test Whenever Applicable(Not for all posts)
Document Verification Applicable for all

SSC CGL Exam Pattern 2020

Coming to the detailed exam pattern, the SSC CGL Tier-I exam consists of 4 sections, each containing 25 MCQ questions. For each right answer, 02 marks will be given and for each wrong answer, 0.5 marks will be deducted per answer. More details can be found below.

SSC CGL Complete Exam Syllabus 2020

SSC CGL 2019-2020 Tier I – Computer Based Test

Phase I Subject No of Questions Maximum Marks Duration Negative Marking
Tier I


General Intelligence and Reasoning 25 50 60 Minutes 0.50 Marks for Each Wrong Answer
General Awareness 25 50
Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
English Language and Comprehension 25 50
Total 100 200

SSC CGL 2019-2020 Tier II – Computer Based Test

The Tier-II will also have 4 sections, each containing 100 questions of 200 marks to be answered in 2 hours. For every wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted per question. The entire Tier II exam pattern is given below.

Phase I Subject No of Questions Maximum Marks Duration Negative Marks for Every Wrong Answer
Tier II Paper-I: Quantitative Abilities 100 200 120 Minutes 0.25
Paper-II: English Language and Comprehension 100 200 0.25
Paper-III: Statistics (Only for Statistical Officer Post) 100 200 0.25
Paper-IV: General Studies (Finance and Economics) (Only for Assistant Audit Officer & Assistant Accounts Officer Posts) 100 200 0.25


SSC CGL 2019-2020 Tier III Pen and Paper Mode Examination

Phase Subject Maximum Marks Duration
Tier III Descriptive Paper in English or Hindi (Writing of Essay/ Precise/ Letter/ Application etc.) 100 60 Minutes


SSC CGL 2019-2020 Tier IV – Skill Test

  • DEST (Data Entry Skill Test): Candidates are required to type 2000 words in 15 minutes on a computer in English. This test is conducted to check a candidate’s writing skills. DEST is conducted for the post of Tax Assistants (Central Excise and Income Tax).
  • CPT (Computer Proficiency Test): This test is conducted to check a candidate’s proficiency in Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and Generation of Slides. CPT is conducted for the post of Assistant Section Officer of CSS (Central Secretariat Service).

SSC CGL Exam Syllabus 2020

The first step towards SSC CGL preparation is that the candidates must be aware of the full SSC CGL syllabus, Check out the SSC CGL Tier I syllabus below:

General Intelligence and Reasoning General Awareness Quantitative Aptitude English Comprehension
Classification Static General Knowledge (Indian History, Culture, etc.) Simplification Reading Comprehension
Analogy Science Interest Fill in the Blanks
Coding-Decoding Current Affairs Averages Spellings
Puzzle Sports Percentage Phrases and Idioms
Matrix Books and Authors Ratio and Proportion One word Substitution
Word Formation Important Schemes Problem on Ages Sentence Correction
Venn Diagram Portfolios Speed, Distance and Time Error Spotting
Direction and Distance People in the News Number System
Blood Relations Mensuration
Series Data Interpretation
Verbal reasoning Time and Work
Non-Verbal Reasoning Algebra

Candidates who qualify for the Tier I exam can sit for their Tier II exam. The syllabus for the second level is given below.

 SSC CGL Preparation Strategies 2020 to Crack Tier 1 Exam

Quantitative Aptitude English Language Statistics General Awareness
Simplification Reading Comprehension Collection and Representation of Data Finance and Accounting
Interest Spelling Measure of Dispersion Fundamental Principles
Averages Fill in the Blanks Measure of Central Tendency Financial Accounting
Percentage Phrases and Idioms Moments, Skewness and Kurtosis Basic Concepts of Accounting
Ratio and Proportion One Word Substitution Correlation and Regression Self-Balancing Ledger
Speed, Distance and Time Sentence Correction Random Variables Error Spotting and Correction
Number System Error Spotting Random Variables
Mensuration Cloze Test Sampling Theory Economics and Governance
Data Interpretation Para Jumbles Analysis and Variance Comptroller and Auditor General of India
Time and Work Synonyms-Antonyms Time Series Analysis Finance Commission
Algebra Active-Passive Voice Index Number Theory of Demand and Supply
Data Sufficiency

