SSC CGL Exam Pattern

The Combined Graduate Level (CGL) is conducted every year in four tiers for various posts. The four tiers are indicated below:

Bordered Table

The table-bordered class adds borders to a table:

Tier Type Mode
Tier-I Objective Multiple Choice Computer Based (online)
Tier-II Objective Multiple Choice Computer Based (online)
Tier-III Descriptive Paper in English/Hindi Pen and Paper mode
Tier-IV Skill Test/Computer Proficiency Test Wherever Applicable

SSC CGL Exam Pattern 2017 for Tier 1 & 2 are given below:

SSC CGL 2017 Tier 1 and Tier 2 exam will be conducted in online mode.

  • The time duration of Tier-1 will be 60 minutes.
  • Tier II will remain same.
  • Tier-3 will be a descriptive paper of 100 marks within 60 minutes in pen and paper mode.
  • No Sectional Cut off.
  • No Interviews: Interview component has been dispensed with. There will, therefore, be no interview.
  • Skill Test: The Skill Test will be of qualifying nature.
  • Final Merit List: The merit will be prepared on overall performance in Tier-I, Tier-II, and Tier-III. However, the candidate will need to qualify all the tiers i.e Tier-I, Tier-II and Tier-III separately.
  • Minimum Mark Required for Descriptive: Only those candidates who secure at least the minimum qualifying marks in the written examination as may be fixed by the Commission at its discretion, will be eligible to appear in the SKILL TEST.

SSC CGL Syllabus 2017

SSC CGL Tier 1 Exam Pattern

This is CBE (computer based examination). There are 4 sections in the Tier 1 exam of SSC CGL 2017, with 100 questions which account for a total of 200 marks. The subject-wise details are given below:

Section Subject No of Questions Max Marks Exam Duration
1 General Intelligence and Reasoning 25 25 50 60 minutes
2 General Awareness 25 50
3 Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
3 Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
4 English Comprehension 25 50
Total 100 200


There is a negative marking of 0.5 marks in all sections. The duration of exam is 80 minutes for candidates who are visually handicapped.

SSC CGL Tier 1 Syllabus

General Intelligence and Reasoning

It would include questions of both verbal and non-verbal type. The test will include questions on Symbolic operations, Symbolic/Number Analogy, Figural Analogy, Blood Relations, Series Problems, Direction based questions, Venn Diagrams, Symbolic/Number Classification, Drawing inferences, Figural Classification, Punched hole/pattern-folding & unfolding Figural Pattern – folding and completion, Number Series, Embedded figures, Figural Series, Coding and decoding, Numerical operations. You need to figure out the high-frequency type questions which will fetch you better marks. Here are a few important topics of Reasoning from which maximum questions are asked.

"5 questions from Figures including matrix, 2 questions of alpha-numeric series, 3 questions from analogy, 3 odd one out questions, 1 question blood relation, 1 question rank. 2 questions mathematical operation, 1 question direction sense, etc These are a few easy and doable questions which you can solve very quickly."

General Awareness

In GA section, SSC repeats 3-4 questions every time, so you should definitely study previous years questions to get easy marks. Refer only selected topics and do not waste much time for this section. Focus more on Polity, economics and modern history.

Approx. 2-3 Current affairs questions are asked in GA section of SSC CGL Tier-1 Exam. A newspaper is a complete package for all the competitive exams in India. There is no other better thing for exams than a standard English newspaper daily. Never miss reading newspaper and always note down all the important news, this way you can easily improve your English, reading habits, and current affairs. Read about GST, Important PM visits etc.

Divide all these remaining days according to the subjects: for example- Important topics of Polity in 2-3 days, Geography-2 days, History(modern) - 2-3 days. Miscellaneous (static)- 4 days, life sciences-3days.

Science is the biggest contributor in GA Section of SSC CGL. There are total 25 questions in the GA section and 7-8 questions are asked from science section. Study science laws, formulae, and application of it in physics and chemistry. Questions are also asked from life sciences(especially from global warming). Whether you are a science student or not, you can surely learn these topics. In history, from the advent of the Europeans to India to the independence of India, read modern history (Viceroy tenures, Important sessions of Congress, important dates, the question from Gandhian phase etc.

In Polity- Study preamble, Important articles, and schedules, the tenure of the Presidents, Governors, Judges of the supreme court and high courts and their duties etc.

