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Preparation Strategy for SSC CGL Exam

Staff Selection Commission has released the notification for Combined Graduate Level Examination 2022 for 20,000 jobs. Check step by step preparation plan for 2022 CGL examination.
SSC CGL Guidance

Time frame needed:
As we can see from the notification regarding exam dates, there shall be 3 months of time to prepare for tier 1 and after tier 1 has finished, there will be three more months of time for tier 2. After tier 2, for tier 3 approximately 2 months of time will be given. This time window of 3 months at each level is an ample time to prepare for the exam vis – a – vis any other competitive exams.

Download SSC Exams Study Material 

Delays in the examinations:
SSC has been in soup and constantly been besieged by many court cases regarding frauds and irregularities from quite some time. This has been causing endless delays in the process losing out the credibility among students. This has tainted the reputation of SSC Badly. Nevertheless, tremendous efforts have been put up by SSC chairman to clear off the blemish by releasing regular status updates. Though clearing up all these irregularities in less time is a herculean task, the Chairman has been stubborn and steadfast in his approach to clear out all the irregularities at the earliest. Many new administration level changes are also anticipated. But it is always onus of the students to keep their preparation intact by not paying heed to the rumours regarding the delays in examination.

Practice Permutations And Combinations

SSC CGL Tier-I has four sections:
Maths (25 questions), English (25 questions), Reasoning (25 Questions), General Awareness (25 questions).
Here, we need to talk especially about General awareness section as the other three sections have a clear cut syllabus lined out in the notification. General Awareness in SSC, as the name suggests, this section is named as General Awareness not General Knowledge. So, one has to have just awareness about all the topics mentioned in the syllabus. Student has to do an exhaustive study rather than intensive study.

Questions cannot be completely out of the blue in General Awareness section. One need not study everything under the sun. At the same time Syllabus is vast. One has to do smart work rather than relying completely only on hard work. Hence it is always advisable to have gumption to choose for a good coaching centre smartly. Coaching is always advisable as SSC CGL Examination needs a smart strategy along with conceptual clarity.

Practice Logical Venn diagrams

Targeted Score and Smart Approach:
Tier – 1 is the most important and a scoring part when compared to tier - 2.
In Tier – 1, if one managed to score 175+, 90% of the job is done in securing a desired job.
Hence, a serious aspirant’s ideal goal should be scoring 175+ in tier – 1. This is very much possible if he/she chose a smart approach.

Practice Compound Interest 

Shift in the pattern of questions asked:
From 2017 onwards, SSC has taken a sharp curve in the mode of framing questions. If we consider 2017 mains Maths paper, one can clearly see that questions are completely based on concepts rather than a copy paste approach. A Student with clear concepts can only answer such questions.

Hence, it is high time for a student to focus on Concepts along with practising multiple questions in a stipulated time.

Strategy for Tier – 1 & Tier - 2
Time needed: 3 Months.

What to study:
A Serious aspirant has to study only a limited set of standard books. Do not get tempted to go through all the books available in the market. Do not buy books unnecessarily and pile up stacks in your reading room. That creates a lot more burden and tension in the aspirant.

One has to revise a single standard book multiple times rather than doing multiple books single time.

Miscellaneous Errors Misplaced Words

Practising a single book multiple times improves the speed of solving questions immensely. All you need to get top-notch score in CGL Tier – 1 is only SPEED and conceptual clarity.

Student has to get this line etched into their minds. And the ultimate goal for tier – 1 should be to score not less than 175 marks out of 200.

Here are the resources to be followed. Below mentioned handful of books should suffice for one to crack CGL examination.

Practie Calendars

Do not pay too much attention on current affairs. SSC asks hardly three questions from current affairs. Out of these three questions, 2 questions are very much predictable. Questions on current affairs would be mostly from sports, medals, awards, books etc.

Standard Books List:
Maths :

  • Kiran Prakash Previous year papers


  • Kiran Prakash Previous year papers
  • Kiran Prakash Book on Common errors
  • Plinth to Paramount VOL -I , VOL – II
  • THE HINDU / INDIAN EXPRESS news paper editorials section.


  • Kiran Prakash Previous year papers

General Awareness:

  • Kiran Prakash Previous year papers
  • Lucent General Awareness Descriptive book
  • Cloud Affairs pdf capsules(for current affairs)

Practice Problems on Clocks

What not to do?

  • Do not cram!
  • Do not get tempted to try solving all the books available in market.
  • Do not lose confidence. Be optimistic and focus on concepts.
  • Do not neglect tests.
  • Do not do only hard work without smart work. (A mix of both would bear fruits).
  • Do not plan an hourly wise daily schedule every day.
  • Absenteeism to classes!!
  • Comparison and unhealthy competition.

A student has to give as many mocks as possible before he/she faces the real exam.

Many mock test series are available online which provides a simulated environment as that of the real exam. So a student has to pay attention while choosing a standard mocks series.

For mock tests, visit

It always helps to study the past to gauge a better future. On the similar lines, I would brief upon cut-offs of 2013 till 2016. One should always aim for the higher cut-offs although he/she has reservation/quota. Hence we discuss only general category cut-offs in this article.

496.25 out of 700 was the cut-off for an interview post (Central Excise) in CGL 2013.
485.50 out of 700 in CGL 2014 (decrease of 10.75 marks).
496.25 out of 700 in CGL 2015 (increase of 10.75 marks).
539.75 out of 700 in CGL 2016 (increase of 43.5 marks).
SSC Exams 2022 Schedule Released; Check Exam Dates of JE, SI etc.

This shows that there has been a constant rise in cut-offs (except in 2014), and a huge cut-off jump can be seen from 2013 to 2016 i.e., 43.5 marks. Year after year number of aspirants has also been increasing manifold. Hence a serious aspirant should gear up in all the dimensions and use his/her 6 months of time productively to crack CGL for good.

All the Best..!! Show perseverance and have confidence!

Prepared by
Krishna, Maths Faculty
EZE Academy, Hyderabad

Published date : 19 Sep 2022 11:40AM

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