SSC CGL Selection Procedure

  • Candidates who qualify Tier I would only be eligible to appear in SSC CGL Tier II Exam.
  • The marks obtained by the candidates in Tier I and Tier II would determine the eligibility of the candidates to appear in Tier III and Tier IV exams.
  • Final merit list of successful candidates will be determined on the basis of total score obtained by them in Tier I, Tier II, Tier III.
  • Some posts have to undergo Tier IV round before the final selection takes place

Latest SSC CGL Hindi Notification

SSC CGL Preparation Strategy 2020

Candidates who will write the SSC CGL exam this year are requested to read this part of the article with full attention. SSC CGL preparation might seem like a huge deal in the beginning because the syllabus is huge and the time to prepare for the exam is limited. In this situation, it is always a wise decision to go with a proper study plan and sticking to it until the exam begins.

SSC CGL Online Mock Test 2020: Take Online Test Now

For your convenience, we have created a subject wise preparation strategy to help you with the upcoming SSC CGL exam 2020. Before you begin, you should know that SSC often repeats previous year questions and it is always advisable to candidates to practice as many previous year question papers as possible for scoring good marks. Along with it, you need to incorporate a few subject-wise SSC CGL Preparation strategies, the details about which you can find below.

SSC CGL preparation strategy for General Intelligence and Reasoning

  • Grasp basic concept about Matrix, Word Formation, Blood Relations and other forms of puzzles
  • Focus on solving moderate to hard level mock tests
  • Learn tricks and tips to solve questions that take more time
  • Practice sections like Analogy and Statement-Conclusion more because tricky questions often come from those sections.

SSC CGL preparation strategy for General Awareness

  • Watch the latest news and talk shows regularly
  • Read newspapers to be updated with national and international affairs
  • Get a friend and solve similar test series on General Awareness to analyze your preparation
  • Along with the latest news, keep a tab of all major events from 5 years back up till now

SSC CGL preparation strategy for Quantitative Aptitude

  • Practice is the key to success in this section
  • Ensure that you know all the formulas by heart
  • Be well versed with tables up to 25
  • Take mock tests after completing each chapter

SSC CGL preparation strategy for English Comprehension

  • Focus on learning the basic grammar rules
  • Practice writing articles, essays, and letters in English
  • Work on mock tests and see where you are lacking
  • Speak in English to improve your grammar and pronunciation

SSC CGL preparation strategy for Statistics

  • Be very observant about numbers and accuracy
  • Practice more and more to be perfect
  • Don’t hurry while solving the statistical questions



Q1. What is the time required for completing the full SSC CGL syllabus?

Ans. If a candidate is serious about his/her selection, and follow the above provided SSC CGL preparation strategies for about 6-7 hours in a day, they can complete full SSC CGL syllabus in 3-4 months.

Q2.Is there any negative marking in the SSC CGL Recruitment 2020 examinations?

Ans. Yes, there will be negative marking in SSC CGL 2020 Recruitment Exam. It will be as per given below

  • There will be negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer in Paper-II (English Language and Comprehension) and of 0.50 marks for each wrong answer in Paper-I, Paper-III and Paper-IV.

Q3.SSC CGL Recruitment 2020 examinations can be attempted in which languages?

Ans. The SSC CGL 2020 Recruitment examination can be attempted in both Hindi or English Language. SSC CGL 2020 Tier III exam can also be written in Hindi or English Language.

Q4. What is the CPT in SSC CGL 2020 Examination?

Ans. CPT (Computer Proficiency Test) test is conducted to check a candidate’s proficiency in Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and Generation of Slides. CPT is conducted for the post of Assistant Section Officer of CSS (Central Secretariat Service).

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