In Geography- Soil, Monsoon, Indian River System, Physical Division of India (Plain, plateaus, mountains), etc. Miscellaneous: Questions related to static GK, The first, the highest, the longest In India, Important monuments of India, important peak, and rivers of the world.

Quantitative Aptitude

1. Geometry/Mensuration

This is one of the most important topics regarding SSC CGL because we see every year questions are being asked from this section.The level of difficulty varies from easy to moderate. At least 5 to 6 questions are asked from this topic.For Geometry, you need to remember all the important theorems, Pythagoras triplet, all the formulas of the area of triangle and circle. Above all draw figures correctly to get quick answer.

For Mensuration you need to focus on Prism, Pyramid, Sphere, and Tetrahedron.You have to use Formulas like curved surface area, total sufrace area and volume.All the questions will be based on these three formulas only.

2. Algebra/Trigonometry/Height and Distance

Algebra includes basic formulas of cube and squares and trigonometric ratios and identities. you can mug up a few questions because every year they repeat the same questions.They don't even change the value. 2-3 questions will be asked from Algebra. So solving these topics will help in scoring good marks in less time. Try to solve few questions from option if you don't find any way to solve. Overall 6-7 questions will be asked from all these topics.

3. Ratio/Percentage/profit, loss and Discount

Concepts of Percentage and ratio are base to the chapters like profit, loss and Discount. For Quick solving, you must remember all fractional value up to 30 in terms of percentage.Profit, loss and discount revolve around 4 terms and that is C.P, S.P, M.P and Discount. Understand the concept of CP, SP, MP and discount given on MP and relation between them.

4.Time speed and distance/Train/Boats and Stream

Inverse relation and direct relation between time speed and distance will help a lot. The concept of relative velocity will help you in solving problems of train and Boat and Stream. All these topics are based on the same concept. Gun and Bullet problem, Train accident problem, Effect of increasing/decreasing speed on time, these problems are often asked in exams.

5.Time and Work/pipes and Cistern

Solve time and work question with the help of LCM method which can reduce lots of time while solving questions. The concept of alternate work, efficiency and work and wages are important points to cover.

6. S.I. & C.I

From this topic, basic questions are asked mainly directly based on the formulas. Only 1-2 question asked from this topic.

7. Number System, Surds & Indices, Simplification

Questions from unit digits, number of zeroes & LCM/HCF besides this simplification of surds & indices. Mostly 2-3 questions are asked from this topic.

8. DI

It may be tabular, in tha form of pie chart or bar graph. Mostly it based on the percentage & ratio. 2-3 questions in exam are come from this topic.

English Comprehension

We divide SSC CGL English mainly into 3 parts.

  • Section-1: Vocabulary Section
  • Section-2: Grammatical Section
  • Section-3: Comprehensive Section
Section-1: Vocabulary Section

This section is very interesting because you can easily score maximum marks in Vocab section. All you need to do is just Read English Newspaper, magazine or any article written in standard Engish. Once you understand the literal and figurative meaning of the English words, it would be easier to answer correctly all the questions based on Synonyms, Antonyms, One-word substitutions, and idioms/phrases. The only trick is to revise it daily without fail.The revision should be very intense and exhaustive. we have provided The Hindu Newspaper Editorial vocabulary, read all these words daily just 30 min. and you will cover more than 100 words, you will find all these words in the exam. For one word substitutions and idioms, we have provided all important and previous years questions, you can answer correctly after solving these quizzes on Adda247 App.

Section-2: Grammatical Section

Grammatical part solely depends on rules. Once you remember and understand all the important rules, this part can we cracked very easily. Again, revision is the key here also. Most of the grammatical part is made of Parts of speech. You need to once go through all the parts of speech. This grammatical part plays an indispensable role in every type of questions in English section. Learn all the tenses and its usage. Conditional sentences- in every exam questions are asked from this topic in the form of fillers, error detection or sentence improvements. we have provided study notes on all grammatical parts and tenses, study these notes and attempt all the error detection and fill in the blanks questions correctly. If you are studying Noun, then learn all the rules regarding Nouns, and you can correct all the questions correctly.

