How to Prepare for SSC CGL – SSC CGL Preparation Plan

How to Prepare for SSC CGL ?

The Blogger being a SSC CGL topper himself tries his best to answer the most asked question by an SSC aspirant “How to Prepare for SSC CGL”. This post is divided into 2 Parts – One covers the preparation strategy for Tier 1 and other covers Tier 2.

Given below is the SSC CGL Preparation Strategy by Rank 110 (CGL 2015) & Rank 121 (CGL 2016): (Updated as on 27 May 2018 taking into consideration the difficult level of SSC CGL 2017 Tier 2 held from 17th Feb 2018 to 22nd Feb 2018)

how to prepare for ssc cgl - ssc cgl preparation

How to Prepare for SSC CGL Tier 1 ?

Exam Pattern:

SubjectQuestionMark Distribution
General Intelligence & Reasoning2550
General Awareness2550
Quantitative Aptitude (Maths)2550
English Language2550

Important Points:

The Exam is Computer Based.

Total Time : 60 minutes

No Sectional Cutoff

Each question carries equal marks i.e 2 marks.

How to Prepare for SSC CGL Reasoning Portion ?

The question asked in SSC CGL Exam is of very basic nature and can be mastered within a few weeks using right study material and a bit of practice.

The best way to prepare for Reasoning is given below:

A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning• This book contains each and every type of question you can expect in Exam. You don’t have to study the whole book just relevant portion.
• It contains a lot of questions for practice.
Buy Here:
SSC Previous Year Question Papers• You will get an idea of level of questions asked by SSC.
• A lot to practice from 43 Sets from SSC CGL 2016 (Tier 1) and 43 Sets from SSC CGL 2017 (Tier 1).

How to Prepare for SSC CGL General Awareness ?

The General Awareness part is the most tricky among all 4 subjects. It is due to the vast scope of this subject. But the thing is, you still have to prepare it and score maximum marks.

You can do two things run after every other preparation material or capsules you find on internet or simply prepare and master one source (given below), which is by the way the best strategy.

So best source for:

1. Static Portion:

Lucent General Knowledge: This is the best books as it covers all the parts from History, Geography, Politics, Economics, PCB to Computer.

Buy Here: 


2. Current Affairs:

Not many questions are asked from this part, but still can’t risk it. So you can daily follow this awesome and well established website – GK Today. This website gives daily current affairs in shortest and easy to remember format.

How to Prepare for SSC CGL Quantitative Aptitude & English Language ?

Since these subjects are also asked in Tier 2, the detailed Strategy is written below with Tier 2 Preparation.

How to Prepare for SSC CGL Tier 2 ?

Exam Pattern:

Paper - IQuantitative Abilities100200
Paper - IIEnglish Language & Comprehension200200
Paper - IIIStatistics100200
Paper - IVGeneral Studies (Finance and Economics)100200


  • 2 compulsory papers i.e Quantitative Aptitude (Paper-I) & English Language (Paper-II).
  • Statistics (Paper-III) is only for those candidates who apply for the post of Junior Statistical
    Officer (JSO).
  • General Studies – Finance & Economics (Paper IV) is only for those candidates who apply for the post of Assistant Audit Officer (AAO)/Assistant Accounts Officer(AAO).

Important Points:

Exam Duration : 2 Hours for Each Exam.

Exam for Paper I and Paper II is held on same day. The Exam for Paper III and Paper IV is held on separate days.

How to Prepare for SSC CGL Math Portion:

1. Start with Basics: SSC CGL Preparation must be done strictly in accordance with Syllabus. There is no need to learn Set Theory, Probability, Permutation & Combination etc just because they are not in the Syllabus. Learn all the formulas.

2. Priority Areas: Focus more on Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Mensuration as more than half of the question asked in SSC Exams are from these 4 topics only.

SSC CGL 2014 Tier I4756
SSC CGL 2014 Tier II87209
SSC CGL 2015 Tier I11837
SSC CGL 2015 Tier II2211129

3. Practice is the key: There is no shortcut to scoring high in Math proportion of any SSC Exams. The aspirant must practice a decent number of question to score high. After SSC CGL 2017 Tier 2, the utility of practicing Previous Year Question Papers has decreased, as almost all the questions were based on different concept as compared to from past year papers. And many aspirants who relied heavily on Previous Year Question Papers were shocked.

4. Summary of Formulas: Take A4 size papers and prepare a summary of topic wise formulas. This will help you immensely in remembering formulas. Reason being it will take only 15-20 minutes to revise all the formulas from 10-12 A4 sheets rather than turning pages of large books for hours.

5. Shortcuts: As time is very limited in SSC CGL Exam. Learn some good shortcuts to save time. The best book for shortcut is mentioned below in table regarding Books.

6. Choice of Book: These books were used by the blogger himself to Rank -110 in SSC CGL 2015 and Rank – 121 in SSC CGL 2016, that too without any coaching or guidance. SSC CGL Preparation is incomplete without these books. Books for Maths SSC CGL preparation is given below:

S No.NameBenefit
1Fast Track Objective Arithmetic
  • Good for Tricks & Shortcuts. And speed matters the most in SSC Exams.
  • Covers all the topic.
  • Questions divided as Base Level (For Beginners) & Higher Skill Level (For experts)
Buy Here:
2Quantum Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh K. VermaDue to the increased difficulty level seen in SSC CGL 2017 Tier 2 Exam it is very important to get your concepts clear and practice slightly difficult Questions from this book.
Buy Here:
3Kiran’s SSC Mathematics 8900+
  • Best for practice as it contains questions actually asked in SSC Exams.
  • Questions are divided type wise so can focus & master each type one by one.
  • Have enough questions to turn you into an expert.
Buy Here:

How to Prepare for SSC CGL English Portion:

For better understanding, the SSC CGL Preparation Strategy (English) is divided into 4 parts as given below:

Grammar: (42 Marks):
• Error Spotting
• Improvement of Sentences
Based on Understanding of Sentence / Paragraph: (75 Marks):
• Reading Comprehension
• Arrangement of Sentences
• Cloze Test
Conversion of Sentences: (47 Marks)
• Active-Passive Voice
• Direct-Indirect Speech
Based on understanding of Words: (36 Marks)
• Synonyms
• Antonyms
• Spelling Based
• Fill in the Blanks
• One Word Substitution
• Idioms-Phrases

Part 1 : Grammar for SSC CGL Preparation:

  • Begin by learning the rules from the book – Objective English by SP Bakshi (link in table below).
  • Then practice questions from:
    • Exercises at the back of each chapter in Objective English by SP Bakshi.
    • Then Practice Questions from any two Books given in Row 2, 3 and 4 in table given below. My recommendation is Kiran’s SSC English Chapter-wise Solved Papers.
  • Mark important questions/ exceptions from rule with a red pen or note them down in a notebook & periodically revisit them.

Part 2 : Based on understanding of Sentence / Paragraph:

(i) Reading Comprehension: Mark my words “Don’t go for the bullshit advise given by a lot of people that Read Novels / Newspapers to improve vocabulary and Reading Skills”. Reason is, it works in the long run like 3-4 years, but you as an aspirant don’t have that much time. Another reason is Passages given by SSC in exams are written in very simple language and questions asked are generally directly mentioned in the passage. So just practice from either of books given in table below.

(ii) Arrangement of Sentences:

  • Read all the sentences once.
  • Then look for Chronological order, say sentence mentioning year 1920 must be placed before the sentence mentioning year 2017.
  • Cause-Effect Relationship : Sentence with Cause will come first. And sentence with its Effect will come later.
  • Sentence Mentioning the Article “A” will come before Sentence mentioning the Article “The” for the same thing again. E.g: A car fell into the valley. The car then caught fire and caused a blast.

(iii) Cloze Test:

  • Cloze test are just like a lot of Fill in the blanks combined in a Paragraph but the best thing is they are based on the same theme.
  • Read Para once to get the basic idea. Believe me it helps a lot when compared to directly attempting the Questions.
  • Then try attempting blanks one by one. Leave a blank if you are not sure of correct options and move to the next blank, once you fill a few  blanks, you get the complete idea of Para and will be able to fill other blanks easily.

Part 3 : Conversion of Sentences:

(i) Active-Passive Voice: The questions are based on set rules. To get complete rules with a lot of examples. – Click Here

(ii) Direct-Indirect Speech: The questions are based on set rules. To get complete rules with a lot of examples – Click Here.

Part 4 : Based on understanding of Words:

(i) Synonyms-Antonyms:

  • Around 6-7 questions are asked.
  • There are two options either to spend a lot of time learning 1000s of words or just simply ignore it. And the best part is you will still be able to attempt 3-4 questions correctly.

(ii) Correctly / Incorrectly spelt word: I will prepare a list of tricky words and post in a separate article. For updates Like my Facebook Page: Click Here.

(iii) One Word Substitution: Just prepare from Objective English by SP Bakshi.

(iv) Idioms-Phrases: Just prepare from Objective English by SP Bakshi.

People keep asking what books are good for study and why, so finally I decided to write this post and make it easier for you to choose from Books for yourselves. So here are some SSC CGL Preparation Books for English to score high marks and secure your favorite post.