Section-3: Comprehensive Section

For these type of questions, you need to solve 5 comprehensions daily. Such questions are asked to check your understanding of Engish language especially your reading habits. If you are used to reading books, novel etc in English language, then it will come naturally to you. You can easily understand the context and you can answer all the questions based on it. the important trick is to read the questions first, so that you can understand the context of the paragraph beforehand, while you read the passage very first time, you will find the answer to all the questions which you have already read. In this way, you can save precious time by not reading passage all over again for each question. when you study in these remaining days, follow this trick, it will help you tremendously.

SSC CGL Tier 2 Exam Pattern

This is CBE (computer based examination). There are 4 sections in the Tier 2 exam of SSC CGL 2017, with 100 questions which account for a total of 200 marks. The subject-wise details are given below:

Paper Subject No of Questions Max Marks Exam Duration
1 Quantitative Abilities/td> 100 200 2 Hours
2 English Language and Comprehension 200 200 2 Hours
3 Statistics 100 200 2 Hours
3 General Studies (Finance & Economics) 100 200


Paper-1 and Paper-2 are compulsory for all posts

Paper-3 is only for the post of “Statistical Investigator Gr. II” & “Compiler”

Paper-4 is only for the post of “Assistant Audit Officer”

Giving a wrong answer to a question will lead to a penalty of 0.5 marks in Paper-1,3,4 and 0.25 marks in Paper-2.

Questions in Paper-I will be of 10th standard level, Paper-2 of 10+2 level and Paper-3 & 4 of graduation level.

The computer will be provided by the Commission at the Centre/venue notified for the purpose. Candidates shall not be allowed to bring their own Keyboard.

The exam duration is 2 Hours and 40 Minutes for candidates who are visually handicapped.

SSC CGL Tier 2 Syllabus

This is CBE (computer based examination). There are 4 sections in the Tier 2 exam of SSC CGL 2017. The subject-wise details are given below:

Paper Subject No of Questions Max Marks Exam Duration
1 Quantitative Abilities/td> 100 200 2 Hours
2 English Language and Comprehension 200 200 2 Hours
3 Statistics 100 200 2 Hours
3 General Studies (Finance & Economics) 100 200 2 Hours

SSC CGL Tier 3 Exam Pattern & Syllabus

This exam is taken to check the written skills of the candidates in English/Hindi. This is a (DES)descriptive exam and is conducted offline. Candidates need to write Essay/Letter/Application/Precis. The best way to prepare for the same is to read lots of articles from various newspapers. Focus on the Intro. and conclusion of the Essay. Apart from this, you need to be well aware of the pattern of Letter and Application.

Important Points:
The time duration is 60 minutes and carries 100 marks. The exam duration is 80 minutes for candidates who are visually handicapped or suffer from cerebral palsy.

SSC CGL Tier 4 Exam Pattern & Syllabus

The Tier 4 of SSC CGL Exam 2017 comprises DEST/CPT. These are required for certain government posts.

1. DEST (Data Entry Speed Test):

For the post of Tax Assistant (Central Excise and Income Tax). Any Candidate who takes CPT does not require to appear for DEST as the part 1 of CPT (Typing) will be considered for DEST evaluation. Requirement: 8000 key depression per hour, that is 2000 key depression per 15 minutes. Relaxation: VH Candidates will be allowed 20 minutes.

2. CPT (Computer Proficiency Test):
  • CSS(Assistant)
  • MEA(Assistant)
  • Inspector (Central Excise) [CBEC]
  • Inspector (Preventive officer)[CBEC]
  • Inspector (Examiner)[CBEC]

The Skill test in Computer Proficiency is a qualifying test only. It will consist of three Modules in the following manner:

  • (I) Word Processing Test: 2000 Key Depressions
  • (II) Test in spread Sheets on Microsoft Excel: 15 Minutes
  • (III) Test in PowerPoint (Microsoft Power Point): 15 Minutes

After the test of Module-I is over, the candidate will have to write in his/her own handwriting one paragraph of about 50-60 words from the Data Entry passage given to him/her on a separate sheet, then only the candidate will be given the exercise sheet of Module-II.

The candidate has to prepare spreadsheet as per the given exercise in 15 minutes and then save it with the filename as prescribed in the exercise sheet. Printout of the saved files should be taken thereafter.

After the test of Module II is over, the candidate will be given the exercise sheet of Module III (PowerPoint) which has to be completed in 15 minutes. The candidate has to prepare presentation slides as per the exercise given and then save it as instructed above as well as print the same.