S No.Title of BookReason to buy
1Objective General English (SP Bakshi)• Perhaps the best book for SSC based exams.
• Covers everything from Grammar, Speech, Voice to Synonyms, Antonyms etc.
• Best for Grammar Preparation (Spotting Errors, Sentence Improvement) – Different chapters on Nouns, Verbs, Pronouns etc for foundation and then a lot of questions at the end of chapter for practice.
• Good for One Word Substitution (covers almost every question asked by SSC till date), Para Jumbles, Fill in the blanks.
Buy Here:

2Kiran’s SSC English Language Chapterwise Solved Papers

  • To get a basic idea of question asked by SSC in the past.
  • 11,300 Questions to practice from, divided Chapter-wise, what else do you want.

Buy Here:
3Objective General English (R.S. Aggarwal)• Good for practicing questions after you have gone through Objective General English by SP Bakshi.
• A lot of questions for practice on every topic.
• Based on questions asked in SSC Exams.
Buy Here:
4Common Errors in English (Kiran's)• This book is a blend of two books described above.
• First it describes a thing say “Verbs” then tells about what common mistakes we can make while solving a question. Then a few questions to sharpen skills.
• This books focuses on applicability of rules and make sure you don’t make a mistake in exam even after knowing all the rules.
Buy Here:

English is a tricky subject, you may be able to attempt 200 out of 200 Questions confidently and still be able to get around 70-80 questions wrong owing to silly mistakes. So make sure you practice a lot, there are no shortcuts to success.

Things to keep in mind while preparing for SSC CGL:

Concentration is the key: You need to concentrate while preparing for SSC CGL, but it is 21st Century and focus and peace of mind is a myth. But believe my without concentration and focus it will be very hard to crack SSC CGL. So in order to concentrate follow these tips:

  • Keep your mobile away from you, preferably in an almirah.
  • If you have little kids in your house who creates a lot of noise, or siblings/parents who watch Television at loud voice, making it impossible for you to focus. Then you need to buy ear plugs to block noise. You can buy them here – 3M 1110 Corded Foam, Noise Reduction Ear Plugs (Pack Of 10)
  • Read self help books to keep yourself motivated. They will help you throughout the life and help you become a better person, better Govt officer, better husband/wife, better parent and so on.

ssc cgl preparation

Keep away from Rumours:

Some common rumours:

  • SSC will change the pattern of Examination and everything we prepare will go in vain. In reality SSC is not likely to change the pattern in near future and even if it does it will still ask 10th level English, Maths, Reasoning and General Awareness.
  • Cheating mafias will take all the job: Though there were incidences of cheating, but it was on a low scale. It is very difficult to cheat in these Examinations due to very tight security. And due to protests, SSC is expected to take drastic measures to curb such incidences of cheating.
  • Delay in examination: Don’t pay attention, you can’t do anything about it. If it gets delayed, consider those extra days as bonus for preparation.

Here I Conclude SSC CGL Preparation Strategy: Update to SSC CGL Preparation Strategy will be done from time to time keeping up with the changes in pattern. 

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  1. What about books like rakesh yadav class notes or 7300? Are they needed in addition to the above mentioned books?

    • Rakesh Yadav Class Notes are very difficult to comprehend. Regarding 7300 book, it is basically all the previous year questions just like Kiran’s 8900.

  2. My maths is very week please tell me how to do it so that i can easily solve the questions in less time honestly speaking i am not good in maths pleae help me to cope with this i just need ur guidance and how much time should i devote tell me sir everything

  3. hello sir. I have recently started for preparation of SSC CGL and i am preparing it for long term. I am very much confusing about books sir. Some are saying plinth to paramount book and Mb publications previous paper,word power made easy etc are good for english .Some are saying Reading newspaper is enough. Some are saying for GK lucent books are good. and some are saying Arihant and some saying NCERT books are good for Gk (i mean for static). Since i am AN AVERAGE STUDENT i am very much confusing with deciding books sir. I have not yet started preparation YET. since already 1 month over and i am still in confusion with books sir. Can u please help me

  4. Which chapters should I do from verbal and non verbal reasoning book?

  5. Have you read a book megaliving ?

  6. Thanks for sharing this information.
    The books for covering science portion is not mentioned in this post.
    Does the Lucent’s General Knowledge book is sufficient for Physics, Chemistry and Biology? or Should I need to refer any other books?

  7. Thanks for sharing the useful information for SSC CGL preparation.

  8. Is there possibility to select only officer job and to avoid field work for women after clearing jso

  9. Does handwriting is important for descriptive type exam??
    Does handwriting have any influence on the mark?

  10. What type of materials I have to refer with regarding General Awareness

  11. How can i prepare for quantitative aptitude through self study?

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